In the course of his extravagantly nutty career, Academy Award nominee Michael McKean has played a heavy metal frontman (This is Spinal Tap), a board game piece (Clue), and J. Edgar Hoover (this spring’s Broadway production of All the Way). His latest role: the lovable hypochondriac Lester Martin in The Band Wagon, an Encores! Special Event based on the classic MGM film. McKean agreed to keep a behind-the-scenes diary of the experience.
October 23, 2014Day four of Band Wagon. Playing completely against type, I got a full seven hours of sleep last night. All the better to wallow in this pot of jam I’ve fallen into. I mean: Kathleen Marshall is over there talking to Tracey Ullman. Please. The incomparable Brian Stokes Mitchell is due any minute. We’re about to rehearse a number called “That’s Entertainment” with the amazing Tony Sheldon. I am officially in Show Business. I had the pleasure of working with Kathleen (Pajama Game, ’06), Stokes (South Pacific/Hollywood Bowl, ’07) and Tracey (looong history there), but my new buds are pretty awesome. Tony is hilarious, the beautiful Laura Osnes could sing a hungry dog off a meat wagon, and the entire company is world-class.
It's my first experience with Encores! (exclamation point optional) and I’m having a blast.