Entertainment » Theatre

Luke Macfarlane :: 'Big Night'

by Lisa Lipsey
Saturday Sep 9, 2017
Luke Macfarlane in rehearsal for the world premiere of 'Big Night' at center theatre group's kirk douglas theatre.
Luke Macfarlane in rehearsal for the world premiere of 'Big Night' at center theatre group's kirk douglas theatre.   (Source:Craig Schwartz)

The Center Theatre Group is taking on the world premiere of playwright Paul Rudnick's "Big Night" directed by Tony-winner Walter Bobbie and starring an amazing cast of six, including Brian Hutchison ("Smokefall"), Max Jenkins ("The Mysteries of Laura"), Kecia Lewis ("The Drowsy Chaperone"), Luke Macfarlane ("Brothers & Sisters"), Wendie Malick ("Just Shoot Me!")
and Tom Phelan ("The Fosters").

"Big Night" takes place on Oscar night, and the main character, Mike, a nominee, is feeling the pressure between his transgender nephew, who wants his acceptance speech to be a political statement, an impending bombshell from his mother, and his boyfriend, who isn't returning his calls.
Nine days into rehearsals, hunky Luke Macfarlane shared, "I am a very grateful, lucky actor. It is incredible to watch the cast members do their thing. I am enjoying working on a live production, the art of rehearsing, discovering things in a deep way. Television work doesn't get that much time."

"There is so much talent in the room. A wealth of television acting and deep Broadway talent in Brian [Hutchison] and Kecia [Lewis]. I love the conversations we are all having about the play. It is opening my perspective," continued Macfarlane, "What I like least is the daily drive to Culver City, damn the traffic."

Macfarlane grew up in a small Canadian town, "My family was all academics, medical professional academics, and part of me was terrified that I would end up in that field and be unhappy. I played the cello, so on a lark I thought I would audition for Juilliard. I knew I wasn't a good enough cello player to make it. So instead, I thought I would trick them into believing that I am a good enough actor. I was very lucky and got in to Juilliard. I was not a theatre kid, but this became my escape plan."

As fate would have it, Juilliard is where Macfarlane first met Rudnick, "Paul is one of the great satirical funny men and people who know him, know he is someone who believes deeply in the theatre. Even when he is writing camp, lighter comedy, there is relevance to current events. It is important for us, in L.A., to go to the theatre and reflect. It is important that the play is opening here because it is set in L.A., talks about the movies and takes place on Oscar night."

Macfarlane shared, "When my agent let me know about this show, I thought 'Why would they think of me?'This wickedly funny play talking about something pretty profound, is a big move outside of what I have been known for. The event at PULSE Orlando - that shocking, stirring moment - informed this play. We respond and grapple with questions in the play."

When asked about benefits and consequences of being an out actor [Macfarlane came out publicly in 2008], he says, "I really don't know what it has or has not done for my career. I am not privy to those decision conversations, so I honestly don't know. At the end of the day, professionally, I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had and I take the high road. I am responsible to live my life and be an example for those among us who are marginalized, or who are being harmed. I want to do that in a timely, timely way, but not on Instagram or Twitter. It is sad that so often these days, kids look for validation on Twitter."

In addition to "Big Night," Macfarlane is wrapping up roles in seasonal television shows including "Night Shift," "Kill Joys," and "Mercy Street." He is also the star of the soon-to-be-released horror film "Rock, Paper, Dead." The film comes from the minds behind "Friday the 13th" and "Child's Play." Mcfarlane plays a doll maker/serial killer who was just released from a mental institution. If you are into it, or like to marvel at Macfarlane, look for his nightmare of a film later this year.


Center Theatre Group's world premiere of Big
Night takes place from Sunday, September
10 through Sunday, October 8 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. For tickets and more, call 213.628.2772, or go to centertheatregroup.org

Copyright Rage Monthly. For more articles from Rage visit www.ragemonthly.com


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