The Lake Dillon Theatre Company welcomes back to Summit County Mercedes Perez and Alan Osburn. Perez returns in the iconic role of Donna in Mamma Mia! after her beautiful performance as “Molina’s Mother” in Kiss of the Spider Woman (2012). Osburn joins the Mamma Mia! cast as “Sam” after directing LDTC’s Sleuth (2013) and Cloak and Dagger (2015). We had a few minutes to catch up with the real-life husband and wife team.
1. We are so excited to have you back at the LDTC for our 25th Anniversary Season. What excites you about Mamma Mia!?
Mercedes: What excites me about working on a piece like Mamma Mia! is it’s really an ensemble show and I enjoy that kind of work. And of course, the music is fun! Takes me back.
Alan: The way people go nuts over the music. When I was the Artistic Director at Theatre Aspen we took a theatre trip to London. I was really excited to see Shakespeare, Stoppard, Pinter, all of the great English masters. But no, the only thing my Board of Directors wanted to see was Mamma Mia!. Reluctantly, I went along. The crowd went crazy. One couldn’t help but get excited.
2. In 2019, we are celebrating the LDTC’s 25th Anniversary season. Do you have any favorite memories from your time at the LDTC?
M: I played Molina’s mother in Kiss of the Spider Woman in the summer of 2012. I loved the old theatre space in Dillon. When one had to make entrances from the front of the house, you had to go out and around to the front of the building. My favorite time was when it was raining. It was refreshing!
A: It’s not my “favorite” but I will never forget it. When I directed Sleuth. The morning of opening night, I arrived at the theatre around 10:00 am. We were supposed to have a final dress rehearsal before we had our first audience. When I arrived, I was informed that we couldn’t do the dress rehearsal as the electricity had gone out the night before and the newly painted floor was wet. As I contemplated how to proceed I made a stop at the restroom, only to find it wasn’t working due, to the fact that the pipes were frozen. When I went backstage, Chris Alleman was trying to keep the Fire Marshall from shutting down the theater as the space heaters that were being used to warm up the pipes were a violation of the fire code. When Chris finally came out to the house he said to me, “You will probably never want to work here again.” But here we are, in a brand new gorgeous facility, with state of the art bathrooms, lots of electricity, and not a space heater in sight.
3. Mamma Mia! Is about a mother and daughter’s relationship amidst the daughter’s search for her past. As parents what do you hope to bring to your roles as a mother and possible father?
M: As a mother of a 16-year-old daughter, I hope that I can bring/portray the understanding and patience it takes to bring up a daughter in complex situations.
A: I am actually more aware of what the role is going to bring me, as opposed to what I might bring to the role. As a father, one of the things I will dread most of all will be giving my daughter away at her wedding. It might be good practice watching Sophie being given away seven times a week, but somehow I’m thinkin’ I will probably still be a mess.
4. What do you hope audiences take away from Mamma Mia!?
M: I hope audiences have a good time, forget their worries for a few hours. And laugh!
A: Just have fun.
5. What is Mamma Mia! about to you?
M: Accepting and forgiving the bad decisions you made in the past. Getting on with life.
A: Spending time with the people you love, and a new beginning at long last.
6. We are also exploring the concept of human connection for our season this year. In what ways do you think theatre connects the world today?
M: In a world of computers, cell phones, and texting, it’s important to keep a connection with live people telling a story. And listening instead of being bombarded by electronic images.
A: The same way it connected 2,000 years ago when the Greeks came up with the idea in the first place. We all want to know that there are other people in the world, no matter the time or the place, that have to go through what we have to deal with on a daily basis. We all have problems, frustrations, hopes, dreams, and desires. When we see someone on stage dealing with their issues we “connect” and are somehow comforted, motivated, enlightened, or maybe we just smile.
7. You have performed in productions in New York, On regional tours, in Denver, and in regional houses all across the country. As actors what roles have you played that has stuck out to you the most?
M: The most interesting character I’ve played was Eva Peron in Evita. The most fun was being a cat in Cats. I am a cat person at heart. And the most memorable was the touring company of Les Miserables where I met my wonderful husband Alan.
A: Playing Javert in Les Miserables on Broadway was the role of a lifetime. It’s not everyday one has the opportunity to be a part of a masterpiece at the highest level. The first Broadway show I ever saw was when I was in college. It was the day before the Tony Awards in New York City and I the guy handing out the swag in the TKTS booth line told me about a dark musical that was up for a lot of awards. When I left the theatre I thought, maybe, just maybe, one day I could be that guy. Playing Sweeney Todd was a life-long dream.
We are thrilled to have you back in the 2019 acting company. What does it mean to return to Summit County and the Lake Dillon Theatre?
M: Returning to the Lake Dillon Theatre means having a great time with a lot of talented and fun people in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. Can’t think of a better summer!
A: What makes working here special is the pursuit of excellence. The people in charge aren’t interested in just “putting up a show;” they want everything on stage to be the best it can possibly be.