Randy Harrison returns to the Berkshires with The Skivvies
by Larry Murray
Great actors have often reported feeling “almost naked” on stage with hundreds of people gazing at them. This coming Sunday and Monday that fantasy almost becomes reality when the Skivvies take the stage in Williamstown, and have shamelessly recruited some pretty amazing actors to join them in stripping down to the basics in order to simply make good music. And actors go for it. Most just want to have a little fun to let off steam after playing deep, dramatic roles on stage, and this is especially true for the annual migration of New York City actors to the Williamstown Theatre Festival where Mandy Greenfield is Artistic Director. In a stroke of near genius, she presents the return of the sizzling musical comedy duo The Skivvies July 26th and July 27th at Goodrich Hall.
To the best of my knowledge, Randy Harrison who played Justin in the landmark series Queer as Folk has never appeared on a Williamstown Theatre Festival stage before, so it looks like he will go to any lengths to make his debut. He will strip down to his tighty whities (or whatever strikes his fancy) as he joins the fun in these upcoming shows with The Skivvies. Harrison has no fear of trying just about anything on stage. Harrison’s last appearance in the Berkshires was with his QWAN Theatre Company at the Colonial Theatre.Just in case you haven’t heard about The Skivvies, they are the singers Lauren Molina (WTF’s Ten Cents a Dance) and Nick Cearley (All Shook Up) and they are back for a second summer to turn the heat way, way up as they perform stripped down mash-ups of pop songs and show tunes . . . in their underwear. But they won’t be on stage virtually naked and alone, no siree, that will never happen in Billstown. They’ve managed to recruit some pretty special guests who will match them in the bare it all (or most) department as special guests Randy Harrison (Queer As Folk), Alison Fraser (WTF’s Far From Heaven), Benjamin Scheuer (The Lion), and Will Swenson (WTF’s upcoming The Moon for the Misbegotten) join them for two nights of music and mischief on July 26th & 27th at 7:30 pm at Goodrich Hall. Tickets start at $80, which include premium seats and access to an exclusive party after the show; Regular seating is $40.
Randy Harrison is well known to the Berkshires, if not the Williamstown crowd, from his time with the Berkshire Theatre Festival. And it didn’t hurt his name recognition that he played the youngest character in the legendary and groundbreaking series Queer as Folk which has earned him a worldwide fan base. There is a link between that daring television series being screened around the world and the growing awareness and acceptance of gay people. The downside is that the role typecast the actor as his character, Justin, so Harrison who had been acting since his childhood quickly moved on to Broadway (Wicked) before beginning a six year run with Kate Maguire and the Berkshire Theatre Group where he made his Berkshire debut a decade ago as Alan Strang in a memorable Equus. This was followed by his electrifying Lucky in Beckett’s Waiting for Godot which he describes as his favorite role ever, and Tommy in The Who’s Tommy. Those who follow the popular actor’s appearances delighted in his current arrival in Mr. Robot the hottest series ever on the USA Network. When he is not on stage, Harrison can be found doing his own thing at any number of NYC nightspots, form guest appearances on Your Hit Parade to fun evenings with The Skivvies. Harrison is part of the satirical theatre cooperative QWAN (Quality Without a Name) along with Jenn Harris, Jack Ferver, Chris Coulson and Matthew Wilkas (the latter currently playing Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher at the Weston Playhouse)
The Wall Street Journal calls these wildly popular undie-rockstars “smart, sophisticated . . . ingenious” and Out Magazine declares that they’ve “managed to carve out a niche that we never knew existed: Part Weird Al parody and part sexy burlesque . . . an unusual explosion of satire and sultry.”
TICKETS AND SCHEDULE
Tickets for all Williamstown Theatre Festival productions can be purchased online at wtfestival.org, by phone at 413-597-3400, or in person at the ‘62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 01267.