Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Get Your Tickets Now

M*A*S*H Cast:
The Doctors

The week before opening opening night, the MASH doctors sat down with the play’s publicity coordinator to give readers an inside look at their roles.

Are you having a good time putting on this play?
Darrell Hammond/Trapper John: It’s so much different than anything I’ve ever been
in, with the three different scenes on the stage the whole time. It takes a lot more coordination between the whole cast as opposed to closing the curtain to change scenes.
Lyman Fuson/Duke: Timing is everything on this one. Like one scene with Hawkeye,
Henry Blake, and Duke in the mess tent -- they have to fire off the lines really fast. As Tom [Tom McKittrick, the director] said at the beginning, “With last summer’s Beverly Hillbillies, hillbillies strike oil and go to Beverly Hills. That’s just inherently funny. With this play, the humor depends more on how it’s delivered.”

What do you like about your own character?
Paul Cargill/Walt: When he’s happy, he’s happy. He’s happy in the army, he’d be
happy back home. He’s interested in keeping the other people happy, he’s sort of the informal “recreation officer.” He’s trying to help lighten the load by supplying the bingo and the gambling.
Dave Sobeski/Hawkeye: Hawkeye’s very passionate about his job. He’s very serious
about doing the best job he can, but it’s on his terms. He can’t stand regulations for regulations’ sake. He despises the camp Army clowns of Burns and Houlihan. But he’s very close to not only the doctors, but also to the enlisted men, the nurses, everybody who saves lives. That’s what he’s all about.
Lyman Fuson/Duke: Duke’s pretty much the same way. They’re both schemers, but
they don’t scheme to do bad things. They want to help the camp. And they’re not afraid of Henry Blake.
Darrell Hammond/Trapper John: Trapper’s the old reliable. He’s there the whole
time. He’s the backbone of the unit.
Rick Larson/Ugly: The reason I like Ugly is that he doesn’t have a big part in the book,
the TV show, or the movie. He’s in there, but he’s just sort of a bystander. That gave open range to make the part whatever we want it to be, which makes it pretty cool.
Lyman Fuson/Duke: To some extent that’s what Duke has, too. He’s in the movie, but
he’s never in the television show.
Paul Cargill/Walt: Walt isn’t in the television show either. But we’re not doing the
television show. This is closer to the book than anything.

How do your characters get along with each other?
Paul Cargill/Walt: I think everybody likes Walt, the dentist. They’re concerned about
Dave Sobeski/Hawkeye: Walt is the center of the social scene and we need you. You’re
Paul Cargill/Walt: Yes, it’s pretty much a show about an army dentist and all the other
people that come and go in his life!
Dave Sobeski/Hawkeye: Duke and Hawkeye are very close. There’s a bond there. You
presume they didn’t know each other before they hit Korea. They’re very similar spirits, so they connect and they stay connected. They’re kind of connected at the hip throughout the play.
Lyman Fuson/Duke: Hawkeye and Duke are the ones who always have a plot.
Rick Larson/Ugly: I really like Hawkeye and Duke. They’re the ringleaders. When
they come in, they just kind of organize everything. And even though they’re full of wise cracks, they do show their true colors at times. They’ve got heart.
Lyman Fuson/Duke: These are the guys that are all in the operating room trying to save
lives together and they all rely on each other.

Aside from the outright comedy, what might the audience take away from play?
Paul Cargill/Walt: I want people to remember this war. I really hadn’t thought about it
in a long time. I always liked to read about World War II and this was just sort of finishing up some of the things after World War II.
Dave Sobeski/Hawkeye: Isn’t that one of the labels, “the forgotten war?” They called it
a police action at one time.
Paul Cargill/Walt: Yes, you can look it up as the “Korean conflict.”
Darrell Hammond/Trapper: One thing people will get out of it is the idea that war is
long periods of incredible activity followed by periods of complete boredom. For the doctors, there’d be weeks and weeks where they might just set a broken leg or pull out a big sliver, then for three weeks they might not sleep except on a pile of garbage out back.

Why do you think people will enjoy this play?
Paul Cargill/Walt: It’s only 8 bucks!
Rick Larson/Ugly: If you buy early!
Lyman Fuson/Duke: What can you get for 8 bucks?
Paul Cargill/Walt: A lot of the people from The Beverly Hillbillies are in this. The
director and producer are the same, so it should be the same type of quality performance. We’re right here in the Performing Arts Center with a better sound system. We’re going to have helicopters and howitzers – right here in the PAC. You don’t want to miss it -- it’s only 8 bucks!
Darrell Hamond/Trapper: I think it will be really funny. When I first read the script, I thought there weren’t that many funny parts that Trapper was in. But when you see it on stage, and as we get a little better each night we do it, there’s really a lot of humor in there.
Dave Sobeski/Hawkeye: The play is a comedy, even though the movie was more of a
dark comedy.
Paul Cargill/Walt: A “dramedy” or a “com-a.”
Dave Sobeski/Hawkeye: This play doesn’t have any of the darkness of the movie. It’s
just more comedy.
Lyman Fuson/Duke: The more we work on it, we start to see lines that are really funny
when we deliver them just the right way.
Rick Larson/Ugly: That’s the key thing, too. Like Tom said, with the Beverly Hillbillies
last year, we could have sat up there and just read the script and had people laughing. With this one, we actually have to work at it. And that makes it more fun for us, too.
Lyman Fuson/Duke: Jethro [played by Rick Larson in the Beverly Hillbillies] isn’t
going to carry in a telephone pole for laughs this time!
Paul Cargill/Walt: He was stupid then and now he’s ugly.
Rick Larson/Ugly: Where does one go from here?!
Paul Cargill/Walt: Nowhere to go but up!


sc – 6/19/07

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