On March 21, openly gay John Scherer takes to the Maltz Jupiter stage as Herbie, a major supporting role in the award winning musical, “Gypsy,” running through April 9. The theatre is at 1001 E Indian Town Road, Jupiter. Visit www.jupitertheatre.org for show times; tickets start at $56. Phone: (561) 575-2223.
Scherer, who has previously appeared at the Maltz Theatre in “La Cage aux Folles,” “Annie,” and “They're Playing Our Song,” has an impressive resume of productions on and off Broadway as well as in television and film.
“I’m ecstatic to be back at the Maltz,” he said during an interview. “I actually go back further than my bio shows. I first worked here shortly after the dinner theater closed and again a few years later. Both times they felt pretty discouraged.”
“And look at it now,” he continued. “Andrew [Kato, the Theatre's producing artistic director and chief executive] has worked miracles. Theatres are suffering and some are even closing but Andrew is expanding.”
“It’s a great place to work,” he added. Everyone is upbeat and excited. There’s a lot of talent. It’s great!”
Scherer was born and raised in Buffalo New York. His father was a librarian and his mother ran a bowling alley but both of them were encouraging when he announced he was planning a career in theatre.
He said he suffered the usual bullying most gay kids get in school but he survived and his family was supportive.
Scherer studied theatre at Carnegie Mellon University where he graduated in 1983, moving directly to New York City where he lives, unattached, in Chelsea.
When asked if he felt being gay had hindered his career he replied that he didn’t think so. He suggested that some casting agents pigeonhole actors based on what they’ve seen them do.
“If they see you in a musical role,” he said. “They assume you can’t do drama.”
Under the direction of renowned director and choreographer, Marcia Milgrom Dodge Scherer will be supporting the celebrated stage, screen and television actress Vicki Lewis as Rose and Emma Stratton as Louise.
As most SFGN readers know, the story is based on the memoirs of the legendary burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee and follows the dreams and efforts of her powerhouse stage mother to get her two daughters into show business.
The music for ‘Gypsy’ is by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim with book by Arthur Laurents. Some of the many songs that leave audiences humming as they leave the theatre – besides “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” include: "Together, Wherever We Go," "All I Need Is the Girl," and "You Gotta Get a Gimmick."
With a cast of 30 and a 12 piece orchestra plus the theatre’s own award winning support teams from costumes to sets, “Gypsy” promises to be a lush production of a truly fabulous musical (my adjective).
Tickets are selling fast so get online or call the box office as soon as possible.