Carolee Carmello as Marguerite
SP3: Neil Simon Theater

The Scarlet Pimpernel : Broadway's Most Intriguing Musical.

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Interview with Kirk McDonald

Kirk is so full of youthful enthusiasm and he just glows when he talks to you. He worked with Carolee Carmello in Parade and it's obvious when you see Marguerite and Armand together that they've built up a great working relationship.

NR: Tell me where you grew up.

KM: Orlando, Florida. I love it there.

NR: What inspired you to perform?

KM: I grew up in a boy choir. You know, with the red robes and the white collars. It's so funny, we just had tickets to see the Annie premiere the other day, and I was obsessed with Annie when I was six years old. It was easy in a way because there was never a choice. It was the only thing that I ever wanted to do. I grew up doing shows. Then I moved up here and I went to NYU when I was seventeen.

NR: Wow, that's a long way to go when you're seventeen.

KM: I was ready for it.

NR: How did your parents feel?

KM: They knew I was ready for it. I'm the only child. They just came up about a month ago to see the show.

NR: If you knew a teenager who wanted to be a performer, is there any advice you would give him?

KM: Just go for it. There's no halfway to do it. I don't know. It's one of those questions that people would ask me when I was on the road. With me, I think it's just luck, so it's hard for me to give advice. Training helps.

NR: Is there anything you wish you did differently?

KM: No, I just try to take things as they come. Going to NYU was a good choice because it got me here and it got me acclimated to the city before I had to be out doing it and making a living. As expensive as the school was, I think that probably the best thing the school gave me is sort of foundation in the city.

NR: Were there any surprises along the way?

KM: (laughing) That I'm working. That's a constant surprise to me. I just thank my lucky stars on a daily basis.

NR: This is your second Broadway show. That's pretty amazing for a young guy. A lot of people are here many, many years before they get one.

KM: I've been blessed that I've gotten to do some cool jobs.

NR: You and Carolee (Carmello) seem to work really well together. How do you compare the two experiences between Parade and Pimpernel?

KM: They're so different. I think the intentions of the shows are different. This is essentially fun, upbeat, light. My friend told me the other day that it's like a little confection, it's so sweet. Parade was serious and dramatic, so just in the subject matter and in the intention they're so drastically different. I don't know if people ever went to see Parade and said that they had a great time. It wasn't about that, whereas this is. It's just great that we ended up getting this together. Both of us had done all the workshops and readings of Parade. The first one was in May of `96, so I guess it's been about three and a half years that we've known each other.

NR: You seem to have great rapport. Did the fact that you worked together before help that?

KM: Yeah, we're so comfortable. It helps to know the person well. Sometimes in rehearsals it takes awhile to get comfortable with somebody.

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Interview conducted and photographs by Nancy Rosati.

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