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If the Role Fits ...

June 13, 2008 - Phyllis Sigal
Aaron Galligan-Stierle is on stage again .... this time as the Herald in the Broadway Asia Company's production of "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" starring Tony-award winner Lea Salonga. He will be traveling to exotic places he's only dreamed about, he noted.

Aaron, a 1998 Wheeling Park High School graduate, was involved in theater in the Ohio Valley from a young age. And he hasn't stopped!

One of his recent acting credits was in a run on Broadway in "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical" as Papa Who. This show got tons of publicity because the morning after the show's opening night, a dispute between the stagehands union, Local 1, and the League of American Theatres and Producers closed "Grinch" and 26 other Broadway plays and musicals. "Grinch" was the first one affected because of an 11 a.m. curtain that Saturday. Luckily, things were worked out, and the show was up and running again a couple of weeks later.

Before landing this latest role, he's had quite a busy spring. He was part of the original cast for a children's show in New York City called "If You Give a Pig a Pancake..." He also played the role of Billie in a concert of Jerome Kern's "Roberta." He played leading roles in five workshops of new musicals and performed in two concerts showcasing new musical theater composers. And he was the assistant director for two new musicals, "The Man Who Would Be King" and "SuperChix: A Rock Opera."

Talk about busy!

Aaron was kind enough to answer some questions about his upcoming role.

Q. Who is the Herald? Tell me about the part. What is your relationship with Cinderella?

A. I am the King and Queen's servant who does all of their "dirty work" (ie. announcing The Ball to the townspeople, planning what food will be served for The Ball, helping the Prince try to find Cinderella, trying the slipper on all the maidens ... )

Q. What songs do you sing?

A. I sing the opening number, "The Prince is Giving a Ball" and the number preparing for the ball, "Your Majesties."

Q. How do you feel about Rodgers & Hammerstein? Have you performed in any other of their shows before? Which ones?

A. I love Rodgers & Hammerstein. Music doesn't get any better than that. I have been in several R&S shows: I played Charlie in "State Fair" at Shenandoah Summer Music Theater; Dr. Joseph Taylor in "Allegro" at Shenandoah University; and "a rat" in "Cinderella" with the Music Hall Players in Wheeling back while I was in Middle school.

Q. The proverbial funny guy ... (Aaron commented in an earlier e-mail that he's always the "funny guy.") Why do you think you are cast as the funny guy? Who would you like to play, if not the "funny guy."

A. I love playing the funny guy. It is always great making people laugh and smile.

Q. When and where will be you be performing? You mentioned that where you go depends on how long you stay with the tour. Why would you leave before the tour is over?

A. I will be performing in Manila, Philippines, from July 28- Aug. 27; Xian, China Sept. 11-17; Zhengzhou, China, Sept 19-22; Wuhan, China, Sept. 23-28; and Shenzhen, China, Sept. 29-Oct. 9. The rest of the schedule is still being determined. While I am contracted on the tour for a year, (and would love to stay the whole time), an actor must always leave himself available should another opportunity come along.

Q. Are you in rehearsal now?

A. We rehearse in the Philippines starting June 23.

Q. Have you ever performed overseas before? Have you ever traveled outside the country before?

A. I toured through Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic with Shenandoah's Grammy award winning "Conservatory Choir." I also performed throughout England with Penn State's Musical Theater Ensemble. I also studied in London and Toronto (as part of my graduate acting program at Penn State). Additionally, I have visited (just for fun) Jamaica, The Bahamas, Ireland and Israel.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about this show?

A. I am really looking forward to getting to see the other side of the world. It is a unique opportunity to see and experience things I have only dreamed of previously.

And, congratulations to Aaron for those dreams coming true! Break a leg!


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