Today we are starting with Christopher Maikish who is playing Jeff.
Do you identify with your character in any way?
I identify with all characters I play in some regard, of course. This one’s a little unreal, however, in terms of relating to so many of Jeff’s idiosyncracies and also knowing that this person really exists. While I’m not into bird watching or comic books, we share several things as widely ranging as working in web design, an old school “appreciation” for perfect grammar, and chronic back pain. (Yes, I just proofread this for typos, lol.) Jeff battles with rigidity — his exacting nature makes him an A+ student, but he seems happiest when he’s free to dream. I think Jeff Bowen and I would have much to chat about over coffee.
What is your favorite line to say or sing? What is your favorite line in the show?
Wow. Hard question. This show is absolutely brimming with rich quotes and meaningful ideas. On a random note, I kinda love singing the line, “Part of a coat of marmoset” because I never on earth thought I’d ever sing a song with the word “marmoset” in it. It makes me giggle. For context, you’ll just have to come see the show!
Favorite song in the show and why?
Again, wow. I’m in love with each one for a different reason. I’d have to say “Nine People’s Favorite Thing” for its sunny and optimistic message. Jeff tends to ring the reality bell a lot during the show; both personally and as the character, it’s satisfying to embrace who we are and why we creatives do what we do for its standalone merits.
Why did you want to be in [title of show]?
Of what I knew about it, I thought the music was fantastic and the concept out-of-the-box. I also thought it would be a good personality fit for me. Some may be surprised (given how many musicals I do) to hear that I’m not in my innermost sensibilities the Hello, Dolly! type. I love that this show is pared down — 4 chairs and a keyboard. The material soars without spectacle.
How has the experience been so far?
I’d already worked with Julia Plostnieks a few years ago (funnily enough as her lover in Twelfth Night), so I expected some fun times. I gotta say: I love this cast and team. The material we work with is cause for endless riffing, and the four of us are just lucky to have a director and stage manager to keep us moving forward. We are having so much fun. Also, our very young but brilliant musical director Jim Blackett (who plays “Larry” the pianist in the show) is a force to be reckoned with, LA. Watch out!
Why should people come see this show?
It’s terribly clever, but just when you think it’s clever — it’s genuinely meaningful. One of those experiences that makes you think, makes you dream a little. Makes you want to write a musical, or just believe enough to shake things up in your life. And move on.