For the first time since 2001, the longest-running Broadway musical makes its triumphant return to Charlotte: “The Phantom of the Opera” will run at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Uptown, June 10-July 5.
Q-Notes had the opportunity to speak to actor D.C. Anderson, who plays one of the two theatre managers, Monsieur André. Born in Chicago and raised outside of Cleveland, Ohio, Anderson has been performing and acting for decades. The veteran is more than excited to come down to Charlotte for his first ever visit to the Queen City.
How did you get started in acting and musicals?
When I was in the sixth grade, I just knew that I wanted to be an actor. At the time I was pretty much taken up with the idea of the attention an actor gets or something. I remember cutting out a picture of an Academy Awards winner from TV Guide and I put it on my dresser. My mom asked about, why I had cut it out. I told her, “It’ll sit there until the real one takes its place.” (laughs)
So your parents were supportive of your performing ambitions then?
Yes, my parents were supportive. When I was in seventh grade I auditioned for a community play. I was horrible. It was “Gideon” by Paddy Chayefsky. I played the little boy with Gideon. In the play, God is a character but the only person who sees him or hears him is Gideon. The man playing the voice of God had this loud, booming voice and every time he spoke, I shook. It kind of got rid of the idea that God couldn’t be heard by anyone else. (laughs)
In “Phantom” you play the character Monsieur André. He and the other manager are two characters that audiences come to kind of love and hate. You just can’t help but love them, because they can be so funny. What do you see in your character, from the other side of the stage?
I think he is a lot like me. I kind of put together this back story of him, that isn’t really a part of the play. (laughs) His mother was a voice teacher and she used to teach opera singers and put me in my baby basket under the piano so she could keep an eye on me when she was teaching. I grew up to love the opera and had this dream of owning the Paris Opera. Low and behold, I meet this other guy, Firmin, who has the resources to take over a theater. We form a partnership when the old owner vacates his position. Of course, we don’t know why he is leaving, but it is certainly a boon for me. But the place is haunted and people are dying and we are just trying to keep the performances alive. The two characters are just two people working very hard to keep opera alive in Paris, while the performers are dying all around them.
So, you’ve never been to Charlotte?
No, but I’m really looking forward to it. I have a friend who performed there. He liked it so much that he actually purchased a condo and is planning to return there for retirement.
Well, you’ll be here for four weeks. You’ll definitely have to get out and see the town.
That’ll be great!