In the Spotlife: Wayne Kennedy of 'Mid-Life 2'


The cast of BDT Stage’s ‘Mid-Life 2,’ clockwise from top left: Barb Reeves, Brian Burron, Bren. Eyestone Burron, Wayne Kennedy, Scott Beyette and Tracy Warren. Photo courtesy BDT Stage.)

(The DCPA NewsCenter regularly profiles actors performing in theatre productions throughout the state of Colorado.)

MEET WAYNE KENNEDY

Ensemble in BDT Stage’s ‘Mid-Life 2 #WhatDidIComeInHereFor’

  • Hometown: Denver
  • Home now: Erie
  • High School: Jefferson High School in Edgewater
  • College: Loretto Heights College and the University of Utah
  • What have you done for us lately? I played Fester in The Addams Family. But everyone seems to associate me most with Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.
  • What’s coming up next? Boy, I wish I knew!
  • What is Mid-Life 2 all about? It is a revue-style musical that deals with a range of issues and indignities and joys that we all go through (but might not talk about) as we move through “middle age.” The show has fun with everything from the double-edged “benefits” of AARP membership and senior discounts, to memory loss, Viagra, menopause and Low-T. This is an original musical written with great humor and a lighthearted insight into the things we laugh about … to keep from crying. Jim and Bob Walton, who wrote Mid-Life, the Crisis Musical (which was originally staged at BDT Stage several years ago), have a wonderful gift for clever lyrics in combination with melodies and harmonies that are really refreshingly sophisticated. The original Mid-Life was a piano-only score. A great new addition this time around is a full score for a six-piece orchestra. 
  • Most challenging aspect for you as an actor: Well my character name is really “Man 3” – and that kind of sums up the challenge. I play a different character in every song, scene and vignette, so  as an actor you have only a couple of minutes in that “skin” to create that character, while also attending to the music and function of the scene itself. That really forces you to be extremely economical and clear with your choices. Also, because this is a new show that was being refined and often re-written right up to (and even beyond) opening night, there were a lot of moving pieces to wrap around our heads. I mean, seriously. This is a show about mid-life, being played by actors in their mid-lives … and it keeps changing every day? Don’t they know how hard it is for us old people to remember things? (I would insert an smiley-face emoticon here … if I knew what that was.)
  • What do you love most about staging this show? My favorite part of this show by far has been this particular group of actors I get to share the stage with. The years I have spent working with and knowing and loving each of these amazing people over the course of my career makes the couple of hours we spend on stage together each night so special. This production is full of talent and warmth and supportiveness and great humor and wit and wisdom. I feel so lucky each time I look around the stage.
  • What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? 1. I am also a sound designer, and I own a small recording studio business called Audio Stream Studio. 2. Both my boys have worked backstage at BDT Stage. My youngest, Joe, is still working there. My oldest, Sam, has moved to Oregon to do his chemical engineer thing. My wife, Julie, who I met and fell in love with at this theatre, runs the lights for the show at least a couple of times each week. It is my greatest joy to share time with my family and have them be a part of the show each night. 3. I was named after an engine: a Chevy inline 6-cylinder motor with a Wayne 12-port racing head. My Dad, Cal, and a buddy, Don Scroggs, were partners in a roadster with the number “T-33” that ran that engine and raced during the 1950s. (All the cars that were members of the Denver Timing Association back then had numbers starting with “T.”) The engine has recently been resurrected by my Dad and is once again racing in a replica-tribute car built by Nick’s Garage here in Denver.  I just got to drive it for the first time this last summer at the Hot Rod Dirt Drags in Monte Vista. PS: I know, I know…that’s three.When you reach mid-life, you feel the rules no longer apply.
  • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? Mean people suck.  Stop it…just stop it.  Be kind to one another…please.

BDT Stage’s Mid-Life 2: Ticket information
• Written and directed by Jim and Bob Walton
• Through Nov. 12
• At 5501 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder
• Performances: 7 p.m. Wednesdays (dinner starts 5:30); 7:45 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays (dinner starts at 6:15); also 1:30 p.m. Sundays (dinner starts at noon)
• Tickets  303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com


Cast list:
Scott Beyette
Bren. Eyestone Burron
Brian Burron
Wayne Kennedy
Barb Reeves
Tracy Warren

More ‘In the Spotlife’ profiles:
Meet Joelle Montoya of Su Teatro’s El Sol Que Tu Eres
Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center’s Tartuffe
Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West’s theMumblings
Meet Carley Cornelius of Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ Constellations
Meet Emily Paton Davies of Miners Alley Playhouse’s God of Carnage
Meet Megan Van De Hey of the Arvada Center’s Sister Act
Meet Anne Oberbroeckling of Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s Ripcord


More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

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