Bakula Shines Onstage in 'Shenandoah'By Michelle
March 25, 2006 - 3:33 PM
Scott Bakula (Captain Archer) "invests a clarifying sense of dignity in this starring turn" in Shenandoah, the Civil War musical in which he is currently starring at Washington, DC's historical Ford's Theatre, according to the first major review of the show. The actor will chat live about the musical on Wednesday afternoon.
The Washington Post described the lead role as "a crusty paterfamilias played appealingly by Scott Bakula", noting that the focus of the story rests mostly "on Bakula's Charlie and the manly sort of individualism he embodies way out yonder on his Virginia farm." Reviewer Peter Marks described "the 1975 war-on-the-home-front musical that Ford's Theatre has revived with impeccable timeliness" as somewhat narrow in characterisation but "a sly bit of subversiveness, packaged as family fare" in its current incarnation.
Bakula's Charlie is labeled "a quiet, high-minded loner, almost Lincolnesque in his moral courage" who resists allowing his sons to die needlessly in battle. "He more than capably fulfills the vocal demands of the part, with soliloquies that recall Billy Bigelow in Carousel," noted Marks.
In another Washington Post article, Bakula discussed appearing in the musical as one of the young soldiers early in his career and said that after Enterprise, he realized that he "was getting old enough to play Charlie."
"There just aren't that many roles like this for men in the musical theater," he added. "As an actor, you get your full dose of getting to sing and having great numbers to do, and then you have this kind of wide range of emotions that you get to run in the course of the evening....when I first started doing the show, I didn't have any kids, and I related as best I could as a son or as a suitor or whatever I was in the piece to the father in the piece, and never spent a lot of time thinking that much about what was going on for the father."
Bakula described the role as challenging and "very emotional" when he thinks about issues he must warn his own four children about. "It weighs on me every time we've run the show."
"I saw the show twice," wrote Donna of Project Quantum Leap to the Trek Nation. "The old Broadway star was back. He commanded that stage."
WashingtonPost.com will host a live chat with Bakula on Wednesday, March 29th at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. Fans can leave questions and comments for Bakula to read on the site in advance as well.
Shenandoah will run at Ford's Theatre through April 30th. Tickets are available at the theatre web site.