In his most recent Broadway show, Something Rotten, Eric got a taste of the rock star life in his role as “Leather Boy” and Shakespeare. Now he is tackling another superstar – the King himself, Elvis Presley. Attack of the Elvis Impersonators is a hilarious and outlandish new musical about a world famous heavy metal icon who is burnt out and decides his life’s mission is to impersonate his idol, Elvis. The show has everything and the kitchen sink; an epic love story, a world war, a supervillian, crazy cults… it’s so ridiculous that you can’t help but have an outrageously good time.
When did you first catch the acting bug?
From a VERY young age! I think I was hard-wired for it. But, my family would watch movie musicals when they’d air on TV, and I was hooked. And watching The Muppet Show was EVERYTHING! Seeing those guest stars doing musical numbers! It was everything I wanted to be and do! And now, I really feel even more passionate about the creative side of things, directing and choreographing, having a vision and getting all the parts to swirl around to bring a story to life! I love it!
In your most recent Broadway show, Something Rotten! you played a leather boy and the Bard. What was the best part of that experience?
Something Rotten! was a GREAT experience. Working with so many old friends! Making some awesome new ones! It was such a joyous and creative experience from the top down. Casey seems to just create such a fun atmosphere… yes, TONS of hard work, but so much love and fun and silliness too! Loved watching some of these greats work through the creative process. So much to learn in rehearsals… about ideas and choices and evolution of a character and freedom and “playing.” It was a wonderful experience. And getting to cover and then take over the role of Shakespeare was a thrill for me. My #Hairflips will never be the same!
After tackling the role of Shakespeare, you’re taking on another icon, Elvis. Do you find that they have any similarities?
Hmmm…. well… I find MORE similarities between Shakespeare and Drac Frenzie. Drac is the rockstar I play who eventually becomes the reincarnation of Elvis. Drac is very caught up in his career but finding it tough to maintain that life, so in that way he’s rather like Will, but Drac is way more self-destructive and needs to be saved, and Will was too vain to let himself go that direction.
How does one become Elvis?
You just need a magic locket and a visit to Graceland. And a box of hair dye.
Were you a fan of Elvis beforehand and do you have a favorite Elvis tune?
Uhhh… Not particularly… I knew a little about him, grew up with his Christmas album – on record – knew a bunch of his songs. But there was a LOT to learn and the research was fun for me!
Attack of the Elvis Impersonators is so bizarrely hilarious – what about it do you most look forward to every show?
The CAST! This is one of the funnest (yes, FUNNEST) and funniest casts ever. And the show is nuts, let’s be honest. So this amazingly talented and experienced group of people coming together to do this insane show, we have a BLAST together and I will miss laughing with them every day.
Your rock star character in the show has a massive fan following that would do anything he tells them, even join a crazy cult. Have you ever been obsessed with anyone in that way? Any stars that had a big influence on you?
I’ve never been THAT obsessive about a person. I have a lot of people that I’ve had serious interest in, like Bob Fosse, Gene Kelly, Cher, Stephen King, Jim Henson. I would seek out more and more of their work, maybe read more about, just hungry for their knowledge and point of view and an understanding of their creative process, of their trajectory in life, but I’ve never been an obsessive fan about someone.
You have been a part of many Broadway musicals, which has been your favorite experience?
So many FAVORITES for so many different reasons…. it would depend what your criteria was to define “favorite.”
If you could re-visit any role which you have played before, which would it be?
Hmmm…. a role I want to revisit? Probably Tick in Priscilla, that one was really deeply perfect for me. I loved performing that role. But I need to tackle a few dream roles first, like Frankenfurter and Hedwig! #CallMe
Attack of the Elvis Impersonators is now playing at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row through September 24th.
Click here for tickets and more info.