A Little Q & A With Kevin Earley
November 18th, 2001
It was extremely nice of Kevin to agree to answer some questions that I had before the Sunday matinee of The Most Happy Fella on closing weekend. Not only was I able to find out a little more about this talented performer, but I was also able to see what an incredibly nice and genuine person he is. He spoke candidly about his career, his family, and a quote he'll never live down. The following is a condensed version of the wonderful conversation we had that day.
I didn't want to bombard Kevin with too many Les Misérables questions since it only comprised a year and a month out of his illustrious 21 year stage career, but I couldn't help it. Being the Les Mis fan that I was, I couldn't NOT ask him what that period of his life was like. He told me that touring was a great experience because he got to travel and see places he normally wouldn't have like the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, and Washington DC. I asked him if he performed at the White House for the President on the 4th of July with the rest of the cast and he said that he remembered that the cast did perform (on the White House lawn), but he wasn't there, he was out of town at the time.
When asked what his favorite city on the tour was, Kevin said it was hard to choose. He spoke about a few of the more memorable stops like the hockey stadium they performed at in Montreal (due to a strike at the theatre they were supposed to be performing at).He mentioned what a unique experience it was to perform for a theatre full of people who were allowed to smoke during the performance (because in Canada, smoking is allowed in any building). He also mentioned that it was nice to settle down in LA for a while since they'd been on the go for so long.
Who, if anyone does he still keep in touch with from the 3NT? He said that he's kept in touch with Sutton Foster, who will be in Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway. "She's really nice,...she's great and really just a sweet girl and deserves (all the success) she gets..." and he still keeps in touch with Ivan Rutherford through email. "Every time I go to NY, I stop by the theatre and say hi to everybody, see who's in and who's not."
Which was a perfect segue to my next question of whether he ever thought about going back to NY to hit Broadway again. He said, "Yeah," but then added, "We'll be in LA for,...a while." He mentioned how it's sometimes hard to coordinate his wife's schedule with his ("she's away, then I'm away") and how his relationship with her is the most important thing to him. Gotta love a man who is entirely devoted to his relationship with his wife. As the interview progressed, I grew increasingly impressed by his willingness to speak about his family and his career in such a candid manner.
"You've actually had quite an impressive list of credits so far", I told him, "I mean, you've played every single one of my favorite characters already. Is there any role that you haven't played yet that you'd like to?" He pondered the question a moment before I broke in again. "I've always thought you'd be a great Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees", I told him. He said he actually had tried out for the role a couple of times, but he didn't think he was built for the part. To which, my friend Bobbie, who had just arrived, whispered what we were all thinking under her breath "It doesn't matter what you're built like if you sing like a God!" :o) I told him that I thought he'd be perfect for the role and he said, "Well, maybe after a few more push ups or something,...I don't know."
And that horrible quote he'll never live down? He wasn't telling. "I was doing Les Mis and one of the costume guys was friends with the producer on The View and they needed some on-the-street interviews with some guys," he told me, "They used the four of us, two of us from Les Mis and two other guys who were just on the street and...they caught me saying something...it was supposed to be about relationships and I said some really cool things and some really nice things about communication and this, that, and the other thing and they took a quote from....They were just looking for some dirt, basically." So exactly what was this awful quote? "I don't want to say my quote," he said, "If you can find it...I'm not going to tell anybody my quote." I told him that I was pretty good at research, but not that good :o).
Speaking with Kevin that day was a real joy, not only was he articulate and witty, but he seemed to have a genuine passion when speaking about his career. "I'm having fun," he said in closing, "When this stops being fun, then I'll think about doing something else." I think I can safely speak for all the Kevin fans out there who hope he'll still be having fun another 21 years from now...
Special thanks to Kevin for
taking time out of his busy
schedule to sit with me before
the matinee to answer all
of my questions. Hopefully
I was able to do his words
justice with this article.