The Egyptian Theatre welcomes world-renowned actor and singer Peter Karrie
July 17, 2012
Renown Welsh singer/actor Peter Karrie wanted to be a pop singer.
He spent quite a bit of time traveling throughout the United Kingdom performing gigs anywhere he could.
Little did he know, his destiny would lie in theatre.
"It came out of the blue for me," Karrie said during an interview with The Park Record. "There was a famous band called Duke Brown and the Brothers in the UK and the manager working with them told me to go down and audition for a rock musical."
Karrie was cast as a chorus man, but also selected as a third understudy for the lead, but fate had other plans.
"The first lead got thrown down the stairs by a kung-fu expert and twisted his ankle, so he had to go out and the second lead didn’t learn the role and, since I had I went on," Karrie said with a laugh.
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That was the spark that lit the tinder and since then, Karrie has entertained audiences throughout the world. He is known especially for his portrayal of the lead role in "Phantom of the Opera," Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables," Daddy Warbucks in "Annie," Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar" and Don Quixote in "Man of La Mancha," to name a few.
The theatre legend is in Park City to perform a show at the Egyptian Theatre on Thursday, July 19, with some of the students in the Egyptian’s YouTheatre program.
"A very good friend of mine, Jeff Timmons and his wife Rebecca, who now live in Ontario, were involved at the Egyptian Theatre four or five years ago," Karrie said. "I was asked to do some concerts in Ontario and we got together and they asked if I would like to go to Park City and do a show there and do a workshop on Monday.
"They told me about the Egyptian Theatre, and I love doing workshops with youth, because they are the stars of tomorrow after all, and I said, ‘Let’s do it,’" he said.
Karrie was impressed quality of the YouTheatre talent.
"There are some very talented kids involved in that program," he said. "I don’t have a great deal of time with them, so I mainly teach performance and I help them on the vocal side of things that include breathing, where to place notes and how to get notes."
He also helped the kids with acting.
"I taught them where they will get a character from and how they can find something in that character to attach to when they are needed to become that character," he said.
Karrie also teaches the students to enjoy themselves.
"At their age, 11 to 15, the art is to walk out on stage and enjoy themselves and enjoy the people enjoying them," he said. "That builds their confidence and encourages them to do more stuff."
For the Thursday performance, Karrie will recreate a lot of the roles he has played throughout his career.
Favorite roles include the Phantom, which he has played more than 2,700 times, and Jean Valjean.
"Valjean is a brilliant role, when you look into the heart of the character," he said. "And the Phantom would glide charismatically across the stage and he was always trying to woo Christine into loving him."
Karrie also enjoyed playing Don Quixote in "Man of La Mancha," because he would play three roles in one.
"In the production I performed, he never left the stage," Karrie said. "He would get changed on stage while the action was going on around him and then I had to slip into the characters, which had to be decisively different than each other."
Karrie’s performance will also integrate a lot of the YouTheatre singers.
"They will be doing a production called ’13’ later and they will sing a couple of numbers from that," he said.
The singer will also take requests.
"We’ll stick them in the second act and do an ad-lib job, which is always fun for me," he said.
When Karrie isn’t doing musical theatre, he’s still doing music.
His fifth CD, "Standing Alone" is about to be released and he will have copies to sell at the Egyptian.
The CD took Karrie two years to record.
"It’s an eclectic mix and has some ‘Phantom’ on there and other songs that I liked, and thought that people would like to hear," he said.
The CD also features songs from other musicals like "Love Never Dies," "The Contender" and "Little Shop of Horrors" as well as some traditional Welsh tunes.
"I think it’s a fun album that is very unusual."
Peter Karrie will perform at the Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., on Thursday, July 19, at 8 p.m. He will be joined by former Parkite Rebecca Timmons and select students from the Egyptian YouTheatre Program. Tickets range from $12 to $30 and available at http://www.parkcityshows.com.