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Sunday, 18 October, 2009 2:01 AM
Nick Dalton enjoys playing seven characters in 'Legally Blonde: The Musical'
DETROIT -- Nick Dalton is an actor in the new 'Legally Blonde' musical that is now playing at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. He was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Mich. Dalton received a bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theatre performance from Western Michigan University and a bachelor of arts in vocal performance from Otterbein College. Dalton has had roles in many movies, television shows, broadway and off-broadway plays. Now, he is touring the country as one of the stars in 'Legally Blonde: The Musical.'
Dalton said he got his start in the theatre business at a very young age. "When I was five, I played a third of the straw house in the three little pigs in kindergarden," the actor said.
The Michigan native was an actor on the ABC soap opera, All My Children.
"It was cool, it was definitely different," he said. "The times I worked on the show, they were completely different experiences. The first time was as a singer off-camera and watching everyone in the soap. In the second one, was a scene with Walt Willey and Susan Lucci. None of them actually dealt with each other up until the time when we started filming and so they just hung out on different sides of the set. It was completely different from this show [Legally Blonde] where we rehearse for a month."
You've done many broadway shows. Which was the most fun for you and why?
"Maybe when I did Hair, I toured in Europe," Dalton answered. "Probably four years ago now. It was amazing--not only the show itself but also watching the reaction of people. I think that as a society, Europeans have a much higher respect for artists. They would treat you like superstars whether you were the ensemble or whether you were lead."
The actor said the first performance of 'Legally Blonde: The Musical' went on just fine with no major problems.
"It went really well," he said. "I actually play seven different characters. The first character I play for a split second as a shirtless frat guy on spring break. The second one I play one the Harvard admissions directors named Pforzheimer. And then I play, I believe the title is Harvard stud, at the party when she walks in with her bunny outfit. I make fun of her. He's your atypical drunken college guy. And then I play a jump rope specialist in the beginning of Act Two. Then, I play the assistant D.A. later on. I also cover Wariner, the jerk ex-boyfriend who's kind of the reason the entire show happens. Also the father track."
Dalton says the musical is very similar to the movie, but there are a few differences.
"I would say the biggest difference is there is she was a workout maven, Brooke Windham, was in the movie," he said. "Here, she does a jump rope video. That's different. Also what's different is the three friends of hers, one who is your Jewish-American princess, the Ditzy blonde and you got the African-American character. That's different. The ending is totally different. There are definite things in the show that are not in the movie. The basic storyline is the same, the premise. They filled in gaps where they needed to."
The actor has been touring the country going to many cities across the country. He will be going to Ft. Lauderdale, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Tucson, Denver, Portland, Seattle, San Diego, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Toronto in the coming months.
"You get to go places you've never been before and never want to go to again in your life," Dalton said. "It's also great seeing how different regions of the country react to it differently. For example, the crowds in L.A. responded to it much different than the retired communities of Naples, Florida. The primary audience of the show is primarily tween girls down to like nine-year-olds. Watching how inspired they are by the show is great."
Dalton says Michigan's tax incentives for filming should be kept at 42 percent and should not be scaled back.
"I think it's a great thing," the 'Legally Blonde' actor said. "Especially with the economic hardships right now. Personally, my brother was laid off four weeks ago from an aviation company. I think the new incentive is great. I hope that it helps out the state a lot--not only Detroit, but also on the west side of the state, which is actually where I'm really from. The new thing going through which I hope Granholm doesn't pass, I think it would completely detract from what happened, adding a six percent entertainment tax as well as cutting, I think, it's $6.1 million from the arts council."
The actor offered some advice to students who are graduating in theatre and are now looking for their first job.
"I would say just go get it," Dalton said. "I would say be prepared. I would say start on the regional level. Get as much experience as you can. I would say start doing theatre when you're young. The best way to learn is just by doing it. You learn a lot in the university setting but actually getting on stage and doing the work and the rehearsal process. Getting into community theater or regional theater level start that do. If you're in college, do summer stuff."
What's next for you after the 'Legally Blonde' tour is over?
"This is it right now," the actor said. "Once you're on the road, it's hard to get another gig. I've got possible things coming up but I don't know for sure the next thing I will do. Probably doing more TV and film. Staying in New York and not traveling as much. My next step is definitely more like soap opera, as well as top ten TV work as well as in the films."
Ticket prices for the Detroit engagement of Legally Blonde The Musical range from $30 - $80 (inclusive of parking and facility fees) and are now on sale at the Fisher Theatre box office and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets are also available for purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.BroadwayinDetroit.com, and by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-982-2787.
Photo credit: www.broadwayindetroit.com
'Legally Blonde: The Musical' is playing at the Fisher Theatre through Nov. 1, 2009.
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