New Orleans built-in Michael Santora was walking from Times Square to his accommodation on the east ancillary of Manhattan aback he got the call: He had landed a role in the touring assembly of “Anything Goes,” the archetypal Cole Porter musical.
For the beginning adolescent actor, this was not alone an befalling for abiding assignment but additionally affidavit that he aloof ability accept what it takes to accomplish it.
“That was a appealing nice moment, walking the streets of New York and you get a buzz alarm like that,” Santora recalled recently. “I had to sit down. I aloof chock-full on the artery and concluded up calling anybody in my family.”
Now, four years later, Santora is a for accession big footfall forward. He’s starring as Dwight Schrute in the new off-Broadway premiere of “The Office: A Agreeable Parody,” a sendup of the accepted sitcom.
The agreeable was created by Bob and Tobly McSmith, the duo abaft a cardinal of pop-culture satires, including “Friends! The Agreeable Parody,” which bankrupt this summer afterwards an absorbing six-month run, cutting up 220 performances forth the way.
For Santora, afore off-Broadway came calling, there was Ecole Classique in Metairie. That’s area he aboriginal took the date in “Grease” during his apprentice year of aerial school, advertent a constant passion.
“I was a shy kid, and I didn’t absolutely apperceive annihilation about singing, acting or dancing,” he said. “I actually aloof aing the casting to accomplish friends. But already I got on stage, that’s affectionate of how the brawl started rolling.”
Santora spent two years at LSU majoring in theater, and he remained alive in the New Orleans amphitheater scene. Afterwards alive with the backward Paul Schierhorn, a Tulane University adroitness affiliate and co-founder of the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, Santora fabricated the accommodation to alteration aback to New Orleans, area he becoming a BFA in acting from Tulane.
Michael Santora stars in ‘The Merchant of Venice’ in 2005 at the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane.
In accession to his assignment with Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre and the Shakespeare Festival — area he landed a advance role in a 2005 assembly of “Merchant of Venice” — Santora additionally formed with a cardinal of bounded theaters, including Jefferson Performing Arts Society, Rivertown Theatres and Le Petit Theatre.
Looking aback on those determinative years, Santora remembers some of his influences and mentors, abounding of them accustomed names for bounded admirers during that period: Jimmy Murphy, Karen Hebert, Richard Hutton, Lara Grice, Kris Shaw and others.
It was about this time that Santora started cerebration about authoritative the bound to New York.
“I was advantageous to ball a lot of abundant roles in college, and assertive bodies — like Richard Hutton and Kris Shaw — were like, ‘go out and booty a beat at New York and aloof see what’s out there.’”
Santora said he “felt accessible to go try it,” admitting he bound realized, “I absolutely wasn’t ready.”
It took several years of classes, apprenticeship and added training afore Santora landed “Anything Goes.” He disconnected calm some assignment in the meantime, including a six-week assignment in Maine for a assembly of “Romeo and Juliet” and a allotment in a bedrock agreeable adjustment of “A Winter’s Tale.” He tended bar on the ancillary to accomplish ends meet.
After “Anything Goes,” he landed two added big tours: a adventure through New Zealand with “Flashdance the Musical” and, best recently, the role of Rooster in the civic bout of “Annie.”
Now, Santora is axis his absorption to Scranton, Pennsylvania, home of the fabulous Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, which is the ambience for the hit NBC brawl “The Office” (adapted from the BBC ball of the aforementioned name).
“The Office: A Agreeable Parody” opened on Sept. 20 at the Jerry Orbach Amphitheater in Times Square. The appearance incorporates memorable moments from the TV series’ nine seasons, playfully abusive the characters and confined up agreeable numbers like “Why is There a Camera Crew?” and “That’s What She Said.”
Actor Rainn Wilson played Dwight Schrute on the TV hit ‘The Office.’ Although defective amusing abilities and accepted sense, Dwight is one of the astral salesmen at Dunder Mifflin.
Santora’s character, Dwight Schrute, is a comically determined stickler who serves as abettor to the bounded manager, runs a beet acreage and engages in assorted appointment rivalries and romances. He’s conspicuously defective in amusing abilities and accepted sense.
“The Office,” which aftermost aired in 2013, maintains a loyal admirers of adherent fans. Santora concedes that he was alone a accidental eyewitness afore scoring his aboriginal callback audition, at which point he started binge-watching all 201 episodes, alive that he would accept to bear on fans’ expectations.
“I absolutely adulation it,” Santora said. “People are activity to be like, ‘do that quote, let’s see how acceptable you are,’ so I’ve got to be accessible for that. It’s allotment of my job to watch all of it and alpha abstraction admired quotes and admired moments.”
While “The Office” is a footfall advanced in Santora’s acting career, he additionally acknowledges that it’s a adventitious to booty a breach from touring and ameliorate his suitcase.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Santora said. “It’s activity to be abundant to be active in Manhattan and to go to assignment in Time Squares every day, for sure.”
NOTE: “The Office! A Agreeable Parody” is on date at The Amphitheater Center, 210 W. 50th St., New York. Tickets are $57-$77 at the box office, (212) 921-7862.
The appearance highlights a day at Scranton Paper Company Dunder Mifflin, area a documentary aggregation begins filming the lives of the advisers in an immersive acquaintance in which audiences “work” with all their admired officemates.
Actress Sarah Mackenzie Baron plays the arch role of Michael Scott, who was played on the baby awning by Steve Carell.
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