Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS kicks off your 19-20 Memorial Hermann Broadway at the Hobby Center Season this month. This Broadway classic is a first and favorite-show memory for many! Brandon Michael Nase, in the role of Victor/Old Deuteronom,y shares with us what it is like to star in a show with this legacy and what you can expect when CATS returns to the Hobby Center on October 22nd.
We understand you have your Bachelor’s degree in choral music education from the University of North Texas College of Music. Are you from Texas originally and what are you looking forward to the most about returning to perform in the Lone Star State?
I am from Texas! I am most looking forward to getting to spend time with my kids, as they live in the Dallas area! I’m hoping that my daughter might be able to make it through a bit of the show to see what Dada does at work!
CATS is a show that is a first and favorite musical memory for so many people. What is it like performing in a show with such weighted expectations and legacy? Do you ever find it overwhelming?
It’s an honor to be able to get to join in the legacy that is Cats! I find that each production is going to be different as it is a different “tribe” of actors which means it is a different tribe of Cats on the stage. I find it exciting that we have been able to forge our own new unique tribe with this new touring production!
This show requires quite a physical transformation with hair and makeup…what other things do you do to prepare each night to transform into not just a character but a cat?
My pre-show kind of changes from week to week. It more so depends what I’m doing outside of the show. I’m currently training for a half marathon with the actress that plays Grizabella (Keri René Fuller) that we will be running IN HOUSTON before our two show Sunday! So, lately I’ve been doing some yoga in my dressing room before the show just to center myself, stretch, and drop in more deeply to my body as I prepare to transform my physical presence onstage to one that is more feline!
Can you tell us about how you became a member of this production and a bit about the audition process?
I was doing a production in Boston at American Repertory Theatre when I got the email from my agent for the audition appointment. I submitted a video, as I was in another show at the time. Then on a day off from that show I flew back to New York for an audition with the team!
On the same note, since this is a show many subscribers may be seeing for a second, third (or for the mega-fans many times over) time, what is something new and different they might not expect from this current national tour?
I think this production is so great be you get so much of the beloved choreography that is to be expected from Gillian Lynne, and in other moments you see new contemporary movement in numbers that Andy Blankenbuehler has added. I think it’s exciting to get to see those two things married together in such a seamless way!
You have a very diverse musical background having sung gospel, R&B, jazz and opera in addition to musical theater. What lessons have you learned from singing those other genres that you apply to performing in CATS?
For my character a more legit vocalism is required. So, as a trained classical singer, it’s definitely easier to maneuver through this particular repertoire!
What is it like singing the music of a legend like Andrew Lloyd Webber?
This is the third Andrew Lloyd Webber musical I have performed in, and every one has been musically different, but deceivingly a monster to sing. I love a challenge, so singing his rep is always exciting to me!
CATS will play at the Hobby Center in Houston on October 22 – 27, 2019