A Comedy of Terrors’ – The Daily Gazette

Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill loves bringing New York-based actors to her stage at the Capital Repertory Theater in Albany, and if one of them happens to be from the Capital Region, that makes things even better.

For October, Schenectady native Cathryn (Salamone) Wake will be making her TheREP debut in “Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors.”

The show begins with previews Friday night, officially opens Tuesday night, and ends October 23.

“I always feel lucky to be surrounded by wonderfully talented actors on our stage, but the cast of ‘Dracula’ is outstanding,” Mancinelli-Cahill said. “Having Cathryn in the cast is a double treat. She grew up in Schenectady, but never auditioned for Capital Rep, so I’m glad we finally reunited. She’s a very talented actress and a chameleon in this series. A joy to work with. I’m so happy that we have the opportunity to give him a great return to our stage.

A graduate of Colonie High School, Wake was playing the lead female character in off-Broadway “The Fantasticks” less than a year after graduating from college at Pace University in 2013.

Then in 2016, she landed a role in her first Broadway production, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” a play that won two Tonys and was nominated 12 times. She continued to work regularly in regional theater from the east coast to the west coast, including back-to-back gigs at the Adirondack Theater Festival in Glens Falls during the summers of 2018 and 2019.

While a student at Hudson Valley Community College, Wake played Annie Sullivan in a Curtain Call Theater production of “The Miracle Worker” in 2010, and a year earlier, while still in high school, she was the star of “Little Women” at the Schenectady Civic Playhouse.

Kathy Fitzgerald, whose Broadway credits include ‘Wicked’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ will share TheREP stage with the multi-talented Wake – she’s also a musician who can play clarinet, saxophone and mandolin . David T. Patterson, another Broadway veteran, will be Dracula, while also in the cast are Dan Rosales and Jeremy Webb, two actors based in New York. Capital Region favorite Brenny Campbell will take on many roles.

“Having so many Broadway veterans on the show is exhilarating,” Mancinelli-Cahill said. “These actors know how to work, they have a deep knowledge of American theater and an acting vocabulary that makes rehearsals a pleasure to watch.”

TheREP Associate Artist Gordon Greenberg directs and co-writes the show with Steve Rosen. “Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors” was developed at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and premiered as a radio play in May 2020 with a cast that included Christopher Sieber and John Stamos.

While Mancinnelli-Cahill is thrilled to have Wake on the show, the actress is equally excited to perform at TheRep. Here’s what she had to say about her return to the Capital Region and her acting career in a chat with the Gazette earlier this week.

Q: Have you ever worked at Cap Rep or with any of the cast or crew?
A: I had previously worked with Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen on their version of “A Christmas Carol” in San Diego at the Old Globe. Because “Dracula” is very similar in style to “A Christmas Carol”, Gordon asked me if I wanted the job. I am delighted to return to the capital region to perform professionally. I was involved in the community theater scene here in high school and at Hudson Valley Community College and owe the area a lot.

Q: What have you been doing for the past three years to keep yourself busy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: I built a sound booth in my closet in New York and started my voiceover career. It involved getting everything out of the closet, finding a new home for the things that were originally in the closet, covering the walls with acoustic foam tiles, and running LED strip lighting along the corners and ceiling. I learned a lot about how to treat a space with sound, and also how some New York City noises – namely police sirens – just can’t be ignored.

Q: Why did you want to be on this show?
A: It’s a very fun take on “Dracula” that I think will delight, scare and move audiences. I’m honored to perform with four dynamite actors on stage in a 90-minute mad dash that only stops at the final blackout.

Q: What does the future hold for you?
A: This will be my third show in a row, the first being a new Off-Broadway play called “53% Of” at Second Stage, and the second being “Ragtime” at the Bay Street Theater, where I played Evelyn Nesbit. After “Dracula”, my brother, Tyler Salamone, and I are producing a web series “Ironsworn”, a fantasy tabletop role-playing game where the story is completely improvised based on the results of dice rolls. It’s called “Basement Fort” and we’ll be heading into production as soon as “Dracula” closes. I’m thrilled to be busy and grateful that things are finally picking up where we left off before the pandemic.

“Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors”

WHERE: Capital Repertory Theatre, 251 North Pearl St., Albany
WHEN: Previews begin Friday, the show opens Tuesday and ends October 23; performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; with matinees at 3 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 2 p.m. Wednesday 12 Oct.
HOW MUCH: $62 – $22
MORE INFO: Visit www.capitalrep.org, or call (518) 346-6204

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