Broadway and TV star Jeffrey Schecter returns for his second year at The Muny in Forest Park, this time portraying Cosmo Brown in the timeless classic “Singin’ in the Rain,” which runs June 27-July 3 at the acclaimed outdoor theater in the heart of St. Louis.
Last season, Schecter, who debuted at The Muny as Scuttle in “The Little Mermaid,” stepped in mere days before opening night of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” as Pseudoluswhen the actor originally cast in the part fell ill due to allergies.
“It was one of the most exciting, scary, thrilling, frightening, wonderful experiences,” he says. “You dream of getting to star, but you also imagine you have a lot more rehearsal time. It really is the actor’s nightmare. I messed things up that normally we beat ourselves up for, but nobody died and [the audience] was still having a good time. It’s like walking through a fire and going, ‘I’m OK.’”
That “walk through a fire,” so to speak, ended up helping prepare Schecter, who tends to be a perfectionist, for his role in “Singin’ in the Rain.”
“That experience helped me not feel so much worry or anxiety about it being fully perfect, and it’s allowing me to relax more and trust I’ll figure it out,” he says.
Schecter grew up watching the film version of “Singin’ in the Rain” and is thrilled to perform in the show.
“To finally be able to do it on The Muny stage, where I know this community embraces the shows and actors, I feel so lucky,” he says, going on to describe his role as Cosmo, the best friend of Don Lockwood, played by Corbin Bleu. “He’s a little moody, concerned with the weight of being a big-time star. I’m a goofball with my charm and comedy. I’m the ray of sunshine who reminds him it’s all going to be OK.”
Schecter has many Broadway and TV accolades, but that couldn’t truly equip him for the quick pace of The Muny, where actors only have 11 days to rehearse.
“Part of the challenge is to get the material and go as quickly as you can; you don’t have the luxury of four to six weeks of rehearsal, but that keeps you from getting in your head too much,” he explains. “As actors, our job is to entertain, inspire, and make you laugh and cry, and The Muny audience just loves it. Before I ever came here, I had heard about ‘The Muny magic,’ and I get it.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit muny.org. M