Ethan Randall got all he wanted for 'Christmas,' another movie role

On movies

November 06, 1991|By Lou Cedrone

Ethan Randall, who appears in ''All I Want For Christmas,'' opening here on Friday, said he loves the work. ''It's a lot of fun, and I get to see half the world when I'm filming.''

In his new film, he is a 13-year-old living in New York with his little sister and their divorced mother. All they want for Christmas is a reunion of their parents.

Lauren Bacall plays the kids' grandmother, a stage actress. ''I was kind of scared at first,'' said Ethan. ''I didn't know how she would act, but she was great. She made all of us feel at ease.''

''All I Want for Christmas'' bears some similarities to ''Miracle on Street,'' but Ethan doesn't back down when you say that. ''There are some, but not that many,'' he said.

He's been in the business since he was 10, and it was his idea, not his mother's. ''No, I don't have a stage mother,'' he said. ''It was totally my idea.''

What was it that persuaded him to go into acting? Was it early exposure to television?

''I only got to watch one hour a week,'' he said. ''I watched the Saturday morning cartoons.''

He thinks he will eventually go into directing. ''It looks like fun,'' he said.

When he isn't working, he goes to school where the other kids treat him as they would anybody else. ''At first, they thought it was cool, and then it began to wear off,'' he said. ''It's no big deal to them.''

He began with commercials. ''I was in acting class and got an agent who sent me on my first one,'' he said. ''Soon, I was doing three a week.''

Later, he worked for Fox Television, and then he won a part in ''Defending Your Life.''

''That built up my resume, and that was when I got 'Dutch,''' co-starring with Ed O'Neill, he said.

After about 16 auditions.

''The last time, John Hughes, who wrote the script, met with me. We just talked,'' he said.

He is recognized now. ''It's pretty cool,'' he said.

The movie, done in California, cost about $12 million. ''About $860,000 of that went for the snow scenes,'' he said. ''They used ice.''

*

Eric Overmyer's ''On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning'' a very slight little play, one whose strong suit is its language, and not all of it is easy to catch in the Goucher Open Circle production of the play.

The show is being done in the round, and when the players work to the east side of the playhouse, much of the dialogue is lost.

That, however, may be the only failing of this particular production of a very small affair, one that cries for more music.

Janet Stanford, who directed, has done what she can to enliven the proceedings. Her set is a platform that hangs, by wires, from the ceiling. Entrances to the playing area are foot bridges that sway when the players use them. So does the ''stage,'' but that may be Stanford's way of underscoring the message of the play, which is that life is an unsteady voyage.

The cast is more than able. Samarrah Jaffe, Clara Chua Sierra and Michelle Clay are the three Victorian women who journey the decades to 1955, making wry comment on the people and inventions they see along the way. Women wrote travel books during the Victorian era, and Overmyer is teasing these.

The Goucher sound effects are expert, and the direction is quite smooth. Indeed, when the play is into its second act and two of the characters dance to Ella Fitzgerald's ''You Do Something to Me,'' the production is downright charming. It could use more of this.

Steve Jenks is all the people these women meet on their travels, and he, too, does well with his varied assignments.

''On the Verge or the Geography of Yearning'' will play in the new Open Circle Theater Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. For tickets, call 337 6512.

*

Want to play a showgirl in ''The Will Rogers Follies,'' the musical currently playing on Broadway?

If so, all you have to do is report to the Kennedy Center tonight at 7. Of course, you have to be five feet six inches or taller, ''have some tap abilities and sing like a bird.''

If you're interested and qualify, appear at the stage door of the Kennedy Center Opera House. If selected, you will join either the New York production or a production being readied for the road.

*

General Cinema's Columbia City Cinema (three houses) is being remodeled. All the seats are being removed and will be replaced with state-of-the-art seats that include cup holders. The original seats, installed when the complex opened in 1973, will be donated to non-profit organizations. If you're interested, call (410) 997-9011 after 1 p.m.

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