Anne Arundel actor set to hit the road with `Annie'

David Reynolds to end his five-year string at Chesapeake Music Hall

July 14, 2000|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

On the Anne Arundel theater scene, there are precious few leading male roles that have not been played by David Reynolds over the past decade.

From his base of operations as an actor-in-residence at Chesapeake Music Hall, and in other area venues, Reynolds, with his rubber face, charisma and tangy baritone voice, put his stamp on characters such as the wise, earthy Tevye the Dairyman in "Fiddler on the Roof," imperious John Dickinson of Pennsylvania in "1776," and the babbling, panicked Charlie in Larry Shue's comedy "The Foreigner."

But Reynolds' five-year string of 31 straight shows at the music hall is about to end. The 34-year-old Arnold resident, a graduate of Archbishop Spalding High School, has been invited to play the role of Drake the Butler in the national touring company of the perennial musical favorite, "Annie."

He also may find himself making a quick transition from butler to billionaire, at least on stage, as understudy for the starring role of Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, the orphan's benefactor - with the possibility of taking the part permanently when the current Warbucks leaves this year.

Reynolds looks the part: His head is still shaved after completing a run as Warbucks in the Chesapeake Music Hall dinner theater's recent version of "Annie."

He said he was pleased and more than a little stunned to have been picked for the role by Martin Charnin, who not only directs the touring company production but was lyricist for "Annie" - the co-creator of songs including "Tomorrow" and "It's A Hard-Knock Life."

"I'm overwhelmed that he thought I was good, given the quality of the other voices I heard at my audition," Reynolds said. "I'm thrilled to be working with someone of his caliber."

Reynolds became aware of the "Annie" casting call when he overheard it mentioned at the music hall.

"I sent in my documents," he said, "and before I knew it, I was on a plane to New York and had to fly there again when I was called back a couple of days later. It was fast and furious."

The actor will leave Annapolis on Sunday after his farewell performance in the music hall's new production of "Grease," in which he plays two small, comic character parts. His next stop will be Nashville, Tenn., for two weeks of technical rehearsals before a two-week run there.

Reynolds' local fans can see him in action when the touring "Annie" comes to Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va., from Aug. 28 to Sept. 3.

"People in the theater community here have become like family," Reynolds said, noting the many wishes of goodwill he has received from fellow thespians over the past few days. "Sometimes you don't realize how many people love you until it's time to leave."

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