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Stephen had exactly 10 days to learn and rehearse his performance of Billy Flynn in Chicago and it was the part with the most dialogue in the show, but still he received very good reviews for his performance, but the best was from “Broadway World”:
A particularly nice surprise is hearing the old-school crooning of Moyer as Flynn. Not only can the guy mug while gliding up and down the stage as if he’s ventured showtunes territory before, he can also—yes, ladies and gentlemen—even belt out the high notes in his solos in “All I Care About Is Love,” “We Both Reach For The Gun,” and, later, “Razzle Dazzle” without a noticeable hint of uncertainty (He even allows a funny but quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it homage to his vampiric True Blood alter-ego in the latter number). Dashing and believably alluring, Moyer—already a seasoned stage play vet in the UK—should really think about cultivating Broadway musicals as a post-True Blood career transition. (I can see him play a Lt. Cable-type character, or am I alone in this?) ~ Broadway World
Also, there was this excerpt from LA Times interview with Stephen by By David Ng, released July 26, 2013.
Long before he landed the role of glowering vampire Bill Compton in the popular HBO series, Moyer paid his dues as a theater workhorse in his native England, appearing in his first shows as a preteen before graduating to roles in big London productions.
On Friday, Moyer will take the stage for the first time since he left the theater 18 years ago to pursue his screen career. The 43-year-old actor is starring in “Chicago” at the Hollywood Bowl, where he will play the slick lawyer Billy Flynn opposite celebrity hyphenate Ashlee Simpson as Roxie and musical actress Samantha Barks as Velma.
Over a hasty breakfast consisting of an egg sandwich and coffee before rehearsals on Tuesday,Moyer described himself as terrified about performing in front of nearly 18,000 people a night for three nights.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve had to retain so much dialogue,” he said, but added that he’s been “pleased at how quickly it’s all come back to me.”
Moyer said he came to “Chicago” rehearsals almost directly from shooting the sixth season of “True Blood” on a nighttime schedule. He’s had to cram for the musical, learning most of the part during the production’s 10-day rehearsal schedule.
But Moyer isn’t a complainer and showed no sign of fatigue. Twice during the interview, he jumped out of his seat so that he could work on a scene with costar Drew Carey, who plays Amos Hart and was rehearsing down the hall.
“We haven’t had much time to rehearse actual dialogue. It’s been a lot of running though the show. I like working on actual scenes,” Moyer explained after apologizing for the interruptions.
A gregarious interview subject, he became particularly animated when the conversation turned to his days toiling away in British theater. By his count, he had performed in more than 60 musicals by age 18.
His first musical after graduating from drama school was “Oliver!” in the part of Noah Claypole. He later appeared in Pete Townshend’s rock opera “The Iron Man” at the Young Vic in London.
A desire to diversify eventually led him to the classics. Moyer recalled a 1995 tour of “Romeo and Juliet” — in which he played Shakespeare’s tragic hero — that traveled to Japan. During one performance, he experienced an actor’s worst nightmare.
“I was in the middle of my favorite speech and I just blanked,” he recalled. He ended up skipping most of the soliloquy by calling out to an offstage character who barely had time to get dressed.
By the end of that tour, “I needed a bit of a break [from the stage]. But I never intended it to be 18 years,” Moyer said.
The idea to cast Moyer in “Chicago” came from conductor Rob Fisher, who led the 1996 Broadway revival and will conduct the show at the Bowl.
Fisher said he saw a YouTube clip of Moyer singing “Hard Hearted Hannah” in a Season 2 episode of “True Blood” and thought he would make an ideal Billy Flynn.
“I thought his skill level was perfect for the role, and it was auspicious that he was singing ‘Hard Hearted Hannah,’ which is from the same time period as ‘Chicago,’” said Fisher.
A later meeting with actress Brooke Shields, who is directing the Bowl production, clinched the deal for the actor.
Moyer’s stage talents have surprised some of his fellow cast members. “I didn’t know that he could sing. I mean, I’d heard it through the grapevine, but I had no idea how good he is,” said Barks during a rehearsal break.
|Release dates:||July 26, 27 & 28, 2013|
|Official site:||The Hollywood Bowl|
|Writer:||book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse|
|Theater Locations:||The Hollywood Bowl|
|Murderesses Velma Kelly (a chanteuse and tease who killed her husband and sister after finding them in bed together) and Roxie Hart (who killed her boyfriend when she discovered he wasn’t going to make her a star) find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago.|
|Gregory Butler, choreographer
Samantha Barks, Velma
Drew Carey, Amos
Lucy Lawless, Mama Morton
Stephen Moyer, Billy Flynn
Ashlee Simpson, Roxie Hart
|Original Music:||John Kander and lyrics by: Fred Ebb|
Below are videos of the scenes that include Stephen:
Enjoy Stephen as Billy Flynn performing “We both reached for the gun” with Ashlee Simpson.
Here is Stephen performing “Razzle Dazzle” (check out the homage he pays to vampire biting)
I went to the show on Saturday and Sunday and took the following video from our seats of parts of the second half of the musical.
Stephen Singing “All I Care About is Love.”