Sir Ian McKellen (The Hobbit) spent some time at Maryland-based Olney Theatre Center, located at 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road in Olney, MD, and still has a soft spot for the performing group.
Olney Artistic Director Jason Loewith heard the story that McKellen had been involved at the theatre but for all he knew, the story could have been exaggerated. Loewith through caution to the wind and reached out to McKellen, who … answered.
It turns out McKellen made a stop in Olney as part of his eight-city U.S. tour with his one-man show Acting Shakespeare in 1987.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for Olney, and it’s lovely to be able to make another contact,” McKellen told The Washington Post.
The Olney Theater will be putting on a production of the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, with previews beginning on January 29.
McKellen wasn’t available to appear in the musical but he spent a day with Loewith to record voice-overs for the role of “The Book.”
“It’s a musical I’ve never seen, although I’m about to be in it,” said McKellen. He jokingly goes on to say, “This is my debut in musical comedy,” reports the Post.
McKellen comes across as humbled when talking about people traveling to the Maryland suburb to hear his performance saying, “They mustn’t get too excited. My contribution I don’t think is a vital one. It’s a little something extra.”
But, if you happen to be in the area, McKellen does suggest you make the extra leg of the trip and head to NYC to see him and his pal Sir Patrick Stewart perform in both Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.
Wow, he is a good businessman who puts in some effort.
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