Call Answered: Andy Kelso: "The Full Monty" at Pittsburgh CLO
I'm so excited to be getting to interview actor/singer Andy Kelso! I first came to learn of Andy's talent when I saw him in Broadway's Mamma Mia! as leading love interest "Sky," but it was his starring role as "Charlie Price" in the Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots where I feel like I really got to know Andy!
When I saw Andy was starring in The Full Monty as "Jerry Lukowski," one of my favorite musicals, at Pittsburgh CLO, I dropped everything to get an interview. I'm thrilled that we could just "Let It Go" and get to the heart of this fantastic musical!
The Full Monty runs until July 15 at Pittsburgh CLO (719 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA). Click here for tickets!
1. You are currently in rehearsals for Pittsburgh CLO's production of The Full Monty. What made you want to be part of this show? This was the first Broadway show that I saw and "Jerry" quickly became a dream role of mine. The music is great. The story is hilarious, relevant, and touching. And as an actor, it is such a fun role and show to perform every night!
2. What do you relate to most about "Jerry Lukowski"? As a father myself, I can certainly relate to "Jerry’s" feeling about his son. He loves his son more than anything and is constantly struggling to be the best Dad possible-even when he’s not exactly sure what that looks like.
3. In the show, "Jerry's" solo song is "Breeze Off The River," a tender moment between a father and son. As someone who just became a dad himself, what is one thing you hope your son inherits from you? I hope he continues to develop his kindness and confidence….which will hopefully help him find acceptance of himself and others…which will create and inspire happiness in himself and around him.
4. Speaking of fatherhood, how do you balance being a dad and working in theatre? Are there certain gigs you won't take now that you are father? It’s definitely a game changer. I hate leaving my son for long periods of time. But I also need to work. So it’s a case by case decision.
5. The Full Monty deals with a group of men who are combating their fears as they prepare to put on a strip show. What has been the biggest fear you've had to overcome so far? As an actor, I’ve definitely dealt with fear-whether it manifests itself in self-doubt about a certain role or worry about what the next job is going to be. There is also a whole different level of fears that are associated with being a father! Tough to label my BIGGEST fear. But I think that all of these “fears/worries" help to inform the journey that "Jerry" is going through in The Full Monty. The more I work on the show, the more I find myself relating to this role.
6. What is one awkward story you can share with us about rehearsing "Let It Go”? The first time all of us attempted the final strip with full costumes and lights, we couldn’t do it. It’s actually a pretty complicated and FAST final 11 counts that leads up to the final “reveal.” Maybe it was the nerves, but we all kind of flubbed the ending and ended up just laughing at ourselves, facing downstage, totally naked, with our hats glued to our crotches!
More on Andy:
Andy Kelso is an Actor/Singer based in New York City. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Andy studied Acting at the University of Northern Colorado & performed in various shows in the Denver area including Big River, Footloose, & The Drawer Boy before moving to NYC in the fall of 2003. Since then, Andy made his Broadway debut as "Sky" in Mamma Mia! and played "Fiyero" in the 1st National tour of Wicked. Andy also originated the role of "Harry" in Kinky Boots on Broadway and recently played the role of "Charlie Price" in the 2013 Tony Award winning musical. He can be seen in the new Amazon Video original series, Good Girls Revolt, playing to role of "Lenny." In addition, his resume includes playing "Mark" in RENT at Westchester Broadway, "Perchik" in Fiddler on the Roof at the Engeman Theater, "Man 2" in Jaques Brel is Alive... at Two River Theater, and "Michael" in Two Rooms with the Active Theater.