Tag Archives: Adam Riegler

Levitt And Dodie Pettit Honor Kevin Gray

In theater, the show must go on.

Staples Class of 1976 grad Kevin Gray went on more than 8,500 times, on Broadway and national tour performances. He was the youngest “Phantom” of the Opera ever. He starred in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “The King and I” and “The Lion King.” He performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and on “Law and Order” and “Miami Vice.”

Despite severe thunderstorms this afternoon, tonight’s tribute to Kevin — who died in 2013 — went on as scheduled, at the Levitt Pavilion.

Dodie Pettit, on the Levitt Pavilion stage.

Dodie Pettit, on the Levitt Pavilion stage.

His wife, Dodie Pettit — who met Kevin when she joined “Phantom” in 1989 — opened the show in stirring fashion. She sang a duet, with his recorded voice.

Class of 2016 grad Adam Riegler — Young Shrek and Pugsley on Broadway — sang, backed by Kevin’s Hartt School of Music students. He was accompanied by his mother Lynn on piano. She too is a Staples ’76 grad.

Members of that class — celebrating their 40th reunion this weekend — were out in force. They — and the large audience, enjoying clearing skies — were entertained by many of Kevin’s Broadway friends and colleagues.

Also on stage: Kevin’s former Orphenian member Tery Eldh, who played Carlotta and ensemble roles nearly 3,000 times on Broadway with “Phantom.”

The show indeed went on. And it was great.

Part of the large Levitt Pavilion crowd.

Part of the large Levitt Pavilion crowd.

The weather WAS fit for man and dog.

The weather WAS fit for man and dog.

Another view of a great night.

Another view of a great night.

Adam Riegler: Shrek, The Assistant Director

When most middle schools put on a show — let’s say, “Shrek the Musical” — it looks like a middle school “Shrek.”

Coleytown Company’s production will not be like most middle schools.

For one thing, this is Westport. We do things — particularly arts and kids things — in high-powered ways.

For another, director Ben Frimmer has got Shrek helping “Shrek.”

The real Shrek.

That’s Adam Riegler. A Staples sophomore, he spent nearly a year playing Young Shrek.

On Broadway.

Adam Riegler, aka Young Shrek.

Adam Riegler, aka Young Shrek.

Adam has plenty of other credits: a role in “David Copperfield” at the Westport Country Playhouse (directed by Joanne Woodward). Pugsley in “The Addams Family” (alongside Nathan Lane, Bebe Neuwirth and Brooke Shields). A role in the film “The Way, Way Back.” He just returned from South By Southwest, and the premiere of his latest film “Premature.”

But right now, Adam is playing a new role: assistant director.

He brings a deep knowledge of “Shrek” to Coleytown. For a year before its December, 2008 opening Adam was involved in its workshops. He saw what it takes to get a show off the ground. He dealt with writers and directors, and worked with accomplished professionals.

He performed in “Shrek”‘s out-of-town tryouts, then made his Broadway debut. All along, he watched and learned.

“It’s got awesome music. It’s very funny, for kids and adults alike,” he says of the show. (Now that he’s older, he understands more of the jokes.)

Adam Riegler, un-Shrekked.

Adam Riegler, un-Shrekked.

At Coleytown, he helps Frimmer with directing ideas, like scene blocking. He also gives notes and tips to the young actors. “Ben is an amazing director,” Adam says. “But I can help, because I’ve seen so many versions of ‘Shrek.'”

Adam calls the young actors “very talented. They’ve got excellent voices, and great attitudes. They really are working hard at being team players too.”

Are the Coleytown Company actors impressed with his Broadway resume?

“I’d say excited, rather than impressed,” Adam answers. “They’re happy I can help.”

Adam, meanwhile, enjoys being on the other side of the stage. This is his first experience as a director, and he likes the ability to “be creative, change things, and see immediate results.”

So what’s his next role?

He may take Staples Players director David Roth’s directing course in the fall.

(“Shrek The Musical” will be performed at Coleytown Middle School on Thursday and Friday, April 3 and 4, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 5 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Click here for tickets; use the search term “Westport”.)

How To Invest Like A 13-Year-Old

Once upon a time, you needed at least $50,000 to invest in a Broadway show.

Now — at least with “Godspell” — you can be a Broadway producer for just $1,000.

Once upon a time too, Broadway backers were men and women who spent all their lives handling money. They were sophisticated enough to know they could take a tax write-off if their show failed.

Now you can be 13 years old.

Adam Riegler (right) in "The Addams Family." (Photo/Joan Marcus for Broadway.com)

According to today’s New York Times — which described the new investment model of “Godspell” — one of the show’s 700 investors is Adam Riegler. The 13-year-old Westporter played young Shrek in “Shrek the Musical,” and Pugsley in “The Addams Family” on Broadway.

At least he’s following the first rule of finance: Invest only in what you know.

Adam Riegler Joins ‘Addams Family’

Adam Riegler

Adam Riegler

Is there life after “Shrek“?

Sure.  Just ask Adam Riegler.

The Westport youngster — with the twin roles of Young Shrek and Dwarf in the belching-green-ogre musical — is set to play Pugsley in the new Broadway musical “The Addams Family.”

Though he’s already on Broadway, this is the real big time.  Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth will play Gomez and Morticia Addams.  The show revolves around the couple’s daughter, Wednesday — now 18 — and her family’s adjustment to her coming of age.

Previews begin next March.  The show officially opens the following month.

In addition to “Shrek,” Adam’s credits include off-Broadway shows; “A Christmas Carol” at the Westport Country Playhouse, and the film “Cubby Bernstein:  Tony Campaign Manager.”

Uncle Fester and Lurch:  Meet Shrek.

From left: Pugsley, Wednesday, Gomez, Fester and Morticia (courtesy Wikipedia)

From left: Pugsley, Wednesday, Gomez, Fester and Morticia (courtesy Wikipedia)