By KEVIN STUDER
Imagine meeting the person who helped make your dream a career. What would you say? What would you do? On May 9, that dream became a reality for senior Andrea Schwarzkopf.
On a trip to New York City with a few friends, Schwarzkopf and I decided to go see the new musical “Something Rotten!” Little did we know when we were going into the show, but playwright and actor John Cariani played one of the main characters.
Cariani happens to be the playwright of “Almost, Maine,” a production that Lynn’s drama department put on in April of 2014. Schwarzkopf was one of the six actors to take part in the show.
“I had no idea [Cariani] was going to be in the show,” said Schwarzkopf. “I freaked out when I saw his name in the Playbill.”
Freak out she did. Schwarzkopf was beyond excited when she realized who Cariani was. When she first saw his name, she asked me why his name sounded familiar and when I did not know, she flipped straight to his biography.
“I saw that it said he was the playwright for ‘Almost, Maine’ and I started bouncing off the walls,” said Schwarzkopf. “The lady next to me was confused, but she had no idea what his play meant to me.”
“Almost, Maine” was the first full-length production that Schwarzkopf got involved with at Lynn. After traveling to Ireland with the production, Schwarzkopf got much more involved with the drama department. Schwarzkopf played the lead role of Margie in “Good People” this past fall and was one of the five girls in “Is There Life After High School?” this spring. In addition, Schwarzkopf also served as the president of the Drama Club for the last year and a half.
After the end of the show, the actors come out to the stage door to meet fans and take pictures. This was an opportunity that Schwarzkopf was not going to miss.
“I had it all planned out,” Schwarzkopf said. “When he came to the stage door, I told him how I starred in a production of his show and he was almost as excited to meet me as I was to meet him.”
Cariani asked Schwarzkopf what school she went to, but she happened to be wearing a sweatshirt for American College Dublin – the school at which they performed at in Ireland. So she explained that she was from Lynn, but they performed in Ireland as well. Cariani was excited that his show had performed internationally.
“It was amazing to meet the playwright of what really pushed me into drama,” said Schwarzkopf. “It was so nice that he was just as nice in person as I’d hoped he’d be.”
“Something Rotten!” is set in the 1590s with brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom (Brian d’Arcy James and Cariani) trying to write the first musical…ever. The brothers are competing with many popular playwrights at the time, including the forever-famous William Shakespeare (played like a rock God by Christian Borle). The show is a modern comedy that finds humor in both Shakespeare references and modern-theater references. The show plays jokes on everything from “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet” to “Les Misérables” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”
“Something Rotten!” has been nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical and is currently playing at the St. James Theatre.