Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) October 31, 2009
Two-time Tony Award-nominated singer and actor, Tom Wopat, gave a master class to more than 90 students and faculty members at University of North Carolina (UNC) Charlotte's Lab Theater in Robinson Hall on Thursday, October 22. Critically acclaimed jazz pianist, Bruce Barth, accompanied Wopat during the session, which was organized by the UNCC Department of Theatre and the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center's Education Department.
Wopat was in Charlotte, NC, for a six-show run of his Love Swings Tour in support of his recently released eighth studio album, CONSIDER IT SWUNG. He and a quartet of celebrated jazz artists out of New York City were at the Blumenthal's Booth Playhouse.
The Broadway, television and music star wowed the master class audience by performing several songs, including the swinging tune, "15 Checks," from the upcoming Broadway production of CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. Wopat also shared his wisdom, gleaned from nearly five decades as a performer. When a student asked what advice Wopat would offer to the fledgling student actors, he replied: "Trust yourself. Trust your instinct. It's an egocentric business because you're fighting to do something, to work. You have to be confident enough to perform but open enough to take direction."
"Tom was sincere, humble and forthcoming in regards to what it takes to be an actor," remarked UNC Charlotte Production Manager, Joseph Shannon. "He offered up bits of honest insight that are easily overlooked by a student actor. I have sat through a couple of dozen of these master classes over the years and I can say without hesitation that this one is at the top of my list."
While many know him best for his role as Luke Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard, Tom Wopat got his start on Broadway and has never strayed very far from the theater. He appeared in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN opposite Bernadette Peters, in stage revivals of CHICAGO and 42ND STREET and more recently in David Mamet's GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS.
Charlotte audiences enjoyed Wopat most recently in CHICAGO but this time he returned to the Queen City to perform his interpretation of songs like "But Not for Me," "Deacon Blues," "That's Life" and "2 Grey Rooms." The New York Times raves, "on the cabaret stage, Mr. Wopat conveys the same laid-back, utterly unaffected naturalness that makes his album so appealing."
Bruce Barthis is widely considered to be one of finest jazz pianists and composers of his generation. New York City's Village Voice calls him "one of the best pianists in town, period."
The North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center serves the Carolinas as a leading cultural, entertainment and education provider.
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