Interview with the stars of A COMMERCIAL JINGLE FOR REGINA COMET

Final Weeks! Tickets for A COMMERCIAL JINGLE FOR REGINA COMET available only through Nov 21st. Get discounted tickets at $39 each using this link.

Broadway Boxed Up was fortunate to interview Bryonha Marie Parham (Prince of Broadway, Porgy & Bess), Ben Fankhauser (Newsies, Beautiful), and Alex Wyse (Spring Awakening, Waitress) of A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet and get their thoughts about the show and being the first new musical to premiere with live theatre’s return.

Bryonha Marie Parham and Ben Fankhauser | Photo: Matthew Murphy

Q: What about Regina Comet resonates with you the most?

Bryonha: Regina’s journey to find herself and her relevance in a business she’s called home, resonates the most. It’s a journey so many artists go through! I also love her quirkiness and her “blondeness” at times! She can go from being the smartest woman in the room to a complete airhead within seconds!

Ben: Regina reminds me that we’re allowed to change our lives and that it’s never too late to follow new dreams. Regina is questioning her relevance and in many ways feels pigeonholed in her career. I think artists and people of all kinds can relate to that feeling.

Alex: Collaboration! The show is so much about friendship and finding yourself and following your dreams. And the idea of going solo vs finding your creative soulmates… each are so important, but putting our ego aside and working together, that’s what our show is about, onstage and off.

Ben Fankhauser, Bryonha Marie Parham, and Alex Wyse | Photo: Matthew Murphy

Q: What part of the show is your favorite?

Bryonha: My favorite part of the show is the part you don’t see, which is when we arrive at the theatre an hour early simply to be with each other. I sit with the guys, and we all beat our faces together and laugh and cry and lay on the foam roller. This bonding time makes the show SO fun! My favorite song to perform is Connecting the Dots because we all get to be together and Alex is so funny, he sells the whole thing!

Alex: Every time Bryonha Marie Parham sings.

Ben: I think my favorite part of the show is getting to hear Bryonha sing our songs. She’s amazing. Our finale is really fun, and I love bantering with Alex onstage. Also, one of the joys of being a co-writer has been being able to try out new jokes and dialogue throughout our run.

Alex Wyse and Ben Fankhauser | Photo: Matthew Murphy

Q: What has been unique about the experience of doing live theatre after so many months?

Alex: It’s taken a while to overcome our fears of putting ourselves out there again, and to get our bodies and voices in shape. But mostly, it’s just been special. Theater is, by nature, ephemeral, and we’ve never felt that more than now. Every time we get to step into a theater, it’s an absolute gift.

Ben: It was a thrill being the first new musical to open post shutdown. It made me realize how much we all missed the theatre. Not only did I miss being onstage, but I missed being in a room full of people with a collective goal. It’s taken some time to get used to having our audiences in masks, but I’m glad we’re able to safely bring joy, laughter and musical theatre magic back to people’s lives!

Bryonha: It’s been really interesting to see people have to re-learn theatre etiquette. The best/worst thing is when people in the very front row of our very small house, don’t clap…after any number. I have to remind myself not to take it personally and that we’ve all been away from this for awhile! Simple etiquette has gone out the window!

Ben Fankhauser, Bryonha Marie Parham, and Alex Wyse | Photo: Matthew Murphy

Q: What would you share with theatre fans if given the chance?

Ben: I’m so very grateful to be getting back to the thing we all love. Grateful to be performing, grateful for vaccines and testing that help us do it safely, and very thankful to share a show I love with people I love.

Bryonha: Thank you a million times over! YOU are bringing theatre back! The audience is the last piece of this puzzle and it feels wonderful to have you in those seats. Thank you for spending the money on the tickets and for making the time to come share energy and space with us! Thank you for wearing a mask the whole time and being vaccinated so that we all feel a little safer. Together We Can!

Alex: Making anything- getting anything to the page, or the stage, or the screen, whatever it may be- is a small miracle. So remain thankful, enjoy the moment, and sing out.

You can watch A COMMERCIAL JINGLE FOR REGINA COMET through Nov 21st at the DR2 Theatre at Union Square East and stay tuned for a cast recording of the beautiful music coming out in 2022. For discount tickets, check out this link. Stay in touch @ReginaCometMusical on social media.

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