By FREDDIE HARRIS
For the Express
Most actors head to the Big Apple to pursue a theatrical career. Not so for the Wygle/Moore family.
"We got sidetracked by soaps and commercials," said Patsy Wygle. "In New York you don't always get to do as much theatre as you would like. So much of one's training is Shakespeare heavy. Then you get out into the real world and have to do fiber drink commercials."
"To prevent the hemorrhoids you did a commercial for the week before" her husband, Keith Moore, said with a laugh.
Consequently Wygle, Keith Moore, and their son, Jamie, have decided to put their television careers on hold in order to tread the boards out West.
"We are going to try it out here for a year" said Moore. "The main reason we are here is to be more involved in theatre and the Sun Valley Shakespeare Festival. To do Shakespeare in New York you have to be a celebrity."
In Ketchum, Wygle and Moore's celebrity status is forthcoming. Besides their starring roles in the festival's upcoming "Comedy of Errors," and their directorial contribution to both Camp Little Laugh and the Sun Valley Performance Workshop for Young Artists, Wygle and Moore produce, direct, and perform at Laughingstock's Main Street Cabaret. This immensely popular cabaret is Wygle's baby. "She got tipsy one night and thought it was a good idea" said Moore.
"Actually," continued Wygle, "We used to be part of the cabaret at "Don't Tell Mama's" in Manhattan. It was so huge in New York we thought why not bring the concept to Ketchum?" Judging by last month's sold-out show at the nexStage Theatre, Ketchum is obviously thrilled they did.
As for their roles in the upcoming "Comedy of Errors," Moore tackles the dual role of both Antipholus of Syracuse and Ephesus, while Wygle plays Antipholus of Syracuse's estranged wife, Adriana.
"Last year, I got the most boring part in Shakespeare" said Moore. "I'm making up for it this year. I play twins who were separated at a very young age. Eventually, they end up in the same place and chaos ensues as one is mistaken for the other."
"Playing Adriana is a hoot" continued Wygle "She is insecure, completely neurotic, she's all over the place. It's quite a hard role. Trouble is, Keith only has to react to what I'm doing, and he gets all the laughs. Meanwhile, I'm a wreck on the floor."
Both Wygle and Moore are enthusiastic about the future of the Shakespeare Festival with its accompanying Renaissance Faire.
"Our dream is to do a couple of Shakespeare plays during the festival. It would be terrific to be able to do a tragedy or history play as well as a comedy," said Wygle.
"I recently became fascinated with the history plays," she added. "After years of trying to avoid them—I thought they were just about a bunch of men cutting off heads all over the place—turns out there are some amazing roles for women."
As for Moore's dream role, he feels Hamlet and Romeo have passed him by. "But I played Prospero when I was 17," he said. "So I think I deserve another crack at him."
An error of comedy
The nexStage theatre presents "The Comedy of Errors" starring Keith Moore and Patsy Wygle at the Forest Service Park in Ketchum from Aug. 24 to Sept. 3 at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $20 and are available at the nexStage Theatre, Iconoclast Books or by calling 726-4TKS.
The Sun Valley Performing Arts Center/nexStage Theatre is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to providing a permanent, ongoing venue for local performers to stage quality performances of music, dance and theater, and to enrich the community by offering educational performing arts to the families of southern Idaho. Its most significant production is the Sun Valley Shakespeare Festival, now in its seventh year. Financial support for The Sun Valley Performing Arts/nexStage Theatre comes primarily from foundation grants, individual donors and business sponsorships.