He’s currently portraying Oliver Warbucks for the third year in the international tour of Annie directed by Martin Charnin, but Gilgamesh Taggett delighted audiences for more than a decade on local stages. These days, with over 700 performances under his belt as the crusty millionaire with a heart of gold, he’s got plenty to say about his character and the musical’s legacy.
Q: WHAT MAKES ANNIE STILL RELEVANT AFTER 40 YEARS?
A: Some cynics may call the references [in the show] dated. I prefer to call them historic. the Great Depression was a very desperate and real time in America. The chasm between the Democrats and Republicans is unfortunately something we see today. The threats and pitfalls are very real. But so are the musical’s themes of optimism and love of a child.
Q: HOW CAN YOU RELATE TO OLIVER WARBUCKS?
A: I can understand a driven man quite easily. He’s hyper-focused. He never wants to be hurt or vulnerable again. I’m sure everyone can relate to that.
Q: WHAT’S BEEN FUN ABOUT PLAYING THE ROLE?
A: The joy of playing every character is finding the honesty, the truth of the character. It must also be said that having suits handmade for you isn’t all that bad! But truthfully, I’m an orphan. I was fortunate to be adopted by a very loving family, and I get to revisit that love every night on stage.
Q: WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE WORKING WITH ONE OF THE SHOW’S CREATORS?
A: It’s been a wonderful master class every time Martin is there to work with us. This show is his baby, and the vision for the entire project is in his head.
Q: WE KNOW CHILDREN FLOCK TO THIS CLASSIC. WHAT’S THE APPEAL OF ANNIE FOR ADULTS?
A: Every child can relate to Annie as a character, but every adult can relate to Oliver and Grace and Hannigan. It’s a great multi-generational show. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting five generations of one family at a stage door. To see everyone sharing the same joy … that’s such a rarity. And it’s a big part of the magic that this show has captured.
Stocker Arts Center | Saturday, April 29 | 7 PM
General: $20 | Children (18 and under): $10
Tickets available through the Stocker arts Center Box Office.
Call 440-366-4040 or visit StockerartsCenter.com
Chagrin Arts | Sunday, April 30 | 3 PM
General: $35/$31 | TMTP Members: $32/$28 | Students (18 and under): $10
Tickets available through TMTP’s Box Office.
Call 216-245-TMTP (8687) or visit MusicalTheaterProject.org