BBQ devotee Luke Longacre returns to Fort Worth stage after Broadway detour
In the musical Greek comedy The Frogs, Luke Longacre played one of the bouncing amphibians opposite Nathan Lane on Broadway. Now he's gearing up to make his debut at Amphibian Stage Productions in The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged).
Longacre is no stranger to local, having appeared at Dallas Theater Center, Casa Mañana and WaterTower Theatre, but lately the University of Oklahoma graduate might be more recognizable to his students at Seguin High School in Arlington, where he teaches theater.
He recently took the time to fill out our survey of serious, fun and sometimes ridiculous questions.
Name: Luke Longacre
Role in The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged): Luke Longacre (and many other biblical characters)
Previous work in the DFW area: Slim in The Traveling Lady at Watertower Theatre; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Bass Hall; The Who’s Tommy at Dallas Theatre Center; Monty in Violet at WaterTower Theatre; Charlie in the Box in Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer at Casa Mañana; choreographer for The Jungle Book at Casa Mañana
Favorite song: “Breath of Heaven” from Amy Grant’s Home for Christmas album. I listen to this year-round.
Dream role: Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Favorite play(s): The Crucible
Favorite musical(s):West Side Story
Favorite actors/actresses: Robin Williams
Favorite food: Meat and potatoes! Steak is my favorite — and mashed potatoes with lots of butter!
Must-see TV show(s): Friday Night Lights, The Office and Joan of Arcadia
Something most people don’t know about you: I am afraid to speak in front of people.
Place in the world you’d most like to visit: New Zealand
Pre-show warm-up: A combination of physical and vocal. I start with calisthenics to get blood pumping. Then do some breath exercises (while rolling around on the floor), then vocal sirens up and down. Lip trills, then the “string breath,” which is where you pull at the imaginary string from your belly button and release your breath on an “ooo,” and it goes wherever it wants to go, and you have to follow it with your eyes until your breath runs out.
Then I usually do a few vocal scales and a bit more stretching. However, sometimes if I don’t have a lot of time, I just drink a Diet Coke.
Favorite part about your current role: The millions of things I get to do. I love the variety of the show. [I'm] not stuck in one type of role or character.
Most challenging part about your current role: No break time! I think the most time off stage I have is 30 seconds. It’s exhausting but tons of fun!
Most embarrassing onstage mishap: When I played the Production Tenor in Singin’ in the Rain at Granbury Opera House, I was wearing a tuxedo with a top hat and tails. They had added suspenders to my costume at the last minute. I had a quick change into them and decided not to put them over my shoulders.
I thought they were tucked into my pants, but when the audience started laughing when I went onstage (at me, not with me), I knew something was wrong. I came off stage and realized I had stepped into the suspenders and they were wrapped around my crotch.
Career you’d have if you weren’t a performer: News anchor
Favorite post-show spot: Dallas: Lucky’s Cafe. Fort Worth: Ol’ South Pancake House.
Favorite thing about Dallas-Forth Worth: The balance of community and family with culture and diversity. And I love me some Texas BBQ!
Most memorable theater moment: I was in the Broadway cast of The Frogs in 2006. Stephen Sondheim wrote the music back in the 1970s for the original production produced at Yale. For our production, he had written several new songs.
My most memorable moment was when he sang “Ariadne,” a song he had written for Nathan Lane’s character, in front of the entire cast on the first day of rehearsal. It was breathtaking to see a musical genius singing his own brand-new song no one had ever heard before. I had to pinch myself to make sure it was real.
The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged) plays at Amphibian Stage Productions from July 11-August 11.