by Jarrett Hoffman
So why did he pass on opportunities to do just that — not once, not twice, but three times?
“I didn’t want my debut as Tony to be for anything less than the biggest, most stellar production,” the Ashtabula native said with a laugh during a recent phone call.
Then, about six years ago, O’Brien found himself right where he wanted to be: in Pearl Studios in Manhattan in the final callbacks for the musical’s national tour. “I’m there with two other Tony’s, and I’m thinking, this is it, now is my chance. And fifteen minutes later, I’m on the street wondering what the heck just happened. I did not get it. So I thought, that’s it, I’m going to get too old to play a teenager, and I’m just not going to be able to do it.”
But the universe — via Akron Symphony music director Christopher Wilkins — smiled on O’Brien. [Read more…]