Hal Erickson now in the Sunset Spotlight. Hal, currently playing Sheridan Whiteside, a brilliant, witty, and widely beloved radio celebrity, in THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, now in the Sunset Spotlight.
When did you first become involved at Sunset Playhouse and what areas have you been involved with here at the Playhouse?
After being away from performing for nearly two decade, I was encouraged by my wife and friends to get back into the swim once I retired. My first play at Sunset (and my second after my, er, comeback) was “You Can’t Take It With You”, in which I had the good fortune to be cast as Grandpa.
If you are working on a Sunset show right now, what is your role?
I am playing old “violets and vitriol” Sheridan Whiteside in THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER
If an actor, what has been your favorite role to date and what is your dream role? If a Production Team member, which show have you most enjoyed working on? What show would you like to do in the future?
Hard to pick a favorite. Many many years before Sunset there was Leroy in THE BAD SEED and Luther Billis in SOUTH PACIFIC. Here at Sunset I’ve been lucky to play a few genuine “dream roles”, but I guess that the Stage Manager in OUR TOWN would top the list of future roles, as long as my health holds out.
What do you enjoy most about the Sunset?
The warmth, camaraderie, support and all-around good cheer. Rather than go into detail over past unpleasant theatrical experiences, I’ll just say I truly enjoy the above-mentioned qualities of Sunset. Every production in which I’ve been involved has been an absolute thrill and delight.
When not at Sunset, how do you spend your time?
Though retired, I keep a hand in professional writing, which paid me a good living for several years and which has yielded a dozen media-history books for the school and library trade (not much money, but plenty of satisfaction and fulfillment). I also collect vintage television shows on DVD, sustaining my membership in the International Society of Nerds and Geeks.
What is your favorite color/food/movie/TV show/book/musical or play?
Favorite food: Anything my wife Joanne or my son Peter prepares. Movies etc.? Love ‘em all, especially classic comedy films.
What is your favorite quote?
From the film “Tootsie”: “You were a TOMATO!”
Any other comments?
Blessings upon Sunset and the everyone who works and plays here. And thank you, good Lord above, for my very supportive friends and family members, born and yet unborn (a second grandkid is coming very soon!)