#BehindtheCurtain: Get to Know Omri Schein
We are thrilled to introduce Omri Schein, who is making his San Diego Musical Theatre directorial debut for our upcoming production of “Anything Goes”. Beyond SDMT, Omri is an acclaimed performer, lyricist, playwright, and director. Keep reading below to get to know this amazingly talented individual before you get to see his work in action in a month on the SDMT Stage!
What inspired you to get into musical theatre?
I was that four-year-old child that would leap up onto the dining room table and entertain my grandmother and her Kaffeeklatsch ladies. Lucky for me, perhaps not so lucky for my them.
Growing up in South Africa, I would watch “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Annie” on repeat, but without really being aware that they were “musicals”.
As an early teenager in Israel, I didn’t fully grab the concept of musical theatre until my aunt bought me the London cast album of Phantom of The Opera. From that day on, I was obsessed with Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals.
Once I moved to the United States, I purchased a book called “Broadway Musicals: Show by Show” by Stanley Green which finally introduced me to Sondheim, Coleman, Herman, Bock and Harnick, Porter, Arlen, the list goes on forever. Well not forever, but there was no turning back after that.
What made you want to direct “Anything Goes”? Does the show have any special meaning to you?
Anything Goes is pure, pleasurable fun. My taste preference tends to lean more to the dark, irreverent and/or the bizarre or quirky. But sometimes living in that world too long can take its toll on you and every once in a while one just needs to have a good time. Comedy is also usually what I do and my forte, so with this specific show I think the shoe will fit quite snugly. I’ll let you decide though.
If you were on a cruise, who’s the one celebrity you’d want to see and talk with on board?
Jennifer Coolidge. And to be clear, I have been a huge fan of hers for years thanks to the Christopher Guest movies. I think my idea was way before its time, but I am certain she would have made a deliciously bizarre Mrs. Lovett in the Tim Burton film version of Sweeney Todd. I thought it then and I think it now.
As someone who does more than just perform and direct, tell us about your endeavors into writing and how that influences you as a director?
As a musical theatre writer, I think a lot about structure and necessity. How many funny moments do we need? Is that even funny? Too many funny moments? And how to keep things interesting. Things that completely overlap into directing.
What is your dream role and what’s your dream show to direct?
I don’t really have a dream role, but I would love to play Mendel in Falsettos. There was a time when Benjy Stone in My Favorite Year was up there on the list, but I have unfortunately (or not) aged out of that. Directing: Grand Hotel, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Fiddler On The Roof, Carnival, The Baker’s Wife.
What’s your favorite scene in the show?
It’s still too early in the process for me to decide. You’ll have to come talk to me on opening night to find out what my answer ends up being!
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