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Hamptons Life

Jul 7, 2017 4:24 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Broadway And Film's Aaron Tveit Headed To Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center July 16

Jul 9, 2017 3:05 PM

Aaron Tveit, one of Broadway’s favorite leading men, is lending his tenor to the stage at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Sunday, July 16, at 8 p.m. for an evening of musical theater.

The 33-year-old made his Broadway debut playing heartthrob Link Larkin in “Hairspray” in 2007. From there, his career took off as he went on to originate the roles of Gabe in the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning “Next to Normal” and Frank Abagnale in “Catch Me If You Can.” He’s also made a name for himself in film and television, starring in 2012’s film adaptation of “Les Miserables” and in USA’s drama “Graceland” as an undercover FBI agent.

Catching up with Mr. Tveit in New York City during a phone interview, he said he looked forward to making his Hamptons debut and rekindling his theater roots with a piano and voice show.

“It’s some of the [songs] I’ve always loved to sing [and] a lot of stuff from the shows I’ve been in,” he said. “I’m hoping to tell a story. The songs all come together to create an evening out of it.”

And after more than a year of touring around the country with his concerts, Mr. Tveit said he relishes in interacting with his audiences.

“I try to have a back and forth with the audience a lot. I try to get them to be a part of the show,” he said. “It seems to make the evening fun for everyone.”

Although Mr. Tveit has had a six-year hiatus from Broadway, in addition to his concerts he has engaged in musical theater through different media and venues. Last year he delighted audiences in the nostalgic “Grease Live!” event on Fox, which was nominated for an Emmy award. And this summer he will begin performances as Bobby in the Stephen Sondheim classic “Company” at the Barrington Stage Company in the Massachusetts Berkshires from August 10 to September 2.

For him, it’s a chance to participate in a show he has long admired from afar. However, he said he looks forward to approaching it with fresh eyes—as he does with works of all media.

“I can kind of then go in and make my own choices and my own thoughts of it and not have anything really in my head predetermined from other things that I’ve seen,” he said.

As of now, there are no plans to move the production to New York, but Mr. Tveit said that it’s always a possibility.

“The great thing about regional theater, especially theater that’s close to New York, is that there’s always a chance if the production is a new, different production and people like it, people can always say, ‘Let’s look to do this somewhere else,’” he said.

The audience in Westhampton Beach will be in for a sneak preview of his performance, he said, as he plans to perform a few selections from the show.

“A couple of songs from ‘Company’ have been in and out of this show just because of the message of the songs and because I love them so much,” he said.

Outside of the theater realm, Mr. Tveit has also been busy with film work. Following ‘Company’ he will begin shooting a new independent film in Atlanta. And his latest film, “Created Equal,” has been making its way across the film festival circuit.

In “Created Equal” he plays a rather cocky up-and-coming attorney who takes on a woman’s case to sue the Archdiocese of New Orleans for sex discrimination after attempting to become a priest.

“It’s a really awesome film, a very timely story about a woman who’s just looking for her place and equality,” he said. “The wonderful thing about the script and the movie—the way it came out—it really does not vilify either side of the argument. It really presents both sides fairly. It’s not just a movie coming out and attacking the church. No matter how you stand on the subject it’s a very thought provoking [film].”

No matter what medium he is working with, Mr. Tveit emphasized that he is always looking to challenge himself through the projects he selects.

“I ask myself, ‘Is it different, is it new?’ I’m always looking for stuff that’s a little outside the box. That’s where I’m driven towards,” he said.

Eventually, however, he looks forward to returning to a place that always feels like home—Broadway.

“I don’t know when it will be, but I can’t wait for whenever it is,” Mr. Tveit said. “Any time I step into a theater in New York I just get this overwhelming sense of wanting to jump on stage.”

He said that’s what’s so wonderful about his concerts—the interaction with the audience.

“They’ve allowed me to reconnect with that part of my performing and the work that I do that’s been missing, so I’m really grateful for that.”

Aaron Tveit performs Sunday, July 16, at 8 p.m. at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach. Tickets are $75, $60 and $45. Visit whbpac.org or call 631-288-1500.

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