When Sam was 7, he had done 10 productions at Desert Stages Theatre, and decided to audition at another local theatre called Greasepaint. They were auditioning for a production of Snoopy and needed a young Woodstock. During the auditions, the director came out to the waiting room and asked “Who is Sam’s mom?” I raised my hand and he told me to come back in a few hours. Sam was cracking them up and they didn’t want him to leave. The directors name was D. Scott Withers and Sam got the part. Sam was later nominated for an AriZoni award (the AZ version of the Tony) for best supporting actor in a musical for that part.
Scott is an accomplished actor as well as director. In the years that followed, Scott directed Sam in a production of Oliver and then they co- starred together in a professional production of Gypsy at Phx Theatre and in a beautiful original play called Color of Stars at Childsplay Theatre (both shows earned Scott Zoni awards for best actor). Scott’s partner Alan Plado is a music director and was the music director for Sam on Snoopy and Oliver.
During Color of Stars last May, Scott was going back and forth to New York for callbacks for the tour of Catch Me If You Can the Musical. At the same time, Sam was going back and forth to NY for Addams Family. They both got the parts the same week. Since Sam doesn’t have an agent, Scott helped us with the contract details and Alan, who has toured with many shows including Beauty and the Beast, Legally Blonde, and the recent tour of Elf, helped as well. They both still help when I’m confused with this crazy life on tour.
Scott left for his tour this fall and is still touring. Our shows are going to many of the same theaters. It is so cool for me to see both shows on the same marquees.
One of those theaters is in Ft. Myers, FLA where Sam is this week. One of the coolest things I’ve seen is that on the walls of each theatre across the country, after a show finishes it’s run there, they create a “wall tag” backstage with the show’s logo and the cast and crew all sign their names on it.
We opened last night in Ft Myers and while I was backstage, I wandered around as I always do checking out the wall tags. Right next to the empty spot for the Addams Family tag, is the one for Catch Me If You Can. Across the hall is the one for Elf. I found Alan and Scott’s names on their tags.
As I leave Sam with my parents in Florida to go home for a few days, it provides me comfort knowing that Scott and Alan are somehow there with Sam. Just like they were at the beginning.