Richard Jay-Alexander: Ladies’ Choice

Le Moyne junior aspires to different role
Friday, November 05, 2004

Most young people who go to drama school have intentions of an acting career. Many others steer toward directing. Fewer enroll in scenic or costume design programs.

Then there is Thomas Tarbox, a junior drama major at Le Moyne College. His goal is stage management.

Although he has more than a year left before he graduates, Tarbox already has his Equity card. He earned it by stage-managing the current production of “Our Lady of 121st Street” at The Redhouse, Syracuse’s newest arts facility.

And that is not all. The West Winfield resident has worked with such stars as Lucy Liu, Academy Award-nominated Amy Irving and Justin Guarini, from TV’s “American Idol.”

Those collaborations came at this past summer’s New York Stage and Film Festival on the campus of Vassar College, where Tarbox served as an unpaid intern.

The main-stage attraction at the event was “An Evening With Elizabeth Bishop,” a one-woman show that starred Irving and was directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, the former Solvay resident who recently directed Bette Midler’s concert tour, “Kiss My Brass.” The Elizabeth Bishop work is expected to go into New York this spring with Irving and Jay-Alexander reprising their assignments.

Tarbox worked on the Irving show under the tutelage of its stage manager, Jenn Rea Moore. It was Moore’s friendship with Le Moyne drama teacher-director Anjalee Nadkami, that led to his hiring.

“Good Canary,” starring Liu, proved especially satisfying for the Le Moyne student since he was able to track its development as it was read and rehearsed with its playwright in attendance.

Also due to move to Broadway is “Good Vibrations” with Guarini. It is under the aegis of Dodger Productions, a veteran company with several hits to its credit.

On all three, Tarbox served as assistant stage manager.

The junior says he also has been hired by The Redhouse to act as assistant production manager for “The Great Gilly Hopkins,” a musical the Gifford Family Theatre is presenting next month.

Next summer, Tarbox hopes to find employment in summer theater. Then, in the fall, he expects to spend a semester studying in London.

Basta acts in New York

Nick Basta must be suffering stage jitters today. The Nottingham High School graduate opens tonight in “The Seagull 2288,” an adaptation of the Chekhov drama by Alexander Marine, who also directs.

Basta is cast as Medvenko in the off-off-Broadway attraction that is onstage until Nov. 21 at the Arclight Theatre.

The Class of 1989 Nottingham graduate also will be seen soon on an episode of NBC-TV’s “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.” The date remains to be announced.

Last month, Basta appeared in a new version of “Macbeth,” in which he portrayed the title character. The off-off-Broadway production was the project of American Theatre of Actors.

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