Scott Wichmann Rules
I was standing at the Richmond Shakespeare table at the theatre entrance with Shawn Smith, board member. Being who we are, a Shakespearean actor and an English professor, we were of course talking about baseball. In the midst of a rhapsody about the existential nature of the game, as if on cue, Scott Wichmann appeared up the road with his arms wide for a hug. We hadn't seen each other in person since Shrew, so it was a lovely reunion.
I didn't have a long time to chat with him, but as usual with Scott he made the whole thing about me, not himself. He asked about what I'm up to, and asked about Richard II, coming soon this Fall. As I was about to break off to go get in my place for the show, we were approached by a couple who had seen Scotto the week before in The Odd Couple. They wanted to tell him how great he was in that show (big surprise there). Scott was kind and gracious, all thanks and toothy smile. I had to leave to set up my drums.
A few minutes after the show began, I noticed that Scott, who had come to the show alone, was sitting with some people in the house. Of course, it was the pair who had chatted him up.
At intermission, I caught him just long enough to ask, "Do you know those folks?"
He answered, "I do now. I was like, 'let's hang out.' "
See, this is why I want to be Scott Wichmann when I grow up. This is why Scott rules.
And this is why theatre in Richmond rules, why it's so important for great artists to be supported in this town enough to keep them here. There can be a small-town accessibility here that in larger towns qualifies as "celebrity sightings." Scott's a big-town, big-time talent, guys, and he's far from the only one in town. We're blessed to have him here while we do, not just for his talent but because he comes to the show alone and sits with a pair of fans who just wanted to say they liked his performance.
And he gave the actors a heartfelt one-man standing ovation in a tiny first-Sunday house.
Scott Wichmann rules.