Raymond F. Castro is playing Mr. Maraczek, the owner of Maraczek’s Parfumery, in She Loves Me. Below he shares his journey of how he came to love performing.
So what’s your story? What brought you to musical theatre?
I had started taking ballet in my early 30’s to get into shape–I couldn’t stand jogging. The studio I attended had a dance company that was invited to perform in two operas at Artpark. I was asked if I would like to be a supernumerary, and I found myself on stage dressed as a paige in “Riggoletto”. And as ridiculous as I looked, I knew then that I wanted a lot more of performing.
How did you get involved in Opera-Lytes?
I first learned about Opera-lytes at, of all things, a funeral. I was introduced to someone who told me all about performing for Opera-Lytes. Some time afterward I saw the audition notice in the paper for “The Sorcerer”, and I offered my services as an extra or a dancer. I was invited to a rehearsal and found myself for the first time in front of the piano. I was relegated to the base section and have been there ever since.
You went from dancing to singing…anything else you can do?
Recently I have branched out more into serious acting as well. My first significant role was Paul Sycamore in the comedy “You Can’t Take It With You”, produced by Hamburg Theater Under the Stars. But I still do ballets, and just performed as Dr. Coppelias in the Greater Buffalo Youth Ballets production of “Coppelia”. Most of my stage career has been as a dancer. I love to dance, so any time I can get on stage as a dancer is special for me.
What has been challenging about your role in She Loves Me?
The director, Deb Jasinski, asked me to help with choreography for the show. Opera-lytes is known for great singing, and as usual the cast for She Loves Me is incredible and the vocal sound is amazing. My challenge has been getting all of the cast more comfortable with movement.
She Loves Me opens May 15, 2014 and runs till May 18, at the Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, NY. Visit www.operalytes.com for tickets!