From Green to Groovy: Nicole Parker gets a ’60s Makeover for These Paper Bullets!

Nicole Parker

Nicole Parker stars opposite Justin Kirk in the west coast premiere of These Paper Bullets! A Modish Ripoff of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at Geffen Playhouse this month. Written by Rolin Jones (Weeds, Friday Night Lights, Boardwalk Empire) with songs by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and directed by Jackson Gay, the show opened to great reviews at Yale Repertory Theatre where it premiered in 2014. Now the Geffen begins its 20th anniversary season with what promises to be a British invasion on stage not seen since the Beatles. Still high on the adrenaline of a full day of rehearsal, an energetic Parker spoke to me about her experience working on the new production. I think you’ll see why the former star of Wicked and MADtv landed the role. This is one all-around great gal.

Nicole, what has it been like working on a brand new show like this one?

What’s great about working on something new is, while the creative team has done a version of the show before, they’ve made sure we know, as the new actors to the piece, that we can make it our own. That’s something you never get when you’re plugging into a show that already exists where you really need to hit the marks and you can give it your own flair but it needs to be what it is. This show isn’t set. Even from a comedic standpoint, I won’t even know whether some things I’m doing will work until we get in front of an audience and they tell me.

Both you and your leading man, Justin Kirk, are new, right?

Correct, which is kind of cool because then we as a couple can find a whole new rhythm. The entire team is so supportive and really just happy to have another opportunity to work on the show and make it better. So many times you don’t get to do that. When you do, it’s all about really defining the story and making sure that it gets told even clearer.

Nicole and Justin

What are your overall impressions of the piece?

It’s really a new, unique hybrid show. Even though the songs Billie Joe has written are stand-alone Beatles-esque songs, they drive the show and fit what’s going on in the plot. In that sense, where a musical will forward plot or character with a song, or even heighten an emotion, it is similar. But it’s only done in a very realistic way with the band – in this case they’re called The Quartos – singing their songs.  More

The Geffen gets a new Billie Joe Armstrong Shakespeare Musical!

These Paper BulletsGeffen Playhouse opens its 20th anniversary season with the west coast premiere of These Paper Bullets! A Modish Ripoff of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, September 8 – October 18. Written by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Emmy Award nominated writer Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights, Boardwalk Empire) with songs by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and staged by Jackson Gay, These Paper Bullets! was commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre where it premiered in 2014.

Meet the Quartos. Ben, Claude, Balth, and Pedro. Their fans worship them. Scotland Yard fears them. And their former drummer will stop at nothing to destroy them. Can these fab four from Liverpool find true love in London and cut an album in seven nights?

The cast features James Barry (Pedro), Kate Blumberg (Paulina, Frida), Damon Daunno (Claude), Chris Geary (Anton), Mr. Crumpet, Queen & Others), Brad Heberlee (Mr. Urges), Justin Kirk (Ben), Tony Manna (Mr. Cake), Rod McLachlan (Boris), Kiera Naughton (Ulcie), Adam O’Byrne (Don Best), Lucas Papaelias (Balth), Nicole Parker (Beatrice), Greg Stuhr (Mr. Berry), Ariana Venturi (Higgy), Nick Ullett as (Leo).

These Paper Bullets! is a co-production with Atlantic Theater Company in New York and will be performed there following the Geffen Playhouse engagement. The two theatre companies last teamed-up in 2009 for the Atlantic Theater Company production of Farragut North starring Dan Bittner, Mia Barron, Justin Huen, Chris Noth, Chris Pine, Olivia Thirlby and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.

The Geffen will also host over a dozen pre-show and post-show Signature Series events during the show’s run. These include TGIF at the Geffen, Talk Back Tuesdays (Audience Q+A with artists), Lounge Fridays, Girls Night Out, and Wine Down Sundays. Many of them include refreshments, music and other festive elements. These events are complimentary as part of your ticket price, thanks to the support of Geffen Playhouse partners and sponsors. Click Here for Signature Series dates and more information.

THESE PAPER BULLETS!
Sept. 8 – Oct. 18, 2015 (opening night 9/16)
Gil Cates Theater at Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tickets: (310) 208-5454 or www.geffenplayhouse.com

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