Cheers star George Wendt discusses Canadian theater project – Tribute.ca
George Wendt, best known for playing Norm on the hit sitcom Cheers (1982 to 1993), spoke to us about his upcoming role as Willy Loman in a Canadian production of Arthur Miller’s iconic play Death of a Salesman.
The production runs from Oct. 18 to Nov. 4, 2017 in the Waterloo Region village of St. Jacobs. Further details can be found at the end of the interview. ~Yanis Khamsi
Why this role? Why Death of a Salesman?
Why not? I’m the right age, I can relate to a lot of Willy’s issues. I love doing theater and I’ve never done an Arthur Miller play, and Willy Loman is the great white whale old-geezer role.
How will modern audiences respond to a play from the 1940s? Is Death of a Salesman relevant in 2017?
It’s a classic. It’s like all the classic myths. They’re all relatable to everyone all the time.
What do you want out of the experience?
It’s really fun to put a piece together, if we can make it work. That’s our goal, it’s what we do. A carpenter would love to build a beautiful house and there’s tremendous satisfaction from that.
You’re known as a comedian. How do you think your fans will respond to seeing you in a dramatic role?
Well, we’re doing a comic version of Death of a Salesman… nah I’m just joking. I don’t think they’ll have much problem accepting it. We’re in very good hands with director Marti Maraden. It’ll be what it’ll be, and I can’t imagine that Marti’s going to let it down. [Marti Maraden has 30 years of theater experience at the Stratford and Shaw festivals.]
You’ve worked in Canadian theater before, what keeps you coming back?
Everyone you get to play with is top-notch. There’s nothing that different about Canada from working in the States. Theater is theater and you get