Meet Stuck Elevator's Raymond J. Lee, whose credits include tap dancing with Sutton Foster in Anything Goes on Broadway, and flexing his classical chops in Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Public Theater

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Name: Raymond J. Lee
Role(s): Wáng Yuè (王岳), Snakehead, Nephew, Mugger, Dealer, Customer, Young Guāng


Raymond J. Lee
Stuck Elevator runs April 4–28.
Learn more about the production and order tickets.
What are your preshow/postshow rituals?


I always make sure to listen to some music to relax me and get me ready for the show. Also a cup of green tea before I start the makeup/hair process is very important. Oh, and of course remember to pee before the show!

What is your favorite thing about San Francisco?


I love the energy of this city and the incredible weather! Coming from a wintry New York to sunny SF has been fantastic. I also love how many different neighborhoods there are here in SF and the endless museum, restaurant, bar, and shopping possibilities. San Francisco has such amazing culture and history, and you can definitely feel that in the city.

What is your favorite song and why?
My favorite song in the show has got to be "Real," because it is such a beautiful song and a beautiful yet heartbreaking moment in the show. You get to see the relationship that Míng and Guāng have and the sacrifice that both have endured in order to give their son, Wáng Yuè, and indirectly themselves, a better life. Plus Julius Ahn sings it so beautifully that I just have to stop what I'm doing and watch. My favorite song to perform is probably the Nephew's part in "It Could Be Worse," because in one short moment the audience learns the pains and dangers of being smuggled to America in a container ship.

The ensemble plays various characters to that draw out the complexity of the main character Guāng. Can you share one aspect of Guāng that is illuminated by your character?
I get to play the character of Young Guāng in the song "Three Hungers" and the audience gets to find out that Guāng had dreams of being a poet when he was younger, but then, unfortunately, reality hit him hard and he made the decision to come to America and be a Chinese delivery man. It's heartbreaking to see a young, present, and future version of Guāng singing together because you see this man's life all in one moment and realize he will probably never fulfill the artistic goals and wishes he had set when he was young.

If you were to battle it out with a monster, who would you be and what would be your super hero power?
I am such a huge superhero freak! I watch all the superhero movies and grew up reading comic books and watching X-Men/Spiderman/Batman as a kid. I would totally want the same powers as Magneto and be able to control and manipulate metallic substances. I mean I'd be able to find my keys and the remote control 24/7—what more could a man want? I could also settle for being Duck Sauce man and be able to shoot super hot duck sauce from the palms of my hands!
Raymond's dressing room station for Anything Goes. See his photo journal on Playbill.com.

We're impressed with your Broadway credits! Can you tell us a little more about your experience tap dancing with Sutton Foster in Anything Goes?
If someone had told me in college that I would be tap dancing on a Broadway stage one day, I wouldn't have believed it for the world, but it actually happened and is proof that this career is unpredictable and exciting! Anything Goes was one of the most amazing experiences I've had in my professional career and a show I will always remember because it gave me so many firsts. My first time in an original cast, my first time performing on the Tony Awards, my first time recording a cast album, and so many lasting friendships that I will carry with me for the rest of my professional life. We were truly a family and still hang out whenever we can.

One of the biggest reasons we were so happy was because our leading lady Sutton Foster was just incredibly AWESOME. She made sure work was fun to come to and that the cast was taken care of. And Joel Grey [the actor who was the original Wizard in Wicked] was so approachable and so sweet. The man had never been to a Dairy Queen and we made sure to introduce him to one! You can definitely see more backstage antics and silly moments on my YouTube channel (raymondjlee) along with our backstage music video lip syncing to One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful."

Read Raymond J. Lee's full bio on the A.C.T. Stuck Elevator show page.
 
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