Friday, September 20, 2013

Meet the Amazingly Talented Rudy Caporaso

Last year, I had the pleasure of watching a very talented young man perform at the Laurel Hill Cemetery. Who would have thought that you didn’t have to be dead to enjoy yourself in a cemetery? But enjoy we did. The show was fantastic. Rudy Caporaso and his entourage sang songs about death and dying that had the crowd tapping their toes and singing along.

This year, Rev’s Theatre Company performed Six Feet Under (and above) at the Laurel Hill Cemetery and the show was a tremendous hit for both the living and dead. Rudy has graciously agreed to be a guest on my blog. Thank you so much, Rudy for visiting.  

Tell my readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to be a performer?

I had a rather classic start-pretending, always dressing up and putting together kids’ shows in the back yard. A seminal moment for me was my elementary school’s production of THE WIZARD OF OZ. I was desperate to play the Scarecrow. A girl I was friendly with in class wanted to play the Wicked Witch of the West and the teacher overheard me “coaching” her. Well, our teacher/director made my female friend the Scarecrow and I was given the part of the Witch, which I successfully played to great schoolyard acclaim. And I had indeed been bitten by the proverbial theatre bug. I have been told, by the way, that people still marvel at and wonder how I “melted”.

What kind of music do you enjoy singing?

I’m mad for popular old songs, anything from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and I’m there. The Great American Song book is the bomb. I know of these songs from my grandmother and my mother, this is where my love of this music began. I have a 1940’s cabaret piece which I perform with three lovely and talented young ladies, based on the recordings of Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. This cabaret is a personal favorite of mine, and I am presently developing a 1930’s cabaret which I’m excited about.

Tell us about the REV Theatre Company. How was it started? Who are the people behind REV?

REV Theatre Company was created by my (life) partner Rosey Hay and me. I was simply tired of the life of an itinerant actor for hire, and seemingly very little artistic control in my life in regard to theatrical endeavors.
Our mission:
REV Theatre Company brings a fresh contemporary vision to existing dramatic works and company created new pieces. Although telling the story is paramount, of course, we interpret and transform the material we work with, changing and intensifying our vision using exploratory and developmental workshops.
Our creative process for both classical and new work constructs a world of juxtaposed components: classical text with interjected original writing (including text from other plays as well as documentary material); music from varied time periods; intensely physical and choreographed staging; highly stylized production numbers; stark and striped down design; performances in urban parks and public spaces; site-specific pieces and non-traditional performance venues; audience-immersive theatre experiences everyday objects and materials used in unusual ways and as surprising design elements.
REV’s educational outreach programs are also an essential part of our mission. Our goal is to make live theatre accessible to everyone by appealing to a widely diverse audience and by developing and creating cultural activities to enrich the lives of young people and families, particularly those who are underserved in the arts. We bring free professional productions geared to family audiences and accompanying children’s workshops particularly to low and middle income families especially in underserved communities as we are committed to developing new theatre audiences.
REV Theatre Company productions challenge, provoke, energize, and above all entertain our audiences through the accessible, vivid, passionate worlds we create on stage.

Who designs the costumes?
Since REV’s inception, I’ve been responsible for designing the costumes and sets for all our productions. Creating this opportunity for myself was also a big reason why I was so keen to begin our own company. I’m a very visually-oriented person and have also always been interested in and drawn to these elements of theatre production.
I love my theatre company and I am happy to continue to work with and for it. I am also a Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Scranton Shakespeare Festival (2 productions later and entering our 3rd year) and I do a great deal of theater educational outreach with kids which I find terribly rewarding.
If you could, what Broadway Show would you want to star in?
I don’t mean to sound superior or be dismissive, but these days, if I am honest with you and myself, Broadway simply doesn’t interest me as much as my own personally motivated and invested endeavors. I am committed to pursuing a more unusual, unique and non-traditional theater path.

What other shows are you planning on doing at the Laurel Hill Cemetery?

We might as well bring back our Graveyard Cabaret for a third incarnation in Laurel Hill Cemetery. It’s a terrific venue for this piece, we all love working there and the cabaret has been so popular, and I am pleased to say, such a success.
We brought the cabaret back this year because it did so well in 2012, and to quote Philly’s Citypaper review-
Free drinks plus cabaret plus cemetery ambiance equals a big win. No Rest for the Wicked is a total blast. Between climbing on top of tombstones and literally dancing on people’s graves, the troupe marches through the hour-long set with blazing enthusiasm. Working from a catalog that included familiar death-related joints: like Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” and Nirvana-by-way-of-Leadbelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” and lesser-known songs like “Pistol Packin’Mama” and “Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair”, the performers deliver lively, rousing arrangements. Cabaret is frequently defined by its setting and Laurel Hill Cemetery proves to be pretty damn ideal.
And we’re doing spectacularly well this year-last weekend’s performances were both totally sold out, and we’re close to selling out the performances this weekend. But don’t let that deter any would-be ticket-buyers- we can find you seats if you buy tickets at the door.
We would revisit the piece of course, and re-vamp it but it’s likely we will present it in Laurel Hill for the Fringe in September of 2014.
By the way, you should know that we are presenting the Graveyard Cabaret in Forest Hill Cemetery in Dunmore (just outside Scranton) at 7;30 PM on October 26th as a Benefit for the Scranton Shakespeare Festival.

Rudy, thank you so much for visiting my blog and I’m sure my readers will be looking out for your shows. Thank you dear readers for dropping by. See you soon.



  1. Interesting. I appreciate artists who take different approaches to expression and storytelling. Nice interview!

    1. Thank you Uriah. Rudy is very talented and holding the show inside the cemetery just adds a different level to old tunes.

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  3. I have seen several of the Rev Theatre Company productions, though not recently because of where I live now, and I agree that Rudy is super talented. He and Rosey are risk takers of the first order. I admire them both greatly.