Dara: We have. We did Dirty Rotten Scoundrels together at Theatre at the Center.
Michael: I was Freddy, the sleazy con man, and Dara was Christine Colgate, the soap queen.
Dara: I got to head butt him and pour hot soup into his lap. It was fun.
In the show, a straight-laced composer (played by Mahler) teams up with a quirky lyricist (played by Cameron) to work on a music project. It’s fun to watch this odd couple juggle their professional and romantic lives together. Are you an odd couple in any way?
Michael: I think we complement each other really well. Like Dara is really good at finding the fastest way to get anywhere.
Dara: and Michael always gets lost.
Michael: And she’s really good at waking up in the morning when the dog needs to go out.
Dara: and he’s really good at sleeping right through it.
How did the two of you meet?
Michael: We actually met performing in an a cappella group at Northwestern.
Dara: Purple Haze. Michael was the soloist on the U2 song “Elevation.” I was instantly smitten.
Michael: This was before “Glee” made a cappella groups cool.
Dara: We were nerds.
Michael: We have a bunch. Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life” was our first dance at the wedding.
Dara: Or anything by the Beatles, pretty much.
Michael: We actually both have always really loved “Nobody Does It Better” by Marvin Hamlisch and Carol Bayer Sager, who were the basis for this play. Fun fact.
Are there any parts of They’re Playing Our Song that you find similar to your own marriage?
Dara: Oh absolutely. Sonia has a line about the look Vernon gets on his face when he’s looking for the first few bars of a song. I’m constantly looking over at Michael and catching him completely zoned out.
Michael: True. I’m probably composing.
Dara: Or just zoned out.
Michael: There’s also a part where Vernon absent-mindedly “plays piano” on Sonia’s back while they’re dancing. I’ve been known to do that.
How do you think audiences will relate to this musical couple?
Michael: I think all relationships have give and take, push and pull, back and forth, and I think that’s what the play is really about. People don’t have to be writers or composers to understand these two characters. It’s just about trying to find that balance in a working-slash-romantic relationship.
Dara: Anybody who frequently gets annoyed with her partner will be able to relate to us.
Michael: I love you too, honey.
Catch Dara and Michael in the Hit Comedy Broadway Musical, They’re Playing Our Song, now playing thru October 9, 2011!
MICHAEL MAHLER last appeared at FVR in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He was most recently in Working at the Broadway Playhouse. Other credits include 12 Angry Men (Maltz Theatre – Carbonell Award: Best Ensemble), The Illusion (Court), Magnolia (Goodman), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Producers (Theatre at the Center), High Fidelity (Route 66), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marriott), Tomorrow Morning (Greenhouse – Chicago Cast Recording), The Buddy Holly Story (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit (Royal George), My Favorite Year (Bailiwick – Jeff Citation Award, After Dark Award), and Sweet Smell of Success (Circle). Michael is the composer/lyricist of How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back? (with Alan Schmuckler), Knute Rockne: All-American (with David H. Bell and Buddy Farmer), and others.
DARA CAMERON is excited to make her Fox Valley Repertory debut. Credits include Merrily We Roll Along (The Music Theatre Company), How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?, The Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof, Cinderella and Little Women (Marriott Theatre), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Hello, Dolly! (Theatre at the Center), Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Buddy Holly Story (Drury Lane Oakbrook), and Meet Me in St. Louis (Drury Lane Water Tower). Dara is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and a graduate of Northwestern University.