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Actor Spotlight: Matt Blanks

Sisters of Swing is showing May 19-29, 2022! The story of the Andrews sisters. This musical follows the Andrews sisters from their early days on the road through their

rise as recording stars to entertaining American GI’s overseas. Featuring songs such as "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." This show is guaranteed to knock your socks off.


We reached out to actor Matt Blanks to find out more about him and his experience working on this fun production!


What’s your favorite number in this production? Why?


Probably "Hold Tight" because the tune is catchy and the words are comical, verging on nonsensical. The line "Dreams are just like wine and I am drunk with mine" from "I Can Dream, Can't I" is my favorite lyric in the show.


What do you love about working with SART?


This is my first time working with SART, but it already feels like home. I think that's because of the people involved in Sisters of Swing and the environment we all create.


Tell us about your character. What’s your favorite thing about them? What do you love about getting to portray them?


Vic Schoen is a historical figure, a self-taught arranger and musician from Brooklyn, who wrote musical arrangements for the Andrews Sisters and who really had his moment in the 40s and 50s. While I'm playing piano in the show, Schoen was actually a trumpeter, and he wrote the solo at the beginning of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" to showcase his talents. Though he worked up until his death in 2000, his biggest claims to fame are his work with the Andrews Sisters, his recordings with the Vic Shoen Orchestra, and his innovative work "Suite for Two Brass Bands" written in 1959 for a television program. Although he worked very much in the public sphere, he did not want to be a television personality, and as a result it's very difficult to find video footage of him.


How did you get into theatre?


In 6th grade, my school choir director convinced me to audition for "The Wizard of Oz." In 8th grade, I got a lead role in "Bye Bye Birdie," and that's when I caught the bug.


What’s your favorite thing to do in the area?


Hiking


What about this production are you the most excited about?


The music!


What’s your favorite part about performing?


I like the process - the repetition, the play, and the discovery that comes with preparing and performing a large work. In most cases, you get a view into the psyche of the writer and/or composer and their intentions for the work. In this case, I feel like you get a look into the sisters and their storie more than anything else.


Do you have any upcoming projects we should check out?


My partner Adrianne Blanks just had her first single release, the song "Bloom Where You're Planted." I'm playing a couple of instruments on it and singing backup vocals. Her first EP is scheduled to release on August 18th, and she's planning a release party I'll be performing at. I'm playing featured roles in Little Women and Assassins with HART later this season.


Biography


Matt Blanks is new to WNC and grateful to make his SART debut! Previous roles

include Almaviva in The Barber of Seville (Main Street Opera), Ferrando in Cosí fan tutte (University of Tennessee Opera Theatre, Petite Opera), and Charlie in Brigadoon (u/s at Music by the Lake). You can catch him later this season playing Laurie in Little Women at HART. He has been on adjunct voice faculty at Mars Hill, Dominican, and North Park Universities and maintains a local voice studio.


Sisters of Swing is showing at Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre May 19-29, 2022. Grab your tickets here: https://www.sartplays.com/sistersofswing

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