Madco welcomes Boston actor-director
Pro goes from Dukes of Hazzard to Hot L Baltimore
When Boston-based actor
and director Frank Annese was setting up his schedule for the fall
earlier this year, he decided he wanted to direct a play in New
“I’ve vacationed in New Hampshire for years, and it seemed like a good
place to work with theater in a community,” Annese said.
Annese settled back in Boston after spending many years in what he calls
“the Hollywood machine.” In the mid-’80s the actor had a recurring role
on Days of Our Lives, and landed numerous guest spots on dozens of
popular TV dramas and sitcoms, including The Dukes of Hazzard, The
A-Team, L.A. Law and MacGyver.
soon found that artistry took a back seat to making money, and instead
of working on being a better actor, it became all about hitting your
mark and looking at the camera a certain way,” he said.
Upon his return to Boston, he reopened the famed Wilbur Theater and
served as its artistic director until 1996. He’s also led acting and
directing workshops all over New England.
When Annese starting searching theater Web sites for an opening in New
Hampshire, he came across the site for Music and Drama Company (Madco).
The troupe was searching for a director for the autumn production of
Lanford Wilson’s Hot L Baltimore, a comedy-drama set in an old hotel.
like Lanford Wilson, I have great affection for the show, so it seemed
like a good fit,” Annese said.
When he first reached out to Madco for the directing position, they
seemed a little skeptical, according to Annese.
“The board and everyone were very friendly to me, but they also had this
attitude of ‘Why us?’” Annese said. “I think they were curious why a
Boston actor and director would want to come up to Derry.”
Annese said his reasons for the commute were simple.
“Boston theater is a closed community,” he said. “Even though there’s a
lot going on, it’s not a place where you can do something different. I
wanted to be able to have more freedom.”
The show centers around a motley group of social outcasts who live in a
run-down hotel on the wrong side of the tracks in Baltimore. The hotel
is going to be torn down soon, and the residents are banding together.
The old hotel represents a transitional point in the lives of the
characters and in the society around them.
“The show was written in the ’70s, when there were great social
changes,” Annese said. “This show captures those changes, and the fear
and freedom that came with them.”
Madco will present Hot L Baltimore at the Adams Memorial Opera House in
Derry, Nov. 3-5. For tickets (which cost $15) and show times, visit
Madco.org or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.