Meet James Turano
My Three Angels Spotlight
James Turano returns for his fourth production with the Summer Place Theatre and is excited to collaborate with our talented director, cast, and crew. Recent productions: The Crucible (Judge Danforth) North Riverside Players; Glengarry Glen Ross (Richard Roma) GreenMan Theatre Troupe; Young Frankenstein -- The Musical (Kemp) North Riverside Players; Art (Marc) Williams Street Repertory; God Of Carnage (Michael) Steel Beam Theatre; Waiting For Godot (Pozzo) Triton College; Amadeus (Salieri) Steel Beam Theatre; Buddy Holly: The Musical (The Big Bopper) Chicago's Mercury Theater; Deathtrap (Sidney Bruhl) Metropolis Performing Arts Centre. Turano also is a Chicago radio personality, recently known as "Elton Jim” on “The Garry Meier Show” on WGN-AM. He still is heard on WGN Radio and has a podcast at WGNPlus.com. James dedicates this show to his late mother, Lorraine, "Now she's in me, always with me."
We asked Mike a few questions about his background and interest in this show.
Q: Who or what inspired you to start doing theater?
A: I've always enjoyed performing as a way to share my talent and make a connection with people in a communal way. I am enjoying the "theater experience" as much as the audience, the only difference is, I'm on the stage. But we're all in it together -- the actors and the audience.
Q: What was the first play you remember seeing?
A: At a young age, my parents took me to the theater. I recall seeing many plays at the now-closed Arlington Park Theatre, which was near Arlington Park Racetrack. I saw many well-known actors and actresses in this small, intimate theater. I saw a touring production of "Glengarry Glen Ross" with Joe Mantegna and Peter Falk in 1986, and thirty years later, I appeared in the play and in the lead role!
Q: What is the favorite role you've ever played?
A: The roles of Richard Roma in "Glengarry Glen Ross" and Antonio Salieri in "Amadeus" are my favorites. Each is a challenging, complex role, and they each enabled me to tap into different areas of my abilities and find new ones in every performance.
Q: What is the dream role you still want to play?
A: I'd like to do more Shakespearean roles -- Macbeth, John Falstaff, and King Lear, other favorites "dreams" would be Hickey from "The Iceman Cometh," Henry from "The Lion In Winter" and Drummond from "Inherit The Wind.
Q: Most challenging part of bringing this story to life.
A: "My Three Angels" is unique in that it swiftly switches from drama to comedy and back again throughout, and the challenge is make those transitions believable and meaningful to serve the story. Amid all the chaos and comedy, this story has a heart, and we must make sure the tenderness of the characters is always on display.
Q: Do you have any performance superstitions?
A: No. If you're prepared, focused, and confident in yourself, superstitions quickly fade.
Q: If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would you want to play you?
A: Me! I want to be in a movie!
Q: What do you do when you’re not doing theater?
A; I am a radio personality in Chicago, and appear regularly as a host or guest on WGN Radio. I also write entertainment feature stories for newspapers and magazines, most recently for "Ravinia" magazine.
Q: Which character from M3A would most like to have dinner with and why?
A: I think my own character, Joseph, would be interesting to have dinner with because he's had an interesting life. He's done many different things and had many interesting experiences -- even if many of them were illegal! I bet he'd have some great stories...plus he knows a good red wine. Good conversation and a good red wine always make for an enjoyable dinner.
Q: Why should people come see this production of M3A?
A: People will laugh AND have their heartstrings tugged...isn't that what we're all looking for in the theater and in life?
Come meet us in person at any of our My Three Angel performances!
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