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South Pacific Profile: Steve Koek returns to the Summer Place Theatre stage
Steve Koek returns to the stage for Summer Place Theatre after making his debut last summer in Sugar (Bienstock) and Footloose (Uncle Wes).
Steve is now a member of the Summer Place Board of Directors, and in addition to his role(s) on stage, he is also the Producer of South Pacific. He is immensely proud of the professional production team assembled and the incredibly talented and diverse group of actors that will present this celebration of one of the most important and honored musicals in American theater history.
South Pacific opens on June 7!
Get your tickets here
QUESTION: Who or what inspired you to start doing theater?
STEVE KOEK: Both of my parents enjoyed musicals and their soundtracks, and my dad was a classical music fan, which all rubbed off on me. Then I saw my cousin Liz perform in a high school production of Camelot when I was in grammar school and I knew I someday I’d have to try it.
Q: What was the musical that had you fall in love with musicals?
SK: I remember my parents taking me to see the movies Oliver! and The Sound of Music as a very young kid. I was mesmerized by each and it gave me an appreciation of differing styles and methods of musicals. They also took me to see A Chorus Line in Chicago, my first live professional show and I remember thinking, “that I CAN’T do!”
Q: What is the favorite role(s) you've ever played?
SK: Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, and Bienstock in Sugar.
Q: What is the dream role you still want to play?
SK: Now that I can check off the bass solo in “There Is Nothin’ Like A Dame” from South Pacific, which was on the top of my list since I graduated high school almost 38 years ago, Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple moves up a notch from No. 2 (the only circumstance where I’d ever agree to wear a Mets cap).
Q: What is the most challenging part of bringing this story to life?
SK: The blending of comic and serious moments, and keeping the original feel of this incredible script and score while making it as appealing as possible to a modern audience.
Q: If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would you want to play you?
SK: I’ve always felt Meryl Streep would be best able to capture the essence that is me.
Q: What do you do when you’re not doing theater?
SK: I work as a digital marketing manager for a law firm in downtown Chicago. I am also a public speaker through the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, sharing my late father’s story of survival as one of the Hidden Children of Holland during World War II, making my participation in this production of South Pacific even more personal and meaningful. This one’s for you, Joop!
Q: Which character from South Pacific would you most like to have dinner with and why?
SK: Bloody Mary has often been portrayed in a mystical fashion or as solely a character of comic relief, but I would love to sit down with our Bloody Mary, who is much more of a real person living under extraordinary circumstances. The stories she’d have...
Q: Why should people come see this production of South Pacific?
SK: This production of South Pacific is a fresh look at a traditional classic. Brilliant director Jorge Bermudez is molding this show into a hysterically funny, powerfully moving and entertaining show with serious cultural messages that resonate as much today as they did when the musical opened on Broadway in 1949. The breathtakingly beautiful music is being vocally and orchestrally directed by Summer Place Theatre’s resident musical genius, Emma Gingold. Music plays an integral role in the telling of the stories, and Emma has gathered a large, full, and talented orchestra to bring my all-time favorite score to life. This show will make audiences laugh, it will make them cry, and most importantly, it will make them think.
Come see Steve and the rest of this talented cast when South Pacific opens on June 7.
Learn more about our production here Get your tickets here