Franklin Regional grad excels in St. Vincent theater
Anthony Massetto of Murrysville is firming up an excellent resume to supplement the music performance degree he is pursuing at St. Vincent College in Unity.
The 19-year-old sophomore, who played a lead role in last year's production of “Carousel” (Enoch Snow), will remain among principal cast members when the St. Vincent College Players stage “Anything Goes” in February. Massetto will get a chance to revisit a musical he performed in high school, this time one of the leads, Billy Crocker.
Massetto said given the amount of talent at the school, he is surprised to have been chosen for several leading roles in his first two years.
“I really didn't expect to get anything last year, and then when I was offered the role of Enoch I was ecstatic,” he said. “Having the opportunity to play these larger roles has helped me develop a lot and that's why I think I was able to get Billy in ‘Anything Goes.'”
Massetto spoke to the Star recently about preparing for the show.
Q: What are the challenges of playing Billy Crocker?
A: I think the hardest part of playing Billy is making it unique. There are so many different takes on the role itself and, having been a part of the show my freshman year of high school, I have a lot of different ideas in my head. I think with the help of my director, Gregg Brandt, I'll be able to be successful in the role.
Q: Over the course of the musical, Billy Crocker takes on several different roles — how do you prepare for playing what is essentially a “character playing a character”?
A: It's definitely something I've never had to do before, but I'm very excited on being able to flip back and forth between different accents and characters. I just have to be able to clearly show the contrast between when I'm someone other than Billy and vice versa. It'll be a great time figuring out how exactly to develop each character and make them unique.
Q: One of Billy's disguises is as a Chinese national, which could come off as a stereotypical caricature — how do the musical's director advise it be played to avoid that?
A: We just can't go too over the top trying to get laughs out of the audience. As long as we maintain the Chinese character without seeming too stereotypical I think the scene will be humorous while still being politically correct.
Q: What have you enjoyed the most about preparing for “Anything Goes”?
A: Spending time with all of the cast members is definitely my favorite part of the show. I've known them all since we did “Young Frankenstein” with the student-run group The Company, so we've been through a lot together. It's just been amazing to be able to work so closely with a group of people for so many shows and still have as much fun as the first time. This cast is extremely talented and I cannot wait for this show to go up.
Q: What are some of the skills and ideas you brought with you from being part of Franklin Regional's musical pro‑ductions over the years?
A: Franklin Regional definitely taught me a lot about how to put on a show in a professional way. The way the musicals at Franklin Regional were run was so efficient and professional that's it's really helped me be able to succeed outside of Franklin Regional in the theater world. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities and knowledge I received from Franklin Regional. They have definitely helped me grow as a performer and as a person.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862 or email@example.com.