Mark Siano has been dee-lighting Seattle audiences for a number of years as a triple threat combination of smooth, leading man crooner, smart ass comedian, and Spandex clad Solid Gold style dancer. Fresh out of UW, he performed with the acclaimed comedy troupe “The Habit” with buddies like John Osebold and Tommy Smith, but eventually the group drifted apart. He followed up “The Habit” with producing, creating and performing a variety act “Mark Siano and The Freedom Dancers” that was equal parts comedy, dance and music that quickly became a must see act for Capitol Hill hipster audiences at a variety of venues. Of late, he’s been transitioning into a more polished cabaret type performance that appeals to an even larger audience with last year’s “Soft Rock Kid” selling out at The Triple Door. Mr Siano and friends, including adorable co-star Opal Peachey are returning to that venue with his latest show, “Modern Luv” that promises to be a “new song and dance spectacular that aims its satirical arrow at love in the facebook-texting-email era…” Appropriately, Mr Siano and I conducted this interview through the miracle of modern technology: Facebook.
Seattle Gay Scene: Does your new show “Modern Luv” differ from previous Mark Siano productions? Judging by the press release, it seems more variety oriented and a little less dance oriented than the “Freedom Dancer” shows. What can we expect?
Mark Siano: The show and theme are all about love in the internet era so the subject matter is very different, but the style is very much the same. There’s quite a bit of dance to go along with the music and comedy. Expect a high energy, hilarious, and very entertaining spectacular, that’s just a bit on the silly side.
SGS: Will fans of Mark Siano chest cleavage and 70’s inspired polyester shirts unbuttoned to the navel be delighted or disappointed by “Modern Luv”?
MS: Delighted! I can change the subject of the show, but you can’t change the performer. I’m still rocking the velvet spandex Sparkletard with the low cut front, chest hair and all!
SGS: Has adorable co-star Opal Peachey proven to you that she is indeed named Opal Peachey? We are still suspicious.
MS: That’s her real name, I checked her license and I met her mom, and yep, that’s the type of mom who would name her kid Opal Peachey.
SGS: “Modern Luv” co-star Ray Tagavilla has been showered with praise and award nominations of late. Has this turned him into a monster? Are you watching your back?
MS: He’s awesome! Ray has always been a monster, the extra praise is just overdue at this point. I love having Ray around.
SGS: I’m hearing buzz that your old comedy troup, The Habit, is going to do some new shows? True? False? Details!
MS: The rumors are true, THE HABIT is coming back! We are doing a brand new show at The Bathhouse Sept 9, 10, 16, 17.
SGS: The Habit-teers went to L.A. to “make it in Hollywood” but that didn’t work out as hoped…yet, many of the troupe are prospering, artistically, in Seattle…Tommy Smith as a playwright with the excellent Sextet; John Osebold with “Awesome”, YOU, etc. Can you do meaningful artistic work outside LA and NYC and is it satisfying? Or, would you give up it all up in a heartbeat to replace Charlie Sheen on “Two and a Half Men” and be a rich, (allegedly) drug addict/porn star pimp/hack?
MS: I would sell out in a second! I would only stay in NY or LA as long as it was necessary to finish a gig, maybe living in two cities. I like Seattle and I plan to grow old here. It’s certainly not easy to make a living in performance here, but it can be done. Yeah, it’s totally rewarding and meaningful to do shows here, I love performing original material in front of hundreds of people. I love the stage way more than camera work, and Seattle is a great city for live performance.
SGS: What’s up for Mark Siano AFTER “Modern Luv”? Anything big to plug? (yes, we are aware that sounds awful…)
MS: The next big gig is THE HABIT at the Bathhouse in September…it’s gonna be hilarious.
Bonus Round Questions!
SGS: Embarassing teenage crush(es)? (Or, current crushes, for that matter…)Tiffany? Sheena Easton? Your 8th grade math teacher? The entire cast of “Saved by the Bell”? Details!
MS: Alyssa Milano was my teenage poster girl, I had a poster of her wearing nothing but a hockey jersey on my wall. I also had a huge crush on Tori Amos, the red hair and the way she rode that piano bench… damn!
SGS: You’re trapped on a deserted island for a week with the cast of a “reality show”. Your choices are: a)The Cast of Jersey Shore, b)The Cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race, or, c)The Cast of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Which would you choose and why?
MS: I got nothing, I haven’t seen any of these shows.
SGS: You’re to be given a $1million bucks but you can only spend it in Seattle and it has to be used to better the arts/theater community. What would you do with the money?
MS: I’d build a new theatre and bar and artspace, or convert a cool existing building. I’ve put a lot of thought into this, I think about it everyday. It’s totally my dream to create and run a new performance space in Seattle.
EVERYONE wants their own performance space. Apparently, artists all want to be Florenz Ziegfeld!
Check out the delightful bundle of talent known as Mark Siano, his awesome wedge of chest hair, his divine co-star Opal Peachey, his backing band The Enablers and a chorus line of cuties, comedians and singers in “Modern Luv” at The Triple Door on Friday and Saturday, February 18 & 19 for FOUR shows, (two per day at 7:30pm and 10:30pm). Last year, Mr. Siano’s “Soft Rock” shows SOLD OUT at The Triple Door, so don’t wait too long to buy your tickets.