Pics 1-6: Randy Jones, through the years!
Pics 7-8: Randy with “When Joey Married Bobby” castmates Matthew Pender and Tina McKissick.
Original Village People Cowboy Randy Jones Plays Father Figure in “When Joey Married Bobby”!
Let’s make this perfectly clear: A guy in a cowboy hat is ALWAYS sexy! But there’s much more to singer/actor/man-about-town Randy Jones than his killer smile, trademark mustache, and buckaroo sex appeal. This urban cowboy is also one of the busiest men in showbiz. At any given week in The Naked City, you may catch this multi-talented star taking the mic for an impromptu performance at a downtown hotspot, then strutting down a red carpet at an A-list celebrity event the next night, then “just hangin’ out” the next night in… where else? The Village! Having sang and danced for live audiences all over the world, New York City’s favorite cowpoke hits the stage again in an exciting new role as Eddie Edwards, the father of “Joey” (former Detroit Tiger pitcher Matthew Pender) in the critically acclaimed comedy romp “When Joey Married Bobby” at The Roy Arias Theatre in Times Square.
The 6’2″ Jones achieved worldwide fame with The Village People during America’s most deliciously decadent decade. With achievements that include an American Music Award, the cover of “Rolling Stone”, a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording, and over 75 gold and platinum records worldwide, The Village People created songs that cemented their status in U.S. pop culture history forever– camp factor notwithstanding! Both with The Village People and on his own, Jones has made well over 100 appearances both on TV and on the big screen. Twenty years after his first starring role in 1980’s guilty piece of vintage vice “Can’t Stop The Music” (Anyone who doesn’t like this movie can’t be my friend!), Jones has worked on six films ready to be seen in 2010– including Douglas Langway’s “Bear City” (with Gerald McCullouch) and Caspar Andreas’ “Violet” Tendencies (with Mindy Cohn). Mr. Jones may have been born in North Carolina, but to borrow the title of one of his songs, he is the ultimate “New York City Boy”. (And here’s a bit of trivia: Randy is the only member of The Village People who actually resides in The Village; he’s lived there since 1975.)
The eternally youthful performer spoke with Jed Ryan about his fatherly role (Dare I say “DILF”?) in “When Joey Married Bobby” and his other upcoming endeavors:
JR: Hi, Randy. Congratulations on your new role in “When Joey Married Bobby”. Is this your first time playing a father?
RJ: Come to think of it, I believe it is. Ah, the joys of Fatherhood….(Laughs) And what a son! Have you seen my boy, Matt Pender….?!!!
JR: Oh, yes I have! Those shoulders are broad enough to hang your entire wardrobe on! So, did you model your character Eddie Edwards after anyone, either real or fictional?
RJ: I’d say I’ve probably drawn from every dad that ever caught my eye. This character is a contractor with a construction company and is a Southerner, with a wife and a couple of kids…so he’s rather a familiar figure in my growing up experience.
JR: What surprises do you and the new cast have in store for the audience, especially for those like me who are going to see it a second time?
RJ: Well, for starters there’s Lady Clover Honey and me…there’s a scene where I’m in boxers like my son “Joey” played by Matt Pender! We both have pretty good legs, but as always, I will defer to youth!!! Plus, all the other zany antics that happen in this “Southern Farce”!
JR: Nice! Now, through the years, you have acted in movies, appeared on TV, and sang and danced with The Village People on stages all over the world. How does live theater, especially comedy, compare with your other entertainment endeavors?
RJ: I am blessed to continue having all manner of opportunities to get out there and do it, but there is nothing like live theater. It’s where I first began performing– at about the age of 10 or 11 years old back in Raleigh, North Carolina. It embodies the essence of being “in the moment”. In live theater, when the curtain goes up, the train is leaving the station, and there are NO second takes. You better know your lines, your blocking, and your business. You only get one chance a night to get it right. And there is nothing like the sensation of getting that immediate audience response! And we get lots of laughs!
JR: Stuntwoman-turned-actress Tina McKissick plays your wife in the play, and she really turns it out. What is it like working with her?
RJ: Tina is a joy to work with. Such a pro. She makes me laugh every night. Her timing and physical business is impeccable. She’s a professional stuntwoman, you know. She reminds me of the classic comediennes like Carol Burnett, Imogene Coca and Lucille Ball.
JR: I agree! “When Joey Married Bobby” is a comedy, but it has the serious issue of gay marriage running underneath. What kind of statement does the play makes about same-sex weddings?
RJ: For me, the statement that an audience would most likely take away after a performance is the enormous normality with which the subject is handled. It’s the major plot point of the play…and all the complications and dynamics that come with the hoopla involved with the planning of any wedding. It just happens that this three-tiered wedding cake with pink icing has TWO men on the top!
JR: In addition to “When Joey Married Bobby”, what other projects do you have on the horizon?
RJ: Now, knowing me, Jed, that’s a loaded question. I’m continually doing dates out on the road. And the “Joey” producers let me out of the show for a few days at the time to do that. I just got back from performing at the first Charleston, South Carolina Pride Celebration at the Hagood Johnson Stadium on the campus of The Citadel…yes, THE CITADEL!!! The revered Southern Military Academy. It was hot! So hot that five minutes after I left the stage, all the smoke and effects from my show set off the fire alarms and the space had to be evacuated. There were FIVE fire engines that arrived on the scene. We just got into the limo and headed of to the after party at Club Pantheon…with a couple of cadets and firemen that we found along the way. Hmmm…Sounds like the beginnings of a new boy band!!! Currently, I’m in four different upcoming films debuting at film festivals in May and June. “My Guaranteed Student Loan” with Richard Pryor, Jr., Oscar winner Celeste Holm, and Kate Luckinbill (Lucille Ball’s grandaughter) was at the Cannes Film Festival, “An Affirmative Act”, in which I play an attorney, opens June 4th at the Hoboken International Film Festival; and both “Violet Tendencies” with Mindy Cohn, Marcus Patrick and Jesse Archer and “Bear City” with Gerald McCullouch from “CSI” open at the NewFest Film Festival June 11 and 12 here in NYC. Later this year, I’m scheduled to shoot a couple new films, “Cafe A Go Go” with David Bowie’s former wife, Angela Bowie, out in Arizona; and a modern version of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” with Alan Rowe Kelly. And I’ve got nearly half the material recorded for my new CD. We’re lookin’ to get that out in 2011. My latest book, “Macho Man: The Disco Era” has been in it’s second printing. It is now in more than 20,000 libraries around the world. Of course, last but not least, I’ve got a couple of reality/documentary projects in development with the folks involved with the History Channel and A&E.
JR: Wow! That’s what I call “multi-tasking”! So, Randy, are you going to spill your secrets for looking and feeling so youthful? And don’t tell me it’s all just about having a positive attitude! (Laughs)
RJ: Positive attitude sure helps. So does drinking a lot of water and keeping fit. All the good things that contribute to keeping one’s energy level elevated. I think it’s the fact that any day that I wake up, I’ve always got something to do. I’ve never been bored. It seems there is continually something interesting with which to be involved…and I still get invited to the party! What’s better than that?!
JR: Not much else! (Laughs) Thanks, Randy! See you on Broadway!
RJ: From your lips to God’s ears!
There are only two more performances of “When Joey Married Bobby”: Friday May 28 and Saturday May 29, at 8PM.
“When Joey Married Bobby” is playing at The Roy Arias Theatre, 300 W 43rd St @ 8th Avenue. Get tickets and see more at http://www.WhenJoeyMarriedBobby.com. See much more about Randy Jones at http://www.RandyJonesWorld.com!