Mamma mia! NU grad’s stage career sings
Corey Greenan does not doctor his photographs.
But if one saw his portrait, one might think he does.
His intelligent face and incandescent smile bears an unmistakable star quality. But what the picture does not reveal is Greenan’s tenor voice, which his high school choir director describes as among the best he’s ever heard among his students.
With his sharp looks and talents, Greenan, a resident of Grass Valley and a 1998 Nevada Union High School graduate, is now touring North America as a member of the cast of “Mamma Mia!,” the celebrated Broadway musical with songs from ABBA. Greenan is playing Sky, one of the main male characters in the show.
“I’ve been on (the show) for nine months,” Greenan said. “It pretty much has been one-weekers. We get done with our show Saturday night. The crew loads the set out and then we all travel on Monday to the next city. The crew sets the show on Monday night and we perform Tuesday”
Greenan estimates he’s performed in 36 U.S. cities already, from Portland, Ore., to West Palm Beach, Fla. And though life is hectic, Greenan thinks “this is a step in the right direction.”
“It’s a little bubble of a world when you are on this tour,” he said. “You are living and breathing and eating with all these people and you’re spending time with them. The cast becomes like your family. If you are in a new theater and in a new city every week, the constant are the people around you. But I have also found that it’s imperative to get some alone time. Go out on your own and away from the crowd because if you don’t, you just go crazy.”
Greenan has traveled widely outside the U.S. as well, though not with “Mamma Mia!” He went to Italy with the NU choir. Subsequently, as a student at Pepperdine University, from where he graduated in 2002, he visited France, Ireland, and Scotland and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He also played the role of Che, in the Broadway musical “Evita” in Taiwan the summer after his sophomore year in college.
Greenan’s first musical performance was in his senior year at NU. He played the male lead in the 1990s musical “Once on This Island”.
His mother, Nancy Carman, who was present in the audience, still recalls that show with fondness.
“He did a really good job,” she said. “His character … breaks up with the female lead. He did such a good job, I was angry with him for being so mean with this girl who was in love with him.”
Carman admits the experience of performing in that show changed Greenan’s life.
“He loved it; he just loved it,” she said. “And from then on, he just wanted to act and sing.”
Rod Baggett, choir director at NU, had Greenan in his chamber choir group, 10th through 12th grade.
“He was gifted, definitely, as far as his voice, (and a) good musician,” Baggett recalled. “To put it in perspective, he was one of the best students I had. He has just pursued a career in music and is obviously being successful.
“I’ve had other students who were as good as him, but maybe they didn’t want to pursue a career in music or didn’t get the right break.”
Greenan has signed an open-ended contract with “Mamma Mia!,” which, according to him, “means you can stay pretty much as long as you like, as long as you give a full-week notice when you leave.”
But Greenan is snug where he is right now.
“I don’t know my final aim,” he said. “All I know is that this show is giving me the chance to see new places, meet new people, all the while doing what I love.”
The “Mamma Mia!” North American tour is now performing at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers, Fla. For more information on the tour visit http://www.mamma-mia.com/ustour/ustour.asp.
To contact staff writer Soumitro Sen, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4229.
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