The super-cute 23-year-old Alec Varcus has it going on. He’s got the entire package: charm, brilliance, animation, talent and he’s hot. I recently watched him in this hysterical show “50 Shades! The Musical” as he danced around the stage and audience half naked with his eight pack available for all to see. The show itself is hysterical, and the voices of the cast amazing, resulting in a carefree, enjoyable afternoon. but the real treat came after the show conversing with varcas. He was sweet, sensitive, well spoken and extremely intelligent.
Have you read the book?
The entire book?
Before I did the show? No.
I know it because my mother read it. She said “Shades,” and I said “uhh.” She kind of filled me in. When we started rehearsals, we obviously had the books backstage. So I’m skimming it, and I was like, “oh … Oh … OH, OH … OK!” So I made it through almost all of it, and I still haven’t finished it. Once I started the show, I got it, I got what’s going on, but apparently our ending is very different from the book. Maybe I should finish it someday.
I didn’t read it, and I got the show.
The show kind of makes sense whether or not … There’s some quotes right out of the book that you think we made up, but that’s not true – they are actually in the book. We have literally found the quotes and said “WHAT? THIS IS REAL?”
Would you suggest people read “50 Shades of Grey” before seeing the show?
I would recommend reading it, yes, but you definitely don’t have to. When I first got the script, I hadn’t read the book, and I still thought it was hysterical.
It seems like you’re having a blast doing it.
Oh, definitely. It’s so much fun. It’s crazy. The costumes alone are…
Or, the lack of costumes!
I love your costume (which is shirtless for the most part).
What’s your favorite part of the show?
My favorite part of the show? I do love the finale because we do the most upbeat dance number, but I also have to say I do love my scene in the audience.
By the way, without giving the scene away to our readers, it’s worth seeing the show just for that scene alone.
You can see people’s reactions up close and personal, and there’s no hiding. Sometimes you can look over and people are giving you the death stare cause they feel so uncomfortable. That kind of happened today. But then you have some people that are so into it that they grab “her” phone and start talking on it, having a full conversation. I high five people sometimes. It’s awesome when that happens, but either way it’s just really cool to be up front and personal with the audience. I think that’s what makes this show different from some of the others. It’s like you are in it. If you’re in the audience, you’re part of the show!
So tell me about Alec. How old are you, anyway?
I’m 23. I grew up in Connecticut. That’s where I’ve lived my entire life, and I just moved to the city for the show. When I was 18 I finally did my first professional show. A theater 15 minutes from my house was extending their run, and somebody couldn’t do it. They needed someone to learn the show in four hours. So I got there, learned the show in four hours and got on stage.
What show was that?
“The Producers.” I didn’t know the show at all, so I’m on the stage lip syncing cause I didn’t even know the words and thinking to myself, “Just get the choreography right.” Then I went to school for marketing.
Acting, marketing, acting, marketing?
Yeah, it didn’t make sense. I started dancing when I was six, so I was always in the performing arts.
I did plays in high school, I did some musicals, but that was just on the fun side. I didn’t know how promising that would be, but I knew I liked it. With half the people saying “It’s so hard to make it in the entertainment field,” and they’re totally right, you have to fight tooth and nail to get any job. Finally when I graduated school I was working at a desk job and a guy who had seen me in community theater was like, “They are auditioning for ‘Hairspray’ at Westchester Broadway Theater. You should try for it.” I thought I’d be really out of my league, but I went and it actually went very, very well. I didn’t hear anything for a week, and then I got his email saying, “Unfortunately you weren’t cast in ‘Hairspray,’ but we would like you for ‘Legally Blonde,’ which is starting in two weeks.” After that I auditioned for “The Addams Family” tour. Didn’t get that, but they asked me to do the “Spamalot” tour. Apparently, I’m really good at auditioning for shows and not getting them, and then just randomly getting another role.
You should keep on auditioning for shows that you don’t want to be in and see what you get instead.
It’s working. I think this was the first show I auditioned for that I actually got, and they called me. I auditioned for “Cats,” and they didn’t want me for “Cats,” but told me to send in a video for “50 Shades.”
Do you see yourself doing television?
Yes, I’d love to. I’ve done extra work, which is still really fun. I got paid to lay in the sun for four hours on the beach. I thought, “This is acting?”
So you weren’t originally going to be an actor?
Originally I wasn’t, and then it kinda happened, which is awesome. It definitely takes time to get your talent going.
As a little boy, what did you aspire to be?
I wanted to be an astronaut. I thought anyone could be one. Then I wanted to be a professional runner, but I hated running. When I was young I did think it would be so cool to be in a movie. I still think that that’s my ultimate dream. That’s still what I’m reaching for eventually. I love doing theater, too, and even being here is a dream come true. If you told me a year ago that I’d be in an Off-Broadway show, I’d say you were lying.
How many hours do you spend in the gym?
Two hours a day, six days a week.
How many shows do you do a week?
We do eight shows a week.
What do you do for fun?
I like to sleep. No, I enjoy working out, so I do that for fun. I like hiking, bike riding, anything that has to do with physical activity.
Here in the city?
Anywhere. Go for it.
Such high pressure. I’m just gonna say Therapy, because they have the best nachos.
Then the next day you spend three hours in the gym. Do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe in lust at first sight. Love at first sight? No, but I do believe in chemistry at first sight, and you can definitely build upon that.
Are you free and available?
I’m free and available. I’m currently single and totally fine with that, though. I’m definitely a relationship person.
You’re not old enough to be a relationship person.
I am a relationship person because I’m not the type of guy that goes out. I like meeting new people, but I definitely like to get to know someone way before anything gets romantic.
Do you still do rehearsals for “50 Shades”?
We do rehearse from time to time, especially when we have someone new go into the show. We rehearse to make sure that they are comfortable.
Are you an original cast member?
Yes, I am original. There are five of us from the original Off-Broadway show.
Do you recommend this show for a gay audience?
I think that there are moments that people would think are really funny that I think a gay audience would love.
Like when you’re almost naked?
I feel like the majority of the gay men who have come really loved it. Afterwords they were like, “OMG, it was so much funnier than I thought it would be.” We want everyone to come. There’s a lot of birthdays and bachelorette parties, but straight men actually enjoy it too. I think that it’s a show for anybody above 18 who really enjoys adult humor.
So being that our readers are primarily gay, what would you say to them personally about the show?
I’d say that there are two of us in the show that are gym wrapped that don’t wear many clothes. I would say that there are a lot of sexual innuendos that you will love and probably crack up from. Anybody can enjoy this. I did.
What’s the craziest interaction from the audience?
After the show I’ve had people try and touch me. I’ve had people flash me – that was a lot!
Men or women?
I had a woman flash me. I said, “You can keep that shirt on!” But we love when people are having a blast.
50 Shades! The Musical can be seen Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at The Elektra Theater At Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd Street, NYC.
Photo By Rick Stockwell