It's a winning streak he could take to Las Vegas, but Jeremy Aldridge '96 would much prefer bringing his acclaimed musical to the East Coast - as in Broadway.
The latest Los Angeles run of "Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara" directed by Aldridge sold out in 12 hours. Since premiering this year, the a musical biopic of the 1950s Vegas lounge act has moved to a larger theatre; garnered praise from Variety, the Los Angeles Times and others; and earned four nominations for Ovation awards, L.A.'s version of the Tonys.
"This is the biggest success so far," said Aldridge, a 10-year veteran of the L.A. stage scene. He was invited to join the "Louis & Keely" project about two years ago by co-author/lead actress Vanessa Claire Smith. "We didn't know what to expect, but we ended up selling out our first run."
The show is expected to run through Christmas at the Matrix Theatre, a venue known for breaking Broadway-bound productions. The Ovation awards are slated for Nov. 17.
It's been a great year for Aldridge, who almost became an earth science teacher.
"Theatre was basically just an interest of mine. I started off in secondary ed," he said. "Every spare moment I had I ended up in Tyler Hall.
"Calculus 2 stopped me cold on becoming an earth science teacher," said Aldridge, who graduated with psychology and theatre degrees.
Today Aldridge has a full-time job as director of the Lake Street Community Center in L.A.
"My experiences at Oswego were incredibly diverse," he said. "They prepared me perfectly to be an effective leader at my community center and the same in my artistic endeavors.
"The friendships I made with students and professors continue very strongly to this day," said Aldridge, who married Natascha Corrigan '96 at the end of October.
Theatre professors Ron Medici and Mark Cole '73 were extremely influential during Aldridge's Oswego tenure. He stayed on campus an extra year to direct "Reckless," a play he revisited when he first moved to L.A.
His early career included stints as a Kirby vacuum cleaner and car salesman in Syracuse, where he was also acting. One of his first professional gigs was with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
Aldridge said he was inspired to move out West in part by the large network of Oswego alumni in Southern California. Fellow alumnus J.J. Mayes '98 is assistant director of "Louis & Keely."
-- Shane M. Liebler
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