Meet the man playing eight characters at the Fabulous Fox Theater

Heidi Glaus takes you behind the scenes to show you what has to happen for him to get into each character.

It is the clever show that won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical.  The tale of Monty Navarro and his interesting path to the family fortune.  A family of eight played by one very busy, very talented man.
"The first line that I say as everyone of them just immediately puts me into the mindset of that man or woman," explains John Rapson.
He doesn't just change his voice and mannerisms, he has to completely change his look a task that requires a few extra hands.
"It depends on the change always two, almost always three and one time there's as many as five people surrounding me," he says.
There are also a lot of hidden zippers, magnets and snaps because the fastest change has to be done in 16 seconds.
"Sometimes we're not thrilled with that footage because it makes it look too easy.  John gives a nice little casual sip of the water and thumbs up and walks on stage and everybody back here is like ah okay we did it now let's get ready for the next one," says Rob Bevenger, the Production Costume Supervisor.
He's in charge of all the costumes in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.
"There 11 people on stage every performance and 122 looks in the show," he points out.
And even he is amazed by John's performance on and off stage. The changes, about 12 of them, are so good it often takes the audience a couple of scenes to realize it's the same guy.
"In a smaller venue you hear people you hear sort of a gasp or occasionally a mumble that's the same guy after the first two of three scenes," John Rapson adds.
Every costume is uniquely different.
"I don't know if it's real hair and I'm not sure if I want to know if it's real hair," the actor says about one costume.
For the record the hair is real.  He also has to slip into a full length raccoon fur coat, a piece that probably weighs close to 20 pounds.
It's a lot to remember, but a role of a lifetime that fits John Rapson like a glove.


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