Lovely and talented Darrin Revitz is fast becoming one of the brightest lights in L.A.’s theater scene. The L.A. native first captured my attention two years ago in The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. 

(That’s Darrin on the right.)

She followed that with starring roles in the world premieres of the LA Weekly Award winning The Beastly Bombing

and the equally outrageous Beaverquest as well as a scene-stealing turn as Nancy in the West Coast Premiere of Twist.  A graduate (with honors) of Syracuse University’s Drama department, Darrin has also trained at the British American Dramatic Academy in Oxford, England. This gorgeous triple threat has multiple TV and film credits, and young readers know her as the voice of Tris in Full Cast Audio’s Circle Of Magic series.  Darrin is about to open in West Coast Ensemble’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins.  We are grateful that she took time out of a busy tech week to sit down and answer our many questions. 

How old were you when you realized you wanted to be an actress?  What made you choose this path in your life?
My earliest memories in general are all based around The Wizard of Oz and Annie. To say I was obsessed with Annie would be an understatement. According to my parents, I learned how to operate the VCR by myself when I was 2 so I could watch the movie whenever I wanted.

  Darrin getting ready to turn on the VCR.

I remember the longing I had to be in the TV with the other orphans. I used to pretend to scrub the carpet in our den with my knuckles singing “It’s a Hard Knock Life.” Granted, our home was at Sunset and Doheny, so already I was acting by thinking anything was hard-knock.  I think my love for playing pretend and living in fantasy worlds that were so different from mine was what began a desire to be an actress. I don’t think there ever existed a conscious choice. It wasn’t a “want” but rather a “need” to perform and entertain for the rest of my life.

Teenage Darrin (left) lived the movie CAMP for real at French Woods performing arts summer camp (with friends Lauren Friedman and Britt Shubow).

You’re that rarity, a native-born Angelino, but you studied acting in both New York State and England.  What kind of a change was that for an L.A. girl?  

I think I have a very different view of Los Angeles, having been raised here.  It’s not like I have an L.A. mentality. It’s simply home.  I am more a product of my parents and the foundation my family instilled in me than my environment.  Having my hometown of Beverly Hills written on my door freshman year, I hated the stereotype that followed, so I think the biggest change was that I had to work hard to prove myself not to be a type people automatically assumed I was. 

What was the best part of living and studying in England?

England is simply an amazing place and I wouldn’t trade my time there for anything.  The best part of studying there were the actors I learned from. I got to take master classes from Fiona Shaw, Alan Rickman, Julian Glover and Jane Lapotaire. It doesn’t get better than that—to be on English soil taking notes from the greatest talent England has to offer.  

How different was it from L.A.?

The best change from California is the accessibility of everything.  If you want to go somewhere, you go.  You walk. You hop on the tube. It’s easy. It’s all at your disposal.  It’s not at all like Los Angeles, where you have to get in your car just to go 10 minutes. In addition, everything in Los Angeles closes so early.  There is so much theater (not all of it good, but theater nonetheless) and you can get rush tickets to everything 10 minutes prior to curtain. I saw a lot of productions on a whim just because I could.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing you in several roles over the past few years, including your much raved about performance in Twist.  What was it like to play Nancy in a gay version of Oliver? 
Darrin and Brandon Ruckdashel

I have yet to play Nancy in a straight version of Oliver, so I don’t have any comparisons to make! It was exciting and enjoyable to play a well-known character in such a classic story, but not the context everyone was accustomed to. 

Did everyone in the cast really get along as well as they seemed to?

It was a small ensemble, so we did in fact become very tight-knit. Working on original material often lends itself to creating stronger relationships simply because you’re all trying to figure everything out together. I think it was an experience like no other for all of us.  

What was it like to follow that up with the outrageous Beaverquest?  Do you have a special place in your heart for “out there” musicals (including the very politically incorrect The Beastly Bombing)?

I think because I am so “normal” I get cast in these very outrageous roles.  They are easy to access because they are so far removed from who I actually am. I have a special place in my heart for material that challenges the norm and pushes boundaries, for material that makes an audience think and emote, and for material that entertains.  I enjoy working on original material in that I get to create something from scratch and I don’t have any preconceived notions of what the role is supposed to be.

You’ve also understudied roles in Zanna Don’t and Mommy Mommy The Musical Musical. Is it tough having to cover someone else’s role?   What are the rewards?
There are two rewards to understudying.  The relationships you make and the experience you have. The roles I chose to cover have been very thought out. There are directors I have dreamed of working with since returning from school.  I would move trees on stage to work with these specific people.  Sue Hamilton was one of those people. 

Sue directed Mommy! Mommy!, right?

Yes. After working with her, she was producing Mommy! Mommy! and asked me to come in to cover a role.  She mentioned Kay Cole was directing. (Original Broadway cast of A Chorus Line star) Kay is someone I had long heard about.  I didn’t breathe for the first five minutes of that audition.  When she saw that I was nervous, I said to her, “Do you know who you are?  You’re Kay Cole.  I have so much respect and admiration for what you do, so naturally I’m a bit nervous.”  The icing on the cake of that project was covering Heidi Godt, who is just brilliant.  She is as loving, giving and charismatic offstage as she is on.  I was honored to attempt to fill her shoes. From that show I got to check off Kay Cole, Heidi Godt and Gerry Sternbach. To say I know those people now was reason enough to understudy that show.

What about Zanna Don’t?

Zanna Don’t had a few more components to it. First off, the show is just pure heart. Between the message and the music, it’s a contagiously fun and thoughtful piece.  A positive piece. I have three friends who were in the original Off-Broadway cast and to work on material my friends helped establish seemed very thrilling to me.  Actors Christine Lakin and Paul Nygro were choreographing.  I had worked on Sneaux with them, and as colleagues of my first post-graduation show, they have a special place in my heart. West Coast Ensemble was producing and they are one of the most well-respected and talented theater companies in Los Angeles.  And then there was Nick De Gruccio. 

There’s no better director of musical theater in L.

Yes, Nick is a director I would move a tree for. I was called in for the role of Kate, however I booked a film that summer which would conflict with the tech and opening of the show. I was offered the position to cover all three ladies.  Understudying can be a thankless job, as you put so many hours of preparation in and sometimes don’t get to actually see the fruits of your labor, but there were too many opportunities to be had, so I immediately signed on.  I was lucky enough to work with Richard Israel and Suzanne Doss as producers, who never once made me feel inferior to the company and were beyond generous and gracious.  I gained so much more from that show than I ever could have dreamed.

Darrin surrounded by Zanna Don’t Assistant Director Flip Laffoon and costar Dan Pacheco at the Ovation Awards.

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s tough. It’s hard to learn a role by simply watching someone else do it.  It’s also hard when sometimes the director wants you to bring your own interpretation and sometimes the director wants the original actor’s performance maintained perfectly.  Either way, I think it’s a great challenge any actor should welcome at some point.

It seems that your TV work has been largely dramatic, and your theater work has been mostly in musicals? Any preference?

What’s so funny is that in person, I’m such a dork and often don’t take myself too seriously. My career is obviously a different case. I’m quick with somewhat raunchy humor thanks to the shows that do. I’ve actually done a good balance of comedic and dramatic projects for TV. I gravitate to comedy personally although I find it more challenging. It’s more my personality.  What’s amusing to me is that I graduated with a BFA in Acting and not in musical theater.  But because L.A.’s theater community is a small world, once I did a few musicals, I kept getting called in.  Sneaux also became this huge cult hit and I have had a lot of opportunities because of that show. I am extremely grateful. I love the theater, whether it be a musical, comedy or drama, and if I could sustain a career onstage for the rest of my life, I would be more than satisfied.  
(Brief pause.) 
Although a co-star or guest-star role on TV is great financially.

You’re about to open in a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. What’s it like appearing in such a well known show as opposed to a brand new show like Beaverquest or a West Coast premiere like Zanna Don’t?

It’s a change to have people already know what to expect walking in to the theater this time around.  Just the other day I had a friend say they couldn’t wait to see this show because it’s Sondheim and it has a story she more or less knew, however, she had no intention of seeing Beaverquest because she didn’t want to see adults in animal costumes skipping and singing. It’s helpful to have something people recognize on a marquee.

It’s your friend’s loss for not having seen those “adults in animal costumes.” They were great!  By the way, which Assassin are you, 

I play Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme. I actually had never seen the show prior to being cast.  I always thought it was one of those boring Americana shows.  I had only heard “Unworthy of Your Love” years ago and I assumed Charlie and Jodie were a couple in the show singing to each other. Ah, ignorance. And boy was I wrong!

 Darrin gets ready for her role as Squeaky.


   Darrin with director Richard Israel and costar Beth Lane (Sara Jane Moore)

What will make this Assassins different from those which have come before?

The intimacy alone of the theater makes our production special. We simply tell the story. We’re not trying to distract with lights and whistles and effects. It’s too delicate a story not to be honest. We don’t judge our characters. We don’t tell you who is right and who is wrong. In all honesty, each of these people felt justified in doing what they did, but by no means are we making any of them out to be heroes.  I think our production will be beautiful and touching and rare in its honesty.

What are your goals as an actress over the next few years?

If I can stay consistently working I will be a happy camper! My heart is in the theater. My long-term goal has always been to work in film and TV to enable my pursuit of theater.  I’d love to be able to headline a show because I’m Darrin Revitz.  And people would come see it. 

I know I would!

Also, there are still many directors I would love to collaborate with and a handful of theaters I would love to perform at.  I try not to get too caught up in the future and just enjoy the moment…although, I do love the security of knowing I have a project to begin once one has ended.

Thanks, Darrin.  We can’t wait to see you in Assassins!


Comments are closed.