US

Jon Scott takes the stage....in "Man of LaMancha"

From Jon Scott:

Earlier today on Happening Now we mentioned that I have an interesting weekend ahead. I'll be onstage Saturday in a one-night-only, special performance of "Man of LaMancha". Long-time Fox News viewers might recall that back in 2009 I was cast in another play, "Camelot", put on by the Clocktower Players. Clocktower is a community theater group based at the Irvington Town Hall Theater in Irvington, New York-a beautiful little village on the banks of the Hudson River about 25 miles north of midtown Manhattan.

"LaMancha" is to be a fundraiser for the theater group, and no, this is not my appeal for you to buy tickets; most are already sold. And though the event will benefit this community theater troupe, this is far from a typical community theater production. Let's start with the narrator: Meredith Vieira , from "The Today Show" and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (The script has been slightly condensed for our production, so Meredith, as narrator, will fill in the gaps for the audience). Then we get to the actors. Most everyone in this stellar cast has appeared on Broadway in shows like "Phantom of the Opera", "Anything Goes" and "Sweeney Todd." They're volunteering their time and talents to help the young actors and others who benefit from Clocktower's productions. These performers onstage have incredible experience and singing voices to match. In other words, when I stack my skill set up against theirs--I'm terrified!

Some folks find that surprising. They figure that being on TV should be good preparation for being onstage. Yes, there are some similarities. But even though I make my living appearing on a television program seen daily around the globe, my day job seems pretty simple compared with performing live theater. I sit in an air-conditioned studio alongside Jenna and our trusted, familiar studio crew. If I make a mistake, they are kind enough not to berate me. But onstage, performing lines that have to be just so and even-gasp!-singing-well, that's mildly terrifying. The audience is right there giving feedback about whether or not my performance is acceptable. Here's hoping I hit my notes.

I love this show. While growing up in Denver, "Man of LaMancha" was the first musical my high school ever attempted; I had the lead back then, a 17-year old trying to portray 70-something Miguel de Cervantes. In this weekend's production, I'm cast as a villain of sorts-Dr. Carrasco, who disapproves of Don Quixote's "quest" and tries to dissuade him from continuing. It's a much smaller part than I had in high school-and given the star power that surrounds me onstage for this performance, that's just fine with me.