The gifted Cassidys, part II

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • October 21, 2005

by Karen Feld

Cole Cassidy – the name might not be a household word, at least not yet. After all, he’s only 10, and this is his first interview. When I saw “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Warner Theatre, I was enamored with the adorable kid, whose dad, Patrick Cassidy, stars in the touring company of the rock musical. Cole and his younger brother, Jack, are in the children’s chorus.Like father, like son

At the cast party, Cole, who’s being home-schooled while touring with the show this year, told me: “I would like to be in a classroom with kids but I like being on the road, too. I’d like to do every show, but we have school, and I’m too young to do eight shows a week.”

He’s as disciplined as his dad: “I work out on the treadmill and do pull-ups with my dad,” he said. “And I don’t eat fried food,” as he passed on the fried oysters at the Old Ebbitt Grill. Is Cole looking to continue the family acting tradition into the third generation? “I like working in the show, but I’d also like to be a pilot or a pro baseball player, a first baseman. My Uncle David [the one-time teen idol] got me interested when he took me to see the Yankees.”

And politically deft

The poised youngster hopes to meet President Bush when he tours the White House before the show closes Sunday. “I would shake his hand and say hello because he’s one of the most powerfulest men on earth,” he said. “No kids get to do that.” (This kid has stage presence, readers. Keep your eye on him and younger brother, Jack, too.)

Plus, a real-life musical …

I told you a little about Cole’s dad, Patrick Cassidy, in Wednesday’s column, but there’s more. This multifaceted actor has written what he describes as “a very personal” one-man autobiographical musical, a 90-minute cabaret-like act. It’s about his family, in which every single person is in show business. “It’s beyond therapy for me,” said Cassidy. “The writing flowed out of me.” Nothing is off-limits, including sibling (David, Shaun, Ryan) rivalry, his father’s (the late actor Jack Cassidy) talent and demons, his mother’s (Broadway darling Shirley Jones) stability and vision of the world through rose-colored glasses, and so on. “My mother was in tears when she saw it. It was cathartic. It’s a scrapbook.”

Wants to keep anonymity

I asked Cassidy, 43, what is it about him that would surprise his fans the most. “People look at the incredible glamour, but I’m normal. I never want to lose my anonymity. I’m a regular guy and enjoy doing regular things. I get angry. I get hurt. I cry. I have feelings and I have a lot of fun.”

“This is the only business I know that you can be the best, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to make it. I’m a real worker. I come to rehearsal so overprepared. I have my temperamental moments. I have a real problem with ignorance with people not fixing things that are going wrong. If I throw a fit, it’s about that.” Fox’s “American Idol’s” Amy Adams, who co-stars with Cassidy – this is her first musical – calls him “a breath of fresh air.” She said, “He’s taught me to enjoy the ride.” (Hmm … He’s done that for a lot of us.)

Mary recovering well

Noel Paul Stookey of the Peter, Paul and Mary folk trio was at The Barns at Wolf Trap for a benefit the other evening, and he tells us that Mary Travers had a bone marrow transplant and fortunately is now in 180 days of remission from leukemia. While Peter, Paul and Mary won’t tour extensively in 2006, Mary is eager to get back on stage and the group has penciled in a local date for Wolf Trap next summer. We wish Mary well.

Second city, or third, in comedy

Perhaps D.C. should leave comedy to Hollywood. The top-billed draws at the 12th Annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington contest – Wonder Woman Lynda Carter and self-important blogger Wonkette, a.k.a. Ana Marie Cox, were no-shows at the benefit at the Mayflower Hotel Wednesday evening. Mayor Anthony Williams reminded D.C.-ers that he’s timed out; while Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., wearing work gloves and a tool belt, parodied President Bush in a Q-and-A, back from the hurricane zone. While WJLA-TV’s Kathleen Matthews emceed, husband Chris Matthews used the dimly lit room to catch up on more than a few zzz’s and yawns. And journalist Clarence Page says he will still speak to Chris even though the MSNBC talker has a habit of calling Page “Clarence Thomas.”

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