James Moye on Playing the Stage Manager “Carl” in Tootsie
James “Jim” Moye has had an expansive career on Broadway beginning in 2000 in The Full Monty. From there he’s created more original roles in A Tale of Two Cities, Bullets Over Broadway, On The Twentieth Century, and most recently as Carl in Tootsie.
Not only has Moye created original roles on Broadway, but he’s also stepped into iconic roles like standing by for the Sultan and Jafar in Disney’s Aladdin. He swung in Urinetown and understudied as Sam Phillips in Million Dollar Quartet.
Moye spoke about how Carl came to life: “The writers asked me to do an early act one table read of Tootsie, about four years ago.” And as many original ensembles roles do, Moye had a hand in solidifying the name Carl.
“Actually, Robert [Horn] let me name him,” Moye said. “I was in rehearsal one day, and told Robert I felt like a Carl. He liked it, and that was how Carl was named.”
The character of Carl is a stage manager within the show, and Moye reflected on the work it takes.
“Being a stage manager is such a tough job,” he said. “They have to deal with so many different aspects of the production”.
Even though Carl was manifested by Moye, he remembers the many stage managers he’s encountered in his time as an actor and the important role that they play: “The best stage managers I’ve worked with are incredibly organized, are great communicators, and have a wonderful sense of humor.”
Moye tends to pull little bits from his cast mates’ performances to shape his own. He specifically mentions, easter egg moments he loves with my cast mates that evolve in the rehearsal scenes and ‘I Like What She’s Doing.’ Something more noticeable that people might catch about Carl is the wonderful costume design by William Ivey Long.
Moye says, “In the first act, Carl’s always in the same costume, just a different shade of shirt. Carl’s costume during “Most Important Night” is an homage to our own production stage manager Scott Rollison. He loves wearing purple for his opening nights, so Carl’s shirt is based on Scott.”
Moye has shaped his characters from his Broadway debut until Tootsie. Every character, from ensemble to lead has their own little story with some incredible backstory. Carl shines in his own light every night in the Marquis Theatre in Tootsie on Broadway thanks to Moye and his incredible work.
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