Chicago Actor Matthew Brumlow Reflects on Thursday's Jeff Award Nominations


Hank-Williams-Lost-Highway-Hank-BANNER-flatMatthew Brumlow, 40, plays the trailblazing and troubled singer Hank Williams in the musical “Hank Williams: Lost Highway,” now playing in an extended run at Chicago’s Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. On Aug. 21, Brumlow was honored with two Joseph Jefferson Award nominations: first, his show was nominated for Best Midsize Musical Production, and secondly, he was nominated for Best Actor in a Principal Role in a Musical.

“Well, I am of (course) excited about the nomination,” Brumlow related in an e-mail message,  “and truly humbled to be included with a list of such wonderful performers.  I am most excited that the production as a whole was singled out.  The reason I joined American Blues Theatre was to be a part of an excellent ensemble.  I knew I would grow tremendously in my craft by working consistently with a group of artists I hold in the highest esteem.   To have the production nominated was really the biggest highlight for me.”

Asked if he had received other acting awards in his career, Brumlow said, “This is my third Equity Jeff nomination.” (The awards are given in both Equity and non-Equity categories.)  “Never won one but that didn’t bother me at all.  Just to be recognized is award enough.”

Over the years, particularly in Hollywood, actors such as George C. Scott have questioned the integrity of acting awards, claiming that actors should not be competing, like athletes. On this topic, Brumlow said, “I don’t look at it as a competition.  I just want to be a storyteller to the best of my ability…and I think the nomination says I succeeded in that regard to a certain extent.  What truthfully  matters most is the audience.  If I am able to connect with them and give them something to think about, put a smile on a face or two…that is grand.”


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Filed under: Art and Culture, Music, Theater

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