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slides: Worcester’s Michael McGrath Wins Tony Award

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

 

Tony Award winning actor Michael McGrath in the 1988 Foothills Theatre production of "Retrofit," his first professional role.

Local boy Michael McGrath gave a shout out to his family in his Tony Award acceptance speech, who were all watching at home in Worcester.

“There’s so many people to thank along the way, the list is as long as a football field,” McGrath said in his acceptance speech.

“We’re absolutely ecstatic for him,” McGrath’s sister Joan said. “We had a huge party at the house and watched the show."

McGrath won the Best Featured Actor Tony Award for his portrayal of a smart aleck mobster in George Gershwin’s Nice Work if You Can Get It.

It was McGrath’s second Tony nomination; he was first nominated in 2005 for his role in Spamalot.

Before McGrath made it big on Broadway, he got his start here in Worcester, with school productions and local community productions, including the Worcester County Light Opera.

And it was here in Worcester that the 1975 St. Peter's High School grad landed his first professional role, at Foothills Theatre Company’s 1988 production of Retrofit.

Susan L. Smith, cofounder of Foothills, said she was very happy for McGrath.

“He did two shows with us,” Smith said. “Retrofit in 1988 and A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine in 1991. They were both comedy roles, much like what he is doing now.”

Patrick McGrath, Michael’s father, said his son had been acting since he was in grade school.

“My wife happened to see an advertisement for an acting class and said she was going to sign Michael up for it,” the actor’s father said. “And it took off from there.”

The elder McGrath said his son excelled in theatre, first at Foothills, and then at Theatre By the Sea in Rhode Island. “That’s where he got his big break,” he said.

 

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