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Josh Hardgrave plays “George Page” in SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS’ The Merry Wives of Windsor opening this Friday, July 19 at 7 p.m. at the Laguna Hills Community Center.

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How is this character like you? Different?
I always tend to connect with the Ted Mosbys and Rosses of the sitcom world. Not sure what that says about me, but it makes it easier to find my character here. Slightly uptight, opinionated, but also down for whatever you guys want to do. Also we apparently both like our food and drink.

What do you love and/or hate about this character?
He’s very easy going and is cool with anything as long as there’s the promise of amusement by the end of it. He could probably be a bit less of a snob about money, though, but, y’know… class struggles, man.

What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?
Getting into the rhythm of learning lines and making them my own, but filtered through an iconic character. Finding the little ways where I can bring a bit of 90’s humor into old phrasing is at once incredibly funny and difficult.

Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?
Bruce Campbell. But that’s my answer to everything.

Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue?
“Let the sky rain potatoes!” Sounds like heaven, to me.

If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?
“Falstaff” just seems like a ton (literally AND figuratively) to play around with. Also, I’m a huge fan of “Pistol’s” barbs and one-liners.

When did you first perform?
I started doing drama and musicals through middle school and high school, then moved on to pursue other interests. This will be the first production that won’t be an attempt to bring up my GPA!

Besides this one, what’s your favorite stage show?
I’m a musical guy. so it’s really tough to spurn a good run of Phantom, but the most entertaining show I’ve also become quite obsessed with Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. The music is just so clever and the way it is staged in and around the audience really draws you in.

What’s your perfect Sunday afternoon look like?
Slightly overcast, a well-made martini (gin. stirred, cocktail onions and a tomolive), and an episode of  “the Great British Baking Show.”

If you had a magic wand, what show would you do next?
Definitely a musical. I suppose I’ll just have to keep bugging Rori to direct Secret Garden.

What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage?
Forget my lines, probably.

Actor’s Bio: Josh Hardgrave, “George Page”
Josh has been an Orange County local his entire life, and has enjoyed supporting Rori and OTE from the audience for years. Merry Wives of Windsor will be his first chance to be on the other side of the curtain, and he couldn’t be more excited! He is no stranger to the stage, however, and you can find him most Sundays playing bass at Grace Lutheran Church in Huntington Beach. Or, if the stars align, you may catch him crooning Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash at a local bar with his cover band “Close Enuff”. He is eternally grateful to his friends, new and old, in the cast for their support, to Rori for encouraging him to finally open up, and as always to God for opportunities to explore. “I hope you all enjoy the show as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to you!”

SHOW INFORMATION:
“O powerful Love, that in some respects makes a beast a man, in some other a man a beast.

This summer, join SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS for one of Shakespeare’s most hilarious comedies, The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Sir John Falstaff and his entourage are wearing out their welcome in Windsor. The city isn’t big enough for his antics and appetites, especially as he sets about improving his financial situation by wooing Mistress Page and Mistress Ford. Meanwhile, Mistress Page’s lovely daughter, Anne, is under romantic siege from several local admirers. Double-meanings, disguises and dirty laundry abound as the men try to get what they want, but it’s the women of Windsor who pull the strings in this story…

Originally set in Shakespeare’s native land and time, this comedy shares traditions with today’s well-loved sitcoms. With its dexterous mingling of verbal and physical humor, we’ve brought it into the era of 90’s television, bringing elements from the show “Friends” and many more!

Bring a blanket or your lawn chair, bring your meal and make it a picnic event for SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS’ outdoor performance presented by On The Edge Theatre Productions.

All performances are held at the Laguna Hills Community Center & Sports Complex’s Gazebo and Town Green, 25555 Alicia Pkwy, Laguna Hills, CA, 92653.
Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase at this family event.

Performances @ 7 pm, July 19 & 20th, 26th & 27th, and August 2nd & 3rd. Tickets $10
Age 12 and under free. All participants of age 12 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are sold (cash only) on the day of the show. You may also purchase your ticket early online (class registration  ). No refunds or transfers for this event.  Call 949-707-2680 for more information.

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