Doug Kreeger and Natascia Diaz
(© Colin Hovde)
Doug Kreeger and Natascia Diaz
(© Colin Hovde)
One would think that Doug Kreeger is playing the alter-ego of composer-lyricist Paul Scott Goodman in his autobiographical, two-character musical Rooms, which is currently playing Virginia's MetroStage before moving to Rochester's Geva Stage on September 19. But one would be wrong. "Paul is really Monica, who's being played by the crazy-talented Natascia Diaz, and my character of Ian, who's this hard-drinking rocker, is really based on a friend of Paul's," he says. "But I'm not really worried about how my Ian lines up with history; I'm actually basing him on a tour driver I met when I once visited Scotland; this Scotch-drinking, craggy sort of guy."

The show is set in the 1970s and 1980s, which has afforded Kreeger the opportunity to do some interesting research. "I found this great copy of Spin magazine that outlined what the New York music scene was like in 1977, as well as this amazing interview with Iggy Pop about people who didn't get the punk scene. Plus, I've been listening to a lot more of groups like The Clash and The Sex Pistols," he says. "I've also had to learn to play the guitar better -- I learned how to play three Bob Dylan songs for The Times They Are A-Changin' but that was about it. And of course, I'm working on my Scottish accent. It's kind of a marathon for an actor."

Adding to the challenge, Kreeger was just recently in a different part of Europe -- stagewise anyway -- when he co-starred in the Signature Theater's production of The Visit. "I wasn't originally going to try out for the show; I was just the reader for two days of auditions," he says. "And I didn't quite get it at first; like I didn't realize that two of the characters were really eunuchs. But then they asked me to audition, and I have to say when John Kander started playing the piano for me, it really blew my mind. And to get to do a show with such heightened emotions in an intimate space like the Signature -- to hear the audience gasping and breathing -- was amazing. Meanwhile, we're all keeping our fingers crossed that it comes to New York."