13:08 PM

Broadway singer to perform, debut art exhibit at UHCL

If you love music, art and the voice of a handsome, booming baritone entertainer named Robert Goulet, you're in luck.

Broadway actor Jeff McCarthy, noted for his role as Officer Lockstock in the original cast of "Urinetown the Musical," will perform "A Night of Broadway Cabaret" at the Bayou Theater at University of Houston-Clear Lake, as well as open his first-ever art exhibition in the university's art gallery, entitled "A View from my Treehouse."

The UHCL Art Gallery will host an opening reception for the exhibit Wednesday, Sept. 8, 4-6 p.m., followed by McCarthy's Bayou Theater performance at 7:30 p.m.

"I just have a big, Robert Goulet-esque voice," said McCarthy. "I've played the lead in nine Broadway shows, and musicals are what I'm best known for."

In addition to originating the role of Officer Lockstock in "Urinetown the Musical," McCarthy's other Broadway credits include "Smile," "Zorba," "Beauty and the Beast" (the Beast), "Chicago" (Billy Flynn), and "The Pirates of Penzance."

He's also often recognized from his TV and film credits, such as "RoboCop 2," "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Voyager," "Cheers," "Designing Women," and "Law and Order: SVU."

McCarthy said the night's repertoire would include "Got the Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night," "Annie Get Your Gun," "Stars," from "Les Misérables," and his own unique take on the iconic "The Impossible Dream" from "The Man of LaMancha."

"I met Jeff several years ago in a production of the Barrington Stage's 'The Man of La Mancha,' where he played Don Quixote and I was a guitar-playing Muleteer and pit musician," said Eric Despard, UH-Clear Lake's director of Cultural Arts. "I'm looking forward to supporting Jeff's Cabaret show by playing bass and guitar, along with Adam Stout on piano and David Lerner on drums."

McCarthy said in addition to singing, he would be sharing plenty of stories about his life in entertainment.

"I'll talk about the disappointments of showbiz, the highlights of my careers and the time during Urinetown I was thinking that I hated this show and was asking myself why I was doing this," he said. "But it all came together in the end."

His exhibition of 57 pastel paintings in the UHCL Art Gallery is his first-ever solo show, featuring nearly life-sized paintings of people whom he noticed and found fascinating while simply being out and about.

"I just people watch and see an elegant woman, or an odd person when I'm out in public," he said. "I will act as though I'm taking selfies, but I'm not. I'm taking photos of strange-looking people in the background, and then I paint them."

The exhibition's most prominent piece, a 12-foot long painting entitled "The MoMA Guards," was inspired exactly this way on one of McCarthy's visits to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

"I pretended I was taking selfies at the MoMA, but I actually took about 100 photos of five guards there," he said. "I'm inspired by people who I think have an interesting 'attitude,' while I'm waiting for a train. For whatever reason, they capture my imagination. I wonder about what their inner life must be like, and that's why I want to paint them."

The exhibition opens Sept. 7 and runs through Oct. 15.

For more information about the UHCL Art Gallery, and to reserve tickets or purchase Bayou Theater 2021-22 season passes, go online.