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Clockwise from top: Sam Perwin (Skip), Joey Lehman (Wally), Lucas Wells
(Denny) and Mathew Schwartz (Eugene) in Life Could Be a Dream.
iving out of his car for the
past three years turns out
to be a sign of success for
Mathew Schwartz, an actor in
regional theater. He has had enough
work to keep him moving around the
country without motivation to estab-
lish himself in one place.
Schwartz, whose interest in
performing developed in West
Bloomfield where he grew up, even
has opted for temporary housing as
he returns to Michigan for his first
professional role in the state.
While playing Eugene Johnson
in Life Could Be a Dream, running
April 24-May 19 at Meadow Brook
Theatre, Schwartz, 28, will be stay-
ing at a studio apartment near the
Rochester stage instead of with fam-
Relatives and friends will have
their visits scheduled around
rehearsals and performances of
the lighthearted musical — and
Schwartz is counting on seeing
familiar faces in the audience.
"The show is about guys who are
coming up with a doo-wop group for
a competition," explains Schwartz,
who plays Eugene. "They have big
dreams and are led by one of the
"They hope to make it as a singing
group even though they don't have
much experience. They know there's
a possibility for it to happen so they
have the drive to do it. Much of the
show is about their friendship and
how they interact with one another."
The show, capturing the music
of the 1950s and '60s, recalls hits
such as "Duke of Earl," "Angel
Eyes:' "Runaround Sue" and "The
Written by Roger Bean and direct-
ed by Travis Walter, the new musical
also features Sam Perwin (Skip),
Lucas Wells (Denny), Joe Lehman
(Wally) and Allison Hunt (Lois).
"The era of music is one of my
favorites," Schwartz says. "The tight
harmonies are great with the smart
lyrics that tell stories. It's a fun era to
look back on because there seemed
to be a more optimistic point of
"My character is a nerd. He tries
really hard. He wants to do well and
really means well, but he can't per-
form exactly how he hopes. Just like
the other guys, he has a crush on the
girl in the show."
Schwartz's interest in stage devel-
oped as his family took him to pro-
ductions at the Fisher Theatre and
played soundtracks at home.
"When I was in sixth grade at
Abbott Middle School in West
Bloomfield, I went with a friend who
wanted to audition for the school's
theater program," recalls Schwartz,
son of Florence Grant and Jay