I knew I'd seen his face before, but I just couldn't remember where or when. (And now that song is going through my head. Darn.)
Victor Slezak is that sort of actor -- he's been around, on TV and in movies. On stage and in a soap ("The Guiding Light," as Andy Ferris, in the 1980s and again, 2002-03). So I looked him up on imdb.com after seeing him in Pittsburgh Public Theater's "A Moon for the Misbegotten" this week. Wasn't surprised to find lots of "Law & Order" credits. Thank heavens for those TV franchises! They keep some versatile actors working between stage productions and other short-term gigs.
In "Moon," Slezak plays James Tyrone, a role many identify with Jason Robards, who starred in the 1975 film with Colleen Dewhurst. Gabriel Byrne took on the role in the acclaimed 2000 Broadway revival, opposite Cherry Jones and Roy Dotrice, and Kevin Spacey played Tyrone at the Old Vic and on then on Broadway in 2007.
Slezak stars opposite Tom Atkins, who now has the role of Phil Hogan but played the alcoholic actor Tyrone 17 years ago for the Public.
Thought it was interesting that Slezak is from Youngstown, close enough to sing "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" wherever local actors gather.
Watch for Chris Rawson's review of PPT's "Moon" in the PG Magazine section on Monday.
Image: Beth Wittig as Josie and Victor Slezak as James Tyrone in "A Moon for the Misbegotten" at Pittsburgh Public Theater.