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Nick Boegel's Broadway debut will be a magical one

'By the time I was four years old I knew almost every lyric to every Rodgers and Hammerstein song ever written. It was pretty much inevitable I’d end up pursuing something theatre related.
Nick Boegel
Nick Boegel. Supplied.

Rooted is all about the people and places that make us proud to call our community home.

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It’s a franchise that has grossed over $9 billion at the box office and over the last few years they have branched out to the live stage. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child premiered in London on July 30th, 2016 and the continuation of the story of the world’s most famous wizard is making its way across the pond. On stage at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto on May 31st, 2022, the Broadway play will feature a local actor among its cast.

North Bay native Nick Boegel will be making his Broadway debut in a swing role.

“I'm an onstage swing in this production which means I have the privilege of getting to cover several roles over the course of the run,” says Boegel.

“Whenever an actor, for whatever reason, can’t make it to a performance, I get to step in for the night. Some of the roles I’m covering include Scorpius Malfoy, the dementors and Yann Fredericks.”

Boegel says this is his first big production since leaving North Bay and graduating from Sheridan College with a Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance in April of 2021.  

Boegel says it was because of his grandmother that he got involved in theatre arts.

“My grandmother introduced me to Golden Age movie musicals when I was a toddler,” he says.  

“So, by the time I was four years old, I knew almost every lyric to every Rodgers and Hammerstein song ever written. It was pretty much inevitable I’d end up pursuing something theatre-related. The first live musical I ever saw was a production of Oklahoma at the Capitol Centre. I hadn’t learned yet that the audience isn’t supposed to sing along with the actors on stage, so when the curtains opened I stood on my seat and sang as loud as I could “There’s a bright golden haze on the meadooooow”! After that, there was no going back.”

Before the age of ten, Boegel was already on stage performing but says it wasn’t a completely smooth ride from the audition to the stage.  

“I was eight or nine, and I was auditioning for my all-time favourite musical at the time (The King and I) and singing my all-time favourite song (“I Whistle a Happy Tune”)! Halfway through the song I completely blank on the lyrics and panic,” says Boegel.

“But less than a second later the panel starts smiling and singing along with me and we finish the song altogether! It was the first time I learned what it meant to belong to a 'theatre family.'"

Boegel continued to stay within the theatre family throughout his life in North Bay.

“For its size, North Bay has a killer theatre community,” he says.

 “I grew up performing with Dreamcoat, TOROS, Summer Challenge, Mustardseed and had the best mentors the whole way through! Sometimes I got to perform four different shows in one year! I went to Widdifield for high school (Go Wildcats!) and some of my most memorable theatre experiences were getting to perform with The Company at the Sears Festival and at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska.”

Boegel says through that experience he knew he wanted to pursue theatre professionally after high school.

“What was so special about growing up in North Bay is that no one ever questioned my goals or tried to divert me onto a more 'stable' path. Everyone was so encouraging that by the time I got to post-secondary there was no question in mind that this is what I was meant to do,” he says.

The open calls for auditions for the Cursed Child were in the summer of 2019.

“I was terrified, but also super pumped because I’ve wanted to be a part of the franchise forever,” says Boegel.

“I went in, I read the sides, I felt alright about my performance, but I never heard anything back after that, so I assumed I didn’t book it. But then, four months later (halfway through my third year of college) I get an email inviting me to the callbacks.

Boegel says there were several stages to the callbacks.

“First, I read some new scenes in front of the casting directors, then I learned the basics of flying in a harness, then a movement call (which involved holding a plank for several minutes), and numerous other scene work sessions in front of the directors and producers. This all took place over a two-week period. I would go to school in the morning, then hop on a train to Toronto for the callback, then head back to school to work on my assignments in the evening. I barely had time to eat or sleep but it was the most exciting two weeks of my life.”

And it all paid off for Boegel.

“A couple of weeks after that, the call came in. It was a voicemail, and I had to replay it several times before I believed it. My dream was finally coming true.”

Boegel is a self-admitted fan of the franchise and says there could be no better play to debut in than this one.

“I’ve been a huge fan of the series ever since I was old enough to go to the movie theatres,” says Boegel.

“I was introduced to the movies before the books, but I love both for different reasons. My favourite book of the series is The Order of The Phoenix and my favourite of the films is The Prisoner of Azkaban.” 

If you have a story idea for the Rooted series, send Matt an email at m.sookram@outlook.com