Yahoo – Eddie George has built his theater credentials with title roles in “Othello” and “Julius Caesar” at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, “The Whipping Man” at Nashville Reperatory Theater and has also appeared in NBC’s “American Dream Builders” and “The Best Man Holiday” film.
George will play the male lead, Billy Flynn, in “Chicago.” It’s a seven-week run at the Ambassador Theatre that begins Jan. 11 and ends Feb. 28.
Now 42 years old, George told Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman he auditioned for the role early this year.
“I didn’t think I got the role,” George said, “because I didn’t hear back about the audition for six months.”
But he found out he got the role in August, making him perhaps the first NFL star to have “Broadway actor” on his post-career resume.
Well would ya look at Fast Eddie George, working his way up from struggling Nashville actor, moonlighting as a barback at Honky Tonks, to big-time Broadway star. Making his way in the City, folks.
Did people know that this was Eddie’s thing? Some people did – as evidenced by this NFL Films short – but I was taken aback by the news. It makes sense, though. George is a good-looking dude, well-spoken with some swagger, and in interviews he always seemed to have some “layers” to him that many athletes don’t exhibit. Most importantly, he had a short enough career to avoid spending his post-playing days taking day-to-day life tips from a Post-it note.
Still wild to think that everyone’s favorite player in Madden ’99, the Heisman winner, the guy most people know for doing things like this
will be starring as the lead in a world-renowned musical. He must be a true talent.
Stories like this have a way of making fans feel even closer to the athlete. Eddie George becoming a Broadway star lets us know that he wasn’t just another weight room-dwelling gladiator who spent a decade performing and then disappeared forever. He’s a real guy with real interests who can relate to people on numerous platforms. It sounds like George earned this all on his own merits, too, auditioning months ago just like every other shlub gunning for his breakout role.
So good on you, Eddie. It’s always cool to see athletes branch out and pursue other passions (so long as they’re still focused on winning games while they play, Carmelo). Hopefully we’re witnessing the birth of the next Jim Brown. I’d pay top dollar for an Original Gangstas remake.
PS – I’m a big musical guy. One joyous aspect of living in NYC with a girlfriend who’s parents love “going to the show” is that it’s free ticket city. Hamilton was the best theatrical production I have ever seen and Book of Mormon is an easy #2. If you like hip hop and American History, Hamilton is a must. Larry David’s Fish in the Dark ain’t half bad, either, and you always gotta tip your cap to Mama Mia.
PPS – Kristaps Porzingas would make a great Elder Cunningham to Carmelo’s Elder Price.