Q&A with Olin Davidson of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Matt Sowell

The popular musical “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” is dancing its way into the Performing Arts Center this Saturday, bringing with it big dance numbers and lots of laughs. The tour has been on the road since January and has traveled to almost every corner of the country. We interviewed one of the show’s actors, Olin Davidson, to get a taste of what a fast-paced musical tour is like.

Tell me about yourself, how did you get into theatre, and what got you to Seven Brides?

I’m from Ocean City, New Jersey but currently reside in New York City. I grew up singing in choir at school and in church. I was always involved with the school musicals each year starting in middle school. In high school my interest in theatre grew and I started doing all of the community theatre productions in my area as well as the school ones. As it became time to decide what to major in for college I had narrowed it down to Piano or Music Theatre. Music Theatre won out and I went to Shenandoah University where I got my BFA in Musical Theatre. The Prather Entertainment Group along with touring productions, runs two dinner theaters, one in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Ft Myers, Florida. I worked at both of those theaters about ten years ago and when I heard they were sending out a tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, I reached out to them to audition. Luckily, things turned out in my favor and here I am”.

2) What’s the tour like?

“This tour has a very rigorous schedule, what we call one nighters. A lot of different venues and different cities, where we play that theater for one night only. Now the schedule hasn’t been completely one nighters, but it has been a lot of miles on the road. Our daily routine is usually a bus call, where we need to have our bags on the bus and be ready to leave, around 8 or 9 a.m.; drive to our next location; check into our hotel, where we will have some down time before heading to the theater; arrive at the theater for mic check and dance/fight calls, to make sure everyone is ready for the show; then its time for the show.”

3) What has the experience been like?

“The experience can be very rewarding if you let it. Yes, there are many hours on a bus traveling between cities, but you are getting paid to see every inch of the country doing what you love to do. I have been all over the world dancing on cruise ships and I was stunned by some of the beautiful parts of our own country. From driving through national parks in Idaho, seeing gigantic cacti in Arizona, the lights of the Vegas strip, sun drenched beaches in Florida, to doing the show in Oregon where the show actually takes place, and just about every state in between.”

4) What’s your favorite part of the show?

“Selfishly, my favorite part of the show is a fun bit I get to do in Act 2 but I won’t give that away. So I would have to say that I enjoy a section in the number ‘Goin’ Courtin’ where the brothers are being taught how to dance by Millie.”

5) What can students expect when coming to the show?

Students can expect to laugh a lot. It is, after all, a musical comedy. There are big dance numbers with huge lifts and lots of partnering. It is a musical that appeals to everyone.

Anything you’d like to add? 

“The response we have received across the country has been amazing. Sold out shows, and really great audiences who seem to be having a great time watching the show. It is really gratifying knowing that what you are doing is making people smile, and bringing live theatre to people all over the country.