Peter Gallagher brings one-man show to Venetian Room

By From page B1 | November 30, 2012

FAIRFIELD — Five years ago, at Feinstein’s in New York City, Peter Gallagher played himself for the first time.

“It was terrifying,” said the actor.

However the fear subsided. Gallagher just finished a week at Feinstein’s and is returning Dec. 9 to the Venetian Room in San Francisco.

“I’ve done it (the show) a couple of times since and no lives have been lost,” Gallagher said with a chuckle.

While “Songs and Stories From an Actor’s Life” is a one-man show, Gallagher, 57, will be accompanied by a four-piece band. And a special guest – his 19-year-old daughter Kathryn, with whom he sings a duet.

“It’s like working with a wonderful pro,” he said of his daughter.

His son, Jamey, is also involved with the show.

“And my wife (Paula) makes everything happen,” Gallagher said. “It’s a family operation . . . a circus troupe.”

Gallagher, who has been in about 50 films and plays the director of clandestine services at the CIA on TV’s “Covert Affairs,” boasts extensive Broadway credits. His first show was the 1977 revival of “Hair,” followed by “Grease.”

In 1980, he made the jump from stage to film, starring in Taylor Hackford’s “The Idolmaker.”

In 1986, he earned a Tony nomination for his performances in “Long Day’s Journey Into the Night.”

Some people in the audience at “Stories and Songs From an Actor’s Life” are aware of his stage work, he said. Often they are the ones who have seen him on stage.

“There a bunch of people that are not aware I sang at all,” Gallagher said, citing a recent review.

The real surprises seem to come when Gallagher starts to share his story and weaves in names such as James Cagney, Peter O’Toole and Jack Lemmon, all of whom he has worked with.

“And there are ones (stories) I want to share while the people are still alive,” he said. “I was very young and had the good fortune to be schooled by Jack Lemmon. I got to hang out with Peter O’Toole, one of my idols.”

While Gallagher sings several songs in the show, he considers “Luck Be a Lady” to be his signature tune.

“It hues closely to the theme of the evening,” he said, adding that he played gambler Sky Masters in “Guys and Dolls” on Broadway.

He recently filmed an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” and “Whitney.” The latter is a recurring role.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Peter Gallagher

  • “Songs and Stories From an Actor’s Life”
  • 7 p.m. Dec. 9
  • Venetian Room, Fairmont, 950 Mason St., San Francisco
  • 415-392-4400
  • www.bayareacabaret.org
  • www.petergallagher.com
Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

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