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Garrett Clayton chats with Greg in Hollywood about “10 Things I hate About You” at Rockwell Table & Stage

There’s so much going on in LA right now but I’m going to recommend you try and make time to head over to Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Feliz to catch a performance of The Unauthorized Musical Parody (UMPO) of 10 Things I Hate About You.

Love, love, love the shows in the UMPO series which have also included Clueless, Breakfast Club, and Stranger Things and all featured the mutli-talented Garrett Clayton who is also one of the stars of 10 Things.

In the cheeky, song-filled parody directed by Nathan Moore, Clayton takes on the role played by Heath Ledger in the 1999 teen cult comedy and even adopts an Aussie accent.

‘I keep answering the phone with it,” Garrett told me when we chatted after a recent performance. “Initially we didn’t know if we were going to use it. The original idea for it was that I had absolutely no accent and jokes throughout the whole thing would’ve had people not being able to understand me and they would keep talking about my thick Australian accent that didn’t exist. During our first musical rehearsal, I used it for solo section of the opening number and it just worked. I watched things (Ledger) did in the movie then exaggerated certain words.”

Garrett has managed to juggle his stage work (Cruel Intentions: The Musical, God Looked Away) with roles in feature films (Peel, Reach, King Cobra), TV movies (Hairspray Live! Teen Beach Movie) television shows (The Fosters, The Real O’Neals), music videos (I Put a Spell on You), and his own series of cabaret shows.

Despite the busy schedule, he has found the time to return four times to Rockwell to take part in the UMPO series.

“I think they’ve given me the freedom to explore roles that I would never otherwise took or be asked to do,” the actor explained. “They give me freedom in improvisation, they utilize my vocal range in a different way than I’ve gotten to do in other jobs. I feel a very supportive, creative space here. Everyone has turned into my family now. I feel like I get to be with my friends every weekend.”

Of 10 Things About You, which runs every Friday and Saturday night at 8pm and Sundays at noon, until June 30, Garrett says: “It’s a show for people who just want to have fun and don’t want to have to worry about Ps and Qs. This is the place to go. I always describe it to my friends as it’s as if SNL put on a musical. It feels very free, we interact with people. We are running around having fun and we want you to have fun with us.”

Garrett is also launching a cabaret tour this summer called It Takes Three with his friends Ashley Argota and Desi Dennis-Dylan. The trio earlier this year put out a I Put Spell on You music video together and that inspired them to do the show which will play such venues as Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco, Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood, and Martinis on Fourth in San Diego.

“It feels very innate and fun for us to be together,” he says. “We naturally can do three-part harmony pretty easy. It’s a fun reason to hang out and travel together.”

It’s been nearly a year since Garrett has come out publicly as a gay man. I asked him about how fans have reacted.

“I’ve felt very lucky that a lot of fans have reached out and expressed what it meant them for me to be able to speak my truth and express some of the things I went through personally,” he said. “I guess I tend to be a bit more private than people are nowadays. When I share things, it means a lot to me. I feel very lucky that it’s resonated with people and they responded to it. I’ve been lucky that it’s helped people in ways I never realized it would.”

As for his professional life, he’s “finding out what this new chapter means. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve been booked ahead of time for awhile so right now I’m just starting to turn the page into that new chapter.”

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Can’t wait to see you all this weekend at #umpo10Things at @la_rockwell tonight!

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FILE UNDER: Interviews, Stage


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