Back in June, Eric and I were on vacation in Provincetown, Massachusetts when we went to the opening night performance of an all-male quartet called Well-Strung.
As the four young gents took turns introducing themselves to the audience, I couldn’t help but notice the handsome young ginger on stage. What charisma! What a mischievous smile! The crowd erupted into hoops and hollers when he divulged that he was a Jersey boy.
After the show, Eric and I went over to introduce ourselves and the young man told us he was from Sicklerville, New Jersey. Of course, we shared that we’re from Collingswood. We talked for a few minutes and I asked if he’d be interested in being profiled in my new blog for Collingswood Patch. He excitedly agreed. So, now, at last, I get to introduce you to cellist/vocalist/actor Daniel Shevlin, a talented and personable man with an incredibly bright future.
A graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Shevlin has already amassed some pretty impressive credits, including productions of Evita, Nine, Cabaret, and Hairspray. Additionally, Shevlin is one of the founding members of Well-Strung, a string ensemble that performs a mixture of classical (Mozart, Dvorak) and pop music (Pink, Adele, Britney Spears).
Well-Strung is the brainchild of violinist Chris Marchant, who regaled Provincetown townies and tourists in a production of Naked Boys Singing a few summers ago. Marchant approached Shevlin through a mutual friend to gauge his interest in being part of the proposed quartet.
Shevlin readily agreed, and after some growing pains—including the delay of the show’s premiere in Provincetown and the departures of two of the original members of the ensemble—Well-Strung was rebooted earlier this year with the additions of violinist Edmund Bagnell and violist Trevor Wadleigh.
Well-Strung premiered in P-Town in mid-June and has been playing to packed houses ever since. The quartet will conclude its successful run at Provincetown’s Art House this weekend, but with some exciting news: thereafter, it's headed to Off-Broadway.
From October 27 through November 10, Well-Strung will be performing at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre in New York City—and, according to Shevlin, an album and tour might be on the horizon.
As someone who saw the show twice back in June, I highly recommend a trip to New York City to see these guys in action. They truly stir the soul with their music and voices.
Right now, I invite you to take a glimpse at the heart, mind, and soul of Daniel Shevlin via this intimate Q&A.
Describe Daniel Shevlin in ten words or less.
Complex, particular, audacious, passionate, Gemini, ginger, cello-playing, singing actor.
You’ve got Jersey roots in that you grew up in Sicklerville. What do you miss most about the Garden State?
OMG! Wawa!!! But seriously though, I really miss my family, especially my mom and brother. We don't get to see each other as often as I'd like. It's been a minute since I've been back where I grew up for longer than a few days at a time. But, yeah, I do love me some Wawa.
Your bio mentions that life took you to Denver for a few years. What brought you to Colorado? And what brought you back to the East Coast?
That, too, is kind of a long story.
I have a great friend in Colorado named David Nehls, who wrote The Great American Trailer Park: The Musical. A few years ago, he invited me out to be the cellist for a production of Evita that he was musical-directing. I went out there for the show, really enjoyed living and working in Denver, and decided that I'd come back one day.
So after that production, I came back to New York for about another year, decided that it was time for a change and that I was going I move to L.A. But before that, David invited me back out to Denver to play a production of Nine. So the plan was to drive out to Colorado, do the show, and then continue on to L.A.
However, I absolutely fell in love with Denver and all of the awesome friends I made there. It was a clear choice that it was the “change” from New York I needed, so I stayed for a while. It was really after getting in touch with Chris Marchant about starting up Well-Strung did the plan to move back to New York City begin. It was something I really believed would be great, artistically fulfilling and successful. And that's what it was going to take to get me to come back, because Denver is an amazing place. I do look forward to going back to visit soon.
Clearly from your bio, you’ve had some pretty damn cool things happen in your life: appearing Off-Broadway, touring the United States and Asia in productions of Rent and Cabaret. What was the most memorable thing to happen in your career thus far?
Well-Strung performing at Joe's Pub this past May was kind of a huge deal for me. It's a venue that I had always dreamed of performing at, but honestly thought that I'd never get the chance to.
It was also our first “official” debut concert (aside from our initial reading at Ars Nova earlier this year) and I had never been more nervous for any other performance in my life, ever. I can say that with all certainty.
It was also the first time I was part of something that was being created for the four of us that no one had done or originated before, in front of a paying New York audience—and that can be absolutely terrifying. When we finished the first number and the applause lasted for so long, it was surreal. I knew then that it was going incredibly right, and it was one of, if not the most, amazing nights of my career.
What do you like to do when you’re not performing?
Sleep. I love to sleep. And I love ordering delivery, drinking wine, and watching trashy TV with my good friends. I like chill times with quality people. But don't be fooled, I also do love a good party. Often.
Which television reality show would you like to be on?
Hmmm. The Amazing Race. I'd prefer a show that's about adventure or competition, not one that's all drama like the Housewives series or that Kardashian nonsense. Don't get me wrong, I'll still watch those kinds of shows when I'm in the right mood, just wouldn't want to be on one like them.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
Probably something like: If I've Actually Taken the Time to Write this, then Clearly I Need More Money...Please Buy My Book.
What kind of message or shout out would you like to give to the residents of New Jersey?
There's no place like home. With all the travelling and different places I’ve lived, there's still only that one place that I immediately feel click in me when I'm there, and it's the place where I grew up. Remember your roots.
Picture this: You’ve been stranded on a desert island with a virile, hot male celebrity. Who would it be? And what luxury item would you just have to have with you?
British hottie Tom Hardy (specifically Tom Hardy in This Means War). Woof! However, since he is straight, the luxury item would have to be some sort of mind-control device to make him gay because there would be no way I could keep my hands off of him. Though, I guess he wouldn't have to necessarily be gay for me to be all over him, but I'd at least want him to enjoy it. ;)