Tyler Reilly is about to do something he hasn’t done in months: perform for an audience.
“This will be the first time I’ve been on the stage in a year and a half,” said the 2004 Montgomery High grad.
What’s prompting Reilly to sing and serve as the master of ceremonies is a chance to help young drama students take a special trip overseas to perform and see others do theater. Montgomery is sending ten drama students to Scotland’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival next August. Elsie Allen High in Santa Rosa also will send a group of drama students to the same festival.
“For these kids to go and have this opportunity to do this is, I think, just fabulous,” said Reilly, who while a Montgomery student played the leading role in the school’s production of “The Music Man.”
To help make the trip happen for the Montgomery students, Reilly and five other alumni are performing Monday in a benefit, “Vikings Raid Broadway, A Musical Theatre Gala.”
The event takes place at 6 p.m. at Sonoma Country Day School’s Jackson Theater, 4400 Day School Place in Santa Rosa. Tickets are $20 for students, $35 in advance of $40 at the door. A preferred ticket at $60 includes a reception with the performers. Tickets can be purchased at Copperfield’s or brownpapertickets.com.
While Reilly has taken a hiatus from the stage, he certainly is no stranger to it. While attending Boston University, he joined the college’s stage troupe and “it really took over my life,” he said.
He remained deeply involved in college theater productions for three years, graduating with a degree in history and a minor in theater.
After graduation, he went to work in the box office of Boston Theatre Works and was hired to play the part of Prior Walter for the company’s production of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America.” For that role Reilly received a nomination for a best actor award that year by the Independent Reviewers of New England.
Despite the recognition, he eventually concluded there were other things he wanted to try in life and he wasn’t going to commit to building a career in theater.
“I wasn’t willing to work two jobs and sleep on friend’s couches,” he said.
He now is working for a company involved in aviation, another passion. And what will come next? “I have no idea,” he said.
He does hope to take part in community theater. And he’s looking forward to Monday’s show, saying it’s a chance to see some great talent.
“Those of us that are coming back to do it are really, really excited,” he said. They also expect to have a lot of fun.
The evening’s headliner is fellow alum Paul Staroba, an incredibly talented pianist and the associate conductor for the latest Broadway production of “A Little Night Music.”
“To get see him perform is a treat for anybody,” Reilly said.