“Well Strung” will be appearing at Bucks County Playhouse on Saturday

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Well Strung - heads

I was instructed to dial a 213 area code at 11 am, input my access code, and I would be connected to the conference call. Christopher Marchant was joined by Mark Cortale, Well Strung’s producer/ manager/ co-writer, to speak with me. Three of the quartet members were not available I was told. I asked if it really was early in Los Angeles. It was explained to me that they weren’t anywhere near area code 213, which is Los Angeles, so it wasn’t 8 am. Rather, the quartet had just performed the previous evening in Provincetown, their final show of their run.

Well Strung will be appearing in New Hope PA on Saturday, Oct 5.

Well Strung will be appearing in New Hope PA on Saturday, Oct 5.

Christopher joked that at least one of them might still be sleeping.  In a few days, the string quartet “Well Strung” will be appearing at Bucks County Playhouse. They are composed of, in classical quartet lineup, first violinist, Edmund Bagnell second violinist, Christopher Marchant; violist, Trevor Wadleigh, and cellist Daniel Shevlin.

Ralph Malachowski: Tell our readers something about yourselves. For example, how did the four of you meet?

MC: Chris and I first met in 2010, then again in 2011. This led to the first appearance of the quartet at Joe’s Pub on May 1, 2012 in New York City. Chris and I formed the quartet after a few chance meetings. We decided to do it, and the response was very favorable.

RM: Who chose the name, and why? Are you focusing on a primarily GLBT audience? You have appeared at the usual gay meccas: Provincetown; Rehoboth; New York City.

CM and MC: GoodChris March of Well Strung Questions! [Laughter].

CM: I had done a few photo layouts for DNA and Him Magazines. One of the layouts in the magazine was titled, “Well Strung,” so we thought that was a great name to use. Yes, that photo with me wearing nothing but a violin was from that series of photos.

As for our target audience, no, we don’t have a target audience in mind. “Well Strung” is for everyone. We are four gay men, but we appeal to everyone. People from all walks of life come to our concerts. We aren’t targeting any one group. This is a fresh way to experience a concert. We have families attend our concerts: kids, parents, grandparents … we have a broad base of interested people who attend and also buy our CDs. Just the other day, one lady bought five CDs for gifts to give to members of her family.

RM: So, folks in Idaho would get the meanings and innuendo of “Well Strung?”

CM and MC: Sure. Why not? We believe in what we do. We’re not a gimmick.

CM: Just the other day,Well Strung the band Chita Rivera came backstage to say she never thought Taylor Swift could be so fabulous. We do contemporary artists as well as classical music.

RM: Mark, would you like to produce or create a showcase in either the new Lambertville Music Hall or the Bucks County Playhouse as you’ve done in Provincetown? If so, could there be a sharing of talent appearing in Provincetown and New Hope or Lambertville?

MC: I think that would be great. I’ve been the artistic director of Art House in Provincetown since 2011. I would welcome the opportunity if it presented itself to do something similar in the New Hope area. So, what’s happening with the Lambertville Music Hall? I was a bit puzzled by us appearing at the Bucks County Playhouse instead.

RM: I think the venue isn’t ready. They’re converting a church in Lambertville. The same people who re- created the destroyed Bucks County Playhouse are tackling it. Since they worked miracles with the playhouse, there should be no problem with the second venue.

MC: I noticed the logo on our poster says it’s part of the Lambertville music season, so that’s why I asked.

RM: You’ve become very popular in the short time you’ve been a quartet, with many appearances. Your calendar on your website is quite full. What’s next for “Well Strung?” Then, looking ahead, where would you like to be in five years?

CM: [both laughing] Oh, wow! Now that’s a very good question! [More laughter] For the near future, we will be appearing in London too. We are very excited about that.

MC: There is no limit to what we can do. We are currently developing cabaret shows with Broadway actors, and soundtracks for films. Our music is available on I-tunes and the Wilderness Entertainment label, which is associated with the Logo network. Kathy Griffin is on the label. We would really like a major platform, like appearances on Ellen or the Letterman Show. That would be great.

RM: Could there be a recording with Kathy Griffin and “Well Strung?” She does have a disco mix of her song, which I believe hit the top 40.

CM: [more laughter] Oh, I don’t know about that! No, no, I don’t think so. [laughs]

RM: I’ll ask a serious question now. As gay men, would “Well Strung” appear in Russia at the 2014 winter games if you were asked? As you’ve mentioned, you would welcome wide exposure, so would you welcome having an audience of one billion?

CM: Wow. Now that’s a serious question. That would have to be a group decision. We would all need to be comfortable with it before we would do something like that.

MC: I have a friend who just returned from Sochi. He said the situation wasn’t good. He thinks they might not even be prepared for the Olympics by next year. I would agree with Chris. It would need to be a group decision.

RM: Fair enough; a few lighter questions now. How many of you are single? I see that you will appear on a gay cruise this February. How will you handle a shipload of gay men?

CM: [Laughs] I think we can manage. All of us are out, gay men. Only one of us, Daniel, is single right now, and our cruise last year was – interesting [laughs]. We sign autographs for anyone who asks us to, men, women, kids, you name it.

MC: The RSVP cruise last year was astounding. The group appeared twice in a 1,000- seat theater to rousing ovations. The management said they had never experienced such an audience response to a new act. We were very happy about that. The February cruise this year was cancelled. Instead, the quartet will appear for two weeks in February in Puerto Vallarta at The Palm.

RM: Do you mind if I mention it?

MC: Please do!

For more information, visit:www.well-strung.com/about.asp

I was instructed to dial a 213 area code at 11 am, input my access code, and I would be connected to the conference call. Christopher Marchant was joined by Mark Cortale, Well Strung’s producer/ manager/ co-writer, to speak with me. Three of the quartet members were not available I was told. I asked if it really was early in Los Angeles. It was explained to me that they weren’t anywhere near area code 213, which is Los Angeles, so it wasn’t 8 am. Rather, the quartet had just performed the previous evening in Provincetown, their final show of their run.