The star of this month’s 5-Star Theatrical production, “Just Another Family Tree,” says he feels “very blessed and very fortunate” to be a part of his star-studded family, which is anything but average.
“Sitting around the dinner table, every single family member was in show biz,” laughs Patrick Cassidy, as he recalls memories about his famous siblings, Shaun, Ryan and (half-brother) David, and parents Jack Cassidy and Academy Award-winning actress Shirley Jones, who didn’t allow Patrick (at age 9) to be on the “Partridge Family” TV show.
“She wanted me to have a normal childhood…go to high school, be a kid,” says Patrick, who set records as a quarterback at Beverly Hills High School before a collarbone injury forced him off the football field and into the theatre.
My school was putting on “The Music Man,” recalls Patrick, and since I couldn’t play football, I decided to try out—the rest is history. “I was bit by the theatre bug,” he says. As fate would have it, his high school production wasn’t Patrick’s first time being a part of the “The Music Man”—his mother had been pregnant with Patrick while she was shooting the film (in 1962), a secret she kept from everyone until Robert Preston wrapped his arms around her and felt a strong kick from Patrick!
After high school, Patrick was cast on Broadway in “The Pirates of the Penzance” as Frederic, a role he played longer than any other actor. He went on to pursue a successful acting career, with numerous roles in TV, film and on Broadway, including “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” (1993),“I’ll Do Anything” (1994), “Smallville” (2001), “The Pirates of Penzance,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” a CBS TV series of “Dirty Dancing” and an ABC Family Series executive produced by brother Shaun, “Ruby and the Rockits” with his half-brother David.
Patrick toured the country several times as a performer in many shows, and in 2004, starred with his mother in “42nd Street,” becoming the first mother and son to star in a Broadway musical together.
“Just Another Family Tree,” Patrick’s one-man show on June 22, tells the story of his 40-year career, providing an insightful look into what it was like growing up as a Cassidy.
“I’m the voice of years ago and the voice of now, passing the torch to the new generation,” says Patrick, noting that growing up around big name celebrities who ran in the same circles as his famous parents was just a normal part of his childhood.
Narrating and singing his way through the evening, Patrick will provide a very intimate, charming inside look at his incredible life and family.
“Who doesn’t want to know what it was like at the dinner table at their home? It is a beautiful story about his journey with his family right up until today, where the next generation of Cassidys are following the family genes,” says Producer Cindy Murray, also the Secretary of 5-Star Theatricals’ Board of Directors.
Patrick’s sons, Jack, a contestant that reached the Top 20 on “The Voice,” and Cole, a computer engineering major, are also highlighted in the show.
“Family is everything,” says Patrick, numbering his priorities as: “wife, number 1; children, number 2 and career, a distant third. The family foundation is most important,” he adds, naming family as his greatest accomplishment.
He lovingly recalls a trip taken with his wife, Melissa Hurley, and their two sons when they were 10 and 7. The family traveled throughout the United States for a year, performing in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” while they enjoyed exploring various cities and even taking a private tour of the White House.
“It was a unique experience as a family,” says Patrick, noting the strong bonds he cherishes with his family, his wife of 24 years, his brothers (and best friends) and parents.
Along with touring his new show, Patrick’s future plans include sharing his acting experience and expertise with aspiring actors as a teacher, a role he “fell in love with” about eight years ago while teaching a musical theatre class at California Dance Theatre, a dance school owned by his sister-in-law Kim Maselli and where his wife teaches dance.
“I want to teach,” says Patrick, pointing out the varying perspectives of the creative process. “Performance is about giving of your talent; you give of yourself, it’s all about you. As a teacher, it’s really about the other person, passing on your experiences…and helping others flourish.”
Working with performers, Patrick inspires and empowers them, providing a road map to wherever they want to go, whether it’s “American Idol” or the Broadway stage.
A Conejo Valley resident since 2006, Patrick co-founded the Hollywood Stage Academy. He teaches acting and musical theater at California Dance Theatre. He’s also taught master classes and lectured about film, television and theater at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, and taught song interpretation and prepped graduating musical theater majors for their New York and Chicago showcases at Western Michigan University. Especially challenging was working as an acting coach for the aquatic production show, “Le Rêve” at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. With no dialogue, the show featured only movement and performers that were not actors, but were aerialists, acrobats, divers and synchronized swimmers.
“Life experience has given me many more tools than I could have ever learned in a classroom,” says Patrick, who says he’d like to open his own acting school in the area someday.
“I’d like to develop and bring more of an arts-oriented expression to the community,” says Patrick, and of course, to “continue to be a good husband and dad.”
“Just Another Family Tree” premieres at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Scherr Forum Theatre on June 22, at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit the Civic Arts Center Box Office at 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd, call 805.449.2787 or visit 5StarTheatricals.com.