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George Hamilton has ‘Best of Times’

December 7, 2011
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Published in Metro

He might be best known for a perpetual tan, but George Hamilton also has a quite lengthy theatrical résumé.

“I’ve done musicals all my life,” says the 72-year-old actor and comedian. “I’ve always known that to survive in this business, I’d have to learn theater. Every summer, people thought I was in Monte Carlo or the south of France, but really I was out on national tours.”

Hamilton went on the road for “Funny Girl” back in the ’60s and did “Chicago” on Broadway in 2007. Now he comes to Boston to play Saint-Tropez drag club owner Georges in “La Cage Aux Folles.”

“It’s a story about a man torn between his son and his lover,” says Hamilton. “I’m a comedian by nature, but sometimes I have to resist the joke to ground the piece. It’s much more poignant this way.”
Hamilton knows Boston well: He lived on Chestnut Street in Beacon Hill in the ’50s. He’s also performed here before.

“I remember the first time I played Boston. I was very surprised that the laughs I had gotten in other cities weren’t there. I could not believe I was bombing,” he recalls. “But afterward I got great reviews and an ovation from the audience.”

It seems like he’s already done it all: TV, movies, memoirs. What’s next?

“I’d love to do a talk show where we’d change hosts every night and I’d be the only guest,” he laughs.

Reflecting on the ‘First Bite’ of vampire-mania

Hamilton predicted the vampire trend years ago. In 1979 he starred in the horror spoof “Love at First Bite,” a film where Dracula stumbles through modern New York in search of his soul mate. “It’s so ’70s and yet stands up today,” says Hamilton. He’s still considering making a sequel.

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