GUIDING LIGHT fan favorite Paul Anthony Stewart (Danny) can't say enough about his latest project, the Off-Broadway production of Harbor. "It's so smart and complicated and funny and moving," he raved to Soaps In Depth when we caught up with him in between rehearsals and performances. "I'm really excited about this show. It's the first play I've read in years -- the first new, original play -- that made me laugh out loud, alone in my bedroom, half a dozen times. I think everybody can see some aspect of their lives or their family in these characters."
Stewart and QUEER AS FOLK's Randy Harrison star in Harbor as newlywed gay couple Ted and Kevin, whose idyllic lives are turned upside down by Kevin's estranged sister, Donna (played by SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND star Erin Cummings), and her 15-year-old daughter, Lottie (newcomer Alexis Molnar). "I play a successful architect, pretty much the bread-winner in the relationship, while Kevin is the artist struggling with that novel he's been trying to write for 10 years," says Stewart with a chuckle. "Kevin's white-trash, hillbilly sister shows up after being out of touch for many years with her daughter, who Ted has never met, and drops a bomb on this happy family of two."
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Harbor's theme of gay parenting is certainly a hot topic in today's marriage equality-minded society. But it's the play's bigger message of family relations that Stewart believes will strike a chord with the audience. "It's about how complicated family is. The family that we are born into, the family that we run away from, the family that we form for ourselves," shares the actor. "And then the question of future family. The issue of having a child and what that means to each person in this play. There is no clear-cut solution to the dilemma that arises. I think everyone can see some aspect of their lives or their family in these characters. It's beautifully written."
For Stewart, Harbor has been a labor of love. "I've been working on it from the beginning, when we did a reading in the spring of 2012," he explains. "Alexis and I did a production last summer at the Westport Country Playhouse [in Connecticut], and now we're doing it Off-Broadway. Because I had the advantage of working on it last year, I have some good groundwork done. And then Randy and Erin bring something new and fresh to the play. Every day I get to work on this play, it feels like such a wonderful gift."
Harbor is now in previews and officially opens on Tuesday, August 6, at 59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street in New York City. The limited engagement ends on Sunday, September 8. For tickets and show times, visit www.primarystages.org.