One of Lee’s Summit’s own is costarring in the touring production of FRIENDS! The Musical Parody, a musical that “lovingly lampoons TV’s Friends.” Tyler Fromson, who graduated from Lee’s Summit High School in 2010, plays Ross Geller, the paleontology professor originally played by David Schwimmer on the popular NBC sitcom.
Fromson said it’s been an enjoyable experience because he loves the TV show, but a new challenge to play such a well-known character.
“It’s really fun because the audiences we’ve had have all been Friends fans, and they get each joke,” Fromson said. “Sometimes they’re saying the lines they know from the show as we’re saying it.”
FRIENDS! affectionately makes fun of some of the sitcom’s best-known plotlines from its 10-year run, featuring the six 20-something friends living in New York City during the 1990s: Rachel Green, Monica Geller, Phoebe Buffay, Chandler Bing, Joey Tribbiani and Ross Geller.
The show opened in Maryland on Oct. 18. It will stop in a total of 18 states between October and May 2019, in addition to a month-long stint in Toronto this November. Fromson is looking forward to a series of shows back in his home state in the spring: FRIENDS! will have a one-night engagement at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in Branson on Apr. 7 before coming to Starlight Theater for six nights as part of the theater’s indoor series.
Fromson studied at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance and graduated from Pepperdine University in 2014. He spent the better part of two years working for
Royal Caribbean, an experience he says prepared him for the tour he’s on now: always on the move and living in small quarters. While the production stays in hotels during longer engagements, they’re often sleeping on a super bus while traveling between cities.
Since moving to New York City in January of this year, he has played Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors and Romeo in Newsies.
FRIENDS! The Parody Musical is recommended for “audiences born before the TV’s show finale in 2004,” according to Starlight’s website. Tickets for the performances in Kansas City are available now at www.kcstarlight.com/events/event-detail-production/friends-musical.