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mercury news 23 nov 2005

Adapting Nazi-era children's opera called for light touch

Lisa Leff

[...] Morton, who earned a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of gender-bending 1980s pop star Boy George, was drawn to the Brundibár role partly because of the chance to play a character of over-the-top evil. At Taccone's urging, however, he tempered his temptation to play Brundibár as a caricature of Adolf Hitler by imagining him as a pathetic, selfish boy. Still, the 28-year-old actor debated Taccone for hours about how much darkness to bring to the role. Although he wears the same mustache as Hitler, Morton ditched a German accent for his native Scottish brogue. But he won the argument to include a subtle Nazi salute in his movements.

"I do think it's important not to patronize children," Morton says. "It's something I've been fighting for throughout this production."

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