There are two things this girl always remembers. 1) A hot guy. 2) An hilarious porn star name. So, given those facts, you know I was going to remember Stark Sands forever the instant I saw him. Forever-ever. Even if he only had approximately three minutes of stage time in the Public Theater’s 2009 Shakespeare in the Park production of The Twelfth Night.
That night Sands’ performance—as Sebastian, Ann Hathaway’s long lost twin, strapping in his uniform despite an epic wig—was short but sweet. And, lucky man that he is, Stark’s performance even included some sexytime with Audra McDonald that didn’t result in fisticuffs with Will Swenson afterward (oh, to be an actor).
In fact, his performance that summer left such a mark—even amidst a cast of theater heavyweights like Raul Esparza and Ms. McDonald—that when news first leaked that he would replace Matt Kalpan in American Idiot, I actually cheered out loud. I sent emails full of capital letters and exclamation points.
Perhaps the best thing about Stark Sands, though, is that he hasn’t fallen short of my ridiculously high expectations. In fact, he’s exceeded them. As Tunny, one of American Idiot’s three central characters, Sands brings serious sex appeal to a pair of Dickies and an angry disposition, and belts out notes whose mere memory elicit chills.
I’m inclined to credit my immediate awareness of Stark’s badassness to my perceptive nature and sheer critical genius, but it’s probably Stark himself who deserves all the credit. If he can make an impression like that in three minutes, just imagine what he can do with an entire show. Then, go see American Idiot.