MARTIN LUTHER ON TRIAL – Satan
“Schoeffler gives a commanding performance as Satan, playing off the anger and fear of the people around him in a way that feels seductive and convincing. Audience members might find themselves nodding in agreement with this devil in a three-piece suit.”
MAN OF LA MANCHA – Don Quixote
“Paul Schoeffler as Don Quixote creates a truly legendary performance as the knight-errant who we all perhaps aspire to become some day, enabling us to see the world through untainted eyes and a clean heart and a pure soul. Mr. Schoeffler totally and completely commands the stage and our attention so magnificently that we are along for the ride no matter where our shining knight takes us. Sporting one of the most beautiful baritone voices in show business today, Mr. Schoeffler could easily make a career out of playing Don Quixote. I experienced one of the NY Revivals of Man of La Mancha (1977) and I am here to tell you that Mr. Schoeffler is as good if not better than was Richard Kiley, who originated the role. His "The Quest" is, of course, the apex of perfection and skill. His "Dulcinea" is hauntingly beautiful. Bravo!”
—Houston Chronicle, March 2013
ASSASSINS – John Wilkes Booth
“Paul Schoeffler is simply magnificent in the imposing character of John Wilkes Booth. Paul is one of a number of international actors imported for the production and has appeared in numerous productions on Broadway.”
—Uttoexeter Echo, Derby England 1995
CAMELOT – Arthur
“Paul Schoefflers Bravura performance as King Arthur lifts the production on his formidable shoulders and carries it as far as he can. As in other roles Schoeffler demonstrates his versatility as an actor and his command as a singer. With the opening “I Wonder What he King is Doing Tonight” he shows the honest vulnerability that infuses his characterizations despite Arthur's outward assurance or gruffiness. He always discloses a tenderness in his robust baritone voice that compliments the manliness of his characters. As the bachelor king, Schoeffler displays an appealing impish swagger, suggesting both his lack of life experience and his underlying regal confidence.”
—Sacramento Bee 2002
SHE LOVES ME –Headwaiter
“Amid so many fine performances, I dare not forget to mention the marvelous work of Paul Schoeffler as the Cafe Imperiale headwaiter who tries to create “A Romantic Atmosphere”. On so many levels his is a star performance in one scene. It is a brilliantly written role, and Schoeffler's comic skills and high baritone elevate it to the highest level.”
—Talking Broadway 2004
Town Hall Concert –NYC
“No Broadway concert would be complete without a Cole Porter song, and with the composer's homage to Shakespeare, Paul Schoeffler sang a version of “Were Thine That Special Face” that boasted true fervent glory and the kind of bold romanticism once defined by Alfred Drake in ‘Kiss Me Kate'’
PETER PAN –Hook
“Paul Schoeffler has created a villain so large, so funny and so flambouyant that whenever he is on stage — to expound, to exhort or to tango — your eyes never want to leave him for fear you'll miss something. His expressions, his menace, his really cool costumes. Sure, Rigby has that flying thing. But Schoeffler has to transport us by standing on the ground. He doesn't even make it look hard.”
—Orange County Register Los Angeles 1997
MY FAIR LADY –Henry Higgins
“The bachelor professor is marvelously played by Paul Schoeffler, who is properly and convincingly snobbish, and whose fine voice does justice to such numbers as “Why Can't the English?”, “I'm an Ordinary Man” and “I've Grown accustomed to her Face”, and certainly gives Rex Harrison, the original professor, a run for his money.”
—Daily Record 2002
SWEET CHARITY –Vittorio Vidal
“The supporting cast includes solid pros like Ernie Sabella and, as two of the many men in Charity's life, Denis O'Hare and the handsome-voiced Paul Schoeffler.”
—NY Times 2006
Sacramento Bee Article 2007
“Considering his command and presence, it's hard to believe that actor Paul Schoeffler has any doubts about his performance. Yet he says there's always anxiety when he does a show for the first time.
So it will likely be this Tuesday night when he takes the stage at the Music Circus as Fred/Petruchio in Cole Porter's ‘Kiss Me Kate’. Schoeffler is no stranger to the Music Circus, working his seventh season here after having portrayed Frederick in “A Little Night Music” last year and Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady”, the King in “The King and I”, Arthur in “Camelot” and The Pirate King in “The Pirates of Penzance.” In each of those roles Schoeffler brought an effortless, mature virility and crafty comic timing to his characters.
His director, Glen Casale, who's worked with Schoeffler often, knows the actor's many strengths. “First of all, he has a command of the language. He's classicly trained,” Casale observes. “He doesn't have to worry about his voice because he can sing like crazy and he knows the acting side of it. So he's always making these odd but interesting choices, which I love.”
After seeing Schoeffler's Higgins in “My Fair Lady,” Leleand Ball, former producing director of California Music Theatre, told me it was the most masculine Professor Higgins he's ever seen, but it worked.
It's been working for Schoeffler since he left the College of Marin and went to Pittsburgh, Penn., where he studied at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon theatre program.
“I went to CMU to learn how to act, but they had a great singing program too,” Schoeffler recalls over lunch during a recent rehearsal break. “I learned how to sing and there's a lot of work out there if you can sing and act.”
“I know a lot of actors who pooh-pooh musicals until they have to do one. It's not that easy singing and acting.” After he finished school, Schoeffler went on to New York, where he has been the 20-plus years since. His NY work has been necessarily varied, mixing in voice-overs, concerts and numerous off-Broadway productions.
“It's an up and down rollercoaster, “ he says “sometimes wonderful and sometimes it's horrible.” On Broadway he's played opposite Christina Applegate as Vittorio Vidal in the recent revival of “Sweet Charity,” Hook in “PeterPan” opposite Cathy Rigby and Lumiere in “Beauty and the Beast,”among other roles.
But despite his seasoning, Schoeffler says there's still that question in the back of his mind as he goes on stage. “Once you're up there doing it for the first time — a role you've never done — you have that fear,” he says. “It's a terrifying feeling quite honestly, and it doesn't get any easier the older I get.”
So he must be used to it at the Music Circus, since he's never been here to do a role that he's done before.
To prepare for a Music Circus show, he says he makes sure he knows the script beforehand because the rehearsal period is so short and concentrated.
“I want to know that I have a really solid foundation of what it is before I get up on my feet, because when you get on your feet and start moving around, it goes right out the window.”
Of course, Schoeffler says that the better-crafted a piece, the easier it is to remember the lines. “like last year with “A Little Night Music”, the material' so well-written it leads you where you need to go next.”
He is somewhat in his comfort zone on “kiss Me Kate” with director Casale.
“He's very prepared and brings a lot of craziness” Schoeffler says. “I know his process. I know where his head is at before I get here. We trust each other because we've worked together a lot.”
“He indulges my worst habits” he adds with a laugh.
Schoeffler says that his priorities have changed. “ I don't like travelling that much anymore. I don't mind this setting because it's such a short length of time, but I don't do national tours anymore. Time has different meaning when you get older — you know you don't get it back. And I look at my little boy and think , I don't want to miss this.”
What he says he's miss the most about acting is working on new projects.
“New material is really fun to work on and that usually happens in a workshop setting. Nineteen times out of twenty, they don't work out, but being part of that creative process is really fun because you're creating something for the first time.”
What he wouldn't miss is the yin and yang of theatre, which throws people together and then tears them apart.
“you have this weird situation where you work intensely with these people for two and a half weeks and then that's it. I never quite get used to that, and I've worked with hundreds and hundreds of people.”