and Victoria Oscar - “Alums
The nomination for one of the highest honors for a Broadway performer—the Tony Award—was just another amazing scene in a dream come true for Brad Oscar, a native of Montgomery County who honed his stage craft in Montgomery College’s Summer Dinner Theatre program.
Currently playing the Nazi playwright in Broadway’s run-away hit musical, The Producers, Oscar can only account for his present state as a result of luck and talent. Last fall, he was selected to be understudy for the principal male characters at a special audition for the position that did not draw the numbers the previous “cattle calls” had for the roles when they were cast in summer of 2000. Then, the opportunity to win one of the principal roles came only after a fellow actor injured his leg during tryouts of the production in Chicago. Finally, critics and colleagues acknowledged his performance in the role by nominating him for a Tony.
“Sometimes I can’t believe my life,” says the 36-year-old Oscar, during a recent telephone conversation from his apartment in New York City.
“Everything I have ever loved and dreamed about has come true.” Sitting beside Brad Oscar during the awards ceremony this summer was his sister, Victoria, whom he invited as his date for the big night. The siblings have been performing off and on Broadway for the past decade. Their latest roles (Victoria has just completed a run as Ms. Hannigan in the national tour of Annie) represent breakthrough experiences as performers for the pair—experiences that have changed their lives, but have not changed who they are, so they say.
“It is not about seeking fame and fortune,” says Victoria Oscar, 34, who graduated from Montgomery College with a degree in theatre arts.
“You have to love what you do; this truly makes me happy.” Victoria and Brad grew up in the Aspen Hill community of Montgomery County with theatre-loving parents, who performed in local community theatre and often took the pair to New York for theatre weekends and to the Kennedy Center.
Brad knew, from early childhood, that he wanted to be a stage actor. His love for performance was nurtured with his involvement in the local Jewish Community Center’s theatre company and his experiences with Montgomery College’s Summer Dinner Theatre program. In fact, he credits his experience in lead roles during his two summers with the College’s program for his confidence when he takes over the lead role for Nathan Lane, when Lane takes a break or is unable to perform. Unlike her brother, Victoria has taken a more circuitous route to a career on the stage. After six years of working the New York City comedy circuit, Victoria decided that life of a stand-up comic was not for her. Soon after that decision, she won an audition to play the hard-bitten matron of the orphanage in the national tour of Annie.
“It was the first step in never having to bar tend again,” Victoria dead pans in a telephone interview.
Victoria wanted a degree, but did not want to have an ivory tower experience while achieving it. Thus, her decision to attend Montgomery College. “Even though it was school, I still really enjoyed it,” she says. Both the Oscars are supportive of each other’s careers, and they voice confidence in the skills and talent of the other. Brad is enjoying his emergence as a recognized talent on the big boards. Victoria is a step closer to that breakthrough moment in her career. As Victoria reflects on the question of whether there will be a star on her dressing room door some day, she captures the feeling of potential that her brother also feels about their chosen career. “I certainly hope, so,” she says.