Most of us know him as Shane Donovan from the daytime series Days of Our Lives and Maxwell Scheffield on The Nanny. Now actor Charles Shaughnessy is in the Valley of the Sun working on a brand-new project. Shaughnessy plays Ebenezer Scrooge in Scottsdale Musical Theatre Company’s production of A Christmas Carol The Musical. Charles Dickens’ classic tale comes to life featuring music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens at Tempe Center for the Arts. A Christmas Carol The Musical features 32 local actors, including many children, and a 20-piece orchestra. My two sons are thrilled to be a part of this prestigious show. Michael, plays Scrooge at age 12 and Kendall is in the ensemble. The show features several dance numbers choreographed to perfection including “Link by Link”, “Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball”, “Abundance and Charity” and “Dancing on Your Grave”. Audiences will also love the period costumes, music and story that reminds us all about what is truly important this time of year.
Shaughnessy told Your Life Arizona that he normally never likes to repeat a character. He played Scrooge last year in New Hampshire, but it was a different version of the story. He was intrigued with the chance to bring his own unique style and personality to the musical version of the role, plus he enjoys working in Arizona and with the Scottsdale Musical Theatre Company’s Executive Producer David Hock. The pair hit it off in July when Shaughnessy played Julian Marsch in 42nd Street.
Born in London, England, Shaughnessy comes from a show business family. His father was a principal writer and script editor and his mother an actress. While he began acting in plays as a child, Shaughnessy felt someone in his family needed a “sensible” job and he set out to do just that. He graduated from Eton College with a BA in Law at the Magdalene College of Cambridge University. Soon after graduation Shaughnessy returned to his first love, acting. He attended drama school in London where he met his wife, American Actress Susan Fallender. The couple moved to Hollywood where he continued to find success on stage in the Los Angeles theatre scene. He was then cast as Shane Donovan on Days of Our Lives, a role he played for eight years and won three Soap Opera Awards. He later starred in the successful CBS show The Nanny for six years.
Despite a resume brimming with prior theatrical endeavors, television, voice over and movie credits Shaughnessy doesn’t consider himself a fabulous singer or dancer. The Tempe Center for the Arts audiences may beg to differ! He credits his prior role as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady for teaching him the art of vocalizing words.
Charles hopes to see an Arizona Cardinals game and possibly the Grand Canyon while he’s in town and spend some time touring the area with his wife and two girls.
A Christmas Carol The Musical runs now through December 23rd with shows Thursday and Friday nights at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm at Tempe Center for the Arts. Tickets are available by visiting www.ScottsdaleMusicaltheatre.com or by calling 602-909-4215.