And though he is fair, a very pink-cheeked look, and yes, despite a childhood accident involving a tricycle and 6 porch steps, a nose not completely unlike a cherry, and a perpetual smile.
You see where I'm going with this....
He is as barrel-chested as any opera singer could wish, so even when not carrying extra weight, he has a certain... presence? And clothes, say... red velvet robes or suits?... hang well.
Add to this eyes so blue and bright that the world "twinkle" does not begin to do them justice, and you have a near ideal St Nicholas or Santa Claus.
He was told years ago that if he wanted it, he would have the level of Santa-playing "career" that he could earn enough during December that he would not need to work the rest of the year.
(A nice way to subsidize poorly paid theater gigs.)
Trouble was? ...he didn't much like kids.
In fact, he is slightly scared of small children, couldn't imagine having them climb into his lap all day long.
Well, this fall came at the end of a progression of "facial hair roles," (beginning with 'stash, and progressing through van dyke to his present luxurious thatch,) and there he was walking around in hirsute splendor when a friend of a friend who was desperate for a better than usual Santa for several dates for his prestigious (non-mercantile, that's important,) institution.
Okay, just this once....
Well, this is a man who has heard ovations from crowds of literally thousands, earned rave reviews in serious work, sung and danced his way through 11 o'clock numbers... but he said he has never felt anything like this, the love, the way kids' heads snap around as he passes, the way he is instantly the focus of all eyes when he enters the room, the way, as he walks from his dressing/break room to the "throne" room it's like being a rock star, "a ROCK star, honey! you've never felt anything LIKE it!!!!"
Nor have I, he's right.
He had his "Miracle on 34th Street" moments, a little French girl who didn't care that they could not communicate with words, (his entire vocabulary consists of Emile DeBeque lines, and he just didn't see telling her that he'd serve the coffee himself....)
But the best was at the end of the evening, the toddler with Down's Syndrome who just wanted to hug him, to love him.
So yeah, I think he may be hooked.
He can't shave the thing off the the first half of 2010 because of another role, and I've been suggesting for years that he think about putting together a one man show about the the life, legends, and facts of the Bishop of Myra, something with a real religious underpinning, something with a real Catholic perspective.
We shall see. (Can I say, I'm always pleased with, but I absolutely lurrrrve our home life when he's happy with himself, with his performing career?)
My husband the rock star ;o)