InterVIEWS-day TUESday: Mike Descoteaux

Welcome to InterVIEWS-day TUESday (Say it out loud. It rhymes.)!  Each week, we’ll feature a different Araca Project participant answering questions on all the hard-hitting issues, like which Friends character they most resemble.  This week, we have One Night Only’s esteemed music director (and fellow Northwestern alum - go ‘cats!), Mike Descoteaux.  Enjoy!

Full name: Michael Descoteaux

What is your involvement in Araca Project 2012?
Music Director for “One Night Only,” the completely improvised musical.

Describe your show in one sentence. No semi-colons.
“One Night Only” is a completely improvised musical complete with plot, choreography, band and, of course, audience involvement.

What is your favorite thing about your show (no spoilers!)?
Getting to play with some of the best musical improvisers in the country.

What was the first show you worked on in any capacity?
I played the Baby Snow White when I was 6 months old. I was (and still am) a boy.

What is your biggest show catastrophe, on stage or off?
I once signed on as composer for a musical treatment of the war in Iraq. Thankfully, the show was decommissioned before I finished writing the opening number.

What are your top 3 theatre experiences (as an audience member or participant)?

1)      Creating a satirical church (Best Church of God) that received feature articles in both the Religion Section and the Theater Section of the Chicago Tribune on the same day.

2)      Music Directing the Second City 50th Anniversary—getting to work on a celebration of talent, material and history that read like a who’s who list of modern American comedy. Humbling and awe-inspiring.

3)      Watching the development and evolution of The Last 5 Years while working as Jason Robert Brown’s assistant on the premiere. Learned so much about how great musical theater is made, unmade and remade.

What was your favorite college restaurant?
Taco Bell. I’ve since evolved to Chipotle.

What is your earliest memory?
Losing a Fisher Price man down the toilet. Horrifying. I’m still in mourning.

What is your internet and/or social media obsession?
Words with Friends and OKCupid. Both are infectiously frustrating.

If you were a Friends character, who would you be?

What was your favorite movie in each decade of your life?
Spaceballs, The Matrix, Spirited Away. I’m not saying what order.

What is your favorite Olympic event?
The nachos.


Coffee or tea? Coffee, coffee, coffee.

Mad Men or Breaking Bad? The Sing Off.

Mac or PC? I go both ways.

Manhattan or Brooklyn? Sure.

Hiking or biking? Hiking.

Thanks, Mike, we’ll see you in September!  Until then, be sure to check out One Night Only’s website, IndieGoGo page and preview show in Chicago.