Washington native to perform “My Fair Lady” with NC Symphony

Published 5:54 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2018

“Damn Yankees,” “Anything Goes,” “Hello, Dolly”— Charlie Tingen starred in all during his years at Washington High School. Now he’s back in North Carolina for a limited engagement with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra.

Feb. 16-17, Tingen will be onstage at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh, performing in “My Fair Lady: In Concert.” Alongside Emmy winner Peter Scolari and Broadway’s Elena Shaddow, Tingen stars as Freddy Eynsford-Hill — the role known for its solo “On the Street Where You Live” — and said he’s looking forward to performing closer to home.

“I am just so excited and so grateful for the opportunity to do that, because I have a lot of friends and family who don’t get the opportunity to come and see me perform,” Tingen said.

Tingen lives full time in New York City, where he is pursuing his career in musical theater. A couple of years ago, he was on a national tour with “The Producers.” Since, he’s made his Off-Broadway debut in “Whiskey Pants: The Mayor of Williamsburg,” a limited-run, contemporary operetta described by New York critics as “a cross between Mad Max and Hamilton,” according to Tingen.

“Somebody came and saw me in that show and with that, they reached out to me with the North Carolina symphony opportunity,” Tingen said.

It’s not the usual way one gets a starring role — he said he spends most of his time auditioning for productions.

“It’s a lot of pounding the pavement. A lot of people, at least in my family, assume it’s a very glamorous life, but it’s, like, the absolutely farthest from it,” he said. “It’s a lot of work and a lot of rejection as well.”

For four years, Tingen has been in New York City, pursuing his dream of being an actor. A 2010 graduate of Washington High School, he went on to earn a bachelor’s of fine arts in musical theater from Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach. But the dream started much earlier than when he starred in his high school plays: in pre-school, he hijacked a performance of “Miss Spider’s Tea Party,” improvising the role of a butterfly, instead of his assigned role of a rain cloud.

“It’s a story my mom likes to tell,” Tingen laughed.

It was only when he attended the drama program at Governor’s School one summer in high school that he realized he could actually make a career out of acting—and he has.

“I’ve been really lucky this past year,” he said. “My auditions, my booking success rate has been pretty good. I’ve been pretty lucky so far.”

Tingen makes it back to Washington a few times a year, and said he appreciates growing up in the small town and all the continued love and support he’s received from its residents.

“There’s nothing like living in New York City to make you appreciate Washington,” he said.

“My Fair Lady: In Concert” is playing Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.; Feb. 17, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. For more information or tickets, visit www.ncsymphony.org/events/62/my-fair-lady-in-concert/.