Cover photo by Lane Peters
What’s your favorite Simon and Garfunkel song? Maybe you’ll get a chance to see it performed live in the concert-style theatre show, The Simon and Garfunkel Story. The journey of this iconic folk-rock duo unfolds at the Merriam Theater for two nights only- January 29th and 30th. Watch as they begin their career and journey through their success as one of the best selling music acts of the 1960s. This show uses video, photos, original film footage, and a full live band to give audiences a unique look at Simon and Garfunkel.
We talked with New York based actor Taylor Bloom about channeling Paul Simon, his favorite songs to perform, and why audiences should take a break from their present day to enjoy him and Ben Cooley tell the incredible story of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.
Q: You began acting at the age of 11. What was your first stage role?
A: My introduction to theatre was as a nameless pirate in a production of Treasure Island. I hadn’t yet learned about makeup so I was the cleanest pirate you’ve ever seen.
Q: You then learned to play guitar from your brother. What’s the first song you learned to play?
A: Ooo…I can’t remember what the first was. I have a distinct memory of another of my brothers challenging me to learn “Boy With a Coin” by Iron and Wine and being extremely proud when I learned it.
Q: What was your audition process like for The Simon & Garfunkel Story? Why did you decide to try out for a role?
A: I had just moved to New York and didn’t have my guitar with me yet so I had to borrow one from a friend for the audition. It was nerve wracking but it turned out well! I decided to go in for it sort of on a whim. I figured, hey, I play guitar!
Q: In your bio, you mention that your favorite Simon & Garfunkel album is The Sounds of Silence. Why does that album in particular mean the most to you?
A: What I love about that album is that it was written before Paul Simon got really clever. It’s like tapping into pure genius without any frills or tricks.
Q: How did you prepare for this tour? Did you discover anything in particular that really fascinates you about Simon and Garfunkel’s music or partnership?
A: I always keep in practice musically and Ben Cooley and I will get together to rehearse a few times before we go out. Then it’s just a matter of looking at the route and the season and packing appropriately.
Q:What are your favorite songs to perform in the show?
A: I love “The Boxer”, “Keep the Customer Satisfied” and “Baby Driver”. Those are songs in which we really get to have fun with the band.
Q: This is your first tour! What have you enjoyed experiencing so far?
A: I love being on tour with this show. Not only do we have loads of fun as a band, visiting coffee shops, exploring towns etc. But I love the lifestyle. It feels like an enormous sleepover.
Q: Why do you think it’s important for fans of Simon and Garfunkel to see this show and learn about their story?
A: Like any other evening of theatrical diversion, our show allows the audience to step out of the present day and have a little break. Day to day concerns get paused for a couple hours, and our audience members get to fondly remember their early lives. Everyone deserves that opportunity.