The beloved Gene Cox to grace Barksdale Theater stage

It’s not even been a full month since he left NBC12, but former television anchor Gene Cox will try his hand at acting, making a one-night-only performance in a local production of a Broadway play. Oh, and by the way: what else has this revered Richmond figure been up to?

Newscaster. Beloved public figure. Man about town. These are a few descriptors that Richmonders conjure in their minds when they think of Gene Cox. Well, get ready to add another one into the mix:

Thespian.

Cox, who recently retired as NBC12 anchor after 33 years at the station, will make a one-time-only cameo appearance in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels as The Hotel Manager in the Barksdale Theatre’s production of the popular Broadway musical.

Based on the 1988 comedy film starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels follows the exploits of two con men residing on the French Riviera: Lawrence Jameson, who swindles money from wealthy women, and Freddy Benson, who uses his grandmother’s ill health to woo disheartened women to supply him with money.

Cox will appear on stage with Broadway leading man Jeff McCarthy and accomplished local actor Scott Wichmann, with a performance Cox says, “will make you laugh out loud.” When asked about his involvement in the play, Cox lauds the local production. “It’s very good,” he says. “You have to laugh.”

Cox appeared in “four or five plays” when he attended college at Marshall University. Since retiring from NBC12, Cox has had to learn to contend with a new lifestyle. “It’s quite an adjustment,” he said in a telephone interview. “I spend a lot of time on my blog.” Later this month, he will publish an e-book titled, The Inventor, which will be available on various electronic reading platforms, such as Amazon’s Kindle store, as well as on Barnes & Noble’s Nook reader.

It seems that with retirement, Cox is becoming a bit of a Renaissance man. Speaking of his involvement with the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels production, he says, “I thought this would be something different.”

Tickets are available at the Barksdale Theatre Box Office at 804.282.2620

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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