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"The Young and the Restless" star Christian Le Blanc hits the stage in Off-Broadway's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"

"Young & Restless" star Christian Le Blanc in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
"Young & Restless" star Christian Le Blanc in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" 02:40

NEW YORK -- An actor many regular CBS viewers are very familiar with is making the leap from daytime television drama to an Off-Broadway stage.

Christian Le Blanc is on stage in New York City, on a short summer break from his three-decades-long run on "The Young and the Restless."

He's Michael on the daytime drama, but now, he is "Big Daddy" in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Tennessee Williams' masterpiece play soaked in alcohol, deception and sexual tension.

The original production opened on Broadway in 1955 and won the Pulitzer Pride. The last Broadway revival of it was in 2013 and starred Scarlett Johansson.  

"Here you've got this wonderful thing that you pray for all your career, which is a long period, where you can really dig into a character," Le Blanc told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

He calls Big Daddy "a force of nature."

"There's not a lot of pretense about him," he said.

Le Blanc says working on daytime television for over 30 years has helped prepare him for this role.

"You have this huge story arc over years that you can accommodate your audience and their different life situations and make it  palatable, make them understand something," he said.

Rounding out the cast of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" are Alison Frazier as Big Mama, Sonoya Mizuno as Maggie and Matt de Rogatis as Brick, with the glasses of booze, the crutch and big, heartbreaking secrets.

"He's grown up in a toxic, narcissistic household, and all of that is going to color who he is, and yeah, there is a shade of the whole, 'is he or isn't he' when it comes to his sexuality," de Rogatis said. "There's a lot of lightning going on inside of him."

This production began with de Rogatis writing to the Tennessee Williams estate and managing to get rare permission for a daringly different Off-Broadway version of this classic.

"We ended up now becoming the first off-Broadway house to have 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,'" director Joe Rosario said. "We are amping it up. It is introspective, at the same time. There's a lot going on. It's something that you're gonna watch it and you're gonna be in your seat going like this -- 'Wow, I didn't think that was gonna happen. Oh, that's happening? Wow, wow, wow.'"

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" plays at the Theater at Saint Clements on West 46th Street from July 15 through Aug. 14.

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