Showman Extraordinaire Eugene Eash

By Nancy Marchbanks
Eugene Eash exudes talent out of every pore. He is handsome, charming, and supremely gifted. The man is never idle, constantly juggling several projects at the same time – but he loves the challenge and excitement, and wouldn’t have it any other way. His passion is musical theater, specifically producing shows but he is also a performer and can do ANYTHING. He is the consummate entertainer – a musician (trumpet, piano, drums, guitar) singer, dancer, writer, choreographer, and commands a stage like few can.
Currently, he is writing a show with his musical director, Ken Leonard. Today they were working on the overture, and laying down tracks for the dancers. It is a fundraiser project for the Humane Society. “On Broadway” will undoubtedly bring the house down, with special guest star, Ben Vereen. Tony award winner Vereen, has starred in Broadway theater, movies and television. The show will take place on May 13th at the IP Casino in studio B. The music will be a wonderful array hits from Broadway musicals; Chicago, Oklahoma, Chorus Line, and Phantom of the Opera to name a few.
Eugene performs at 32 at the IP Casino Resort Spa. It is a very intimate show, just he and the piano.  Every Friday night at the same location, Eugene has an ongoing gig with his five piece band called “Double “E” On The Rocks.” They specialize in music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, with a jazz twist. It is extremely popular and people love to dance the night away, while Eugene takes them back to their youth as he puts his own unique spin on their favorites. He also performs at the Hard Rock Biloxi with another band that never fails to thrill the masses,” Eugene Eash Live.”  He has a very eclectic taste in music. He grew up listening to Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack crowd, but also loved Prince, Michael Jackson and Billy Joel, who turned him onto the piano. “I just love music…period. If one audience member is reacting to my performance, if I can impact just one and brighten their day…that is what music is about,” Eugene said.
Dropping out of college to pursue the dream of becoming an entertainer, shocked his family, teachers and professors alike. Watching a performance of Phantom of the Opera was the turning point for Eugene. He was so taken with the actors and singers of the show, and longed for the chance to try it for himself. The next day he made the decision to strike out on his own, abandon his college education, and began going out on auditions whenever the opportunity arose. “I would audition for anything – Cruise lines, theme parks, wherever I could go to get my feet wet. I knew this was what I wanted and what I was meant to do…there was no turning back,” Eugene said. He traveled around the country and learned everything he could. New York City beckoned, and in 92 it proved to be a spring board for his biggest opportunity yet. Eugene found himself hired as a cast member in the last national tour of Chorus Line. “I was really nervous at first, the competition was fierce and I was a rookie and had so much to learn but I pushed through. The principal dancer believed in me and I was not going to let her down,” he said. Doors began to open and Eugene was well on his way to the career he dreamed of.
Eugene performed at Branson, Missouri for many years. He did shows with Mel Tillis, the Osmond Brothers, and many others. Next stop was Las Vegas where he continued to do stage productions. The man has such an impressive list of credits. He could most certainly write his own ticket, and live and perform anywhere…why Biloxi?  “I fell in love with this area from the first moment I arrived. I came down here with a company to perform in a Country Music show, one that I had done in Branson. The people were so wonderful. The southern hospitality, the food, it all left such an impact on me. And I was so ready to get away from the craziness of the big cities,” Eugene said. He returned to the rat race and continued to work in Vegas. When he got an offer to come back to the Coast and do some stage shows, he jumped at the chance and traveled back and forth until Katrina.
Once Eugene Eash had become an accomplished theater song and dance man, he wanted to branch out even further and began producing shows. There was nothing he did not know about the business. Even between shows, during a hiatus or break, he would work behind the scenes and learn everything he could about the technical aspects of the theater. He became so knowledgeable and so well rounded that he felt very confident in taking on a new role, that of the producer. His first effort was a huge hit. Eugene began writing show after show after that and was totally in his element. He writes scripts, music and lyrics, choreography, designs the costumes, and is in complete charge of every aspect of the production in front of the curtain and behind it.
“I honestly do not finish writing a show, until the day of the show. My cast and crew know that I will change things right up until the last minute if I feel it isn’t working – that is rare but it does happen,” Eugene said. He demands excellence from everyone around him and gives nothing less of himself. “When you share the same passion and drive in music, I think you should push yourselves and take things to greater heights…that next level. It takes hard work and commitment,” he added.
Eugene Eash is also in great demand for wedding receptions. If you want to have the most wonderful entertainment to follow your nuptials, he will make your celebration the talk of the town. He said, “We do Coast weddings but we will travel as well. I own a production company complete with two trucks so we are quite mobile. My crew is always on standby and we have everything ready to go for the most elaborate of productions or something small and intimate. Whatever the bride and groom want…I can make it happen!”
An exclusive piece of news that Eugene Eash shared with GTP is that he is auditioning for Simon Cowell’s new show, The X-Factor! It will air on FOX. The winner will go home with an astonishing 5 million dollars in prize money. I know you all wish Eugene the very best as he competes in this unprecedented reality show.
What is this seasoned professional’s advice to those that hunger to be in show business?  “Constantly culture yourself. The Coast is an amazing music scene. Go deep and find what moves you. Go to every possible audition you can, sing at every opportunity and try out your stuff without holding back. Be bold – go to restaurants, clubs and other venues and offer them a chance to see and hear what you can do. Today, you’ve got to have that “IT” factor – a confidence, a passion, a unique style and presence to go with talent.”
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