Tom Wopat’s handlers say he’d ‘love’ to play King George in ‘Hamilton’
Representatives for Tom Wopat, the “Dukes of Hazzard” star who last summer admitted to accosting female cast members during rehearsals for a Waltham musical, said Friday that he’d relish the chance to appear in “Hamilton,” the show boasting high praise from critics and equally high ticket prices.
“Tom would love to play King George in Hamilton!,” said a message posted to Wopat’s official Twitter feed.
The posting came after a prior tweet asked Wopat’s 14,200 followers, “What current broadway musical would Tom love to be a part of?”
Wopat, 67, has gradually reentered the spotlight following his guilty plea last July in Waltham District Court to two counts of annoying and accosting a person of the opposite sex, stemming from incidents during rehearsals for a 2017 Reagle Music Theatre production of “42nd Street.” He was sentenced to a year of probation. He also had to bow out of the production following his arrest.
The actor, who also records music, recently launched a concert tour and played Dave’s Beach Cafe in Manhattan on Dec. 20. He’s scheduled to play two shows at Cooter’s in Music City in Nashville on Jan. 26 and 27.
For a while, though, Wopat was under a legal cloud in Massachusetts.
He was arraigned in August 2017 on charges of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 and cocaine possession, after allegedly grabbing an adult female cast member’s buttocks during a rehearsal. Police recovered cocaine from Wopat’s 1996 Ford Bronco at the time of his arrest.
Wopat initially pleaded not guilty, and his publicist later issued a statement saying the actor “firmly” denied the groping allegation and was taking time to address “his ongoing struggle with substance abuse.”
Then authorities brought additional charges of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14 and two counts of accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex, this time for allegedly targeting a 16-year-old performer.
Wopat at one point told the girl during rehearsal that “I’m a creepy old man” and also allegedly poked her stomach and hit her buttocks with his script, telling her, “Nice butt,” a police report said.
Days after his guilty plea, Wopat took to social media to insist that while he would’ve been cleared at trial, his plea deal was “the way to close this case.”
“Hamilton,” meanwhile, continues to play to breathless, sellout crowds on Broadway and regional theaters worldwide.
The actor currently playing King George in New York is significantly younger than Wopat.
Euan Morton, the 41-year-old Scotsman playing the monarch on Broadway, recently completed a tour of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and collaborated previously with playwright Tony Kushner and late children’s book author Maurice Sendak on the musical “Brundibar,” according to a bio on the Hamilton website.
Wopat also has theatrical credits on his CV, in addition to his iconic work on the small screen.
He earned a permanent place in the annals of television history with his star turn as Luke Duke in the long-running “Dukes of Hazzard” show and received Tony nominations for roles in “Annie Get Your Gun” in 1999 and “Catered Affair” in 2008.