Mitchell Anderson's Second Run

Party of Five's Mitchell Anderson left Hollywood for love, settling down with his longtime partner in Atlanta. Now the acting bug is calling him back to the stage in a local production, Octopus, where he plays a gay man looking to spice up his relationship.

BY Jim Farmer

February 08 2008 1:00 AM ET

Actor Mitchell
Anderson, star of TV’s Party of Five and
the film Relax…It’s Just Sex,
lives life less in the spotlight these days. He moved to
Atlanta in 2002 to be with his partner of 11 years,
Richie Arpino.

Now 46, Anderson
quips that ''hair stylist to the stars'' Arpino is the
family’s true celebrity. ''He’s practically an
Atlanta institution, much more famous here than I ever
was,'' says Anderson. ''It’s funny, though—I
do occasionally get people who come to my restaurant looking
for the guy from Party of Five.''

Although he
tackled some local stage roles during his first years in
Atlanta, Anderson ultimately indulged in the challenge
of opening MetroFresh, a healthy fast-food restaurant.
''When I realized that keeping an acting career on a
national level was difficult [here], I looked around
for a new career. I had always been a good cook and enjoyed
bringing people together with food,” he says.

Yet the actor was
lured back recently for the play Octopus, a drama
having its world premiere at Actor’s Express,
an edgy Atlanta theater company. In it Anderson plays
one half of an older gay couple who share a night of sex
with a younger pair, only to have the evening lead to
dire consequences involving disease, a sea monster,
and Anderson’s character finding
himself—literally—at the bottom of the ocean.

Tags: Theater

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