- Kicking off 2011 with a changed Broadway landscape
- Broadway Mad Libs with Hunter Ryan Herdlicka of A Little Night Music
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Of the shows that closed after New Years, which will you miss the most? Are you amazed by Hunter’s Broadway success story? Will you miss Night Music? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below, and happy 2011!
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka is preparing for the closing of A Little Night Music—for real this time. Last June, the cast of the acclaimed production was given a second life when Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch signed on to replace departing stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury—just two weeks before the show was set to close. For Herdlicka, who is making his Broadway debut at 24 as the morose Henrick, the extension was a fairytale ending to a story that already had one.
“We thought we were done,” Herdlicka said. “I was on my phone and I clicked onto BroadwayWorld.com and I saw that headline that we were going to stay open with Bernadette and Elaine. It was a shock.”
With Night Music, Herdlicka experienced an aspiring young actors dream. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 2009, Herdlicka was cast in the role of Henrick in the revival of A Little Night Music before he even moved to New York. He was, in fact, the first person cast in the show. “It wasn’t until that summer that I started hearing names like Uma Thurman, these celebrities that were going to come and be in the show,” Herdlicka said. “I was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa! They’re not just bringing over the people from the London [Menier Chocolate Factory] production?’ It didn’t hit me till a few months into the run that it was such a huge deal.”
Herdlicka’s audition process took just nine days. During his final callback, he sang for the show’s composer Stephen Sondheim. “I had met him in the elevator on the way up,” Herdlicka said. “I shook his hand, he knew my name. That kind of helped me relax a bit. In the audition room, [director Trevor Nunn] was introducing me to everyone, which makes you feel so comfortable, I wish everyone would do that when you go to an audition. Trevor says, ‘Stephen, this is Hunter.’ And he says, ‘Oh, we go way back!’”
- SRTV celebrates 40 episodes—thank you!
- Hunter Ryan Herdlicka’s star-filled show at Feinstein’s
- Colin Quinn: Long Story Short and other non-traditional Broadway fare
- Broadway grosses
Did you see Hunter Ryan Herdlicka’s Feinstein’s show, Rushers? Are you surprised Bernadette Peters and Jan Maxwell met there for the first time? What do you think of Long Story Short and these other non-play shows coming to Broadway? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below! Follow Stage Rush on Twitter and Facebook for on-the-go updates, news, and sightings.
Bernadette Peters and Jan Maxwell were there. Yes, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, who is making his Broadway debut as the morose Henrik in A Little Night Music, attracted quite the crowd to his second concert at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency Monday night. (Elaine Stritch, who also stars in the show, phoned ahead with her apologies—she was filming an episode of 30 Rock the next morning and needed to rest.) Intertwining charming stories of his New York and musical theater life with hilarious deadpan, Herdlicka performed classic songs from Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Stephen Sondheim.
With Mary-Mitchell Campbell on piano as his music director, Herdlicka began with Porter’s “I Happen To Like New York” in a mashup with another song on life in the Big Apple—“Another Hundred People” from Company. Herdlicka described himself as a musical theater addict. “Someone who is a musical theater addict living in New York is like someone with a gluten allergy working at Amy’s Bread—it’s not easy.”
After recounting his early-developed affinity for musical theater as an “intense” child and how it affected him, Herdlicka sang a medley from Peter Pan, which included “Distant Melody,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land.”
Herdlicka told of his callback audition for A Little Night Music, which included an awkward elevator ride alone with Stephen Sondheim. Herdlicka said he turned to the famous composer and said, “Hi, I’m Hunter. I’m here to sing for you,” to which Sondheim dryly responded, “And I’m here to listen.” Herdlicka followed this story with Gershwin’s “They All Laughed.” Read more
In an anticipated announcement Monday, it was revealed that Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch will replace Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury in A Little Night Music, effective July 13. Zeta-Jones and Lansbury will depart the show June 20, and the production will take a three-week hiatus, during which the actresses will rehearse.
This casting news effectively saves this production from shuttering, as it had already marked June 20 as its closing day. Until this point, the show’s producers had wooed numerous A-list actresses to assume the roles (Gwyneth Paltrow and mother Blythe Danner, Debbie Reynolds), but with no talks coming to fruition. Yet Peters and Stritch’s commitments to the show are a well-deserved saving grace for a high quality production.
I wonder if Peters felt slighted when she began talks for the role, since she wasn’t the first approached, and the other attempts were well publicized. Peters will fit the role extremely well, which makes me question why the producers hadn’t asked her earlier. Although from their first attempts at a replacement, it is clear they were looking for more Hollywood power, and Peters has more Broadway clout to her name than from film. Regardless, I don’t think her name will perform poorly at the box office, as she’s become one of those Broadway legends that people flock to see. Read more