Concert recap: Hunter Ryan Herdlicka at Feinstein’s
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.”
After a tender rendition of “No One Is Alone” from Into The Woods, Herdlicka spoke of his family in Dallas, Texas, where he rarely gets to visit, and transitioned into a graceful and quiet “How Are Things In Glocca Morra?” from Finian’s Rainbow.
When A Little Night Music was in previews, Herdlicka said he was so excited that he couldn’t sleep. One restless night, he took a “Which Sondheim musical are you” quiz on Facebook. He was hoping for a Sweeney Todd result, but instead got Assassins. Herdlicka continued with “Johanna” from Sweeney, a song that he said Peters encouraged him to sing, because it was his show and he could perform whatever he wanted.
Coming full circle to the show he’s currently performing in, Herdlicka sang “The Glamorous Life,” the version that appears in the 1977 film. The song is performed by Desiree Armfeldt’s daughter Fredrika. Adding to the sweetness of the moment, Herdlicka sang the song with Katherine McNamara and Keaton Whittaker—the two young actresses who alternate the role of Fredrika—sitting in the front row.
“I Happen To Like New York” and “Another Hundred People”
“Distant Melody,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land”
“They All Laughed”
“No One Is Alone”
“How Are Things in Glocca Morra?”
“Never Swat A Fly”
“The Apple Tree (Forbidden Fruit)”
“The Glamorous Life”
“Penny In My Pocket”
“The Age of Not Believing”
Feinstein’s at Loews Regency
540 Park Ave.
Were you at Herdlicka’s show, Rushers? What did you think? Have you caught his Henrik in A Little Night Music? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Follow Stage Rush on Facebook and Twitter for on-the-go updates, news, and sightings.