STAGE VIEWS: Hair's Bryce Ryness

News   STAGE VIEWS: Hair's Bryce Ryness
 
Playbill.com's new series features brief chats with Broadway actors commenting on their recent theatregoing experiences, what productions they are looking forward to and more. Here, via e-mail, we speak with singing actor Bryce Ryness.

Bryce Ryness
Bryce Ryness

What show recently impressed you?
Two weeks ago I got a chance to see Queen of the Mist at the Transport Group. Did you see it? Good. Did you miss it? Shame! I tell you, of all the theatre companies in town, Transport Group is the only company that blows me away every. single. time. Direction? Brilliant and subtle. Like a truffle. Story? Breathtaking. Like watching a steamroller get deconstructed with the brute force of a train collision and the delicacy of a Makoto Fujimora painting. It was art. It was beautiful. Performances? Don't get me started. Mary Testa: The Best-a. Andrew Samonsky? Astonishing. Stanley Bahorek? Is there anything he can't do? But seriously, folks, Jack [Cummings III] and the entire company have such a clear, distinct voice/vision with all their work; it's refreshing and inspiring to see and experience.

What production are you most excited to see?
At this point, I'll see anything. Anyone want to take me to a show? Kidding. We've been working out of town for the past year, so I've missed everything that's hot and current. I guess I'm the most interested in seeing Book of Mormon; because it seems to have the heat of the Sun behind it.

What play/musical would you most like to be revived on Broadway, and which role would you want to play?
Well, for the longest time I kept wondering when another revival of Jesus Christ Superstar was going to come in... and whaddya know? It'll be here in a few months! I tell you what my dream job in that show would be: Standby for All Male Principals — I get goosebumps when I think of the challenge of hollering/experiencing "Gesthemane" at the Saturday matinee, then blustering into "Heaven on Their Minds" at the Saturday night show, and capping off the weekend by screaming "Thirty-Niiiiiinnnne." I am/have been each one of those characters at some point in my life. But, more than that, even though it's a somewhat — shall we say — "commercialized" presentation of the gospel, I think that it's a powerful thing to examine faith through theatre. I think all of us go to art in search of the Divine — a natural attraction as created/creative beings — and that Superstar puts a name to that Divine is worthy of consideration, conversation and continuation... and, apparently, alliteration.

What are your current/upcoming projects?
Be a daddy! We have two kids now, and that requires 22 hours of each day. The leftover hours of the day are spent as such: 1 hour — prepare for tomorrow's audition(s); 20 minutes — spend quality time with Meredith; 20 minutes — write songs for Ryness; and the final 20 minutes — sleep. That is a joke. Sort of.

*** Bryce Ryness played Woof in the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Hair. He was also seen on Broadway in Legally Blonde and Off-Broadway in Hair and Transport Group's Crossing Brooklyn and See Rock City and Other Destinations. The actor played Roger in the tour of Rent, and his regional credits include productions of Cabaret and Floyd Collins (Ovation nomination). His band is named RYNESS.

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