Playbill.com's feature series Their Favorite Things asks members of the theatre community to share the Broadway performances that most affected them as part of the audience.
This week we spotlight the choices of Broadway singing actor Nick Blaemire, who is currently starring in the Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of the new musical Found at the Linda Gross Theater.
(Clicking on a name bolded in blue will take readers to that actor or show's entry in the Playbill Vault.)
"My favorite Broadway musicals are the ones that just barely fit there, and Spelling Bee hits that intimate-yet-universal balance right in the bullseye. These two managed to surf the show's transitions from hilarious to heartbreaking in no seconds flat - with superhuman comic timing while never betraying their emotional honesty."
"As the writer, lead guitarist and leading man/MC of a show that could very well have been confusing, Stew directed us through that madness so effortlessly, it was like being on a ride inside the map of his brain. And the line 'when you wake up one morning and realize your entire adult life is based on decisions made by a teenager,' is one I've never forgotten."
"Speaking of effortless double duty, David Cromer was so grounded as the Stage Manager that I thought he was the House Manager at Barrow Street until I realized the show had started. And when I started to smell the bacon on the stove in Act III, I got so sad knowing I would have to leave his Grover's Corners and return to real life. Though, I guess Grover's Corners IS real life... (head explodes)."
"I had just moved to the city, I was broke, and having trouble writing. So I irresponsibly bought an SRO ticket for Rent, so I could be inside a theater and try to get myself out of my slump. And that's the first time I got to see Matt Caplan play Mark, or should I say completely reinvent Mark - finding humor and gravity in places I'd never thought of, after having nerded out over the show since 7th grade. It was just some Tuesday night 8 years into their run, and 3 years into Matt's, but it was an unbelievable performance, and I wrote all night because of it."
Ana Nogueira in Mala Hierba at 2nd Stage Uptown
"So, I may be biased about this one because I'm marrying her, but I was still completely floored by Ana's performance in this play by the great Tanya Saracho. She transformed into this despicable KardashiLohan of a character, and not only managed to make her relatable, but in many ways, the heart of the show. Nothing is more fun than to see someone you love do such beautiful work."
"Performing in Found at the Atlantic is an honor for many reasons, but chief among them is the hallowed ground that makes up the Linda Gross Theater on 20th Street. When I saw Spring Awakening there, it was early in previews, and they were still working out kinks, but I'd never seen anything like it. And I was shocked that John Gallagher was a real person, and could do that performance more than once - it was so specific and nuanced, but so explosive."
"One of my favorite feelings is leaving a theater in silence, for fear that talking will end the experience of seeing that show. After Doubt, I abandoned my family and walked around midtown by myself, trying to memorize the brilliance that I'd just witnessed. Luckily, I've never forgotten, from the charm of Father Flynn's opening monologue to Sister Aloysius' final 'I have such doubts.' Side note: apparently John Patrick Shanley and O'Byrne were the only two people in the building who knew whether or not Father Flynn did it. And whether or not that's true, it's some damn fine theater lore!"
"Part of me did want to see the Letts/Morton production because they're both so amazing, but another part of me was glad to have Irwin as the only George in my memory. His coiled, submissive performance boiled with anger underneath it, and that last fight was some of the best theater I've ever seen."
"I have never been able to properly speak to Joe without feeling childishly starstruck. His ability, both as a director and an actor, is so guttural and without ego or pretense, that even though I never forgot I was watching a rehearsed show, his performance felt like Ned Weeks walked off the street and into the theater to air his epic grievances. I've never cried so hard in public. Snot on arm."
"'Where's the Beef!' 'I'M RUNNING THINGS NOW!' I was in upper balcony, but I might as well have been at the dining room table, watching their spit and vitriol fly past my face. I haven't seen every single 'great piece of work' that has come through New York while I've lived here, but I am completely satisfied with this show and these miraculous women presiding as the Best Thing I've Seen on Stage."