Their Favorite Things: On the Town's Tony Yazbeck Shares His Theatregoing Experiences

Favorite Things   Their Favorite Things: On the Town's Tony Yazbeck Shares His Theatregoing Experiences
 
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 Tony Yazbeck, a 2015 Tony nominee for his performance as Gabey in the Tony-nominated revival of On the Town.

Tony Yazbeck
Tony Yazbeck Photo by John Fortunato

Gypsy

http://cdn-gd.playbill.com/images/cache/remote/http_cdn-images.playbill.com/ee_assets/Aiken/GypsyBway146.jpg

In the order I pulled their names out of a hat (and also alphabetically. Also chronologically. Basically, no rhyme or reason as to why one is listed before the other. grin)

Tyne Daly and Patti LuPone in Gypsy
— As an 11 year old, I was a newsboy for Tyne. I stood in the wings watching her sing “Some People” every night absolutely amazed. Youtube it. You will be, too!
— Later on, I played “Tulsa” in Patti’s production. (Both were directed by Arthur Laurents!) Patti was bold, ferocious, and she stopped the show. Sometimes literally.  :-)

Jessie Mueller in Animal Crackers at The Goodman.

http://cdn-gd.playbill.com/images/cache/remote/http_cdn-images.playbill.com/ee_assets/Aiken/0910Animal_PP_600x360_11.jpg

The moment she opened her mouth at the read through, everyone in the room knew she was a star. I hear she has since moved to New York…?

Mark Rylance in Jerusalem

http://cdn-gd.playbill.com/images/cache/remote/http_cdn-images.playbill.com/ee_assets/Aiken/470.jpg

I sat front-row center, uncontrollably crying as this genius laid his soul bare on the stage. What heart. What skill.  The man is a beast!

Elaine Stritch in her final show at The Carlyle.

Elaine Stritch
Elaine Stritch

Ballsy. Brash. Unapologetically human. Her boldness of spirit remains an inspiration to me. She could deliver any song with complete honesty and vulnerability. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards in After Midnight

http://cdn-gd.playbill.com/images/cache/remote/http_cdn-images.playbill.com/ee_assets/Aiken/midcurt4.jpg
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

She sang jazz so skillfully  — and then unexpectedly broke into a tap dance with a grace and style not seen since the golden age of Broadway. Simply stunning!

Rachel Bay Jones in Pippin

http://cdn-gd.playbill.com/images/cache/remote/http_cdn-images.playbill.com/ee_assets/Aiken/1947.jpg

The range, depth and spontaneity made me laugh and cry uncontrollably. Few performers can achieve such a level of skill and talent on opening night. She was still doing it 2 years into the run.

Scottsboro Boys  — The entire cast

The cast of <i>The Scottsboro Boys</i>
The cast of The Scottsboro Boys Photo by Paul Kolnik

The ensemble of actors worked seamlessly to tell a gripping, heart-wrenching story, guided by Susan Stroman’s truly beautiful, intelligent direction and choreography.

Elizabeth Stanley in Company

http://cdn-gd.playbill.com/images/cache/remote/http_cdn-images.playbill.com/ee_assets/Aiken/Company01.jpg

This isn’t a “get some brownie points with the On the Town folks” kind of thing. Truly, she was simple, honest… and absolutely hilarious.  Great skill.  Great spirit.  Great talent.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.

Brian Stokes Mitchell in South Pacific (Concert at Carnegie Hall)

http://cdn-gd.playbill.com/images/cache/remote/http_cdn-images.playbill.com/ee_assets/Aiken/590_south_interview.jpg

I was lucky enough to be sitting on the stage with the rest of the cast observing this force of nature sing “This Nearly Was Mine.” I couldn’t breathe. I was stunned.

Sutton Foster in Thoroughly Modern Millie – at the out-of-town tryout at La Jolla Playhouse

http://cdn-gd.playbill.com/images/cache/remote/http_cdn-images.playbill.com/ee_assets/blair/bare/fash2/two/Millie_SuttonAloneRed.gif

I was lucky enough to see Sutton Foster in one of her first performances.  After she performed “Gimme, Gimme,” the audience stood and cheered. I turned to my friend and said, “She’s going to win the Tony Award.”

Today’s Most Popular News: