THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Outside Mullingar Star Peter Maloney Shares His Theatregoing Experiences

Favorite Things   THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Outside Mullingar Star Peter Maloney 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 veteran actor Peter Maloney, who currently stars in the new John Patrick Shanley play Outside Mullingar at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Peter Maloney
Peter Maloney Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

(Clicking on a name bolded in blue will take readers to that actor or show's entry in the Playbill Vault.)

David Keating Maloney

"I grew up in the theater, working with my father's amateur company in upstate New York. My father, David Keating Maloney, left the professional theater
at the end of the Great Depression in 1939, leaving New York City to settle in a small town near Rochester. The first (and still) memorable performances
that influenced me were those of my father in plays like Papa Is All, in which he played a black-suited, bull-whip wielding Mennonite tyrant, and Gore Vidal's  The Best Man, in which he played the dying President of the United States. His death onstage left me paralyzed, unable, for a time, to get up and leave my seat in the Rochester Community Playhouse."

 

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The Threepenny Opera

 

"In 1959, after graduating from high school, before starting college, I came to New York on a Greyhound bus for a brief visit. I was 17 when I saw The Threepenny Opera at the Theatre de Lys (now the Lucille Lortel). Bea Arthur and Estelle Parsons were starring with Lotte Lenya. Sitting in the front row of the balcony, watching that rough, smallish but indelible musical, I knew that I had made the right choice of career, that a life in the theater was the life for me."

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 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

 

"It's hard to believe that in the mid-sixties I could sit in the orchestra of a Broadway house for $8.50, but that's what I paid to see Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The play was a stunning, shattering experience, each of its three acts building in tension and energy to what seemed like an impossible level. I had never seen
a performance like Uta Hagen's, and so I chose this great actress to be my acting teacher a few years later, studying with her for four years."

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 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

 

"One of my first jobs in the New York theater was that of usher at the Alvin Theatre during the run of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
For six months I had the privilege of watching great comic actors in the world wring laughs out of happy audiences eight times a week.  Zero Mostel was the star, but my favorite was Jack Gilford, whose portrayal of Hysterium was a crash course in being side-splittingly funny."

 

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 The Servant of Two Masters

 

 "In 1968, while touring Europe with the Open Theater, I saw Giorgio Strehler's (pictured) production of The Servant of Two Masters in Vienna. I had played the role of Arlechino in college, but this hilarious production by the Picolo Teatro of Milano showed me that I had a lot to learn." 

 

 

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Glengarry Glen Ross

"Watching the original Broadway production of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross (I paid to see it five times. And paid a lot more than $8.50), I had never felt
more proud to be an American actor, playwright and director. Director Gregory Mosher and his actors made thrilling theater out of Mamet's dark, nasty play."

 

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Spalding Gray

 

"Spalding Gray's monologues, presented in a retrospective at the Performing Garage on Wooster Street, while not plays, provided me with the most exciting 
theater that year. Starting with Sex and Death to the Age Fourteen, his wry, funny stories, told mostly while sitting behind a table on which sat only a notebook and
a glass of water, made me laugh and made me wonder 'Has Spalding changed the names of the real people he's talking about?'"

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Bill Irwin in The Regard of Flight

 

"Bill Irwin's brilliant The Regard of Flight, which I first saw at the American Place Theatre, showed me that an intellectual could be a clown, and vice versa."

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Jim Norton in Dublin Carol

 

"One of Ireland's gifts to America is the great actor Jim Norton, whose performance in Conor McPherson's Dublin Carol at the Atlantic Theater affected me to such
a degree that I had to leave the theater for a moment to compose myself. Fortunately I was in a seat on the aisle. I returned to the theater quickly and went back to see the play again. I'd not seen such great acting since watching my father onstage in the late 1950's."

 

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West Side Story

 

"While appearing in Arthur Laurents' revival of West Side Story at the Palace Theatre, I watched, every night for three months, the brilliant choreography of Jerome Robbins. His dances had been meticulously recreated, following, step-by-step, the originals as they had been designed in 1958. After my scenes were over I would run up the secret stairway (what they call 'the Judy Garland stairway') and watch, from the back of the house, the most exciting dancing I had ever seen. All of the dancers were terrific, but the best of them all, to my mind, were two: Ryan Steele as Baby John and Kyle Coffman as A-Rab. Unforgettable." 

 

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