From the show art to the audience to the musical numbers, Tuck Everlasting and American Psycho could not be more different. Tuck is a soaring fairy tale told by an 11-year-old girl; American Psycho features driving bass and a plastic blood spatter curtain. Yet these two worlds collide in Robert Lenzi and Krystina Alabado’s Inwood apartment. Alabado is in the hot-pants-and-shoulder-pad-clad ensemble of Psycho, while Lenzi stars as the sad, but sweet elder Everlasting brother, Miles Tuck. Their shows may not have much in common, but this couple has a lot to talk about over coffee at the Algonquin Hotel as they experience simultaneous openings of original musicals on Broadway.
You two represent the full spectrum of what Broadway has to offer this season! Your shows are so different, but are there any commonalities in your experiences right now?
Robert Lenzi: To open a new work on Broadway is such an intense and long process, so to be in the trenches at the same time together is really nice. We help each other and really understand the schedule. It’s also cool that both shows are based on literary works. It’s been fun to read through the books together and talk about them before we even started all of this.
Krystina Alabado: Doing two new Broadway musicals at the same time might be a once-in-a-lifetime [experience]. We open exactly one week apart. When he got his Broadway offer I was kind of waiting (and hoping) American Psycho was going to happen, but then I was like, “There’s no way that this would align so perfectly.”
RL: The first time we saw Hamilton together was the first time we saw both of the ads [for our shows] in Playbill, so we ripped them out and put them on our fridge.
Your theatres are also back to back!
RL: That’s what’s so crazy. She’s on 45th and Eighth and I’m on 44th. She’s at the Schoenfeld and I’m at the Broadhurst. I don’t know the exact history, but they were designed by the same architect. The theatres are essentially mirrors of each other: My stage left is her stage right. There’s a little alley—it might be three feet wide—between them with two doors that lead to our theatres.
KA: It’s crazy! If I’m standing stage right in my theatre and changing my costume I can see his stage when the doors are open.
Is it comforting to know that you are so close to each other throughout the work day/night?
KA: Yes! I love it.
RL: Their show uses a lot of house and techno music. If I’m way on my stage left I can feel the beat of their show, so I always know she’s there, and I always know what moment they’re on in the show.
That could prove to be pretty convenient.
RL: We had a Gypsy Run [a performance at an odd time so other theatre folk can watch] on a Tuesday afternoon and she couldn’t come because they had rehearsal.
KA: But we were working on a lot of separate things and so I told my stage manager, “On this next ten I’m going to find a way to get into [the Broadhurst]. I had my ticket for the Gypsy Run in my bra.
RL: Just in case.
KA: I was in wig prep with my mic and I had my beanie on when they called the next ten [minute break]. I pushed start on a timer I had on my phone and started the adventure of getting into the Broadhurst. I went into the alley and the door [between our theatres] was locked. It’s never locked, but this fly man saw me and asked me what I was trying to do. I told him that my boyfriend was in the show and that I just needed to see it for ten minutes. He was like, “Let me get you in there!” We ran backstage and he told a stage hand that I was Bob’s girlfriend and that I needed to get in the audience. The stage hand was like, “Come on!” We ran under their stage and he passed me on to the stage-door guy, who then runs me around to the front of the house. I literally sat my butt in the seat right as they started Act Two. I was so excited because Bob’s song and his major scene are in Act Two. I got to [see them] and then my timer went off, and I ran backstage and back through the door. I got back [to the Schoenfeld] right when the ten was over. It was a weird Broadway adventure.
I love that everyone wanted to help you.
KA: It felt like such a movie moment. I was crying when I got back to the Schoenfeld because he is so insanely amazing in his show, but then I was like, “Ok let’s go,” and I went onstage in a fierce number.
Talk about a mood change! Bob, what did you think when you first saw Krystina in American Psycho?
RL: I actually got to go to their final dress, which was great, and that was the first time I saw it. She tends to do all the really wacky, dark shows. She did Lazarus, American Idiot and Spring Awakening, so I guess I wasn’t that surprised, but more just like, “This is her career. This is what she does.” What’s great, though, is finally getting to experience what you’ve been hearing about second hand, because I get the rehearsal report every day.
KA: Now you know all the things I’ve been talking about.
Have your casts mixed a lot yet?
RL: A little bit. I get out before her so I always go to the Schoenfeld stage door…
KA: And my friends are like, “Bob’s out there waiting for you!” I love it. All of our friends think it’s so cute and they can’t believe this is happening. One of my girlfriends was like, “This is what I dream will happen for me and my boyfriend,” and I said, “It’s as cool as it seems. I promise.”