THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: How to Succeed's Michael Urie Shares His Cherished Theatregoing Experiences

By Adam Hetrick
February 15, 2012

Playbill.com's new feature series, Their Favorite Things, asks members of the theatre community to share ten of the Broadway performances that most affected them as part of the audience.

This week we spotlight the choices of Michael Urie, who is currently making his Broadway debut in the revival of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.



Wrong Mountain.

 

"David Hirson's brilliant play about the state of commercial theatre was a critical and box-office flop, but I saw it twice! Incredible characters, side splittingly funny, and a call to arms for any theatre artist. When Daniel Davis did an episode of 'Ugly Betty,' I stalked him in his trailer to gush and then got to watch him be brilliant everyday in The Cherry Orchard.

 

 

Max Wright in Twelfth Night.

 

"As Sir Andrew, he made me want to become a Shakespearean actor. His speech was natural, hilarious, and completely classical. He had the audience in the palm of his hand and said every word like he'd made it up on the spot."

 

Ragtime.

"My first Broadway show, at 17 years old, absolutely blew my mind. The sheer volume of the cast, size of the sets, and intimacy of a Broadway theatre (the Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas was HUGE). I can remember almost every second of it, down to the talk back my college group got with members of the company, the fantastic Peter Freidman and wee Lea Michele!"

Alan Alda, Victor Garber and Alfred Molina in Art.

 

"They destroyed this show! Thrilling."

 

 

How to Succeed... with Ralph Maccio.

 

"At 16, I was treated to the one and only Ralph Macchio kill as Finch in the national tour in Dallas. The show was incredible, and I spent the next two years trying to convince my high school to do it so I could play Bud Frump (since Nolan Noska was sure to get Finch)."

 

 

Bill Irwin in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

 

"The whole cast was incredible, but it was hard to look away from Irwin. I never understood that play until him."

 

 

Talking Heads.

"A rotating cast of geniuses performed these long monologues; Christine Ebersole, Daniel Davis and Lynne Redgrave were on the night I went. Each one more brilliant than the next. Though the Minetta Lane has 400 some seats, I felt like I was the only one they were talking to, and that it was actually someone's living room."

 

 

Urinetown.

 

"I think I literally fell out of my seat at this one. Like, really. Simply one of the most clever and original shows I've ever seen, cheap and brilliant." 

 

Uncle Vanya at Classic Stage Company.

 

"Best. Chekhov. Ever. Austin Pendleton's electric production was like being invisible, watching life happen. Denis O'Hare = Genius (the whole cast was, really)."

 

Angels in America.

 

"Getting to watch a show that you know you're joining is already a very special experience, complex and wonderful, but seeing Michael Greif's production of Tony Kushner's perfect play at the Signature Theatre made time stand still for me. Seven hours in a tiny room felt like a world tour, hilarious and devastating."

 

Berndadette Peters

"She just always inspires me, in everything! And she gave us our dog. (Honestly I didn't even want a dog, I just wanted to start a conversation with her on set at 'Ugly Betty.'  But I do love my dog)."