THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: A Little Night Music and Nothing Like a Dame Star Hunter Ryan Herdlicka

By Andrew Gans
March 13, 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 Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, who made his Broadway debut in the revival of A Little Night Music and will be seen in Nothing Like a Dame, the annual benefit for the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative that will be presented March 26 at 7:30 PM at The Gerald Lynch Theatre in Manhattan.

The theme of this year's Dame is "Their Favorite Things," based on this feature series. "Through engaging stories and songs, favorite performers from stage and screen will take the audience on a tour of their favorite shows and performances, highlighting those unforgettable nights in the theatres that have that influenced their careers," according to The Actors Fund. For more information and a complete list of participants, click here.



Lily Tomlin in the 2001 production of The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.

 

"Lily's final monologue was so captivating: 'We were at the back of the theatre, standing there in the dark, all of a sudden I feel one of ‘em tug my sleeve. Whispers, 'Trudy, look.' I said, 'Yeah, goose bumps. You definitely got goose bumps. You really like the play that much?' They said it wasn’t the play gave ‘em goose bumps, it was the audience. I forgot to tell ‘em to watch the play; they’d been watching the audience! Yeah, to see a group of strangers sitting together in the dark, laughing and crying about the same things...that just knocked ‘em out. They said, 'Trudy, the play was soup...the audience—art.'"

 

 

Linda Lavin in Collected Stories.

 

"Her entire performance was brilliant in every sense and a master class for actors. If I had a Tony to give, I would give it to her."

 

Jan Maxwell in The Royal Family.

"This was my first time seeing Jan onstage and long before I knew her; I have to admit I went back three times. Somehow the MTC stage at the Friedman just demands brilliant performances (Linda Lavin, Jan Maxwell, Cynthia Nixon, Laura Linney, and countless others)."

Jeff Calhoun's Deaf West production of Big River.

 

"I'll never forget seeing this show multiple times as well. I think four. I was still in grade school, but it inspired me so much that I even began taking classes to learn American Sign Language. Jeff is just someone who is 'in on the joke.'  And there aren't many of those. He just gets it. And I'll always be a fan."

 

 

Elaine Stritch in Elaine Stritch: At Liberty

 

"This was perhaps the best solo show there has ever been. Her medley of 'But Not For Me / If Love Were All' is constantly playing on my iTunes. There is no one who can craft a song like Elaine."

 

 

Joe Mantello in The Normal Heart

 

"I don't even know where to begin except to say that this man can do it all. A perfect director and a stunning actor. Definitely one of my dreams to work with him. Just putting that out there."

 

 

Bernadette Peters in concert at the Minskoff. 

"I, of course, didn't get to see BP do Sunday in the Park with George live, so when she surprised the audience with 'Children and Art' in Act 2 of her concert a couple of years ago, it was such a gift. I felt like I got to travel back in time and be a part of history. The kindest woman and someone everyone should strive to be like. A true professional."

 

 

Lonny Price in A Class Act.

 

"Another man that can do it all. Act, sing, dance, direct, and the list goes on. If only I could've seen him do Merrily We Roll Along or Master Harold... and the Boys."  
 

 

Sondheim: The Birthday Concert at Lincoln Center.

 

"It's no surprise that this concert was expertly crafted and directed by Lonny Price as well. I remember sitting in the audience and crying probably three or four times...  Or five."

 

Andrew Garfield and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Death of a Salesman.

 

"I saw this show last week and am already trying to find a day to go back. Their performances are monumental."