CUE & A REVISITED: If You Could Go Back in Time and Catch Any Broadway Show, What Would It Be?; 70 Actors Respond
By Playbill Staff
February 6, 2013
The editors of Playbill.com have combed through the past seven years of our popular Cue & A feature to select some of our favorite answers to the question, "If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be?" Seventy responses from Broadway actors follow.
(Clicking on a name bolded in blue will take readers to that actor's entry in the Playbill Vault.)
Hard question. There are so many artists and productions that I would have loved to have seen, but two productions that are likely never to be matched are the original Broadway productions of Follies and Pacific Overtures. I feel that I missed something truly great by not seeing those shows.
Mack & Mabel. Who wouldn't want to see a baby Bernadette sing that score?!
The original Sweeney Todd
John Gallagher, Jr.
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
John Gallagher Jr.
The original cast of Rent; I played that record until it wouldn't play anymore when I was 14. I'm excited about Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal returning to their roles because it'll give me a slight taste of what the original experience of that show must have been, if I should be lucky enough to catch them while they're in it. I also would give anything to have been in the audience at the opening night of West Side Story.
To see anything in Broadway’s true Golden Era would be really thrilling… But, I must say I am a big Julie Andrews fan and I would love to have seen her in My Fair Lady (ironically on Broadway in 1956, when the actual Million Dollar Quartet was meeting up at Sun Studios!).
I can't pick just one. I am a total theatre history geek. Plays: The Glass Menagerie with Laurette Taylor; The Rose Tattoo with Maureen Stapleton; David Belasco's original drama of Madame Butterfly, which inspired the Puccini opera.
Musicals: Kurt Weill and Elmer Rice's Street Scene. It's my favourite score. A mad blending of opera, Broadway and jazz.
I would love to have seen Olivier at his peak. Any of his celebrated productions, really. On Broadway, similarly, I'd have loved to have seen Barrymore live.
Rebecca Naomi Jones
That's a toughie. I missed out on seeing Ruined last year and I'm still disappointed. I know that was Off-Broadway, and therefore I'm not answering the question, but it's what comes to mind.
A Streetcar Named Desire, the original
Nikki Renee Daniels
I would love to catch the original Dreamgirls.
Sarah Uriarte Berry
I wish I had seen A Chorus Line, Patti LuPone in Evita and Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd.
The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke
I would like to see the original Nicholas Nickleby or Eleonora Duse in something.
Photo by Aubrey Reuben
Gypsy with either Ethel Merman or Angela Lansbury
Annie Get Your Gun with Ethel Merman
The Glass Menagerie, to see Laurette Taylor in a performance many say was unsurpassed. I also wish I could have seen Ethel Merman in Annie Get Your Gun or Gypsy.
I would have loved to see an original production of Hair in the 60's in the middle of the revolution it was fighting for.
Plus I would get to see Ben Vereen, or Tim Curry on the West End, or get to see Kenny Ortega do his thing as Berger in San Fran.
Rachel de Benedet
The original cast of Mame or Barbara Cook in She Loves Me.
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Maybe Long Day’s Journey or Moon For the Misbegotten with Jason Robards. Any of the O’Neill plays he did. Some of those are on DVD and they're amazing. Duvall in American Buffalo. Ugh, so, so many.
The original production of Sweeney Todd with Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury
Hm... it might be The Who's Tommy, with Alice Ripley as Mrs. Walker. Oh yeah!
Anything with Montgomery Clift.
Either the original company of Sweeney Todd, Angela Lansbury in Mame or Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl.
Al Pacino in American Buffalo
It's unfair to pick only one. The list gets longer the more plays I read and the more shows that close without having seen. I'll name a few: Awake and Sing with Stella Adler and Sanford Meisner, the original company of Hair, True West with Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly, Side Show with Alice Ripley.
The original West Side Story.
This is the hardest question to answer! After some thought, I would love to have been in the audience of the history-making performance of The Pajama Game where an unknown chorus girl/understudy Shirley MacLaine went on for Carol Haney.
I'm such a huge fan of Judy Holliday. I would love to see her do Bells Are Ringing, one of my very favorite shows. I can't promise I wouldn't steal some of her bits.
Probably Cats. I saw it when I was little, but every time I see photos from that show I wish I could see it again, for pure hilarity's sake.
1st ever of West Side Story....oh, to hear that!!
I'm a big Superman fan, so I would have loved to have seen It's a Bird ... It's a Plane ... It's Superman. And Angela Lansbury as Mame - I got to do the show with Juliet Prowse who was phenomenal. Still, I'd love to soak up the whole 60's vibe on Broadway.
Funny Girl with Streisand at the Winter Garden, or A Chorus Line Off-Broadway at the Public
Marissa Jaret Winokur
Anything Ethel Merman was in.
Lee J. Cobb in Death of a Salesman
Would love to catch opening night of Funny Girl. Can you imagine?
Robin de Jesus
Honestly there are several; Follies, Merrily We Roll Along and even though I saw it 5 times, Caroline or Change. Caroline changed my life.
The original production of The Who's Tommy
Carrie: The Musical. Any show that has a song where a bunch of women throw tampons at someone, while singing "plug it up!"...that's my kind of show. Seriously, I'd love to have seen Colleen Dewhurst in Moon for the Misbegotten or Tallulah in Skin of Our Teeth.
Andrea McArdle in Annie. Duh.
Lawrence Olivier's Othello
Love! Valour! Compassion!
Dead End by Sidney Kingsley
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with Zero Mostel
Mary Catherine Garrison
Oh, that's easy, that would be Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards in A Moon for the Misbegotten.
The original Sunday in the Park with George (even though the revival was pretty amazing!)
Hamlet with Richard Burton and The Music Man with Robert Preston.
Vanessa Williams in Kiss of the Spider Woman; Terrence McNally told me she was so hot, people gasped when she entered. I gasp every time she comes on set at "Ugly Betty."
Me and My Girl (1986)
Andre De Shields
For its complexity of human emotion, big soul, giant pathos, immensely credible performances and tremendously satisfying coup de théâtre finale, I would catch, for a second time Coram Boy, arguably one of the most misunderstood and under appreciated contemporary plays to ever grace a Broadway stage.
An appearance by the Nicholas Brothers.
The Robber Bridegroom
The musical 1776 starring Brent Spiner. (Could I have come up with something more profound for the sake of this interview? Yes. But I'm a huge fan of "The Next Generation," and I would follow Brent Spiner to the ends of the earth.)
Really tough question, so I'll ignore it and answer with a few...Lee J. Cobb in Death of a Salesman, Len Cariou in Sweeney Todd, Ethel Merman in Gypsy and On The Twentieth Century, my favorite show album.
All the original productions of the Prince/Sondheim shows from the 70s and anything with Gwen Verdon
Brando in Streetcar, Burgess Meredith in Liliom, George Hearn in Sweeney Todd.
I think it would have been cool to see Streisand in Funny Girl and Ray Bolger in Where's Charley? and I often think about how crazy and exciting it must have been to see Oklahoma! without knowing anything about it, so my answer is original cast, Follies.
Photo by Ernio Hernandez
Anything James Earl Jones was doing...anything.
I would like to have seen my grandfather on stage or anything that John Wilkes Booth was in.
Original Damn Yankees (I am a huge sports fan)
Any of the Odets plays by The Group Theatre at the Longacre where we're doing Boeing-Boeing. It's amazing to think about what happened in this gorgeous old theatre.
A Raisin in the Sun with Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee.
Baby. I love that music so much and have never seen the show. I did get to do a concert version of it for Reprise, so that was fun.
I would go back in time and see all the original R and H shows...and I would want to see the original West Side Story and Gypsy.
Marlon Brando in Streetcar, which was done at the Ethel Barrymore where we're doing Speed-the-Plow
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
The original cast of A Chorus Line or Hair
Three way tie: Ethel Merman in Gypsy, Zero Mostel in Fiddler on the Roof and Jennifer Holliday in Dreamgirls.
A Streetcar Named Desire, but any of the original Marx Brothers' shows. My dad had the time of his life as a young naval officer experiencing one of their events and I've always been envious.
Gwen Verdon in Sweet Charity