THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: TV, Film and The Fantasticks Star John Davidson Shares His Theatregoing Experiences

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26 Dec 2012

John Davidson
John Davidson

Playbill.com's new 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 stage, television and film star John Davidson, who is currently playing the role of Bellamy in Off-Broadway's The Fantasticks at the Snapple Theater Center.

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

 

Mary Martin in Peter Pan

 

"I include this because it was the first Broadway show I ever saw. I think it was in '52. I even remember that I sat with my mother in the front row of the mezzanine! Mary Martin was amazing! I couldn't believe that a person could command the stage like that."

 

 

Robert Preston in The Music Man

 

"He was my favorite leading man for many years. Such energy. Such passion. And he moved great, too."

 

 

Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady

 

"The way he used the words. He was so charismatic. So vulnerable. Just a grand performance."

Bert Lahr in Foxy

 

"In '64, I came to NYC to start my career, and after just two months I somehow got the role of Bert Lahr's son in the David Merrick musical, Foxy. I never took my eyes off him, offstage and on. He was always worrying about his performance when he was backstage, but when he'd hit the boards a motor started running, a powerful force that drove him to kill 'em every night. He wasn't easy to talk with, but what a lesson in stage craft."

 

 

Jack Cassidy in She Loves Me 

 

"I don't know what year it was, but he was magnetic. A beautiful man. So devilish. Moved great. Took the stage. You couldn't take your eyes off of him. He was a great study."

 

 

Brian Stokes Mitchell in Ragtime

 

"Oh my God! He is still my favorite leading man. The vocal control. The powerful stage presence. He has all the talents and something more....you care about him."

 

 

Norbert Leo Butz in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Dead Accounts

 

"I swear he is in his own category. He is doing something with all his roles that is always so special, that no one else is doing. I really don't know what it is. But it is so real, so right, so free, so inventive, and dynamic. I wish he could teach that to us all!"

 

 

Jim Dale in Barnum

 

"What an electric performer! What a joy to watch! What a study in storytelling!"

Douglas Hodge in Cyrano de Bergerac.

 

"He was so free, so inventive, so honest, and such a wonderful classic actor. He made a sometimes stodgy piece come alive."

 

 

James Corden in One Man, Two Guvnors

 

"He was so free, so effortless, so seemingly improvisational, a communicator, and such a great stage entertainer."