THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: The Nance Star Andrea Burns Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences

By Andrew Gans
May 22, 2013

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 original In the Heights star Andrea Burns, who is currently playing Carmen in the new Douglas Carter Beane dark comedy The Nance at the Lyceum Theatre.



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

 

Patti LuPone in Evita

 

"My parents took me when I was nine years old. I memorized the cast recording and I have worshipped Patti ever since. I finally  just met her backstage at The Nance two nights ago. I told her how much I loved her and even shed a few tears of gratitude over that after she left. :)"

 

 

Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin in Sunday in the Park with George

 

"Everything about those performances and that score made me realize the kind of theatre I wanted to be a part of. The entire cast and production was exquisite. This remains one of my all-time favorite shows."

 

 

The original cast of Dreamgirls

 

"Well. I just had no idea you could hear that kind of singing in a Broadway musical. My head was spinning afterwards, and all I could say to my parents was, 'Can we go again?'"

Bernadette Peters in Song and Dance

 

"Act One was a one-woman musical, and Bernadette made you believe you were seeing all of the other characters on stage with her. She was funny, heartbreaking, luminous. I kept a poster of her wearing her 'Nebraska' sweatshirt on my wall in high school and adopted 'Unexpected Song' as my official audition song for years."

 

 

Once on this Island 

 

"It was my first year in New York. La Chanze and the extraordinary cast transported me from homesickness and humility to exhilaration and joy! My roommate used to joke and call it '5, 6 , 7 Times on This Island' because I got standing-room tickets and went every opportunity I could." 

 

 

The 10 Year Reunion Concert of Once on this Island

 

"A decade later, celebrating the original cast in a packed theatre of fans was nothing short of a religious experience. It was post 9/11 and everyone in the theatre was experiencing the show on a much more profound level. I was honored to be in the room and yes, I cried like those crazy fans you see in old Beatles footage."

 

Our Town as presented by Jack Cummings and The Transport Group 

 

"Seasoned actors in their 60s played George and Emily. The cast wore khakis and sat in a u-shaped group of chairs. Production-wise it was so humble, and artistically it was an embarrassment of riches. I couldn't go backstage and meet the actors. I didn't want to know that those weren't the real residents of Grover's Corners."

 

Songs for a New World

 

"The beginning of everything. One of the greatest group of people I have ever worked with in my life. The wonderful Daisy Prince helmed the project with care and humor. My childhood pal, Jason Robert Brown, was dazzling us daily with his compositions and vocal arrangements. And at any given moment, I got to witness my favorite performers, Jessica Molaskey, Brooks Ashmanskas and Billy Porter interpret that spectacular music. Rehearsal was heaven on Earth."

Peter Flynn's 1776 at The Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C.

 

"An exquisite production, starring the incomparable Brooks Ashmanksas as John Adams (a role he was born to play) and a powerful Bob Cuccioli as Dickinson. A true company of gentlemen recreated this pivotal moment of our country's history, minutes away from where our current congress convenes- the energy was palpable."

 

 

In the Heights
 

 

"Joy. Joy. Joy. Lin-Manuel Miranda sprinkled his magic all over us, and Tommy Kail created a sense of community and family unlike I've seen any other director do. The cast was loving beyond belief. We never sang a note or danced a step without acknowledging each other and giving thanks to a higher power for the collaboration. It was an unparalleled creative experience."