THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Chicago Star Brent Barrett Shares His Theatregoing Experiences

By Andrew Gans
February 5, 2014's 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 singing actor Brent Barrett, who is currently playing slick lawyer Billy Flynn in the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre.

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

Vanessa Redgrave in When She Danced

"There was a moment in the show when Vanessa, playing Isadore Duncan, rehearses a dance standing still. She stood there letting the music wash over her, and you could see the entire dance by the expression on her face. Mesmerizing."



John Raitt Singing "Soliloquy"


"John Raitt, at 80, singing the 'Soliloquy,' at the BC/EFA Easter Bonnet show. Jaw-droppingly good. A couple years later, I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Raitt when he dropped by our rehearsal of Pajama Game at Encores. You could tell he still had the fire, and wanted to be on that stage singing 'Hey There.'"


 Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd


"Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury singing 'A Little Priest' in the original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd. One of the first shows I saw after I moved to NY. Perfection."


Sunday in the Park with George


"The title song from Sunday in the Park with George. I watched it on the Tony Awards before I saw the show, and it made me cry, it was so beautiful. I had the same reaction when I experienced it, watching the show. It starts as a whisper, an idea, like the painting, and grows to a glorious work of art."



Sleep No More


 "A totally engulfing theatrical experience. I loved the anonymity of the masks, and the environmental, voyeuristic aspect of the production." 



 One Man, Two Guvnors


"I have never had so much fun in the theater as I did watching One Man, Two Guvnors.
James Corden, was brilliant. But I almost fell out of my seat laughing when Tom Edden threw himself down the stairs."


The Wiz


"When I moved to NY, I was so excited to see The Wiz. I had listened to the cast album before I saw the show, and Stephanie Mills and the cast exceeded my expectations."


Richard Kiley in Man of La Mancha


"I saw Richard Kiley, a hero of mine, in a touring production of Man of La Mancha, when I was going to school in Pittsburgh. What a beautiful, moving performance."

Cirque du Soleil's KA


"Living in Las Vegas, I saw all of the Cirque du Soleil shows. They are all spectacular in their own way. But in KA, when the entire stage elevates to a standing position, and all the sand that has been the desert, slides off into the oblivion below the stage, well, it was better than a chandelier."



Fiona Shaw in Machinal at London's National


"A fierce, raw and terrifying performance."