Here, via email, we hear from singing actor Claybourne Elder, who is currently starring in the title role of the Signature Theatre production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George.
What show recently impressed you?
Two recent productions really stick out in my mind: The first is Jack Cummings III's production of I Remember Mama at the Transport Group. Jack is always doing something that catches my eye. This production, with an incredible cast made up entirely of women in their 60s, 70s and 80s, blew me away with its delicate sincerity. The women played all the parts in the show, including the male roles, which intensified the nostalgic quality of the play and made me cry for about an hour solid. The other is Nicky Silver's dry and hilarious Too Much Sun at the Vineyard Theatre with fantastic direction by Mark Brokaw. I love Nicky Silver's plays, and this one is a golden nugget. Also Linda Lavin is just incredible. End of story.
What production are you most excited to see?
Well, of course, I can't wait to see my Dot, Brynn O'Malley in Honeymoon in Vegas this fall! I didn't get to see it in its out-of-town run, and everyone I know who saw it says it's gonna be the next big thing.
I'm also really looking forward to the Broadway production of Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced. I saw the production at LCT3/Lincoln Center in 2012 and was blown away, then it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and is now heading toward a Broadway run.
So many! I've always wanted to play Stine in City of Angels. And Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. And Sweeney Todd. And one is George in Sunday, so I'm livin' that dream right now. Not to cop out, but I love working on new material, so I guess I would say the role I'm most excited to play is the one that hasn't been written yet.
What are your current/upcoming projects?
The day after we close Sunday, I start rehearsal on John Doyle's revival of Allegro at Classic Stage playing Joseph Jr. I'm really excited to be back in the room with John; his process is always an adventure (the good kind). Plus he gave me my first job, playing Hollis in Road Show, and this will be the first time I've worked with him since then. I can't wait to bust out my violin and start practicing once we open.
The "Carrie Diaries" is officially canceled, wah wah, so I'm not sure what this spring will hold!