THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Sunday in the Park's Brynn O'Malley Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences

Playbill.com'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 actress Brynn O'Malley, who is currently playing Dot in the Signature Theatre's production of Sunday in the Park with George.

Brynn O'Malley
Brynn O'Malley

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

Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Death of a Salesman

"Thank you, Sharon Wheatley, for being a Tony voter and taking me to see this. It is rare to walk into something with the highest possible expectations and they are still completely exceeded. His performance was so raw, so vulnerable…. it was almost too painful to watch at times. I remember the woman sitting behind us would fidget with her purse and chomp loudly on hard candy every time she would get uncomfortable. Sharon whispered-screamed at her to knock it off. ATTENTION MUST BE PAID."

 

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Sutton Foster in Thoroughly Modern Millie

 

" Millie opening on Broadway my junior year of college. Let’s just say it took me a solid four years to STOP trying to sing and act just like Sutton after seeing her in this more times than I can remember. An ingénue who was hilarious, could sing her face off, AND dance??? She. Was. My. Everything."

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Steven Pasquale in The Bridges of Madison County

 

"Many people will be surprised to hear that I was NOT an investor in BRIDGES, just a fan. smile What I loved the most about Steve in this role was that he gave a completely selfless performance. I think in the hands of another actor they would’ve been too concerned with making Robert Kincaid 'likable' or 'redeemable' because of the affair. I think most actors would burn A LOT of calories demonstrating Robert’s integrity or innocence or even charm. Steve trusted the material and just 'was.' He quietly gave the show to the incredible (equally giving) Kelli and just wrecked me with his subtle, generous performance. He sang it ok, too."

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Victoria Clark in The Light in the Piazza

 

"I’m sure I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said about her in this role. I saw her in it twice and her performance stills haunts me to this day. I think about the specificity, the amount of detail in her work and I tell myself 'You need to work harder. You can do better. You can go deeper.'"

 

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Phillip Seymour Hoffman & John C. Reilly in True West

 

"Yeah. I saw them play BOTH parts. I saw this show two times on my very first trip to New York, ever. It was like watching two animals fight to-the-death in a cage at the zoo. I wanted to bum-rush the stage, propose marriage, and then ask them to teach me everything they know."

 

 

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Jan Maxwell in City of Conversation

"I know, I know—this Playbill.com feature is supposed to be Broadway performances, but this show SHOULD have come to Broadway, so there. I saw the most theatre this year that I ever have in my life, and this was the performance of the season for me. Hands down. She broke my heart.”

 

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Judy Kaye in Souvenir

 

"I’m not ashamed to admit that I was THAT person laughing so hard at Judy Kaye that I was getting scolding glares from the quieter people around me. I’m sorry. This was one of the funniest performances by a woman I have ever seen in my life. I couldn’t contain myself."

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  Judith Light in Other Desert Cities

 

"I know I know….I didn’t see Lombardi. I know I KNOW! So Other Desert Cities is my Judith Light pick. Good lord, even the nap she took downstage was riveting. The Nap."

 

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Jenna Russell in Sunday in the Park with George

 

"Full disclosure: I was in this production with her and had the honor of pushing her around in a wheelchair every night and, I gotta say, Jenna’s Dot was fantastic, but her Marie was a revelation. I spent about 30 mins with Marie every night and, 6 years later, I still f*&king miss Marie. I miss her like she was my own grandmother."

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Tony Shalhoub in Act One

 

"People who play multiple roles in a show often get a lot of attention and accolades for 'transforming before our VERY EYES' on the stage! I often think their dresser is the one who should be getting all the accolades. I think there’s a lot of presentation of effort, a special pin spot for each new persona blocked with a hold for entrance applause. Tony Shalhoub played three different characters in Act One, and I never once saw the work. He would (seemingly) effortlessly transition from character to character, and the realization that it was still the same actor was always an after-thought…at least for me. He never drew attention to the characters’ varying dialects or affectations. Never demonstrated how hard he was working. He just seamlessly embodied each character and told the damn story. I though it was the quietest tour-de-force of the season."