"Choreography," is the answer Tony Award nominee Tim Curry offered when asked what the most difficult part of doing the show was —even as he was standing beside his Tony-nominated choreographer Casey Nicholaw. "I hadn't actually done any choreography for a very long time and I was slow at the best of times. I am, however, as Casey will attest, 'a lovely mover' as we call them in England."
Despite the various levels of dance experience, Nicholaw loved working with the cast to make the musical Camelot come alive. "It was actually fun because everyone has such distinct personalities to actually make everything work for them."
One cast member — also a Tony Award nominee — had never even sung on stage, let alone danced. "'Ordeal' is not a bad way to put it," Hank Azaria (who will vie for Best Performance by a Leading Actor against co-star Curry) told Playbill.com. "The toughest part was getting the singing and dancing part down, it's not really my forte. I'm doing okay, they tailored it for me and my limited skills." The hard work couldn't keep the musical theatre squire down, though. "It was challenging, but it's also been the most fun I've ever had."
Azaria's limited stage experience also did not prepare the actor for the rigorous performance schedule. "It's vocally and physically very demanding, you literally have to be in shape to do it. But I like that, it's kind of fun. But getting there was tough. Creating it was hard, we had a ball, but it was painstaking. And now, it's fun, now that it is what it is: to go in, show up half an hour before, go blow it out, go have a martini, it's great."
Though co-star and fellow Tony nominee Sara Ramirez is a seasoned stage performer, she too found the show to be a test in endurance. "It's a different lifestyle, being on Broadway, [doing] eight show a week with the amount of singing that I do and the kind of range that I have to sing every night." The actress — who is nominated in the Featured Actress in a Musical category — welcomes the shift. "I have to go to bed early, drink lots of water, get a certain amount of sleep. Health is top priority. And all those things are things you should care about anyway, but being in a show like this, it's certainly refocused my life a little more."