Michael Urie, on the New York stage earlier this season in Bess Wohl’s Grand Horizons, has also been seen on Broadway in the revival of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song as well as Off-Broadway in The Temperamentals, Angels in America, The Government Inspector, The Cherry Orchard, A Bright Room Called Day, and Shows for Days. He was also acclaimed for his performance in Jonathan Tolins’ solo show Buyer & Cellar, which won him a Clarence Derwent Award in addition to a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance.
While making his Broadway debut in 2012 in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Urie shared the 10 Broadway performances that most affected him as part of the audience.
David Hirson's brilliant play about the state of commercial theatre was a critical and box-office flop, but I saw it twice! Incredible characters, side-splittingly funny, and a call to arms for any theatre artist. When Daniel Davis did an episode of Ugly Betty, I stalked him in his trailer to gush and then got to watch him be brilliant every day in The Cherry Orchard.
Angels in America
Getting to watch a show that you know you're joining is already a very special experience, complex and wonderful, but seeing Michael Greif's production of Tony Kushner's perfect play at the Signature Theatre made time stand still for me. Seven hours in a tiny room felt like a world tour, hilarious and devastating.
Max Wright in Twelfth Night
As Sir Andrew, he made me want to become a Shakespearean actor. His speech was natural, hilarious, and completely classical. He had the audience in the palm of his hand and said every word like he'd made it up on the spot.
My first Broadway show, at 17 years old, absolutely blew my mind. The sheer volume of the cast, size of the sets, and intimacy of a Broadway theatre (the Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas was huge). I can remember almost every second of it, down to the talkback my college group got with members of the company, the fantastic Peter Friedman and wee Lea Michele!
They destroyed this show! Thrilling.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying with Ralph Macchio
At 16, I was treated to the one and only Ralph Macchio kill as Finch in the national tour in Dallas. The show was incredible, and I spent the next two years trying to convince my high school to do it so I could play Bud Frump (since Nolan Noska was sure to get Finch).
A rotating cast of geniuses performed these long monologues; Christine Ebersole, Daniel Davis, and Lynne Redgrave were on the night I went. Each one more brilliant than the next. Though the Minetta Lane has 400-some seats, I felt like I was the only one they were talking to, and that it was actually someone's living room.
I think I literally fell out of my seat at this one. Like, really. Simply one of the most clever and original shows I've ever seen, cheap and brilliant.