Jagged Little Pill Star Derek Klena's 10 Favorite Theatregoing Experiences

Favorite Things   Jagged Little Pill Star Derek Klena's 10 Favorite Theatregoing Experiences
 
Performances by Laurie Metcalf, Mark Rylance, Christian Borle, Joshua Henry, and more top Klena's list.
Derek Klena
Derek Klena Matthew Murphy

Derek Klena, Nick Healy in the new musical Jagged Little Pill, has also been seen on Broadway in Anastasia, The Bridges of Madison County, and Wicked.

Here, the actor shares the theatregoing experiences that most affected him as part of the audience.


Mark Rylance in Jerusalem

Mark Rylance in <i>Jerusalem</i>
Mark Rylance in Jerusalem Simon Annand

I will never forget watching Mark Rylance take over the stage and exert himself the way he did during the course of this show. The way he transforms in everything he does blows me away. One of my favorite actors to watch on stage.

The Ferryman

The_Ferryman_Broadway_Production_Photo_2018_Ferryman0974r_HR.jpg
Company Joan Marcus

Such a grounded play, amazing cast, and fleshed-out characters. I loved everything about it.

Joe Mantello and Ellen Barkin in The Normal Heart

The cast of the 2011 Broadway production of The Normal Heart.
The cast of the 2011 Broadway production of The Normal Heart. Joan Marcus

Such a powerful play, ensemble of actors, and message. Watching Joe expertly drive this emotional rollercoaster of a show, and Ellen Barkin captivate the audience with her strength and resilience, was an experience I will never forget.

Laurie Metcalf in The Other Place

Laurie Metcalf in <i>The Other Place</i>
Laurie Metcalf in The Other Place Joan Marcus

Such an amazingly complex and intricate show that left me stunned. Laurie Metcalf is ridiculous.

Lin-Manuel Miranda in In the Heights

Lin-Manuel Miranda and cast
Lin-Manuel Miranda and cast Joan Marcus

I remember going to see this with my family multiple times because we loved it so much. This is one of the shows and performances that really inspired me to want to be a Broadway performer.

Christian Borle in Peter and the Starcatcher

Christian Borle in <i>Peter and the Starcatcher </i>
Christian Borle in Peter and the Starcatcher

I have probably never laughed harder in a theatre than I did when Christian Borle lost his hand to that treasure chest. He’s a genius. Such a brilliantly imaginative and creative show.

The Scottsboro Boys

Joshua Henry (center) in The Scottsboro Boys.
Joshua Henry (center) in The Scottsboro Boys. Paul Kolnik

From Joshua Henry singing his face off, to Colman Domingo and Forrest McClendon’s physical comedy and grounded strength bringing life to so many tough characters, I was awe-struck by the performances in this show. I vividly remember the cast just standing there silently on that stage, for what seemed like minutes, while tears streamed down each one of their faces. It was such a powerful moment, and a truly moving piece of theatre.

Steven Boyer in Hand to God

Steven Boyer in <i>Hand to God</i>
Steven Boyer in the Broadway production of Hand to God Joan Marcus

When you are watching something and forget that an actor is not only playing a person, but also a possessed puppet demon at the same time, you know you are witnessing something special. What a crazy, amazing ride.

Audra McDonald in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess

Audra McDonald in <i>The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess</i>
Audra McDonald in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Michael J. Lutch

Watching the juggernaut that is Audra McDonald be thrown across the stage while sobbing and singing to perfection is something that I will never quite have figured out….she’s incredible.

Parade at the Mark Taper Forum

T.R. Knight and the company of <I>Parade</I>
T.R. Knight and the company of Parade

This is one of my favorite musicals. Such a powerful, raw, stripped-down production.

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