Jan. 18 marked Legally Blonde star Michael Rupert's 40th anniversary on Broadway. Friends and co-workers of the past and present greeted the Tony-winning actor with a "surprise" celebration at the famous Sardi's restaurant.
It was on this day in 1968 that a teenage "Mike Rupert" made his Broadway debut in the musical The Happy Time at the Broadway Theatre. He played the role of Bibi Bonnard, a performance that earned him the first of three Tony nominations as well as a Theatre World Award. In attendance at the party were numerous actors who have shared the stage with Rupert over the years, including much of the original Falsettos cast.
In a brief speech toasting the performer, producer Hal Luftig brought out his very own original Playbill from The Happy Time and read aloud the young actor's first Broadway bio, which described him as a "West-Coast high school student" with aspirations of one day going to dental school.
Though Rupert has yet to tackle that last goal, he has managed to work consistently on Broadway for the past 40 years. Some of his notable credits on The Great White Way are Pippin, Falsettos, City of Angels, Mail (which he also wrote) and Ragtime. Rupert won the 1986 Tony Award in the Featured Actor category for his performance in that year's Sweet Charity revival.
He is currently appearing as Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde, a role that he created and can be heard performing on the original cast album. For more information, visit jrockingr.com.