Photo FeaturesThank You, Five: Backstage With Take Me Out'sMichael Oberholtzer
Playbill gets ready for places with the 2022 Tony Nominee who, as part of his pre-show routine, makes his own fake chewing tobacco.
Heather Gershonowitz, Diep Tran
December 29, 2022
Watching actor Michael Oberholtzer warm up backstage, it's clear that actors are a type of athlete. Oberholtzer currently plays a baseball player in Take Me Out, the Tony-winning play by Richard Greenberg about a star baseball player (played by Jesse Williams) who comes out as gay, and the effect that decision has on his team.
Oberholtzer may not play baseball in real life, but before the show, he does run the theatrical equivalent of around the bases. He begins his pre-show routine in the mezzanine of the Schoenfeld Theatre, before moving to the stage for warm ups, then backstage, then back to the stage (or shall we say, home base).
Take Me Out won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play when it was onstage this past spring, and Oberholtzer received a Tony nomination for playing Shane, a homophobic (but tortured) baseball player. Take Me Out runs until February 5.
Below, see Olberholtzer get ready to play ball (onstage).
Peacefully in the mezzanine of the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Michael Oberholtzer begins his routine with a warm-up stretch, taking advantage of the wide space.
After stretching, Oberholtzer heads to the stage to practice a fight scene with Jesse Williams (who plays Darren). During the show, this scene is performed with both actors nude.
Oberholtzer practices his pitching skills (the key is to get the arm swing correct, but not actually throw the ball).
After the fight call, Olberholtzer heads to his dressing room. He shaves and makes the tobacco that his character chews on during the show (it's water-soaked wet raisins).
Olberholtzer has some spare time before the show begins, so he gets some air on the fire escape with Eduardo Ramos (who plays two roles in the show: a baseball player and a cop).
Before every show, Olberholtzer chugs a Red Bull. As he's doing so, next to the show's publicist Lauren Duffy, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (who won a Tony Award for playing Mason Marzac in the show) pops in for a pre-show chat.
Olberholtzer does some final stretches before the show begins.
Places! Olberholtzer stands on his mark at the top of the show, which includes the players standing for the National Anthem playing.
See more behind-the-scenes photos of Michael Oberholtzer at Take Me Out below.
Thank You, Five: Backstage with Take Me Out's Michael Oberholtzer