The Inheritance Star Andrew Burnap’s 11 Favorite Theatregoing Experiences

Favorite Things   The Inheritance Star Andrew Burnap’s 11 Favorite Theatregoing Experiences
 
Performances by Laurie Metcalf, Kevin Kline, Mark Strong, and more are favorites of the star of the Matthew Lopez drama.
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Andrew Burnap is currently offering one of the most memorable performances of the season, playing ill-fated playwright Toby Darling in Matthew Lopez’s two-part epic The Inheritance, a thoroughly moving and often heartbreaking exploration of a group of gay friends and the continued reverberations of the AIDS crisis of the ’80s and ’90s. Burnap, who is as captivating in Darling's numerous comedic moments as he is in the young man's downward spiral, created the role of Darling in both the Young Vic production and the subsequent West End run, which received the 2019 Olivier Award for Best New Play. The Inheritance continues on Broadway through March 15 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

We recently asked Burnap, whose previous theatrical credits include This Day Forward, Troilus and Cressida, King Lear, and The Legend of Georgia McBride, to pen a list of his most memorable theatregoing experiences. His choices follow.

READ: Why You Can’t Take Your Eyes Off Andrew Burnap in The Inheritance

Festen at The Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Cast
Cast Peter Goldberg

The cast was full of my hometown heroes—it was that rare feat when a complete symbiosis occurs, turning the theatre into a place of grace for just a few hours. One I could never, ever forget.

John Lithgow in King Lear

I got to play Spear Carrier No. 7 in this production at The Delacorte (no autographs please), so I witnessed first-hand this genius of a man embody the mad king each and every night. Watching him play with the likes of Annette Bening, Jessica Hecht, and the great Jay O. Sanders was a master class again and again.

Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf, and Allison Pill in Three Tall Women

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Glenda Jackson, Alison Pill, and Laurie Metcalf Brigitte Lacombe

They each transcended the play. Nothing else to be said but thank you (though I might as well put everything Laurie Metcalf has ever done on this list).

Kevin Kline in Present Laughter

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Cobie Smulders and Kevin Kline Joan Marcus

“Acting as play” personified.

Peter Pan at Yale School of Drama

Yale
Yale School of Drama's Peter Pan T. Charles Erickson

A production that the world has yet to see (producers, look here), so I won’t ruin anything. Directed by Dustin Wills…I didn’t know the true power of storytelling (and re-telling) until I saw this. Raw and funny and surprising and terrifying.

Hamilton at The Pantages

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Company Joan Marcus

I saw it a few days after the Charlottesville riots. It’s difficult to describe what I felt watching all of these incredible actors and artists of color tell the origin story of a country that has consistently and systematically denied their worth and humanity. I sat, I wept, I cheered—I don’t think I’ve ever felt such contradictory emotions so stirringly as I did sitting in that theatre that night.

Steven Skybell in Fiddler on the Roof

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Steven Skybell and ensemble Victor Nechay / ProperPix

Possibly the greatest living actor in New York giving the most joyful and full performance. And in Yiddish no less!

The Jungle at The Young Vic

<i>The Jungle</i> at The Young Vic
The Jungle at The Young Vic David Sandison

An immersive, true story of refugees in Calais searching for life and love and survival when the rest of the world seemed like it was turning the other way. Devastating and beautiful.

Les Misérables at Providence Performing Arts Center

The act one finale of Les Misérables.
The act one finale of Les Misérables. Joan Marcus

My first time with anything Les Miz! I was in college, my mom bought us tickets, and from minute one I was fully and totally engrossed. It changed me forever right there in that moment.

Mark Strong in A View from the Bridge

Russell Tovey, Mark Strong and Phoebe Fox in <i>A View From the Bridge</i>
Russell Tovey, Mark Strong and Phoebe Fox in A View From the Bridge Jan Versweyveld

Such a vivid, quietly intense performance. I learned so much from watching him. The whole cast was revelatory!

Heidi Schreck and What the Constitution Means to Me

Heidi Schreck in WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME (2018). Photo by Joan Marcus.jpg
Heidi Schrek in What the Constitution Means to Me (2018) Joan Marcus

Possibly the most moving and unique experience I’ve ever had as an audience member. I could exhaust every superlative I possess—the kind of encounter one yearns for when going to the theatre.

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