STAGE VIEWS: Other Desert Cities' Matthew Risch

News   STAGE VIEWS: Other Desert Cities' Matthew Risch's new series features brief chats with Broadway actors commenting on their recent theatregoing experiences, what productions they are looking forward to and more. Here, via e-mail, we speak with singing actor Matthew Risch.

Matthew Risch
Matthew Risch

What production are you most excited to see?
To be honest, I'm most looking forward to seeing Rachelle Rak's I'm In [Jan. 22-23] at Le Poisson Rouge. It is destined to be the event of the New Year, and I for one am not about to miss it. I have been an avid follower of hers for the past year or so and believe you me, she is not to be believed. She's the ultimate gypsy, a rock star, The Broadway Bares Diva, and an animal. Not to mention she's dazzling, she's exciting, and she's very, very sexy. Let me tell you, the "everybody gets a medal" generation is over and Sas is here to toughen us up and teach us a new language. What else can I say? I'm In! And, I also wanna see Porgy & Bess.

What play/musical would you most like to revive on Broadway, and which role would you want to play?
Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. I witnessed all of my best girls bleed, sweat and cry over Getting. That. Part. It was so inspiring. Yes. Fanny Brice is a nailing-it role.

What are your current/upcoming projects?
I'm currently standing by for the role of Trip Wyeth in Other Desert Cities over at the Booth Theatre. I just wrapped up having an amazing three weeks being on while the incredibly talented Tommy Sadoski was shooting out in LA. I've been with this play since it was Off-Broadway, and it's been such a gift to be able to explore this extremely delicate and layered piece with this group of individuals, all of whom are truly inspiring. Robbie Baitz has done an incredible job at pulling in an audience and revealing character and plot through humor only to then see it all unravel to its powerfully dramatic core. He's drawn these five people with such complexity you find yourself siding with each one at different moments in the story, and just when you think you've finalized your stance, it all gets turned upside down. It's an incredibly compelling, moving piece, and I'm very proud to be a part of it.

In the midst of that, I did a workshop of Sycamore Trees, which is a new musical I had done out of town a couple summers ago. It was so great to be in a room again with Ricky [Ian Gordon], Tina [Landau], and the rest of that amazing group. Not only has Ricky written some of his most beautiful music to date, they are some of the best new songs from a musical I've heard in a while. I would be very surprised if it couldn't find a life here in NYC.

*** On Broadway Matthew Risch was seen as Joey Evans opposite Stockard Channing in the revival of Pal JoeyLegally Blonde (Carlos, Warner u/s); and Chicago (Sgt. Fogarty, Fred Casely); he is currently a standby in Other Desert Cities. Risch played Levi in the tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and he also appeared on "Blue Bloods," "Gossip Girl" and “Lipstick Jungle.”

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