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The Understudies Get the Spotlight at ‘At This Performance’

You pay a lot of money to go to a Broadway show. You get there, and you stand, bathed in yellow light and anticipation, beneath the marquee, among all of the women in their sable coats and all the white-haired men in their two-button suits. You get caught up in the throng and are finally urged through the doors and into the lobby, and the lights are dim but intense and there are well-scrubbed ushers checking tickets and directing traffic, and you finally have a moment to breathe and you look at the poster and there’s a photocopied sheet tacked to it saying something along the lines of “The role of Steve Blah Blah will be played, not by BIG NAME YOU REALLY PAID TO SEE, but SOME GUY YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF.” And you’re stuck, unable to ogle Cheyenne Jackson, hoping that the understudy is worth ogling. Disappointment, on at least some level, is inevitable, even if the understudy burns the place down.

But understudies deserve their due. Theirs is not an easy or comfortable craft, and for every one that goes on to become a BIG NAME that PEOPLE WILL PAY TO SEE, there are dozens, maybe hundreds, that will linger on the fringes. And, you know, they’re pretty talented, too. So. Monday night, Musicals Tonight will hold another in their At This Performance understudy spotlight series, at the Lion Theatre on West 42nd just off 9th, and the price is reasonable, and stories will be told. (FULL ARTICLE: Andrew Gans, Playbill)

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