Wednesday, November 2, 2016

CONVERSING WITH DANNY BURSTEIN at American Theatre Critics Association 2016 Bash

Danny Burstein at ATCA Event at Sardis

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of chatting with six-time Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein at the 2016 American Theatre Critics Association bash at Sardis.  

Although he is best known for his work in Broadway musicals (The Drowsy Chaperone; South Pacific; Follies; Cabaret; Fiddler on the Roof), I took the opportunity to single out his performance in the glorious 2013 revival of Lanford Wilson's play Talley's Folley and to ask why he doesn't do more straight plays.  (Here's a link to my review - TALLEY'S FOLLY).

He told me he loved working on that show (a Roundabout production at the Laura Pels) with his co-star Sarah Paulson. But, he said, he sustains his career through a mix of musicals, straight plays, television, and movies. Because he is best known for his performances in musicals, those are the offers he generally gets when it comes to theater work. 

It certainly can't hurt that, as he pointed out, musicals generally run longer than straight plays. Longer runs mean longer periods of time for receiving a pay check, cuz even Tony nominees gotta pay the bills! 

Still, I'm hoping to see him back in a straight play like Talley's Folly or like Clifford Odets' Golden Boy, in which he performed the same year (a production that was helmed by his director from South Pacific, Bartlett Sher.) Burstein nabbed a Tony nomination playing the role of the kind-hearted boxing trainer Tokio. (Here's a link to my review of that show - GOLDEN BOY)

By the way, Burstein is as down-to-earth and friendly as anyone in the business.  While many performers are cautious about even shaking hands, especially while they are in a show (germs, you know!), Danny was giving out bear hugs like they were going out of style.  

You can catch him in his Tony-nominated, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk-winning performance as Tevye in the stellar Broadway revival of Fiddler On The Roof (directed by none other than Bartlett Sher, who is clearly a Burstein fan). Just so you know, the show is closing December 31, so best get your tickets now!  

Oh, and Danny, if you are reading this, tell your wonderful co-star Jessica Hecht that I've had a burning question I've been wanting to ask her for years -- about a Christmas tree. I didn't have a chance to talk to her at Sardis, but she can reach me at  

Feel free to share this blog with your friends, and to offer up your own theater stories by posting a comment. I also invite you to check out the website Show-Score.Com, where you will find capsule reviews of current plays from Yours Truly and many other New York critics.  

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