- Title: USA: David Hyde Pierce takes the lead in the new Broadway musical, ''Curtains''
- Date: 19th April 2007
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (RECENT) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID HYDE PIERCE, ACTOR AND STAR OF THE BROADWAY PLAY 'CURTAINS' SAYING: "I am really glad to be back on Broadway. And it's very nice to feel welcomed back, which I do feel from my peers and the community who've come to see the show. I started out here many, many years ago, not doing musicals, but just doing plays. Sometimes when you go off to do television and come back, people aren't so thrilled to have you back. They think 'Great, a TV actor coming back to the stage.' Fortunately, I haven't experienced that. People have been, as I said, very welcoming and... after 11 years of doing a show which I loved, to find a whole new area, which is musical theatre, and be able to come back and really explore this new world is pretty great."
- Embargoed: 4th May 2007 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA9WB60BS8Q2TU26TKWJJ1UAENK
- Story Text: David Hyde Pierce returns to Broadway in his first performance since ''Spamalot.'' He discusses his love of musical theatre and a possible ''Frasier'' reunion.
David Hyde Pierce returns to the Broadway stage and takes the musical lead in his latest Broadway venture, ''Curtains.''
In this new musical, Pierce tackles the role of 'Frank Cioffi' a singing and tap-dancing police officer from Boston. Cioffi is assigned the task of investigating a suspicious murder in a musical theatre company . The story, set in the 1950s, brings Pierce back to the Broadway stage in his first follow-up performance since the critically acclaimed, Tony award-winning ''Spamalot.''
"I am really glad to be back on Broadway. And it's very nice to feel welcomed back, which I do feel from my peers and the community who've come to see the show. I started out here many, many years ago, not doing musicals, but just doing plays. Sometimes when you go off to do television and come back, people aren't so thrilled to have you back. They think 'Great, a TV actor coming back to the stage.' Fortunately, I haven't experienced that. People have been, as I said, very welcoming and... after 11 years of doing a show which I loved, to find a whole new area, which is musical theatre, and be able to come back and really explore this new world is pretty great," said Pierce.
The reviews for "Curtains," one of the last collaborations of composing team John Kander and Fred Ebb, have been mixed. But critics have praised Pierce for his latest on-stage performance. The New York Times said Pierce "steps into full-fledged Broadway stardom with his performance here."
This isn't the first time Pierce has been acknowledged for his theatrical performance. Pierce also received critical acclaim two years ago for his part in the hit Broadway musical spoof "Spamalot." But even with Spamalot's success and his classical training background from Yale University, Pierce admits he was as surprised as his audiences at his rise as a leading man in musical comedy. Will we ever see David in a dramatic leading role in the future?
"I think the chances anyone would cast me as a dramatic leading man, a phantom type, are pretty slim. But I would say that if you had said to me, even during Spamalot, that someone was going to cast me as the leading man of a Broadway musical, which is what happened in 'Curtains', I would have said you were nuts," said Pierce.
The lean, comedic actor gained his fame playing the fastidious psychiatrist Dr. Niles Crane on the hit television series "Frasier." In his role, Pierce learned to make neurotic tendencies funny and even desirable. Even though the long-running television hit came to an end in 2004, David says his former ''Frasier'' castmates are still close and see each other often. Can we ever expect to see the cast of ''Frasier'' reunite again, like many other successful sitcoms casts do?
"Oh Absolutely. John Mahoney is in New York doing 'Prelude to a Kiss' and Kel(sey) was just here doing a wonderful concert version of 'My Fair Lady' with the New York Philharmonic and we got together and had breakfast... and all we talked about was plays that we might do together. Certainly Jane Leeves, who was Daphne, and Peri Gilpin... we all did a benefit performance of 'The Importance of Being Earnest' out in Los Angeles... the cast of Frasier.. and it was pretty darn good. So you never know?," said Pierce.
In his newest musical role, David Hyde Pierce expands his range, adding some serious singing, dancing and seduction to his usual comic touch. He says that roles like 'Frank Cioffi' excite him because they are so unlike ''Niles Crane.'' While the actor actively turns down roles that resemble ''Niles'', he hasn't quite distanced himself from his ''Frasier'' past. He discusses what the sitcom means to him:
"I can definitely tell you what I feel looking back on Frasier because just about every night, after the show... cause you're too wired to go to sleep... I go home and have a glass of wine or a martini. And in New York, usually around 12.30 and, I think, 1 o'clock there are back-to-back reruns of Frasier on. And I will, not every night, but most nights, flip it on just to see what we're doing that night and what my old friends are about. I had it on last night and it was a Halloween episode where John Mahoney was dressed up as 'Sherlock Holmes', and Edward Hibbert, who is in Curtains, was dressed up as 'Chingachgook' from 'Last of the Mohegans'...and on and on it went. It makes me very happy. Even though it is over with, I get to reminisce every night... should I feel the need."
''Frasier'' ran on NBC for 11 years and was one of the most successful sitcoms in television history. The award-winning show even earned David Hyde Pierce four Emmys, one of television's highest honours. In spite of the success and fame he has achieved, David has a secret to keeping his humility:
"I think thinning hair helps you keep your humility. Because it just reminds you that there are some things you can't control, no matter how much you wish you could. I don't know, I think I'm lucky because my real sort of celebrity came from a television show. People tend to view people on television shows as friends, we come into their living room once a week or twice a night, depending upon reruns. And so... it isn't that weird kind of celebrity that movie stars get... where people kind of freak out when they actually see them... they are used to seeing you as a television star. So mainly what I get from people is friendly, supportive, lovely things... and occasionally hugs," he said.
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