Michael Cumpsty: Over 15 Years with Roundabout
Michael Cumpsty's first appearance on a Roundabout stage was in 1987 as a "moonstruck poet" in the Off-Broadway production of George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman. Since then, he has appeared in 17 Broadway shows including five Roundabout productions and has been nominated for a Tony Award and two Outer Critics Circle awards. Cumpsty's most recent appearance on Broadway is in Machinal, now playing at the American Airlines Theatre through March 2.
In our 1997 Tony-nominated revival of 1776, Cumpsty played John Dickenson, the "hard-nosed" British loyalist among the delegates debating the Declaration of Independence. Playbill writer Harry Haun observed that the character "couldn't find better representation" than through Michael Cumpsty. Haun highlighted Cumpsty's careful attention to language and precision in delivery, which allowed his Dickenson to be "the perfect pitchman for ideas and ideals."
Cumpsty returned to Roundabout in 2005 in another Tony-nominated production, The Constant Wife. In the 1926 "unromantic" comedy, Cumpsty played an adulterous husband opposite Kate Burton as his betrothed, Constance. USA Today writer Elysa Gardener said, "Michael Cumpsty captures the unfaithful husband's buffoonery with his usual vigor and grace."
Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George marked Cumpsty's third appearance in a Tony-nominated Roundabout production. The musical was inspired by the famous George Seurat painting A Sunday afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Featured in ensemble of the musical, which is centered on a fictitious Seurat, Cumpsty's work did not go unnoticed by New York Times writer Ben Brantley. Brantley remarked, "I've never seen a supporting cast for this show that presents such finely individuated characterizations."
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