Comscore

How did Cynthia Nixon do Hurlyburly and The Real Thing at the same time?

winston89 Profile Photo
winston89
Broadway Legend
joined:6/18/06
I know that I have heard stories of Cynthia Nixon being in the Broadway productions of both Hurlyburly and The Real Thing at the same time. But, what I can't figure out is how she did it from a schedule standpoint. If two shows have the same performance schedule, then how can you be in two places at the same time?
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
best12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
She was in Act 1 of one show and Act 2 of the other. The theatres were two blocks apart. I'm pretty sure she missed the curtain call in one of them, but that's it.

Both shows were directed by Mike Nichols.

EDIT: As far as I know, this has never happened before or since, with a performer in two Broadway shows simultaneously. (Broadway and cabaret, yes ... Broadway and Off-Broadway, yes ... but not two shows running on Broadway.)
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Updated On: 1/5/12 at 06:21 AM
henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
She only had one scene in The Real Thing, which was in Act 2, which although not very long was the best scene in that production thanks to her (the revival of The Real Thing was much better than the original IMHO).

I'm not sure if she wasn't in Act 2 of Hurly Burly. I don't think she was in The Real Thing curtain call.

This is nothing however compared to Elaine Stritch's commuting from checking in to make sure Merman, whom she was understudying, was going on in Call Me Madam, before heading up to New Haven to sing "Zip" as Gladys in Act 2 of Pal Joey. Or as Merman said to her one night when Stritch was in a panic, and as Stritch brilliantly related in At Liberty, "Elaine will ya for Chrisake go up to New Haven and sing the ****ing song!"
AC126748 Profile Photo
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
In HURLYBURLY, the character of Donna is in the very beginning of the first act, then doesn't reappear until the final scene. Since the play is close to 3.5 hours, Nixon could have pretty much gone and done an entire two-act play in her down time.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
"In HURLYBURLY, the character of Donna is in the very beginning of the first act, then doesn't reappear until the final scene. Since the play is close to 3.5 hours, Nixon could have pretty much gone and done an entire two-act play in her down time."

But you know in the back of each stage manager's mind, there was always the lurking question "What if something happens while she's moving from one theater to another?"
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
somethingwicked Profile Photo
somethingwicked
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/05
As AC pointed out, because HURLYBURY was so long, Nixon was able to do the curtain call for THE REAL THING without a problem.

Interestingly, Nixon talks in her Downstage Center podcast about how there was a scene they cut from HURLYBURLY out of town which, had it been kept for New York, would have prevented her from being able to do both plays simultaneously, since it brought back her character sooner in the storyline. It was reinstated for the recent Off-Broadway revival.

best12bars, Nixon said in the same interview that Equity has since come out and made a rule forbidding anyone from being able to do what she did. In order to appease those who felt Nixon may be taking work from another actor, THE REAL THING had to hire a second offstage female cover for her role, since this all happened when Nixon went back into the show after initially leaving to do HURLYBURLY and being replaced by her understudy, Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa on The Simpsons.) I believe the rule only applies to playing two principal roles concurrently, since Charlotte d'Amboise was playing Roxie Hart in CHICAGO and standing by for Charity in the SWEET CHARITY revival simultaneously a few seasons ago.
Tonya Pinkins: Then we had a "Lot's Wife" last June that was my personal favorite. I'm still trying to get them to let me sing it at some performance where we get to sing an excerpt that's gone.
Tony Kushner: You can sing it at my funeral.
Updated On: 1/5/12 at 10:28 AM
WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
She was also driven via a car service between the theatres.

There was also a person who was with her as she travelled the 2 blocks back and forth to make sure everything went smoothly. A "Cynthia Wrangler" as it were.

Wasn't she like 16 at the time?
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
AC126748 Profile Photo
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Wasn't she like 16 at the time?

18.

"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
Updated On: 1/5/12 at 02:10 PM
somethingwicked Profile Photo
somethingwicked
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/05
WOSQ, she wasn't driven by a car service between the theaters, nor did she have a "wrangler." She says in the Downstage Center interview, when asked if she had to run from stage door to stage door, that she walked very casually from show to show every night.

Tonya Pinkins: Then we had a "Lot's Wife" last June that was my personal favorite. I'm still trying to get them to let me sing it at some performance where we get to sing an excerpt that's gone.
Tony Kushner: You can sing it at my funeral.
Updated On: 1/5/12 at 02:12 PM
daredevil
Stand-by
joined:8/17/05
In Spring of 1962, a very fine actress named Madeleine Sherwood, was playing Morgan Le fey in Camelot, while understudying Bette Davis (later Shelley Winters) in the role of Maxine in Night of the Iguana. The Royale, where Iguana played was right behind the Majestic, where Camelot was running. My understanding was that she played both roles several times; Maxine is a big role but has a long break offstage in Act II; it was possible for Sherwood to cross to the Majestic, play the short scene as Le Fey, and then return to the Royale for Maxine's final entrance.
AC126748 Profile Photo
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Rita Gardner also understudied TWO roles on Broadway while appearing in JACQUES BREL... downtown in The Village Gate.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
best12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Understudying or standing by is not the same thing as doing eight shows a week of two Broadway productions simultaneously.

Still, it's fascinating info.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
morosco Profile Photo
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
I seem to remember Nixon detailing her shortcut between theatres so that she could avoid 8th Ave and Times Square. One of the shortcuts was through the Edison Hotel lobby. (A shortcut I'm sure we've all used on multiple occasions.)

CurtainPullDowner Profile Photo
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
I've heard some nights she stopped for a bowl of matzoh ball soup at the Polish Tea Room.
AC126748 Profile Photo
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Understudying or standing by is not the same thing as doing eight shows a week of two Broadway productions simultaneously.

Of course. I just found it fascinating when Gardner told the story about having to go uptown, check in at two theatres, make sure she wasn't needed, then go all the way downtown to sign in for half hour at JACQUES BREL. She told the story in her wonderful cabaret act...apparently Larry Hagman would occasionally ferry her from theatre to theatre on his motorcycle.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
brettarnett Profile Photo
brettarnett
Stand-by
joined:5/2/09
Sorry to bring up an old thread but this one is fascinating! Has anyone else done this in recent times? Or at least star in a Broadway show and understudy in another?
WestCoastActor/Director Profile Photo
WestCoastActor/Director
Chorus Member
joined:2/8/05
After starring as Oliver with Patti LuPone and Ron Moody, Braden Danner originated the role of Gavoche in Les Miz and Control in Starlight Express. Control was a pre-taped voice over but after Gavoche dies he would go to the other theatre for the Curtain Call as Control and then go back to Les Mis to bow. He was only 12 and was also on One Life To Live as Buddy as his day job. Three roles at the same time!

Starlight Express
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
Performer: Braden Danner [Voice of the Boy]
Mar 15, 1987 - Jan 08, 1989
Les Misérables
[Musical, Drama, Original]
Performer: Braden Danner [Gavroche]
Mar 12, 1987 - May 18, 2003
VeraCharles3 Profile Photo
VeraCharles3
Featured Actor
joined:8/4/10
Don't know if this has been mentioned before and I don't think the play has played Broadway yet but the Alan Ayckbourn play(s) "House and Garden" are two plays which play in two different theatres at the same time with the cast appearing in both. One play is set in the House and the other play in the Garden. It was performed at the National theatre in the Westend - the Olivier Theatre and Lyttelton Theatre.

So obviously depending on what play you go and see, you see a play set in either House or Garden and the cast have to run between theatres to appear in both productions.

I know it's not the same as appearing in two different plays as two different characters but it's a fun idea so thought i'd share.
AC126748 Profile Photo
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
HOUSE and GARDEN were done simultaneously in New York at MTC's City Center space, which has two stages.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
VeraCharles3 Profile Photo
VeraCharles3
Featured Actor
joined:8/4/10
Thank you AC126748, I didn't realise it had played New York

AC126748 Profile Photo
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
There was an article in the Times around the time of the premiere that explained the mechanics of how the backstage operated during a performance, moving the actors from one stage to the next. I'd search for it but I have to go into a meeting. But it's out there if you want to look.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
Mattbrain Profile Photo
Mattbrain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/23/05
Actually on the DVD of the McKellen/Dench Macbeth, Ian McKellen tells the story of how the fella who played King Duncan in his production of Macbeth was also in the first and last scene of Comedy of Errors at another theater so once he got killed in Macbeth (spoiler), he would bicycle over to…I want to say, do the last scene of Comedy of Errors.
Butters, go buy World of Warcraft, install it on your computer, and join the online sensation before we all murder you. --Cartman: South Park ATTENTION FANS: I will be played by James Barbour in the upcoming musical, "BroadwayWorld: The Musical."
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Speaking of Cynthia Nixon, she is on Bill de Blasio's mayoral transition team.

So being able to dash from one theater to another is a resume enhancer.


Link
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Updated On: 11/21/13 at 10:34 AM
VeraCharles3 Profile Photo
VeraCharles3
Featured Actor
joined:8/4/10
Thanks again AC126748, I will have a search online later.

Enjoy your meeting

Mattbrain - Thanks also, I would have loved to have seen the McKellen/Dench Macbeth.
AC126748 Profile Photo
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Didn't Raul Julia appear as Osric in HAMLET at the Delacorte while starring in TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA on Broadway?
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
someone.else's.story2 Profile Photo
someone.else's.story2
Leading Actor
joined:3/18/07
Her Downstage Center episode explains it- and is worth checking out.
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” ``oscar wilde``

1
Page:

BROADWAYWORLD TV