InDepth InterView: Andrew Rannells Talks NY Pops JOURNEY ON Gala, BOOK OF MORMON, New TV Series & More
Today we are talking to one of the biggest new stars on Broadway who first burst onto the scene in HAIRSPRAY but has since carved out a place in the great pantheon of theatre history in creating the iconic lead role of Elder Price in the Broadway hit of the decade, THE BOOK OF MORMON - Andrew Rannells. One among many on the incredibly impressive list of performers at Monday night's NY Pops JOURNEY ON gala at Carnegie Hall celebrating the music and lyrics of Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty, Rannells joins many of the other accomplished Broadway/Hollywood crossover stars of modern Broadway as well as those who predominantly tread the boards. Illustrating his journey with the edgy and ribald musical smash THE BOOK OF MORMOM from workshop to Broadway, the Tony Awards and beyond, Rannells paints the picture of the show's road to success and imparts his effervescent enthusiasm and all too apparent joy to be appearing in such a crowd-pleasing and joyous experience eight times a week. Additionally, Rannells shares his thoughts on the upcoming national tour starring Gavin Creel and whether or not there will be a MORMON film version sooner rather than later. Plus, Rannells gives also us the first look at his 21st century parenting and adoption-themed NBC pilot, THE NEW NORMAL, and outlines the finer points of the story, his character and the themes of the hotly anticipated new single-camera comedy series coming from the creator of GLEE, Ryan Murphy. All of that, his favorite Ahrens & Flaherty songs, future acting plans, the 411 on his character arc on HBO's GIRLS and his upcoming role in the feature film BACHELORETTE - and much, much more!The New York Pops 29th Birthday Gala: JOURNEY ON will be presented on April 30 at 7 PM. More information is available here. Check out the previous entries in this series with InDepth InterView: Lynn Ahrens, available here; InDepth InterView: Stephen Flaherty, available here; and InDepth InterView: Marin Mazzie, available here.
PC: What is it like doing a five show weekend in THE BOOK OF MORMON? Are you used to it yet or is it still a challenge to keep up your energy?
PC: How fabulous that you are managing to keep your fingers in multiple pies, as it were - running the gamut of mediums.AR: [Laughs.] Hey, what can I say? I'm a very lucky guy.PC: So, what will you be singing at JOURNEY ON on Monday?AR: I am singing "Love Who You Love" from A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE. It is a really beautiful song that Roger Rees originally sang.PC: A great choice for your voice.AR: Yeah, we jacked up the key a little bit and I am going to take a crack at it on Monday - I am really excited.PC: Has it been instructive to work with the composer and lyricist themselves in preparing your performance for JOURNEY ON?AR: Oh, yes - they are both so lovely. They know exactly what they want - you know, I sang it once and Stephen immidiately knew what key he wanted it in and they were so helpful and complimentary. They are just so fantastic and it was such a treat to get to rehearse with them. Monday will be a lot of fun - you know, we have a big rehearsal during the day and then, it's like, you just do it that night. It's kind of nuts - it will all happen so quickly. But, I am really, really looking forward to it. PC: Will this be your NY Pops and Carnegie Hall debut?AR: Yes - this will be my first time with the Pops and definitely my first time singing at Carnegie Hall, too. It's a huge, huge honor. PC: Monday: Carnegie Hall; Tuesday: La Scala!AR: Right! Right. [Laughs.] That's what it feels like.PC: Is there a role in an Ahrens & Flaherty show you would like to take on in the future - A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE perhaps?AR: Oh, I think you might be onto something - I just love that show. I do think that that would be the one that would be at the top of my list. I know they are working on some really exciting new things, too, so who knows? PC: Do you plan on exploring other great theatrical composers and lyricists in the future, too - Sondheim?AR: Yes! Yes, of course. That would be such a thrill - especially to work with him. To work with Sondheim and James Lapine would be a real, real treat.PC: Speaking of which, you would be superb as the Baker in INTO THE WOODS.AR: Oh, I love it! I'd love it. PC: Are movies something you would like to move into, as well - a movie musical, maybe?AR: Oh, sure - actually, I just shot a movie in the Fall called BACHELORETTE that is based on a play by Leslie Headland that was done at Playwrights Horizons. It's a very funny dark comedy.PC: A great cast - Kirsten Dunst, James Marsden, Isla Fisher.AR: Yeah - it's an amazing cast. It was a lot of fun to work on - I have a very small part and I basically play around with Isla Fisher, but it was really fun to do. PC: Was her husband Sacha Baron Cohen around?AR: No, no - he was busy off shooting THE DICTATOR. I am so excited to see THE BACHLORETTE - you know, the whole completed thing, now that they are finishing editing it and everything. I think it will be really, really good.PC: What was sharing the set with Liza Minnelli in SEX & THE CITY 2 like?AR: Oh, we had three full days onset with her, so we all got to watch her lipsynch "Single Ladies". It was absolutely amazing to be with her. She's the best.PC: You would know, Andrew - this was so fantastic today. We can't wait for all that's coming up! Thank you.AR: Oh, thank you so very much, Pat. This was fantastic. Bye.