Bryce Pinkham was recently nominated for a Tony Award as best actor in a musical for his role as the charming and scheming Monty Navarro in A Gentelman's Guide to Love and Murder, unquestionably the best, funniest and wittiest, original musical on Broadway this season. Pinkham talks to T+L about the demands of giving eight performances a week and travels that range from Madagascar to Japan to the Middle East.
Your role is non-stop, requiring stamina, separate and apart from the brisk dialogue, fast-pace movement, and singing. How do you do it?
I grew up playing a lot of sports. Doing the show reminds me of soccer. On stage, there are times when you feel as if you are sprinting, there are other times, when you feel as if you are jogging. But you are always moving and you don't get a break.
And the number of performances?
That's the trick. In addition to the endurance, the energy, focus, and adrenalin of each performance, there's the challenge of doing it eight times a week. I try to keep my days full so that I'm not just waiting to come to the theater. I stay healthier that way. But I do my best to take off completely the day we don't perform.
Tell us about Madagascar.
A fellow actor, long-interested in Madagascar, and I developed a program, Zara Aina, involving American theater artists to work with at-risk youth to create a performance piece based on Madagasi folk tales. It was produced in partnership with a local school and the show toured throughout the country. Perhaps my favorite part of the project turned out to be the satisfaction these 14 kids derived from giving much-needed school supplies to the students for whom they performed.
You have also traveled widely through the program Outside the Wire. What is it?
Outside the Wire is a social impact theater company, Brooklyn-based, that engages professional actors to take an excerpt of a theater-piece, ranging from a Greek tragedy to Eugene O’Neill, to address pressing social and health issues, such as soldier suicide and PTSD, substance abuse, domestic violence, for diverse audiences, including the military, and to encourage understanding. But the theater and the actors are just the catalyst for a discussion among the particular community. It is more rewarding than I can say. Whenever Outside the Wire asks, and whenever I can, I say yes. It has changed my life—and it has taken me throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Mario Mercado is Travel + Leisure's Arts Editor.