Final Bow- Peter and the Starcatcher's Adam Chanler-Berat on Sondheim and Sexy Mermaids
The actor reflects back on his two year journey with Peter and the Starcatcher.
Every show ends sometime (unless you're Phantom), so before the cast takes their final bow, there are a few things we want to know.
Adam Chanler-Berat, who has been on the Peter and the Starcatcher journey since 2011's New York Theatre Workshop production, will take his final bow at the Brooks Atkinson on January 20. Peter and the Starcatcher will continue Off-Broadway at New World Stages in March. Adam chatted with us about visits from Don Draper, strange gifts from fans, and disembodied mermaid arms.
Name: Adam Chanler-Berat
Role/Show: Boy, Peter and the Starcatcher
1. What is your favorite line that you delivered?
It's always changing. My favorite line currently is "that thing we did." I'm in a state of mind of getting ready to say goodbye to the show and [it] feels particularly resonant to me right now. When these moments come, it's like, how do you sum up the feeling of everything that's happened to you? All we can say is that we did it.
2. Everyone loves inside jokes.
a. What's the best one from your show?
b. Since there probably is one, what's the punch line of your cast's most unprintable inside joke?
a. We have these mermaid outfits, one of which is equipped with doll arms. Every now and then, the arms fall off. I can't tell you how that can really turn around a stale show. If you're having a tough show, the baby's arm is really a game changer. I would really like that to happen in all my shows from now on.
b. Oof, come on.
3. Every show experiences technical difficulties. What was the worst technical difficulty to be experienced during your show and how was it handled?
The things that go wrong are usually human error, someone getting sick, someone's back went out. Kevin Del Aguila got sick in the middle of act 2, and he would go on during the scenes, and Orville Mendoza would go on during the physical parts.
4. What was the most "interesting" present someone gave you at the stage door?
I got a quarter from a girl named Kasey who wrote her name on the quarter. She told me, ‘When you win an award, flash this quarter with my name on it,' so she knows I'll remember her. I was surprised by how bold she was. My ego felt great. Then I found out that she gave a quarter to everyone in the cast. I just gave her quarter away to a yoga class, so thank you, Kasey.
5. Who is the coolest person that came to see your show? (You can't say your family!)
I think Jon Hamm was pretty cool, and Jennifer Westfeldt. I'm a big fan of the two of them separately and together. Is there a question for most embarrassing thing I said to someone? Charles Busch came to see the show and I was so excited when he was backstage and I told him ‘I did The Mystery of Irma Vep in college and I just love that play. I think you're such a great writer.' And he said, ‘Oh darling, that was Charles Ludlam,' who is maybe 30 years older and dead. My face turned beat red and I cowered back into my dressing room.
6. Other than Peter and the Starcatcher, what is your favorite version of the Peter Pan tale?
I watched Hook a lot when I was a kid. The casting is amazing. Dustin Hoffman is one of the greatest Captain Hooks there ever was. Also Robin Williams, you don't get more perfect of a Peter than him. I think I read Charlie Chaplin once played Peter Pan, I always thought he was such a great role model.
7. Who is the sexiest mermaid in the show, and why?
Greg Hildreth, his mermaid used to be called Hot Lunch the Mermaid. Her ta-tas are mustard squirters, and she was sort of messy and stained. I don't think it [got] any hotter than that.
8. What is your Pirate name? (Peter is not an option.)
Dirty is my pirate name. I am Sanchez's right hand man.
9. What is another iconic character of stage, screen, or otherwise that you are dying to portray?
I would love to play George in Sunday in the Park. I know I'm too young now, but eventually.
10. There's so much talk of "home" in the show. What is home for you?
I have this great moment in the show at the very end, [when] the cast comes out on stage, and I'm sitting in the middle, and they're talking about Molly growing old and Wendy going off with Peter. [It's a] moment where I get to be surrounded by all of my friends who made this thing together, sitting on the middle of a Broadway stage looking out at this beautiful theater and I get to say ‘home.'
It's a really amazing, meta-moment for me. It's particularly resonant for me as we're finishing up here and I'm thankful to have had this experience, for our great directors and genius writers. I feel super blessed and grateful.
11. Bonus- What advice do you have for the next cast of Peter and the Starcatcher at New World Stages?
I hope you get physical therapy.