Final Bow

Final Bow: Golden Boy Seth Numrich on Broadway’s Ghosts, Boxing, and Yvonne Strahovski

The young actor scores a TKO in this edition of our on-going series.

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.

In Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy, Seth Numrich plays Joe Bonaparte, a young man torn between a life as a violinist or a world-renowned professional boxer. But there’s no career-confusion in the mind Numrich, a fast-rising young actor whose Broadway credits also include War Horse and The Merchant of Venice. “I gotta say how unbelievable amazing our company for Golden Boy has been,” he told us. “Everyone onstage and off has been a joy to work with and I’ll miss them all.”

As Lincoln Center Theater’s acclaimed, 75th Anniversary Revival of the classic boxing drama comes to a close, Numrich spoke with us about his love of pineapples, why his co-star, Yvonne Strahovski, could probably take him in the ring, and how the ghosts of the past continue to haunt the Belasco Theatre.

Seth Numrich
Seth Numrich
(© David Gordon, Paul Kolnik)

Name: Seth Numrich
Role/Show: Joe Bonaparte/Golden Boy

1. What is your favorite line that you delivered?
“I wouldn’t look at you twice if they hung you naked from a Christmas tree!” Odets sure had a way with insults…

2. Everyone loves inside jokes. So tell us…
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. Vayu O’Donnell plays Eddie Fuseli’s gangster-assistant in the show, and his costume includes a pair of leather gloves that are way too small for him. Thus, his name became “Baby Hands,” and we have come up with many alternate plot points for his character. Sometimes I can’t look at him onstage or I’ll laugh.

b. “Bonaparte.”

3. Every show experiences technical difficulties. What was the worst technical difficulty to be experienced during your show and how was it handled?
It is well known that the Belasco Theatre (our home for Golden Boy) is haunted, and the ghosts were very active during our run. They frequently stopped our platforms from moving, once knocked over a drink cart sending props and liquid into the front row…But my favorite was when Lucas Caleb Rooney got inexplicably locked inside his dressing room for about 30 minutes during the show. He almost had to climb out a window to make his entrance.

4. What was the most “interesting” present someone gave you at the stage door?
A dear friend of mine always brings a pineapple instead if flowers when he comes to a show. I love it.

5. Who is the coolest person that came to see your show? (You can’t say your family!)
I have three: Stella Adler’s daughter, Ellen, came to our opening night; John Garfield’s daughter, Julie, came during previews; and Clifford Odet’s son, Walt, has been very involved and supportive of the production throughout the run. He’s an amazing guy. It’s great to be connected to the incredible legacy of this play and the Group Theatre.

6. Golden Boy is a very serious play. How do you and your cast unwind after the show?
Typically our cast would retire to one of the great restaurant/bars near our theatre and hang out before heading home. I was always really hungry after the show, so I’d usually be stuffing my face.

7. How athletic were you before you took up the role of Joe Bonaparte? How has that changed?
If you think you’re in shape, try boxing. You’ll discover that you are not. It’s the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever attempted, but I love it and I want to keep up some of the training.

8. Who in your cast do you think would put up the best fight in the ring? Why?
Probably Yvonne Strahovski. She’s beautiful, but dangerous.

9. What is one thing that you learned about professional boxing that lay people wouldn’t know?
Boxing is really an art form. It might just look like two people beating each other up, but when you look closer it’s actually quite beautiful and interesting.

10. Would you rather throw a punch or take one?
I’m gonna say neither. I’ll stick with pretending.

Featured In This Story

Golden Boy

Closed: January 20, 2013