Broadway Star Bryce Pinkham Returns To CT For NHSO Holiday Show

Broadway star Bryce Pinkham joins up with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s Brass Quintet for a special concert event “A Broadway Holiday” Dec. 16 at the First Congregational Church in Madison.

Bryce Pinkham starred on Broadway in the musicals “Holiday Inn” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.” He was not, however, in those shows when they premiered in Connecticut (at the Goodspeed Opera House and Hartford Stage, respectively) before their New York successes. Pinkham’s deeper connection to Connecticut would be the years he spent as a student at the Yale School of Drama about a decade ago.

As a student he even found a chance to sing, as the star of Snehal Desai’s student thesis production of Bertolt Brecht’s “Baal” in 2007, as an ensemble member in a lyrical production of Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well” at the Yale Repertory Theatre and as one of the lovers in a Yale Cabaret production of “The Last Five Years.” Also at the Cabaret, Pinkham presented his clown show “Outside the Box.”

“One of the great things about the Yale School of Drama was that you could find anything you wanted to do there,” Pinkham says. “One of the great things about the Yale Cabaret was that you could create anything you wanted to do there.”

Not long after graduating, Pinkham appeared in Michael Wilson’s epic staging of Horton Foote’s “Orphans’ Home Cycle” at Hartford Stage in 2009.

Pinkham’s first Broadway musical was the ahead-of-its-time radical political “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” in which he played Senator Henry Clay. He’d worked previously with that show’s director, Alex Timbers, in a Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Christopher Durang’s play “Beyond Therapy,” and worked with Timbers again in “Love’s Labour’s Lost” for Shakespeare in the Park in 2013.

He starred as Carl in the musical version of the movie “Ghost” in 2012. In between being Monty Navarro in “Gentleman’s Guide” and Jim Hardy in “Holiday Inn,” Pinkham played Peter in the Broadway revival of Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles.”

“I did musicals as a kid, and always enjoyed singing,” Pinkham says, but straight plays rather than musical theater was his career plan when he came to Yale. “I love approaching a musical as a play,” he says. “I love to sing, and I love to bring the intellectual and dramaturgical rigor that was taught to me at Yale.”

For “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” directed by Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak, Pinkham says “the challenge was to take a serial killer and make him an underdog hero. It was just so funny, and I got to be onstage with Jefferson Mays [who played the entire D’Ysquith family] as he gave the performance of a lifetime.”

He nabbed the role of Monty Navarro after “several rounds of auditions, a lengthy callback process. The final callback was the day after my sister’s wedding in California. I had to leave the wedding and fly from California to New York, but I knew it was a special part that played to all my strengths. It really was a life-changing opportunity.”

At the First Congregational Church concert, Pinkham says he will “sing some songs from ‘Holiday Inn,’ and a few other songs that you may not know from holiday musicals.

“I never expected I would be singing with a quartet of brass players. I’ve never done anything like that. But getting out of New York every month or so has been a goal of mine. I thought “I would love to have a relationship with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.’”

In February, Pinkham will be part of a semi-staged concert reading of a newly revised version of the cult musical “Chess” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Besides theater shows and concerts, Pinkham has had recurring roles in the TV series “Mercy Street” and “Blindspot,” and just completed filming his first starring role in a feature film, “The Swerve.”

“I’m a lucky guy, with a lot of irons in the fire,” Pinkham says. “One of the things Yale prepared me for was being able to do lots of things at once.

“A Broadway Holiday,” starring Bryce Pinkham and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s Brass Quintet, happens 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at the First Congregational Church of Madison, 26 Meeting House Lane, Madison. Tickets are are $35-$49. 203-865-0831,

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