Broadway Sandwich: "Beetlejuice"
Follow Broadway's biggest stars during their breaks between matinee and evening performances. Get a behind-the-scenes peek at Bob Mackie’s Tony Award-winning costumes with “The Cher Show” star, Teal Wicks. Witness “Beetlejuice” star Rob McClure’s acrobatic pre-show ritual.
See how the track's shaping up.
I'm gonna get him against the ropes.
-You're gonna die. -I am gonna die.
[ Video game beeps ] About to kick this guy's ass
on your behalf.
I'm about to feed him
a Broadway knuckle sandwich.
[ Laughs ]
Scribner: The lives of Broadway performers are busy.
They only have a few short hours
between their matinee and evening performances,
and they're giving us an inside look,
from grabbing a bite to unwinding.
plus, a backstage tour.
Have you ever wanted to see what we do
in the time sandwiched between performances?
Follow along and find out.
This is "Broadway Sandwich."
Today we're at the Winter Garden Theatre
currently being haunted by
the ghost with the most, Beetlejuice.
It's show time!
[ "The Whole 'Being Dead Thing'" plays ]
♪ Welcome to a show about death ♪
Beetlejuice: I'm gonna need some help.
Scribner: "Beetlejuice" is based on
the 1988 film of the same name by Tim Burton
about a strange and unusual teenager
who meets a recently deceased couple
and a demon that turn her world upside down.
This historic building was built in 1896
but not as a theatre.
It was the American Horse Exchange.
In 1911, the Shuberts bought it and turned it into a theatre.
"Beetlejuice" was nominated for eight Tony Awards,
including Best Musical.
This theatre has had so many stars and shows --
Fanny Brice, Bob Hope, Gypsy Rose Lee,
Mary Martin in "Peter Pan,"
Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl,"
which made her a star.
More recently, "Cats," "Mamma Mia!",
and "School of Rock."
Today we're meeting up with Rob McClure who plays Adam,
a role made famous on film by Alec Baldwin.
In 2013, Rob was nominated for a Tony Award
for his performance in "Chaplin."
Rob and I met doing the first revival
of "Jerome Robbins' Broadway"
at The Muny theatre in St. Louis last summer.
Nah, I'm not gonna do it.
Hi, Garen! How are you, Rob?
How was your matinee?
It was so good. Yeah?
We're having so much fun with this crazy show.
It's incredible. It's so fun.
You're incredible in it. Thanks, man!
So, what's the plan between shows?
'Cause you only have a few short hours
before we got to get you back.
Before I go get something to eat,
I have -- my old high school
was actually at the matinee today.
So I'm gonna go do a talkback with them,
which I love to do between shows.
I do them all the time.
And tell our viewers what a talkback is.
A talkback is basically our chance
to talk to sections of the audience
who have questions.
I love to shatter the sort of --
the idea that what we do is this exclusive club...
Yeah. ...that they should be scared of.
Oh, the proscenium line is so hard. Yeah.
Like us and them. Yeah.
So we're all the same.
And that's the main reason why I love doing talkbacks,
is to, like, break it and come out and just talk.
McClure: What's something I wish I knew
before I went into show business?
Um, that not getting a part
has more to do with you not being right for it
than being good enough to do it.
I auditioned for years
and didn't get a single callback.
Not one callback.
Not even get the part.
Not even a callback.
Um, and then I got my Broadway debut.
2002, it was a play called "I'm Not Rappaport"
with Judd Hirsch and Ben Vereen.
"Oh, my God. I am a Broadway performer!"
And then I didn't work again for four years.
[ Audience chuckles ]
You do not make it.
You just keep chasing.
How long did we take to prepare for "Beetlejuice"?
So, um, if you're starting with the writing of it,
But if you're starting with
preparing it for Broadway,
we have 4 1/2 weeks of rehearsal in a rehearsal room.
Then while we're doing that,
they're building this magic here.
And then we have about a three-week process called tech
where you put together
what we've been doing in the room
with what they've been building in here.
And then you have previews.
And previews is, I think, the hardest part,
because you're rehearsing all day during the day
and then doing the show for an audience at night
and making changes every day.
How many of you is this your first Broadway show?
My first Broadway show ever
was on a school trip in sixth grade,
it was at this theatre,
and I sat in Mezzanine D8 --
one, two, three, four rows up,
one, two, three, four rows in --
to see "Cats."
And I thought at that time
that being on Broadway
was the most ridiculous, unfathomable pipe dream
that would never ever in a million years happen to me.
And I just opened a Broadway show
in the spot where I was thinking that.
We live in a world now where no job is safe.
You can get screwed over by any job.
So why not go after the one that makes you happy?
[ Applause ]
[ Smooches ]
Thank you, guys.
That was so beautiful. Oh, thanks, man.
It was so fun to have you there.
It was so special. They're from your hometown. Yeah.
Are we going this way? Yeah.
They are a good group of kids.
And the thing I love most about,
like, doing that kind of thing,
is so many people, especially educators,
like to tell them how hard it's gonna be.
It's also hard when you have a hinge on your face. Yeah.
They're dreaming of being on Broadway
with a hinge in their face.
[ Laughs ]
Yeah, sometimes the layout
doesn't really work out for you.
You've never been in a show from the beginning
that got nominated for Best Musical, right? That's right.
It's the first time I've been in a show
when it got nominated for Best Musical.
Yeah. And the longer it runs,
the better it would be for my kiddo,
'cause I'm a dad. Who we're gonna meet.
What? Right now.
Let's go see Maggie and my baby.
That sounds perfect. Let's do it. Okay.
There's Maggie. Hi, cutie.
-Hey, Maggie. -How are you doing?
What's going on?
Good to see you. Good to see you, too.
Say "hi, Garen."
What's going on, pumpkin? Sadie!
Say "hi." Ahh.
She's so beautiful.
Thank you. Hey, sweetie.
Thanks for meeting us between shows.
Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
How's it going, sweetie? Where's the baby?
You know, I saw "Beetlejuice,"
which is incredible, and you're amazing in it.
And you sing a whole song about not being sure
you're ready to have a baby.
[ Laughs ] Yeah.
So you were doing that
while you thinking... Yeah.
..."I'm actually going to have a baby.
Maggie, how are we gonna do this?"
You know what?
It's so cool how the roles you play
grow up with you.
Playing a young guy thinking about,
"okay, is it time now, and am I ready for this,"
right in the thick of it has been awesome.
This is your seventh Broadway show.
Seven. That's a lot.
It's a lot. It's incredible.
Yeah, I've been super lucky.
Yeah. I really have.
My Broadway debut -- speaking of lucky --
They were doing this show "I'm Not Rappaport."
So I was working in the box office
and understudying the show,
And two weeks into that run, they said,
"the show is moving to Broadway,
and we're bringing everyone,
and here is your Equity card."
And that was my Broadway debut.
So I was super lucky.
Then came "Avenue Q" which was life changing.
Which you guys did together?
Yeah. On the road. Yeah, we did the tour together, yeah.
Now, one of the other things that you are so known for,
before I met you, before we did a show together,
I heard Rob McClure is, "a," the nicest guy in the business,
and "B" is such a wonderful leader backstage.
I just worked with a lot of people
who appreciate the collaborative nature of it.
And Tony Danza, actually --
when I did "Honeymoon in Vegas" with Tony Danza --
and he asked company management for a picture sheet
of every employee in the building
and memorized it before he got there,
so he could walk in and say, "Hi, Susan."
And he knew that Susan would go, "Whoa.
Tony Danza thought I was important enough
to know my name."
And just that tiny gesture can make someone's day
and immediately make someone want to spend time with you,
want to work with you, want to help you,
help each other.
So, I've worked with a lot of people
who have taught me that, you know,
that that's really valuable.
Okay, I would finish this flatbread,
but I have to go do my pre-show warmup
and having a full stomach is not ideal.
I will explain.
Okay. Let's go. Let's go.
Sorry. I'll pay on the way out.
Okay, sounds good. [ Laughs ]
Okay, so, first of all, the sun is shining.
It's beautiful. Yay, the sun came out.
it's a favorite part of my show --
"60 Second Sandwich." Let's do it.
As many questions as you can answer in 60 seconds.
I have the clues ready. Okay.
Insta user Alyssa Pachulo,
"have you ever taken a prop from a show?
If so, what's your fave?"
Yes. The bendy cane from "Chaplin."
Favorite part of "Beetlejuice" to perform?
[ Grunts ]
Tons of fans want to know, what's your dream role?
45 seconds. Instagrammers TheRealBethRich
KraftyZestyItalianDressing -- Hey --
want to know about the difference between comedy
in "Something Rotten" versus "Beetlejuice."
Um, "Something Rotten"
is a nod to traditional musical theatre,
and "Beetlejuice" is more contemporary.
30 seconds -- Hannah Grace says,
"what's your favorite ice cream flavor?
This is important." Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip.
HahaHarrisonBryan asks for advice
on creating vocal stamina for long runs.
Drink lots of water and gets lots of sleep.
20 seconds -- Ellie Carrots --
Favorite role ever played and why?
Uh, Chaplin because of
the accountability to the real guy
and his family who came to see the show.
12 seconds -- Pita123 wants to know
your craziest on-stage mishap.
10 seconds. Nosebleed.
NicoleGrace921 -- "do you still get nervous?"
AnnetteRayden -- "I have a problem
being in my head while I sing.
How do I let that go?"
Chill out. There are people dying.
[ Timer beeps ] Time's up!
[ Buzzer sounds ] Chill out. People are dying.
Perfect. You nailed it.
Love that. How many questions was that?
I'll take it. Fantastic.
I'll take it. Alright. Perfect.
Oh, we're going this way. Come on, back to the theatre.
Scribner: Now, you are kind of well-known
for your pre-show rituals.
Tell us about what you do before a show.
McClure: I run the seats
to get my diaphragmatic breathing going
for my singing. Gesundheit.
And it's a great warmup for your show... Yeah.
...and it gets you in the zone. Yep.
And it connects me to the room.
I love that. Alright, I'll let you go.
Get out of my way.
The leave it kind of roomy at the Winter Garden.
[ Buzzes lips ]
This was the seat that I sat in 23 years ago
to see "Cats," my first Broadway show.
Scribner: Dreams come true.
Dreams come true!
See how the track's shaping up.
be more pefrfect. It's crazy.
And, so, the first time I ran the seats,
I got up here, and I was like,
"Oh, this is where I sat."
And then I had this, like, sweet idea.
I thought, "you know, I'm gonna --
I'm gonna leave a note to whoever's in D8
just saying, like, 'hey, I don't who you are
or what you dream of.
What I was dreaming of when I sat here 23 years ago
is as farfetched as whatever you might be dreaming of.'"
And that's the thing.
You know, it might be
your 400th performance of something,
but there's a family of five
who have been listening to the cast album
and, uh, they've never seen it before.
Right. So it doesn't matter if it's your 400th time,
because it's been this huge event
for these people who -- you know.
So what number show is this for you?
See how the track's shaping up.
So tonight will be...
my 2,283rd or 4th.
Okay, so, they're gonna open the house up.
Yeah. They're gonna let people in
who are gonna watch you perform.
But before you do that, can we see your dressing room?
You wanna play "Punch-Out"? You know I do.
[ Blows ]
[ Laughs ]
Let's pick up those sticks.
[Bell dings ] Ah!
Wait, so you've only been here a month? Yeah.
How is it perfect already?
I like a room.
I like a room.
And I like to place an order with the universe
that we'll be here awhile.
It's so nice. This has backfired.
You go ahead and decorate, and then...
You got the full bar just in case your show
doesn't go perfectly. Yeah, post-show booze.
Uh, my "Handbook for the Recently Deceased,"
uh, my book of dad jokes.
A lot of this stuff is actually really sentimental.
Um, that's the production
that made me want to be an actor.
And these are some of your other roles.
And these are, um, like, um, costume renderings.
And then this is, um, the, uh, set rendering
of a drop from "Mary Poppins" at The Muny.
And if you haven't noticed I'm a sentimental fool.
So does having these things in your room
make you feel just more homey
or prepared to go on stage? Just at ease.
Yeah. Just at ease.
It just feels like home, you know.
And it feels like I'm surrounded by good.
I love you. Have a great show.
Thanks. Thanks for spending time with us.
-Are you kidding? Anytime. -Alright.
You're the best ever. Thank you. Bye, I love you.
See how the track's shaping up.
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