Backstage on Broadway: David Hyde Pierce gives tour, talks directorial debut in “It Shoulda Been You”

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"The Brooks Atkinson Theatre, part of the history here is that it’s where I made my Broadway debut as an actor, ” David Hyde Pierce said.

It's a blast from the past for award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce.

“This is our wig room, not only is this the wig room, this was my first dressing room on Broadway in 1982," he smiled. "This is where I used to live and now it’s full of hair and I’m not."

The quick-witted performer took us backstage of his new show, It Shoulda Been You. He's taking on a different type of role this time, making his directorial debut.

“This was the thing that made me want to direct or at least made me want to direct this," he explained. "I love the piece and I thought it had a lot to say and was very funny.”

It's a musical comedy about two wildly different families coming together for a wedding. Then an ex-boyfriend shows up and all hell breaks loose.

“For awhile you might think oh I know what this is, there’s the typical wedding problems,” Pierce said.  "Then during the course of the show crazier things start to happen and the whole thing starts to unwind.”

Pierce is no stranger to craziness and chaos.

He brought the laughs for more than a decade as Doctor Niles Crane on the TV show "Frasier."

He also recently played opposite Julianna Margulies in "The Good Wife." It had been more than 10 years since he had been on TV.

“It’s a really welcoming, wonderful set, Julianna sets the tone,” he said.

It Shoulda Been You is more than just his latest project though, it's very dear to him.

“My husband Brian [Hargrove] wrote the book and lyrics," Pierce said. "I would have to say I decided to direct it in spite of that, because that could've lead to trouble.”

And from day one, David Hyde Pierce set the tone and team atmosphere by asking everyone to play a game of volleyball.

Yup, you heard right, not your typical rehearsal method. He learned it from one his directors many years ago.

“Maybe open up the alley or something, I would love that because I think it’s a good thing, we’re doing it and we’re gonna have fun haha”

"I think they [the cast] were probably skeptical [at first]," he smirked. “But once we would start they just loved it!"

It Shoulda Been You is now playing at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre and has no scheduled closing date.

 

Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi and Rebecca Millman