Vincent Rodriguez III’s 10 Most Memorable Theatregoing Experiences

Favorite Things   Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Vincent Rodriguez III’s 10 Most Memorable Theatregoing Experiences
 
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alan Cumming, and Nathan Lane are among the stage and screen star’s favorites.
Vincent Rodriguez III
Vincent Rodriguez III Smallz Raskind/© 2015 The CW Network

Vincent Rodriguez III, whose first national tour credits include the 2012 revival of Anything Goes and the screen-to-stage musical Xanadu, can currently be seen as Josh Chan in the award-winning CW musical sitcom Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which recently launched its second season. Here, the singing actor shares the theatrical performances that most affected him as part of the audience.

Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton

Okieriete Onaodowan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos and company in <i>Hamilton </i>
Okieriete Onaodowan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos and company in Hamilton Joan Marcus

This dude has been one of my biggest inspirations since I saw In the Heights. He represents so many awesome things in musical theatre. And when I saw Hamilton, I felt like the show’s music and message spoke straight to my soul. His origin story and this show reminded me to “tell your story…” and to “…not throw my shot” at leaving “my legacy.”

The cast of the revival of 42nd Street

<i>42nd Street</i>
42nd Street Aubrey Reuben

It was one of the first Broadway shows I ever saw. I sat front row center loge, and I still remember that exhilarating moment when the curtain rose to reveal all those tap-dancing feet. All different colors. Tapping together to reveal this glorious force of classic golden age musical theatre tap. I was in heaven. Coincidentally, I was cast in the first national tour of the same show, two years later.

Nathan Lane in The Nance

Nathan Lane in <i>The Nance</i>
Nathan Lane in The Nance Joan Marcus

I was always a fan of Nathan Lane since I heard his voice on the Guys and Dolls revival cast recording. And then I saw The Birdcage, which made me an even bigger fan. But his role in The Nance was an amazing showcase of what this man can do. His vaudeville-style songs and dances were simply great, and his acting just moved me to tears. He’s just one of the best out there.

Brent Carver in Parade

HR - Brent Carver.jpg
Brent Carver

This is a ’cheat cause I never saw the show live, just the Tony performance. But even so, I felt so much when I heard Brent sing “This Is Not Over Yet.” I knew very little about the story, but I got most of it just from hearing him sing that song. It became one of the first songs I recorded in high school as a hopeful music theatre actor.

Deven May in Bat Boy The Musical

Deven May as Bat Boy
Deven May as Bat Boy Richie Fahey

I saw him my senior year of high school. He played the lead, and I was astonished at how brilliantly he played this role, which included: behave like a wild animal, not be able to speak English, learn how to speak English, speak and sing in a British dialect, and sing mega high notes while doing pull-ups. Perfectly. Live. And onstage.

Brian d'Arcy James in Sweet Smell of Success

Brian d'Arcy James in Sweet Smell of Success.
Brian d'Arcy James in Sweet Smell of Success. Paul Kolnik

This is a total cheat ’cause I never saw the show, but this cast recording changed my life. It was, in part, because of Brian's voice and what I felt when I listened to it. I learned how to sing by listening to his voice.

Jim Borstelmann in Chicago

Jim Borstelmann
Jim Borstelmann Joseph Marzullo

I was a chunky 195-lb. martial artist/musician/singer/wannabe dancer when I saw Jim dance in the ensemble of this show. I noticed he was built more like a lean football player compared to the other skinny dancers. He was amazing and he danced the Fosse style with such strength and subtlety. He gave me hope that I could be a professional dancer one day and do Fosse. Then, I did exactly that.

Stanley Wayne Mathis in Kiss Me, Kate

Stanley Wayne Mathis
Stanley Wayne Mathis Joseph Marzullo/WENN

He was an amazing triple threat. He was so funny and charismatic in his scenes, sang with a bold soaring tenor voice, and danced with Broadway electricity flowing through his body. He is extraordinary.

Alan Cumming in Cabaret

Alan Cumming and The Kit Kat Girls in Cabaret.
Alan Cumming and The Kit Kat Girls in Cabaret. Joan Marcus

Alan is one of the most versatile theatrical actors we have on Broadway. Every role I see him in, I feel like I’m seeing a different person. He’s such a chameleon when he performs.

Bertie Carvel in Matilda

Bertie Carvel in <i>Matilda The Musical</i>
Bertie Carvel in Matilda The Musical Joan Marcus

As Miss Agatha Trunchbull, he was brilliantly funny, terrifying, and rooted so deep into this character. His characterization blew me away. It was so inspiring to watch, and it made me want to not only be in that show but to also take on more challenging character roles like Miss Trunchbull.