In the hit musical Mean Girls at the August Wilson Theatre, Grey Henson plays the quick-witted Damian Hubbard, a role that brought the young actor Tony, Drama Desk, and Helen Hayes Award nominations for his performance. Henson, who made his Broadway debut as Elder McKinley in The Book of Mormon, also appeared in the national tour of that Tony-winning musical and guest-starred in the TV comedy Suburgatory.
We recently asked Henson to pen a list of his most memorable theatregoing experiences. His choices follow.
Annie Get Your Gun (Bernadette Peters revival)
This was one of the first Broadway shows I saw. I was probably nine years old and in town competing in a ballet competition with my dance studio from Georgia. During intermission my mom convinced me to write Bernadette a note, inviting her to my competition performance the next day. We gave it to security thinking nothing would happen. At the stage door after the show, she came right up to me and told me she was sorry, but she couldn’t make it. (LOL, of course.) She wished me luck and we took a picture. Dreams!
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
I saw this when I was in high school, and it really made me want to pursue acting professionally. A bunch of weirdos acting like kids and being hilarious? Sign. Me. Up.
Next to Normal
I drove from Pittsburgh to New York with a bunch of my classmates from Carnegie Mellon our freshman year to see Broadway shows. Alice Ripley’s performance in this blew our tiny little acting school minds.
Christian Borle in Peter and the Starcatcher
He slammed his hand in the trunk, and I fell in love. Genius.
August: Osage County
This was another show I saw on a trip from Pittsburgh with college buddies. A heavy, three-act play that felt like 20 minutes. I didn’t want it to end.
Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
I saw this production the week before I made my Broadway debut. I sat at one of the café tables on stage, and whenever I made eye contact with Audra, I felt the spirit of Billie Holiday saying something like, “Welcome to Broadway ... you will never be this good.”
Hamilton (Opening night at the Public)
Gavin Creel brought me along as his plus-one to this little, unknown Off-Broadway show. When Renée Elise Goldsberry started singing “Satisfied,” the entire audience audibly gasped. Incredible.
Jennifer Simard in Disaster!
I get to work with the genius that is Jennifer Simard every night in Mean Girls, but I truly fell in love with her when I saw her star turn in Disaster!. Musical Comedy Gold.
Zachary Quinto in The Boys in the Band
I’ve always admired his acting chops, but I couldn’t take my eyes off him in this play. Gays supporting Gays in Gay plays.
Sara Bareilles in Waitress
This show always makes me cry, but to see the songwriter perform her own material was just next level. Also... how dare she be an amazing actress!?