Meet IRNE Award Nominee Todd Yard
October 8, 2019 by Brian
42nd Street continues to receive rave reviews, and Todd Yard's performance as Julian Marsh is no exception. We sat down with Todd this week to talk a little more about the show, his character and what he has been up to since last appearing at The Umbrella in La Cage Aux Folles back in 2015! Check out the interview below and get your tickets today before we close on October 20th!
People may recognize you when they see you on stage! Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to since your performance as Albin in La Cage Aux Folles?
After growing my body hair back? I’ve been pretty active in Boston over the last several years since La Cage, appearing in a few Moonbox Productions including Barnum and The Wild Party, as well as Man of La Mancha at New Rep, and Gypsy and Company at Lyric Stage. Most recently I appeared in Fun Home with SpeakEasy Stage, both last fall as well as the remounted production this past spring.
What was your first thought when you walked into the new theater? What caught your eye and what do you think people might think when they arrive at a performance?
I hate spending money on bad seats, and when I walked in I think my first thought was how ideally laid out the space was. I don’t think there is a bad seat. There is a more than ample rake, and it’s not too wide nor too deep to make any audience member feel pushed out of the space. I feel the theater will support both a spectacle like 42nd Street as well as more intimate offerings. And cupholders!
What does 42nd STREET mean to you and what do you think the show means to everyone who works in or appreciates the theater?
I love “behind the scenes” productions, whether they show the making of a play, musical, movie, or whatever, and 42nd Street really is the epitome of that. Yes, it is intentionally over-the-top and cartoon at times, as a show about making a spectacular, glitzy musical ought to be, but Julian has a line late in act 2 where he speaks of “five weeks of grind and blood and sweat” and that is so true of the process. An audience sees the finished, glossy, happy end product, but there is so much that goes in to create that, and 42nd Street offers a glimpse.
Tell us a little bit about Julian Marsh and how you approached playing him in The Umbrella’s production? Who is he, and what is it like telling his story?
Julian Marsh is a legendary Broadway director who has been hit by the stock market crash and is desperate for the hit that will save both his finances and his reputation. He is a man used to success, a taskmaster and perfectionist, who is overly demanding of himself and everyone around him. Not an easy man to like, but I believe an easy man to trust and be inspired by. I was very conscious of making Marsh real for me, despite some of the exaggerated dialog and circumstances, and the key I found was his desperation. He is a man always in control and used to success, yet now he finds himself failing from things out of his hands, and he is driven, passionately, to remedy that.
42nd STREET is a classic musical theater. Why do you think it still endures, and why should audiences come to see The Umbrella’s production.
It is classic, but also very modern in some ways, having inspired the many jukebox musicals that have come in recent years. I think the Umbrella’s production also explores certain aspects of the piece differently than has been done in the past. But the heart of the show, the dancing and the spectacle with the timeless, hummable songs supporting it, I still think is the main draw. Seeing “half a hundred kids” (disclaimer: there are not 50 in this production…) tapping in sync through the numbers of the show should bring a smile to anyone with a cup in their cupholder!