Beau Bridges finds success in 'Business' merger
Beau Bridges, a three-time Emmy winner who has appeared in countless films including, most recently, "The Descendants," joined the cast of the Broadway revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" two weeks ago at the same time as Darren Criss. He took over for John Larroquette in the supporting comic role of J.B. Bigley, the befuddled, pompous company president.
Have you ever done a musical before? A couple of years ago, I did "Guys and Dolls" at the Hollywood Bowl with Jessica Biel. The producers of "How to Succeed" were in the audience, and they cast me based on that.
What's it like to join a Broadway musical that is already running? It's like jumping on a moving train. I knew it would be challenging, so before I stepped in, I started to work with a dance captain and scene coach in L.A. and get my body in shape. So when I got here, I had everything as best together as I could. Musical theater is not one of my strengths.
What's harder for you, singing or dancing? Doing both at the same time is the challenge. It's all about breath control and eventually just going for it and not worrying about touching all the bases.
What's your take on J.B. Bigley? For me, he's a man running a very tightly oiled machine. Everything's in order - he's got everything in order, but he's got a couple of challenges in his life. He's got a wife who makes him crazy. Then this young kid comes who turns his world upside down. I respect so much the way Abe Burrows wrote the dialogue. I'm just trying not to make any mistakes.
How is it working with "Glee" star Darren Criss? Darren has been a ball to be with. We're both kind of newbies - had our first day of school together. He's a very talented young man.
Next week, you'll be doing the show alongside Nick Jonas. He's got the voice of an angel. Another fun aspect of this whole production is that Darren and Nick draw so many young people. The audience is filled with people who've never seen Broadway theater before. To be a part of that experience is wonderful.
What has the stage door been like? Every night, over a thousand people out there - some girls have been waiting for hours.
Are the girls waiting for you, too? (Laughs.)
If you go: "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" plays an open run at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 W. 45th St., 212-239-6200, howtosucceedbroadway.com.