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West Side Story - Broadway

The classic American musical returns to Broadway.

Backstage at the Palace: West Side Story's Matthew Hydzik Reveals His Thong and Special Power Ring

Backstage at the Palace: West Side Story's Matthew Hydzik Reveals His Thong and Special Power Ring
Matthew Hydzik
The modesty thong is an insurance policy, if you will, that makes sure the audience doesn’t see more than they paid for.

Matthew Hydzik was pretty amped when he jumped from the ensemble dressing area to his own private digs at the Palace Theatre in December 2009, a perk that came from assuming the leading role of Tony in the Broadway revival of West Side Story. Eight months later, he's still thrilled to be taking the stage nightly in the epic part...but not so crazy about his carpet. "It’s red. Like, red red," he says. " Liza Minnelli did Liza's at the Palace right before [West Side Story] opened. Laura Bell Bundy had everything pink for Legally Blonde, which played right before Liza's show, so Liza said she wanted everything red. I said, 'I don’t want red,' and they said, 'Too bad.' But I did get gray walls, so it’s cool." Take a gander at what else Hydzik, whose only Broadway credit before West Side was the most recent revival of Grease, thinks is cool about his rosy leading man's space.

Photo by Jenny Anderson for Broadway.com


"This is my record player. It’s a Numark PT01, a nice standard portable record player. It’s made its way [here] from several other dressing rooms. I like to warm up to vinyl. My favorites to listen to are old Dinah Washington or Stevie Wonder's Innervisions."


"[This] is my dartboard. It’s a ceremonial thing Bernardo [George Akram] and I do right after his 'America' scene: He comes down, and we play darts. Usually I beat him, so it adds to the tension between us in the next scene. I like to ad-lib, in the most professional way possible, that I beat him to keep that tension going!"


"Here we have knee pads and a modesty thong, basically a flesh-colored thong for men. There’s a few scenes where I have to be in just underwear, so the modesty thong is an insurance policy, if you will, that makes sure the audience doesn’t see more than they paid for. All actors need protection! Both these things have saved my day."


"Next comes my teacup. It goes with me everywhere. Keith, my dresser, brings it to me every night before [I sing] 'Maria.' It’s like a little comfort blanket, getting to sip on some herbal, non-caff tea before jumping on that wave."


"I got this kick-ass ring because I [just got] married. It’s titanium. It’s my special power ring. I’m new to wearing it, so I picked a very special spot next to my wife, Megan Arnoldy's—excuse me, Megan Hydzik's—picture so I always know where it is and remember to put it on before I go home at night."

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