From the moment the all-male cast of That Championship Season sets foot on the stage of the Jacobs Theatre, one thing is very clear: These guys are a team. Kiefer Sutherland, Chris Noth, Jason Patric and Jim Gaffigan play one-time members of a high school basketball team gathered at the home of their former Coach, played Brian Cox, 20 years after they won the 1952 state championship. When Broadway.com caught up with them on their opening night, we had to ask: What sort of male bonding goes into forming this tight-knit ensemble?
“I have never hung around with a group of men that consume so much alcohol in my entire life,” joked Gaffigan. No surprise, considering that these guys are on a Broadway bender eight times a week. Enough faux beer and whiskey is consumed during the two-hour show to merit a credit in the program. As such, Gaffigan and Patric have developed a fitting pre-show ritual to get a taste of the real thing. “We gargle with Jameson,” Gaffigan said. “Oh yeah,” Patric agreed, “15 minutes before the show, Jim comes down, we gargle and get our tongues burning and do some vocal exercises.”
Sutherland reserves his cutting loose for the hours post-show. The dressing rooms, he said, don’t have a locker room feel, “but sometimes the bar after does,” the 24 star said with a laugh. As for the pre-show whiskey routine, “I’m not so much a gargler," he cracked, “so I’d probably get myself in trouble.” Team leader Brian Cox was a little more circumspect on what makes this show such a compelling Broadway boys' club. “Testosterone!” he quipped. “A lot of it!”
To hear more from the stars of That Championship Season, stay tuned for our opening night video.