Hunter Ryan Herdlicka made his Broadway debut in 2009 as Henrik Egerman in the revival of A Little Night Music; now he is bringing songs by Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Rodgers & Hart and more to 54 Below in a new one-night-only solo show on March 25. Here, the actors shares how Bernadette Peters influenced his performance style, following Elaine Stritch's advice, and why you won’t catch him listening to Justin Bieber.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
I hate to admit that I actually stole my grandmother's copy of Barbra Streisand Live at Madison Square Garden. But I did.
What concert most influenced you as a performer?
Definitely Bernadette Peters. I recently saw her show again in Fort Worth, and her concerts constantly inspire me. Even though it's a concert, the emotional life of every song is so fully realized, and you watch her transform countless times over a 90-minute period. It's never about the song or the notes or the music, but the full package. I love that. The audience is left feeling completely fulfilled.
What is your go-to audition song?
I'll never tell. But it's good.
What song are you most excited to perform in your show?
Probably the medley of songs that Elaine Stritch told me to sing. It seems like every day she calls with a new idea, and so I've had my music director string them all together. I think it is going to be a lot of fun.
What musical theater track is the most played on your iPod?
I actually never listen to musical theater on my iPod. Scary, but true.
If you can invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
Hugh Jackman. I think the space is big enough for us both.
What musical theater performer from the past do you wish you can collaborate with?
Not performers, but Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein or Noel Coward.
What album was the soundtrack to your 20s?
I'm still in my 20s, and we don't have albums really anymore, so it's hard to say. NOT Justin Bieber.
What’s your favorite love song?
"Our Love Is Here to Stay" by George Gershwin.
What is your favorite workout track?
Any podcast by T.D. Jakes.
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
Probably some bootlegs I'm not supposed to have. Or my voice lessons with Joan Lader—they remind me of all of the money I've spent. And why I love her for it.
What song most makes you smile?
Anything sung by Bobby Short.
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
My entire gospel playlist, which is the majority of my iPod.
Check out Hunter Ryan Herdlicka at 54 Below on March 25, and click below to see him singing “Marry Me A Little” from the musical Company.