In this installment of “22 Minutes,” 1010 WINS anchor Brigitte Quinn sits down with Tony and Emmy award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce who talks about his new play and why forgetting his lines is better than remembering them.
Pierce is currently starring in the play A Life at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater and will star in Hello Dolly on Broadway opposite Bette Midler beginning in March.
BQ: I read there were 16 pages of script … like a half hour of you talking — that’s a lot. Is that true?
DHP: The very beginning of the play is a half hour of me talking, so if you’re smart you will not show up until a half hour in. But unfortunately, they don’t let in latecomers so you have to sit there and listen to me in order to get the rest of the play and the rest of the cast who are really good.
BQ: I heard that’s the best part though because I heard that the audience sometimes … is it true that they talk back to you?
DHP: Oh yes. Yes it’s great. It really is. It’s a very small theater first of all. It’s like 128 seats at Playwrights Horizons, which is by the way, when I first came to New York in the 80’s, my first gigs were at Playwrights Horizons in its original form which was a much smaller space. So there’s a lot of meaning in this for me to be back on 42nd Street — a very different 42nd Street then when I moved here because you sort of had to push the hookers and drug addicts aside to get into the theater and now they’re all in the seats watching (laughter).
BQ: You’re being honored at the 33rd Annual Drama League musical celebration of Broadway – you’re the honoree. That’s awesome.
DHP: It shows how far we’ve fallen.
BQ: The producer is quoted as saying it was very easy to get people to come to this because you are the honoree.
DHP: Well, that’s nice. Look I’ve been in this business a long time. Look, I came here in ’81. I graduated from college and I started working and I spent the first at least 12, 13 years here in New York doing theater, went away to LA to do television then came back. And I love it. I love the people of the theater. It’s not just that it’s me being honored. It’s that this is such a close-knit community that we all respect and like and owe each other so much that I think whenever one of us gets this opportunity, we all show up.
About David Hyde Pierce:
David Hyde Pierce is best known for playing the psychiatrist Dr. Niles Crane on the TV show Frasier for which he won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. His Broadway credits include Spamalot, Accent on Youth, La Bete, Beyond Therapy, The Heidi Chronicles and Curtains, for which he won a Tony award for best actor in a musical.
About Brigitte Quinn:
Brigitte anchors mornings at 1010 WINS radio and has worked in broadcasting for more than thirty years. She was a TV anchor at the Fox News Channel, MSNBC and NBC. She holds an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BS from Cornell University. Her first novel, “Anchored” was published in 2015.