Dynamic Duo

Into the Woods Duo Andy Grotelueschen & Patrick Mulryan Talk Bovine Adventures, TSwift & Sondheim

March 20th, 2015 by

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Into the Woods Duo Andy Grotelueschen & Patrick Mulryan T...

Patrick Mulryan and Andy Grotelueschen bring so much heart and so many laughs to the off-Broadway production of Into the Woods as Jack and his beloved cow, Milky White. (Grotelueschen has the bell and Mulryan wears the hat, in case it's not obvious.)

Into the Woods Gif- Andy Groteleuschen - Patrick Mulryan

Below, BroadwayBox chats with the two actors about their dynamic onstage performances, singing for Sondheim, bonding over Tay Tay and their big-time talent crushes on each other.


My first impression of my co-star was:

Andy:
Patty and I have been friends for a number of years now, but in terms of first impressions and Into the Woods, I'll never forget the first time I heard him sing “Giants in the Sky.” In the early days workshopping, the company was sitting around the table in some rehearsal space in Midtown, cautiously dipping our toes into the Sondheim waters. We come round to “Giants,” and Patrick just slayed. Nothing cautious about it. It was awesome. It was really inspiring. He still slays it, by the by. You should see it if you haven't. And if you have, you know what I'm talking about.

Patrick:
I first met Andy when I saw him perform in Chris Bayes's production of Servant of Two Masters at Yale Rep. Andy was a true delight on stage as the lover. He played with such joy and he and his paramour (a brilliant Da'Vine Joy Randolph) were a hoot. They slayed me. After the show we got drinks and Andy was just as delightful offstage as on. Warm, welcoming, generous, and hilarious.


I think our performances gel so well together because:

Andy:
We're grown men playing boyhood best friends. And when playing best friends, it helps to have some real love between you. Patrick's easy for that. Jack and Milky White remind me of so many of my boyhood adventures with friends. Danger, betrayal, reconciliation, cows. We try to have a lot of fun in the play.

Patrick:
Andy and I both care deeply about the relationship we've built (along with the amazing Liz Hayes who plays Jack's mother). Jack's family has a rough life. Dad's gone, money is tight, we're hungry, and mom is trying to hold it all together. Jack and Milky both have such open hearts. Andy and I find the joy within the difficulty. We feel things deeply and see the world with a sense of wonder. I think this helps the audience to identify with our relationship and our journey.


My favorite moment onstage with him is:

Andy:
"I Guess This is Goodbye Old Pal." This may very well be my favorite song in the show. It's simple, moving and funny, and strangely abrupt. Every night I wish it was longer—that the goodbye had more space and time, but that's goodbyes for you.

Patrick:
When I sell Milky to the Baker and his wife, I get to sing the beautiful mini-aria "I Guess This Is Goodbye" to him. As I go to tie the rope around his waist, Andy gives me a surprise hug before I finish. When I give him one last look before exiting, he looks at me with an expression of love and looks at me as if to say "Be strong. I understand." He's facing me upstage. It's a moment the audience most likely can't see. It's a glowing example of Andy's generosity as a scene partner and his commitment to the relationship and love between Jack and Milky.


My most memorable performance we’ve shared has to be when:

Andy:
One afternoon, we did a sing-thru for Sondheim. Just Sondheim. Just sitting in a circle on stage. Song by song. He listened, he gave some notes. Patrick sang beautifully, as always. Everyone did. That's one of the best ever.

Patrick:
At a recent performance during the aforementioned goodbye scene, I went to tie the rope around Andy's waist during this emotional moment and it wouldn't close! We shared a look of mutual panic, laughter, and shame. Without missing a beat, Andy sighed, sucked it in, and we got the rope tied on and I ran off upstage to avoid breaking further. Turned out there was an extra knot in the rope that night that neither of us noticed. My poor underfed cow felt undeservedly fat!


If I were actually traveling from village to village with my co-star, I’d depend on him to:

Andy:
Slay giants and provide lots and lots of gold. I'd also request he stop trying to milk me.

Patrick:
Put together the playlist. Andy has amazing taste in music. We listen to very different music (T Swift aside), but I always love the stuff he introduces me to. I'd also want him to provide the socks. Andy wears amazing socks.


I think the biggest way our Jack and Milky White have changed since NJ or CA is:

Andy:
The twinkle in our eyes has gotten bigger.

Patrick:
Over each run the relationship has gotten deeper.


My co-star and I bond over:

Andy:
Taylor Swift. Kander and Ebb.

Patrick:
Whiskey. And Taylor Swift.


I’m in awe of my co-star’s ability to:

Andy:
Sing! Dammit, Sing! His voice is so powerful, yet very sensitive. And he does it every night. Come and hear him sing the songs, people! Buy the tickets!

Patrick:
Always play on the edge. With Andy you never really know what's going to happen. It could always tip over into a fiasco, but he's always staying true to the piece and the relationship. I'm a very consistent performer and I love that Andy is constantly putting me in a situation where I have no choice but to mix it up! And he always plays with such JOY! It's infectious both for me onstage opposite him and for the audience.


If I had to describe my co-star in a non-ITW Sondheim song, it would be:

Andy:
"Not While I'm Around" from Sweeney Todd. That's a little dark, maybe, considering the context. But I like it. Plus Jack does sing "I'll see you soon again. I hope that when I do... it won't be on a plate" to Milky White in Woods.

Patrick:
I'm going to cheat and do a combo: "Opening Doors" and "Send in the Clowns" because Andy is constantly opening new doors onstage for himself and his scene partners hoping he doesn't know what's behind them and if we're all lucky both onstage and off they'll keep sending in clowns as brilliant, loving, generous, and joyous as Andy.

Now that you have sufficiently “aw”-ed at Andy & Patrick, hurry over to the Laura Pels Theatre before April 12 to see these two knock it out of the park (or woods) in 'Into the Woods'.