For Micah Stock, every night is opening night in this Groundhog’s Day kind of way, since his show, It’s Only a Play, follows a group of Broadway insiders at the opening night party of the year. In real life though, October 9, 2014 was Stock’s opening night on Broadway—the night he made his official debut as endearing coat boy and struggling actor/dancer/singer Gus P. Head opposite the likes of Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing and F. Murray Abraham.
Below, Stock shares with BroadwayBox the five most memorable moments from that electrifying, star-studded October opening.
1. On opening night of And Away We Go (the first play I did with Terrence), he wrote me a wonderful note that I framed later on. I brought it to my dressing room on opening night of IOAP as way to remind myself of how truly lucky I’ve been this past year to have worked twice with one of our greatest living writers who also happens to be an exemplary human being.
2. Just the idea of arriving to anything late fills me with immense anxiety, so I’ve adopted the habit of arriving annoyingly early to any and all engagements. This certainly includes the opening night of my first Broadway show, so I remember getting there about two hours before our call time and making my way to the stage. I sat there by myself, taking in the calm before the storm and thanking the Theater Gods for giving me this opportunity and recalling 15-year-old me, sitting on the stage of the Victoria Theatre in Dayton, Ohio at the opening night of The Muse Machine’s production of How To Succeed… doing the exact same thing.
3. Just before the curtain goes up at each performance, Nathan and I ran lines for the first scene of the play as a way to warm up, check in with each other, get the rhythm going, etc. After the first few weeks of previews, we took to occasionally running the scene in different styles/genres to make each other laugh. Among the best are a Downton Abbey version, a sort of Steel Magnolias rendition, and on opening night, I believe we did a take on Boardwalk Empire, which actually ended up working freakishly well.
4. The press line at the Marriott was of mythic proportions and somewhere around the halfway point, Murray grabbed my hand, handed me a glass of champagne, and said “Let’s tackle this motherf@#&er together, shall we?"
5. No one tells you that at opening night parties, you don’t really get to spend time with anyone you actually know. It’s more of a work night (albeit, a really fun one) between the press line and schmoozing, so I didn’t get to hang out much with my friends who I’d invited to share the night with me. After things died down at the Marriott, we stumbled over to Bar Centrale and I got to end the evening laughing and checking in with my best friends about all the famous people they had seen who I had no idea were even there and finally notice that I had ripped a giant hole in the crotch of my very tight tuxedo at some point that evening.
Catch Micah Stock in the hit Broadway comedy It's Only a Play at Broadway's Jacobs Theatre.