From High School Love to Intergalactic Incest: The Stars of The Most Happy Fella Talk Love Triangles

Last updated April 1st, 2014 by Josh Ferri
From High School Love to Intergalactic Incest: The Stars of…

It’s spring and love is in the air at New York City Center. Encores! kicks off the spring with Frank Loesser’s romantic musical (or opera, if you so insist) The Most Happy Fella. For those who are unfamiliar, the show is like musical theater’s original Catfish: an aging Napa Valley farmer uses his hot ranch hand’s photo to ensnare the love of a lonely waitress. A love triangle ensues, many a beautiful song is sung, and some tears are shed. When BroadwayBox recently caught up with the The Most Happy Fella’s stars, we asked: What love triangle from film or literature gets to you emotionally?

Laura Benanti (Rosabella, the waitress)

Benanti Happy

“Chrissy, Jack and Janet on Three’s Company. They are telling a very serious story there. You don’t know what’s going to happen. Of course, I root for Janet. What do you think? I’m a monster? Brown hairs gotta stick with brown hairs; you can't be going over the blonde side. No.”

Shuler Hensley (Tony, the Italian grape farmer)

Shuler Happy

“Love triangle has always confused me because usually it’s someone in the center who’s dealing with two people, and the other two people don't connect at all. I always think of a film like Forrest Gump, and this show reminds me of that. He’s loved Jenny his whole life and she’s gone off and experienced things and been with other people, but there’s that one constant that’s always there; when they come together it’s the deepest love there is. That’s how I feel about Tony; he’s older and he’s been through a lot. Then Roseballa comes in and falls in some sort of relationship with Joey, but it isn’t love. What makes [ The Most Happy Fella] so touching is, in the end, people realize that true love does win out.”

Cheyenne Jackson (Joey, the hunky ranch hand)

Cheyenne Happy

Pretty in Pink. Is she going to pick the sweet nerd who’s her best friend or the hunky guy who really has a heart of gold? I rooted for the nerd, but the other guy was good too.”

Heidi Blickenstaff (Cleo, the fun-loving pal)

Heidi Happy

“The most important love triangle of all time—it’s kinky because it involves some incest— is Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo. It meant a lot to me as a kid, and I’m passing it down to the children in my life now. I always like a scoundrel, so I’m happy Han and Leia ended up together.”

Jessica Molaskey (Marie, Rosabella’s less-than-lovable sister-in-law)

Jessica Happy

“I have to say, I went back and saw The Bridges of Madison County the other night, and it parallels this piece in a way. I think Jason [Robert Brown] is a descendent of Frank Loesser. [Bridges] has this gorgeous yearning score and it’s such a beautiful night in the theater.”

Jay Armstrong Johnson (Herman, the sweet ranch hand)

Jay Happy

“Oh, it’s probably the love triangle between Lauryn Hill, the music and her mother in Sister Act II. ‘Cause she has such a love for music but she loves her mom so much too because their family, so that dichotomy…it's deep.”

Encores! The Most Happy Fella runs at New York City Center April 2 through April 6.