Christina Applegate might have won the Tony had she not starred with Denis O’Hare. That sounds horribly cruel, but Denis O’Hare’s undeniable stage presence acted as a foil for Applegate’s considerable television abilities. It was like coloring with crayons as a child and thinking they’re great . . . until you met markers.
Denis O’Hare onstage in Sweet Charity was everything a Broadway star should be. The moment he appeared, he illuminated that stage. He had the talent to make Oscar the most charming quirk ever, both adorable and weird, but he embodied that un-bottle-able stage presence that demands your attention. There are extremely talented performers, and then there are those who have “it.” Denis O’Hare has “it.”
I love hearing him on the revival cast recording, and even if you didn’t see the revival, his Oscar makes the CD worth having. His “I’m the Bravest Individual” is a highlight on the CD as he talks himself out of his phobia through the song. And Oscar’s two solo-ish songs, which I skip over on the OBCR, I love to hear.
My only other encounters with O’Hare have been in the revival cast recording of Assassins and in the television Once Upon a Mattress. Again, with Charles Guiteau, O’Hare creates another quirk, though this one is admittedly less charming. He’s a splendid addition to such a strong cast, and the CD serves to prove his versatility and talent. In Once Upon a Mattress, he makes the prince a loveable mamma’s boy.
Getting to Know You Interview: http://www.broadway.com/gen/Buzz_Story.aspx?ci=511600
the Broadway Mouth
July 24, 2007