Star of the Week: Alex Wyse is a secret gem in the NYC theatre scene

Alex Wyse

Alex Wyse

 

Anyone who lists cheese eating as a special skill on their resume can be trusted as a quality individual.

And there’s no doubt that someone with the guts and talent to write their own lyrics and a musical is someone worthy of respect. Even if it didn’t exactly hit the Broadway stage, Nighttime Traffic premiered at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, there’s something to be said about the work and talent it takes to write a show.

But what is most impressive about Alex Wyse isn’t his love affair with cheese, his willingness to laugh at life and himself, or his education from Boston University (I naturally try to support actors with a local connection, even if he grew up in Ohio), but it’s his gift as a vocalist and actor.

Alex Wyse is the type of guy who is easy to champion for because he’s the underdog, a completely underestimated talent and he’s ridiculously smart and clever.

Alex was a driving force in the reason why Bare was a show that deeply moved and inspired people. He normally played the role of Alan but he truly shined while stepping in for Taylor Trensch in the role of Peter.

While playing Bare’s awkward and desperate to be out of the closet outcast, Wyse brilliantly commanded the stage. The turmoil of Peter’s storyline, in which he desperately tries to convince his secret boyfriend Jason (Jason Hite) that life wouldn’t be so bad if they were honest about the extent of their relationship, while battling insecurity and bullying, felt raw and real. You wanted Peter to be out, to be happy.

Although Bare closed too soon, opening on Dec. 9 and closing on Feb. 3 after only 21 previews and 65 regular performances, Alex will remain what I remember and enjoyed most about the revised off-Broadway rock musical.

When I planned my trip to the New World Stages to see Bare, I specifically bought a ticket for a Saturday matinee performance knowing that Alex would be in the show. And that says a lot in itself since I typically avoid seeing understudies in productions I am deeply interested in but I had faith that Alex would impress.

I expected a good performance but what I experienced was so much more.

Traditionally after a show I will brave any weather conditions and wait for a chance to meet the cast at stage door. But with Bare, I walked past the stage door and to a corner café where I sat and reflected for over an hour about the show.

It has been ages since a show has rocked me to my core in such a mind-numbing, soul-crushing way and I am so grateful to Alex, and the entire company of Bare, for reminding me why I love the crazy world of musical theatre.

Alex Wyse

Alex Wyse

Showing what seems to be an easy-going and hilarious personality, Alex uses his Twitter account as an outlet for sarcasm and witticisms, even tweeting that Jason Hite’s lips were “soft as moonbeams.” Though his very best tweets are the ones that double as valuable lessons to live by including: “Nothing cures loneliness like starting a new series on Netflix.,” “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, that’s a real dick move and we need to talk.,” and “Keep your friends close and your enemas closer.” If those aren’t words to live by, I don’t know what are.

It baffles me that most of Alex’s theatre credentials are off-Broadway and regional productions. He has only been in one Broadway musical, Lysistrata Jones, a show adapted from Aristophanes’s comedy Lysistrata, which tells  the story of the men on a losing college basketball team whose cheerleader girlfriends refuse to have sex with them until they win a game. The musical, which opened on Dec. 14, 2010, played 34 previews and 30 regular performances before closing at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Jan. 8, 2012.

Trivia insert about Lysistrata Jones is that Andrew Rannells, who went on to lead the cast of the Book of Mormon and now stars in NBC’s The New Normal, was involved with a production at the Dallas Theater Center in 2010 when the show was titled as Give It Up.

And while he’s not converting Africans into Mormons or serving as the staple of NBC’s new series, part of Alex’s charm is that he hasn’t become a household name. Yet. Being a fan of Alex’s is somewhat like finding a gold mine and wanting to shout about it to the world because it’s incredible but there’s a sense of protection and a desire to see good things happen with it.

Alex has the talent to be someone big, and no doubt the show will come along that will launch him as a mainstream Broadway star, but until then he will remain one of the best kept secrets of the New York theatre scene.

Tags: , , ,

About Samantha S.

"I found the theatre and I found my home.” ― Audra McDonald