Now that Norbert Leo Butz is finishing his acdeclared run in My Fair Lady I can let you in on a small secret: he likes to dance backphase. He hasn’t been doing it much lately, yet early in the run he would revolve up the music in his dressing room, emerge into the backstage hallmethod, and also boogie. Other actors would periodically sign up with in. Manu Narayan, the production’s original Karpathy, when played along on his saxophone, and also Harry Hadden-Paton joined in on more than one occasion. The time I captured this impromptu session I thought: If Henry Higgins could watch this he would certainly be absolutely appalled. (And perhaps privately delighted.)
I had virtually foracquired about these pre-present hoedowns till I got to out to My Fair Lady cast members asking them for anecdotes around Butz. Ensemble member SuEllen Estey reminded me that the dancing took place mainly on the weekends, particularly to celebrate what theater people, bemusedly, call “Saturday Night on Broadmethod.” Butz has actually spent numerous Saturday nights alengthy the avenue, having appeared in Rent, Wicked, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony award), Record Me If You Can (Tony award), and Big Fish.
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On the highways wright here he has actually lived in My Fair Lady Butz has been dancing at a clip a lot more extended than what has occurred backstage. In “With a Little Bit of Luck,” the first of his 2 numbers, he introduces himself via a brush step, a less-is-even more task whose sweep matches Doolittle’s method to income-earning work: minimal. The activity has actually never before faicaused delight me via its Chaplin-esque splay of feet and precarious sense of balance.
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Tright here is nopoint minimal about Butz’s second number, the unfailingly show-stopping “Get Me To the Church on Time.” Each time I have watched it I have actually been, favor Doolittle is ultimately by the ensemble, lugged away. If Butz brings to “Luck” a dustman’s gentle brush, to “Church” he brings a complete, wide sweep: the dustman’s broom. Butz is not the cast’s tallest guy but by dint of his talent he becomes the greatest pressure on that phase. As he stands on the number’s small table he imparts a feeling of abandon, also hazard. The number has actually the a lot of thrilling construct at the Beaumont given that Christopher Gattelli, the My Fair Lady choreographer, staged “Nothing Like a Dame” right here ten years ago for South Pacific.
Butz’s success comes not just from talent but additionally from hard job-related. Ensemble member Kate Marilley offered an example from the production’s rehearsal duration last February.
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She and Butz were functioning through Gattelli and also associate choreographer Mark Myars on “Church.” Marilley remembered: “Norbert and also I basically had to learn just how to execute this tricky hat toss in mirror picture of each other, because I was the female groom matching his ‘groom tux.’ Our awesome hat trick was reduced in the middle of previews however in rehearsals we would certainly just stare at each various other and carry out the hat trick eexceptionally day till we felt we had actually it. It definitely was a bonding endure and he taught me a lot around perseverance and focus.” Marilley included that it was “such a blast functioning with him for the first eight months of My Fair Lady!”
Other cast members expressed similar sentiments, which is why Butz, to put it mildly, will certainly be missed.