Meet the all-star cast of ‘Here We Are' off Broadway
Stephen Sondheim’s last musical features Tony Award winners David Hyde Pierce, Rachel Bay Jones, and Denis O’Hare alongside many more stars of stage and screen.
Here they are. You’d expect the cast of Stephen Sondheim’s last show, Here We Are, to be stuffed with stellar stage talent. You’d be right. Director Joe Mantello assembled an A-list ensemble, including some actors who’ve shone in earlier works by the late composer/lyricist.
Sondheim and writer David Ives mined two dinner-party films by Luis Buñuel – The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel – to create the new Off-Broadway musical at The Shed. Get to know all the guests at the table below.
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New to Sondheim but not Off-Broadway stages, Francois Battiste played Walter Lee Younger in A Raisin in the Sun at The Public Theater and Charlie in Epiphany at Lincoln Center Theater. Broadway credits include Bronx Bombers, Magic/Bird, and Prelude to a Kiss. He won an Obie Award in 2009 for the civil rights drama The Good Negro, a performance New York Theatre Guide called “powerful and grounded.”
Tracie Bennett played a barkeep’s wife twice on Broadway in Hangmen. In 2020, Martin McDonagh’s play never officially opened because of the pandemic, so the English actress reprised the part in 2022. She gave “every ounce of energy” for her portrait of Judy Garland in her final days in End of the Rainbow, a star turn that earned her a 2012 Tony nomination, a Drama Desk Award, and a Theatre World Award. A Sondheim vet, Bennett also belted “I’m Still Here” as Carlotta in his Follies at the National Theatre in London.
TV’s Third Watch fireman is a regular presence on and off Broadway. Bobby Cannavale earned Tony nods for his 2007 debut in Mauritius and 2011 for The Motherf-cker With the Hat. He followed those shows with juicy Broadway roles in Glengarry Glen Ross, The Big Knife, and The Lifespan of a Fact. He last performed off Broadway in a 2017 revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape, earning a Drama Desk nomination.
Micaela Diamond is an actress on a much-deserved roll. Diamond went directly from her exhilarating, Tony- and Drama Desk-nominated star turn as Lucille Frank in Parade to rehearsals for Here We Are. She previously received a Theatre World Award for The Cher Show, in which she played the youngest version of the pop queen in 2019.
Amber Gray charmed audiences with her emotionally rich acting and husky voice as Hélène in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 – for which she won a Theatre World Award in 2017. Gray played that part to acclaim in the show’s Off-Broadway run. The same was true for the role of Persephone in Hadestown, which earned her a Tony nomination. In 2022, she played Banquo opposite Daniel Craig in Macbeth.
No stranger to Sondheim, Jin Ha stood out with the plum role of Hollis Bessemer and the stirring song “You Are The Best Thing That Ever Has Happened” in the 2019 Encores! run of Road Show, about Wilson and Addison Mizner. Broadway credits include Aaron Burr in Hamilton and opera singer Song Liling opposite Clive Owen in 2017's M. Butterfly.
Rachel Bay Jones
Rachel Bay Jones’s Tony-winning, reach-for-the-Kleenex portrait of a mom with a troubled son in Dear Evan Hansen was an ideal showcase. She previously turned heads as Catherine, a widow and mother who’s a hopeless romantic, in the 2013 revival of Pippin. Other Broadway credits include Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Hair, and Meet Me in St. Louis.
Here We Are marks Denis O'Hare's reunion with Mantello, who directed him on Broadway twice before: in 2002's Take Me Out (which earned both men Tony Awards) and 2004's Assassins. O’Hare scored a Tony nod for playing President James Garfield’s killer, Charles Guiteau, in that Sondheim musical. Eight years later, he played the Baker in Sondheim's Into the Woods at the Delacorte Theater, and co-wrote and starred in An Iliad.
An actor who glides seamlessly between plays and musicals, the burly-voiced Steven Pasquale played John Wilkes Booth in 2021 in a Classic Stage Company production of Sondheim’s Assassins with a “sinister sexy charm,” per New York Theatre Guide. His most recent Broadway role was in the 2018 topical drama American Son, but in 2014, he left an indelible mark playing a photographer in love in The Bridges of Madison County.
David Hyde Pierce
For some, he’ll always be Niles on TV’s Frasier, but David Hyde Pierce is a busy stage star too. He’s lit up Broadway on numerous occasions, including his Tony-winning turn in the Kander and Ebb crime caper Curtains. Other credits include Hello, Dolly!, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, La Béte, and Spamalot (Michael Urie plays his role of Sir Robin in the current Broadway revival). Among his numerous Off-Broadway shows, the portrait of a man at loose ends in 2016's A Life is a highlight.
TV audiences know Jeremy Shamos as Dickie, the brother to Paul Rudd's Ben Glenroy, on Only Murders in the Building. But between 2004, when he made his Broadway debut in Reckless, and 2017, when he starred in Meteor Shower, Shamos acted in six more shows on NYC’s Main Stem. Most notable among those performances was a Tony-nominated turn in Clybourne Park in 2012. He’s also played numerous roles off Broadway, including Doug in 2007's Gutenberg! The Musical! – which Andrew Rannells now plays on Broadway.
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