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Broadway and the Bard
Len Cariou isn’t just a Broadway performer—he’s the kind of Broadway performer who creates. But while musical fans know him as the original Sweeney Todd and for his role opposite Lauren Bacall in Applause, they may not realize that the drama bug that first bit him was wearing a big ruffled collar. Before he strutted across the Great White Way like he owned it, he honed his craft at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and, in fact, made his Broadway debut as the lead in Henry V. So this show isn’t just a mash-up of musical standards and Shakespearean soliloquies—it’s a tour of Cariou’s career, originally conceived by Cariou himself. And he’s happy to point out the sights along the way.
As Cariou transitions from Henry’s rallying cry at Harfleur—”Once more unto the breach!”—into the title tune from Applause, he will talk about his first years in New York. Other links, meanwhile, are more thematic than personal: Cariou contemplates the death of kings as Richard II then sings the melancholy “If I Ruled the World” from Pickwick. But more than a show, this is an invitation to sit with the performer and get to know him better. As the New York Times’ Charles Isherwood noted, “Mr. Cariou makes for jovial company and draws the audience into a comfortable intimacy with little effort.”