The epitome of a working actor, Bobby Cannavale’s name may not be familiar, but you’d have to be living under a rock to not recognize him from all the work he’s done in film and television. But with the upcoming Playing on Air benefit that he’ll be participating in on Monday, Dec. 7 at BRIC, he’ll be returning to the stage. He admits that, “The audience thing is really fun, particularly if you like working on stage. I’ve done readings of plays before for in-house events. But live theater needs to have an audience, so that element added to it really ups the stakes a bit and really puts you on your game.” The following are his three favorite Broadway roles and why.
1. The Motherf**ker With the Hat (Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and premiered at the Gerald Schoenfield Theatre on April 11, 2011)
“It’s just a great, terrific and beautiful play. It’s an unlikely love story and I like the urban setting. It’s a part I’ve never gotten to play before, so I really love that.”
2. The Big Knife (Written by Clifford Odets and was staged as a revival and opened at the American Airlines Theatre on April 16, 2013)
This is a play that I saw more than 15 years ago. It’s one of Clifford Odets’ lesser-known plays. I saw a production Joanne Woodward directed up in Williamstown about 16 or 17 years ago and I became obsessed with it. I worked really, really hard in trying to get a production of that done and I succeeded about three years ago and got to do that on Broadway. That was very exciting.”
3. Glengarry Glen Ross (Written by David Mamet. The 30th anniversary revival was staged at the Gerald Schoenfield Theatre on Dec. 8, 2012)
“Glengarry Glen Ross just because I got the chance to work with Al [Pacino] on that. It’s an iconic role and the kind of role that every young actor grows up knowing. You learn those monologues for auditions and I did that monologue as an audition. It was really nice to come full circle and play that role on Broadway.”