Michael Urie Is Making His DC Directorial Debut at Studio Theatre This Summer

Kristen Schott | July 8, 2019 | People


Michael Urie is directing Bright Colors And Bold Patterns during Studio’s inaugural SHOWROOM series, which delivers limited-run, cheeky shows this summer.

Actor Michael Urie (think Ugly Betty) has found a second stage home in DC this summer. He makes his local directorial debut at Studio Theatre with Bright Colors And Bold Patterns, from July 9 to 28. Part of the boundary-pushing SHOWROOM series, the one-man comedy follows Gerry (Jeff Hiller) as he attends his friends’ de rigueur same-sex wedding. “I’m always interested in characters who overcome adversity,” says Urie. “When a character is met with a problem and has to adjust... it’s compelling.” Perhaps that’s why he’s also reprising his title role in Hamlet with Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Free for All event. Here, he acts it out. Tickets $20-$55, individual memberships $300-$15,000, Milton Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW, studiotheatre.org

So, what do you really think of bright colors and bold patterns? I love [them]. In our apartment, we aren’t afraid to put blue and yellow and green together, and my favorite chair is a patchwork rocker.

In all seriousness, the play shares truth through humor. When I first saw [writer and actor] Drew Droege perform... it spoke to me in a way I was not expecting. Hilarious, yes. But also an incredibly insightful take on what it means to be a gay man in a postmarriage equality world. Just because we suddenly have the right to get married, doesn’t mean we retroactively have a lifetime of dreams of [doing so].

It must be a rewarding play to direct. Working with Drew and Jeff has made me a better actor—their ability to tickle an audience is expert. I’m no stranger to solo comedy, having done Buyer & Cellar a billion times, but I got to play all the roles. They have to create a world, and other people, with only one character.

And why is Showroom the perfect stage? Being in the ‘gayborhood,’ performing in a space where the audience feels as if they’re on the patio with Gerry and the others, is a very exciting prospect. I think the effect will be that they’ve wandered into a party without an invitation.

That speaks to the District’s performing arts scene, don’t you think? DC has the greatest audiences around: smart, eager, focused. I always feel like they ‘get’ it.

Now, it’s our Feast Issue, so: Where will you be dining out while you’re here? China Chilcano, Jack Rose for whiskey and Columbia Room for cocktails.

Any top stops for preshow snacks? The [area] around STC has the best ramen I’ve ever tried [from Daikaya]. Not my usual preshow ritual, but Hamlet burns a lot of calories!


Photography by: Michael Urie