The grand tradition of the wacky wedding musical comedy is being upheld this season in It Shoulda Been You, a new Broadway musical by Brian Hargrove and Barbara Anselmi that opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 14.
In addition to a truly top-notch cast of stage veterans (including Tyne Daly, Chip Zien, and Harriet Harris) and rising stars (Sierra Boggess and Montego Glover), the show marks the Broadway directing debut of David Hyde Pierce, who last starred on Broadway just two years ago in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. There’s one other celebrity David involved—David Burtka, who’s appearing on Broadway for the first time in over a decade as the show’s harried groom.
Keeping things lighter than angel food with smooth buttercream, EW asked the two Davids to share their own wedding experiences and how they relate to It Shoulda Been You.
What was the funniest mishap that happened at your own wedding?
DAVID BURTKA: Our daughter and flower girl, Harper, getting cold feet and refusing to perform. So Neil [Patrick Harris] and I were crouched behind her like angry stage parents, hissing at her to walk. She didn’t, and Neil carried her the entire way. In hindsight, wouldn’t change a thing.
DAVID HYDE PIERCE: Brian [Hargrove] and I were legally married, but then a few weeks later the State of California told us we weren’t. Oh, how we laughed.
What’s your pre-show ritual like?
PIERCE: Now that I’m directing, I just show up, sit down, and enjoy.
BURTKA: I kneel before my shrine to David Hyde Pierce and bask in his glory.
What surprised you most about the other David?
PIERCE: Not a thing—I expected him to be sweet, charming, and talented, and he is all that.
BURTKA: While he’s incredibly positive and kind, he demands that you never look him directly in the eyes.
How is marriage different from doing Broadway?
BURTKA: You’re doing a show to a MUCH smaller audience.
PIERCE: One is a life-changing religious experience. The other is marriage.
How is marriage the same as doing Broadway?
BURTKA: After performing and getting all sweaty, there is often a standing ovation.
PIERCE: Both involve unions.
How does the cast get the attention of one David vs. another?
BURTKA: Everyone calls him ‘Master Hyde Pierce,’ and for me they just tend to throw things at my head.
PIERCE: They always have my attention. I’m not sure how they get David’s, although I think cookies help.
If my marriage was a musical, my big solo number would be called:
BURTKA: “Daddy’s Turn.”