Ben Platt Reveals How Live From Radio City Music Hall Was Like the 'Best Bar Mitzvah'
It's been almost three years since Tony winner Ben Platt took his final bow in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, and he's been going nonstop ever since. In that time, he's released his first album Sing to Me Instead, starred in The Politician on Netflix (which just announced its season two release date), gone on tour and has been announced to star in the movie adaptation of Merrily We Roll Along with his BFF Beanie Feldstein. As if that weren't enough, Platt's concert at Radio City Music Hall was filmed for Netflix. Broadway.com chatted with the star about the night he'll never forget and more.
Although this isn't the premire he pictured for his Netflix special, Platt is excited about fans getting to enjoy the concert while being quarantined. "I think it couldn't have come at a more, unfortunately, at a more opportune time," he said. "People can't experience any live theater or live performance right now, and I think this is a really way to feel like you're in a room with people at a show. I wanted it to feel that way before all this happened. It strangely works really well for the moment. I think, hopefully, it will bring people a nice escape."
Originally filmed on September 29, 2019, Platt had any pals in the audience. From former Pitch Perfect co-stars Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow to his Dear Evan Hansen family—Michael Park, Andrew Barth Feldman— and more. The love was almost too much for Platt to handle. "It was a beautiful crossroads of my life—like the best bar mitzvah ever," he said. "Everybody from my life, all in the same room together, felt like the end of leg one of the journey. I really tried to do my best to prepare in every way so that I could be present when the moment actually came, and I think it paid off."
After an hour and a half of belting, dancing and telling personal stories about dealing with anxiety and coming out, Platt's time at Radio City came to too quick of an end. "There's always a planned encore, and you always hope that people will stay and keep clapping so you can come out and sing again," Platt said. "Because of the cameras, I was supposed to come off stage and then wait for a certain amount of time, so they could readjust and such. The audience's energy was just so special and loud that everything else just went out of my mind. I just ran back on stage without telling anyone I was going back out. The way that that moment is filmed is a tiny bit janky, but it's so worth it to me. I just needed to get back out there. I'll always remember that."
Having been on vocal rest the week leading up to the concert, Platt was ready to hit the dance floor and let his voice be heard. "My birthday had been three days before, so turned my birthday party into the after-party," he said. "As soon as the concert was over, I had a party with all my family and friends. I curated my favorite playlist, and we just danced and drank. It was one of the best days of my life."
Now that the concert is available for all to enjoy, Platt is preparing to dive back into the world of Payton Hobart thanks to The Politician's second season dropping on Netflix on June 19. "Payton is a lot more adult," Platt said. "He kind of gets to grow up a bit. It centers around an election where Judith Light and I are going head to head, which is just an amazing sentence to say. Certainly, my favorite part of the season is watching Judith and Bette [Midler] work together. I think they give really hilarious performances and people are going to go apeshit, for lack of a better word."
During this season of quarantine, which made Merrily We Roll Along filming come to a "grinding halt," Platt has had the opportunity to duet with both Feldstein and Idina Menzel. "I've always loved to sing with Ariana [Grande] someday," Platt said. "Cynthia [Erivo] and I really haven't gotten to sing together yet. We're always singing on the same programs, and we're always singing in the same spaces, but I think we're waiting for that one special reason to sing together. So, I'm excited for whatever that becomes."
As for when Platt will return to Broadway? It will happen. "I miss everything about Broadway. I miss the lifestyle, the routine, the audience, the community. It's my favorite thing. I'll always want to do that the most. When, God willing, this all goes away and we can go back into theaters, I'm certainly looking to come back."
Watch the trailer of Ben Platt: Live From Radio City Music Hall below!