Hunter Ryan Herdlicka is a Dallas native. He is best known for starring on Broadway as Henrik in the Tony Award-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury, followed by Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch. He played that role for over two years.
Other New York credits include the recent revival of Once Upon a Mattress (the Minstrel) starring Jackie Hoffman and Jerry Herman’s Dear World (Julian) starring opposite Tyne Daly. Hunter has appeared in around 20 regional productions including The Tempest (Ariel) at the Dallas Theater Center, Candide (Maximillian) at the Alliance Theatre with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Ragtime (Younger Brother) at Barrington Stage, The Pirates of Penzance (Frederic) at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and at the Ordway Center in St. Paul, Cabaret (Cliff) at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Sacramento Music Circus, Fiddler on the Roof (Fyedka) and Titanic (Charles) both with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Othello (Clown) at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Something’s Afoot(Geoffrey) at the Goodspeed Opera House, Cinderella (Prince Topher) with Virginia Musical Theatre, three seasons with the West Virginia Public Theatre, as well as many workshops, readings, and concerts.
He has sung alongside Liza Minnelli, Hugh Jackman, Michael Feinstein, David Hyde Pierce, Linda Lavin, Nathan Lane, Michael C. Hall, amongst others. A close friend of legendary actress Elaine Stritch, Hunter appeared in and helped produce the award-winning documentary Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me and her new biography Still Here: Elaine Stritch by Alexandra Jacobs. Hunter has enjoyed two sold-out runs at New York’s famed nightclub Feinstein’s, appeared at the Café Carlyle, Birdland Jazz Club, and debuted his new show with a sold-out appearance at Feinstein’s/54 Below.
As a teacher, Hunter teaches extensively in New York City and at some of the top schools in the country such as New York University, Carnegie Mellon University, Texas State University, Webster University, Southern Methodist University, University of Arizona, University of Alabama, Texas Tech, and many others.
T2C: How are you dealing with home containment in New York?
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka: Well, luckily when things started to look a bit more serious with the virus, my boyfriend (Josh Canfield) and I packed up and went to stay at a friend’s lake house in Vermont, expecting to stay here about a week. Now its been two full months! At the beginning, I have to admit it was nice to have a break from life and rehearsals, but as the reality sunk in, it became more and more shocking and somewhat devastating. My friend, Joan Ryan, who in an earlier interview talked about having to create a routine for each day – even if its very simple activities – and I found that to be super helpful – one of the only ways to stay sane during this time.
T2C: What would you say is the difference of being in self lockdown between NY and Vermont?
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka: The biggest difference is the space! The house here is about four times the size of our NY apartment, plus we have been able to go hiking and boating and spend time in nature, so for that we are extremely thankful.
T2C: What have you been able to accomplish in this time?
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka: Actually quite a lot! Little things like doing my taxes (ugh) and taking care of things I’ve been putting off – but also learning new music, reading plays, exercising, cooking new and different things, and learning Spanish!
T2C: What has this time stopped you from accomplishing?
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka: It’s kept me from working, seeing my family and spending time with my friends. I was supposed to teach at four universities this spring and all of those trips have been cancelled, as well as the shows that I was cast to appear in this summer and the fall. It’s scary to not know when universities and theatre will resume full time, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t an excellent time to find new ways to be creative.
T2C: What kind of emotions does this time bringing out of you?
All of them! I try to stay focused on what I am grateful for and really trying to accept “the things I cannot change”. I am also super thankful that I am healthy at the moment. I’ll admit it’s hard not to be in a constant state of worry about my friends and family, but daily checkins with lots of people in our lives has helped with that, as well as doing our part to give back where we can.
T2C: If you were to equate this time to a song or song cycle what would it be?
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka: Many come to mind, but one of my favorites is “Time Heals Everything” from Mack and Mabel. Maybe not as positive as I’d like…
T2C: What message would you like to give the world right now?
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka: That we need to keep staying super diligent in our fight against this virus – to not let up on social distancing no matter what. We need to not only to protect ourselves but also those we don’t know; We have to work together, and we will overcome it!
T2C: What is the first thing you will do when we are no longer self quarantined?
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka: See as many of my friends as possible. And go back to the gym!!!
T2C: What are the things that are getting you through this time?
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka: Lots of cooking!! . Ive been lucky enough to be doing virtual teaching and coaching privately every single day. And Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, and CNN.
T2C: What haven’t we asked you that you would like to say?
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka: I’m a part of an online play reading next on May 5th at 8pm called “It’s About Family” which Josh has written and he’s been able to secure a really incredible Broadway cast to perform live. The event will help raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The play stars Hunter Ryan Herdlicka (A Little Night Music), Michael Campayno (The Cher Show), Bradley Dean (The Phantom of the Opera), Sally Wilfert (Assassins), Leslie Alexander (My Fair Lady), Ryah Nixon (9 to 5), and Steve Brady (Inherit the Wind).
It’s About Family follows a year in the life of a wealthy, conservative family in Dallas, including Cheryl, an assertive matriarch who keeps three generations of family in their place, her hard-of-hearing husband, her physically challenged daughter, and her grandson, who brings his boyfriend to Thanksgiving dinner.
Check out Josh’s other show ALIVE! The Zombie Musical when it opens off-Broadway in 2021. www.alivethezombiemusical.com
Please visit www.HunterRyanHerdlicka.com for more and follow @HRHerdlicka.