Q&A Quickie: Mad About Bryan Batt

By: Brandon Voss

TV audiences know him best as the closeted Salvatore Romano — we miss you, Sal! — on Mad Men, but New York audiences have mad about Bryan Batt for decades in shows like Jeffrey, Beauty and the Beast, and Cats. Bryan now performs his solo show Batt on a Hot Tin Roof June 15 and 16 at NYC's 54 Below before bringing it to Rockwell Table & Stage in L.A. on July 2. The out New Orleanian chats with us about the evening's rewards and terrors.

Gay.net: A one-man show seems like the most terrifying thing an actor can do. True?
Bryan Batt: Yes, it is. I just worked with Patti LuPone, and we agreed that although it is terrifying, it can be the most rewarding. It's just you and a piano, no other characters, no sets, no fourth wall — hell, no walls at all — and you must rely on every acting and performing skill you possess.

You’ve been performing variations of Batt on a Hot Tin Roof for years. How has the show evolved?
The show started after Katrina as a benefit for displaced actors and musicians from New Orleans, and over the years I’ve added and subtracted here and there, but it has always remained just a fun evening.

It's Pride month. What song in the show will gay patrons enjoy most?
Oh, there are a few. Besides “I Am What I Am,” there’s a great song about the first gay caveman called “Way Ahead of My Time” — hysterical!

Fans of your Broadway work will be anticipating show tunes, and fans of your work on Mad Men might be hoping for something with a ’60s vibe. Will everyone be happy?
Yes, besides show tunes — some well known and some lesser — there are some pop songs and a Burt Bacharach medley that really evoke the Mad Men era.

Have you picked out the perfect outfit yet for 54 Below?
I try to keep it simple: just a classic Hugo Boss black suit. No sequins!

Bryan Batt stars in Batt on a Hot Tin Roof, June 15 and 16 at NYC's 54 Below and July 2 at Rockwell Table & Stage in L.A. For more info, visit his website.