Stranger Things and current Broadway Sweeney Todd star Gaten Matarazzo dropped by The Tonight Show March 20 to tell host Jimmy Fallon about the upcoming final season of the Netflix series, starring in the Sondheim revival, and, perhaps most importantly, what Broadway kids sing at karaoke.
Matarazzo should know. Before becoming a household name starring in Stranger Things, Matarazzo was one of Broadway's child performers, making his Broadway debut at the age of nine in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and later appearing in Les Misérables. As an adult, Matarazzo has appeared in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway and the New York City Center run of Parade.
"Theatre kids are never fun at karaoke," Matarazzo tells Fallon. "Everyone's there to be drunk and have a good time, but Broadway kids are in the bathroom [warming up]. They're getting tea beforehand. We put the biggest damper on the night by doing some really sad ballad, and [the audience is] like, 'Great. Who is this guy?'"
He goes on to share his earliest greatest hits, which include "Fly Me to the Moon" as performed by Frank Sinatra and Les Misérables' "Bring Him Home," which he describes as "a beautiful song, but at karaoke night? Read the room." Watch the full appearance above, with the theatrical part of the conversation beginning at the 5:00 mark.
Matarazzo is starring as Tobias in the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical revival at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, sharing the stage with Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett, respectively. The revival, now in previews and opening March 26, features Jonathan Tunick's full, 26-piece orchestration for the first time on Broadway since the 1979 original production, under the baton of three-time Tony winner Alex Lacamoire. Tony-winning Hamilton director Thomas Kail is at the helm.
READ: Josh Groban Knows He's Not Your Typical Pick For Sweeney Todd
The revival also features Jordan Fisher (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen) as Anthony, Tony Award winner and Laurence Olivier Award nominee Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I) as Beggar Woman, Maria Bilbao (On Your Feet!) as Johanna, Jamie Jackson (The Last Ship) as Judge Turpin, John Rapson (Les Misérables) as Beadle Bamford, and Nicholas Christopher as Pirelli.
The ensemble includes Galyana Castillo, Jonathan Christopher, Taeler Cyrus, Timothy Hughes, Paul-Jordan Jansen, Alicia Kaori, Raymond J. Lee, Patricia Phillips, Samantha Pollino, Lexi Rabadi, Nathan Salstone, Kristie Dale Sanders, Stephen Tewksbury, Daniel Torres, Felix Torrez-Ponce, and DeLaney Westfall.
Rounding out the company: standby Jeanna De Waal, along with swings Dwayne Cooper, Kyrie Courter, Michael Kuhn, Megan Ort, Mia Pinero, and Hennessy Winkler.
The production features choreography by Steven Hoggett, scenic design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Emilio Sosa, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, special effects design by Jeremy Chernick, and wig, hair, and make-up design by J. Jared Janas. Casting is by The Telsey Office, and Baseline Theatrical's Nick Lygo and James Hickney serve as general managers. Cody Renard Richard is production stage manager.
The original production, which debuted on Broadway in 1979, won eight 1980 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, along with Best Actor and Actress nods for original stars Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. The work has gone on to be regarded by many as one of Sondheim's masterpieces, with its epic, operatic scale letting it be equally at home on the musical theatre stage as it is at the opera house. The musical was revived on Broadway in 1989 and 2005, and Off-Broadway in 2017, all presenting the work on a smaller scale with dramatically smaller orchestrations. A film adaptation, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, was released in 2007.