If you had asked 18-year-old Alistair Brammer what his dream role would be, he’d have responded: Chris in Miss Saigon. And Brammer is just as excited as his younger self to be making his Broadway debut as the American G.I. in the musical at the Broadway Theatre.
However, when he found out he landed the role, first for the London production, he had to contain that excitement. Brammer was doing a matinee of War Horse on the West End, and he was in a group dressing room when his agent called. So Brammer did the only thing he could think to do—he went to the green room and just started “cleaning like Monica in Friends.” “I didn’t know how to get rid of the energy, I was ecstatic,” Brammer says. “It was genuinely a dream come true. When I was 18, that would be the pinnacle of my career, so now I don’t know what to do!”
Though “pinnacle” is a strong word for someone who certainly has a long career ahead of him. Enjoying a cup of black coffee at the secluded St Kilda in midtown, he’s dressed down in a grey t-shirt and flat-brimmed cap. Brammer’s blue eyes are inviting and his charm is irresistible, but he’s completely off the market.
His first wedding anniversary is coming up on August 28, and he talks about his wife Rachel as if the honeymoon never stopped. The couple met when Brammer was in War Horse, where she was the in-house physiotherapist. “She had a boyfriend for most of the time, so it was a no-go area,” Brammer recalls. “Then they broke up, and at the Christmas party I gave her a kiss, and the rest is history. We got engaged after eight months, and in just under two years we got married.”
And Brammer found out that he was going to Broadway with Miss Saigon when he was on his honeymoon. He had sent his agent an email because he was concerned about getting work lined up when he returned, and his agent hinted that there was something on the table that would calm his fears.
Brammer and his wife arrived in New York in January, his first time to the city, and their first night in the city, they just walked around Times Square. “We just spent the first week walking around to libraries. We went to the park. We went uptown and figured out which restaurants to go to,” he says. “We like Yum Yum Bangkok on 46th—great lunch deals. We’re basically on the hunt for New York’s best lunch deals! We’ve just been eating everywhere. There’s a great place that we like called Tea and Sympathy, which is downtown. It’s an English restaurant.”
Rachel is on a spouse visa while Brammer is starring in Saigon so she’s not allowed to work, but Brammer has most of his days off so the two of them spend their days together. “I have three meals a day with my wife. Who else gets to do that?” Brammer says. “And, it’s my new wife. It would be different if we were 12 years in and a bit sick of each other! We’re just loving spending all of our time together.”
The new Broadway star is getting a three-year working visa to do more performing in the States, but he says that the Brammer family is focused on Rachel after he wraps his stint in Saigon. “I am going to take a little bit of a backseat from theatre for a while, just because I’ve done it so much,” he explains. “I’ll probably do pilot season over here, and I’ve got a manager in L.A., so that’s good. But then we can move back and wait until the next thing comes in. It will be some time to put Rachel first and let her work.”
Plus, he’s got other dreams aside from Broadway. “I’ve got a real longing to be a writer—the problem is I don’t write anything!” he says with a laugh. “Romantically, I want to be one. I actually want to write a book, but it’s committing the time. I feel bad saying to my wife, ‘Okay, I’m going to go write for five hours. Bye.’ It’s not even that I feel bad; I don’t want to. I want to hang out with my wife. But as soon as she gets back to being employed, and I have eight hours a day where I’m doing nothing, I know that I will. I’ve got the idea in my head.”
Styling by Jake Sokoloff
Grooming by Megan Whalen
Shot on location at Paramount Hotel
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