It’s Monday, Brad Oscar’s day off from playing the loopy soothsayer Nostradamus in Something Rotten!, but during awards season, there are no days off for Tony-nominated actors.
Oscar earned his first nomination in 2001 for playing Franz in The Producers, and that time, deciding what to wear was easy. He also covered the role of Max Bialystock, originated by Nathan Lane, and after the nominations came out, his Max wardrobe was completed in case he had to go on. The tuxedo for the final number was custom-made for Oscar, and even though costumes are never supposed to leave the theater, the wardrobe supervisor — Oscar worries about getting him in trouble now — said he could wear it to the Tonys.
This time around, he has more options. He wants to wear something a little different from what he’s worn in the past, and with less than one week before the Tonys, Oscar visits Suitsupply in Soho to be fitted for his tux. In a bright room with colorful, comfortable chairs, Oscar chats with Broadway Style Guide while changing in and out of his tux. He’s an actor, after all, so dressing in front of people is routine.
How did you pick out this suit for the Tonys?
The minute I got the nomination, my husband and I started thinking about what we were going to wear. He said he saw me in a midnight blue tuxedo. We ended on something that’s not quite midnight blue, but it’s certainly on its way.
Does your husband guide your everyday style as well?
Yes. I’m hardly a fashion plate. I spend most of my life getting dressed to go to the theater to get undressed to get into costume to get undressed to get back in my clothes to go home. Other than special events, I’m really a jeans and t-shirt, shorts and t-shirt, easy in, easy out kind of guy. But whenever we have to get dressed up for anything, my husband is my guide.
Which character who you’ve played do you think has the best fashion sense?
[Laughs] Uncle Fester [in The Addams Family]! Just a big old frock coat. Easy! I think Max Bialystock has a fashion sense in a classic sort of way, but most of the other characters I’ve played aren’t necessarily fashion plates. God knows Nostradamus is not.
What do you think of the costume that you wear in Something Rotten!?
I love the costume in Something Rotten because literally the moment I got it on, it so informed who this guy was. And just for the audience to see that look is very informative and tells you a lot about that guy because there are so many different fabrics and pieces that [costume designer] Gregg Barnes put together.
You have the show-stopping number in the show, “A Musical,” which sometimes gets standing ovations in the middle of the show. Can you talk about what that’s like to perform every night?
It’s the kind of thing you always dream of, to have a number like that, that audiences go crazy over. What I love about it is it’s such a celebration of the American musical. And I’ve been a fan of the American musical since I was a kid. So in many ways, I feel like I’m 12 years old again, dropping the needle on the album in my bedroom, and dancing around my room. Only now, I actually get to do it on Broadway. Yes, I’m front and center in the number, but that number is nothing without Brian d’Arcy James and that ensemble. We all fell in love with musicals at some point. That’s why we’re here.
Are you excited to perform it at the Tonys?
I am. I can’t believe it. I have to stay in the moment. Because the Tonys were a religious holiday in the house when I was a kid. My parents were theatergoers as well, so we all enjoyed it.
Are you going to write a speech or just wing it if you win?
I’m sort of writing something down because I want to be prepared because what an opportunity if I do get to get up and say something and thank people. I want to be prepared because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing most likely. Last time, I didn’t because I really did not expect to win and I figured if I did, I’d be so excited that I would wing it. But this time, no matter what the odds are, I do want to be prepared.
If you could raid the closet of one of the other nominees in your category, who would it be?
It would be either my dear Christian Borle, who I share the stage with nightly, or Mr. Andy Karl, who also has fabulous fashion sense. I’d want Andy’s body and maybe Christian’s wardrobe. Or Christian’s arms and Andy’s butt. They always both look so damn snappy. But we have a pretty snappy category too because Mr. Max von Essen also is a very snappy dresser and very attractive. I’m proud to be included with those boys.
How do you think you’ll feel wearing this tux that you picked out?
I’m going to feel pretty snappy. I’ve said snappy a few times, haven’t I? It’s another costume in a way because it’s not something that I normally wear. I’m a fairly conservative dresser as far as colors and things like that, so it’s fun to get a little outside of my comfort zone.
Do you have a favorite item of clothing?
This is going to sound weird. I got this great robe when I opened The Producers in Las Vegas. They gave us these beautiful robes, and it’s just something that I’ve had for years and I love getting into it in the morning. My dog Baz, my little Manchester Terrier, whenever I wear the robe and I sit down in my big, cushy chair to read the paper, he just loves to burrow himself inside the robe, which has made the robe that much more special. So, how about that? It’s a robe. I guess that says a lot about my fashion.