Aaron Tveit knows the hard work it takes to get on stage and put on a performance.
He’s done it on Broadway since his debut in 2006.
Still, the Tony Award nominee found himself in uncharted territory when he joined the cast of “Schmigadoon!”
The six-part series is a spoof of iconic musicals starring Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key as a couple on a backpacking trip designed to reinvigorate their relationship when they discover a magical town everyone lives in. a 1940s music studio. . They then discover that they can’t leave until they find “true love”.
The cast also includes Jaime Camil, Fred Armisen, Kristin Chenoweth, Dove Cameron, Ariana DeBose, Jane Krakowski, Alan Cumming and Ann Harada. The six-episode series premieres Friday, July 16 on Apple TV+.
“We were all together I think to do the finale, but we had a day before we were in pre-production where all the cast got together,” he says. “We read all six episodes in one afternoon. It was spectacular because without it you couldn’t even see what the others were doing. The fact that we had this experience together really raised the bar. I left thinking, ‘Oh wow, I thought I was ready. But I have to be adapted to the level that everyone brings to it. “
In the series, Tveit plays Danny Bailey, who is the town’s outcast. He works for the carnival and stays for it most of the time until he meets Strong’s character, Melissa.
The series pays homage to legendary musicals such as “Carousel”, which Tveit is a fan of.
“I can live out all of my Billy Bigelow ‘carousel’ dreams as Danny Bailey,” he says. “There are all these influences. It’s a character that I always wanted to play, so it was a great pleasure for me.
The challenge for Tveit was the dancing required for the role. The series was choreographed by Christopher Gattelli.
“He spent a lot of time with me one-on-one,” he says. “He really had specific references to this Gene Kelly type song and dance man. He wanted Danny to embody him in some way. Danny is a rough, tumble guy, but then he can get into song and dance, which I think is also interesting. The dance element was the only thing I found myself really drilling into and practicing. I wanted to make sure I was totally ready for it when I set foot on set. Worrying about footsteps helped me not worry too much about singing.
Tveit has acted on stage and screen all her life. He appeared in “Moulin Rouge!” and is the only actor nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor this year.
With “Schmigadoon!”, he hopes viewers will enjoy the feel and tone of the show.
With in-person performances not happening in over a year, he hopes there will be joy on the show.
“It’s about celebrating life,” he says. “After the difficult 15 months we’ve had, I hope the joy we had in bringing it to pass. I hope it crosses the screen into people’s living rooms.
Tveit says there are also real messages from all the characters.
“There are these old, very one-dimensional musical theater tropes,” he says. “But they are changed by these two contemporary people that they meet and change for the better. The show has representation and inclusion.
Tveit is no stranger to New Mexico as he has toured here with Broadway shows and filmed the movie “Big Sky” in the area in 2015.
“I love New Mexico and hope to go back one day,” he says.