It’s been a rollercoaster year for Broadway’s Matt Doyle.
The actor was cast as the anxious groom-to-be Jamie in the gender-swapping revival of Company back in 2020, but the pandemic had other plans, delaying the musical’s opening until late last year. Nevertheless, the tenacious cast and producers stuck it out, and Doyle walked with a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical.
But Broadway is a business, and despite five Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, producer Chris Harper announced the show would end its run on July 31.
“It remains the honor of a lifetime to bring Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s masterpiece to Broadway in Marianne Elliott’s Tony Award-winning reimagined production,” said Harper in a statement. “It is a testament to the dedication of everyone who works on the production that we have withstood all the challenges that Broadway has faced over the last two years to share this show with our amazing audiences.”
Harper said a North American tour is being planned.
But where does that leave Doyle? Sondheim wrote in Into the Woods, “Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor,” and a career as an actor working primarily in theater is precarious at best. Still, Doyle has beaten the odds since making his Broadway debut as a replacement in the original production of Spring Awakening, going on to appear in four more productions, including The Book of Mormon and Elliott’s epically staged War Horse.
Related: Inside Matt Doyle’s unapologetically gay, Tony-winning performance in ‘Company’
“A lot of actors joke about the dreaded ‘man-boy’ phase where we’re aging out of those roles and playing a teenager,” Doyle told Queerty. “I’ve always embraced getting older; I enjoy the opportunities that it presents to me and the roles that I get to take on now.”
“The hardest thing about this career is everybody puts you on a trajectory only to go up, but that’s not how it works,” he said. “Especially not in the theater. It’s always up and down. And there are always peaks and valleys. I’m thrilled to have this moment happening right now. It’s a nice time to celebrate this age and who I am right now.”
Doyle recently carved out time to participate in Broadway Backwards, the annual celebration of LGBTQ stories benefitting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, performing “Le Jazz Hot” from Victor/Victoria.
With Company closing at the end of July, where might Doyle be headed next? Probably on vacation — or a long stint on the couch while live-in boyfriend Max Clayton taps away as Hugh Jackman’s stand-by in The Music Man. Unlikely. Doyle will undoubtedly soon be back in the audition room, revving up for the next great gig. Could any of them compare Company? No, but that’s the beauty of live theater. You never know what to expect.
Here are five roles we’d love to see Doyle tackle next…
Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Consider this role a prequel to Doyle’s star-turn in Company. Sondheim’s 1962 musical, featuring a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, is about a Roman enslaved person’s attempt to win his freedom. Hysterium’s Act I song, “I’m Calm,” is anything but and earned the role’s originator Jack Gilford a Tony nomination and a win for Larry Blyden in the 1972 revival.
Barnum in Barnum
One of the early biomusicals, this 1980 hit starred Jim Dale, who won a Tony Award for his performance as the legendary circus impresario. Barnum has never been revived on Broadway and could be the perfect project to put Doyle’s name above the title.
Alex Dillingham in Aspects of Love
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sweeping romance set against the backdrop of 1940s Italy and France was a huge hit when it opened in London but failed to enrapture American audiences when it transferred to Broadway in 1990. Even so, Doyle’s raw emotion could be just what the Englishman Alex Dillingham needs for the character to resonate with contemporary audiences, and “Love Changes Everything” is a Mount Everest show-stopper.
Harry Witherspoon in Lucky Stiff
An early collaboration between Lynn Ahrens (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music), this musical farce follows a shoe salesman’s whirlwind trip to Monte Carlo after inheriting $6 million from his dead uncle — the only catch: he has to transport the body. Perfect for a more intimate space like Broadway’s Hayes Theater or Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, Doyle could lead the next chapter of the show’s legacy.
Bruce in Fun Home
What about Doyle a decade from now on Broadway? Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Fun Home tells the coming-of-age (and coming out) story of its central character Alison. But her closeted father, Bruce, anchors the family’s intergenerational complexities. Doyle’s sensitivity and vulnerability would be a welcome addition to the musical’s first Broadway revival.