Actor Michael Urie Talks "Ugly Betty" and Drama Desk Awards

Steve Adubato sits down with actor, director, and Drama Desk Awards host and winner, Michael Urie, about the magic of New York theater, his time on the hit ABC show “Ugly Betty,” and his new play, "The Government Inspector."

5/31/17 #2043






"Hi Vincy! Hi Michael. Hi Vincy! Hi Michael. Hi Vincy! Hi Michael! Hi Jessie! Hey Michael! I brought you chicken noodle soup! Oh my goodness, I'm actually starving. Thank you, that's so sweet of you! Oh good. It's hot. It's fresh. What made you do this? Oh because you're sick. I'm not sick. You are now! You're not getting this role Michael! But don't go up...! This? You see this? [laughter] This guy right here? Not this guy. This guy! This is Michael Urie. Hi. Actor, director, right now he's in The Government Inspector at the Red Bull Theater over on 42nd Street. But what you saw right there, that was from? That was from the Drama Desk Awards, which I hosted last year, and I'm hosting again this year. Tell everyone what the Drama Desk Awards are. Because that was funny. [laughter] Thank you! The Drama Desk Awards are one of the New York theatre's awards ceremonies every year. You know, of course there's the Tonys that are sort of the big mama. So they're not a big deal? Yeah the Tonys are... I'm joking! Go ahead! [laughter] ...a pretty big deal! Yeah. There's also the Lucille Lortels, which is strictly Off-Broadway. The Outer Critics Circle, which sort of encompasses a lot. Right. The Drama Desk is Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway. It goes all the way... all the way off Broadway. It's huge. And so you'll have shows that perform in a basement up against shows that are performing at the St. James Theatre on Broadway. You're hosting it? You were just telling me before we got on the air. Yeah. It's not just memorizing lines, or reading some teleprompter? It is much more than that? Go ahead. Yeah. What is it? You kinda gotta go with what happens in the audience. You know, it's an audience full. It's streamed live on But the audience, the people in the room at Town Hall, are basically all show people. So I have to put on a show for show people. And I'm not gonna be better than them. You know they're... that's what they do. They make shows. Are they tough critics? Yeah, they're tough! [laughter] It's a tough crowd! So you gotta surprise them. You gotta... you... With? Well, sometimes you gotta go to the audience and play with them. And one thing that performers have in common with regular people is they don't like to be singled out when they're in an audience. They become just as shy as a regular person. Hold on, you mean they came to watch a show, not be in a show? That's right! They came to watch a show... Yeah, but..."