Patrick J. Adams goes to bat and gets naked in his extraordinary Broadway debut

 Patrick J.  Adams goes to bat and gets naked in his extraordinary Broadway debut

six years ago, Patrick J. adams The California production of the play “The Last Match” completed a month-long run, realizing that he was defeated by stage fright, in what he describes as a “hard and fast level of panic”. . He said the experience convinced him that he would never perform on stage again.

But this spring, the Canadian actor is confidently making his Broadway debut in the acclaimed revival of “Take Me Out,” leaving a significant portion of his performance completely naked. Most of her co-stars, including “Grey’s Anatomy” actor Jesse Williams, also appear buff throughout the show.

“My initial instinct was that I couldn’t go from being a person who was having panic attacks to doing a nude play on Broadway,” Adams told HuffPost. “I thought: ‘This won’t work. I can’t do that. That’s too far.’”

“And then I read the script, and I knew right away that I had to do it. The drama was so beautiful it couldn’t be denied, the opportunity was great, and this group of people was awesome. I knew if I didn’t say it, so I was saying no to theater for the rest of my life. It felt like an opportunity to heal a bigger wound.”

Written by Richard Greenberg and directed by Scott Ellis, “Take Me Out” depicts the New York Empires, a fictional Major League Baseball team. The team’s sense of camaraderie is tested when its only fraternity player, Darren Lemming (Williams), reveals that he is gay.

Adams, best known for playing Mike Ross in USA Network’s legal drama “Suits”, stars as Kippy Sundström, one of Lemming’s accomplices and a confidante. The character also serves as the play’s narrator, starting several conversations about the toxic masculinity, racism, and homosexuality inherent in America’s pastime.

The original production of “Take Me Out” began on Broadway in 2003. Greenberg has said that when he first wrote the play, he believed it wouldn’t take long for an active Major League player to come out as gay in the real world. But even after 20 years this has not happened.

Given America’s current political climate, which includes a shocking push against LGBTQ rights in many conservative states, Adams believes the Greenberg narrative is more urgent than ever.

“We live in a world where more and more people are talking – everyone is talking – but we still have a hard time coming to an agreement about anything difficult,” he said. said. “Great writers write to humanity. They write who we are, and for better or worse, it doesn’t change as much as we’d like. Over time, drama tells us how much work we have left to do. We have come a long way, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Adams (left) with co-stars Jesse Williams and Jesse Tyler Ferguson on opening night "take me out" in April.
Adams (left) with co-stars Jesse Williams and Jesse Tyler Ferguson on the opening night of “Take Me Out” in April.

Bruce Glickas via Getty Images

As in 2003, much of the discussion of the revival has focused on the locker room scenes of the play, during which most of the cast appears naked.

“At rehearsals, we would get to the shower scene and get it dressed. Then we did it in our underwear,” Adams recalled. “We always focused on what we had to say. Once the water was the right temperature and all that, we were like: ‘Okay, we’re going to be naked today.’ It felt like a natural progression.”

The show’s creative team has done a lot to ensure that no footage of nudity on stage is shared online, and requires theater-goers to lock their phones in sealed pouches before the curtain rises. Although Adams anticipated the “hooting and hollering” when he and his co-stars dropped their towels in front of a live audience for the first time, they were pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful response.

“People see the rain coming down and they go: ‘Oh my god, that’s it.’ Some are gasping,” he said. “You hear a little shuffling and whispering and then it’s over. We’ve all seen naked bodies before, and there’s nothing overly sexist or titular about this scene. It’s not unnecessary nudity, and it’s a beautifully written scene.”

"I knew that if I said no to it, I was saying no to theater for the rest of my life," Adams said.
“I knew that if I didn’t say it, I was saying no to theater for the rest of my life,” Adams said.

Although Adams has joked in interviews about his lack of interest in sports in real life, he will spend more time on the baseball field when he returns to television later this year. The actor has a recurring role in Amazon’s upcoming “A League of Their Own” series, created by “Broad City” star Abbi Jacobson and inspired by the beloved 1992 film of the same name.

Adams hasn’t seen any of the finished series yet, but said the tone on set was “very different from the film, but in a great way.”

“Abby is a genius and cuts her own way through that material,” he said. “She had a very specific reason why she wanted to make it. The women I was working with were remarkable. I think people who love the film will love the show too, but For completely new and different reasons.”

By all accounts, “Take Me Out” is a hit on Broadway — no easy feat in a packed theater season that continues to grapple with COVID-19-related shutdowns and other unexpected setbacks. Last month, it was announced that the play will run for two weeks, and will now end on June 11.

And if everything goes according to plan, Adams hopes “Take Me Out” will be “the first of many, many Broadway experiences.”

“Theatre is again a part of my life. I don’t need to be afraid of it anymore,” he said. “I’m so excited to see what’s next. I’m drawn to talented people and I consider myself lucky if they want me in the same room. I want to serve great physical and visionary people, If they would be with me.”