Bryan Batt Comes to Miami
The star of Mad Men will bring his one-man cabaret show to the Arsht Center this weekend.
When Salvatore Romano, the closeted art director on AMC’s hit drama, Mad Men, was unceremoniously fired from Sterling Cooper two seasons ago, fans knew they would be seeing more of actor Bryan Batt.
The talented actor and singer, who was given little advance notice of Sal’s exit from the story and has only been told Sal is not dead, will be bringing his one-man cabaret show to Prelude by Barton G., the swanky supper club at Miami’s Arsht Center this weekend.
Batt, a New Orleans native and a veteran of Broadway, created the show as a benefit fundraiser after his city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
“I’d never done a one-man show,” he recalls, “but, after the storm, I figured I could do anything I really wanted. It turned out to be so much fun that it kept on growing and morphed.”
Batt presented the latest incarnation at Feinstein’s, the famous cabaret house founded by Michael Feinstein in Manhattan. “A musical journey,” as Batt puts it, the show includes a variety of composers and musical styles that includes both the familiar and unfamiliar.
While Batt is best known for his television role, he is equally comfortable on stage: “I love both mediums for very different reasons. On stage, you have this thing called rehearsal, where you get to explore, discover and hone a performance. There are previews and you hone it even more. You also know your schedule because at 8 p.m., the curtain goes up. With film and television you never know your schedule.
Scripts are always different and you have virtually miniscule amount of time to rehearse. You block it and go back to the make-up trailer while they set the lights and then you do it. You have to trust your instincts because you don’t want to be driving home and wishing you’d done (the scene) a different way.”
Fans will see him on television again in a guest role on Law & Order: Criminal Intent that airs May 15. He jets down under later this summer for a project in Australia. And, in between all the film and stage roles, Batt still finds time for other creative pursuits.
He and his longtime partner, Tom Fianchi, run a high-end home décor boutique in New Orleans, Hazlenut. Batt also finds time to write. A best-selling memoir about growing up with his mother hit stores last year and this fall, his latest book, Big Easy Style, a design guide from Random House, will be released.
Batt is still hopeful Sal will make a big comeback, especially after the news the network had reached a deal with Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner to extend the series for two more seasons.
“Sal was on a journey and I really wanted to get it right, to pay tribute to those men and women who had to live closeted lives. It was painful, especially because we didn’t know if he would be coming back. With Matt Weiner, you never know what’s going to happen. It’s going to take you by surprise, break your heart,” Batt says.
He adds, “People still stop me on the street and ask me when I’m coming back. When I tell them I don’t know, they give me hugs. I think so many people identify with Sal and have been in a situation where they don’t feel like they fit in. It hurts.”
In the meantime, he’s look forward to a vacation. He and his partner have been planning an escape to Rome for years, but Batt’s busy schedule rarely allowed the opportunity.
He laughs, “I’m so glad I’ll have nothing on my plate for a change. My partner has already warned me that if he sees me walking around the Coliseum with a script in hand trying to learn lines, I’ll be in trouble!”
Prelude by Barton G.
Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami
Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9, 8:30 p.m.
Prix fixe dinner $49
For more information or reservations,
call 305-357-7900 or go to PreludeByBartonG.com