Producer Spotlight: Ralph Buckley Interviews Our Most Loyal Fan

[Editor's Note: Once a month we have a producer take you behind the curtain, into the rehearsal process, backstage, or on the road to illuminate more the of Broadway's Next Hit Musical process. This month it's producer a Ralph Buckley]

Native New Yorker - and Broadway’s Next Hit Musical die hard - Ross Mernyk

Native New Yorker - and Broadway’s Next Hit Musical die hard - Ross Mernyk

Ross Mernyk is one of Broadway’s Next Hit Musical’s most enthusiastic fans. He has been attending BNHM performances since its beginnings. Ross is Brooklyn born and bred. A graduate of both St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights and M.I.T., Ross holds 16 patents, has been an expert witness at the International Trade Commission and was an acclaimed speaker at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. But while on land, Ross is passionate about improvisation. A skilled improviser in his own right, Ross currently studies and performs with “The Yes Show”.

Q: Ross, every time BNHM has a New York run, you are one of the first people to buy tickets. Tell us why you became such a dedicated fan of our show.

A: The very first time I saw it, Debbie Rabbai picked a song title out of a hat, looked at it and said, “Oh, my." She paused then proceeded, "There comes a time in every performer’s career when they realize they're about to do something they’ll be known for, for the rest of their careers. My time has come.” She read the song title, “Sex, Penis, Vagina, Boob, Cock, Ball.” and then said, “my father is in the audience.” [Editor’s Note: Since this early performance, the producers have decided to only use song titles that are of a PG nature.] She proceeded to turn the suggestion into a tender, loving coming-of-age ditty that my girlfriend and I couldn’t get out of our heads for days. And from that point on, I knew I was hooked.

Q: Well, it’s clear that you are hooked. What amazes me is that you bring 6 or more new people to every run. How do they react?

A: Anywhere from “WOW” to blown away.

Q: Can you elaborate on that?

A: They are awed, and effusive either about the amazing physical comedy, or how connected and quick the verbal exchanges are between the performers, or the beauty, thoughtfulness and rhyming of the songs themselves.

Q: You mentioned one of Debbie’s great moments in BNHM history, do any others come to mind?

A: Robert Z embodying an ostrich, Rob and Stefan ramping up a song as shoemakers by surrounding each others’ opposing views with 12 overarching synonyms for “covering,” Rob embodying the mascot “Mr. Peanut” from the Planters Peanuts jar sitting on an audience members’ table, complete with top hat and monocle, and countless others.

Q: You come to more than one show within each run, why?

A: BNHM is different every time. I know my entire crew will laugh our asses off and have a great evening.

Q: Knowing you as long as I have, you seem to have a knack for finding trendsetting and cutting edge entertainment. How do you turn that knack into a posse?

A: I have a “going out” e-mail list, strictly opt-in, and I send a blast whenever I know I am personally going to something 3 days to 3 weeks ahead.

Q: And where does BNHM rank on your list of entertainment alternatives?

A: When BNHM has a run in New York, it is always the top priority on my list.

Posted on December 12, 2018 and filed under Producer Spotlight.