Basketball and Beer are Part of This Broadway Star's Day-Off Routine

Adam Rathe
Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel

From Town & Country

You could say that Will Hochman works in a small operation. Despite the fact that he’s starring in the bona fide hit current Broadway production of The Sound Inside—which the New York Times just called “flawless”—at Studio 54 eight times a week, Hochman’s professional world at the moment is kind of small. That’s because for the duration of the smart, gripping play, penned by Adam Rapp and directed by David Cromer, it’s only Hochman and co-star Mary Louise Parker on stage. There’s no ensemble, there’s just a whisper of a set, there is no place for either of them to hide.

It also isn’t the lightest material. The play follows Parker’s character, a Yale professor with a terminal illness, as she befriends Hochman’s Christopher, a very smart, well read, socially awkward freshman. The two share an intellectual connection and she begins reading the novel he’s writing, though things for the pair quickly get more complicated—and much darker. So, when it comes time for Hochman to get his one day off each week, he takes it seriously.

Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel

Exactly why are most shows “dark” on Mondays? It’s said to harken back to the loosening of blue laws in the 1970s when businesses were finally allowed to open on Sundays and Monday became Broadway’s day of rest. (Generally, a select few shows do perform on Monday.)

Here, T&C talks to Hochman about his one day of freedom.

Does Monday Start Sunday Night?

Photo credit: Walter McBride - Getty Images

It’s been different every week. We’ve only had four weeks of performances so far, so I’m still discovering my own schedule. A lot of it is social for me; I’m from Brooklyn, New York is home. I have childhood friends, high school friends, and new friends coming to see the show. Sunday nights have turned into an opportunity to catch up with people and have a beer. So far, I’ve been to Characters on 54thstreet a handful of times. It’s a good chance to see people and have a good time.

Where Can We Find You on a Monday?

I live in Greenwich Village, but I don’t have a real neighborhood haunt. I have friends all over the city, and that gives me opportunities to go to the places they love. That said, I find myself at Gallagher’s Steak House in Midtown an awful lot. Not always for a steak, but I do like the vibe.

Workout or Hang Out?

I hold a lot of tension in the show. I hold it in my neck and shoulders, so it’s important that I do yoga every day. It’s also vital that I sweat. I’m a lifelong athlete—basketball is my first love—so my body is accustomed to having my heart rate go up. Every Monday, I make sure that I go for a run along the West Side of Manhattan or if my brother’s free, we’ll play some basketball.

Photo credit: Bruce Glikas - Getty Images

What’s Your Monday Indulgence?

If I can have one home-cooked meal each week, I try to. On Monday, I’ll make myself an oatmeal—I add flax seed, blueberries, coconut oil, bee pollen, the whole deal—but otherwise I’ll go out to eat with friends. Lots of Monday nights, I end up at Sauce on the Lower East Side.

Do You Avoid the Theater District on Your Day Off?

I don’t find myself back in the theater district. If I had tickets to go see a show, I would, but I try to see other parts of the city when I can.

Do You Take Work Home with You?

When I first read the play about a year and a half ago, I went in whole hog and immediately started reading the books it mentions. I’ve been working on it ever since. At this point, I’ve read most of them; Light Years by James Salter was excellent, I loved Old Yeller and Franny and Zooey. I read-read three quarters of Crime and Punishment for the first time since high school; I still have that copy, so I also got to see all of my chicken-scratch notes. I’m about 300 pages into Infinite Jest right now.

Photo credit: Walter McBride - Getty Images

What Do You Binge Watch?

I’ve finished almost all of Parks and Recreation, I’ve watched Big Mouth, I’m looking forward to Bojack Horseman coming back.

How Do You Prep to Go Back to Work Tuesday?

Work is the thing everything else is organized around. I have to be so focused and so on my game; there’s no room to hide on stage and no room for error. I’m not willing to take any chances. If I have a show at 8:00, I get to work at 6 to have two hours to get settled and focused. I shower, I get settled in and review old notes, I meditate, or I nap, and I’m in wardrobe getting warmed up with an hour to spare.

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