Rich Sommer goes from Harry Crane to ‘Harvey’

Rich Sommer plays an orderly in “Harvey,” running through Aug. 5 at Studio 54
(254 West 54th St.). For tickets, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.

Minnesota-born Rich Sommer, known to TV fans as the bumbling Harry Crane on “Mad Men,” is putting aside his trademark glasses for his Broadway debut, opposite another TV regular, Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory,” in the Broadway revival of “Harvey.” Sommer plays an orderly tasked with restraining Parsons’ character, Elwood, who’s there because his best friend just happens to be a giant invisible rabbit.

So you’re not taking any sort of summer vacation off from “Mad Men,” I guess?

This is it, yeah, although it’s not a bad way to spend a summer. It’s been nice getting time to hang out now that rehearsals have backed off a little bit. I’m getting pretty exhausted. But it’s all right — I really don’t have much to complain about.

You did some improv in New York before “Mad Men.” What’s it like to come back to the New York stage?

Coming back to New York has been a dream. We’re in Chelsea right now for the summer, which is very different from almost the Ditmars stop in Astoria. I have not done a play since grad school, so this is my first time onstage in eight years. I’ve learned I’ve become incredibly lazy. [In TV] you can learn that day’s scenes in the morning and then you can forget them for the rest of your life. And that is not how this works. It’s taken a lot of reminding myself to be focused and dedicated to working on it.

Did you know Jim Parsons before you started working together?

I did not. We maybe had lunch, maybe shook hands somewhere, but I don’t even know that that happened. I saw him win his Emmys, but I don’t think we ever met face to face.

He’s extremely well-mannered in “Harvey.”  What’s he like in real life?

You know, he said this the other day: He feels Elwood has infected him, and he said it’ll be interesting to see what happens when the run is over. But I can say he is just as lovely and charming as Elwood is.

As a kid, did you have an imaginary friend, like Elwood does with Harvey?

I kind of wish I had — it sounds very fun. But no, I didn’t really. We moved from Minnesota when I was 8, and I almost immediately met the guy who would go on to be my best friend over time. We lived on the same street growing up, and lived together all four years of college, and he was here just last week to see the show.

Let’s talk about “Mad Men.” What can we expect in the aftermath of Lane’s death?

You can see in this moment that Don’s been through this before. It happened to his brother, essentially. Not the same way, but he’s got two men that he was the last person to give him the advice to go away, basically. And this is how they dealt with it. So, I mean, that’s gonna affect someone.

Does it ever get annoying to constantly be referred to as the series’ comic relief?

No, I don’t know how that could be annoying. I am delighted to be able to get the lines they give me. And also for all the comic relief Harry is, I think if you weigh his comedic moments against his dramatic moments, comedy definitely wins, but they also do give Harry these great little interactions. So yes, I don’t mind at all being the comic relief, especially when they pay that off with genuine, honest moments.

His beef with Metro

“When I was temping in Times Square, I always read Metro, so I was excited when I got this call. The one decision Metro made that I have a problem with — now, it’s been many years — there was a comic strip by a guy named Tony Murphy, and man, I loved that comic strip. I read it every day. And then one day,  there was a little thing saying this would be the last. And I was like, ‘S–!’ My ride in the morning to my soul-sucking temp job was a little less fun.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.