Midway through Steven Sondheim’s classic musical Company comes “Getting Married Today,” a mental breakdown in song form, in which a nervous bride attempts to flake on her wedding. It’s considered one of the most difficult numbers in the musical theater canon, “the greatest show-tune tongue-twister of all time,” the kind of song that has its own Wikipedia page. In the gender swapped revival now playing on Broadway, the song is performed each night by Matt Doyle, a performance that’s winning raves.
The California native has played a steady string of demanding roles in shows like The Book of Mormon, War Horse, Bye Bye Birdie, and Spring Awakening. But his turn in Company is a breakout, and this week he received his first-ever Tony nomination.
“It’s my favorite show I’ve ever been in, without question,” Doyle told GQ. “Every bit about this production is magnificent and smart, and it means even more at this point, being a part of this journey through the pandemic. Together, we’ve experienced a crazy amount of collective trauma that I’ll look back on one day and think ‘I can’t believe we survived.’”
GQ recently caught up with Doyle to ask him about how he eats and trains to make sure he has stamina for eight shows a week. He says it took him years of honing both his craft and his body to acclimate to the grind of daily performances and late nights: “Most people don’t realize how taxing this all can be,” he said.
GQ: I’m assuming your days don’t start at 6 a.m. if you’re up late performing.
Matt Doyle: Right. I get back from my show around midnight every night and fall asleep by 3 a.m. So, that means I’m sleeping until 10 or 11 a.m. every day. Once I’m up, I’ll make coffee and cook up some scrambled eggs with spinach and parmesan, and eat that with rye toast.
If it’s a crazy day, I’ll go to Starbucks and get a venti iced coffee, black unsweetened, and eat those kale mushroom egg bits they have. I lie and tell myself they’re good for me, but who knows. I also hard boil a lot of eggs for the week in case I am on the move and can’t stop anywhere.
What happens after breakfast?
It’s funny, because my work day doesn’t really start until 4 or 5. So, after breakfast, I’ll get our dog off to doggy daycare and then I get to the gym. My workout changes based on the day, just if I’m focusing on lower or upper-body lifting.
What’s for lunch?
If I’m home, I eat a lot of lean proteins. I really do focus on being as healthy as possible, I’ll have ground turkey pretty often. Or, maybe I cook up some chicken breast and some sweet potatoes. If I’m out, it’s always Sweetgreen or Dig.
Have you always eaten this clean?
Not at all. I’m a naturally very small guy, and when I first moved here, at 19, I weighed something like 120 pounds and didn’t think much about my diet. But when I first came into the theater, I had a director look at me and tell me that if I wanted to play certain roles, I’d have to take care of myself and bulk up a bit—especially if I wanted to have the stamina of doing eight shows per week. Today, I’m closer to 150 pounds.