One could make the argument that no Twin Cities actor was seen by more people in 2014 than Tyler Michaels.
Consider the evidence: Michaels began the year shimmying down a rope from the balcony of the Pantages Theatre and slipping into the deliciously creepy persona of the Emcee in “Cabaret,” Theater Latté Da’s fine collaboration with Hennepin Theatre Trust. He had barely caught his breath from that frenetic portrayal when he threw on the handsome trappings of Prince Eric in Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s “The Little Mermaid.”
Michaels had to leave that production in June so he could glide onto the Guthrie stage as Freddy Eynsford-Hill to sing the beautiful “On the Street Where You Live” in “My Fair Lady,” which would become the Guthrie’s highest grossing show of all time. He hiked out to the Chan again for an autumn turn in “Hello, Dolly!” and then back to the Guthrie for “A Christmas Carol.” Michaels concluded the year off stage, co-directing “Jonah and the Whale” for his buddies at 7th House Theater.
This would be an extraordinary year simply in terms of an actor’s stamina. But in each production, Michaels was a dynamic presence who forced audiences to pay attention every time he was on stage — which was a lot. In the Guthrie’s annual report, Joe Dowling singled Michaels out as “a phenomenal young local artist.” Well said, Mr. Dowling. Here is hoping that when he is an old and content gentleman, Michaels looks back on 2014 as a breakout moment in a long and successful career.