Six months ago Mike Harrison’s biography would’ve described him as a painter with a musical theater background. Today though, he is recognized as a dressing room decorator extraordinaire who has transformed the backstage pieds-à-terre of some of Broadway’s buzziest talents including Leslie Odom Jr. of the mega hit Hamilton, and Lupita Nyong’o who is currently starring in Eclipsed. His latest assignment, for the ever charming Jesse Tyler Ferguson who’s playing the lead (and every other role) in the hilarious play Fully Committed which opens its doors in the Big Apple this evening, was his most challenging one yet, and we’ve got the deets to prove it.
Aside from the aesthetic, which Harrison caters to his clients’ individual tastes, the main difference between this project and Harrison’s others has to be the scale. As the star of a one-man show in which he plays 40 characters, let’s just say Ferguson didn’t have to pull straws for best dressing room in the house. In fact, while most actors, even Oscar-winning ones, get one designated space, Ferguson scored three. “Jesse basically could’ve had 40 [rooms] if he wanted to,” says Harrison, but in the end they narrowed it down to a main space where Ferguson could get ready and unwind, a sleeping nook, and a separate lounge area downstairs for hosting guests. With a limited budget and a very tight schedule, Harrison finished the assignment in less than a week with flying colors. “The backstage of a theater is not nearly as glamorous as people may think, but Mike has taken these concrete rooms and turned them into the most warm and comfortable extensions of my aesthetic,” says Ferguson.
Check out Ferguson’s newly vamped oasis below.