Rehearsal Reports: Alex Wyse #1

31Aug

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Over here at Ensemblist HQ, we've been trying to come up with an answer to one of our most frequently asked questions: what is the rehearsal process like for a Broadway show? Since every rehearsal process is so different, we had a hard time trying to figure out HOW to answer that question - until now.

We present to you, faithful and patient listeners, a new miniseries called Rehearsal Reports! We're going to join an ensemblist from a show currently in rehearsal, and get the real inside scoop on what it really feels like to put up a Broadway show!


Our first contributor is Spring Awakening’s Alex Wyse. Since rehearsals began, Alex has been sending us weekly voice memos answering our questions about his experience in rehearsal. We think you'll like this one and can't wait for you to hear it!

#55: College (or, There’s No One Way To Broadway) pt.1

23Aug

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It's getting to be that Back-To-School time, and we here at The Ensemblist thought we'd celebrate the new school year with this two-parter! We get so many questions about educational experiences, where to go to school, and what the Right Way To Broadway might be for an aspiring performer...

However, friends, as you'll hear: There's no one way to Broadway. And we've put together a really special group of guests to talk about their college (or not-college) experiences! We can't wait for you to hear what they've got to say.

Part 1 Guests:
Kristine Covillo (West Side Story, Evita, On the Town)
Garett Hawe (Matilda, Newsies, Mary Poppins)
Matt Rosell (Les Miserables)

The Ensemblist Unedited: Cynthia Onrubia

16Aug

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This one's short- but pretty great, listeners. Cynthia Onrubia gave us so many beautiful gems from her interview for the Chorus Line episode that we gathered them up and made a fabulous necklace for you all!

Okay, well, we don't have the budget for fabulous necklaces for everyone, but we do have this great Unedited episode with the incredibly talented, accomplished, smart, and awesome Cynthia Onrubia!

The Ensemblist #54: A Chorus Line

9Aug

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You know it. We know it. It's the show that changed the way musicals were written, what they could be about, and who could star in them. It blew the roof off the art form. It's the ultimate ensemblist show.

But today on The Ensemblist, we're not going to delve so far into the history here. Countless volumes have been written on the history of A Chorus Line, by everyone from actual historians to the people who were in the room from the very beginning. There's no way we can talk about that history in a way that doesn't already exist.

What we CAN do, and what we're proud to do, is bring you the stories of three individual dancers and their experience with the show that changed it all. You'll hear about their audition process for the show about an audition, their favorite moments to perform, and why they think A Chorus Line stays so relevant, no matter what year it is.

Our Guests:
E. Clayton Cornelious (The Lion King, Kat and the Kings, The Music Man, A Chorus Line, The Scottsboro Boys, Wonderland, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)
Murphy Cross (A Chorus Line, Bubbling Brown Sugar, Pal Joey, Division Street, Jay Johnson: The Two and Only)
Cynthia Onrubia (A Chorus Line, Dancin', Cats, Song and Dance, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, Metro, The Goodbye Girl, Damn Yankees, Victor/Victoria, Cabaret, Little Me, Dame Edna: The Royal Tour, Cabaret)

The Ensemblist Unedited: Matt Rosell

2Aug

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We're back with another extra special Unedited tidbit for you!

You KNOW we love a debut story, and our favorite stories are the ones that somehow capture the terror, silliness, and crazy fun that comes when that Broadway debut day comes around! Our friend and guest Matt Rosell has two great stories- about his first time onstage in Les Miserables on Broadway, a slap, and one VERY uncomfortable way down the barricade. We think you'll love them!

The Ensemblist Unedited: Billy Bustamante

26Jul

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We recently chatted with The King and I’s Billy Bustamante for the Summer Stock episode, and while we were getting into our interview, there were some things he touched on that we just HAD to know more about.

Billy gave us the details about The King and I dance workshop, his transition from performer to choreographer, and, of course, his all-important parallel career!

The Ensemblist #53: Summer Stock

19Jul

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It's hot up here (it's hot and it's monotonous).

All kidding aside (even though we all know Sondheim is nothing to joke about), as we get into the middle of summer and all our friends' Instagrams are photos of them rehearsing really fun shows in really cool places, we got to thinking: why do successful Broadway performers leave home to go do summer stock?

Today on The Ensemblist, we asked three super-talented Broadway friends to help us answer that very question. We found out all about the premiere summer theatres in the USA, what it's like to put up a Broadway-caliber show in only a week, and how performances change when you're trying to captivate over ten thousand people!

Our Guests:
Billy Bustamante (The King and I)
Robert Creighton (Chicago, The Lion King, Laughing Room Only, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Little Mermaid, Anything Goes, The Mystery of Edwin Drood)
Mamie Parris (The Drowsy Chaperone, 110 In the Shade, Ragtime, On the 20th Century)

This episode is sponsored by Samuel French, the world’s premier theatrical publishing and licensing company

The Ensemblist Unedited: John Bolton

12Jul

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Well, Mo put it best on Twitter right after we interviewed the hilarious, accomplished, friendly, warm, and smart John Bolton:

"So what if Mo developed a crush on John Bolton during our interview. SO WHAT, GUYS?!"

Nikka totally agreed.


Get ready for a new Broadway crush, guys! On this episode of The Ensemblist Unedited, we hear from John Bolton about originating a leading role in A Christmas Story and standing by for FIVE leading roles at the same time in Spamalot. Swoon.


The Ensemblist #52: Spring Theatre Roundtable

28Jun

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It's the Spring 2015 Theatre Roundtable! In this episode, special guests Josh Rhodes and Lee Wilkins sit down with Mo and Nikka to discuss some of the musicals that opened in the spring. We talk about the shows, how they used their ensemblists, and some of our favorite performances. Wanna hear what we thought of Honeymoon in Vegas, An American in Paris, Finding Neverland and more? Well, take a listen!


about Josh and Lee: This dynamic duo is responsible for the Broadway choreography in this season’s It Shoulda Been You, as well as First Date, Cinderella, and many more! They never stop working, ever. It's amazing.
Josh and Lee have also had long and varied careers as ensemblists in Fosse, Chicago, Spamalot and Kiss Me, Kate among others, and you may remember Josh from our Broadway Bares episode!

The Ensemblist Unedited: Mamie Parris

22Jun

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This week, Nikka and Mo sit down with the SUPER-fabulous Mamie Parris, who had just come off of the most exciting Tony weekend we could imagine for an ensemblist! Not only did she perform on the telecast with On the 20th Century, but she spent the weekend stepping in for leading lady Kristin Chenoweth! We needed that story. We needed you guys to have that story. And here it is- the amazing Mamie Parris talking about the Tony weekend to end all Tony weekends!

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