June 30, 2014
On June 16, The Ensemblist celebrated its first anniversary with a live show at New York City’s legendary Birdland Jazz Club! Part of Jim Caruso’s Broadway at Birdland Series, the evening featured songs and stories from eight talented performers. It was a blast! Thanks to all of you who came out to join us, it was a magical night.
On this episode of The Ensemblist, we will feature the first half of our Birdland show, with songs and stories from Ariana Debose (Bring it On, Motown, Pippin), Alysha Umphress (American Idiot, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, On a Clear Day, Bring it On [sort of, you'll hear about that] On the Town) and Daniel Watts (The Color Purple, The Little Mermaid, In The Heights, Memphis, Ghost, Motown, After Midnight).
June 15, 2014
Broadway Bares is always one of the Broadway community’s largest and most fun fundraisers, raising millions of dollars for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS each year. Created in 1990 by Jerry Mitchell (Broadway's ultimate gypsy and a wholehearted champion of the community’s ensemblists), Broadway Bares is one of those rare and special nights where the ensemblists of New York truly shine. They take that spotlight, front and center, sharing their ridiculous bodies and amazing talents with a sold-out crowd of thousands.
This year, the annual, one-night-only event is being held on June 22 at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. To celebrate the burlesque spectacular, we’re dedicating an entire episode of the magic and mystique of Broadway Bares.
On this episode of The Ensemblist, we get the inside scoop from three Broadway artists about their intimate experiences with Bares. We’ll discover the history of the event, the quick and dirty rehearsal process, and what it feels like to take off your clothes in front of thousands!
A warning to our younger listeners: This episode deals with adult themes.
James Brown III (Wicked, The Frogs, The Color Purple, The Little Mermaid, Memphis, Priscilla..., Ghost, Rocky)
Lindsay Janisse (Wicked, Rock of Ages)
Josh Rhodes (performer: Chicago, Fosse, Bells are Ringing, Urban Cowboy, Boy from Oz, Drowsy Chaperone. choreographer: Cinderella, First Date.)
June 1, 2014
It’s the most exciting night of the year on Broadway, our industry’s annual opportunity to show the country what we’ve been up to for the past twelve months: It's The Tony Awards!
The Tony Awards are that one moment where it feels like Broadway is truly the center of the universe. But that magnified exposure also leads to immense pressure for everyone involved. There is so much planning, money and creativity put into making those 3 ½ minutes perfect, and nobody- from the producers to the creatives to the performers- is immune to any of it.
On this episode of The Ensemblist, we hear from three Broadway actors all currently in shows nominated for Best Musical at the 2014 Tony Awards, and who have also performed on the Tony telecast in the past. We'll learn about what goes into creating a Tony performance: the scheduling, creativity and rehearsals, and the insane breakdown of Broadway’s biggest day.
Jeff Kready (Les Miserables, Sunday in the Park with George, Billy Elliot, A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder)
Rashidra Scott (Avenue Q, Finian’s Rainbow, Hair, Sister Act, Beautiful)
T. Oliver Reid (Kiss Me Kate, Chicago, Follies, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Never Gonna Dance, La Cage Aux Folles, The Wedding Singer, Mary Poppins, Sister Act, After Midnight)