On this latest (super-exciting!) episode of The Ensemblist, Nikka and Mo interview three Tony-winning composers/lyricists who have created musicals filled with large ensembles. Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Lin-Manuel Miranda explain how they wrote some of the most memorable ensemble numbers of the past couple of decades. They discuss their inspirations, their support team, how they think of ensembles and ensemblists during the creation process, and what they look for when putting together an ensemble.
When many people think of “Broadway,” they often think of those big, spectacular Broadway musicals. However, it is important to remember that straight plays also contribute to the continued success of Broadway. Oftentimes, big-name actors known for their work in television and film will appear in a play, and producers hope that star power will attract more of a commercial audience. While plays do not typically require performers to sing and dance, as in a musical, many actors do, in fact, possess all of the skills to cross over between the two types of Broadway shows. The three guests on this episode, who are multifaceted artists across many different genres, discuss their experiences working in straight plays on Broadway.
Nick Corley (You Can’t Take It With You, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Mary Poppins, She Loves Me)
Christopher Gurr (All The Way)
Leah Hofmann (Big Fish, War Horse)