UA-40868602-1 2019 May
The Ensemblist
#158 - Fosse and Verdon (Episode 8 feat. Kelcy Ann Griffin)

#158 - Fosse and Verdon (Episode 8 feat. Kelcy Ann Griffin)

May 30, 2019

In the final episode of Fosse/Verdon, we see Gwen and Bobby back together to work on a pre-Broadway revival of Sweet Charity. Leading the pack is today’s guest Kelcy Ann Griffin. Kelcy performed on Broadway herself in Bullets Over Broadway and Chicago. She has also played Detective Harper on TV’s Gotham for two seasons. On Fosse/Verdon, she plays Debbie Allen. Allen is perhaps most beloved to musical lovers for playing Lydia in both the movie and TV versions of Fame. Today, she’s know for her work as Dr. Catherine Avery on Grey’s Anatomy. But she started as a Broadway baby, performing in Raisin and Ain’t Misbehavin’, Anita in the 1980 Broadway revival and Charity in the Broadway revival of Sweet Charity.

Recording from Actors Connection’s New York City studios, I asked Griffin about her experience with Fosse and embodying an icon.

#157 - My First Time (feat. Desi Oakley)

#157 - My First Time (feat. Desi Oakley)

May 27, 2019

Welcome back to My First Time, where we talk to stars who made their Broadway debuts in the ensemble to talk about why that experience helped shape them as an artist. 

Nobody has climbed the Broadway ladder with as comprehensively as Desi Oakley. Fresh off a run as Jenna in the national tour of Waitress, she is currently starring in Chicago on Broadway as the iconic role of Roxie Hart. But that stardom comes on the heels of experience, after standing by for the role of Eva Peron on the national tour of Evita, as well as swinging two Broadway musicals: Annie and Wicked, her Broadway debut. Here’s our conversation...

#156 - My First Time (feat. Ashley Park)

#156 - My First Time (feat. Ashley Park)

May 23, 2019

Welcome to My First Time, where we talk to Broadway stars who made their Broadway debuts in the ensemble to talk about why that experience helped shape them as an artist.

If there was a breakout star from last year‘s Broadway season, it would undeniably be Ashley Park. Her portrayal of the hilarious but lovable Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls earned Park nominations for seven separate theatre awards last season. But as I found out when I sat down to speak with her, those are qualities that she also portrayed in her first Broadway outing five years earlier, is an ensemble member in Mamma Mia! during the show's 12th year on Broadway. Here’s a conversation...

#155 - Chita Rivera Awards (feat. Warren Carlyle, Graciela Daniele, Denis Jones, David Neumann, Ann Reinking)

#155 - Chita Rivera Awards (feat. Warren Carlyle, Graciela Daniele, Denis Jones, David Neumann, Ann Reinking)

May 21, 2019

This Sunday, we traveled all the way down to the West Village for the Chita Rivera Awards, which celebrates achievements in dance for both film and New York theatre. NYU’s Skirball Center was abuzz with dozens of our favorite ensemblists, stars and choreographers there to celebrate the best of this season, including Will Burton, Warren Carlyle, Graciela Daniele, Rick Faugno, Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Denis Jones, David Neumann, Kristen Faith Oei, Ann Reinking, Jack Sippel and Christine Cornish Smith.

#154 - Fosse and Verdon (Episode 6 feat. Heather Lang)

#154 - Fosse and Verdon (Episode 6 feat. Heather Lang)

May 16, 2019

The sixth and seventh episodes turn their focus onto the creation of Chicago. We see Fosse in the rehearsal room as begins staging the show before being sidelined with health issues. When he comes back after four months, the show becomes much darker - turning into the piece we know and love today. Among the Broadway performers playing those in the rehearsal room are Robyn Hurder, Michael Williams, Fred Odgaard, Alex Wong and this week’s guest, Heather Lang.

Heather Lang has performed on Broadway in An American in Paris and Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark and will be back in Jagged Little Pill this fall. In Fosse/Verdon, she plays Sandy, Fosse’s associate on multiple projects from the film of Cabaret to Chicago on Broadway. Here’s our conversation.

#153 - May 2019 (feat. Tootsie, Beetlejuice, Christine Cornish Smith)

#153 - May 2019 (feat. Tootsie, Beetlejuice, Christine Cornish Smith)

May 9, 2019

On this episode, we hear from Kiss Me, Kate’s Christine Cornish Smith, plus reviews of the ensembles of Beetlejuice and Tootsie.

Less than a week after opening Kiss Me, Kate at Studio 54, she received a surprising text. Every actor who’s understudied a leading role knows what it feels like to receive this text. You know, the one where the stage manager writes that the leading lady is out and you’re going on in the role? Here to tell us about that day is Christine Cornish Smith.

#152 - Doubletapped (feat. DeMarius Copes)

#152 - Doubletapped (feat. DeMarius Copes)

May 6, 2019

Welcome back to Doubletapped, a series from The Ensemblist featuring candid, one-on-one interviews with Broadway actors about authenticity on social media.

In the last Broadway season, no new musical caught the social media zeitgeist as strongly as Mean Girls. One of the strongest voices to come out of that social phenomenon is DeMarius Copes. An original company member of the Newsies national tour, Copes made his Broadway debut in Mean Girls in the ensemble and covering the role of Damian. Here’s our conversation.

#151 - Fosse and Verdon (Episode 4 feat. Emma Caymares)

#151 - Fosse and Verdon (Episode 4 feat. Emma Caymares)

May 1, 2019

The fourth episode. Man, it’s a friggin doozy! Using the development of Pippin as a jumping off point, we really get to see into Fosse’s process. Through power plays and an incredible amount of sexual misconduct in the workplace, Fosse woes the company into the performances we wants them to deliver. In this episode, there are many familiar Broadway faces playing the company of Pippin including this week’s guest, Emma Caymares.

Emma Caymares has performed at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in two productions, playing Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Wendy in Finding Neverland. She also performed on the small screen in the Starz series Flesh and Bone. In Fosse/Verdon, she plays Rebecca, one of the dancers in the original company of Pippin who caughts caught up in the power of Bob Fosse - and visa versa.