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Rank #161 in Performing Arts category

Arts
Performing Arts

The Ensemblist

Updated 2 days ago

Rank #161 in Performing Arts category

Arts
Performing Arts
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The Ensemblist is the online advocate for the talent artists working in theatre ensembles. Through our podcast, website and social presence we are creating conversation what it means to be a successful artist in the theatre. Each of our miniseries highlights a conversation that effects performers in Broadway ensembles, with experts on the topic sharing their insights in candid interviews. In addition, our monthly episodes feature readings of the most popular posts from our blog as well as show reviews.The Ensemblist podcast has more than a million podcast downloads and was recently named one of the Top 50 Best Selling Performing Arts Podcasts of all time.

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The Ensemblist is the online advocate for the talent artists working in theatre ensembles. Through our podcast, website and social presence we are creating conversation what it means to be a successful artist in the theatre. Each of our miniseries highlights a conversation that effects performers in Broadway ensembles, with experts on the topic sharing their insights in candid interviews. In addition, our monthly episodes feature readings of the most popular posts from our blog as well as show reviews.The Ensemblist podcast has more than a million podcast downloads and was recently named one of the Top 50 Best Selling Performing Arts Podcasts of all time.

iTunes Ratings

318 Ratings
Average Ratings
298
13
5
1
1

So good!

By ccm2006 - Oct 14 2019
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The Way Down Hadestown series was so good!!!

Very well done!

By MissingJon - Oct 07 2019
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This is a very engaging podcast for anyone interested in theater.

iTunes Ratings

318 Ratings
Average Ratings
298
13
5
1
1

So good!

By ccm2006 - Oct 14 2019
Read more
The Way Down Hadestown series was so good!!!

Very well done!

By MissingJon - Oct 07 2019
Read more
This is a very engaging podcast for anyone interested in theater.

Listen to:

Cover image of The Ensemblist

The Ensemblist

Updated 2 days ago

Read more

The Ensemblist is the online advocate for the talent artists working in theatre ensembles. Through our podcast, website and social presence we are creating conversation what it means to be a successful artist in the theatre. Each of our miniseries highlights a conversation that effects performers in Broadway ensembles, with experts on the topic sharing their insights in candid interviews. In addition, our monthly episodes feature readings of the most popular posts from our blog as well as show reviews.The Ensemblist podcast has more than a million podcast downloads and was recently named one of the Top 50 Best Selling Performing Arts Podcasts of all time.

#96: Hamilton (feat. Neil Haskell, Sasha Hutchings)

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Well, friends, we've done it! We have finally reached the most recent Pulitzer Prize winner, Hamilton. And because there has been so much press on this groundbreaking show, we had to find a new way in. And with the help of the brilliant Sasha Hutchings and Neil Haskell, we're looking at Hamilton from the front lines, as it were. 

As we're wont to do, we break it down from the ensemble's point of view, and talk about Hamilton in a whole new way. Enjoy!

Dec 04 2016

23mins

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#78: Creating Characters (feat. Jennifer Smith, Gabrielle Ruiz, Jeremy Woodard)

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Sometimes, the most fun (and challenging) thing about ensemble work is playing all sorts of different characters throughout a single show! You can be anything from the fanciest royal personage to an anthropomorphic inanimate object and do a cross as a townsperson or two- all in the same day's work. 

We sat down with truly awesome Broadway ensemblists Jennifer Smith, Gabrielle Ruiz, and Jeremy Woodard and talked to them about how they like to create their characters, some memorable onstage experiences, and why it's so much fun.

May 01 2016

21mins

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#148 - My First Time (feat. Shoshana Bean)

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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. For many of our favorite Broadway stars, their start in the ensemble helped to form them as artists. 

No bones about it, Shoshana Bean is a force. She’s a Recording artist, having released four studio albums. She’s mastered the art of YouTube, creating and participating in striking collaborations that feature her powerful voice. A Broadway girl by heart, she’s received acclaim for her portrayal of Jenna in the Sara Bareilles musical Waitress. But before Waitress, before Beaches, before Wicked, Sho made her Broadway debut in a little show called Hairspray. 

Apr 21 2019

20mins

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#186 - Hurt and Healing (feat. Caissie Levy)

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As performers, our bodies are our instruments. We use our physical beings to create sounds, embody characters and tell stories. So when that physical instrument is suffering, how does that affect a performers’ artistry? And, perhaps more importantly, what does it do to a performer’s psyche when they aren’t able to work to the best of their abilities.

That’s a conversation I wanted to explore in this new mini-series Hurt and Healed: an honest look into actors’ injuries, recoveries and the stigma that comes from not being able to be your best onstage.

There is not a theatre performer who leads with more grace than Caissie Levy. Yes, she’s played some of the most iconic roles in Broadway history - from Elphaba in Wicked to Fantine in Les Miserables - but she’s also a warm soul that pulses with kindness.

...it’s probably because she’s Canadian, eh?

Recently, Caissie (who currently leads the Broadway cast of Frozen as Elsa, opened up on social media about a vocal fold injury she incurred during a decade ago, how she worked towards recovery and the stigma she still sometimes endures as a result. Here’s our conversation...

Sep 09 2019

21mins

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#138 - My First Time (feat. Ben Crawford)

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Welcome to My First Time, a new mini-series from The Ensemblist 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. For many of our favorite Broadway stars, their start in the ensemble helped to form them as artists. 

Our first guest for this new miniseries is Ben Crawford. Since April 2018, he’s been creeping ‘round the Majestic Theatre as the title character in The Phantom of the Opera. But before headlining this show, before Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Big Fish and Shrek, he was a replacement in the first Broadway revival of Les Miserables, covering both the roles of Valjean and Javert. 

Feb 25 2019

14mins

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#85: South Pacific (feat. Eric Anderson, MaryAnn Hu, Kevin Ligon)

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This week, we (and Jennifer Ashley Tepper) get into that brilliant and beautiful second Pulitzer-winning musical full of gorgeous songs, compelling characters, and important societal commentary: South Pacific. 

We're joined by Eric Anderson, MaryAnn Hu, and Kevin Ligon, all who have fascinating insight into what it takes to create characters based in reality, live with some uncomfortable history, and honor everyone's stories. Enjoy!

Sep 18 2016

23mins

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

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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. For many of our favorite Broadway stars, their start in the ensemble helped to form them as artists.  

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...

May 23 2019

16mins

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#103: Broadway Cares (feat. Jamal Lee Harris, Eric Ulloa, Casey Garvin)

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Quick Warning: This episode contains a few words in reference to labels placed on people by society. They may be inappropriate for young children or loudspeaker listening. 

When Broadway performers talk about the community events they love more than anything, they're often talking about events put on by the incredible organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, or Broadway Cares. 

Whether it's the Gypsy of the Year or Easter Bonnet competitions, Broadway Backwards, or the many other concerts throughout the year, nothing is more amazing than coming together to make life better for people in need. 

Hear Jamal Lee Harris, Eric Ulloa, and Casey Garvin discuss why they love fundraising, why the Broadway community wouldn't exist in the same way without Broadway Cares, and how much it means to them to see philanthropy in action.

Apr 02 2017

29mins

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#200 - Smash'ed (Episode 1)

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Aaron Albano joins The Ensemblist as co-host of this new mini-series, where we rewatch and dissect what is still the Broadway community’s favorite tv show: Smash. Yes, we’re talking about the NBC series that aired from 2012-2013. The show gave a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of an imaginary Broadway musical called Bombshell, from the auditions to its workshop to its journey to the Tony Awards. But we wanted to go back in time to see how the show has weathered: what it got right and what it got very, very wrong. 

Oct 28 2019

18mins

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#110: Animal Trainers (feat. Brian Michael Hoffman)

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Yay! More puppies! You previously met our friend Brian Michael Hoffman a few episodes earlier this season, where he talked to us about his parallel careers as an actor and an animal trainer. In this episode, we zoom in a little closer on the animal training aspect of Brian's life and career working for William Berloni Theatrical Animals. 

We find out Brian's path to animal training, what it takes to train an animal for the stage, and his favorite parts of the job. Enjoy!

May 21 2017

25mins

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#167 - Way Down Hadestown (feat. Ahmad Simmons)

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Over the next five weeks, you’ll hear one at a time from the complete ensemble of the newest Tony Award winner for Best Musical about the characters they’ve created and the careers that got them there. 

Ahmad Simmons has performed in three original Broadway companies in the last four years: Cats, Carousel and now Hadestown. In addition to performing choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and Justin Peck, he was also featured this spring playing Ben Vereen on the F/X miniseries Fosse/Verdon. In Hadestown, he plays Worker #4 as well as understudying the roles of Hermes and Orpheus. Here’s our conversation...

Jul 01 2019

20mins

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#159 - Let's Talk About Auditions (feat. Rachel Hoffman)

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Welcome to a new mini-series from The Ensemblist where I sit down with folks on the other side of the casting table to ask them what they’re really looking for in a Broadway ensemble. As performers, we hear time and again that the folks casting shows want auditioners to succeed. But what does that success actually look like? 

Rachel Hoffman is a casting director with Telsey + Company, which she joined after beginning her career on the team at Dave Clemmons casting almost 20 years ago. In the last decade, Hoffman has been on the casting team of 10 Broadway musicals, including the Tony Award-winning Memphis. Her work can currently be seen with the companies of Come From Away, Frozen and Beetlejuice. In addition to her work as casting director, she is also a sought-after instructor and proud (very proud, maybe too proud?) graduate of the University of Michigan. 

In the studio, I asked her about what makes a good audition, what not to wear and her favorite story of an ensemble actor shining in the audition room. Here’s our conversation...

Jun 03 2019

14mins

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#113: Broadway in Bryant Park (feat. Casey Garvin, Travis Waldschmidt, Rema Webb)

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Oh, it's one of the most fun summer events for the Broadway community AND the public to come together! It's Broadway in Bryant Park, the once-weekly summer lunchtime concerts that happen out in the open in the park, for anyone and everyone who happens to be passing by! 

Hear our friends Rema Webb, Casey Garvin, and Travis Waldschmidt discuss their favorite things about Broadway in Bryant Park, what it's like putting together their numbers, and everything else involved in this beloved summertime tradition. Enjoy!

Jun 18 2017

21mins

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#176 - Let's Talk About Auditions (feat. Stephanie Klemons - Part 1)

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Stephanie Klemons is the Associate Choreographer and Global Dance Supervisor of Hamilton. She was part of the process as it grew from a small idea to an international phenomenon with six companies world wide. In addition to being a member of the original cast, she now works to cast the multiple productions of Hamilton. She’s also a choreographer in her own right, working right now on Rock of Ages at Pittsburgh CLO. She does all of this on top of being a wife and mother. 

Aug 05 2019

16mins

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#83: The History of the Ensemble (feat. Jennifer Ashley Tepper)

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Hey there, friends! We're back, we're rested, we're better than ever, and we're SO EXCITED to tell you all about our new season in this here Intro episode! Find out about what's inspiring us, what lies in store for our second full official season, and why we're obsessed with the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. 

Enjoy, stay tuned, and tell us what you think! We can't wait to embark on this journey with you.

Sep 04 2016

11mins

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#142 - Fosse and Verdon (feat. Morgan Marcell)

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There isn’t a theatre choreographer more associated with their own unique style than Bob Fosse. The infamous Oscar-, Emmy- and Tony-winning director and choreographer created his own signature technique that distinguished shows like Chicago, Pippin, and Damn Yankees into dance masterpieces. This April, FX launches a new limited television series Fosse/Verdon, based on the 2013 biography by Sam Wesson with a focus on his marriage and collaboration with Gwen Verdon. 

Here on The Ensemblist, we are also taking the opportunity to speak to some of the Broadway ensemblists who are working on the series. First up is Hamilton and Bandstand's, Morgan Marcell, who worked as an associate choreographer on the series in addition to appearing on camera in three episodes.

Mar 28 2019

22mins

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

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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. For many of our favorite Broadway stars, their start in the ensemble helped to form them as artists. 

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...

May 27 2019

13mins

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#174 - Way Down Hadestown (feat. Timothy Hughes)

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Over the next five weeks, you’ll hear one at a time from the complete ensemble of the newest Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Hadestown, about the characters they’ve created and the careers that got them there.

Timothy Hughes made his Broadway debut in the 2012 production of Chaplin. However, he is probably best known for his role of Strong Man in the film The Greatest Showman and creating the role of Pabbie in the Broadway musical Frozen. In Hadestown, he plays Worker #5 and covers the role of Hades. Here's our conversation...

Jul 29 2019

18mins

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#205 - Creating Characters (feat. Jill Abramovitz)

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Jill Abramovitz is currently slaying Beetlejuice audiences in her duel roles of Maxine Dean and Juno. She’s so incredible that we here at The Ensemblist bestowed her one of our first ever Season Standout awards. We asked this veteran of Broadway’s Cinderella and 9 to 5 into the studio to talk about how she developed those roles into some of the funniest moments in what is already a very funny show. Here’s our conversation…

Nov 14 2019

20mins

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#193 - Let's Talk About Auditions (feat. Ken Davenport)

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Ken Davenport is a self-described art-repenour, meaning that works in multiple ways to combine the artistry of theatre with the business of Broadway He made a name for himself as a producer on shows like Godspell and Spring Awakening, winning a Tony Award for his revival of Once On This Island. He was also the creator of The Awesome 80s Prom off Broadway, the co-creator of Altar Boyz and the book writer of last season’s Getting The Band Back Together.

Upcoming projects include an off-Broadway mounting of Barry Manilow’s Harmony and a musical based on the movie Joy. He’s also the host of the very-good podcast The Producer’s Perspective. Here’s our conversation...

Oct 03 2019

22mins

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#213 - Touring Broadway (feat. Josh Burrage)

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First National Tours are one of the most important calling cards for the Broadway community. Staged in New York City to cross the country, these facsimiles of Broadway shows bring the experience of attending a Mainstem musical to theatrelovers across the country. But how similar are these touring productions to their Broadway counterparts? And what’s the experience for performers who pick up their lives to travel the country in one of the casts?

Joshua Michael Burrage has performed with not one, but two first national tours: Newsies and A Bronx Tale The Musical. In between, he made his Broadway debut in the recent revival of Cats. I asked him into the studio to talk about those two tours, and how those experiences differed from performing on the Great White Way. Here’s our conversation...

Dec 12 2019

19mins

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#212 - SpongeBob SquarePants (feat. Lauralyn McClelland)

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Just last night, television viewers got to see what Broadway audiences fell in love with last year: SpongeBob SquarePants the musical. The big, little musical the could surprised fans of the production when it was announced earlier this fall that it would be taped for broadcast featuring much of the show’s original Broadway cast, including my guest for this episode Lauralyn McClelland.


Lauralyn is a veteran of seven Broadway shows, including Rock of Ages, Matilda The Musical, My Fair Lady and SpongeBob, where she played an airborne mermaid among other fantastical characters. I asked her into the studio to tell me about the experience of filming the show, how it differed from the stage production and her favorite moments of canonizing the incredible production on film. Here’s our conversation...

Dec 08 2019

18mins

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#211 - Best of Broadway (feat. Raymond J. Lee)

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Our second actor nominating the best of the decade is Raymond J. Lee. Most recently, he was seen in the ensemble of Soft Power at The Public Theatre. But on Broadway, he’s originated many of the best ensemble features of the last ten years, from a flying Elvis in Honeymoon in Vegas to one half of a pair of Punxsutawney bumpkins in Groundhog Day.

The Ensemblist has compiled our own lists of the Best Broadway ensemble performances of the last decade, nominating our favorites in four categories

  1. Best Broadway Ensemble
  2. Best Broadway Ensemble Feature
  3. Best Performance by an Ensemble Actor
  4. Best Ensemble Banger (song that features an ensemble)


We’ve brought along two of our favorite Broadway superfans/Ensemblists to help us nominate the best of Broadway from the last ten years. But we’re going to need you to help us make the final decisions.

Go to TheEnsemblist.com or click on our Instagram bio link to submit your picks for the Best Broadway Ensemble performances of the decade. Voting closes at midnight EST on Friday, December 13 so submit your notes now. 

These selections are from musicals that opened on Broadway between January 2010 and December 2019. The selections for all categories can include both new musicals and revival. They can be based in facts or based in feelings, but I asked them to made sure they could defend them on mic. 

Dec 05 2019

18mins

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#210 - Best of Broadway (feat. Jonalyn Saxer)

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The Ensemblist has compiled our own lists of the Best Broadway ensemble performances of the last decade, nominating our favorites in four categories


  1. Best Broadway Ensemble
  2. Best Broadway Ensemble Feature
  3. Best Performance by an Ensemble Actor
  4. Best Ensemble Banger (song that features an ensemble)


We’ve brought along two of our favorite Broadway superfans/Ensemblists to help us nominate the best of Broadway from the last ten years. But we’re going to need you to help us make the final decisions.


Go to TheEnsemblist.com or click on our Instagram bio link to submit your picks for the Best Broadway Ensemble performances of the decade. Voting closes at midnight EST on Friday, December 13 so submit your notes now. 


These selections are from musicals that opened on Broadway between January 2010 and December 2019. The selections for all categories can include both new musicals and revival. They can be based in facts or based in feelings, but I asked them to made sure they could defend them on mic. 


First up with her selections for the best of the decade is Jonalyn Saxer. She’s currently touring the country playing Karen Smith in the first national tour of Mean Girls. But she’s also performed in five Broadway musicals since graduating from Syracuse University: Bullets Over Broadway, Honeymoon in Vegas, Holiday Inn, Cats and Mean Girls, where she originated the role of Taylor Wedell. Here’s our conversation…

Dec 02 2019

19mins

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#209 - Creating Characters (feat. Jennifer Smith)

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From Nellie Forbush to Evan Hansen, the librettos of Broadway musicals have been filled with complex characters for almost a century. And while those roles were originated and revived by astonishing actors, much of what makes those characters so fascinating is on the page, meaning written into the script itself. 


That’s what makes the work of our guests for this mini-series so remarkable. They’ve taken small supporting parts and turned them into fully realized characters - feeling just as developed and grounded as the leading counterparts. And what makes them even more remarkable is that they are often doing this for multiple characters within the same show. 


Jennifer Smith is a legend of the Broadway stage. In the last 35 years, she originated and understudies more than 40 roles on Broadway. Back in 2016, she joined Ensemblist co-creator Nikka Graff Lanzarone and I in the studio to talk about creating ensemble roles in four of her Broadway shows: Tuck Everlasting, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, The Producers and Victor/Victoria. Here’s our conversation...

Nov 28 2019

13mins

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#208 - Smash'ed (Episode 5)

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“Let’s Be Bad” premiered on March 5th, 2012. It was written by Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky, and directed by Jamie Babbit. Take note: this episode is the first in the series to have an all-female writer/director team! The episode premiered live to 7.76 million viewers, which was up by 17% from the previous week. Including DVR viewing the episode was seen by a total of 10.22 million that week. Not much music in this one, Mo. There was only one original song, the titular number “Let’s Be Bad” by Shaiman and Wittman, with two covers of “its a mans mans mans world” by James Brown, and “a song for you” by Donny Hathaway.

Nov 25 2019

17mins

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#207 - Way Down Hadestown (feat. Anthony Chatmon II)

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Replacing an original company member in a Broadway show is a feat for any performer. But being the first person to replace in a show comes a set of joys and challenges all their own - ones that only get magnified when the show is a huge success like last season’s Tony Award-winning musical, Hadestown. Anthony Chatmon II was deemed that honor when he joined the company earlier this fall, replacing actor Ahmad Simmons as a member of the show’s ensemble. He shared with us what the experience has been like, as well as how it differed from his Broadway debut as a standby on last season’s Be More Chill. Here’s our conversation...

Nov 21 2019

18mins

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#206 - Smash'ed (Episode 4)

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“The Cost of Art” premiered on February 27, 2012, and was the first episode in the series NOT written and directed by show creator Theresa Rebeck and Michael Mayer. The episode was written by David Marshall Grant, and directed by Michael Morris. At premiere, the episode was viewed live by 6.6 million, but including DVR recording, was viewed by a total of 9.05 million viewers.  

There was a lot of music in this episode: Two original songs (History is Made at Night and I Never Met a Wolf Who Didn’t Love to Howl), two snippets of original songs (20th Century Fox Mambo from last ep, and preview of Let’s Be Bad from the next episode), and two covers (Buble’s Haven't Met you Yet and Adele’s Rumor Has It). 

Nov 18 2019

21mins

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#205 - Creating Characters (feat. Jill Abramovitz)

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Jill Abramovitz is currently slaying Beetlejuice audiences in her duel roles of Maxine Dean and Juno. She’s so incredible that we here at The Ensemblist bestowed her one of our first ever Season Standout awards. We asked this veteran of Broadway’s Cinderella and 9 to 5 into the studio to talk about how she developed those roles into some of the funniest moments in what is already a very funny show. Here’s our conversation…

Nov 14 2019

20mins

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#204 - Smash'ed (Episode 3)

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Smash was also an incredible glimpse into the theatre community in the early 2010s, as many of the shows’ writers, actors and dancers were played by real Broadway performers with real Broadway cred.  But we wanted to go back in time to see how the show has weathered: what it got right and what it got very, very wrong. So let’s dive in and talk about season one, episode three: “Enter Mr. DiMaggio.” “Enter Mr. DiMaggio” premiered on February 20, 2012. It was written by Theresa Rebeck, and directed by Michael Mayer. Now here’s where viewership gets a little fun: this is the first week where ratings take into account households with DVR. Apparently this week’s episode had a live viewership of 6.5 million, which is about 1.5 mil down from last week, but including DVR viewership the episode had a total of 8.7 million viewers, which was .65 MORE than the week before! Oof. Just so much math. The episode only had one original song by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” but two covers were also featured: Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” sung by Will Chase, and “Redneck Woman” by Gretchen Williams, sung by Katherine McPhee.

Nov 11 2019

17mins

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#203 - Creating Characters (feat. Ryan Knowles)

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From Nellie Forbush to Evan Hansen, the librettos of Broadway musicals have been filled with complex characters for almost a century. And while those roles were originated and revived by astonishing actors, much of what makes those characters so fascinating is on the page, meaning written into the script itself. 

That’s what makes the work of our guests for this mini-series so remarkable. They’ve taken small supporting parts and turned them into fully realized characters - feeling just as developed and grounded as the leading counterparts. And what makes them even more remarkable is that they are often doing this for multiple characters within the same show. 

The Lightning Thief employs a cast of seven actors to bring the story of Percy Jackson on stage. Much of the show’s small cast is tasked with creating multiple characters, none more than actors Ryan Knowles. Using a versus title facility of voice and movement, he creates strikingly specific characters over and over in the show, including Charon, Hades and many many more. Here’s our conversation…

Nov 07 2019

21mins

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#202 - Smash'ed (Episode 2)

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Aaron Albano joins The Ensemblist as co-host of this new mini-series, where we rewatch and dissect what is still the Broadway community’s favorite tv show: Smash. Yes, we’re talking about the NBC series that aired from 2012-2013. The show gave a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of an imaginary Broadway musical called Bombshell, from the auditions to its workshop to its journey to the Tony Awards. But we wanted to go back in time to see how the show has weathered: what it got right and what it got very, very wrong. 

Nov 04 2019

22mins

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#201 - October 2019 (feat. Moulin Rouge! Mean Girls, Soft Power, Kevin Michael Raponey)

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On this episode, we share our stories of seeing Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Broadway, heading back to Mean Girls at the August Wilson Theatre and traversing downtown to take in Soft Power at The Public Theatre - as well as a story of Rock of Ages' Kevin Michael Raponey.

Oct 31 2019

16mins

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#200 - Smash'ed (Episode 1)

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Aaron Albano joins The Ensemblist as co-host of this new mini-series, where we rewatch and dissect what is still the Broadway community’s favorite tv show: Smash. Yes, we’re talking about the NBC series that aired from 2012-2013. The show gave a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of an imaginary Broadway musical called Bombshell, from the auditions to its workshop to its journey to the Tony Awards. But we wanted to go back in time to see how the show has weathered: what it got right and what it got very, very wrong. 

Oct 28 2019

18mins

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#199- The Chorus Kid (feat. Al Blackstone)

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Al Blackstone is an emmy-nominated director and choreographer, known for his unique way of storytelling through movement. His choreographic creations include Happy We’ll Be, Freddie Falls In Love and the upcoming Norma - which is described as an after-hours performance series at a to-be-disclosed iconic Manhattan institution. 

I asked Blackstone into the studio to talk about Norma: how it was inspired by his time in the musical world, and how he works with many of Broadway’s most beloved dancers to create work that feels distinctly non-Broadway. Here’s our conversation...

Oct 24 2019

16mins

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#198 - Ifcome TM (feat. Ali Solomon)

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The relationship between money and psychology is tricky for anybody, but perhaps no one as much as an actor. Much of what makes finances hard for actors to negotiate is the fact that we can’t depend on a steady paycheck. If you don’t know how much money you’ll make this year - let alone in five years - how can you plan for the future?

Ali Solomon has worked on both sides of the Broadway proscenium. She made her Broadway debut as a swing in Finding Neverland. But she’s spent more time working on the choreographic teams of Broadway musicals, including Beautiful and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I asked her into the studio to talk about how balancing two careers affects her finances, and what - if any - stability she finds in a career where she’s constantly wearing different hats. Here’s our conversation...

Oct 21 2019

17mins

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#197 - Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (feat. Dimitri Moise, Rashidra Scott, Kevin Duda, Brittney Johnson)

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This month, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical will shutter its doors after nearly six years on Broadway. Along the way during its 2,418 public performances, The Ensemblist has been lucky to share stories from many of its ensemble members. In honor of its closing, we wanted to share some of our favorites from our early years, as well as a new story to the podcast from one of the show’s touring cast members. 

Oct 17 2019

16mins

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#196 - Ifcome TM (feat. Andy Tofa)

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The relationship between money and psychology is tricky for anybody, but perhaps no one as much as an actor. Much of what makes finances hard for actors to negotiate is the fact that we can’t depend on a steady paycheck. If you don’t know how much money you’ll make this year - let alone in five years - how can you plan for the future?

Andy Tofa is currently touring the country with Hamilton after performing regionally at The Muny, Ogunquit and Gateway Playhouses. We spoke over the phone about his financial philosophy and how he created it thanks to financial insight training. Here's our conversation...

Oct 14 2019

17mins

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#195 - Hurt and Healing (feat. Alicia Charles)

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Alicia Charles is currently twirling, gliding and tapping her way through Agrabah as part of the ensemble of Aladdin on Broadway. Although she made her debut in the show in early 2017, she was sidelined early into her tenure there when she underwent surgery to remove uterine fibroids. How do you recover well enough to sing and dance eight shows a week when there’s a giant scar healing on your abdomen? Well, here’s our conversation...

Oct 10 2019

17mins

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#194 - Ifcome TM (feat. Jodi Carter)

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The relationship between money and psychology is tricky for anybody, but perhaps no one as much as an actor. Much of what makes finances hard for actors to negotiate is the fact that we can’t depend on a steady paycheck. If you don’t know how much money you’ll make this year - let alone in five years - how can you plan for the future?

This is where Jodi Carter comes in. Jodi is a CPA who has developed the concept of Ifcome. Ifcome involves an awareness of finances that aligns with a performer’s goals. This insight into their expenses and goals allows actors to plan for their financial future, in spite of uncertainty. So, I asked Jodi into the studio explain Ifcome to me, and how it can help actors become more successful creatively. Here’s our conversation...

Oct 07 2019

23mins

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