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Break A Bat! where Baseball Meets Broadway

Updated 21 days ago

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Celebrating two of New York City’s greatest fabrics: baseball and theatre. Born out of a passion for both Broadway musicals and triple digit fastballs, we attempt to show that baseball and theatre fans don’t have to live in such separate worlds, and maybe even break some stigmas. Break a Bat! provides a platform for fans of either medium to hear conversations with their favorite performers from the stage, screen, or stadium. Hosted by Al Malafronte. Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network.

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Celebrating two of New York City’s greatest fabrics: baseball and theatre. Born out of a passion for both Broadway musicals and triple digit fastballs, we attempt to show that baseball and theatre fans don’t have to live in such separate worlds, and maybe even break some stigmas. Break a Bat! provides a platform for fans of either medium to hear conversations with their favorite performers from the stage, screen, or stadium. Hosted by Al Malafronte. Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network.

iTunes Ratings

174 Ratings
Average Ratings
173
0
1
0
0

So good!

By tadlate - May 05 2020
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Wonderful podcast! For me, a baseball and theater fan, it is great listening! ❤️

The best

By Bird_is_the_Word_ - Mar 07 2020
Read more
As good as it gets when it comes to Broadway podcasts. Eps 12 and 20 are especially lit 🔥👏

iTunes Ratings

174 Ratings
Average Ratings
173
0
1
0
0

So good!

By tadlate - May 05 2020
Read more
Wonderful podcast! For me, a baseball and theater fan, it is great listening! ❤️

The best

By Bird_is_the_Word_ - Mar 07 2020
Read more
As good as it gets when it comes to Broadway podcasts. Eps 12 and 20 are especially lit 🔥👏
Cover image of Break A Bat! where Baseball Meets Broadway

Break A Bat! where Baseball Meets Broadway

Latest release on Nov 25, 2020

Read more

Celebrating two of New York City’s greatest fabrics: baseball and theatre. Born out of a passion for both Broadway musicals and triple digit fastballs, we attempt to show that baseball and theatre fans don’t have to live in such separate worlds, and maybe even break some stigmas. Break a Bat! provides a platform for fans of either medium to hear conversations with their favorite performers from the stage, screen, or stadium. Hosted by Al Malafronte. Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network.

Rank #1: #33 - Now Batting: Abby Mueller

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Abby Mueller steps into the Batter’s Box with host Al Malafronte for Episode 33 of Break a Bat!

In this episode, Abby discusses some of the parallels she sees in high levels of performance both on stage and at the stadium, having grown up in a family that embraced both sports and the arts. Both of her parents were esteemed actors in Chicago’s theatre scene, and her grandfather, Bill Mueller, played centerfield for the Chicago White Sox in the 1940’s. Abby even shares a memorable ’scene’ that her grandfather had on the field with the great Joe DiMaggio, while the White Sox hosted the New York Yankees at the historic Comiskey Park.

Abby has taken The Great White Way by storm in All-Star caliber fashion ever since her Broadway debut in Kinky Boots in 2013, having since gone onto star in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical in which she played Carole King, and is currently set to take the stage in one of Broadway’s most anticipated shows of the upcoming season - Six the Musical, starring as Jane Seymour.

Not unlike quarantined ballplayers gearing up for MLB Opening Day, Abby is staying atop her game for Six’s eventual opening, and offers insight into why she believes the show garnered such a passionate fanbase in its out of town tryout. She also discusses what she’s looking forward to most about its official opening upon Broadway’s return, and just how needed theatre will be to help bring joy back to the city.

Special thanks to Michelle Kittrell and Charles Gribbell for helping put this episode together!

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Abby Mueller on Instagram: @abcmuell and Twitter: @abcmuell

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 13 2020

1hr 2mins

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Rank #2: #15 - Now Batting: Robyn Hurder

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Robyn Hurder steps into the Batter’s Box to kick off the new year! Eight times a week, Robyn is hitting homeruns at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre as one of the leads in Moulin Rouge! in front of packed houses, earning both her and the production a fair share of critical and popular acclaim. Robyn’s portrayal of Nini Legs-in-the-Air makes her the perfect hitter for the Break a Bat! lineup, as her performances are defined by athleticism, intensity, and most importantly – a passion for her craft. It’s very similar to the passion and style of play that made Paul O’Neill one of the most beloved World Champions to ever play for the New York Yankees. It’s fitting that the two share a nickname in “The Warrior,” or in Robyn’s case “The Warrior Beast."

In this episode, she parallels the pressures of being a principal on Broadway to being a starter on a Major League team, and a responsibility to represent the Moulin Rouge! legacy well through her skillset. She also discusses career crossroads that made her stronger, staying true to her style of performance, and what keeps her motivated.

With a body of work on Broadway that now spans nearly a decade and a half, with credits including: Grease, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Chicago, among other productions, Robyn's insight and stories are invaluable for anyone looking to become an All-Star either on Broadway or at the ballpark.

Originally hailing from Maine, she may be a Red Sox fan, but reveals she’s down to help our host, Al Malafronte, put the wheels into motion on the Broadway Takeover of Yankee Stadium this baseball season!

Connect with Robyn Hurder on Instagram: @robynhurder

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 08 2020

58mins

Play

Rank #3: #32 - Now Batting: Jackie Burns

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Jackie Burns steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 32 with host Al Malafronte, Chris Katzmann (co-creator of Break a Bat!), and Alan Seales (producer). Jackie's phenomenal career on Broadway now spans more than a decade, with credits including Wicked, Hair, and If/Then, and she's also set to star in a stage adaptation of A Walk on the Moon next season.

Jackie holds the distinction of being the longest-tenured Elphaba in the storied Wicked franchise, playing the role in two separate stints --- the baseball equivalent of "pulling an Andy Pettitte." It was really interesting to hear her thoughts on a recovery path for Broadway upon its return, as well as what it was like getting to play her dream role of Elphaba for as long as she did - which was not without some hilarious behind the scenes stories, including what's known as the Emerald City's "No-Fly Days."

She's also a die-hard sports fan with an athletic background of her own, so we were sure to play some fun Baseball/Broadway crossover games, and even chatted about what would make a successful Broadway musical about our fanbase's unofficial mascot Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees' 6-time All-Star and flame-throwing closer.

Special thanks to our friend Samara Finkle for helping put this one together.

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Jackie Burns on Instagram: @jackieburnsnyc and Twitter: @jackieburnsnyc

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 06 2020

1hr 7mins

Play

Rank #4: #14 - Now Batting: Kirsten Scott

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Rock of Ages star Kirsten Scott joins Al in the Batter's Box to chat about her career on The Great White Way. Whether it’s Hairspray, Big Fish, or Jersey Boys, Kirsten is a spark plug for any cast she’s in - - a parallel you’d find on any successful Broadway championship team in the spirit of Willie Randolph, Derek Jeter, or Johnny Damon. She also holds the distinction of being one of the few people on Broadway who’s had the chance to share the stage with the New York Yankees’ 6-time All-Star, and socially progressive closer, Aroldis Chapman, for a special one-off performance at Rock of Ages this summer. So impressed by Chapman's fastball velocity and theatricality, she and Al not only discuss his impact on baseball, but on the Broadway community. Kirsten's career on stage very much mirrors various aspects of what it's like to be a successful Major League player, which sets a nice undertone for this episode. Much like a night at the ballpark, this episode also features some singing during the 7th Inning Stretch...

Connect with Kirsten Scott on Instagram: @kbscotty

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 23 2019

57mins

Play

Rank #5: #11 - Now Batting: Mike Ford

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Mike Ford, 1st baseman for the New York Yankees, steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 11 of Break a Bat! As the old saying goes, “the show must go on,” and the 2019 production of the New York Yankees was no different. A record-setting number of injuries to key cast members put the show in peril early, and the team’s strong battalion of understudies came ready to respond. Mike Ford is a rising Broadway star who not only seized that opportunity, but ran with it by displaying fantastic lefty power and plate discipline during the heat of a pennant race – the baseball equivalent of a show’s late season push for the Tony Awards. In this episode, Mike reflects on an outstanding rookie season, and his outlook on manning the prime real estate of being a starting 1st baseman on Broadway. He even draws some parallels to how the Yankees' clubhouse isn't all that different from the backstage dynamic for a Broadway production.  

Connect with Mike Ford on Instagram: @mikeford1226

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 04 2019

45mins

Play

Rank #6: #31 - Now Batting: Derek Klena

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Derek Klena steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 31 of Break a Bat! Derek is currently starring as Nick Healy in Broadway's Jagged Little Pill, and has authored a phenomenal career on stage. In addition to this, he may be one of our podcast's most theme-appropriate guests.

As a high school pitcher in his native Southern California, Derek was a two-time first-team All-San Antonio League selection and two-time first-team All-Valley honoree, before enrolling in UCLA. While there, he was rostered on the school's iconic baseball team, pitching alongside eventual MLB All-Star hurlers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer. He did all of this while simultaneously participating in theatre, with full awareness of the parallels between the two mediums. Derek has a clear understanding of the focus and dedication required to be successful both on the mound and on stage, as well as a necessary confidence to overcome peer pressure and stigmas.

We also had plenty of fun in this episode, as we re-hashed many of Derek's roles and highlights here on Broadway, as his other credits include Wicked, The Bridges of Madison County, and Anastasia. While speaking about Nick Healy in Jagged Little Pill, it was fascinating to hear why he believes Alanis Morissette's iconic music and the story it's set to - plays so well on stage, as well as his overall connection to the character he's taking on in the show.

Hosted by Al Malafronte 

Guest Co-Hosts: Doug Horowitz and Erin Connors

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Derek Klena on Instagram: @derek_klena and Twitter: @DerekKlena

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 29 2020

1hr 7mins

Play

Rank #7: #17 - Now Batting: Jane Bruce

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Jane Bruce is in the midst of an exciting rookie year on Broadway, serving as part of the backbone for one of Broadway’s hottest new shows Jagged Little Pill, featuring the music of Alanis Morissette. Jane plays a multitude of roles on the team as a member of the chorus, as well as an understudy to principal roles that speak to her versatility as a performer.

In this episode, Jane takes host Al Malafronte and producer Alan Seales through her road to Broadway which was defined by hard work, perseverance and positivity. Not to be confused with former New York Mets outfielder, Jay Bruce, the virtues behind Jane’s success within the show mirror that of any successful team player on a Major League Baseball roster – an ability to stay humble, respecting your team goals and message, and always looking to improve.

When you can be called into action at any moment for a wide array of roles in the juggernaut that is Jagged Little Pill, it’s a testament to performers like Jane that the show runs as such a well-oiled machine; which is not unlike the key role players on the Yankees’ World Series teams of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

While Jagged Little Pill may be her Broadway debut, Jane is no stranger to the stage, having also appeared in The Other Josh Cohen in which she took on more than 20 different roles, and she’s fast immersed herself into the New York City music scene as a singer/songwriter with a new album on the way!

One term that Jane uses throughout the interview is “grateful,” and as nothing can be taken for granted in either the theatre world or baseball world, this sets a great backdrop for the episode.

Connect with Jane Bruce on Instagram: @janeybrucey

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 22 2020

56mins

Play

Rank #8: #12 - Now Batting: Ashley Williams

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TV's Ashley Williams steps into the Batter’s Box with host Al Malafronte, and producer Alan Seales, for quite possibly the most fun conversation we've recorded to date. If Derek Jeter is baseball's 'Mr. November,' then Ashley is television's 'Ms. December,' having become a staple of holiday programming over the years. A New York native with two new Christmas films that just premiered on the Hallmark Channel, her accomplished body of work now spans more than two decades on both stage and screen with other credits including Good Morning Miami, Snow, How I Met Your Mother, Something Borrowed, and The Jim Gaffigan Show. She even hints at an exciting upcoming project that’s sure to add some fire to the hot stove.

Connect with Ashley Williams on Instagram: @ashleywilliamsandcompany

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 11 2019

51mins

Play

Rank #9: (Bonus) Now Batting: John Sterling

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The radio voice of the Yankees for 30 years, John Sterling, checked in with Al just before the team kicked off the Division Series against the Minnesota Twins back in October. A lifelong collector of cast albums, John also touches his longtime adoration of classic musicals such as South Pacific and Hello, Dolly! He even gives his take on Broadway's love affair with the Yankees' All-Star closer, Aroldis Chapman.

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 20 2019

13mins

Play

Rank #10: #13 - Now Batting: Squigs Robertson and Dori Berinstein

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An underlying message of Break a Bat! is the many similarities of playing professional baseball and acting on Broadway. Since 2015, Broadway shows, actors, actresses, and members of the community have been highlighted in the same way as All-Stars on baseball cards --- appearing on Broadway’s very own set of trading cards: The Lights of Broadway Show Cards!

The cards were born out of the minds of Broadway.com’s resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson, and 4-time Tony Award winning producer, Dori Berinstein, which coincidentally stems back to their passion for baseball cards. In this episode, the two discuss their chance encounter at the Broadway Flea Market that brought them together, the birth of their product that has set collectors abuzz, and some of the stories that make Lights of Broadway so special.

The magnificent art depicted on each card is unique, and captures the essence of shows and everyone involved in the Broadway community. Another special facet of these cards is the spirit behind them, as Lights of Broadway has now donated close to $100,000 to charities such as: Broadway Cares, The Actors Fund, The Trevor Project, among others - all through the sale of their cards. Now apart of the Broadway community fabric, they’ve just launched a new line of cards celebrating the Broadway production of Moulin Rouge! that make the perfect holiday gift. They even have some big things in the works for 2020 which they also discuss in this episode.

Al was sure to incorporate some baseball undertones per usual. With a pack of Topps baseball cards at stake, this led to a very fun and suspenseful edition of this week’s trivia contest.


For more information on The Lights of Broadway Show Cards, be sure to visit them online at their website:

www.thelightsofbroadway.nyc

You can also find them on social media:

Instagram: @lightsofbroadwayshowcards

Twitter: @LightsofBway

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/broadwayshowcards/


In addition to seeing Squigs’ work on Broadway.com, you can also find him on Instagram: @squigsrobertson


You can also hear more from Dori Berinstein on the Broadway Podcast Network with her newly-launched podcast, Deep Dive Broadway, and follow her on Instagram: @dori.berinstein


Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 18 2019

52mins

Play

Rank #11: #19 - Now Batting: Kennedy Caughell

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Kennedy Caughell steps into the Batter's Box in Episode 19 of Break a Bat! Kennedy is currently hitting for some major power on the road in the touring production of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, in which she stars as Carole King.

Kennedy's stage credits include playing Elphaba in the Wicked tour, multiple positions in the Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, as well as the Broadway production of Beautiful. She was sure to rock her softball jersey from her days as a left fielder in the Broadway Show League.

An Oklahoma native like Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle and Johnny Bench, Kennedy discusses why sports remain so prominent in her home state, and how her hometown of Bartlesville helped bridge the gap between athletics and the arts to help spur her interest in both. She and our host Al Malafronte even discuss how defensive alignment on the baseball field correlates to stage positioning for actors and actresses, and how vocal coaches protecting your voice mirrors the recent trend of innings-limits for starting pitchers in their development.

Many baseball players are a big fish in a small pond in high school, and the same applies to hopeful Broadway performers honing their craft upon entering college, and then arriving in New York. In an ever-changing game and industry, preparation and an ability to make adjustments is vital, which Kennedy has mastered through hard work, dedication, and a wide array of outlets.

As her time in Beautiful originally began during its Broadway run, she talks about gearing up for what's proven to be a dream role, what goes into her portrayal of the legendary Carole King, and the profound words spoken to her by Carole herself upon meeting for the first time.

If you're outside of New York, you may be able to catch Kennedy in a city near you, as the Beautiful tour runs through mid-June, and is this episode proves, Kennedy can hit 'em out of the park regardless of which stadium she's playing in.

Connect with Kennedy Caughell on Instagram: @kennedycaughell

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Feb 05 2020

50mins

Play

Rank #12: #18 - Now Batting: Scotty Katzmann

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It's a Break a Bat! roundtable! In this week's episode, our host Al Malafronte calls some All-Star panelists to the Batter's Box to discuss all things topical in the baseball and Broadway world.

Co-captaining the panel alongside Al is someone who's been instrumental in the the baseball and theatre crossover world. With diverse experience in both acting and athletics, his knowledge and expertise on both fronts is truly invaluable. It's with great pleasure to reintroduce Scotty Katzmann to the Batheads, as our special guest in Episode 18. Scotty is one of the co-founders of Break a Bat!, and the show’s original co-host going back to when it was recorded in Al’s apartment while the two would order a pizza and watch the Yankee game during the spring and summer of 2019. Although a lot has changed with the podcast since his last BPN co-hosting appearances in Episodes 1 and 5, its spirit in which he helped create remains fully in tact, and that shines through in this episode.

Also joining Al and Scotty on the panel were:

Ellen Adair: Ellen is a veteran in the acting world who has an “unhealthy obsession with baseball,” as she reveals in this episode. Her acting credits include appearances on Billions, Homeland, and The Sinner, and in recent months, she’s become a regular on many fantasy baseball podcasts, as well as a guest host on the MLB Network.

Brittany Bigelow: Brittany is the host of A Broad’s Way on the BPN which explores the unpredictability of a life in the theater business and how to find your sense of self through it all. With an acting background of her own, her perspective on performance and the state of industry is both refreshing and needed.

Among the topics discussed in this episode:

• The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal.

• What could serve as Broadway's equivalent of a fantasy baseball league.

• The roots of one’s passion for sports and the arts.

• Baseball’s Hall of Fame voting results.

Beetlejuice unjustly being kicked out of the Winter Garden Theatre.

• Al and Scotty calling the Commissioner of Major League Baseball to task over his agenda to boost TV ratings at the expense of the record books through juiced baseballs.

• How the politics of baseball and Broadway can impact its performers.

• Broadway’s love affair with the Yankees' All-Star and flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman.

Scotty’s love of the song 'Barbara 2.0' from Beetlejuice, and how he associates it with putting everything on the line in a big game.

Connect with Scotty Katzmann on Instagram: @ghostface_scootah

Connect with Ellen Adair on Instagram: @ellenadairig

Connect with Brittany Bigelow on Instagram: @brittanymbigelow

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 31 2020

54mins

Play

Rank #13: #16 - Now Batting: Michael Potts

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Michael Potts steps into the Batter’s Box to chat with host Al Malafronte and producer Alan Seales in Episode 16 of Break a Bat! Michael is an Obie Award Winner, and one of the most esteemed and versatile actors in the game. He takes the boys through his processes and views towards acting that’ve produced some extremely memorable performances both on stage and on screen.

With an acting career that began via a secret application to the Yale School of Drama, Michael has since gone onto master authentic embodiment of characters that’ve spanned iconic performances such as Brother Mouzone in HBO's The Wire, Mafala Hatimbi in The Book of Mormon, and Principal Hawkins in The Prom.

With a Class Act reputation on stage and off, it only seems fitting to parallel his master of craft to that of Derek Jeter. With the legendary Yankee Captain’s upcoming induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame later this month, Michael offers poignant perspective on what embodies greatness either in acting or athletics.

Connect with Michael Potts on Instagram: @mpotts62

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 15 2020

54mins

Play

Rank #14: (Bonus) Now Batting: Nancy Newman

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Nancy Newman has served as one of the YES Network's leading talents since 2003, and invited our host Al Malafronte up to Yankee Stadium for a special interview. The two look back on some of her highlights while covering the Yankees, hosting Yankees Magazine and helping make the show what it is today, and covering Yankee legends Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez during their primes - as well as their unique approaches and style of performance. Nancy and Al also talk about what makes both baseball and Broadway so special here in NYC, as they revisit their first experiences with musical theatre, and how they've since resonated throughout their lives.

Connect with Nancy Newman on Instagram: @nancynewmanyes

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 24 2020

23mins

Play

Rank #15: #29 - Now Batting: Jeanna de Waal

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Jeanna de Waal steps into the 'remote' Batter's Box with host Al Malafronte and producer Alan Seales for Episode 29 of Break a Bat! At the time of the Broadway shutdown, Jeanna had just begun previews for Diana: A True Musical Story, in which she was stars as Princess Diana. Jeanna takes the boys through what she's doing to stay on her game during quarantine, and her excitement for Broadway's eventual return. These routines and emotions are not unlike those of a Major League Baseball player awaiting the start of the 2020 season. Her Broadway career spans over a decade, with other credits including American Idiot and Kinky Boots. She is also the co-founder of Broadway Weekends, a theatre camp for adults which is currently conducting online classes and workshops for those who need their performing fix!

Hosted by Al Malafronte 

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Jeanna de Waal on Instagram: @thebigdewaal and Twitter: @thebigdewaal

Connect with Broadway Weekends online at: www.broadwayweekends.com and on Instagram: @broadwayweekends

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 15 2020

38mins

Play

Rank #16: #28 - Now Batting: Bret Boone

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Bret Boone steps into the 'remote' Batter's Box with host Al Malafronte and guest co-host Doug Horowitz for Episode 28 of Break a Bat! Bret had a 14-year Major League career (1992-2005) as a member of the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, and Minnesota Twins. A 3-time MLB All-Star, 2-time Silver Slugger, and 4-time Gold Glove winner, Bret was one of the best 2nd Baseman of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

As a member of the Mariners in 2001, he enjoyed one of the greatest seasons ever for a 2nd Baseman, posting a .331 Batting Average, 206 Hits, 37 Homeruns, 141 Runs Batted In, 118 Runs Scored, and a .950 OPS. He's also a member of one of baseball’s greatest All-Star family lineages, as his grandfather (Ray), father (Bob), and brother (Aaron) were also All-Stars during their playing days.

Bret takes the boys through what he’d be doing to prepare for a baseball season without a known start date due to the effects of the Coronavirus. As we’ve talked in the past about how fans help drive performance for baseball players and Broadway actors, it was really interesting to hear his take on how today’s players may respond to a season that opens to empty stadiums.

We also look back on some of his fondest career memories which included some trips to the Big Apple on one of baseball’s biggest stages – the playoffs. Bret was the starting 2nd baseman on the 1999 Atlanta Braves who famously battled the New York Mets in that year’s National League Championship Series, and discussed the big stage dynamic of such an intense environment - largely heightened by his controversial teammate John Rocker. He also discussed how special it was to play in the old Yankee Stadium with the Braves during the 1999 World Series, and then as a member of the Seattle Mariners in the 2001 American League Championship Series in the immediate aftermath of September 11th.

As his brother Aaron is currently the New York Yankees manager, he also touched on what it might be like to manage, and even face Aroldis Chapman, the team’s All-Star closer/Broadway favorite who routinely throws over 100 miles per hour.


Hosted by Al Malafronte 

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot


Connect with Bret Boone on Instagram: @bretboone29

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 08 2020

58mins

Play

Rank #17: #27 - Now Batting: Jessalyn Gilsig

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TV's Jessalyn Gilsig steps into the 'remote' Batter's Box for Episode 27 of Break a Bat! alongside Al Malafronte (Host), Alan Seales (Producer), and Chris Katzmann (Creative Consultant). Jessalyn's career on screen spans primetime mega-hits including leading roles in Boston Public, Nip/Tuck, Vikings, as well as a personal favorite of our host - Glee. She's currently in the midst of production on the upcoming sports dramedy Big Shot on Disney+, in which she stars alongside John Stamos as a high school basketball coach. In this episode, Jessalyn takes the boys through the new show, as well as some of her fond memories of working on Glee. A lifelong fan of both sports and theatre, she offers some great perspective on how our two favorite mediums mirror each other, which made for both a fun and insightful chat.

Hosted by Al Malafronte 

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Jessalyn Gilsig on Instagram: @jgilsig and Twitter: @jessalyngilsig

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 01 2020

1hr 5mins

Play

Rank #18: #26 - Now Batting: Meghan Picerno

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Meghan Picerno steps into the Batter's Box with host Al Malafronte and producer Alan Seales, for Episode 26 of Break a Bat! Meghan is currently playing Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, after having previously played the role in the in the show's touring production, as well as its sequel Love Never Dies.

Broadway's longest running show, seeing Phantom is one of the most epic experiences you can have on The Great White Way. In this episode, Meghan talks about her transition from the opera world to the Broadway world, the athleticism behind her performance, and the Yankees' All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman --- who in 2016, carried her Chicago Cubs to their first World Series Championship in 108 years! In that postseason, he posted an impressive 3.45 ERA, multiple wins and no losses, an incredible 4 saved games, and an absolutely stunning 21 strikeouts in only 15.2 innings pitched. Tune in to hear Meghan's thoughts on Chapman's historic run, as well as how baseball and Broadway relate to each other when it comes to performance-driven leadership.

Shoutout to our buddy Michael Borowski at The Publicity Office for helping put this one together.

Note: This episode was recorded just a few days prior to Broadway's shutdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak. As stated in the intro, it was originally intended to be our 25th release.

Hosted by Al Malafronte 

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Meghan Picerno on Instagram: @meghanpicerno

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Mar 25 2020

1hr 3mins

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Rank #19: #25 - Now Batting: The State of Baseball & Broadway

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As COVID-19 brings the world to a halt, the deep impact on the Broadway and baseball communities can't be overstated. While the Break a Bat! team hopes to provide some solace during these trying times, this episode tackles the tough questions surrounding the weeks and months ahead for the two mediums we care about so deeply, as both remain in limbo due to their inevitable shutdowns.

In this episode, host Al Malafronte and producer Alan Seales captain a roundtable panel that includes: Robert Casey (Managing Editor/Head Writer for the popular New York Yankees blog: Bleeding Yankee Blue), Doug Horowitz (guest co-host in Episode 1 of Break a Bat!), and friend of the show Gil Cosenza. We also have a quick chat with Broadway veteran, Sara Jean Ford (CATS, The Phantom of the Opera) to round out the episode.


Panel intros / state of baseball content begins at 0:24

The state of Broadway content begins at 36:24

Sara Jean Ford chat begins at 51:42


Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network

Edited by Matthew Hendershot


Connect with Robert Casey and Bleeding Yankee Blue online: www.bleedingyankeeblue.com and on Twitter: @BleednYankeeBlu

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Mar 18 2020

1hr 11mins

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Rank #20: #24 - Now Batting: Amanda Jane Cooper

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Amanda Jane Cooper steps into the Batter’s Box for Episode 24 of Break a Bat! Amanda holds the distinction of being one of the longest-tenured actresses to play Glinda in the now storied franchise that is Wicked on Broadway. Amanda performed the role in the show’s First National Tour in 2011, Second National Tour from 2015-2017, and then in the Broadway company from 2017-2018.

While in Oz, she also had the opportunity to meet and perform for Yankees Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter, after speaking to the young adults volunteering for his Turn 2 Foundation. As Jeter was a leader for his Yankee teammates, Amanda has a reputation of being a leader among her Broadway castmates, and speaks to the importance of that. 

When discussing the emotion that performers feel in big moments both on the stage and at the stadium, Amanda touches on overcoming adversity off the stage, and how that helped shape her both as a person and an All-Star performer.

Another wild edition of the 7th Inning Stretch ensues with some Wicked, baseball, and Aroldis Chapman trivia questions, as Amanda sought to join our show’s exclusive ‘Winner’s Circle’ for the trivia elite.


Hosted by Al Malafronte 

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot


Connect with Amanda Jane Cooper on Instagram: @amandajanecoop and Twitter: @amandajanecoop

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

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Mar 11 2020

1hr 3mins

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#61 - Now Batting: Jen Lilley

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Jen Lilley joins us for Episode 61 of Break a Bat! Lilley brings some good vibes to the Batter's Box as we kick off the holiday season, as her newest film USS Christmas premieres this Saturday at 10/9c on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. In conjunction with the film in which she stars, she's also created a wonderful new initiative titled Operation: Christmas is not Cancelled, benefitting both Toys for Tots and military families. You can find more info online at www.christmasisnotcancelled.com and win the ultimate Christmas for you and your family, all while helping those in need.

This free-flowing conversation was filled with so many laughs, as Lilley and host Al Malafronte chatted about anything from her days as a soap star on General Hospital and Days of Our Lives to high school rebellion to excessive rice purchases at the beginning of the pandemic. On the baseball front, there's even a brief history lesson on The Curse of the Bambino. Despite everything that's gone on in 2020, Lilley has truly had a banner year as an actress, parent, and even as a musician, having just released her first full solo album Hindsight this fall. Jen Lilley is the good stuff in show business, and that very much shines through in this episode.

Connect with Jen Lilley on Instagram: @jen_lilley and Twitter: @jen_lilley

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Nov 25 2020

54mins

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#60 - Now Batting: Steve Whitmire

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Steve Whitmire steps into the Batter’s Box for Episode 60 of Break a Bat! Here on Broadway, we have a deep appreciation for artists who master the ability to create characters. Over the course of a 40-plus year career in show business, few have done this better than Steve Whitmire. Whitmire got his start with The Muppets in 1978 as a lead puppeteer alongside Jim Henson on The Muppet Show. It was there he originated the wise-cracking New Yorker, Rizzo the Rat, and he would then go on to perform in nearly every Henson project thereafter including Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and all of the major Muppet films. After Jim Henson’s passing in 1990, Whitmire was tapped as the man to succeed him as the performer of Kermit the Frog, as well as Ernie on Sesame Street.

Whitmire’s incredible body of work shines particularly bright here in New York City, and what makes this chat unique from some of Whitmire’s previous interviews is the special focus on various projects he helped create in the Big Apple. Whether it be working on one the ultimate films about Broadway in The Muppets Take Manhattan, Sesame Street, or the many Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades that he performed in, his stories and insight are truly incredible. One story that provided some particularly big laughs actually came via Whitmire's time at Yankee Stadium, when he was invited to perform with Kermit at Yankees' Opening Day in 2012. He also dives deep into how he channeled the necessary technique and craft in order to not only perform Kermit, Ernie, and Rizzo, but develop them as living entities in the world. 

Another key talking point in our conversation was the current state of The Muppets. While Whitmire was performing his characters through 2016, he was truly one of the key players in keeping Jim Henson’s legacy and lineage tradition alive with The Muppets. Today, Whitmire’s thoughts on what it would take to bring the franchise back to what it was built upon echo those of other prominent creatives who worked closest with Jim Henson, and really hits home for those who believe in the purity of the characters. He even discusses a definitive project he’s developed that could very well re-introduce The Muppets to a new generation of viewers under a promising new executive at The Muppets Studio.

While Whitmire has accomplished nearly everything one can in puppetry, he still continues to do phenomenal work with his own character Weldon the I.T. Guy on the CAVE-iN series, in which he created and also stars in. The series serves as a live streaming platform for viewers to interact with his character, and very much captures the brilliance of his work that he’s become known for throughout his distinguished career.

Connect with Steve Whitmire on Instagram: @steve_whitmire, Facebook, and on his website.

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Nov 18 2020

1hr 11mins

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#59 - Now Batting: Julianna Guill

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Julianna Guill steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 59 of Break a Bat! Guill's distinguished career on screen now spans more than a decade and a half, with notable credits including Glory Daze, The Resident, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Captain America: Civil War, among many others.

In recent years, Guill has established herself as a face of the holiday season on Lifetime, as key player in the network's annual It's A Wonderful Lifetime programming slate. This year she's starring in Christmas on the Vine, a new original movie premiering this Friday, November 13th at 8/7 c. This week she joins host Al Malafronte to not only chat about the film, but also the holiday season, her love of Broadway, and her latest endeavors on the other side of the camera as a director. Earlier in 2020, Guill made her directorial debut with the short-film Silent Date, which will soon be released worldwide. We even discuss some of the many ways in which her process as a director mirrors that of a great Major League manager.

A native of North Carolina, and now a resident of The City of Angels, Guill even weighs in on the LA sports scene, the Dodgers' World Series victory, the bright of future of the Atlanta Braves, and her all-time favorite baseball player.

Connect with Julianna Guill on Instagram: @officialjguill

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Nov 11 2020

52mins

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#58 - Now Batting: Kara Lindsay

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Kara Lindsay steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 58 of Break a Bat! Lindsay has cemented herself as a favorite among Broadway fans through her memorable performances in roles such as Katherine Plumber in Newsies, Glinda in Wicked, and Cynthia Weil in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

This week, Lindsay and host Al Malafronte share some laughs and stories as they chat about everything from Italian holiday traditions, earworm lyrics in Newsies, her time spent with Carole King, and much more! The conversation was not without some love for the baseball fans, as we also revisited Lindsay's National Anthem performance at Citi Field during the Mets' pennant-winning 2015 season! Lindsay's always positive disposition and great sense of humor made for the perfect kickoff to the holiday season on Break a Bat!

Connect with Kara Lindsay on Instagram: @karalindsay1 and Twitter: @KaraLindsay1

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Nov 04 2020

51mins

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#57 - Now Batting: Xavier Nady

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Xavier Nady steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 57 of Break a Bat! Nady was the last man to perform the role of starting left fielder at one of Broadway's most historic theaters, The House That Ruth Built, as a member of the 2008 New York Yankees cast that helped close out the old Yankee Stadium. Nady's big league career spanned 12 seasons, three of which were spent on the stages of New York City as a member of the Mets in 2006, and the Yankees from 2008-2009. His 2008 season was particularly special, as he posted the best numbers of his career with a .305 Batting Average, 25 Homeruns, 97 Runs Batted In, and an OPS of .867. He'd go onto retire as a 2-time World Series Champion as a member of the 2009 Yankees and 2012 San Francisco Giants.

As discussed in our chat, Nady is still involved in the game of baseball as a member of super-agent Scott Boras' scouting and recruiting team for young players. This episode also has a heavy emphasis on his time playing in New York, which was not without highlights such as the Yankees' 2009 World Championship squad, SNL after-parties, and A-Rod's "fascination" with Nady's wardrobe...Nady also took a particular liking to Broadway musicals during his tenure here, and discusses anything from his special connection to The Lion King, Tina Fey bringing Mean Girls to the stage, and his favorite pre-theatre dinners.

Xavier Nady is truly one of baseball's good and funniest guys, and that shines through in this conversation!

Connect with Xavier Nady on Instagram: @xaviernady4

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Episode art source: Jeff Zelevasnky/Getty Images North America

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Oct 28 2020

45mins

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#56 - Now Batting: Lindsay Pearce

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Lindsay Pearce steps into the Batter’s Box for Episode 56 of Break a Bat! Pearce was in the heart of her Broadway debut this past winter as the newest Elphaba in Wicked, fulfilling a lifelong dream going back to her days as a theatre kid in Northern California. Pearce grew up in a sports-heavy household, and as told in this episode, it was actually a moment on the softball field that led to her eventual theatre path.

She got her start in show business after auditioning for The Glee Project in 2011, which earned her a two-episode arc during season 3 of Glee. She’s since performed in a number of stage productions throughout the west coast, in addition to more television work in shows such as Drop Dead DivaGrey’s Anatomy, and Recovery Road. This week, Pearce joins host Al Malafronte to talk Wicked, the theatricality of Aroldis Chapman's record-setting fastballs, her hometown San Francisco Giants, and the brilliance of seasons 1-4 of Glee.

The Seventh Inning Stretch also returns this week with a fun installment of Baseball meets Broadway trivia!

Connect with Lindsay Pearce on Instagram: @lindsayheatherpeace

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Oct 23 2020

57mins

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#55 - Now Batting: Joel McHale

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Joel McHale brings some big laughs to the Batter’s Box for Episode 55 of Break a Bat! Having made a name for himself in show business as the host of The Soup, and star of Community, McHale has kept as busy as anyone in the industry throughout 2020. Whether it be hosting the critically acclaimed Tiger King after-show special, launching his own podcast The Darkest Timeline, or guest judging on The Masked Singer, McHale’s work ethic and passion for what he does is undeniable. He also serves as the host of ABC’s Card Sharks revival, which has its second season set to premiere this Sunday, October 18 at 10/9c.

In addition to everything McHale has accomplished on-screen, he’s also a tremendous fan of both sports and theatre, having participated in baseball, football, and school plays growing up in his hometown of Mercer Island, Washington. After going onto play college football at the University of Washington, and then launching a now 25+ year career in entertainment, his love of both mediums has never wavered.

This week, McHale sits down with host Al Malafronte to not only discuss of all of his exciting recent work, but also his thoughts on life in show business, the possibility of a Community reboot, and his many career highlights. We also rehash McHale’s fond memories of the 1995 Mariners, as his hometown is currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of the team that saved baseball in Seattle. Never one to shy away from the big moment, McHale even touches on what it would take for him to dip his toe into Broadway’s waters, as he remains an avid fan of theatre with some phenomenal insight and stories.

Connect with Joel McHale on Instagram: @joelmchale and Twitter: @joelmchale

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Photo used in episode art: F. Scott Schafer

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Oct 16 2020

47mins

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#54 - Now Batting: Anthony Rapp

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Anthony Rapp steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 54 of Break a Bat! A native of the Windy City, Rapp is a lifelong Chicago Cubs and baseball fan who's now visited more than 30 Major League ballparks. In this episode, he rehashes some of his favorite moments as a fan of one of America's most beloved teams, thoughts on performing in the postseason, his highs on Broadway, and the many parallels he sees between baseball and theatre. As told to host Al Malafronte, he was even in the midst of a performance at 54 Below on the night the Cubs won the pennant in 2016, and shares a phenomenal story about throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Wrigley Field during that championship season.

A Drama Desk-nominee, Rapp's Broadway career dates back to age ten, and now spans more than 35 years. Some of his prominent credits from the stage include Rent, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and If/Then. His work in show business has also extended to the screen with credits such as Adventures in Babysitting, A Beautiful Mind, the film adaptation of Rent, and his current role in Star Trek: Discovery.

Connect with Anthony Rapp on Instagram: @albinokid1026 and Twitter: @albinokid

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Oct 07 2020

47mins

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#53 - Now Batting: Shannon Stewart

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Former MLB outfielder of 14 years, Shannon Stewart steps into the Batter’s Box for Episode 53 of Break a Bat! Stewart's career in the big leagues spanned from 1995-2008 as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, and Oakland Athletics. A 1st-round draft pick in 1992, Stewart's talent and passion for his craft cemented his legacy as one of the best leadoff hitters of the late 1990's and early 2000's. During that time, he hit over .300 in six consecutive seasons from 1999-2004, scored 100+ runs four times, and accumulated a remarkable 202 hits in 2001. He'd go onto retire as a lifetime a .297 hitter with a .360 On-Base Percentage, and 1,653 hits to his name.

In this episode, Stewart discusses living up to the pressure of performing as a highly-touted 1st-round draft pick, as well as the dilemma of having to choose between baseball and football after high school; a decision that he parallels to young performers that have to decide between stage or screen acting. He also revisits his phenomenal 2003 season in which he found himself in the heat of a pennant race with the Minnesota Twins, as he'd go onto finish 4th in MVP voting that season as the ultimate catalyst for their division-winning cast. Stewart has some particularly fond memories of his nights on Broadway while battling against the New York Yankees, and shares some great behind the scenes stories of a particularly special era for the Big Apple through the eyes of a visiting performer.

Just like Broadway, a lot has changed around baseball since Stewart's playing career ended, to which he provides some phenomenal insight, and big laughs when talking about his life in retirement. He even discusses which of his former teammates would make the best Timon and Pumba in The Lion King on Broadway!

Connect with Shannon Stewart on Instagram: @sstew24

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Sep 30 2020

54mins

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#52 - Now Batting: Lila Coogan

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Lila Coogan steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 52 of Break a Bat! Coogan made her Broadway debut at the age of 13 as Jane Banks in Mary Poppins, and recently starred as Princess Anya in the First National Tour of Anastasia. This conversation rehashes her experiences as a child star on Broadway, growing up as a lifelong Yankee fan in her native Westchester, touring life, and even includes a fun round of Baseball meets Broadway trivia in this week's 7th Inning Stretch!

Connect with Lila Coogan on Instagram: @lilcoogs

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Sep 23 2020

48mins

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#51 - Now Batting: Shawn Estes

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Former MLB All-Star, Shawn Estes steps into the Batter’s Box for Episode 51 of Break a Bat! Estes’ big league career spanned 13 seasons as a pitcher from 1995-2008, and he currently serves as one of the TV voices of the San Francisco Giants as a pre-and-postgame analyst on NBC Sports Bay Area. 

Over the course of his playing career, Estes won over 100 games, and his All-Star season in 1997 helped lead the Giants to their first division title of the 1990’s. As the ace of their pitching staff that season, he posted a phenomenal 3.18 ERA, 19 wins, and 181 strikeouts across 201 innings. His career also included a stop in The Big Apple when he pitched for the New York Mets in 2002.

In this episode, Estes discusses his memorable role in Subway Series lore as a member of the Mets when he was instructed to retaliate against Roger Clemens and the New York Yankees. Even all these years later, he still has an appreciation of New York as a mecca for baseball, music, and entertainment. He also discusses the mental edge needed for performers to thrive in both baseball and theatre, some of his highs with the Giants, and even the scandalous era in which he played. His insight on today’s game as a member of the media is also invaluable, and his master storytelling skills made for a really enjoyable conversation.

Connect with Shawn Estes on Instagram: @shestes55 and Twitter: @sestes55

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Sep 16 2020

52mins

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#50 - Now Batting: Orfeh

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Orfeh steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 50 of Break a Bat! From pop stardom to Tony and Drama Desk nominations, Orfeh's accomplishments in show business now span more than three decades. She got her start in the performing world as one half of the pop group Or-N-More in the early 90’s, before making her Broadway debut in Footloose in 1999. She’s since gone onto establish herself as a household name in the Broadway community through her powerful voice and memorable performances in Saturday Night Fever, Legally Blonde, and most recently, Pretty Woman.

This raw and candid chat covers everything from the highs and lows of baseball and show business, her success in the recording studio and on Broadway, the Double Play combo she's formed on stage with her husband Andy Karl, and even the subject of Jeter & A-Rod!

Connect with Orfeh on Instagram: @orfeh and Twitter: @official_orfeh

Subscribe to Orfeh and Andy Karl's YouTube Channel here.

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Sep 09 2020

48mins

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#49 - Now Batting: Becky Gulsvig

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Becky Gulsvig steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 49 of Break a Bat! Gulsvig's Broadway credits include Hairspray, Legally Blonde, School of Rock, and most recently, Come From Away. A native of Minnesota, she's also a tremendous Twins fan with some classic ballpark stories from the Metrodome, Target Field, and the many stadiums she's gotten to visit over the years as a cast member in various touring productions. She even discusses her newest role as the coach of her daughter's softball team, and some of the highlights she's experienced over the years as a Broadway veteran of nearly two decades.

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Becky Gulsvig on Instagram: @beckygulsvig

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

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Sep 02 2020

38mins

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#48 - Now Batting: Andy Karl

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Andy Karl steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 48 of Break a Bat! Karl is an Olivier Award Winner and 3-time Tony Award nominee with more than a dozen Broadway credits to his name. One of those credits includes a performance that's beloved by our sports fans in Rocky the Musical, in which he portrayed the iconic Rocky Balboa. With other Broadway credits that include Legally Blonde, Jersey Boys, Pretty Woman, and Groundhog Day, Karl has some great behind the scenes stories about 'championing through' those roles as told to host Al Malafronte in this episode.

With an athletic background of his own, Karl also discusses working in percentages to make it through sometimes grueling Broadway schedules, as he says gearing yourself up for a show is in so many ways like gearing yourself up for a game. This mindset is not unlike what made Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. so successful for Karl's hometown Baltimore Orioles, and led to a fascinating conversation about what it would take a Broadway performer to achieve the equivalent of Ripken's record-setting streak of 2,632 consecutive performances on the field.

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Andy Karl on Instagram: @andy_karl and Twitter: @andy_karl

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

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Aug 26 2020

48mins

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#47 - Now Batting: Ken Singleton

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Ken Singleton steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 47 of Break a Bat! As a Major League player from 1970-1984, Singleton was a 3-time All-Star that cemented a legacy as one of the greatest switch-hitters of all-time with outstanding career accomplishments that include 2,029 hits, 1,065 Runs Batted In, a .388 lifetime On-base Percentage, and a World Series Championship in 1983. Since 1997, he's served as the TV voice of the New York Yankees - a role he still performs in All-Star caliber fashion all these years later on the YES Network with 8 Emmy Awards to his name. Whether it be dealing with tough directors and managers, taking on leading roles for your team, and playing under the brightest lights, Singleton knows a thing or two about what makes a great performer both on stage and at the stadium. He's also a master storyteller who shared some phenomenal insight with our host Al Malafronte from his now 50+ years in the game.

Singleton's outstanding career has not been limited to baseball and broadcasting, as he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Cool Kids Campaign, an organization that is devoted to improving the quality of life for pediatric oncology patients and their families by focusing on the academic, social, and emotional needs brought on by a cancer diagnosis. You can find more information about this wonderful foundation at their website.

Special thanks to the fine folks at the YES Network for helping put this episode together!

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Ken Singleton on Twitter: @29alltime

Connect with YES Network on Twitter: @yesnetwork and Instagram: @yesnetwork

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

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Aug 19 2020

44mins

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#46 - Now Batting: Jonalyn Saxer

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Jonalyn Saxer steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 46 of Break a Bat! An original cast member of Mean Girls on Broadway, Saxer pulled the ultimate utility player duty for her Tony-nominated team. She did this as not only a key cog in the show's ensemble, but also as the understudy for three of the show's lead roles. These included Regina George, Cady Heron, and of course Karen Smith. Saxer would then go onto star as Karen in the show's First National Touring Production starting in 2019, and will continue to do so once live theatre resumes.

Saxer's Broadway career dates back to 2014, when she made her debut in Bullets Over Broadway, and her other Broadway credits include Honeymoon in Vegas, the CATS revival, and Holiday Inn. This episode is a lot of fun, as she and host Al Malafronte talk all things baseball and Broadway such as her leading roles in Mean Girls, the Miami Marlins' Coronavirus outbreak, the CATS movie, and Aroldis Chapman's record-setting fastballs. They even played some Baseball meets Broadway trivia in this week's edition of the 7th Inning Stretch!

Connect with Jonalyn Saxer on Instagram: @jksaxer and Twitter: @jksaxer

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Aug 12 2020

54mins

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#45 - Now Batting: Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer

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Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer steps into the Batter’s Box for Episode 45 of Break a Bat! Kritzer's Broadway career began in 2004 when she made her debut in the Tony-winning Hairspray, and has since gone onto appear in Legally Blonde, Elf, Something Rotten!, and of course her most recent credit as Delia Deetz in the Tony-nominated Beetlejuice.

For the folks at home that have followed Break a Bat! since our earliest days in the spring of 2019, you probably know that so much of the inspiration behind creating this podcast came from an upcoming birthday trip to see Beetlejuice on Broadway. That trip just happened to fall on the night of the famous ‘Broadway Blackout’ on July 13, 2019, when 26 of 30 shows went dark due to a midtown power outage on a hot summer night. However, Beetlejuice still had the juice at the Winter Garden Theatre, and host Al Malafronte and his original co-host Scotty Katzmann would go onto enjoy what ended up being one of their favorite Broadway performances of all-time. 

This fond memory is largely attested to Kritzer, and her brilliant comedic performance in the show. Kritzer joined both Malafronte and Katzmann to re-hash not only that historic night on Broadway, but also the incredible success she's endured as a lead in one of Broadway’s most beloved shows, and some of the epic behind the scenes stories that came along with it.

Kritzer also just happens to be a tremendous baseball fan, and her love and knowledge of sports talk radio translated so well into the conversation she had with the boys about her love of the game, favorite ballpark memories, and the parallels she sees between both sports and theatre. She even tackles the subject of what would best serve the performers involved in this uncertain baseball season, and the re-opening of Broadway in 2021 --- which may just include Beetlejuice!

Connect with Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer on Instagram: @lesliekritzer and Twitter: @lesliekritzer

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Hosted by Al Malafronte and Scotty Katzmann

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

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Aug 05 2020

56mins

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#44 - Now Batting: Lesli Margherita

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Lesli Margherita steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 44 of Break a Bat! One of Broadway's resident funny girls, Margherita is a Laurence Olivier Award winner for her performance as Inez in the musical adaptation of Zorro on the West End, and has appeared on Broadway in Matilda the Musical and Dames at Sea.

Margherita also just happens to be a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan. In this episode, she discusses everything from the roots of her passion for both sports and the arts, ruling your kingdom, and the parallels between Broadway and Moneyball. She and host Al Malafronte even played some Baseball meets Broadway (meets Muppets!) trivia in this week's 7th Inning Stretch!

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Lesli Margherita on Instagram: @queenlesli and Twitter: @queenlesli

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

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Jul 29 2020

49mins

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#43 - Now Batting: Al Roker

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Al Roker steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 43 of Break a Bat! A lifelong fan of both baseball and theatre, the host and weatherman at NBC's Today and co-anchor of 3rd Hour Today is opening up about his life off screen in a new memoir titled "You Look So Much Better in Person: True Stories of Absurdity and Success." Throughout the book, Roker looks back on his own career and shares valuable "Altruisms" that can be applied to our own endeavors in weathering the storms of life, no matter how torrential the downpour.

The 14-time Emmy Winner and New York Times Bestselling Author takes host Al Malafronte through some of the stories behind his success in the spotlight which now spans more than 40 years. To this day, Roker says he still gets nerves before he goes on air every morning. However, as he rehashes in this episode, none that compare to those he felt before making his Broadway debut in Waitress in 2018.

In the trying times we're living in, there's a lot to be said for a book like Roker's. With a message that's overwhelmingly positive, entertaining, and inspirational, it very much aligns with his personality that America has come to love over the years, and needs now more than ever. It's set for release on July 28th, and is available for purchase at Hachette Book Group and wherever you get your books!

Connect with Al Roker on Instagram: @alroker and Twitter: @alroker

You can also find more information on Al Roker Entertainment at his website: alroker.com

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 22 2020

32mins

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#42 - Now Batting: Katie Rose Clarke

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Katie Rose Clarke steps into the Batter's Box for Episode 42 of Break a Bat! Clarke's career on Broadway now spans more than a decade and a half, with credits including The Light in the Piazza, Wicked, Allegiance, and Miss Saigon. Part of what makes her talent play in such a big way on Broadway is that she's able to take on many different types of roles, and more importantly, do so in an All-Star caliber fashion. Our chat rehashes so many of her great career highlights, her development as both a person and a performer, and even the similarities between baseball and Broadway's passionate fanbases.

This episode also touches on the very exciting production of The Heart of Rock & Roll - a new musical inspired by the music of Huey Lewis and the News. Throughout 2018 and 2019, Clarke starred in the show's critically-acclaimed out of town run and workshops, and could potentially serve as a big-time catalyst for Broadway's triumphant return in 2021.

Hosted by Al Malafronte

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network 

Edited by Matthew Hendershot

Connect with Katie Rose Clarke on Instagram: @katieroseclarke

Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 15 2020

1hr 1min

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iTunes Ratings

174 Ratings
Average Ratings
173
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1
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So good!

By tadlate - May 05 2020
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Wonderful podcast! For me, a baseball and theater fan, it is great listening! ❤️

The best

By Bird_is_the_Word_ - Mar 07 2020
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As good as it gets when it comes to Broadway podcasts. Eps 12 and 20 are especially lit 🔥👏