HAMILTON: Be in the Room Where it Happened

The wildly popular, award-winning musical Hamilton returns to the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando, Florida for an almost one-month run from October 26-November 20. Hamilton is the story of America in its infancy, told by America now. With a score that seamlessly blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton tells the story of the birth of America through the eyes of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers. With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton has won multiple Tony®, Grammy ®, and Oliver Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Having the opportunity to see Hamilton live for a second time with the touring cast, I was nervous it wouldn’t pack the same punch as the Broadway version. My nerves increased a bit more when I noticed that three (3) of the main characters – Eliza Hamilton, George Washington, and Hercules Mulligan – were all being played by understudies, and it was only the second night. Once the show began, however, I quickly realized that it was silly to worry as every actor on that stage brought the themes and story to life in a way where you felt the real emotions. By the end I had changed my tune to “Understudies: They get the job done.”

Each of the 34 songs (you read that right, 34 songs) were written in a way that it enhanced the story being told and eliminated the boring stereotype that tends to come with a historical narrative. In addition, Dr. Phillips Center used Gala Pro – and app which provides captioning on your personal mobile device – for this show, which allowed individuals with hearing impairments the ability to read and understand the, at times, very fast lyrics. For a show that celebrates diversity and the strength it brings to us as a country, it was great to see it was accessible for those with hearing impairments as well.

Tickets are still on sale for the remainder of the Hamilton run at Dr. Phillips Center, and before you think to yourself “What’d I Miss,” I highly recommend you find the time to “Take a Break” and see this “Non-Stop,” inspirational musical before it plays “One Last Time” on November 20th. I promise you that you will walk out of the theater “Satisfied.”

SIX: The Musical You’ll Lose Your Head Over

The 23-time award winning musical SIX brings its Euphoric Celebration of 21 st century girl power to the Dr. Phillips Center Broadway series in Orlando now through October 9 th . Re-writing “herstory,” the SIX wives of Henry VIII go from Tudor Queens to Pop Icons in this non-stop, 80-minute concert-style show that will keep you dancing and entertained the entire time.


Having the opportunity to see SIX for the first time on its opening night in Orlando was phenomenal. There weren’t any set changes or costume changes (okay, maybe one costume change) leaving the music and story of the show as the main characters. The diverse cast of women who played The Queens – Khaila Wilcoxon as Catherine of Argon, Storm Lever as Anne Boleyn, Jasmine Forsberg as Jane Seymour, Olivia Donalson as Anna of Cleves, Cassie Silva (alternate) as Katherine Howard, and Gabriela Carrillo as Catherine Parr – not only exuded confidence in their period-inspired pop star attire, but also kept the energy high with their amazing vocal talents and dedication to telling the stories of these women. Feeling

inspired and empowered as I left the theater, I wanted nothing more than to listen to The SIX: LIVE ON OPENING NIGHT Broadway album as I couldn’t get enough.

If I had to give one complaint, it would be that the show itself was not long enough. When The Queens sang “for five more minutes we’re SIX,” I felt a tinge of disappointment as it was as if the show just hit its peak and then it ended, leaving me wanting more. Would this keep me from seeing the show again, ABSOLUTELY NOT! Just ask my husband who I have been begging to go see it again with me before its final curtain on Orlando 9th .

Theater Review: Disney’s “Frozen” at The Dr. Phillips Center – Orlando, FL

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando Presents: 

Disney Frozen The Hit Broadway Musical

February 24 – March 6, 2022

Walt Disney Theater

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Ice and cold? In Orlando? And people are enjoying it? That can mean only one thing! Disney’s Hit Broadway Musical Frozen is in town. With 14 performances, of which most of them are sold out, Frozen breaks a record with more performances than any other show in The Walt Disney Theater’s history. 

Based on the 2013 wildly popular animated movie of the same name, Frozen has found a way to capture all the splendor and magic that one expects from Disney for a live audience. Seeing a real-life Olaf and Sven would be a treat in itself, but watching a real-life Elsa summon snow and ice from the palm of her hand or having your heart break as Anna freezes before your eyes, brings a sense of wonderment and excitement that only Disney can bring. 

Caroline Bowman shines as Elsa, emoting beautifully the struggle between wanting to protect your family while also wanting to be yourself.   Alongside her, Caroline Innerbichler mastered the quirky, fun Anna in such a way that made you to be your best friend while also capturing the hearts of all the children (and adults in the theater). Even my 9-year-old bonus daughter left the theater saying she wanted to be just like Anna when she was older. 

You can’t talk about Anna and Elsa, however, without talking about the amazing child stars who captured the youthful excitement and sisterly love of young Anna and Elsa perfectly – Oliva Jones (Anna) and Arwen Monzon-Sanders (Elsa). Their bond on stage, partnered with their ability to bring you in to their world and the emotions they are experience, is far beyond their age. Although Disney did not expand upon their childhood story which was told in the animated film, they did find a way to bring the characters of their childhood to life in a way that kept the spirit of the story alive. 

While it is sad that after its 2018 opening Frozen did not reopen on Broadway after the pandemic, its first national tour is a swirling snowstorm around the nation and a show that is not to be missed. You’ll be singing along to the classic songs from the film like “Let it Go,” while also feeling inspired by new songs like “Monster” which give depth to the storyline. So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on, what does Oaken call it?, Hygge and slide over to the Dr. Phillips Center for your tickets now. 

Patrick Hinds and Ellyn Marie Marsh discuss new podcast “Obsessed With: Disappeared”

Patrick Hinds is known best for co-hosting the hit podcast “True Crime Obsessed”. Well, he is launching a companion podcast to ID’s hit series “Disappeared” called “Obsessed With: Disappeared.” The series will be co-hosted by himself and Broadway star and Patrick’s friend of 20+ years, Ellyn Marie Marsh (“Pretty Woman: The Musical,” “Kinky Boots”.)

“Obsessed With: Disappeared” will recap episodes of Investigation Discovery (ID) Channel’s hit series “Disappeared” in a comedic and witty tone, with perpetrators always the butt of the joke. Starting with Season 1 / Episode 1, the show will cover infamous subjects like Maura Murray, The Springfield Three and Tanya Rider. The series will be similar in format to Hinds’ hit podcast True Crime Obsessed, which now sees 3.5M+ downloads a month. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Patrick and Ellyn and the show and find out what to expect.

Channah Zapotoczny: On May 27th you are launching a new podcast called “Obsessed With: Disappeared” – tell me a little about the new podcast?

Patrick Hinds: Ellyn and I go way back. We have been best friends for twenty years. I make another podcast called True Crime Obsessed, where we recap true crime documentaries. The cases that always fascinated me where the ones with missing people. Ellyn is this incredible creative force. She is this Broadway actress, but she does like a million other things. I have always wanted to make something with her. When I heard of this show “Disappeared”, which focuses around missing people, I thought this could be it. Ellyn is also fascinated with true crime and she’s really funny. I thought maybe we could take formula that we have perfected with True Crime Obsessed, which is recapping documentaries and apply that to the show “Disappeared” and then Ellyn and I can be together, laugh and make a podcast about these missing people.

Channah: Ellyn, what drew you to this series?

Ellyn Marie Marsh: Well, everyone loves to have their opinions and have them be heard. This is pretty much the perfect platforms for two hams like Patrick and myself. We are both creative people. Patrick has published books and has done podcasting. We have always supported each other. He is always front row at one of my shows, but we have never been able to coordinate working together. We are both super ambitious and tend to over commit ourselves. We are always go-go-go and have been for so long and finally Patrick said to me that we need to do something together. It was just a matter of making the time to do it and committing to do it. We both love this medium of podcasting. We already have so much history and banter to our everyday life that we should just put this on a platform. It was just the right time and the right thing. It was always something we wanted to do, to join forces and do this together.

Patrick: Ellyn, I don’t know if this is same for you because you have done so much but I have never done a project with a person that is my exact personality type match. With True Crime Obsessed, Gillian is a little more reserved. She is a little more thoughtful that me. Ellyn and I are like screaming and laughing at each other and it is something to be seen.

Ellyn: I don’t know if that good or bad [laughing]. We definitely have to adjust the decibel levels of all of our podcasts.

Channah: So, is that what we can expect for this podcast, the fun laughter and banter?

Patrick: I will say this, I have been professionally recapping stuff now with True Crime Obsessed for three years. I feel very confident, as I am the one editing the shows also, that I am very good with the structure of the show. A lot of the things are the same. We are very funny and laugh a lot, but we also care very deeply about the cases. We never victim blame or victim shame. One of the things we are trying to do, is that many of these cases have never seen solved. So, we are trying to be another opportunity to see the sun again. You never know who will hear an episode of the podcast, who knows something. That is a real thing that could definitely happen. So, you can definitely expect us to be loud and funny and very Broadway. But also, we take the cases very seriously as well as the medium of podcasting. This is not off the rails three-hour long episode. They are very structured, but they are fun at the same time.

Ellyn: We are both deeply sensitive people. A lot of these episodes are with parents recapping about their children and that does get us. We are finding laughter and humor in unsuspected places. I think that dichotomy works really well. We are not ignoring that these are sometimes sad situations but mostly wrapped up in detectives that have done things wrong or funny things about the documentary has been made. We are always going to find humor and levity in those moments.

Patrick: Yeah, it is definitely a different take. There are a lot of great missing persons podcasts out there that are very serious and straight forward and I love those podcasts too. But we have found a way to inject humor as a way to make these stories palatable and disgustable and I think we do a good job with that.

Channah: Each episode of ID’s Disappeared is between 40-45 minutes long, should we expect the podcast to be about the same length?

Patrick: We are figuring that out. What we want to be apart of the podcast is our decades of friendship without being that type of podcast that meanders into off the beaten path stories. As the editor it is a little bit of a tricky thing for me to figure out what to keep and what to cut. We will certainly be doing outtakes. Some of the stories told, we will find a way to make them mini or bonus episodes. I would say the episodes length would be 40-50 minutes that is what we are aiming for.

Ellyn: We are both also avid podcast listeners and the 45 minutes mark is a good spot that draws you in enough but doesn’t go on and on. Patrick has doing this way before True Crime Obsessed and has perfected making an arc out of the story.

Patrick: And if there is one thing, we learned from True Crime Obsessed is that people love the bonus material. None of it gets thrown away permanently. We will just find another way for you to hear it.  

Channah: That was going to be one of my questions, will you have a Patreon that you can give the extra material on?

Patrick: “Obsessed: Disappeared” is our second new podcast in the Obsessed Network, which I created with my husband Steve. The whole idea of the network is to produce podcast about things that people are obsessed with. Obviously, this falls under that category because people are obsessed with true crime and people are obsessed with the show “Disappeared”. We definitely will have a way on the network to do bonus episodes. We are trying to figure this all out now.

Channah: For those wanting to follow along at home will you be doing the series in order starting season 1? Or will you be jumping around?

Patrick: No, we are going to go straight through from the beginning. And as soon as the world goes back to normal in the world, we will be going live shows as well for this.

Channah: You two have been friends for over 20 years – what do you think that brings to this podcast that others just can’t compete with?

Ellyn: [laughs] The great thing about it is that Patrick and I are in such different worlds, he is more in the podcasting world and I am more in the Broadway world. We both come with a set of very loyal fans. I am so excited to dish about young Patrick to all of his fans. His fans love him so much and I am just ready with all the drunken stories and embarrassing moments.

Patrick: I think about making True Crime Obsessed with Gillian. We started making that podcast right after we met, and I didn’t know that Gillian was funny [laughs]. There was a bit of a learning curve getting to know her and which buttons to push or not push and with Ellyn I know all of that already. There is a deep level of knowledge and history and experience. It is really very sybiling-esque.  There is just a lot of history there.

Channah: Speaking of Broadway, I like to do a fun question – if each of you could pick your dream role on Broadway, what would it be?

Ellyn: I don’t think my dream role has been written yet. There are so many roles like Evita. You think of those parts and they are equated with such legends. You think of Evita and not think of Patti LuPone. So, I feel like I am fulfilling someone else’s dream. So, it is always a goal in the Broadway community to be involved with an original company of something. I have been in a bunch and I think it is great to make your own work. I think my part will be playing Ellyn Marsh in Ellyn Marsh: The Musical [laughs].

Patrick: I would want to be the standby in Ellyn Marsh: The Musical [laughing]. I don’t have the talent to do this, I wish I had the talent to play any role that Norbert Leo Butz played. He was great in “Catch Me If You Can” and has a great song and tap number, also “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”. Anything that Norbert Leo Butz has been in for sure.

Channah: What do you want fans to know coming into this podcast?

Patrick: Just that I am the funny one [laughs].

Ellyn: And the skinnier one [laughs].

Patrick: I am in general hotter, that is all.

Ellyn: I think Patrick and Gillian perfected the comedy true crime podcast. We really break down more of the surrounding factors and by no means laughing at anybody remotely associated with the victim.

Patrick: We take the cases very seriously. We are looking to bring more awareness to it. It is very funny and you are going to laugh a lot but we take the crime seriously.

Theatre Review “Mean Girls” @ Dr. Phillips Center – Orlando, FL

“Mean Girls” is a musical based on the 2004 movie that was written by Tina Fey. The musical premiered in Washington, D.C. in October 2017 and opened on Broadway in April 2018. If you are thinking “Seriously they made a musical for Mean Girls?”, this show has no shortage of talent from the award-winning creative team, including Tina Fey (30 Rock), composer Jeff Richmond (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), lyricist Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and director Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon). This show is packed with energy and devilish humor that will leave you howling.

From upbeat anthems like “Apex Predator” and “I See Stars” to the songs that show the difficult side of being a female like “What’s Wrong With Me,” the music never stopped. The female leads in the show, especially Mary Kate Morrissey (Janis), Danielle Wade (Cady), and Mariah Rose Faith (Regina George), all had unique singing voices that were nothing short of impressive. In addition, the show decided to use digital screens for quick set changes which led to seamless transitions when changing from classroom to classroom and location to location in the middle of a song. The comedic timing in the show, especially by Karen – played by Jonalyn Saxer, kept you laughing throughout the entire show. There was even a scene with the Lion mascot that had the audience laughing so hard some were in tears. Overall, the show captured the life of a teenage girl in a way that had you sympathizing, laughing, and swaying along to the amazing music.

Official Premise: Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.

The show is playing at the Walt Disney theater from February 25–March 1, 2020. If you are able to get tickets, this is a show that is not to be missed. Overall this musical is just plain fun. You find yourself smiling and laughing till it hurts. Due to the success of the musical production it was recently announced that a film adaptation of the musical was being produced. So expect more of “Mean Girls” in the coming years!

Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle discuss their podcast “True Crime Obsessed” and upcoming tour

You know that feeling you get when hanging out with your best friends? That sense of pure joy that comes from sharing a love of the same things, laughing at anything possible, and being there for each other through even the toughest of times. Well, if you love True Crime as much as I do, let me introduce you to your two new best friends and hosts of the True Crime Obsessed Podcast, Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle.

Since May 2017, this pair of theater kids have been watching True Crime documentaries and recapping them to their audience in a way that can only be described at hilarious. From garbage bells to super-hot husbands to Patrick’s infectious laugh, these two know how to take even the worst documentary and make you feel like you are laughing about it with your best friends.

Recently, Media Mikes had the exciting opportunity to talk with Patrick and Gillian about their podcast and upcoming tour and they did not disappoint.

Channah Zapotoczny: Why you picked the format with you did with the documentaries for your true crime podcast?
Patrick Hinds: You know it’s so funny cause I think about this all the time. When we decided to work together, we sort of work shopped different ideas together of what kind of true crime podcast we wanted to make. We were going to make a three-part podcast every week that was going to dry and straight forward. It would start with an interview segment and then we would talk about something that we have seen, like a TV show or another podcast or something and then the last part would be focused on true crime. So we were doing this pilot episode and when we sat down to do the part when we talk about something, we decided to talk about the documentary “The Imposter”. Gillian and I were relatively new friends at that point. We knew that we really enjoyed each other but I didn’t know that she was like a completely unintentional comedian. So when we started talking about “The Imposter”, the things that stood out to her was like the quirky details or the things that we were really enraging and she has this really funny way of articulating it. So I was laughing hysterically and we had no thought of making a comedy podcast. So when I was listening back to all the different segments and putting it together. I realized that there was nothing else out there in the podcast space with two friends just recapping true crime documentaries and I said I think found our podcast.
Gillian Pensavalle: And even still it has evolved into the madness it is today. In the early episodes, we sound like we are not trying to disturb someone in the next room. In those very early episodes, you can hear Patrick laughing off mic and not really leaning into what/who we are.
Patrick: I wanted to make a nerdy high brow NPR thing, so then we opened up the wine and the bourbon and started making it for real [laughs].
Gillian: Yeah!
Channah: What’s funny is that when I am listening Gillian, you comments are exactly what I am thinking…
Patrick: [laughs] That’s why it works, so many of our listeners say to us that we are having the conversations they wish they were having with their friends when watching these documentaries. It is so funny because a podcast like that should exist but it wasn’t what we meant to make at all.

Channah: So if you could would you go back and change anything?
Patrick & Gillian (together): Nooooooooooo!
Patrick: We were lucky enough that we both of us have been making podcasts long enough to know that the show will become what it is suppose to be. So I am just so glad we have the common sense to let it be what it was clearly meant to be, right?
Gillian: Right, I love the evolution of it. In all of the podcasts that we have worked on or are working on, there is that evolution you can see. Especially for Hamilcast, in the beginning it is not what it is now. It just became that. We just leaned into what it is. We didn’t even think anyone would be listening.
Patrick: That’s true we made this thing just so that we could hang out. We didn’t make it to have it be as successfully as it is.

Channah: How long do your recordings typically take?
Gillian: A long time. Well because, we do a lot in one sitting.
Patrick: We do like five ads per episode. We do a bonus episode every week and then the regular episode. Sometimes twice a month we will do an after party, which is us just hanging out talking about whatever is one our minds or usually “Newsies” the movie [laughs].
Gillian: Yes, most importantly “Newsies” the movie [laughs].
Channah:
That is such a good movie and is one of my favorites.
Patrick: Oh God it is so good… So recording could sometimes take like five hours. We always know that we nailed it though when we are starving, sweating through our clothes and have no voices.
Gillian: We usually start at 5:30pm and go to 10:30pm and by the end of it my eyes are usually half closed. And that is after working all day on top of it.
Patrick: I just realized our last recording day, I worked 17 hours. I was up at 4:15am to watch everything and then we recorded that night till 10:30pm. It was insane.
Gillian: The thing is that when it is 9:30pm and we are recording the last thing, it can’t sound like it’s the last thing. It has to sound like it is the first thing or the only thing.
Patrick: Exactly! Gillian and I don’t get much of a chance to hang out during the week anymore and it is our only hang night. We are never manufacturing that last hour. I feel like the last hour is usually the best because we are so amped at that point.

Channah: So a fun question for you; let’s say someone was going to bring you in to consult on a documentary and you were going to help them make it. What would be your advise to them to make the documentary great?
Patrick: I love the thing these documentaries are doing when they will setup an interview subject and not tell them that the camera is rolling. The interview subject thinks the camera is on when they get asked the first question but it is rolling the whole time and you get people doing ridiculous things like adjusting their genitals or talking to themselves and they always keep it. I am obsessed with it.
Gillian: That is always great.
Patrick: I worked with a director recently and one of the things that that I learned about making a bonkers documentary was that they did all these interviews with all these experts, put them in the film and then went and took them out. Listen if your story is that bonkers and the experts are getting in the way. I say get rid of them. Get rid of them.
Gillian: Just let it become what it will become. “Capturing the Friedmans” is not about the dad and his issues. It was about this circus clown, so then it became about that.
Patrick: In conclusion, give me a strong 90 minutes. Nobody needs longer than 90 minutes. We always talk about this documentary “The Long Shot”
Gillian: 42 minutes!
Patrick: 42 minutes is a dream, you are in and out. You laugh, you cry. It’s perfect.
Gillian: It leaves you wanting more.

Channah: On your show, you were so excited to meet Rabia (Chaudry) and talk with her. Was meeting her everything you hoped for?
Patrick: Rabia and I had a conversation on the phone and we were in love. It was wonderful. The first time I met her was at CrimeCon, our booths were near each other. Because I had that long phone conversation with her, I ran over to her booth and literally knelt down and she looked at me like she was going to call the police. She had absolutely no clue who I was. I just sat there and thought this wasn’t the reaction I expected. After I told her who I was it was great.
Gillian: Then you dragged her over to me…
Patrick: Do you remember how amazing that moment was…
Gillian: That was amazing.
Patrick: We could stop screaming about how amazing she smelled and we just kept hugging her. She was hugging us back. Rabia gives back the energy that you give her. We were so excited to meet her and she was then so excited to meet us.
Gillian: I loved hugging her and smelling her…and that’s not weird [laughs].
Patrick: We are doing two shows with her. Our show in D.C. and Orlando, we are doing with Rabia and Susan (Simpson).

Channah: I will be at the show in Orlando. Are you guys worried about coming to Florida?
Patrick: [laughs] We are afraid that we are going to be met with pitchforks and alligators at the airport. No, I am very much looking forward to going to Florida.
Gillian: A lot of them just lovingly want to change our minds. And our minds aren’t set. We have a very specific job, which is talking about what is in the documentary.
Patrick: It is not our fault that Wrinkles the Clown was from Florida [laughs]

Channah: Speaking about the tour though, I know you are doing three different types of shows. What can we expect from it?
Patrick: Actually, the funny thing is in Florida it’s the only show that we are doing that we have never done before. In Boston, we are doing the show with Lance (Reenstiema), Tim (Pilleri) and Maggie (Freleng) and we are covering “Missing Maura Murray”. The reason we are doing this show again is because we did it in Brooklyn and it was just so great. The pride show in San Francisco and Seattle is just going to be so gay [laughs]. So Florida and D.C. with Rabia and Susan are going to be fun. We warned them they are walking into the lions den.

Channah: Since you will be in Orlando for your show, does that mean you will be coming to CrimeCon 2020?
Patrick: You know, we don’t know yet. We are trying to figure out our schedules, so once we do we will let everyone know.
Channah: If you do attend, is there anyone you wish will be seated next to you?
Patrick: Last year, we were right next to Susan and Rabia, so that is my fav. If Lance, Tim or Maggie are there, we would love to be next to them. Maybe stick us next to someone we’ve never met before, that would be fun.
Gillian: Well there are some parameters…
Patrick: Yeah, we don’t want to be next to Nancy Grace…
Gillian: Or the Cannibal Cop… they are both always at CrimeCon [laughs]

Channah: Patrick, in almost every episode you claim that someone is hot. If you had to rank your top three, who would they be?
Patrick: Let’s start with Ryan Ferguson, that has to be number 1.
Gillian: I approve.
Patrick: I am in the middle of editing episode two right now of “Don’t Fuck with Cats” and I am on the record of saying that John is hot…
Gillian: John Green?
Patrick: Yeah, John Green.
Gillian: Ok I will accept [laughs]. We also have a lot of women that we think are super hot and super smart…
Patrick: Totally…
Gillian: We had someone in “Dirty John”, the super hot smarty pants girl…
Patrick: Laura Richards…
Gillian: Yes, Laura Richards. And so many people in “Holy Hell”. It’s always weird cause when we are recording it’s just like we are hanging out and we forget other people are listening. So when people from the documentary reach out to us and it happens more often then you think, we forget that other people are listening.
Patrick: I really want Deanna (Thompson) from “Don’t Fuck with Cats” to be our friend
Gillian: I love her.

Channah: Is there anything that you wished I asked that I didn’t?
Patrick: Just that TCO has some really super awesome announcements coming out. So just keep an eye out for that!