Stage Review – “The Sound of Music” – Kansas City

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

The Kauffman Center, Kansas City, MO

January 15, 2019

The Band’s Visit, Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Kinky Boots, Once, The Book of Mormon, Memphis, Billy Elliot the Musical, In the Heights. 

The above shows are the ten most recent winners of Broadway’s prestigious Tony Award for Best Musical.  All well deserving of the accolade, but I ask you, how many of them will still be packing the theaters six decades from now?  My guess is Two (Book of Mormon and Hamilton).  I raise this question because there is a show running now that is as fresh and popular as it was when it debuted on Broadway in 1959.  That show is The Sound of Music. 

The show tells the story of nun-to-be Maria Rainer (Jill-Christine Wiley), a young woman who enjoys life and art too much to fully commit to taking her vows.  Knowing her doubts, the Mother Abbess (Lauren Kidwell) sends her to the home of Captain Georg von Trapp (Mike McLean), where she will serve as the governess for the widower Captain’s seven children.  Maria is stunned to see that the Captain runs his household like it was the military, with each child programmed to respond to whistle calls and where their only playtime consists of marching.  Despite his protests she begins to introduce music and fun to their young lives.  Yet this is not always a fun time to be in late 1930s Austria.  A power is rising that deeply offends Captain von Trapp, one that threatens he and his family. 

What can you say about a show that has received every possible honor – 5 Tony Awards, including Best Musical (where it tied with Fiorello!.  Another nominated show that year – Gypsy.  Curiously, both Gypsy and The Sound of Music have enjoyed several revivals.  The 1962 revival of Fiorello! ran 16 shows and has not seen the lights of Broadway since.)  It is truly one of the greatest musicals ever conceived. 

The touring company is quite impressive.  Ms. Wiley gives Maria a sweetness that does not belie the toughness she needs to deal with the Captain.  Her voice is clear and she doesn’t miss a note.  Mr. McLean is equally strong as a man whose grief has taken away his love of the music he once embraced.  The cast of children making up the Family von Trapp are fun and not precocious.  But the showstopper here is Ms. Kidwell, whose powerful rendition of “Climb Every Mountain” brought this critic to tears. The Sound of Music runs through Sunday, January 20th in Kansas City and continues through the US and Canada through May.  For tickets and locations click HERE.     

Talking “The Book of Mormon” with actor Teddy Trice

Near by my home, across the Missouri/Kansas state line, is the town of Shawnee Mission.  They have several high schools and one of them, Shawnee Mission West, has proudly laid claim to such alumni as Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis.  This week I’m giving the students at Shawnee Mission NORTHWEST the chance to brag about their alum, actor Teddy Trice, who is currently starring in the national tour of the Tony Award winning musical “The Book of Mormon”  Teddy took some time out from his schedule to talk about the show, his career and his dream role.

Mike Smith:  How did you catch the acting bug?

Teddy Trice:   I started early.  I went to Trailridge Middle School and I did my first musical when I was in seventh grade.  I did “Into the Woods.”  I was twelve years old and I remember vividly thinking when I was done with the show, ‘I have to keep doing this!’  I didn’t know in what capacity but I knew that it was going to be a part of my life. And I’ve been doing it ever since.

MS:  You started out doing a lot of local Kansas City theater.

TT:  Yes, I worked at the Unicorn Theater, KC Rep, the Coterie, part of the American Shakespeare Festival.

MS:  What was your first show away from home?

TT:  Besides college, my first show out of town was when I did summer stock in Rolla, Missouri. I stayed pretty local.  But then
Mormon” started and they shipped me off to Australia.  I started the company over there and then I came back and did “Sweat” at the Unicorn, which I just closed last month.  And then I started the new “Mormon” tour three weeks ago.

Teddy Trice in “Sweat” at Kansas City’s Unicorn Theater

MS:  Was “Book of Mormon” your first tour?

TT:  It was my first big tour.  We set down in Australia and played for a year in Melbourne and then it moved to Sydney.  It’s still going on in Sydney.  I did six months there.

MS:  How did you get the role?

TT:  I auditioned in Kansas City first.  The casting people pop around regionally and I had my first audition in Kansas City. They called me back the next day. I did the same audition the next day and they put it on tape.  About three weeks later they called me for a call back in New York.  I did the callback there.  I knew at the time they were casting for both the Broadway production and the two national tours.  I didn’t know about Australia until I got an email asking if I was interested in being in the Australian company. 

MS:  YES!!

TT:  That’s exactly what I said.  I emailed them back and said, ‘for sure!’  And then three months later they called me and asked if I wanted to start the Australian company and I gave them an ecstatic ‘YES!’  And the show has been treating me well ever since. 

MS:  Did you have to audition, or have you ever done the show, in front of (show co-creators) Trey Parker and Matt Stone?

TT:  Yes. They actually came to opening night in Australia.  They met with all of us.  They are the coolest guys…very down to earth.  Obviously, they’ve had wild success but they work incredibly hard.  They put out an episode of “South Park” every week and it’s been on the years for almost 20 years. 

MS:  Did you know they were in the audience?  Does that add any pressure to your performance?

TT:  There’s definitely some pressure there because you know that the people that put everything together are watching you but they have a hand in everything.  Casting,etc goes through them.  So you know that when you’ve been cast they approved it. So there’s actually a level of comfort there because they selected YOU to keep this going.  And when you’ve got 1,800 people in the audience every night, that’s enough pressure to take on,  I think my favorite expression maybe “No pressure…no diamond.” 

MS:  You’ve done both drama and musicals.  Do you have a preference?

TT:  I don’t really have a preference.  It kind of comes down to the material.  I did “Sweat” at the Unicorn right before I started the tour and that’s a contemporary drama.  A little bit different from the big musical/comedy that “Mormon” is.  I love the craft of acting so much that, whatever I’m drawn to is what I want to do.  Singing is a great passion of mine so I do have a great affection for musicals but I love them both. 

MS:  Do you have a favorite  musical? Or, better question, if age wasn’t an issue, what role would you most like to do?

TT:   I would love to do Coalhouse Walker in “Ragtime.” It’s a role I’d have to age into a little bit but the musical score is one of my all-time favorites.  Doing an “American Dream” story and building a legacy…I’d love to do that one.

MS:  You’re doing “Ragtime” and Brian Stokes Mitchell is in the audience.  What do you do?  (NOTE:  Mr. Mitchell originated the role of Coalhouse Walker on Broadway.  Television fans may remember him as one of Lea Michele’s fathers on “GLEE”)

TT:  (laughing) If I found at after the show that he was in the audience I would take him out for a drink and ask him about his experiences with the role and what Icould do to learn from him.  I’d rather hear that than have him say, “wow, you really did an injustice to the part!”  (laughs)

Teddy and cast members from “The Book of Mormon”

MS:  How long is the tour?

TT:  Well, the tour will go on forever.  I signed on last month and I’m committed to it for a while.  I’ve been with the show for two-plus years now.  It’s been a long ride.

MS:  Is it still fun?

TT:  It is. It’s given me the opportunity to travel. To be able to go across the country with the show is pretty cool.  It keeps it fresh…it keeps it alive.  And every night you get a new audience andyou get their reactions for the first time. As an actor I keep challenging myself. How do I discover new things and keep perfecting the show?  And I think by having those small goals it keeps it fresh for me.  But when you’redoing eight shows a week for an extended period of time, monotony can creep in.  So you have to keep your brain switched on to give your best performance, especially when there are people in the audience who haven’t seen the show. 

Hamilton, 2017 Tony®-winning Best Musical, Leads the 18/19 Fairwinds Broadway in Orlando Season at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

 

HAMILTON,

2017 TONY®-WINNING BEST MUSICAL AND
2018 GRAMMY® AWARD WINNER DEAR EVAN HANSEN

and

TONY®-WINNING BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL HELLO, DOLLY!

Starring Broadway Legend Betty Buckley

to anchor

18/19 FAIRWINDS BROADWAY IN ORLANDO SEASON

AT DR. PHILLIPS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

 

Current subscribers may renew their seats for the upcoming season beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, March 9

 

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 9, 2018) — Hamilton will headline the 2018–2019 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando series at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to Hamilton the season includes the six-time 2017 Tony® and 2018 Grammy® Award winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen and the 2017 Tony® Award-winning Best Revival Hello, Dolly! starring Broadway legend Betty Buckley.

The arts center joined Florida Theatrical Association and Broadway Across America today to announce the full line-up.

18/19 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando series:

  • Hello, Dolly! — November 27–December 2, 2018
  • Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical — December 18–December 23, 2018
  • Hamilton — January 22, 2019-February 10, 2019
  • Fiddler on the Roof  March 5 –March 10, 2019
  • Dear Evan Hansen — April 16 –April 21, 2019
  • Anastasia — May 14–19, 2019
  • Come From Away  June 11–16, 2019

The season will also feature the return of audience favorite as a Season Option:

  • Jersey Boys — October 30–November 4, 2018

Subscribers will have first access to purchase tickets for Jersey Boys once they have renewed their seats for the 18/19 season.

“This will be a stand-out season on so many levels,” said Dr. Phillips Center President and CEO Kathy Ramsberger. “Hamilton has become a theatrical phenomenon, and three of the seven shows made their debut on Broadway just last year, so the content is fresh and relevant. The other big benefit is that we’ve had great success securing show performers for special appearances and educational workshops in our local schools, including our own School of the Arts. Extending the arts beyond our facility and into the community is one of our top priorities.”

“We are proud to partner with Dr. Phillips Center and Florida Theatrical Association for what is sure to be a record-breaking season in Orlando! This is going to be an unforgettable season of the best that Broadway has to offer,” said Susie Krajsa, EVP of Presenting for Broadway Across America.

“We’re excited to continue bringing special, one-of-a-kind experiences to our members through our continued support of the FAIRWIINDS Broadway in Orlando series at Dr. Phillips Center,” said FAIRWINDS President and CEO Larry Tobin. FAIRWINDS recently signed a multi-year agreement with the arts center, which includes naming rights to the series.

Current subscribers can renew their seats starting at 10 a.m. Friday, March 9, 2018 through April 13, 2018. Subscribers who renew early before March 23, 2018 can guarantee the lowest price for their subscription by taking advantage of our new loyalty pricing. FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando will first send renewal information via email and encourages renewing online for ease and convenience. This electronic communication will be followed up with an invoice and brochure sent via posted mail to all subscribers.

While new subscriptions cannot be offered at this time, interested parties may join the subscription information list to be notified if any subscription seats become available. Groups of 10 or more may begin placing for most shows in the new season beginning March 9, 2018. Group minimums and discounts vary by show. Seating locations for group orders may not be confirmed until later this year.  Group tickets may not be available for Hamilton. For more information, email groups@drphillipscenter.org or call 407.455.5550. Tickets for individual shows in the 2018–2019 season will be made available at a later date.

For more information and to renew a subscription for the 2018–2019 season, visit OrlandoBroadway.com.

 

 

ABOUT THE SHOWS

 

Jersey Boys

October 30–November 4, 2018

Walt Disney Theater

Season Add-On

They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story — a story that has made them an international sensation all over again.

Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony®-winning true-life musical phenomenon, JERSEY BOYS. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s just too good to be true.

FEATURING THE LEGENDARY TOP TEN HITS:

“Sherry” • “Big Girls Don’t Cry” • “Walk Like A Man” • “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” • “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)”

 

Hello, Dolly!

starring Betty Buckley

November 27– December 2, 2018

Walt Disney Theater

Tony Award®-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley stars in HELLO, DOLLY! – the universally acclaimed smash that NPR calls “the best show of the year!” Winner of four Tony Awards® including Best Musical Revival, director Jerry Zaks’ “gorgeous” new production (Vogue) is “making people crazy happy!” (The Washington Post). Breaking box office records week after week and receiving thunderous raves on Broadway, this HELLO, DOLLY! pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion – hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history. Rolling Stone calls it “a must-see event. A musical comedy dream. If you’re lucky enough to score a ticket, you’ll be seeing something historic. Wow, wow, wow, indeed!”

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical

December 18–December 23, 2018

Walt Disney Theater

This holiday season, discover the perfect gift for everyone on your list.  Start with a timeless tale of joy and goodwill, fill it with classic Irving Berlin songs, top it off with glorious dancing and lots of snow and come see Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS!  It’s a must-see classic in a lavish new musical that the New York Times says to “put on your wish list.”  Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process. The show is full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written. The gift everyone is dreaming of is this merry and bright holiday musical.

 

Hamilton

January 22, 2019–February 10, 2019

Walt Disney Theater

HAMILTON is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, as told by America now.

With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Fiddler On The Roof

March 5–March 10, 2019

Walt Disney Theater

 

Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind South Pacific, The King and I and 2017 Tony-winning Best Play Oslo, bring a fresh and authentic vision to this beloved theatrical masterpiece from Tony winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. The original production won 10 Tony Awards, including a special Tony for becoming the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. You’ll be there when the sun rises on this new production, with stunning movement and dance from acclaimed Israeli choreographer

Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins. A wonderful cast and a lavish orchestra tell this heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the timeless traditions that define faith and family.

Featuring the Broadway classics “Tradition,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “To Life,” FIDDLER ON THE ROOF will introduce a new generation to this uplifting celebration that raises its cup to joy! To love! To life!

Dear Evan Hansen

April 16 – April 21, 2019

Walt Disney Theater

DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the winner of six 2017 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the 2018 GRAMMY award for Best Musical Theater Album.

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it.

“One of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history,” says The Washington Post. The New York Times calls DEAR EVAN HANSEN “a gut-punching, breathtaking knockout of a musical” and NBC News says the musical is “an inspiring anthem resonating on Broadway and beyond.”

DEAR EVAN HANSEN features a book by Tony winner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy, Tony and Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La LandThe Greatest Showman), and direction by four-time Tony nominee Michael Greif (RentNext to Normal).

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, produced by Atlantic Records, made an extraordinary debut on the Billboard 200 when released and entered the chart at #8 – the highest charting debut position for an original cast album since 1961—before going on to win the 2018 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. A special edition coffee table book authored by Levenson, Pasek, and Paul, Dear Evan Hansen: through the window (Grand Central Publishing / Melcher) is now available, offering an in-depth, all-access look at the musical, including never-before-seen production photos and cast portraits, behind-the-scenes stories, and a fully annotated script by the authors.

 

Anastasia

May 14–19, 2019

Walt Disney Theater

From the Tony Award-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, this dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.

ANASTASIA features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally, a lush new score by Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics) with direction by Tony winner Darko Tresnjak.

 

Come From Away

June 11–16, 2019

Walt Disney Theater

On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all.

Broadway’s COME FROM AWAY has won Best Musical all across North America. The New York Times Critics’ Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical written by Tony nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by this year’s Tony-winning Best Director, Christopher Ashley. Newsweek cheers, “It takes you to a place you never want to leave!”

 

For more information and to renew a subscription for the 2018–2019 season and Broadway in Orlando, visit OrlandoBroadway.com.

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FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando is presented at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in partnership with Broadway Across America and Florida Theatrical Association.

Florida Theatrical Association (FTA) is a non-profit civic organization with a volunteer board of trustees established to ensure the continued presentation of quality touring Broadway productions and the promotion of arts education throughout the state of Florida. For more information, visit FloridaTheatrical.org.

BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA (BAA) is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com and The Broadway Channel.  Led by 11-time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 44 markets with over 400,000 subscribers. Current and past productions include BeautifulCats, Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, Groundhog Day, Hairspray, Hello, Dolly!, Million Dollar Quartet, On Your Feet!, The Producers, School of Rock and Waitress. Broadway.com is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information please visit BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com and Broadway.com.

About Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization operating the state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Orlando, Florida. With its opening in November 2014, the performing arts center launched its vision of Arts for Every Life by being a gathering place for creativity and discovery; a vibrant urban destination where artists, audiences and students come to experience, explore and learn. The two-block community destination features the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Seneff Arts Plaza, Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts, the DeVos Family Room, and other event rental spaces. Future expansion includes Steinmetz Hall, a 1,700-seat acoustical theater, along with rehearsal, classroom, office space and commercial development spaces. The Dr. Phillips Center is a private non-profit collaborating with the City of Orlando, Orange County, the State of Florida and generous donors.

About FAIRWINDS

FAIRWINDS Credit Union, headed by President/CEO Larry Tobin, is the largest financial institution headquartered in Central Florida, with assets of $2.2 billion, more than 177,300 members and over 510 employees. The financial cooperative established in 1949 is open to anyone living or working in Central Florida. Membership also is available to family of members who live outside Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Osceola, Polk, Brevard or Lake counties.

 

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FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando presents “Finding Neverland” Starting June 6th

FAIRWINDS  Broadway in Orlando presents Finding Neverland

This breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart” (Time Magazine). Vogue cheers, “it’s a must-see you’ll remember for years to come!” Directed by visionary Tony winner Diane Paulus, Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever.

Show dates: Tuesday-Sunday, June 6-11, 2017
Show times vary
Tickets start at $33.75
Walt Disney Theater

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

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Tickets Online Now for “Wicked” for the 2016-2017 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando season!

2016-2017 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando season 

WICKED

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

“If every musical had the brains, heart and courage of Wicked, Broadway really would be a magical place.” (Time Magazine) 

Orlando, FL – Broadway’s biggest blockbuster returns to Orlando this winter.Wicked will fly into Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts’s Walt Disney Theater from January 11 – 29, 2017. Tickets are on sale to the general public NOW!.Tickets start at $42.75 and may be purchased online at drphillipscenter.org, by calling 844.513.2014 or by visiting the Dr. Phillips Center Box Office at 445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday. Online and phone ticket purchases are subject to handling fees.

The surprising tale of an unlikely friendship between two women in the Land of Oz, Wicked tells the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, long before Dorothy dropped in. Elphaba, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. Glinda is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. The remarkable odyssey of how these unexpected friends changed each other’s lives for good has made Wicked one of world’s most popular musicals.

Based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked is the winner of over 100 international major awards, including a Grammy® and three Tony® Awards.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell, Academy Award®-winner for “Pocahontas” and “The Prince of Egypt”) and book by Winnie Holzman (“My So Called Life,” “Once and Again” and “thirtysomething”), Wicked is directed by two-time Tony® Award-winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Vagina Monologues) and features musical staging by Tony® Award winner Wayne Cilento (Aida, The Who’s Tommy, How to Succeed…).

 

Wicked has been declared “a cultural phenomenon” by Variety and “the best musical of the decade” by Entertainment Weekly. Wicked has been performed in over 100 cities in 14 countries around the world (U.S. Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Germany, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, The Philippines, Mexico and Brazil) and has thus far been translated into six languages: Japanese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Korean and Portugese.

For more information, visit www.WickedTheMusical.com.

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FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando is presented in partnership with Broadway Across America and Florida Theatrical Association. FTA is a non-profit civic organization with a volunteer board of trustees established to ensure the continued presentation of quality touring Broadway productions and the promotion of arts education throughout the state of Florida. For more information, visit FloridaTheatrical.org .

BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com and The Broadway Channel.  Led by 9 time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 41 markets with over 270,000 subscribers. Current and past productions include Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding NeverlandMillion Dollar Quartet, Hairspray, On Your Feet!, School of Rock and The Producers. Broadway.com is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information please visit BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com andBroadway.com.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization operating the state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Orlando, Florida. With its opening in November 2014, the performing arts center launched its vision of Arts for Every Life by being a gathering place for creativity and discovery; a vibrant urban destination where artists, audiences and students come to experience, explore and learn. The two-block community destination features the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Seneff Arts Plaza, Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts, the DeVos Family Room, and other event rental spaces. Future expansion includes Steinmetz Hall, a 1,700-seat acoustical theater, along with rehearsal, classroom, office space and commercial development spaces. Dr. Phillips Center is a private non-profit collaborating with the City of Orlando, Orange County, the State of Florida and generous donors.

 

Theatre Review: Original Hedwig’s Final Weeks on Broadway

I’ve never been so cold. I’m standing outside a Broadway theatre on a snowy March night, and I’m from Texas. I can’t feel my face.

“Is this ridiculous?” I ask the fellow fan next to me, referring to the rose I’m holding for the show’s star.

“Nope,” she says.

She gets it. We’re Hedheads, and we’re here getting frostbite for the same reason: to see the queen. John Cameron Mitchell, the co-creator and current star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, is due to exit the Belasco Theatre stage door any minute.

Diehard fans and critics alike are practically yelling at you to go see this show before his run ends on April 26—and with good reason. Seeing him perform is pure magic, at once vulnerable and sardonic, witty and sexy. He is so genuine and raw on stage that distinguishing new jokes from improvised quips is next to impossible in one viewing. (“You’re seeing the original cast,” referring to Mitchell’s/Hedwig’s knee brace, is my new favorite.) But there’s more to Mitchell’s Hedwig than his brilliantly moving and funny performance and Stephen Trask’s phenomenal music. There’s a reason some fans are crossing continents to see him do this.

I’ve attempted to explain the significance of the queen’s return to people who know nothing about the show: This is different than any other actor playing Hedwig because when you watch the others, you’re watching a performance; when you see Mitchell, you’re seeing Hedwig, the character, in real life. It’s as if the 2001 film was a documentary and now you’re going to a real, live Hedwig and the Angry Inch concert.

For those unfamiliar, the musical is less a traditional play and more a rock concert with monologues in between songs. An overarching theme about the search for one’s missing “other half” is beautifully woven into both the lyrics and Hedwig’s tragicomic backstory. Somewhat paradoxically, watching Mitchell play Hedwig almost undermines the show’s closing message of finding wholeness within oneself, because fans leave feeling like we’ve found our other half—right there, on stage, spitting on us and shouting in German.

The knee brace Mitchell is sporting is starkly apropos, becoming another sad-yet-humorous aspect of Hedwig’s story. Although the sight of it tugs the heartstrings, one of the best things about the brace might be the way it further blurs the line between Mitchell and Hedwig—in a way, she’s realer than she’s ever been.

Basking in the glow of his inimitable performance, I’ve never been happier to freeze my toes off.

John Cameron Mitchell can be seen through April 26th at the Belasco Theatre with Darren Criss scheduled to take over Hedwig on April 29th.

 

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Blu-ray Review “Into the Woods: Original Broadway Production”

Starring: Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien, Joanna Gleason, Tom Aldredge, Robert Westenberg, Kim Crosby
Director: James Lapine
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Run Time: 153 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

With the new Disney’s big-screen adaptation of the Tony-Award Winning Broadway Musical “Into the Woods” right around the corner, it is the perfect time for to release the original Broadway Production on Blu-ray for the very first time. What we get here is a May 1989 performance of Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical, which starred Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien, Joanna Gleason, Tom Aldredge, Robert Westenberg and Kim Crosby. If you are a fan of the production and looking forward to the movie, this will be a good way to revisit before seeing it on the big screen.

Official Premise: A baker and his wife journey into the woods in search of a cow, a red cape, a pair of golden slippers and some magic beans to lift a curse that has kept them childless. Tony Award winners Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason and the rest of the original Broadway cast weave their magic spell over you in Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece, directed by James Lapine, a seamless fusion of fairy tale characters and what happens after “happily ever after.”

If you have seen this production on DVD, I wouldn’t be expecting much from this Blu-ray. The 1080p transfer is quite muted with the productions colors and even shows up blurry in a few scenes. I was expecting much more from this. The DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 audio track sound great especially with classics songs like “Children Will Listen” and “No One Is Alone”. There are zero special features included to accompany this stage production.

The Big-Screen Version of the Smash Broadway Hit “Jersey Boys” Arrives onto Blu-rayô combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on November 11 From Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Blu-ray and Digital HD include bonus content featuring interviews with Clint Eastwood and the cast!

Burbank, CA, September 2, 2014 – Based on the Tony Award-winning musical, “Jersey Boys” arrives onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on November 11 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Directed by Oscar® winner Clint Eastwood (“Million Dollar Baby,” “Unforgiven”), “Jersey Boys” is an inspiring drama featuring The Four Seasons’ songs that influenced a generation.

Jersey Boys” stars John Lloyd Young, who reprises his Tony Award-winning portrayal of the legendary lead singer of The Four Seasons, Frankie Valli. Erich Bergen stars as Bob Gaudio, who wrote or co-wrote all of the group’s biggest hits. Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza star respectively as Nick Massi and Tommy DeVito, two original members of The Four Seasons. Oscar® winner Christopher Walken (“The Deer Hunter”) stars as mobster Gyp DeCarlo.

Clint Eastwood directed “Jersey Boys” from a screenplay and musical book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, song music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe. “Jersey Boys” is produced by Clint Eastwood, Graham King and Robert Lorenz, along executive producers Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tim Moore, Tim Headington, James Packer and Brett Ratner.

Jersey Boys” will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and includes the film in high definition on Blu-ray disc, DVD, and a digital version of the movie in Digital HD with UltraViolet. Fans can also own “Jersey Boys” in Digital HD via purchase from digital retailers.

 

SYNOPSIS

Jersey Boys” tells the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. The story of their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the songs that influenced a generation, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Dawn,” “Rag Doll,” “Bye Bye Baby,” “Who Loves You,” and many more.

These classic hits are now being embraced by a new generation of fans through the stage musical, which has been running on Broadway for more than eight years and has also enjoyed successful tours around the globe.

 

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

Jersey Boys” Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:

  • From Broadway To The Big Screen
  • Too Good To Be True
  • “Oh, What A Night” To Remember

“Jersey Boys” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:

  • “Oh, What A Night” To Remember

 

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS

Jersey Boys” will be available for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on their favorite devices from select digital retailers including Amazon, CinemaNow, Flixster, iTunes, PlayStation, Target Ticket, Vudu, Xbox and others. “Jersey Boys” will also be available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

ABOUT DIGITAL HD WITH ULTRAVIOLET

*Digital HD with UltraViolet allows fans to watch a digital version of their movie or TV show anywhere, on their favorite devices. Digital HD with UltraViolet is included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs. Digital HD with UltraViolet allows consumers to instantly stream and download movies and TV shows to TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones through UltraViolet retail services like CinemaNow, Flixster, Target Ticket, VUDU and more. For more information on compatible devices go to wb.com/ultravioletdevices. Consult an UltraViolet Retailer for details and requirements and for a list of HD-compatible devices.

Blu-ray Review “Broadway Danny Rose”

Starring: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Nick Apollo Forte, Sandy Baron, Frank Renzulli, Howard Storm
Director: Woody Allen
Director: Henry Koster
Distributed by: Twilight Time
Run Time: 84 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: April 8, 2014

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

“Broadway Danny Rose” is easily one of my favorite films in Woody Allen’s filmography. Even having seen the film numerous times it is still able to deliver some great laugh out loud moments. It also has its sweet and endearing moments as well. Mia Farrow is stunning the role and very funny as well. Fun fact, the part of Lou Canova was originally offered to Sylvester Stallone. Twilight Time has been given us Woody Allen fans quite the treat with his films being released on on Blu-ray recently. This one follows the equally amazing “Crimes and Misdemeanors”. So I have to say that this is definitely a must for any fan of Allen’s work.

Official Premise: Broadway Danny Rose (1984), starring, written, and directed by Woody Allen, gives us a variation on his patented schlub character: this time, the eponymous good-hearted talent agent who represents not just the worst but the most pathetic acts in show business. Among these is Lou Canova (Nick Apollo Forte), a corny lounge singer saddled with a drinking problem and a temperamental mistress, Tina Vitale (Mia Farrow, in a terrific comic performance). When Lou asks Danny to be his beard with Tina, the wimpy agent suddenly finds himself dealing with the Mob—and with the feisty Tina, herself.

This Blu-ray release is an Screen Archives Entertainment Exclusive and is a Limited Edition release with only 3000 copies produced. “Broadway Danny Rose” is the third Twilight Time film I have reviewed this month and each of them has just been so impressive. This film is delivered with a very sharp 1080p transfer in 1.85:1 that is beautifully rendered in black-and-white by cinematographer Gordon Willis. The DTS-HD Master Audio Mono also works perfect with the dialogue and score. In terms of special features, besides some trailers there is only an Isolated Music and Effects Track as well. Which is worth checking out if you enjoyed the score like myself.

Stuart Ward talks about touring with Broadway hit play “Once”

Stuart Ward is currently touring North America with the touring company of the hit Broadway show “Once”. Stuart is no stranger to the show “Once” as he was in fact the understudy for the role of “Guy” in the West End production of the show. Media Mikes got a chance to chat with Stuart about “Once” and him role during their stop in Philly in their 29 city tour which runs until October 2014.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you come on board with “Once” for its North American tour?
Stuart Ward: I actually was a part of the London cast of the show. I was a cover for the role of Guy. I missed out on the casting since I was on another job in Australia touring with the singer Cliff Richard. No one knows him in the US but in England he is a bit of a rock pop legend. 73 years old and he is still rocking out! So I was in Australia playing the Syndey Opera House and other great venues with him, so when I got back the show was all cast. I got a call asking if I would be interested in the understudy part and to be quite honest I really wasn’t. But they kept asking and I thought even if I get to do think just once – [laughs] there you go “Once” – it would be worth it and I would be happy. So I took it and then the day after I went on for the very first time, I got a call asking if I would be interested to play the lead in the US tour. My jaw hit the ground and I screamed a resounding “Yes”!

MG: So you are currently in Philly, tell us how the tour has been going so far?
SW: It is going great. We are just kind of settling down now. To be honest, when we were in Providence we were still working on the show and cleaning it up a bit. Then we got to Chicago and we were filming b-roll and doing recordings, so it was busy. So now in Philly it is settling down. I have had some time to explore the city and I ran up the Rocky steps [laughs]. The video is actually on my Twitter. I couldn’t help myself [laughs].

MG: What are some of the other cities that you are looking forward to hitting?
SW: I was actually looking forward to visiting Chicago. When we got there it didn’t let down at all. It had such an incredible vibe about the place. It was a bit like New York but a bit more laid back and chill. I am looking forward San Francisco as well, since it has a similar laid back vibe. I am looking forward to Florida since my mom and dad are coming down for that. I miss them hugely, so I am looking forward to getting them down. Honestly though, I am excited for all of them since I have never been to these cities before in America. So I am taking it a city at a time and having a blast!

MG: What do you use for inspiration to get you into the role each night?
SW: There is a remarkable amount of similarities between me and the character, so it doesn’t really take that much. Sometimes when you are playing a role, I think it is important to bring a part of yourself to it otherwise you are just lying. You have to have some truth in there. Usually it is 30% you and 70% your character that you built. But for this role it is actually like 90% is already there for me. I am a songwriter myself and I can relate to this character. I feel like I am actually playing my own songs out there. They all sit perfectly in my voice. It is quite easy for me to get into it.

MG: Tell us about the chemistry you have with co-star Dani de Waal?
SW: It is massive. I was so worried when I came over here because I didn’t meet her until the first day of rehearsals. I thought that 98% of my stage time is with this girl and I was thinking “God, what if she is terrible?” [laughs] I have been so lucky because she is really wonderful. She has this fantastic quality about her that fits the role of Girl so well. It is like a non-descriptive energy that is so great to play off. I feel quite blessed to have her as my Girl. It would be a horrible experience if she didn’t have all these amazing qualities but she is just fantastic.

MG: What is your favorite song to perform with the show?
SW: It is torn between two songs but think it has to be “When Your Minds Made Up”. I just think that that moment is when everything comes together and completes what they have worked for in the play. He just nails it in the studio the first time around. I always feel like he has that performance in his mind for three or four years and he is just waiting to be unleashed. I just love that moment. Not just performing that song, even when watching it, I just love the moment when he has become a songwriter – a rock star if you like.

MG: How has the show changed for you having watched it and now being the lead of it?
SW: What is great about this show and the whole creative team, is that they never wanted a copy of what has been done before. I have never had this happen before when going into a role that someone else has done. Usually you stand at the mark, turn right and say your lines. With the creative team here, they didn’t want any of that and they wanted us to make our own production of it. They approached the show like it was never done before. Half of the blocking is different and all the costumes are different. So the bare-bones of the show is the same but it is our completely own version. You will notice the differences when you come see it and if have seen the show before.

Here is the rest of the tour schedule! Check it out when it comes to a city near you!

Cleveland, OH (Playhouse Square)
Nov. 12 – 24, 2013

Toronto, ON (Royal Alexandra Theatre)
Nov. 26, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014

Boston, MA (Boston Opera House)
Jan. 7 – 19, 2014

Durham, NC (Durham Performing Arts Center)
Jan. 21 – 26, 2014

Orlando, FL (Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre)
Jan. 28 – Feb. 2, 2014

Miami, FL (The Adrienne Arsht Center)
Feb. 4 – 9, 2014

Tampa, FL (Straz Center)
Feb. 11 – 16, 201

Fort Myers, FL (Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall)
Feb. 18 – 23, 2014

New Haven, CT (Shubert Theater)
Feb. 26 – March 2, 2014

Atlanta, GA (Fox Theatre)
March 4 – 9, 2014

Pittsburgh, PA (Benedum Center)
March 11 – 16, 2014

Rochester, NY (Auditorium Theatre)
March 18 – 23, 2014

Buffalo, NY (Shea’s Performing Arts Center)
March 25 – 30, 2014

Minneapolis, MN (Orpheum Theatre)
April 1 – 6, 2014

St. Louis, MO (The Fox Theatre)
April 8 – 20, 2014

Des Moines, IA (Civic Center of Greater Des Moines)
April 22 – 27, 2014

Tempe, AZ (ASU Gammage)
April 29 – May 4, 2014

Denver, CO (Buell Theatre)
May 6 – 18, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (Smith Center for the Performing Arts)
May 20 – 25, 2014

Seattle, WA (The Paramount Theatre)
May 27 – June 8, 2014

Portland, OR (Keller Auditorium)
June 10 – 15, 2014

San Francisco, CA (Curran Theatre)
June 17 – July 13, 2014

Los Angeles, CA (Pantages Theatre)
July 15 – Aug. 10, 2014

San Diego, CA (Civic Center)
Aug. 12 – 17, 2014

Costa Mesa, CA (Segerstrom Hall)
Aug. 19 – 31, 2014

Charlotte, NC (Blumenthal Performing Arts Center)
Sept. 30 – Oct. 5, 2014

Dani de Waal talks about touring with Broadway hit play “Once”

Dani de Waal is an English actress, who recently joined the touring cast of the Broadway hit “Once”, playing the role of ‘Girl’. Her previous achievements on stage include “Picnic” on Broadway and “Mamma Mia!” for the role of Sophie Sheridan on West End. Media Mikes got a chance to chat with Dani about “Once” and her role as she was kicking off the 29 city tour which runs until October 2014.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us what made you want to be a part of “Once: A New Musical” for its North American tour?
Dani de Waal: I saw the movie years ago when it came out, I was England at the time then. I loved it and the music and thought it was a beautiful story. I ended up seeing the show on Broadway also when I came to New York on a holiday. I remember saying to myself and secreting it to the universe that I would love to be in this show [laughs]. As it turns out, I ended up moving to New York the following year. I got an audition and it sort of happened from there. It really has been a dream come true. It is one of those shows that I wouldn’t [laughing] mind being in it for free every night. It is so incredible and doesn’t feel like a job at all.

MG: What made you connect with the character, ‘Girl’?
DDW: She is very interesting. She has this sort of cold exterior, I guess you can say. She’s hard to read. She has these walls up to protect herself. She also has a very warm and inquisitive side about the world and about people. She really believes that music can save us and change us. I share that as well in fact. Music is a universal language that can touch anyone no matter what we speak. I love how she expresses herself through the music and playing the piano. I have played piano most of my life but never have done it in a job. So that was an amazing thing for me to explore. Also singing with everyone on the stage as a band, I have never done that before either. It all has this kind of magical quality to it in playing her for this show.

MG: What is your most challenging aspect of the role?
DDW: When I first came to the part it was the piano. It was getting over the nerves of playing in front of people. So that was it initially, but now being that we are on stage pretty much the whole show once you are in it you are in it. I quite enjoy that. Stamina wise that was quite a challenge to get going but now it is something that I really love about it. You step up on stage in the beginning and sort of don’t breathe until curtain call. In a way it is a challenge but it is a great thing as well.

MG: The music is so amazing, which song is your favorite to hear and/or sing?
DDW: I have to say my favorite is “Falling Slowly” but the reprise version, which is at the very end. The song is beautiful anyway but the reprise in particular has everyone joining in and singing. It has that swell moment that is just incredible. So that one to listen to and also play, it is just such a highlight for me. Also since it comes at the end of the show, there is this great build up and then you have that moment.

MG: How you had a chance to meet Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová?
DDW: No, we haven’t met that yet. I know they were very involved with the show’s process when it first started. I am pretty sure at some point within the show’s run we are going to get to meet them. But we only recently just started touring, so hopefully soon.

MG: Is there a city that you are looking forward to visit most on the tour?
DDW: I haven’t been around America at all, so I just very excited to see all of it really. I have never been to the West Coast and we hit there next summer, so I am really looking forward that. We are currently in Chicago and it has been amazing so far, so I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Here is the rest of the tour schedule! Check it out when it comes to a city near you!

Chicago, IL (Oriental Theatre)
Oct. 9 – 27, 2013

Philadelphia, PA (Academy of Music)
Oct. 29 – Nov. 10, 2013

Cleveland, OH (Playhouse Square)
Nov. 12 – 24, 2013

Toronto, ON (Royal Alexandra Theatre)
Nov. 26, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014

Boston, MA (Boston Opera House)
Jan. 7 – 19, 2014

Durham, NC (Durham Performing Arts Center)
Jan. 21 – 26, 2014

Orlando, FL (Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre)
Jan. 28 – Feb. 2, 2014

Miami, FL (The Adrienne Arsht Center)
Feb. 4 – 9, 2014

Tampa, FL (Straz Center)
Feb. 11 – 16, 201

Fort Myers, FL (Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall)
Feb. 18 – 23, 2014

New Haven, CT (Shubert Theater)
Feb. 26 – March 2, 2014

Atlanta, GA (Fox Theatre)
March 4 – 9, 2014

Pittsburgh, PA (Benedum Center)
March 11 – 16, 2014

Rochester, NY (Auditorium Theatre)
March 18 – 23, 2014

Buffalo, NY (Shea’s Performing Arts Center)
March 25 – 30, 2014

Minneapolis, MN (Orpheum Theatre)
April 1 – 6, 2014

St. Louis, MO (The Fox Theatre)
April 8 – 20, 2014

Des Moines, IA (Civic Center of Greater Des Moines)
April 22 – 27, 2014

Tempe, AZ (ASU Gammage)
April 29 – May 4, 2014

Denver, CO (Buell Theatre)
May 6 – 18, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (Smith Center for the Performing Arts)
May 20 – 25, 2014

Seattle, WA (The Paramount Theatre)
May 27 – June 8, 2014

Portland, OR (Keller Auditorium)
June 10 – 15, 2014

San Francisco, CA (Curran Theatre)
June 17 – July 13, 2014

Los Angeles, CA (Pantages Theatre)
July 15 – Aug. 10, 2014

San Diego, CA (Civic Center)
Aug. 12 – 17, 2014

Costa Mesa, CA (Segerstrom Hall)
Aug. 19 – 31, 2014

Charlotte, NC (Blumenthal Performing Arts Center)
Sept. 30 – Oct. 5, 2014

Ericka Hunter talks about performing on Broadway and on NBC’s “Smash”

Ericka Hunter is a Broadway performer and co-star on NBC’s “Smash”. She has performed on Broadway in plays such as “Rock of Ages” and she even started out as a Radio City Rockette. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Ericka about her Broadway work and also working on NBC’s “Smash”.

Mike Gencarelli: Give us some background on your music singles and when can we expect more?
Ericka Hunter: It’s so funny and seems so backwards that I’ve made this transition into Electronic Dance Music, but it’s a HUGE passion of mine. I’ve spent my entire adult life growing up in NYC I found myself with so much energy after performing nightly on Broadway, that I would go out to nightclubs and dance! That’s where I really grew to love that club culture. I started writing and recording a few years back and it’s been such an amazing outlet for me. Recently, as well as working on my solo singing career, I’ve been collaborating with some incredible DJ’s; Cedric Gervais, Vice, Betatraxx and Kemal Golden, to name a few. My most current single was released in France with a well known DJ, Morgan Nagoya. It’s called Promised Land and you can find it on iTunes France. I will be releasing some new collaborations in the new few months which I’m super amped about. I always announce those on my website and through ALL the social media outlets!

MG: What do you enjoy most about working on Broadway?
EH: What I enjoy about Broadway may actually be what other people hate. The schedule. 8 shows a week is tough, but the reward is amazing. Standing ovations every night are priceless and the appreciation the audiences show for your hard work can be pretty mind blowing. Really, at the end of the day, it’s a privilege. And the reason I was in dance and singing lessons 4 hours or more a day

MG:The music in “Rock of Ages” is so charged and fun, tell us about performing on this show?growing up!
EH: YES! The music in Rock Of Ages is definitely a huge reason the show is so successful! 80’s rock music is like a religion for some people! It’s actually really fun to look out into the audience and see people singing along, sometimes even loud enough for us to hear on stage! This show is unlike any other show I’ve ever been a part of and the patrons have a lot to do with it. They get so involved in the story and music. We have so much fun onstage and getting to play and flirt with the audience. A lot of other shows I’ve been in don’t allow for that kind of interaction. It’s definitely a super cool thing.

MG:What has been your most challenging role on Broadway?
EH: I’d say my most challenging role is to be an understudy of a role! Early on in my career, I did a lot of understudying. It’s essentially being “on call” for a role or many roles that you don’t normally play and you can be called to go in on a moments notice. It’s pretty intense and can be scary, but with my experience it’s always been really rewarding.

MG:Tell us about how to was going from broadway to TV in NBC’s “Smash”?
EH: SMASH is a really cool experience. It is so similar to doing a Broadway show, yet you’re performing for cameras! I’ve always wanted to do TV and I’m so happy a show like this came along that allows us Broadway folk to reach more than just the seats in a theater. I also think the viewers really enjoying a backstage look at what goes on behind the curtain, because it’s pretty darn entertaining!

MG:Tell us about your experience being a Radio City Rockette?
EH: Being a Radio City Rockette is unlike any other job I’ve ever had. It was especially unique for me because I was 18 and it was my first professional dancing job. Also, the title of “Rockette” isn’t one they just hand out. It’s a prestigious and coveted job that I was SO lucky to have. It’s no joke though! Haha. Rehearsals are grueling so the precision is on point. It’s like the army for dancers. I have to say, I love being a part of something that felt like a real team. You had to be on your game and your mark or you’d be letting all the other girls down. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of. Even though I haven’t been a the show for a few years, I go to Radio City every year during the holidays to cheer the Rockettes on!