Mo Brady and Nikka Graff Lanzarone are the voices behind Broadway podcast, "The Ensemblist." Credit: Provided
What happens backstage on Broadway stays backstage on Broadway.
There's nothing artists love more than to talk about their juiciest gossip, best tips and favorite memories. And when you take that trait all the way to the Great White Way, those chatterboxes aren't just going to be dishing those details at the nearest pub on Ninth Avenue. They're going to start a podcast.
At least, that's what happened when Broadway veterans Mo Brady ("The Addams Family," "SMASH") and Nikka Graff Lanzarone ("Chicago," "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown") put their dulcet tones together and started broadcasting "The Ensemblist," which looks at the inner workings of being a performer — from rehearsal to eight shows a week in Times Square.
Every two weeks, the new episode has a rotation of noteworthy guests speaking on a theme, like the complexity of taking on swing roles or what it's like preparing for the Tony Awards.
"'The Ensemblist' is for those who are passionate about Broadway," says Brady. "Whether you're a casual theater fan or an experienced professional, we think everyone can enjoy hearing from these artists."
On Monday, they'll be celebrating one year strong. And how else would they do it than by taking their act back to the stage? Join Brady and Lanzarone at the Birdland Jazz Club on June 16. They'll be bringing along some talented friends: Ariana Debose, Rachel Bay Jones, Alysha Umphress, Daniel Watts, Jeff Pew and Luke Hawkins. There's also going to be a special appearance by The Skivvies: Nick Cearley and Lauren Molina.
"At the live show, each guest will perform a song and then be interviewed by Nikka and me," Brady explains. "Our show is kind of a 'Best of Broadway' revue for those interested in what's happening — and what's next."They plan to have a good mix of known names and rising stars, so that audience members will get a complete peek at the many ways you can work on Broadway. "Some of the guests, like Rachel Bay Jones, are established Broadway stars, but started out working in the ensemble," Brady says. "Other guests, like Ariana Debose and Alysha Umprhess, have understudied many leading roles in Broadway ensembles, and are on the brink of playing leading parts."
Telling it like it is, all of these artists will explain their best (and worst — and funniest — and most star-studded) experiences while performing on Broadway. Tickets are $25, and they're available through Birdland Jazz Club's website.