This Season’s Broadway-Inspired Halloween Costumes!

This Halloween, maybe you’re looking to try something different. Maybe you’re going to a party with a group of friends- wait, even better, maybe you’re attending the party with a group of theatre-lovers like yourself! This season was filled with shows featuring extravagant costumes with intricate details, and I’m here to help you recreate some of them yourself! This year, knock everyone’s expectations out of the park and try out one of our ideas for Broadway-Inspired Halloween Costumes with all of your friends!

Broadway-Inspired Halloween Costumes

You can try something as simple as wearing contrasting colors to depict Elphaba and Glinda!

Iconic Duos of Broadway

Grab your closest friend and get ready to transform into one of the most iconic musical theatre duos of all time- Elphaba and Glinda! These two stunning singers are complete opposites in personality and in style, perfect for several best-friend duos out there! This look can be completed for a very low cost! For Elphaba, grab a black dress, some combat boots, and accent with green pieces of ribbon, nail polish, or jewelry! For Glinda, choose pink (“popular dress”) or blue (bubble dress) and accentuate your look with lots of glitter and glam! 

Grab Your Group!

Broadway-Inspired Halloween Costumes

Take a look at this group of girls with simple costumes inspired by The Lion King!

Try something different this Halloween and be sure to gather your entire group! Scout out some matching outfits or school uniforms and transform yourselves into the stellar kids from School of Rock!

If you’re going for something more varied and different, try dressing up as different animals from The Lion King! Use face paint, ears, and different colored t-shirts for a simple but fun look. Group costumes can include all different kinds of looks but still be seen as one! This is one of the best parts about going with your group!

 

Sugar, Butter, Spooky!

Broadway-Inspired Halloween Costumes

Check out these three visitors from BroadwayCon dressed as the Waitresses!

My personal favorite musical, Waitress, has some of the simplest yet fantastic costumes on Broadway. All you need in order to dress up like Jenna, Dawn, and Becky are matching dresses, aprons, and some white shoes! You could even add a Halloween twist to your look and come up with some names of pies with some unusual ingredients for the diner!

Well, CB readers, have any of you planned out your Halloween costume yet for this year? Be sure to comment below and tell us what you have planned, maybe you’ll inspire another CB reader to create their own Broadway-Inspired Halloween Costume this “season”!

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Camp Broadway Mainstage Highlights 2017

Each summer since 1995, over 30,000 kids from all over the country have attended Camp Broadway’s 5-day signature program, working with industry professionals direct from Broadway in an authentic Broadway rehearsal process to perform classic numbers from Broadway’s most beloved shows.  This summer, Camp Broadway celebrated its 21st summer of connecting Broadway professionals with theater-loving kids in New York City and around the country.  Below is a peek into the rehearsal process and once-in-a-lifetime moments that children experience in a week of Camp Broadway. See our favorite moments from camp in 2017, including workshops with Broadway pros, meeting the kids of CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, seeing ANASTASIA on Broadway and performing hits from Peter Pan and Shrek the Musical.


 

All week long, campers work with our staff of directors, choreographers, and music directors who all have extensive Broadway and National Tour credits. They are leaders and master teachers who are successful in translating the traditions and standards known to professionals on Broadway into age-appropriate programs that are relevant and inspirational for aspiring amateur thespians.


Campers take part in the unique tradition of the Camp Broadway Robe.


Campers spend Wednesday in Times Square, first rehearsing at B.B. King Blues Club before heading off to a Broadway matinee.


 

NYC CB’ers had a special workshop with Anastasia’s Ian Knauer, and learning choreography inspired by the show.


The young performers of Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory visited for a special Q&A, sharing with our campers what it’s like to be a kid on Broadway.


Campers attended a matinee of Anastasia and were treated to an exclusive post-show talkback with the cast!


symphony-space

On Friday, family and friends are invited to watch the Camp Broadway Family Finale in the 756-seat Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space.


Over the course of 5 days, campers take part in both Camp Broadway, and Broadway traditions, from the Camp Broadway Medley to the Gypsy Robe Ceremony.


 

Campers rehearse all week to perform highlights from two popular Broadway Musicals. In 2017, campers performed Peter Pan JR. and Shrek the Musical JR.


REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR SUMMER 2018!!

Register by 12/31 and save $100

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The Next Step 2017 Highlights

The Next Step offers a specialized program of musical theater classes taught by Broadway professionals, for aspiring performers, ages 14-17, who have had some previous on-stage experience. A highly unique program, The Next Step weaves traditional musical theater training into an immersive theatrical environment designed to give participants the opportunity to understand what it’s really like to be a Broadway “Gypsy”. Check out our highlights to see what a week inside of The Next Step is like. CLICK HERE to read our blogger’s review of the program!


professionals

All week long, participants work with our staff of Broadway directors, choreographers, and music directors, who take them through an authentic Broadway rehearsal process.


Participants attend an evening performance of a hit Broadway show, and get treated to an exclusive talkback with the cast. This summer, Next Steppers saw Cats, and had the chance to take a masterclass in movement from Cats ensemble member, Christine Smith.


b-b-kings

The Next Step spends a day rehearsing at B.B. King Blues, a venue where jazz and Broadway stars alike frequently perform. Family and friends are invited to watch the final showcase here on Friday.


Over the course of 5 days, participants work to discover their unique characters by taking on classic theater character types (diva, ingenue, dancer, comedian). The final showcase gives them a chance to show off their individual talent, and shine as a group.


tradition

An important part of any Camp Broadway program is making Broadway and theatre traditions relevant for participants. At the Next Step, participants become part of the program’s history by signing the Next Step theater trunk.


We are proud to welcome participants from across the country, and all over the world. Over the course of 5 days, participants have the chance to meet new friends from new places, as well as share the culmination of their experience with friends and family.


ENROLLMENT FOR The Next Step NYC 2017 IS NOW OPEN!!
July 23 – 27, 2018
CLICK HERE to enroll today!

SAVE $100 when you enroll by 12/31.

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Shining Stars Highlights 2017

Camp Broadway’s Shining Stars program is excited to welcome theater-loving youngsters from around the world to our 5-day summer program for 6 to 9 year olds. In 2017, we welcomed campers from China, Japan, and Indonesia. Check out highlights from our Shining Stars sessions this summer where our campers created sets, costumes, props, dialogue, and dance moves to the classic children’s story, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka.


All week long, Shining Stars work with our team of director/choreographers, music directors, and young performing professionals who have experience working in children’s theater, as well as on Broadway. They are leaders and master teachers who are successful in translating the traditions and standards known to professionals on Broadway into age-appropriate programs that are relevant and inspirational for theater-loving youngsters.


Over the course of 5 days, our Shining Stars workshop songs, create original choreography, design sets and construct costumes based on a beloved and age-appropriate show. In Summer 2017, Shining Stars presented Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka.


Through creative play, Shining Stars are encouraged to discover their artistic voice, and develop their character.


On Friday, Shining Stars perform the Family Finale and celebrate their accomplishments with family and friends.


REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR SUMMER 2018!!

Register by 12/31 and save $50

 

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Tony Award Winning Bandstand

By Skylar Raye Noyes

Becca Petersen

My newest obsession on Broadway is definitely Bandstand: The New American Musical! I was fortunate enough to see it twice, once in previews and a second time after it opened! It was interesting to see how the show changed from previews to opening. Not only does Bandstand have spectacular choreography and music, it also has an inspiring story! Donny Novinski, played by Corey Cott, is a World War II veteran who gets a group of fellow war veterans together to form a band that will compete in a Bandstand contest. Along their journey to the top, we watch them struggle with haunting memories of their experiences in the war and searching for the respect they deserve. The show’s leading lady, Julia Trojan, played by Laura Osnes, struggles with the loss of her husband who died in the war. She finds a new purpose singing with the Donny Nova Band and finds new love along the way!

The dancing in Bandstand was incredible! The show won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Choreography in a Musical! I loved how Andy Blankenbuehler (Director, Choreographer) and Mark Stuart (Associate Choreographer) were able to incorporate so much symbolism into the choreography. It was beautiful and captivating to watch. Even the simplest things, such as bringing a chair or piano onstage, were choreographed so that the movement could symbolize what the characters were going through. Along with the amazing dancing, the music was outstanding! Being able to watch Corey Cott sing “Donny Novinski” was a highlight of the show for me. He is such a captivating performer to watch! I’m also a huge Laura Osnes fan and I loved watching her sing “Love will Come and Find me Again.” She sings the song with so much passion and her voice is incredible! The real showstopper was “Welcome Home.” This song describes each of the boys in the band and how they are doing once they return home after the war. This song left me in tears. Bandstand is a memorable show and I learned a lot about what veterans go through once they return home from the war and the difficulties they face. I would definitely see it a third time!

I had the amazing opportunity to interview one of Bandstand’s cast members, Becca Petersen, before seeing the show! Becca is a swing in the show and also the understudy for Julia Trojan. She was so gracious to meet me before the show to answer some questions about her journey to Broadway. Becca also offered some inspiring advice for young people who want to pursue their dreams of a career in musical theatre! Here’s what Becca had to share with me and the Camp Broadway readers…

When did you begin doing theatre?

“I actually started in dance. I had two older sisters and they were big into musical theatre, so I listened to musicals while growing up. When I was about 10, my friend was taking a

Andrew Leggieri, Swing and understudy for Jimmy

musical theatre class that had a “bring a friend to dance class”. I went to the trial class, loved it and stayed at that studio until I moved out of Indiana, where I am from. It was a dance studio but very musical theatre-based. I did musical theatre classes through the studio. Once I was in high school, I did show choir. It is very big in the Midwest! I got into that world, which is very interconnected with the same people. I got a lot of different opportunities in the theater world through show choir. It’s kind of what got me hooked!”

What is your favorite part about being on Broadway!

“I have so many favorites! It is my first Broadway show so it’s pretty exciting to be making my Broadway debut! It’s nice to be in the city I love and have been dreaming of living in for years and to have a job that I have also been dreaming of for years. Not a lot of people can say they are passionate about what they do and are able to do it everyday. I have been blessed with this amazing opportunity and going to work feels fun and exciting. I’m surrounded by people who are equally as passionate and are all working toward the same goal, which is really exciting!”

What is a swing in a Broadway show?

“I’m a swing in the show. There are understudies for principal tracks, the leads in the show, and a swing is an understudy for the ensemble. So I am not on stage on every night, but if someone in the ensemble gets hurt, goes on vacation, or needs to call out for some reason, the swing would hop into their track. The same thing would happen if the understudy goes on. There would be a hole in the ensemble so the swing would go there. It’s basically the show’s insurance policy is having a swing there so the show can always go on.”

What was it like to step on the Broadway stage for the first time?

“It was so neat stepping on stage for the first time. In rehearsals as the swings we just observe and write a ton of notes because we are not up in the action with everyone. So when I

Mark Stuart, Associate Choreographer for Bandstand

stepped onto the stage, it was the first moment of feeling ‘I am on Broadway!’ I am here and I am a part of this! That’s a feeling I will never forget, first time on a Broadway stage, dreaming as child, and I am here and I am doing it. Dreams are coming true!”

What are some challenges with being a swing?

“Challenges with a new show, with Bandstand it is an all original production, so it’s starting from the beginning. As a swing it’s exciting because there are a lot of changes being made and they are creating the show. So nothing is really set in stone, which is awesome because they tweak the show to get it perfect. It can be a little hard for a swing because I am covering seven different people. So in one rehearsal when a whole number that all seven people are in is changing, that’s a whole lot of work on the other end trying to catch up. It’s exciting and keeps the swings on their toes! We constantly have our mind working to keep up with it and make sure we are ready, and when we have to go on at a moments notice we will have the show at the quality it is usually.”

Is it hard memorizing all the different tracks you have to know?

“It’s challenging but it takes a certain personality to be a swing. It’s pretty high stress and you have to be able to have different parts of your mind working at different times. If you get the hang of it and can figure it out in the moment it’s very fulfilling and rewarding.”

When you were younger, did you ever think that you would be on Broadway someday?

Becca Petersen

“I have always wanted to do musical theatre since I was very young so have been taking all the prerequisites, if you could say, to make my way to New York. Yes in the sense that I have tried to be as prepared as possible, but getting the call that you are about to be in a Broadway show is unlike anything and you can’t really expect that because it’s a very hard business to be a part of. It was shocking and wonderful and I am glad I was prepared to take on this exciting journey!”

What advice do you have for young people who want to pursue a career in musical theatre?

“I would definitely say to be in New York City and working in the business whether it is on Broadway or in tours, regional productions, it takes a lot of confidence and self-assurance that you are prepared and ready. It’s a hard business to be a part of and you have a lot of rejection, but someone will love you, and you have to remember that no matter what people are telling you if you are confident in yourself and your abilities and talents, and what you have to offer, someone will say yes to you. With that you need to be prepared as possible, so getting in dance classes, voice lessons, acting classes are essential to being here on one of these stages in NYC. So work on self-confidence and work on the talents that you can change. It’s a business about other people deciding things for you, so if you make yourself as ready for an opportunity as you can then that part of the job is in your hands. My mom always used to say luck is when preparation meets opportunity and a lot of Broadway performers are there at the right moment and we are lucky because we are prepared when an opportunity presents itself!”

Do you get nervous and do you have advice on how to deal with nerves?

“I get nervous when I’m not feeling prepared. There’s a difference between being nervous and feeling adrenaline. It’s more thrilling for me if I know I am ready for the task and the part and show I am doing. It’s more of an excitement thrill. Once someone told me if you are feeling nervous about something, somehow try to turn it into excitement energy rather than fearful nervousness. Sometimes that’s just a little mind trick. For me it’s usually if I am prepared it’s exciting.”

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

“I will warm up vocally and physically and connect with the people around me. Having everyone get excited and having good energy amongst the cast is really helpful.”

Does the cast do anything together before the show starts?

“The show is about veterans and how they are coming back home into real life. The Bandstand cast has been circling up and someone will share a story or a name of someone who has served for our country, and it has been really neat to come together and say let’s do this show for that person. It has created a neat camaraderie and purpose for our show!”

A big thank you to Mark Stuart, from Mark Stuart Dance, for arranging this interview with Becca! Seeing Mark’s work on stage was truly inspirational. I can’t wait to see what he does next! For more information on Mark’s studio check his website www.markstuartdancetheatre.org

Also thank you to Becca for sharing your time and story with me and the readers of Camp Broadway. You are an amazing, kind, and generous person and so talented!

Enjoy your Bandstand journey!

Boulder Creek High School Choir Stuns Audiences with Broadway-Themed Concert

Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, Boulder Creek High School Choir (in Phoenix, Arizona) accomplished

Men’s Chorus surprising the audience with an amazing Newsies set.

several feats such as performing with Choirs of America at Carnegie Hall, and reaching a record number of students in the program.

Boulder Creek High School currently operates with 6 “during-school” choirs, and one after-school choir. The six during-school include two beginning choirs, two concert choirs, and two show choirs. For those that aren’t familiar with the concept of show choir, it is a type of choir that combines typically musical theatre and pop music to create a 15-20 minute set that is performed with costumes and dancing.

At the end of each school year, Boulder Creek hosts a “pops” concert, where all 6 choirs get to put on a show, just like the two show choirs (Heart and Soul/Broadway Bound) put on during all four concerts.

Each year has a theme that has been well thought out and usually correlates to the overall theme of the year. For last year, it only seemed fitting that with a trip to New York, the theme should be Broadway.

Broadway Bound giving a Tony-worthy performance with Hamilton: An American Musical.

Men’s Chorus, a beginning choir, kicked off the concert with a bang with a strong performance of Newsies, complete with Newsboy hats and the dance break using newspapers from the actual show! Women’s Ensemble, also a beginning choir, brought the heat with Carole King songs such as “It’s Too Late” and songs from the Beautiful: The Carole King Musical such as “Stupid Cupid” and “Poison Ivy”. Dressed in yellow, all of the girls shone bright and put an enormous smile on the face of each audience member. 

Bella Voce, the women’s-only concert choir, stunned the audience with a harmonious rendition of Hairspray and their amazing choreography skills. These girls have the voices of angels when they sing, and brought their own flair to the entire set. 

Heart and Soul, the women’s-only show choir, brought their performance to a new level after simultaneously dancing and singing in three other concerts throughout the year. Dressed in blue and black, they shocked the audience with a set featuring songs from Wicked, including “Popular”, “Defying Gravity”, “What is This Feeling?” and more. As these ladies wove in and out of each other during choreography, their harmonies intertwined beautifully as well. 

Bel Canto Honor Choir, the mixed concert choir, shocked every audience member with a stunning rendition of the Lion King, with laser-precise vocals and choreography. Every note resounded throughout the house and struck a chord with everyone in the house and backstage. Each soloist had immense, contagious energy and stunning vocals.

Broadway Bound, the mixed show choir, brought a different element to the table than usual- hip hop dancing. They accompanied it with music from the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, and hypnotizing vocals to match. Dressed as specific members from the show as well as several choir members wearing a costume similar to the common ensemble costume of Hamilton, the entire choir had the audience on their feet at the end of their performance, as if they had just watched a portion of the Broadway show.

Honor Choir presenting Simba during their Lion King set.

Show choirs across the nation are starting to introduce more musical theatre repertoire into their sets, and theatre kids across the country are starting to get more involved in their choir programs. As a theatre kid myself, I know that show choir is truly a passion of mine especially since it combines singing, acting, and dancing! I encourage all of you to give it a try, as it might turn out to be a new passion of yours that will strengthen your vocal ability and help you in the world of musical theatre! 

This year in school, try to step out of your comfort zone and try something new- whether it’s choir, theatre, band, art, dance, a new sport, or any activity! All Pictures are credited to SicPicPhotography.

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Seizing The Day With “Newsies”!

Newsies: a Disney classic and a Broadway smash! Not to mention a 2012 Tony Award Winner for best score and best choreography! Notorious for “the Newsie jump” and musical numbers such as “Seize the Day”, this musical swept Pittsburgh off its feet!

James Allen Washington is in the ensemble and plays Sniper and Scab in “Newsies”!

If you have never seen Newsies, it is “based on the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, this new Disney musical tells the story of Jack Kelly, a rebellious newsboy who dreams of a life as an artist away from the big city. After publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer raises newspaper prices at the newsboys’ expense, Kelly and his fellow newsies take action. With help from the beautiful female reporter Katherine Plumber, all of New York City soon recognizes the power of ‘the little man.'” It is an epic David vs. Goliath story that the whole family will enjoy!

But what makes a newsboy a “Newsie”? Jack Kelley might tell you it’s “sellin’ papes”, but James Allen Washington showed me all the answers.

Our masterclass group with James Allen Washington!

Thanks to the Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater for offering a “Newsies” dance master class, I was able to work with actor James Allen Washington (Sniper, Scab, Ensemble) and given insight on the extensive and intense dancing in Newsies. With a quick warm, up we were off learning the choreography straight from the stage! James Allan Washington gave every important detail of each number along with stories of his own personal experiences  while he 

My playbill from the phenomenal performance!

taught. Washington is a promising rising star. Believe it or not, this is only his fourth show! I can’t wait to see what he will do next!

During the question-and-answer session he was asked what someone older, who hasn’t been dancing since a young age, could do to to improve their dance, James replied “stretch, definitely take classes, and don’t let anyone tell you no.”  That answer lit the room with confidence and newfound inspiration!

After the question-and-answer session we had a few minutes to primp before we headed to the gorgeous Benedum Center to watch James and the rest of the cast in action. Newsies is a show I have seen and listened to many times. But for the first time, I was able to truly connect with the characters and even cried at the end of the ballad, “Santa Fe”. Each character came to life with phenomenal realness.  

The Pittsburgh CLO is a definite must-do if you are an actor visiting or living in the Pittsburgh area! Located in the cultural district of Pittsburgh, it offers theatre camps, all kinds of classes, master classes, and more. The CLO is a wonderful place to continue your theatrical training! I’m looking forward to my next visit!

 

If you haven’t been able to see the Newsies story for yourself, now is your chance! The filmed musical is returning to select cinemas Aug. 5th and 9th. See if it is coming to a theater near you here.

 

Congratulations to the cast of “Newsies” on a phenomenal run!

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Waitress’ “Sweet-as-Pie” Ella Dane Morgan & Mother Laura Morgan!

Throughout the past year, I have had the amazing opportunity to interview several people, all thanks to the amazing blog team at Camp Broadway. Today, I am even more excited to bring you an interview with Ella Dane Morgan, who currently is one of two young girls playing Lulu in Waitress! I interviewed Ella’s double, Cate Elefante, a few months ago (you can find that interview here).

Ella just finished up kindergarten, and during the school year was simultaneously learning and performing on Broadway! Her favorite type of pie is gluten free strawberry with criss-cross crust and whipped cream on the side!

Ella had an extremely special day on September 8th, 2017. It was her first day of kindergarten, the day of her callback for Waitress, and also the day that she found out she has gotten the role! Ella said, “I couldn’t believe it and I felt so happy!  I was SOOOOO excited that my dream of being on stage was coming true!”

Without further ado, here is my interview with the adorable, sweet, and talented star of Waitress! I started with asking for some of Ella’s favorites!

Favorite treat to get in the city?

“My very favorite treats are the gluten free cupcakes and macaroons from Baked by Melissa. I also love cheesecake and bubble tea with extra bobas!”

Favorite place in the city?

“Bryant Park because I get to ride the carousel!”

Ella on set of Good Morning America with composer and previous leading lady of Waitress, Sara Bareilles

Favorite thing about kindergarten?

“I loved math because you learn a lot and it’s just so much fun!  I also liked recess because you can play different games with your friends.”

Favorite song to sing?

“My current favorite is “Naughty” from Matilda but I also never get tired of singing “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana.”

Of course, I didn’t forget to ask Ella about her castmates and her experience being in Waitress. It may be hard to believe, but this tiny superstar performs on Broadway four times per week!

SUTTELL: What did you have to do for your Lulu audition?

ELLA: “I had to say “A lot!!” and I had to say “Hi mama!” and run and jump into someone’s arms. It was so much fun! At my callback I got to play Simon Says with our director, Diane Paulus.”

SUTTELL: Who are some of your favorite cast members to have fun with backstage?

ELLA: “It’s hard to choose!!  Eric (Eric Anderson who plays Cal), Jeremy (Jeremy Morse who is the Ogie understudy) and our Company Manager, Eduardo (Castro) – they’re like having big brothers backstage!”

Ella with fellow cast members during Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade!

Thanks to Ella’s amazing, sweet-as-pie mother, I also got to ask her some questions about Ella’s time in the show.

SUTTELL: “What has it been like balancing Ella’s kindergarten age lifestyle with the aspect of performing in a Broadway show several times a week?”

LAURA: “In theory, she gets to have the best of both worlds – half the week as a normal kindergartner and half the week as a Broadway baby! Once we figured out a basic schedule, it hasn’t been too difficult to balance. Her teachers have been super supportive and flexible.  Whenever Ella has to miss anything at school, we are able to work on it in her dressing room at the theater. Ella performs in 4 shows a week so she had to cut back on other activities. Before starting the show she was involved in gymnastics and dance, plus Tae Kwon Do three times a week. For now, she had to pick just one, so she’s doing gymnastics. She’s also taking voice lessons since she loves the musical theater world so much. Ella’s dad and I have adopted a ‘divide and conquer’ mentality. On the days Ella and I are in the city, he takes care of meals and dropping off/picking up Ella’s little brother at preschool. He holds down the fort at home in addition to his full time job. (He’s kind-of a Super Dad!) As parents we’re just happy we are able to support Ella in doing something she loves so much.”

SUTTELL: “What do you think the best thing she’s gotten out of it has been and what memories/experiences do you think she’ll remember and cherish most when she’s older because of Waitress?”

Ella onstage with Sara Bareilles in the finale of Waitress!

LAURA: “Honestly, I think the best thing she’s gotten out of it is the friendships. She has been so lucky to work with such a great theater family. Just good people! She has also learned so much about the world of theater. Big things and little – even basic things like what terms such as ‘cue’ and ‘understudy’ mean that she hadn’t been exposed to before. She’s also now very confident and comfortable in the physical space of a theater and in front of an audience. She has no fear of speaking in front of a crowd. I think her favorite memories will be her friendships and shenanigans with the cast, but the highlights of her time at Waitress will certainly be performing in The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (watch it here) and on Good Morning America (watch it here).”

Ella is an amazing girl who I can already tell has a bright future in theatre, or whatever she chooses to pursue! I had an amazing time hearing about her story, and can’t wait to see where she goes next!

Special thank you to Ella Dane Morgan and Laura Morgan for taking the time to make this possible, as well as the production/media team of Waitress!

 

A Magical Night at the Tonys

What is the biggest night on Broadway? The Tony Awards of course! Usually on Tony Awards night I’m snuggled up on my couch with a bowl of popcorn watching the event on TV, but this year I got to see it live in person! Camp Broadway took me and some other thespians to Radio City to experience the magical Tony Awards. It was an experience I will never forget! Before the awards we went to Sardi’s, an infamous restaurant in the theatre community, where we got caricatures made of ourselves. We also had the privilege of eating dinner with the three Charlie’s in Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! I was able to ask each of them a few questions and get their view on the life of a Broadway performer.

After Sardi’s we made the walk to Radio City for the Tony Awards! As we walked into Radio City, glamorous people flooded the building in gorgeous gowns. Then it hit me. Wow, I am actually at the Tony Awards! I could not believe it; I thought I was dreaming so I had to pinch myself to make sure it was actually happening! I made my way to the first mezzanine to find my seat and the extravagant scenery flooded my senses. It was a magical sight to see the Radio City stage decorated for this special night. I just took it all in.

The perks of going to the Tony Awards broadcast are that you are able to see everything that isn’t put on the air. Before the show aired at eight o’clock, they gave out numerous awards that were not aired on television. It was also cool to see the camera work and finessing they do behind the scenes that you are not able to see at home. It is really fascinating. Finally it was time, 7:59, 60 seconds until the Tony Awards are aired and the magic really begins. The energy in Radio City was a feeling I will never forget. 60 seconds had passed and the awards had gone live! It was incredible. The entire night was like a dream. The show was fantastic and the performances took my breath away.

All of the performances were fantastic, but a few stood out to me. To start, the opening number with the host, Kevin Spacey, was hilarious and was a great kick-off to the night. Next, the Miss Saigon performance was surely a showstopper. Eva Noblezada‘s powerful and moving vocals left the audience speechless and amazed. Also, the entire ensemble of Miss Saigon really amazed me. This performance brought me to tears because it was so incredible. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see Miss Saigon and interview a member of the cast, Minami Yusui. Look for a future blog post about this experience!

Another wonderful performance was Dear Evan Hansen. Ben Platt is really something special and when he’s onstage your eyes are drawn to him. Another showstopping number was when the Rockettes performed to the iconic Frank Sinatra song, “New York, New York”. Their costumes sparkled and the backdrop had “ROCKETTES” written in gold sparkles. Suddenly, just as you thought this performance couldn’t get any better, Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr. came out and sang the epic ending of the song. I was starstruck. It was one of the greatest things I have ever witnessed. Definitely one of the top performances of the night! The cast of The Great Comet’s performance was also very spectacular! With Josh Groban‘s voice, the incredible dancers in the ensemble, and the extraordinary set, it was an amazing sight to see. Out of all of the performances of the night, my top two favorites were the Miss Saigon performance and the Rockettes with Cynthia and Leslie. Overall, the whole show was incredible!

The theme for this years Tony Awards is “Theatre Inspires”, which can be followed at #theatreinspires. In between noshing at Sardis and getting our caricature’s done… I was able to sit down with the three young men who play Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway to chat about their life as a Broadway performer. Thank you to Ryan Sell, Jake Ryan Flynn and Ryan Foust for chatting with me. Hope you are inspired by what they had to share!

When did you begin doing theatre?

(RS) Three years ago I did a high school production of Shrek, I played Young Shrek and that’s how I got started. I was also in Mame. I played young Patrick and I got to perform with Leslie Uggams.

(JRF) I did theatre when I was five years old, community theatre. Then I did North Shore Music Theatre; I did a lot of shows there.

(RF) I began doing theatre six years ago when I was in first grade.

What is your favorite part about being on Broadway?

(RS) It’s a very small community and we all have fun and it’s a great experience to be a part of this great cast and crew. It’s an honor to work with Christian Borle, John Rubinstein, Jackie Hoffman, and Emily Padgett. It’s a great experience and I am enjoying every bit of it.

(JRF) You get a lot of Legos! I like to perform because I’ve always wanted to be on Broadway, so its just great!

(RF) My favorite part about being on Broadway is getting to work with Christian Borle, and all those amazing people you hear about and living the dream everybody loves if they have something to do with theatre, they’d love to be on Broadway. Before I went on everyone asked how do you feel and I was like my dream is just about to come true! My very first line is “what is this place?” and I can act that out like crazy!

What’s your favorite candy?

(JRF) Charleston Chew
(RF) Airheads Sugar Belts
(RS) Airheads Sour Strips

What are your dreams for when you grow up?

(JRF) I really want to be the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera!

(RF) My dreams are to be an actor of course, and I’d like to be a director, music writer or film writer.

What was it like performing on a Broadway stage for the first time?

(JRF) I was freaking out! I was so nervous, so nervous. But it was fun though, because I got into it; really fun!

Along with insight from the three Charlie’s, the Camp Broadway kids also shared how theatre inspires them. After all, they are Broadway’s future! May we find inspiration in their answers!

Theatre inspires me because…. 

Anything can happen! – Rachel

I can’t imagine doing anything else!!! – Luke

It allows me to express myself in ways I can’t in real life. I also get to do my favorite activities like singing and dancing while performing. – Scott

It is socially acceptable to spontaneously break into song 🙂 – Jessica

It makes the impossible, possible! – Dorothy

One could argue about the theatre’s power to effect change. However, that is not unique to the art form itself. What give theatre a greater power is that no other art form has as intimate a connection between artist and audience, and cultivated intimacy evokes stronger, more powerful emotions than anything else I have ever experienced. – Katie

It opens up new possibilities for everyone. – Shannon

It inspires me to tell my story. – Lindsay

I get to do what I love and bring joy to people’s lives! – Amber

In the Ancient Greek era plays were extremely important and impactful, so impactful that prisoners were able to go free after seeing a show. I want to be able to impact people through stories and find emotions through experience, and spread my experience to others. – Gigi

It has no labels!!! – Claire

Of all the different stories played both on and off the stage they teach me I can do anything. The stories are so important, and it’s incredible that, as actors, we have the ability to affect others in such a positive way. – Olivia

It’s one of the few places everyone is free to be and express themselves. – Cate

It inspires me because of all the work that is put into every show, whether it is Broadway or a school production. It always gives me goose bumps after an amazing performance. – Julia

It helps me explore different emotions and it helps me find my true self. – Jack

It lets me express myself in a special way. – Lexi

You can be who you want to be while being someone else. – Bo

It transports and transforms people. – Luke

Since the beginning of its history, Broadway has been a platform to give a voice to the voiceless. – Katie

It will change the world! – Lauren

It brings people together and brings them hope and a break from life’s troubles. – Abby

It gives me opportunities to express myself doing what I love! – Carter

It gives us a glimpse into the lives of others while sharing a little bit of ourselves. Theatre unites us, and that’s really special. – Mae

I don’t get bullied for being my true self. – Mya

Theatre let’s me explore my more creative side. Even though I spend my time on a catwalk in pitch dark with a spotlight, theatre let’s me explore less STEM based aspects of my life. – Wiley

… and a few shout outs to inspirational artists…

Ben Platt is incredible! – Olivia

Jeremy Jordan is amazing! – Emily

What an inspirational night! From Sardi’s, the caricatures, meeting the three Charlie’s, and going to the Tony Awards!!! What a truly magical night!

5 Tricks for Seeing Shows on a Budget!

With the 2016-2017 season coming to an end, a sparkling new season of theatre is quickly approaching. With this comes the fact that buying several theatre tickets can add up in cost throughout the season, but there are several ways to lower the cost and save money this coming season!

For those that live far from the city and are looking for deals on local theatre, there are two apps that I use and definitely recommend.

Goldstar/TodayTix

Both of these apps are wonderful for finding discounted theatre tickets! Goldstar finds tickets for you based on your location and the type of event you are looking for. Not only does Goldstar have amazing discounts on theatre tickets, but you can also find tickets to improv shows, sporting events, masterclasses, and much more. Goldstar works for several different locations and features spectacular discounts, some which vary on the number of tickets you buy or which section you would like to sit in.
TodayTix currently features discounted, last minute show tickets for 9 major cities in the U.S., and in London as well! It is a free app, and features deals available a few days before the show date, to just moments before the curtain rises.

Invest in Season Tickets

Season tickets can be pricey, but they are an amazing investment for the season. Several cities around the U.S. have a large theatre that houses national tour casts for weeks at a time. Often, these venues have great prices for season ticket packages, where you can see up to 10 touring Broadway shows in a year! The more shows you see, the more you save!

Student/Cast Discounts

At some local theatres, student IDs can mean BIG savings! Be sure to ask before you buy a ticket if any discounts are offered for high school or college-age students with a valid ID. If you know someone in the cast, you can also be sure to ask if there is a “cast-reference” coupon code, meaning that if they refer you to the ticketing website, you can sometimes save a few dollars since you know someone in the cast.

Rush Tickets

For those of you that are willing to wait, rush tickets are always an option. Rush tickets are tickets that are bought by waiting outside the box office the day of the show. These tickets sometimes sell out quickly, so if you want to try and get them, you might have to wait by the box office for several hours, depending on the popularity of the show. You can find more information about rush policies on individual show’s websites.

 

Standing Room Tickets

If you are willing to stand throughout the duration of the show, this option can save you lots of money. This option is usually only offered in big-time theatre cities, such as New York or Chicago. Tickets usually range from $20-40 and can be obtained for sold out shows at the box office.

BONUS: You can always enter a ticket lottery, in an attempt to win either free or heavily discounted tickets. Although this is a longshot depending on how well-known the show is, it can be worth a try!

Let me know in the comments below if you have any ticket tips or tricks that you swear by!




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