295 episodes

The Ensemblist is the online advocate for the talent artists working in theatre ensembles. Through our podcast, website and social presence we are creating conversation what it means to be a successful artist in the theatre. Each of our miniseries highlights a conversation that effects performers in Broadway ensembles, with experts on the topic sharing their insights in candid interviews. The Ensemblist podcast has more than 1.6 million podcast downloads and was recently named one of the Top 50 Best Selling Performing Arts Podcasts of all time.

The Ensemblist The Ensemblist

    • Performing Arts
    • 4.9 • 405 Ratings

The Ensemblist is the online advocate for the talent artists working in theatre ensembles. Through our podcast, website and social presence we are creating conversation what it means to be a successful artist in the theatre. Each of our miniseries highlights a conversation that effects performers in Broadway ensembles, with experts on the topic sharing their insights in candid interviews. The Ensemblist podcast has more than 1.6 million podcast downloads and was recently named one of the Top 50 Best Selling Performing Arts Podcasts of all time.

    Fosse/Verdon (Episode 5)

    Fosse/Verdon (Episode 5)

    “Where Am I Going?” premiered on May 7th, 2019. It was written by Charlotte Stoudt, and directed by Tommy Kail. The total viewership dipped about 32,000 viewers from the previous week, coming in at about 878,000. The live viewership fell to 312,000, while oddly the DVR viewership rose to 565,000.
    This bottle episode had very little music in it; it was almost like a normal TV show!! The only featured song we had was an uncanny rendition by Michelle Williams of “Where Am I Going?” from Sweet Charity, with music and lyrics by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields, honestly proving why her star-turn as Gwen Verdon earned her an Emmy.
    Three months after checking himself into the Payne Whitney Psychiatry Clinic, Bob and his new girlfriend Annie are hosting a party for Neil Simon following the death of his wife, Joan. But joining them at their Southampton rental for the first time are Gwen and her new beau Ron. In their first moment alone, Bob asks Gwen what she thinks of Annie, telling her “Nicole really loves her.” But all Gwen wants to talk about is Chicago: scheduling a meeting with producers and telling him they have a theatre for the show.
    However, Bob is more interested in making his next project a biopic on Lenny Bruce starring Dustin Hoffman. Not only does that put Gwen’s plans for Chicago in jeopardy but it concerns Ann, who knows that his doctors suggested he take a year off of work or he’d end right back in the Clinic. The conversation comes to head after their dinner to celebrate Joan, where Paddy and Gwen both challenge Bob about his motivations for rushing Lenny to the screen. Amidst the adult conversations is Bob and Gwen’s daughter Nicole, who cycles through the rooms of the house wearing a midriff and refilling cigarette cases.
    After dinner, Gwen courts Ann to be on her side in persuading Bob to postpone Lenny, but it becomes clear they are both on different sides: Gwen wanting him to work on Chicago and Ann wanting him not to work at all. When Gwen puts Bob’s feet to the flame: “You wanna know the truth?. I’m finished with these corny, b******t musical comedies.” It isn’t until Gwen admits she’s not sure that he’ll be alive to direct in two years and throws Hal Prince’s name into the ring that Bob agrees to kiss and make up. Well, it’s a kiss that leads to a lot more than just a kiss.
    In the early hours of the next morning, Gwen and Ann have a heart-to-heart over croissants: Gwen gives Ann her blessing because Bob has introduced her to Nicole. She also tasks Ann with keeping him from going off the edge, promising “he’ll give you what he gave me: Lola, Charity, Roxie.” But while Gwen has seemed to win Bob over into directing Chicago, Bob proclaims that he will be doing them both at the same time.
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    • 23 min
    Thanksgiving Day Parade Memories (Part 2 - feat. Cara Cooper, Elliott Mattox, Vasthy Mompoint, Jessica Rush)

    Thanksgiving Day Parade Memories (Part 2 - feat. Cara Cooper, Elliott Mattox, Vasthy Mompoint, Jessica Rush)

    In a recent live stream event with Broadway Podcast Network, we got a behind-the-scenes look into performing with on the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. Actors and fellow podcasters Cara Cooper (The Prom, Mama's Talkin' Loud Podcast), Elliott Mattox (Beetlejuice, Equity One Podcast), Vasthy Mompoint (SpongeBob SquarePants, Vasthy's Friends) and Jessica Rush (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Mama's Talkin' Loud Podcast) shared their favorite stories of performing in one of Broadway's favorite traditions.
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    • 17 min
    Fosse/Verdon (Episode 4 feat. Emma Caymares)

    Fosse/Verdon (Episode 4 feat. Emma Caymares)

    There isn’t a theatre choreographer more associated with their own unique style than Bob Fosse. The infamous Oscar-, Emmy- and Tony-winning director and choreographer created his own signature technique that distinguished shows like Chicago, Pippin, and Damn Yankees into dance masterpieces. This April, FX launches a new limited television series Fosse/Verdon, based on the 2013 biography by Sam Wesson with a focus on his marriage and collaboration with Gwen Verdon. 
    The fourth episode. Man, it’s a friggin doozy! Using the development of Pippin as a jumping off point, we really get to see into Fosse’s process. Through power plays and an incredible amount of sexual misconduct in the workplace, Fosse woes the company into the performances we wants them to deliver. In this episode, there are many familiar Broadway faces playing the company of Pippin including this week’s guest, Emma Caymares. 
    Emma Caymares has performed at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in two productions, playing Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Wendy in Finding Neverland. She also performed on the small screen in the Starz series Flesh and Bone. In Fosse/Verdon, she plays Rebecca, one of the dancers in the original company of Pippin who caughts caught up in the power of Bob Fosse - and visa versa.
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    • 21 min
    Thanksgiving Day Parade Memories (Part 1 - feat. Cara Cooper, Elliott Mattox, Jessica Rush)

    Thanksgiving Day Parade Memories (Part 1 - feat. Cara Cooper, Elliott Mattox, Jessica Rush)

    In a recent live stream event with Broadway Podcast Network, I got a behind-the-scenes look into performing with on the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. Actors and fellow podcasters Cara Cooper (The Prom, Mama's Talkin' Loud Podcast), Elliott Mattox (Beetlejuice, Equity One Podcast) and Jessica Rush (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Mama's Talkin' Loud Podcast) shared their favorite stories of performing in one of Broadway's favorite traditions.
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    • 19 min
    Fosse/Verdon (Episode 4)

    Fosse/Verdon (Episode 4)

    “Glory” premiered on April 30th 2019, and marks the halfway point to the acclaimed mini-series. It was written by Tracey Scott Wilson and directed by Jessica Yu. We see two moments of choreography in this episode, the first is the rehearsal sequence featuring the infamous Manson trio, originally choreographed by Fosse and reconstructed by Lloyd Culbreath and Pam Sousa. The second is the nightmare “Pippin medley” that acts as the finale to the episode, choreographed by Joan McCracken herself, Susan Misner.
    All of our music this episode comes from the musical Pippin, with all music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. The cast of Pippin features Ahmad Simmons as Ben Vereen, Lindsay Nicole Chambers as Leland Palmer, Bahiyah Hibah as Candy Brown, and Alexis Carra as the fictional Sherry (said to be based on the experiences of original cast member Jennifer Nairn-Smith). Also in the cast are Nina Lafarga, Peter Chursin, Emma Caymares, Paloma Garcia-Lee, Tessa Grady, Colin Bradbury, Michael Hartung, Raymond Baynard and Michael McArthur.
    At the premiere of his film Cabaret, Bob is weighed down by the memory of his flop Sweet Charity three years earlier. But when the reviews come in they call Cabaret a masterpiece, meaning Bob has a “blank check” in the entertainment industry. So in the rehearsal room for Pippin Bob follows his gut. Calling the script “boring and small,” he chooses to “blow the whole thing up” both by demanding script changes and conspicuously sleeping with the entire female ensemble. That is, except for the one dancer avoiding his advances - a young woman named Annie Reinking. 
    Gwen drops by Pippin rehearsal to confide in Bob that the show is in trouble, but he finds himself too wrapped up in his own career to make time for hers. Gwen is ready to move onto the next project - and has already secured the rights to turn the play Chicago into a musical. But Bob has a lot of job offers after this and can’t guarantee Chicago is the next thing he wants to do.” On top of her career, things are sleeping away in Gwen’s personal life as her best friend Joan Simon is in the hospital with only a month to live. 
    Bob is pressuring the authors to change the ending of Pippin, for the title character to choose lighting himself on fire rather than fall in love. He’s also making his power known in his courting of the female ensemble: taking away a featured spot in the show’s “Manson Trio” from a dancer who won’t sleep with him and giving it to Annie, who “knows she doesn’t have to visit his hotel room to get the solo.”
    Months later, Bob calls Gwen at 3am asking her to come to Washington DC and help him fix the end of the show. In bed with her new boyfriend, she hangs up on him. But in the following year as he wracks up Tony, Emmy and Oscar Awards for Best Direction, he conspicuously thanks “a good friend of mine, Gwen Verdon,” for her contributions. But it’s been 13 years since she won her last Tony Award, and spending time at home with their daughter just isn’t enough for a woman who “won’t rest until she knows she has it all.”
    Bob is on his own downward spiral though. Much like the title character in Pippin, Bob is looking for something fulfilling - completely fulfilling. In a fever dream, Ben Vereen, Paddy, Gwen and his female conquests taunt Bob to jump out his hotel room window, with Gwen saying “the ones who die young, they’re the ones who live forever. If you do this, you’ll eclipse me, you’ll eclipse everyone.” But it’s the thought of their daughter Nicole that keeps him from jumping, much to the chagrin of the voices in his head.
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    • 27 min
    Chris Chats With (Radial Park, feat. Chris Fink)

    Chris Chats With (Radial Park, feat. Chris Fink)

    This week, we're turning over the mic to Christine Shepard from the Broadway companies of Head Over Heels and Mean Girls. Today Chris chats with Chris Fink, one of the creators of Radial Park.
    Radial Park in Queens is Broadway at the drive-in. An interactive, theatrical experience, from the safety of your own vehicle. Guests will come to enjoy a show on the big screen with live, sing-along entertainment, performed by Broadway stars.
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    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
405 Ratings

405 Ratings

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The Ensemblist is THE podcast for the Broadway and theatre community. I love listening.

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