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Have you ever dreamed of winning a Tony Award? Did you ever practice your Tony acceptance speech in the bathroom mirror? Did you grow up watching the Tony Awards every year ? Do you have a collection of Tony Award shows on VHS tape that you refuse to throw out?This is the podcast for you. Every week actress and podcast host Ilana Levine interviews your favorite Tony Award winners and together they go down memory lane as guests share intimate and never before shared details about their Tony e ...
 
How To Be More Chill explores how the extraordinary musical Be More Chill arrived on Broadway in Spring 2019 with unprecedented momentum and then onwards towards a London production in 2020. Hosted by Ilana Levine of Little Known Facts and Sam Maher of YesBroadway, the podcast centers around deep-dive interviews with the show’s creators, cast members, and others involved in the show as they give us all the behind-the-scenes scoop on how the show entered the international pop culture zeitgeis ...
 
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show series
 
James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim wrote three shows together - Sunday In The Park with George , Into The Woods and Passion. In this episode of And The Award Goes To, Lapine shared what made working with Sondheim so incredible. He admits that when he first met Sondheim he was relatively new to the theater and he describes Sondheim as the person who …
 
“I consider myself the luckiest person in the world because my avocation is my occupation” is how Charlotte St. Martin describes what it means to be President of The Broadway League. When Charlotte St. Martin was in high school she went to see her boyfriend in the King and I and that was the beginning of her lifelong love of theater. Even in her pr…
 
Tony Award winner Cady Huffman had just driven across the country to come back east after performing with Dame Edna. She has no agent and wasn’t sure what was next and then she got a phone call from a casting director asking her to do a reading for producers of a musical adaptation of the Mel Brooks film , “The Producers.” They rehearsed for just a…
 
“Everyone needs a good mole joke” is how five time nominee and two time Tony Award winner Donna Murphy made the audience howl with laughter during her acceptance speech for her stunning portrayal of Fosca in the Sondheim/Lapine musical, Passion. According to Mr. Sondheim when he heard Donna sing at her audition he felt she could have performed in f…
 
On the night John Lloyd Young won his Tony the stars who announced his category were Harry Belafonte and Glenn Close! During his emotional speech where he disclosed that his mother had died when he was only two years old, Mr. Young went on to dedicate his award to his father and spoke of the struggles they had gone through together. As a Commander …
 
The first Tony Awards ceremony took place on Easter Sunday in 1947. It was a small affair where awards were handed out to notable artists of the day. Some of the winners that evening included actress, Patricia Neal and playwright, Arthur Miller. The ceremony was not televised and took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The first a…
 
Tonya Pinkins had a very complicated journey with the musical Jelly's Last Jam. From the very beginning she felt she was up against a cast that was not happy that she was replacing the original Anita in the show, she was away from home with her nine month old baby and in rehearsal she found herself holding back. But at night she would dream of what…
 
Stephanie J. Block was no stranger to playing real people on Broadway having portrayed Liza Minnelli in The Boy From Oz so when director Jason Moore asked her to take on the role of Cher in the Broadway musical The Cher Show, she was quite trepidatious. A long meal with Jason and an unexpected nudge from her Priest changed her mind. Once rehearsals…
 
Ruben Santiago-Hudson had dreamed of being in an August Wilson from the first time he was in the audience of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. He found himself crying during the play and realized he was not just deeply moved by the play and the actors in it but the tears were connected to this feeling that for the first time in his life he was seeing peopl…
 
Kristin Chenoweth first auditioned for You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, having no idea which character she was reading for. It wasn’t until she got to the first day of rehearsal and she looked at the place card by her seat and it read “Kristin Chenoweth as Sally Brown.” That was the beginning of a journey that took Kristin from working actress to …
 
In the first episode of what we're calling How To Be More Chill "4.0", Sam and Ilana interview someone who could not be a more integral part of the Be More Chill story: Jason SweetTooth Williams. Jason played Mr. Heere, Mr. Reyes, and (of course) Scary Stockboy both Off-Broadway and on and is one of the kindest humans ever and an absolute joy to ta…
 
Laura Benanti dreamed of one thing and one thing only- performing on Broadway so winning a Tony Award for her role in Gypsy was the most amazing dream come true and one of the happiest moments of her life. What people may not know is that early on in the rehearsal process she walked out feeling unsupported by the process and it wasn't until she had…
 
When BD Wong asked his parents to lend him money to fly to New York for an audition for M. Butterfly he told them he was certain he would not get the job but he could not pass up the opportunity to meet the creative team. Well we know how that story went! Having no Broadway credits he was the first actor cast in the play and was actually involved i…
 
When Ilana, host of AND THE AWARD GOES TO.. had the privilege of talking to John Benjamin Hickey - the winner of The Tony Award for The Normal Heart- it was the day after Larry Kramer had died so it was so timely and beautiful to have this conversation while John was still processing this news. John first came to the role of Felix Turner in a readi…
 
A self described “theater junkie” Cynthia Nixon has been in love with the theater for her entire life, She was cast in her first Broadway role at the age of 14- the play was The Philadelphia Story. Her ability to inhabit a role and bring us into the world of the characters she plays with such humanity and integrity makes her one of the most celebra…
 
Growing up in the midwest the seventh of eleven children- Norbert Leo Butz was surprisingly unaware of The Tony Awards. If he had practiced any speech in his bathroom mirror it most likely would have been for the Academy Awards or Grammy Awards yet here he is - a two time Tony Award winner. The win for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was such a joyous win …
 
When Nikki M. James was in kindergarten her teacher invited her to sing in a school performance. It was obvious to everyone that she was exceptionally talented but what became clear to Nikki, even at this young age, was that she found her passion. That love of performing a song became her obsession and then she found Broadway! She dreamed of being …
 
In 2019 Judith Light, one of the most beloved members of the Broadway community, was awarded the Isabelle Stevenson special Tony Award for her fierce advocacy on behalf of those affected by HIV AIDS and the LGBTQ+ community. Her passion for the causes she believes in , her fierce loyalty to the community she loves and her incredible passion for the…
 
“This is a story about love” is how Arthur Laurents- writer and director of West Side Story- described the show to Karen Olivo who was cast as Anita. He went on to say “You fight because you love. The hate you feel is because you fear the thing you love will go.” On this episode of “ And The Tony Goes To…” Karen shares details about her complex and…
 
James Monroe Iglehart grew up obsessed with Disney and Robin Williams ( the Genie in the film Aladdin) was his childhood hero. At 17 his graduation gift from his mother was going to see Aladdin so clearly the role of the Genie was his destiny but there were many hurdles along the way. In this episode James describes how he fought for the role that …
 
In 2008 Patti LuPone won her second Tony Award. She has been nominated a total of seven times. Join host Ilana Levine and Patti as they listen to Patti’s 2008 acceptance speech and Patti takes listeners on a trip down memory lane, recounting that evening and all that led up to her second Tony win -- 28 years after her first! As an actress Patti has…
 
When Miracle Change got the call that she had an audition for the London production of Be More Chill, she was performing as Columbia in The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Edinburgh. In order to make it to her three auditions she had to take a 5 hour train and then fly back each night in order to make it back in time for the show. It was that kind of …
 
In the first ever live episode (video on Broadway Podcast Network's YouTube channel!) of How To Be More Chill, Sam and Ilana talk to Scott Folan. Scott is a child actor-turned-adult actor and singer/songwriter, but to us he will always be Jeremy Heere in the London production of Be More Chill. Scott's incredible gifts as a performer are matched by …
 
Gerard Canonico joins Sam and Ilana to chat about how the character of Rich evolved from Be More Chill's first workshop to Broadway, his joy and love of being part of Iconis and Family, and how being a child actor impacted his life in such amazing ways, and….how he balances his love of being a musician with his love of being an actor. Gerard Canoni…
 
Oh, this is a GOOD one that we've been waiting a long time for. Besides being the director of so many of your favorite musicals fo the past decade, Stephen Brackett is the Godfather of the Be More Chill, being at its helm from extremely early on its development. Less than 48 hours after the London cast was announced, Stephen gives Sam and Ilana the…
 
Mike Rosengarten was the guitarist for the viral smash hit musical Be More Chill all the way from the world premiere production at Two River Theater through the show's Broadway run, so you can imagine that he has the most incredible behind-the-scenes stories from every incarnation of the show. Be More Chill was the beginning of working with the Joe…
 
Broadway swing Morgan Siobhan Green sat down with Sam and Ilana and shares stories from her Be More Chill journey and gives a thrilling and fascinating description of what it’s like being a cover for multiple characters and getting the call saying “you’re on"! Also, have tissues ready because Sam and Ilana couldn’t keep it together when Morgan talk…
 
Stephanie Hsu studied experimental theater in college and always thought she would create non-commercial work that expressed her point of view and helped to shine a light on the issues and ideas she cares deeply about. In this episode, she explains to Sam and Ilana how Be More Chill and her role as Christine Cannigula ended up being the perfect job…
 
Ilana and Sam sit down with Broadway’s SQUIP himself, Jason Tam! Fun fact: Jason was the very first actor to ever record the song "Michael In The Bathroom." Find out why and how in this episode along with all the ways he approached the role, the freedom he was given to create the character both physically and emotionally, and what it is like to be …
 
Lauren Marcus shines as Brooke in Be More Chill. She also happens to be married to Joe Iconis and she also happened to go to the 2019 Tony Awards. In this episode, Lauren takes us behind the scenes of an 8-show week on Broadway followed by a car ride to Radio City for an epic adventure you’ll remember for the rest of your life! Lauren is hilarious …
 
In this very special episode, Sam and Ilana sit down with Be More Chill book writer Joe Tracz. From growing up in Detroit and seeing Broadway national tours to working in a Borders bookstore and getting to know the YA literary scene, Joe tells us about how he cames on board the project and combined his television and film writing experience with hi…
 
Sam and Ilana sit down with Broadway leading man Will Roland and were mesmerized as he shared his history as a member of the Joe Iconis Family and how the role of Jeremy in Be More Chill came his way. From the day he first encountered Joe Iconis when he was still a student at NYU to Dear Evan Hansen to the Off-Broadway run of Be More Chill, Will sh…
 
Be More Chill producer Jennifer Ashley Tepper takes Sam and Ilana on a journey that starts with how she met Joe Iconis through all the behind-the-scenes schemes and plans to share this brilliant musical with the world. Go on a deep dive into some of the new and unique perspectives Jen has on the industry as a young producer who does an excellent jo…
 
Be More Chill star George Salazar walks Sam and Ilana through the experience of coming on board for the original workshop presentation of Be More Chill and then the world premiere production at Two River Theater in New Jersey and its sold-out run Off-Broadway in Summer 2018. George also dives deep into the Be More Chill's incredible fandom and how …
 
In this inaugural episode, Sam and Ilana interview composer/lyricist Joe Iconis as he walks us through the origins of the Be More Chill journey - all the way from the nexus of the idea of writing the musical leading up to to the opening night of the world premiere at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey and then the making of the triumphant or…
 
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