BWW Blog: Molly Tynes of PIPPIN - We're Going to Broadway!
Hello! I'm Molly Tynes from the Broadway cast of "Pippin." Many of you may remember my BroadwayWorld blogs from this past November about The American Repertory Theatre's production of "Pippin." I am so pleased to be blogging again for the month of March - this time about the Broadway production of the show!
My final November blog left off right before we opened for previews. A lot has happened since then, so I thought I'd use this first post to bring you up to speed. Preview performances opened December 5th to an overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception from the audience - a very encouraging and energizing begin to the run! For the next month, we rehearsed changes and adjustments by day and incorporated those changes into the performance each night. This meant we did a new version of the show almost every night (quite the challenge mentally)! It also meant long and tiring days, but it was well worth it to watch the show grow into the wonderful production we had created by opening night.
On January 3rd, we opened! After the curtain call the company, artistic team and producers gathered in the rehearsal studio backstage for a congratulatory toast. It was at this moment - all the actors still in full costume with plastic cups of champagne in hand - that our director, Diane Paulus, told us we were transferring to Broadway! She said that as of 10:00 PM that night, a press release had gone out announcing our spring opening at the Music Box Theatre. I cannot even begin to express in words the joy of this moment! The room rang with cheers, and people feverishly embraced whoever was standing nearby. What a thrilling moment to share together!
Now seems an appropriate time to give you a little background on my journey up to this moment. Back in 2006 I decided to try my hand at the NYC audition scene - fresh off the cruise ship, green as hell, and armed with nothing but a black and white headshot and a love of all things Fosse. Miraculously after two quick weeks (and a massive case of being the right person in the right place at the right time), I booked a show that changed my life - the Goodspeed Opera House production and National Tour of "Pippin." I got my Equity card, made life long friends, and like that began my career in musical theater. Now, almost seven years later, I will make my Broadway debut with that very same show. It will be one of those queer and magical "full circle" moments.
This is not actually the first time I have booked my Broadway debut though; it is the third. Twice before I have been cast in the original company of a new Broadway show, and both times the show fell into financial troubles and never opened. I have also been involved with yet another Broadway-aimed show for a couple of years that (while it is still in the works) has not yet made it to the Great White Way. So when Diane made her big announcement on opening night, I was overcome with tremendous emotion. I felt as though after years at sea weathering angry storms and fighting for an uncertain future, the shore had finally appeared on the horizon. I wept tears of joy (and relief) not even caring about the black trails of show make up grotesquely streaming down my face.
But enough of all that emotional stuff. The rest of the run was a great success. We closed January 20th and went our separate ways to enjoy a month long vacation before rehearsals began in NYC. During that time I trained with my long time aerial coach, Bobby Hedglin-Taylor, and did some additional training with another coach, Susan Voyticky. I also taught classes for Broadway Bodies, a dance fitness company I have worked with for several years, took weekly voice lessons, spent time at the gym, and visited some family in Louisiana - you know, all the things you're supposed to do when you have a big show on the horizon. I must confess I also ate all the fattening food I could get my hands on - we wear skin tight unitards in the show (absolutely beautiful unitards - but also skin tight), and I had to take advantage of the month long break from those!!
A few show related things came up during the break as well such as a fitting with our amazing costume designer Dominique Lemieux and our Broadway wardrobe team. I also got to record vocals for a "Pippin" television commercial with fellow cast member Erik Altemus, our musical supervisor Nadia DiGiallonardo, and a few of our musicians - all very exciting things that slowly made me realize this thing is really happening! We're really going to Broadway!
That brings us to the present moment. We are now in the first week of rehearsals, and we jumped right in to working on exciting new tweaks to the show! But I'll save that for the next blog...
On opening night at the A.R.T. the cast of "Pippin" receives the news that the show is transferring to Broadway.
Molly Tynes right after learning "Pippin" will go to Broadway.
Molly Tynes in front of the "Pippin" marquee at the Music Box.