The Ensemblist Releases Audio from 1st Anniversary Birdland Show with Ariana Debose, Alysha Umphress & Daniel Watts

June 30
2:34 PM 2014
The Ensemblist Releases Audio from 1st Anniversary Birdland Show with Ariana Debose, Alysha Umphress & Daniel Watts

On June 16, The Ensemblist, the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out, celebrated its first anniversary with a live show at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club. The audio from the first half of the live show is now available free to download at, as well as on iTunes, Stitcher and TuneIn.

Hosts Mo Brady and Nikka Graff Lanzarone invited some of their favorite Broadway performers to the stage to celebrate their ensemblist experiences. Guests Ariana Debose, Alysha Umphress and Daniel Watts were interviewed live and gave special performances as well.

Debose made a splash with her two first featured roles on Broadway, as Nautica in Bring It On: The Musical and as Mary Wilson in Motown the Musical, where she also covered the role of Diana Ross. This month, she joins the company of Broadway's Pippin. On the live show podcast, she shared how her experience of the FOX television show "So You Think You Can Dance" helped prepare her for working on Broadway.

In four years, Umphress has graced the Broadway stage in four diverse shows: American Idiot, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and Bring It On: The Musical. This fall, she will take on her first Broadway leading role as Hildy in On The Town. At Birdland, Umphress told the audience a particularly harrowing account of the day she missed a performance of American Idiot to travel upstate and perform the leading role in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever with only six hours notice.

Watts is the veteran of seven Broadway companies, most recently Memphis, Motown the Musical and After Midnight. On the podcast, he shares how the company of After Midnight created their memorable Tony telecast performance, as well as a harrowing tale of being onstage in The Color Purple when his mind went suddenly blank, to hilarious consequences.

The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond. Whether you're an experienced theatre professional or a passionate fan, The Ensemblist gives you the opportunity to get to know new performers and the great work they do onstage, while also shedding light on some of the hidden innerworkings of the Broadway experience. Created and hosted by Mo Brady (The Addams Family, SMASH) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), The Ensemblist is the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out.

New episodes of The Ensemblist can be downloaded every two weeks through the iTunes store by searching for "The Ensemblist." Episodes can be also be streamed on Stitcher Radio, TuneIn, and downloaded directly from Podbean at

Our website,, features stories, Q&As, and blog posts from those in the know about life as an ensemblist, plus cool stuff we can't NOT share. You can also follow @theensemblist on Twitter and Like us at


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