Christopher Castanho is a writer, director, and performer from Connecticut, currently studying Musical Theatre at Shenandoah University. You can reach him at ChristopherCastanho@Gmail.com or at ChristopherCastanho.com
It's always a comfort knowing that alumni from your Musical Theatre program are working and doing great things in the entertainment industry. Jake Emmerling is doing just that, currently spreading the good word across the country in The Book of Mormon national tour as a member of the ensemble. After returning to his alma mater for an afternoon to teach a choreography masterclass, I was lucky enough to sit down with the performer and hear about his experience being on tour with such a big Broadway hit.BWW Review: HOW TO SUCCEED at Gay Men's Chorus of DC March 13, 2017
How To Succeed has always been on my list of musicals to see, buthadn't gotten the opportunity to experience, until I saw the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC's production at the beautiful and ornate Lincoln Theater. The original Broadway show ran for fourteen hundred performances and picked up the Tony-Award for Best Musical and Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1962. The show has been revived several times on the Great White Way, including the 1995 production starring Matthew Broderick and the 2011 revival headlined by Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.BWW Interview: Thea Kano of HOW TO SUCCEED at Gay Men's Chorus of DC March 6, 2017
The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC's LGBT themed production of the classic musical 'How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying' will premiere at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on March 10, 11 & 12, 2017 at located at 1215 U Street NW. This is the first LGBT production of 'How To Succeed' to date. Famous songs like 'I Believe in You,' 'Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm' and 'Brotherhood of Man.' all appear in their original composition, just with a little more glitter!
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying tells the story of J. Pierrepont Finch and his rise to the top of the corporate ladder with the aid of a simple self-help book. Along the way, he learns how to find your name on the executive door and win the secretary's heart quicker than you can say "nepotism." I had an absolutely wonderful conversation with the show's director and the organization's artistic director Thea Kano about her background and why this production is so important.BWW Interview: Ginny Anderson's CRADLE WILL ROCK at Connecticut College February 28, 2017
As relevant today as it was when it debuted in 1937, 'The Cradle Will Rock' electrifies the Tansill Theater stage at Connecticut College, with performances Friday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m, Saturday, March 4, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 5, at 2 p.m. The infamous musical, a biting critique of unrestrained capitalism and income inequality, features musical styles that leap from classical to jazz to pop and capture a story as satirical as it is uplifting and empowering.BWW Interview: Broadway's Chris Rice Gets #TAPPY and Talks BROADWAY BACKWARDS February 27, 2017
Chris Rice, a current swing in the Broadway company of 'The Book of Mormon' had no idea that when he uploaded his tap rendition of Anna Kendrick's 'Cup Song' on YouTube it would go viral, three years later is has accrued over three million views. I was lucky enough to chat with him during an evening he was not swinging in about his current choreography project featured in 'Broadway Backwards' a fundraiser to benefit Broadway Cares: Equity Fights Aids and the LGBT center in Manhattan, also teasing his newest dance video.BWW Interview: Shenandoah University's Four Leading Guys & Dolls February 22, 2017
Winchester, Virginia's very own Shenandoah Conservatory's production of Guys and Dolls runs this weekend only, from Friday, February 24th through Sunday, February 27th in the Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre on the campus of Shenandoah University. The boisterous and witty musical is led by Carolyn Coulson (Director), with Rick Edinger (Music Direction), and Jacob Brent (Choreography). I was lucky enough to sit down with four of the show's leading guys and dolls: Taylor Bloom (Sky Masterson), Adia J Seckel (Sarah Brown), Stevie Bovo (Nathan Detroit), and Freya Falkenstein (Miss Adelaide) and hear about their personal experiences working on the Shenandoah production.BWW Interview: Drew Redington's 'Holiday Break' on Broadway February 13, 2017
Drew Redington is one of the lucky few who decide to take a break from their college theatre program and study abroad on Broadway. An Elon Musical Theatre student, Redington just wrapped up his jump-roppin', tap dancin' role in the ensemble of 'Holiday Inn: The New Irving Berlin Musical' I was lucky enough to sit down with Drew and hear about the journey from his hometown of St Louis, Missouri to the Grand White Way.BWW Feature: Hartt School's Natalie Noack Takes You Inside the Process in 'On My Way To A BFA' Podcast February 6, 2017
BIG NEWS in the world of Broadway Podcasts: Natalie Noack, freshman Musical Theatre major at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford will releases her new podcast 'On My Way to a BFA'. The show will chronicle Noack's experience obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree for Musical Theatre, while getting to hear from other performers or individuals that she admires.BWW Blog: Knock That College Audition Out Of The Park! January 26, 2017
Are you or your child auditioning for a college Musical Theatre program and have some questions? NEVER FEAR- It is I: Christopher, a current senior Musical Theatre student at Shenandoah Conservatory, here to help the college audition process go as smoothly as possible!Gay Men's Chorus Presents: HOW TO SUCCEED With LGBT CAST January 24, 2017
The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC is breaking ground as they announce their production of the classicmusical 'How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying' but with anLGBT twist. An LGBT production of this famous show is to perform at the Lincoln Theater in our nation's capital on March 10, 11 & 12, 2017 at located at 1215 U Street NW.BWW Interview: Marisha Wallace Is Living The DREAM-GIRL in The West End's 'DreamGirls' January 23, 2017
When scheduling an interview with Broadway and now West End star: Marisha Wallace, I was quickly reminded that London is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, so when we found an appointment that was congruently free; it was a little early for me... Flash forward to a 7am interview that started my day on the highest of notes: Marisha's bubbly and down to earth personality drew me in the first moment I saw her perform in the hit musical 'Something Rotten!'BWW Interview: Julia Hoffmann Is Swinging Across The Country in ONCE January 12, 2017
Julia Hoffmann is currently swinging her way across the United States in the national tour of 'Once' understudying Girl, Ex-Girlfriend, and Reza. Based on the Academy Award-winning film, the Tony Award-winning musical 'Once' shares the story of how music not only composes melodies but also love between different people from around the globe. With an incredible score by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova and book by Enda Walsh, audiences have been falling (slowly) in love with this beautiful and honest production since its first performance on Broadway in 2012.BWW Feature: THE DREAM TEAM Returns For Season 2 Episode 2 January 8, 2017
Shenandoah Conservatory's popular web series The Dream Team returns for a second episode this past week. Picking up where we left off: we follow all of the kooky and familiar faces, like Freya Falkenstein's Nora and Emma Benson's eccentric Sierra Farris, but also discover new characters, like Will Westray's Chad. Set at the big Halloween party of the year, things are bound to get a little crazy.BWW Blog: Christopher Castanho's 2016 - A Year In Review December 31, 2016
I'm often a very positive person, being able to see the silver lining of every situation, and do not like to admit or submit to hardships in my life. But to be completely honest, 2016 has been a difficult year. As life can be tumultuous sometimes, it can also be magnificent. Alas, here we are, at the conclusion of our year, and I thought I'd do a little 'Year In Review' of my 2016.BWW Interview: Spencer S Lawson is Haunting in Hartford Stage's A Christmas Carol December 26, 2016
Currently spooking audiences as a ghostly apparition and other ensemble roles is performer Spencer S Lawson. Being in his senior year at The Hartt School at The University of Hartford, Spencer joins fellow Hartt students in the production as well as veteran ensemble members, many of whom have been performing in the annual production since its conception in 1998. While donning his Hartford Stage 'A Christmas Carol' apparel and flashing a charming smile, Lawson expressed his sadness that the run is coming to an end, but also thankfulthat he was able to be a part of it.BWW Interview: Katie Davis Shines as 'Star To Be' in ANNIE Tour December 13, 2016
Katie Davis, a recent graduate from Belmont University's Musical Theatre program, is portraying the featured ensemble member 'Star To Be', a young and optimistic actress who just moved to the dazzling 'NYC'. Davis has been noted as being a 'standout' ensemble member from the Chicago Theatre Review. I was lucky enough to sit down and check in with Katie on how her experience being on the Annie National Tour is going.BWW Interview: Sarah Celec of THE LARAMIE PROJECT at Shenandoah University November 9, 2016
In October of 1998 Matthew Shepard, a twenty-one-year-old University studentwas kidnapped, beaten, and left to die on a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. The reason for his killing: he was gay. One of the first murders to be labeled a hate crime, it brought attention the lack of 'hate crime protection' several states possessed. Five weeks after his death, Moises Kaufman and other members of the Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie and interviewed its citizens for a whole year after the event. This is the true story of how residents in Laramie, Wyoming reacted to the murder of Matthew Shepard.BWW Blog: Christopher Castanho - Number 143 November 3, 2016
This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend a pre-screening audition at the Virginia Theatre Association (VTA) in Norfolk, VA. The audition determinates your eligibility to take part in the South Eastern Theatre Conference (SETC), where you are able to audition for hundreds of theatre companies. I'm tryna #book summer stock theatre this summer, so here's hoping I get passed through to SETC.BWW Interview: Emma Benson of Popular Web Series: THE DREAM TEAM October 7, 2016
Shenandoah Conservatory students have been creating a lot of their own art and content, one of the most successful projects is a web series called The Dream Team. Created by two theatre students, the original series tells the story of a class of theatre majors, living out their first year of college at the fictional Betsey Bell Conservatory. Founded in October of 2015, the show has garnered more than 8,000 views on YouTube, over 150 subscribers, and upwards of 300 FaceBook likes.
I was lucky enough to connect with the show's co-creator and star Emma Benson, a third year Musical Theatre student at Shenandoah and hear about what's in store for Season 2.Shenandoah Conservatory Presents: SPRING AWAKENING September 29, 2016
Shenandoah Conservatory's production of Spring Awakeningruns this weekend only, from Friday, September 30th through Sunday, October 2nd in the Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre on the campus of Shenandoah University. Stephen Sater and Duncan Sheik's Tony award-winning musical led by two Broadway veterans and now Shenandoah educators: Kevin Covert (Direction and Choreography) and Rick Edinger (Music Direction).