INDEPTH INTERVIEWS Articles

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InDepth InterView: Lena Hall Talks HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH, Plus KINKY BOOTS, CATS, Upcoming The Deafening Gigs & MoreInDepth InterView: Lena Hall Talks HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH, Plus KINKY BOOTS, CATS, Upcoming The Deafening Gigs & More
by Pat Cerasaro - April 14, 2014

Today we are talking to a Broadway leading lady making a major mark in the gender-bending role of Yitzhak in the new Broadway production of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's masterful rock musical HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH starring Neil Patrick Harris, the affable and idiosyncratically alluring Lena Hall. Discussing sharing the stage with NPH in the raucous and wild rock showpiece, Hall offers a vivid view of her participation in the Broadway iteration of the cult hit - ranging from polishing her vocals for a cover of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" to donning a prosthetic penis and much more. Additionally, Hall opens up about the larger themes of the prescient and timely musical, as well as shares her affection for the rock, pop and punk sound the score so evocatively emulates and recreates. On that note, Hall also sheds some light on her other ongoing endeavor, as lead singer of the band The Deafening, and shares some of her favorite songs to sing at gigs around town - including an upcoming show at Arlene's Grocery later this week. As if that were not enough, Hall also looks back on some of her most fondly remembered roles to date, reflecting on her time spent in the corps of CATS and the lace-ups of KINKY BOOTS through to a new jukebox musical project featuring the music of iconic rock songwriter Holly Knight. All of that, throwback tales involving NPH and much, much more in this wide-ranging conversation with one of the most uniquely compelling Broadway stars of the new season. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Richard LaGravenese On Writing/Directing THE LAST FIVE YEARS Film, Plus BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, Two New TV Series & MoreInDepth InterView: Richard LaGravenese On Writing/Directing THE LAST FIVE YEARS Film, Plus BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, Two New TV Series & More
by Pat Cerasaro - March 31, 2014

Today we are talking to a multi-talented creative force who has had a hand in crafting a wide range of memorable and vivid characters over the course of his career as both a screenwriter and a director - the earnest and energetic Richard LaGravenese. Detailing the finer points of his forthcoming stage-to-screen iteration of Jason Robert Brown's beloved cult musical THE LAST FIVE YEARS starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan, LaGravenese traces the development of the project from his earliest inspiration through to the final finished film, now awaiting distribution. Additionally, LaGravenese opens up about the casting process and reformatting of the piece for the cinematic medium, as well as previews some of the standout moments we can anticipate when the film is finally released - musical, dramatic, stylistic and otherwise. Besides all about THE LAST FIVE YEARS, LaGravenese also discusses his screenplay for the recent rapturously-received HBO Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra and reacts to its international success, as well as shares thoughts on the cast and the script as it was realized on film by director Steven Soderbergh. Plus, LaGravenese offers us the exclusive 411 on his upcoming currently untitled CW TV series, directed by Taylor Hackford, and sheds some light on his contributions to Angelina Jole's new film UNBROKEN, as well as previews his forthcoming WE TV project coming up later this year, too. All of that, a look back at P.S. I LOVE YOU and more in this expansive conversation with a noted modern entertainment master. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Chris Gero On ELTON JOHN: THE MILLION DOLLAR PIANO, Yamaha Entertainment Group, 88 Doc & MoreInDepth InterView: Chris Gero On ELTON JOHN: THE MILLION DOLLAR PIANO, Yamaha Entertainment Group, 88 Doc & More
by Pat Cerasaro - March 17, 2014

Today we are talking to the founder and Vice President of Yamaha Entertainment Group who single-handedly spearheaded the incentive to create a one-of-a-kind work of pianistic art for iconic Tony Award-winning rock legend Elton John to utilize in a spectacular new concert experience called THE MILLION DOLLAR PIANO - the passionate and dedicated Chris Gero. Discussing all aspects of the impetus, development, design and actual building and subsequent employment of the technology created to craft the Million Dollar Piano itself, Gero sheds a light on the half-decade-spanning process of bringing the technological and artistic achievement to the stage and outlines Elton John's own participation in the project. Furthermore, Gero opens up about the new software developed for the project and how that has established a whole new avenue of live entertainment via the Yamaha Disklavier. On that note, Gero shares stories detailing his participation with various Disklavier showcase events and the possibilities afforded by the revolutionary new piano tech that will be spotlighted in his new documentary 88 - featuring performances by Elton John, Michael McDonald, Sara Bareilles, Jamie Collum and more. Additionally, Gero offers the 411 on Yamaha's participation in a wide range of specialty events, ranging from the silver piano Alicia Keys played on the Super Bowl to provided keys for Paul McCartney and more, as well as various Elton John charity benefits he has helmed over the years. All of that and much, much more in this behind the scenes look at the modern technical marvel that is Elton John's Million Dollar Piano and the man behind it! (more...)
InDepth InterView: Lea Michele Confirms FUNNY GIRL Revival! Plus, Talks New Solo Album LOUDER, GLEE S5, LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY'S RETURN, WICKED & MoreInDepth InterView: Lea Michele Confirms FUNNY GIRL Revival! Plus, Talks New Solo Album LOUDER, GLEE S5, LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY'S RETURN, WICKED & More
by Pat Cerasaro - March 4, 2014

Today we are particularly thrilled to present a wide-ranging conversation with one of the most attention-grabbing and notable Broadway/Hollywood crossover stars of the new millennium all about her theatre past, GLEE present and potentially spectacular future - the charismatic and committed Lea Michele. Sparing some precious moments while promoting her new solo album release, LOUDER, Michele comments on not only her studio work and the current season of her FOX hit musical dramedy series but also sheds some light on much more, including sharing first news of the new stage revival of FUNNY GIRL currently in planning stages following the rights being purchased by GLEE creator and mastermind Ryan Murphy, set to mirror the Season Five storyline of GLEE itself as it presents the spectacular theatrics, unforgettable songs and backstage backstabbing involved with the FUNNY GIRL revival starring Rachel Berry (aka Michele). Additionally, Michele analyzes some of her favorite tracks on LOUDER and offers a glimpse into the creative process in creating some of the album's standout tracks such as 'Cue The Rain' and 'The Bells'. Plus, Michele opens up about her role alongside fellow Broadway heavyweights Megan Hilty and Bernadette Peters in the hotly anticipated new animated movie musical LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY'S RETURN and clues us in on what we can expect from the multimedia extravaganza. Furthermore, Michele previews some upcoming GLEE showstoppers-to-be including two songs penned by Stephen Sondheim - 'No One Is Alone' from INTO THE WOODS and 'Not While I'm Around' from SWEENEY TODD - as well as the re-teaming with SPRING AWAKENING star Skylar Astin, while also offering the 411 on the show's big new move to a primary NYC focus. All of that, thoughts on GLEE co-star Idina Menzel's FROZEN performance on this week's Academy Awards telecast, opinions on a new LES MISERABLES revival, a look ahead to her upcoming autobiography BRUNETTE AMBITION and much, much more! (more...)
InDepth InterView: Elaine Stritch On New Doc, ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME, Plus Sondheim Stories, Broadway Memories & Much MoreInDepth InterView: Elaine Stritch On New Doc, ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME, Plus Sondheim Stories, Broadway Memories & Much More
by Pat Cerasaro - February 17, 2014

Today we are setting our sights on one of the most iconic Broadway leading ladies alive and looking back at her astonishingly rich and varied career onstage and onscreen, having worked with many of the most important entertainment figures of the 20th and 21st century over her 60-year career and winning multiple awards and honors in the process - the one and only Elaine Stritch. Touching upon her time in many notable theatrical entities ranging from her early work at The New School under director Erwin Piscator to rubbing elbows with legends like Bertolt Brecht, William Inge, Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams and Marlon Brando to her unforgettable turns in Stephen Sondheim's COMPANY and FOLLIES IN CONCERT, Stritch also shines a light on her indelible performances in the plays of Edward Albee and looks ahead to a staged reading of THREE TALL WOMEN she is pursuing later this year. Most importantly, Stritch opens up about the multi-year process in creating the stunning and awe-inspiring new all-access documentary ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME, directed by Chiemi Karasawa, and outlines how she dealt with cameras documenting her every move for more than two years. Additionally, Stritch comments on her memorable moments in the films of Woody Allen byway of SEPTEMBER and SMALL TIME CROOKS, as well as shares insights into some of her most famous and fabulous co-stars - Ben Gazzara, Alec Baldwin, James Gandolfini, Steve Buscemi and many more included. Plus, Stritch details her recent move back to her hometown of Detroit, Michigan, and shares details about her recent recuperation from hip surgery and ongoing battles with alcoholism as well as learning to see with only eye. As if all of that were not enough, Stritch also imparts her thoughts on why she appeals to the younger generation and how her Emmy-winning 30 ROCK role has raised awareness for her in the last decade and whether she would ever consider pursuing a reality series or new solo cabaret act. All of that, why she hates the word diva and much, much more in this career-spanning conversation with the veritable reigning queen of Broadway herself. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Randy Graff Talks New 54 Below Show MADE IN BROOKLYN, Plus LES MISERABLES, Broadway Memories & MoreInDepth InterView: Randy Graff Talks New 54 Below Show MADE IN BROOKLYN, Plus LES MISERABLES, Broadway Memories & More
by Pat Cerasaro - February 12, 2014

Today we are talking to a legendary leading lady famous for a few of the most iconic roles in some of the most memorable musicals of the 1980s and 1990s as well as a versatile vocalist and concert performer set to make her cabaret debut later this month - the ingratiating and amusing Randy Graff. Looking back at originating the role of Fantine in the original Broadway production of mega-hit mega musical LES MISERABLES and singing the unforgettable 'I Dreamed A Dream' eight times a week (and on the best-selling cast recording) as well as recounting her Tony Award-winning work in the endlessly entertaining Cy Coleman/David Zippel musical comedy CITY OF ANGELS, Graff share stories from behind the scenes and gives us a rare look at theatrical history in the making and her elemental role in both productions. Additionally, Graff opens up about some of her other most fondly remembered work, including her fantastic turn in Ed Kleban's A CLASS ACT, William Finn's FALSETTOS, Cole Porter's HIGH SOCIETY, the stage play and documentary MOON OVER BUFFALO co-starring Carol Burnett, the most recent revival of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and much more. Most importantly, Graff generously outlines what we can expect from her upcoming solo shows at NYC hotspot 54 Below titled MADE IN BROOKLYN, in what will actually be the stalwart star's solo show premiere. In addition to all of that, Graff also touches upon some of her big screen and small screen work, ranging from LAW & ORDER to RENT, as well as recounts some theatrical tales involving theatre greats such as Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, John Simon and more. All of that and much, much more awaits in this rich resume recounting retrospective with one of Broadway's best! (more...)
InDepth InterView: Andrea McArdle Talks 54 Below Show DREAM ROLES, Plus New Album, ANNIE Memories, BWW VISITS OZ & MoreInDepth InterView: Andrea McArdle Talks 54 Below Show DREAM ROLES, Plus New Album, ANNIE Memories, BWW VISITS OZ & More
by Pat Cerasaro - February 10, 2014

Today we are talking to a terrifically talented triple-threat diva known for her legendary Broadway performance as the title character in the iconic original production of ANNIE as well as notable appearances on Broadway since in STARLIGHT EXPRESS, LES MISERABLES, STATE FAIR and more - the engaging and passionate Andrea McArdle. Opening up about her life after 'Tomorrow' as well as sharing memories of her time in ANNIE, McArdle sheds some light on her idiosyncratic showbiz career and shares sensational stories from her past and present while also looking ahead to the future. Additionally, McArdle looks back on many of her most famous roles to date, including her roller skating days in STARLIGHT EXPRESS and her recent stint as MAME herself, as well as her various Judy Garland-related properties, too - the TV biopic RAINBOW and the stage adaptation of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS among them, not to mention her sensational star turn as the opener of the recent sold-out series of 10th anniversary concerts at Joe's Pub, BROADWAYWORLD.COM VISITS OZ, directed by Richard Jay-Alexander and MaryBeth Abel, where she exquisitely performed 'I'm Always Chasing Rainbows'. Plus, McArdle comments on her recent Broadway Records live album 70'S & SUNNY and the material and decade that inspired it. Most importantly, McArdle looks ahead to her new series of solo shows kicking off at 54 Below this week titled DREAM ROLES and previews some of the stupendous song selections she has chosen for the show - with material by Stephen Sondheim, Charles Strouse and more included! All of that and much, much more awaits in this career-spanning chat with one of Broadway's best and best-loved leading ladies. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Daniel Ezralow On 2014 Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony, SPIDER-MAN Broadway Memories, Hollywood & MoreInDepth InterView: Daniel Ezralow On 2014 Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony, SPIDER-MAN Broadway Memories, Hollywood & More
by Pat Cerasaro - February 7, 2014

Today we are talking to a remarkably accomplished choreographer, actor and director who has crafted uniquely compelling movement for a number of wide-ranging projects in many mediums, from his early work as a performer onstage to creating dances for film, television and theatre - the gifted Daniel Ezralow. Discussing his elemental participation in tonight's 2014 Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony, Ezralow previews some of the pageantry, spectacle and artistry we can anticipate in the multi-million dollar production as well as the themes and ideas present in it. Additionally, Ezralow opens up about the technical process in organizing such a titanic technical production as well as outlines his collaboration with the scores of performers and behind-the-scenes individuals converging to pull it all off for a worldwide audiences. Plus, Ezralow comments on the controversial politics and ongoing drama surrounding the games. As if all that were not enough, Ezralow generously recounts his experiences working on the recent Broadway musical SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK, recounting the troubled preview period and much-discussed injuries as well as sharing his enthusiasm for his ongoing artistic relationship with master director Julie Taymor, extending also into her fantastic Beatles-inspired feature film musical ACROSS THE UNIVERSE as well as THE GREEN BIRD on Broadway and more. Besides all that, Ezralow also comments on some of his specialty work for awards shows and looks back on some of his most memorable stage and screen work. All of that and much, much more awaits in this special interview with a dance dynamo! (more...)
2010 Flashback - InDepth InterView: Philip Seymour Hoffman2010 Flashback - InDepth InterView: Philip Seymour Hoffman
by Pat Cerasaro - February 3, 2014

Sunday was marked with the tragic news of the passing of one of American acting's most vivid, varied and committed stage and screen performers, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and we recognize his passing with my 2010 InDepth InterView conducted around the the time of the release of his first and only feature film as both director and star, JACK GOES BOATING. On a personal note, MAGNOLIA remains my favorite film and his tremendous turn within it as a put-upon home nurse dealing with death, dogs, and a Biblical plague of frogs falling from the sky (no, really) is masterful and unforgettable - Hoffman's description of the meta-musical film an 'an opera' in not only its incorporation of music into the plot and the outsized emotions of its characters but also the scope of the Paul Thomas Anderson project itself is an exquisitely erudite example of the perceptive nature Hoffman always afforded, whether onscreen or onstage in performance or in real life. Nevertheless, Hoffman's five films with Anderson alone are among the finest legacy a modern film actor could ask for, if not more: HARD EIGHT, BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA, PUNCH DRUNK LOVE and THE MASTER; not to mention his Academy Award-winning turn in CAPOTE, as well. A titanic talent that will be missed for many decades to come - Hoffman really was the master, indeed. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Ace Young & Diana DeGarmo Talk JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT 2014 Tour, SAMSON & DELILAH At 54 Below, New EP & MoreInDepth InterView: Ace Young & Diana DeGarmo Talk JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT 2014 Tour, SAMSON & DELILAH At 54 Below, New EP & More
by Pat Cerasaro - January 27, 2014

Today we are talking to a terrifically talented twosome who have found success sharing the stage both in entertainment endeavors and in life itself - real-life triple-threat couple Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo. Discussing many details of their two upcoming major musical productions - first, a special live concert presentation of the new musical SAMSON & DELILAH at cool NYC cabaret venue 54 Below, followed by the release of the concept album; as well as the upcoming new national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's classic family-friendly Biblically-themed musical JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, kicking off in a few short weeks - Young and DeGarmo share their passion for the arts and their unwavering commitment to their craft. Furthermore, the attractive and fit duo share how they are preparing for their upcoming Biblical roles and how they first became involved with the respective projects themselves. Additionally, both shed some light on their notable AMERICAN IDOL heydays, sharing backstage stories from the intriguing list of credits on their impressive resumes thus far. Plus, DeGarmo shares thoughts on the many in-development musicals she has had a hand in developing, from Sheryl Crow's forthcoming DINER to the similarly screen-to-stage adaptation of JAWBREAKER, not to mention her memorable work in the recent revisal version of CARRIE and more. As if all of that were not enough, Young and DeGarmo also recount memories of starring on Broadway together in HAIR as well as reflect on their turns in GREASE and HAIRSPRAY, while also casting a glance back at some favorite early roles, as well. Everything mentioned plus first news on the couple's new self-penned EP titled YOUNG & FREE as well as much more awaits in this career-spanning conversation with two of musical theatre's most popular and affable modern stars! (more...)
InDepth InterView: InReview 2013 - All The Highlights!InDepth InterView: InReview 2013 - All The Highlights!
by Pat Cerasaro - December 31, 2013

While more than 50 InDepth InterViews were conducted in the 2013 calendar year and it is impossible to choose favorites, today we are highlighting some of the most uniquely arresting and singularly revealing conversations featured in BroadwayWorld's most popular and expansive interview series - including Patti LuPone, Darren Criss, Josh Groban, Audra McDonald, Cameron Mackintosh, Stephen Sondheim, Joan Rivers, Jeremy Jordan, Megan Hilty, Bebe Neuwirth and many more! (more...)
InDepth InterView: Lesley Nicol On DOWNTON ABBEY Season Four, Playing Mrs. Patmore, MAMMA MIA!, DOWNTON Musical? & MoreInDepth InterView: Lesley Nicol On DOWNTON ABBEY Season Four, Playing Mrs. Patmore, MAMMA MIA!, DOWNTON Musical? & More
by Pat Cerasaro - December 23, 2013

Today we are talking to a standout star of the internationally adored period-set drama series DOWNTON ABBEY all about her unforgettable character on the show as well as what we can expect from the highly anticipated upcoming extended Christmas episode - the convivial Lesley Nicol. Looking back at an incredibly accomplished career thus far, Nicol shares some insights on her favorite TV and film roles to date while also casting a glance back at some of her most memorable stage performances - as an original cast member of the inaugural West End JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR as well as a multi-year run in long-running hi MAMMA MIA! included. Most importantly, Nicol outlines the finer points of her charming and committed characterization of the belabored chef of Downton Abbey itself and imparts her enthusiasm and enjoyment with the delectable and dramatic storylines conjured up by creator Julian Fellowes as well as shares some of her own favorite scene partners and events in the show's rich history. Additionally, Nicol clues us in on this year's Christmas ep and her own impressions of this year's sequence of events just as US viewers gear up for the first stateside showings of Season 4, starting in early 2014. Plus, Nicol looks ahead to DOWNTON ABBEY Season 5, set to film in 2014, and beyond. All of that and much, much more awaits! (more...)
InDepth InterView: Bebe Neuwirth Talks New STORIES… IN NYC: LIVE AT 54 BELOW Album, Broadway/Hollywood Memories & MoreInDepth InterView: Bebe Neuwirth Talks New STORIES… IN NYC: LIVE AT 54 BELOW Album, Broadway/Hollywood Memories & More
by Pat Cerasaro - December 21, 2013

Today we are talking to an instantly recognizable stage and screen performer known for a variety of powerful and memorable roles, including those which have earned her two Tony Awards as well as two Emmys - the elegant and cool Bebe Neuwirth. Talking all about the songs and stories that play a part in her fantastic new live solo album STORIESÂ… IN NYC: LIVE AT 54 BELOW, the versatile triple-threat opens up about many of her masterful collaborations over the years - including working with Michael Bennett on A CHORUS LINE and Bob Fosse on SWEET CHARITY, not to mention her iconic portrayal of Velma Kelly in the original cast of the still-running revival of Kander & Ebb's CHICAGO. Plus, Neuwirth shines a light on some of her most celebrated screen roles, as well, including offering a candid behind the scenes story from her unforgettable scene in Woody Allen's CELEBRITY and more. Plus, Neuwirth comments on some of her current and upcoming projects, including her recurring role on CBS hit BLUE BLOODS and her recent appearances on THE GOOD WIFE as well as much, much more in this career-spanning conversation with one of Broadway's best. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Craig Zadan & Neil Meron Talk THE SOUND OF MUSIC: LIVE!, PIPPIN Movie, Oscars 2014, Upcoming Projects & MoreInDepth InterView: Craig Zadan & Neil Meron Talk THE SOUND OF MUSIC: LIVE!, PIPPIN Movie, Oscars 2014, Upcoming Projects & More
by Pat Cerasaro - December 20, 2013

Last night I had the pleasure of speaking to two of the hottest producers in Hollywood and on Broadway all about their recent smash hit December with the ratings bonanza of NBC's live presentation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE SOUND OF MUSIC as well as the three-network tent-pole two-night TV event, BONNIE & CLYDE - the peerless Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Discussing all aspects of the unprecedented live presentation, Zadan and Meron outline the process of bringing the gigantic production to the small screen and grant us a vivid look behind the scenes of the big show. Additionally, Zadan and Meron comment on the social media frenzy that occurred during the 25+ million-viewed telecast as well as their reaction to criticism of country music superstar Carrie Underwood in the starring role, as well as their longstanding relationship with NBC in general. Plus, Zadan and Meron also clue us in on what elements they seek out in special events such as this as we look ahead to next year's confirmed major live musical - whatever could it be?! Besides all about THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Zadan and Meron also offer us the 411 on a number of other projects immediately upcoming in 2014 and far beyond, with a special focus on their just-announced Harvey Weinstein collaboration on a feature film version of Stephen Schwartz's beloved PIPPIN, as well as first news on a forthcoming original Beach Boys jukebox musical currently in development and preliminary information on the pilot for a new musical series inspired by Grammy Award-winning songwriter Diane Warren titled SONGBYRD, set to shoot in January. All of that, reflections on last year's sensational Academy Awards broadcast hosted by the controversial Seth MacFarlane and a look ahead to this year's Zadan & Meron-produced Oscars show - set to be hosted by daytime queen Ellen Degeneres - as well as stories from their early years producing cabaret showcases and penning books on theatre as well as much, much more in this all-encompassing conversation with the most important men in movie musicals. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Anthony Rapp Talks PSYCH: THE MUSICAL, IF/THEN, RENT Legacy, Upcoming Projects & MoreInDepth InterView: Anthony Rapp Talks PSYCH: THE MUSICAL, IF/THEN, RENT Legacy, Upcoming Projects & More
by Pat Cerasaro - December 14, 2013

Today we are talking to a talented and versatile stage and screen star who has created a lead role in one of the most iconic musicals of the last century as well as crafted a remarkable resume beyond even the Pulitzer Prize-winning RENT - Anthony Rapp. In honor of his spectacular guest starring turn on USA's hit detective series PSYCH in a special event titled PSYCH: THE MUSICAL, Rapp discusses his participation in the series as well as shares his enthusiasm for the impressive score and plethora of performances by the company of actors. Also, taking a look back at his theatre career thus far, Rapp discusses his continuing legacy as one of the prime interpreters of rock musicals in the modern theatre, having famously starred in not only the original production and feature film adaptation of Jonathan Larson's RENT, but also appeared in noted productions of HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH and NEXT TO NORMAL's forerunner, FEELING ELECTRIC - not to mention the hotly anticipated new contemporary musical IF/THEN, in which he stars alongside fellow RENT alum Idina Menzel and which is set to open on Broadway in 2014 following a recent Washington, D.C. tryout. In addition to all about his theatre career, Rapp also comments on his recording work to date, such as his solo album LOOK AROUND and his stunning entry in the Broadway Cares HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS charity album. Plus, Rapp looks ahead to his new film role opposite Broadway regular Cheyenne Jackson, OPENING NIGHT, as well as much, much more! (more...)
InDepth InterView: Neil LaBute Talks SOME VELVET MORNING, DirecTV Series, Upcoming Projects & MoreInDepth InterView: Neil LaBute Talks SOME VELVET MORNING, DirecTV Series, Upcoming Projects & More
by Pat Cerasaro - December 12, 2013

Today we are talking to a notable playwright, screenwriter and director all about his newest venture - the searing and absorbing two-character film SOME VELVET MORNING, starring Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve - as well as taking a look at his many current and upcoming projects, as well - the estimable Neil LaBute. Discussing the details behind the conception, creation and release of SOME VELVET MORNING, LaBute offers a glimpse into the brilliant design and intriguing premise of the unusual new romantic drama as well as offers his own insights into the film's controversial final moments. Additionally, LaBute opens up about his new DirecTV series FULL CIRCLE and expresses a desire to continue with the series should be it renewed for a second season in 2014. Also, LaBute offers comments on the new feature film adaptation of his oft-produced play SOME GIRL(S) starring Adam Brody and Kristen Bell as well as shares first news on two upcoming films he is writing/directing - including DIRTY WEEKEND, also starring Alice Eve along with Matthew Broderick, as well as, perhaps, SECONDS OF PLEASURE. All of that and much, much more in this brief chat with one of the most intriguing and important playwrights of our age! (more...)
InDepth InterView: Natalie Toro Talks JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, Birdland Show & MoreInDepth InterView: Natalie Toro Talks JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, Birdland Show & More
by Pat Cerasaro - December 5, 2013

Today we are talking to a familiar face to theatre fans who has appeared in a number of memorable roles on Broadway and elsewhere, in roles ranging from LES MISERABLES to THE FIX to A TALE OF TWO CITIES and beyond - the passionate and thoughtful Natalie Toro. Discussing many of the details in the painstaking process in bringing her spectacular new holiday-themed album to life, song selection to overall style and sound, Toro shares stories from the studio as well as from her own life, having spent the better part of the last year preparing, recording, mastering and now finally releasing the album to the world - along with a few music videos, too. Speaking of which, Toro shines a light on the talented guest stars and collaborators that appear on the release, including Jon Secada and Ryan Kelly, with whom she stars in the new music video for "Baby, It's Cold Outside". Additionally, Toro also casts a look back at some of her most celebrated roles to date and tells colorful tales from participating in the national tour of CATS, the American premiere of Dana Rowe and John Dempsey's THE FIX and the original Off-Broadway production of ZOMBIE PROM as well as LES MISERABLES on Broadway, A TALE OF TWO CITIES and more as well as illuminates her involvement with the recent workshop of the new musical by Dana Rowe and Michal Aman, FRIDA. Plus, Toro looks ahead to her holiday-themed Birdland show in promotion of JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS and much, much more! (more...)
InDepth InterView UpDate: Laura Benanti Talks THE SOUND OF MUSIC Live On NBCInDepth InterView UpDate: Laura Benanti Talks THE SOUND OF MUSIC Live On NBC
by Pat Cerasaro - December 4, 2013

Today we are catching up with a previous participant in this column who has an incredibly exciting new endeavor on the horizon coming to TV screens live around the country later this week - one of the stars of NBC's live presentation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic family-friendly musical THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Tony Award winner Laura Benanti. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Lea DeLaria Talks ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK Season Two, Christmas Show, New Album & MoreInDepth InterView: Lea DeLaria Talks ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK Season Two, Christmas Show, New Album & More
by Pat Cerasaro - November 25, 2013

Today we are talking to a terrifically talented and versatile stage and screen performer who has excelled in many arenas throughout her compellingly varied career - comedy, drama, stand-up, cabaret, jazz and beyond - the fiercely, fabulously idiosyncratic and ebulliently engaging Lea DeLaria. Espousing upon a wide range of topics and tracing her unique professional trajectory thus far, DeLaria sheds some light on a few of her most fondly remembered stage roles - revivals of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW and ON THE TOWN on Broadway, as well as Off-Broadway turns in LITTLE FISH and PROMETHEUS BOUND included - as well as recounts her experiences participating in a handful of feature films, new and old, as well - including the recent Hallmark original movie musical DEAR DUMB DIARY. Most importantly, DeLaria recounts her experiences starring on the Netflix mega-hit series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and offers a glimpse of the major impact that the pop culture lynchpin has had on her own life since its 2013 debut - while also preliminarily previewing what we can expect from Season Two, too. Plus, DeLaria reflects on her recording legacy, detailing the conception and production of some choice cuts from her many arresting albums - such as 'Broadway Baby', 'The Ballad Of Sweeney Todd', 'Puff' and 'Sleigh Ride' - as well as shares first news on her new album project, highlighting the music and lyrics of David Bowie. Additionally, DeLaria teases her upcoming scandalously titled series of holiday-themed shows at NYC cabaret hotspot 54 Below occurring in late December while also offering her candid perspective on favorite Christmas tunes and the season itself. All of that, FURTHER TALES OF THE CITY memories and much more in this engaging conversation with a true Broadway and Hollywood original. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Billy Magnussen Talks Reserved For Rondee UK Gigs, INTO THE WOODS Movie, VANYA, 50 SHADES & MoreInDepth InterView: Billy Magnussen Talks Reserved For Rondee UK Gigs, INTO THE WOODS Movie, VANYA, 50 SHADES & More
by Pat Cerasaro - November 18, 2013

Today we are talking to one of Broadway's biggest recent breakout stars all about his wide range of recent roles, from Broadway comedies to TV dramas to big screen movie musicals and beyond - the amiable and versatile Billy Magnussen. Discussing the finer points of his recent Broadway run in Christopher Durang's Tony Award-winning Best Play VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, Magnussen imparts stories of sharing the stage with stalwarts Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce and expresses his enthusiasm for the piece. Furthermore, Magnussen offers up the exclusive 411 on his newest venture, the big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's fairy tale-themed musical INTO THE WOODS and reveals fascinating new details about the production, as well as recounts co-starring with Meryl Streep and more. Most importantly, Magnussen gives us a preview of what we can expect from his upcoming UK rock shows with band Reserved For Rondee, opening up about the roots of the band, the types of shows they put on and specifics about the two shows coming up later this month. Plus, Magnussen comments on some of his most notable recent film and TV appearances - ranging from his stupendous character arc of HBO's BOARDWALK EMPIRE to his brief but memorable role in the indie THE EAST - and also looks ahead to his role on the new David Milch-penned HBO series THE MONEY as well as the upcoming Mary Pickford biopic THE FIRST. All of that, recollections of his recent audition for the big screen 50 SHADES OF GREY feature film and much, much more awaits in this engrossing conversation with a major Broadway and Hollywood talent on the rise. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Victoria Clark Talks THE SNOW GEESE, CINDERELLA, TITANIC Concert, Sondheim & MoreInDepth InterView: Victoria Clark Talks THE SNOW GEESE, CINDERELLA, TITANIC Concert, Sondheim & More
by Pat Cerasaro - November 13, 2013

Today we are talking to a top-tier Tony Award-winning talent known for an incredibly accomplished resume ranging from noted performances in original musicals to reinvented revival roles and beyond - the dignified and dynamic Victoria Clark. Discussing many of her most celebrated dramatic, comedic and musical turns to date, Clark recalls an astounding life in the theatre - ranging from her Broadway debut in the unforgettable original production of Sondheim's iconic SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE to the hit revivals of GUYS & DOLLS and HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING to originating memorable parts in the Broadway productions of TITANIC, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, SISTER ACT and CINDERELLA, to name just a few of the highlights so far. On the latter note, Clark outlines her experiences in her most recent Broadway musical foray, that of the beloved Fairy Godmother in Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic CINDERELLA, as well as illuminates her acclaimed run in the Los Angeles transfer of the most recent revival of FOLLIES and her Sondheim work in general (SWEENEY TODD, too). Most importantly, Clark sheds some light on her compelling character in the new drama THE SNOW GEESE and relates candid stories of sharing the stage with co-stars and fellow vets Danny Burstein and Mary-Louise Parker, among others. Plus, Clark looks ahead to the upcoming TITANIC reunion concert and imparts her excitement for the project as well as comments on some of her most memorable film roles while also sharing first news of future plans - which include directing herself - and muses on some potential roles she would enjoy bringing to the stage in the future, near and far; HELLO, DOLLY! or MAME, maybe? All of that and much, much more in this career-spanning conversation with one of Broadway's best grande dames! (more...)
InDepth InterView: Darren Criss Talks GLEE Season Five, SIX BY SONDHEIM HBO Doc, Broadway, Hollywood, Dream Roles & MoreInDepth InterView: Darren Criss Talks GLEE Season Five, SIX BY SONDHEIM HBO Doc, Broadway, Hollywood, Dream Roles & More
by Pat Cerasaro - November 7, 2013

Today we are talking to one of the most exciting breakout stars from FOX's hit musical dramedy series GLEE all about his Broadway and Hollywood past, present and future while previewing what we can expect in the coming weeks at McKinley High and beyond - the one and only Darren Criss. Detailing the finer points of his upbringing as a musical theatre fan, Criss speaks about some of his early theatre roles and shines some light on his stint starring in the recent revival of HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING in addition to musing on some roles he would like to take on in the future, near and far. Besides all about GLEE, Criss also opens up about his recent film projects such as GIRL MOST LIKELY, co-starring Kristen Wiig (available now) as well as first news and fascinating new details on HBO's hotly anticipated documentary centered on musical theatre master Stephen Sondheim, directed by longtime collaborator James Lapine, titled SIX BY SONDHEIM. Criss outlines his role in the new doc as well as shares stories from the set and sharing time with Sondheim himself, as well as Lapine and co-stars Jeremy Jordan, Laura Osnes and America Ferrerra as part of the film's 'Opening Doors' sequence. Additionally, Criss shares his foremost early influences, imparts his perspective on his unique place in the performing arts realm, reflects on his recent sold-out national tour and solo music projects as well as looks ahead to what's next. All of that, a generous helping of GLEE backstage dish and a tantalizing appetizer of what is to come as well as much, much more in this extensive chat with one of the most popular personalities in the performing arts. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Jason Robert Brown Talks THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, THE LAST FIVE YEARS Movie & MoreInDepth InterView: Jason Robert Brown Talks THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, THE LAST FIVE YEARS Movie & More
by Pat Cerasaro - November 2, 2013

Today we are talking to a Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist celebrated for his many impressive musical theatre scores since his astonishing debut in the 1990s with SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD and PARADE, the one and only Jason Robert Brown. Discussing the finer points of the vastly different scores for his two new stage musicals premiering this year, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY and HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, Brown paints a vivid portrait of his composing process in creating both the serious romantic drama and bubbly musical comedy, respectively. Additionally, Brown outlines his experiences collaborating with theatre legends Harold Prince and Alfred Uhry on his first big Broadway musical, PARADE, and also reflects on the subsequent successful national tour which he himself conducted. Most importantly, Brown sheds some light on the sparkling new cast recording of his recent self-directed revival of his two-character cult mainstay THE LAST FIVE YEARS and how the last ten years have shaded his perspective on the piece, particularly as anticipation builds for the release of the highly anticipated feature film adaptation starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan, directed by Richard LaGravenese and set for release next year, which Brown confirms he has completed his scoring duties on this month and offers an enticing endorsement of the indie movie musical. All of that, a discussion of his solo album and specialty material penned over the years, astute observations on his sporadic collaborations with wife, songwriter and fellow InDepth InterView participant Georgia Stitt as well as much, much more in this quick catch-up chat with one of Broadway's busiest musical craftsmen. (more...)
InDepth InterView: Maria Friedman Talks MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG From Stage To Screen; Plus, Sondheim Comments!InDepth InterView: Maria Friedman Talks MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG From Stage To Screen; Plus, Sondheim Comments!
by Pat Cerasaro - October 18, 2013

Today we are talking to a three-time Laurence Olivier Award-winning actress who has made a major mark on the West End with her peerless string of richly varied performances - ranging from premiere UK productions of MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE and PASSION to LADY IN THE DARK, RAGTIME and THE WOMAN IN WHITE, as well as her various solo engagements, who now also excels as a director of theatre and opera, as well - the gifted Maria Friedman. Discussing all aspects of the recent West End production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's anomalous musical experiment MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG - cited by the master himself as the best production of the show to date - and now the fantastic Fathom film presentation of it arriving in movie theaters nationwide (and around the world) on October 23. Detailing the finer points of the reverse-chronological tale of show business ambition and its effects on friendships and relationships, Friedman paints a vivid portrait of her process in bringing the emotionally bracing and musically thrilling stage show to the big screen byway of this passionately played, dramatically captivating and incredibly detailed film preservation. Additionally, Friedman also sheds some light on participating in the Haymarket Theatre production of MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG herself as an actress nearly twenty years ago and the effect, if any, that experience has had on her perception of the dense and fiercely idiosyncratic musical now, as a director of the piece. Plus, Friedman also touches upon some of her most celebrated roles to date in other Sondheim shows as well as abundantly imparts her deeply held appreciation and affection for his work and personal friendship in her own life, citing his elemental influence on MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG as well as her career in general. All of that and much, much more awaits! (more...)
InDepth InterView: Marshall Brickman Talks JERSEY BOYS From Stage To Screen, Plus ROY ROGERS, ADDAMS FAMILY, Woody Allen & MoreInDepth InterView: Marshall Brickman Talks JERSEY BOYS From Stage To Screen, Plus ROY ROGERS, ADDAMS FAMILY, Woody Allen & More
by Pat Cerasaro - October 14, 2013

Today we are talking to a spectacularly talented screenwriter and bookwriter known for his legendary string of onscreen collaborations with Woody Allen as well as for writing and directing films himself in addition to penning the Best Musical Tony Award-winner JERSEY BOYS and others - the accomplished and entertaining Marshall Brickman. Discussing bringing the tale of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons via JERSEY BOYS to the stage as well as the new big screen movie musical adaptation that is currently finishing filming, Brickman outlines his role in the international stage sensation and what we can expect from the highly anticipated celluloid creation on the way in 2014. Besides JERSEY BOYS, Brickman also sheds some light on the ongoing success of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, touring the country and performed around the world. Plus, Brickman shares first details on his new musical project, a biomusical based on the life of legendary 20th century American entertainer Roy Rogers. Additionally, Brickman details the finer points of his decades-spanning collaboration with Woody Allen on an incomparable assortment of modern comedy classics, including MANHATTAN, SLEEPER, MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY and the iconic, Best Picture Academy Award-winning ANNIE HALL, for which he and Allen received the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. All of that, reflections on his early career working in the Golden Age of television with legends like Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett and comments on some of his own projects as a writer/director like bringing Christopher Durang's SISTER MARY EXPLAINS IT ALL to the small screen, as well as how his banjo playing figures into a classic DELIVERANCE Hollywood moment, developing a new The Mamas & The Papas biopic - and much, much more! (more...)

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