Podcast: West of Broadway Chats with JERSEY BOYS Star Mark Ballas
On this episode of West of Broadway, Lara Scott and Will Armstrong sit down to discuss their very busy theater schedule before Will takes off to the Ahmanson Theater to sit down with the current Frankie Valli, Mark Ballas.
Will saw STRAIGHT OUTTA OZ starring Todrick Hall at the Saban Theater and then saw JERSEY BOYS at the Ahmanson for their opening night. While Lara headed off to Catalina Island to see a silent film version of PETER PAN hosted by the great Cathy Rigby.
All of this is just another reminder of how much talent and wonderful entertainment is out here in California. Lara mentioned how she is looking forward to seeing THE LITTLE MERMAID in Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center soon, which lead Will to reminisce his time as Prince Eric at The Disney Studios in Florida where his Ariel was Miss America 1994 Leanza Cornet. Lara issued an open invitation to Leanza to join us for a future episode of West of Broadway.
Straight Outta Oz stars Todrick Hall, From American Idol and YouTube fame. Will and Lara discussed his love of Disney and OZ paired with his artistic abilities to create amazing videos. For more visit ToddrickHall.com.
STRAIGHT OUTTA OZ parallels Todrick's journey to Hollywood with Dorothy's journey over the rainbow. Currently, Todrick and the Cast is traveling around the world preforming. Keep up with Todrick and the cast on social media by searching #StraightOuttaOZ.
While Will was at the Saban, Lara was with her son Dallas at the Casino Theater on Catalina Island. Lara saw the first film adaptation of J. M. Barrie's PETER PAN. Kathy Rigby hosted the movie and performed a song from the musical with a cast of children.
They discuss bringing JERSEY BOYS home to Los Angeles.
Mark talks about portraying Frankie and what it means to him He also touches upon his audition experience for JERSEY BOYS.
Will and Mark discussed the publics perception of Marks abilities as a dancer and how his musical training afforded him a well rounded set of skills, from dancing to acting, singing and even classical guitar.
Mark is also a member of the duo Alexander Jean that he partners with his wife B.C. Jean on their original music.
Head High EP: http://www.alexanderjean.net/
JERSEY BOYS will be playing until June 24th. Be sure to check the website for dates Mark is scheduled to perform.
Two days after JERSEY BOYS closes, Mark and his wife are off on tour with a major band that as yet to be announced. Also, look forward to the middle of June for their follow up EP.
Special thanks to BroadwayWorld.com for streaming our show on their site! Here's hoping you enjoy this episode of West of Broadway! Feel free to keep up with us and all our other episodes on WestofBroadwayPodcast.com you can also like us on Facebook @WillandLara.
We'll be sure to post all of this on our Facebook page.
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Theater veteran Will Armstrong and theater enthusiast Lara Scott discuss the vibrant musical theater scene on the West Coast, covering movie musicals, region productions, national tours, and more with the cast, crew, producers, and supporters who make it all happen. If you want a lighthearted celebration of musical theater, you can find it all West of Broadway!
West of Broadway Site: http://www.westofbroadwaypodcast.com/
Lara Scott | @RadioLara
When she's not co-hosting West of Broadway can be heard on the radio in Southern California on K-Earth 101. Lara is also the host of The World Chart Show, an internationally syndicated Top 40 countdown, and her voice has been used on programs for Bravo, VH-1, the Olympic Encore on Universal Sports, and in-flight programming for Delta Radio and Air Force 1. She is also a weekend lounge host on www.MartiniInTheMorning.com, where she plays Standards from The Great American Songbook.
Born in Southwest Florida, Lara headed to Oregon after high school. She got into radio in Bend, Oregon, after calling a local station on a dare from a friend, and then continued her broadcasting career in Portland. After graduating with a B.S. in Philosophy from Portland State University, she moved to San Francisco to become the music director and nighttime air personality at KZQZ/95.7. She then spent almost seven years as the midday host at KYSR/Star 98.7 in Los Angeles, followed by almost a decade in mornings and middays at KFSH/95.9 The Fish.
Her passion for preservation and history led her to Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, a historic theater that shows classic films on the big screen every weekend, and she now serves on their advisory board. The theater was also featured in her first book, From the Corner of Hollywood and diVine: Your Guide to 30 Old Hollywood-Inspired Spots in Southern California. She is the co-host, along with Oscar-winning filmmaker James Moll, of the Classic Movie Recall podcast, and reviews films from the Golden Age of Hollywood every week.
Lara was a 2008 President's Volunteer Service Award winner, which was presented by recording artist Michael W. Smith on behalf of President George W. Bush for her charity work. In her free time, she can be found hanging out with her young son and daughter, snowboarding, shopping at vintage and thrift stores, chanting at yoga class, and attending lots of concerts and films.
Will Armstrong started dancing at the age of 2. He started working professionally at Walt Disney World fresh out of High School. After several years in Orlando he set sail with Norwegian Cruise Lines performing in Will Rogers Follies, Greese, Crazy for You and 42nd Street.
When he returned to land, he joined the 1st national tour of Victor/Victoria with Toni Tennille of Captain and Tennille fame. At the end of his 52-week American tour, Will traveled east to perform at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea in various stage productions where he danced, sang and made wonderful friends.
Will's Broadway debut was in 2002 as a chorus member in the Broadway revival of 42nd Street with Tom Wopat of The Dukes of Hazard and Tony Award winner Beth Leavel from the Drowsey Chaperone. After 42nd Street closed, Will filmed Susan Stroman and Mel Brooks movie musical The Producers before taking his final performing job as an ensemble member of The World Famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular. After Will stepped away from performing he joined the support team of the 1st National tour of Wicked before bringing it to the Pantages Theater for a 5 year residency.
Will now owns his own public relations agency where he puts the skills he learned in the entertainment industry to work creating exciting and original strategies that put smiles on his clients faces.