All stories by Jenelle Riley on BroadwayStars

Sunday, June 16, 2024

From ‘Illinoise’ to ‘Stereophonic,’, Broadway Is Celebrating Artists and the Creative Process by Jenelle Riley

 “Sunday in the Park With George,” “Nine,” “Red”: Stories about artists and the process of making art have long fascinated theater audiences. This season’s Tony nominations ad…

SOURCE: Variety at 01:15PM
Friday, May 17, 2024

Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Snehal Desai Talks 2024-2025 Lineup, Including Sutton Foster in ‘Once Upon a Mattress’  by Jenelle Riley

In April 2023, Snehal Desai took on the mantle of Artistic Director for Center Theatre Group (CTG), one of the world’s largest and most prestigious theater companies. Though he became acti…

SOURCE: Variety at 01:59PM
Friday, May 3, 2024

With Over 500 Shows, ‘Netflix Is a Joke’ Comedy Festival Plans ‘More Ambitious’ Second Run by Jenelle Riley

It’s the first week of April, and Netflix vice president of stand-up and comedy formats Robbie Praw is severely under the weather. He’s just a month out from the launch of the second Net…

SOURCE: Variety at 01:15PM
Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Jenny Yang, Brian Simpson and More Comics Talk Frustrating Hecklers, Social Media Judgement, and Making Money ‘Being a Goofball’ by Jenelle Riley

Since 2000, Variety has been naming its annual 10 Comics to Watch — and watching them go on to impressive careers. We decided to invite a few notable alumni who happen to be performing at …

SOURCE: Variety at 04:05PM
Monday, April 29, 2024

The New Rules of Comedy: Hannah Gadsby, Joel Kim Booster and More Talk Cancel Culture, Inclusivity and Mental Health  by Jenelle Riley

Comedy constantly shifts and changes, and tenets that might have applied years ago are also on the move. Variety spoke to some comics about everything from social media to cancel culture to …

SOURCE: Variety at 02:15PM
Thursday, January 25, 2024

‘Late Night’ Comic Jenny Hagel Can’t Stop Giving People Advice, So She Created a Show About It  by Jenelle Riley

Jenny Hagel is “obsessed” with giving people advice – whether people ask or not. “I’m sure it’s everybody’s least favorite thing about me, but I can’t stop,” she admits. �…

SOURCE: Variety at 02:28PM
Monday, January 22, 2024

Hannah Berner Sets First Netflix Comedy Special (EXCLUSIVE) by Jenelle Riley

Comedian Hannah Berner, who was named one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch” for 2023, is set to record her first comedy special for Netflix. The hour-long special will be taped in Phil…

SOURCE: Variety at 12:00PM
Saturday, January 13, 2024

‘Mean Girls’ Directors on Cutting Songs, Adding ‘Important’ Updates for Gen Z and Making That ‘NDA-Heavy’ Surprise Cameo Happen  by Jenelle Riley

It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the original “Mean Girls” movie tried to make fetch happen. Tina Fey’s adaptation of Rosalind Wiseman’s 2002 book “Queen Bees and …

SOURCE: Variety at 11:00AM
Sunday, September 10, 2023

A Light in Dark Places Stages Plays for Hope to Benefit Suicide Awareness by Jenelle Riley

This article first appeared as part of Jenelle Riley’s Acting Up newsletter – to subscribe for early content and weekly updates on all things acting, visit the Acting Up signup page. …

SOURCE: Variety at 12:42AM
Friday, August 11, 2023

Freezing Up, a Swapped Suitcase, an Animal Attack and More: The ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’ Crew on Their Biggest Stage Mishaps by Jenelle Riley

This article first appeared as part of Jenelle Riley’s Acting Up newsletter – to subscribe for early content and weekly updates on all things acting, visit the Acting Up signup page. …

SOURCE: Variety at 02:00PM
Monday, July 24, 2023

‘Wednesday’ and ‘The Witcher’ Casting Director Sophie Holland on Seeking Diversity and the Power of Casting to Change People’s Perceptions by Jenelle Riley

This article first appeared as part of Jenelle Riley’s Acting Up newsletter – to subscribe for early content and weekly updates on all things acting, visit the Acting Up signup page. …

SOURCE: Variety at 01:30PM
Saturday, July 22, 2023

Is Social Media the New Comedy Club? Stand-Up Comics on How Digital Media Differs from Live by Jenelle Riley

We’re in a new age of comedy thanks to diversification by brick-and-mortar clubs and social media, which has leveled the playing field for talent. There is not, however, a direct correlati…

SOURCE: Variety at 02:15PM
Friday, July 21, 2023

The Improv Turns 60: Ramy Youssef, Whitney Cummings Honor Legendary Comedy Club Brand by Jenelle Riley

The Improv turns 60 this year and, despite the spontaneity that the name might suggest, there’s a methodical plan to grow the comedy organization.  In 1963, founder Budd Friedman opened t…

SOURCE: Variety at 01:05PM
Thursday, July 20, 2023

How Just for Laughs Montreal Festival Has Boosted Comedic Careers by Jenelle Riley

In days of yore, the best opportunity for a stand-up comedian to break out was to be tapped by Johnny Carson’s team for a “Tonight Show” slot. Getting invited to the couch afterward wa…

SOURCE: Variety at 01:05PM
Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Zarna Garg, Leanne Morgan, Brian Simpson Among Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch for 2023 by Jenelle Riley

Since 2000, Variety has been honoring 10 Comics to Watch at Just for Laughs Montréal. This year’s choices will be feted at a cocktail reception and a panel discussion July 29 before perfo…

SOURCE: Variety at 12:05PM
Thursday, July 6, 2023

Bringing Marvel’s Fictional Broadway Show “Rogers: The Musical” to Real Life at Disneyland by Jenelle Riley

It’s not unusual to see a musical based on a movie or TV show or even a comic. But “Rogers: The Musical” might be the first one created from a throwaway joke in a TV show spun-off from…

SOURCE: Variety at 06:00PM
Sunday, June 11, 2023

Tony Nominees From ‘Into the Woods,’ ‘Sweeney Todd’ and More Share How Co-Stars Improved Their Performances by Jenelle Riley

As they say in “Into the Woods”: It takes two.  And not just in “Into the Woods.” The 2023 Tony nominations remind us several times over that sometimes an actor’s role is so close…

SOURCE: Variety at 12:10AM
Saturday, June 10, 2023

Tony Nominations Suggest Broadway Is Becoming More Progressive by Jenelle Riley

The 2023 Tony nominations aren’t just a portrait of theatrical excellence. They’re also a snapshot of Broadway in progress.   After the events of 2020 prompted a wave of public pledges…

SOURCE: Variety at 12:05PM
Friday, June 9, 2023

Norm Lewis on How He Came to Sing in ‘A Soldier’s Play’ and Revisiting the Phantom of the Opera by Jenelle Riley

This article first appeared as part of Jenelle Riley’s Acting Up newsletter – to subscribe for early content and weekly updates on all things acting, visit the Acting Up signup page. In…

SOURCE: Variety at 02:13PM
Thursday, June 8, 2023

Variety Announces 10 Comics to Watch for 2023 by Jenelle Riley

Variety has named its 10 Comics to Watch for 2023. This year’s honorees will be profiled in a special comedy issue of Variety on July 19. They will then be honored at this year’s J…

SOURCE: Variety at 02:00PM
Friday, March 24, 2023

Casting Director Geoff Josselson on Casting for Sondheim and Audition Tips for Actors by Jenelle Riley

Pictured: Casting directors Katja Zarolinski and Geoff Josselson of JZ Casting. This article first appeared as part of Jenelle Riley’s Acting Up newsletter – to subscribe for early con…

SOURCE: Variety at 03:00PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Variety’s 10 Brits to Watch 2023 Celebrates New Talent by Jenelle Riley

Since 2013, Variety has been selecting its list of 10 Brits to Watch, artists across all media who have made an impact in entertainment. This year’s honorees will be feted at the seventh a…

SOURCE: Variety at 11:00AM
Friday, January 6, 2023

Jeremy Pope on How Leaving a Big Studio Film Led to His Breakout Role in ‘The Inspection’: ‘I Was Tired of Negotiating My Worth’ by Jenelle Riley

Jeremy Pope doesn’t break into a new medium quietly. The actor not only earned a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut in 2018’s “Choir Boy” by Tarell Alvin McCraney, he also became…

SOURCE: Variety at 01:00PM
Friday, November 18, 2022

‘2:22 A Ghost Story’ Writer Danny Robins on the Scares and Realness of His Hit Play by Jenelle Riley

When playwright Danny Robins wrote “2:22 A Ghost Story,” he thought he chose the titular number at random. “I wanted something that had a ring to it,” he reveals. But when actor Tom …

SOURCE: Variety at 12:00PM
Thursday, November 10, 2022

Aaron Sorkin and Richard Thomas Talk Bringing ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ on Tour by Jenelle Riley

Even with an Academy Award and six Emmys on his mantel, Aaron Sorkin was intimidated by the idea of a bringing “To Kill a Mockingbird” to the stage. Harper Lee’s 1960 novel remains a b…

SOURCE: Variety at 11:30AM
Sunday, November 6, 2022

The New York Comedy Festival Returns in Full Force by Jenelle Riley

In 2021 with America barely emerging from the pandemic, Louis Faranda and his team struggled to get comedians and clubs to commit to the New York Comedy Festival. This year, however, people …

SOURCE: Variety at 12:00PM
Monday, July 25, 2022

David Harbour on Changing the Dialogue About Mental Illness With ‘Mad House’ and Hopper’s Fate in ‘Stranger Things’ by Jenelle Riley

After losing more than 75 pounds for Season 4 of “Stranger Things,” in which his character Jim Hopper was wasting away in a Russian gulag, David Harbour had one thing on his mind.  “A…

SOURCE: Variety at 03:30PM
Thursday, July 21, 2022

‘Hamilton’ Director Thomas Kail Talks Helming Improvised Musical ‘Freestyle Love Supreme’ by Jenelle Riley

One of the joys of live theater is that it’s ephemeral — a show is never the same from night to night. But “Freestyle Love Supreme” has taken that up a notch, presenting an entirely …

SOURCE: Variety at 06:47PM
Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Everyman Comic Nate Bargatze Celebrates 20 Years in Comedy by Jenelle Riley

On a pretty cul-du-sac 25 minutes south of Nashville, Nate Bargatze lives in sprawling two-story brick house that doesn’t stand out. He’d owned the house for a couple years before the ne…

SOURCE: Variety at 01:00PM
Thursday, May 26, 2022

Bill Engvall Reflects on Stand-Up Career and Being ‘Given A Gift’ Amid Farewell Tour by Jenelle Riley

When someone who has made a four-decade career out of being funny decides to take a step back from what made them famous, there’s always that potentially nagging sense of self-doubt that c…

SOURCE: Variety at 12:05PM
Thursday, May 19, 2022

Pasadena Playhouse’s New Season Includes Six-Month Sondheim Celebration by Jenelle Riley

The Pasadena Playhouse has announced its lineup for the 2022-23 season, including a six-month Sondheim Celebration that will kick off in January 2023. The celebration is dubbed to be the mos…

SOURCE: Variety at 03:00PM

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