All stories by Sam Eckmann on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Alex Brightman (‘Beetlejuice’): ‘You’d be a sociopath if musical theatre came naturally to you’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“You’d be a sociopath if musical theatre came naturally to you,” jokes Alex Brightman. He is referencing the highly rehearsed and precisely calibrated technical aspects underneath his …

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Casey Nicholaw (‘The Prom’ director): ‘Original musicals are my favorite thing to do’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“Original musicals are my favorite thing to do,” gushes Tony winner Casey Nicholaw. He won a Tony Award for directing the Broadway smash “Book of Mormon,” and earned his 11th Tony no…

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Monday, May 20, 2019

Scott Ellis (‘Tootsie’ director): How far would you go for something you love? [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“If someone said you could not do what you loved to do, how far would you go?” That’s the central question director Scott Ellis planted in his new Broadway adaptation of “Tootsie.”…

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Warren Carlyle (‘Kiss Me, Kate’ choreographer): ‘I’m having to be more inventive, more athletic’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“I’m having to be more inventive, to be more athletic in a way, because the dancers are,” admits Warren Carlyle. The choreographer picked up his third Tony nomination for upping his ga…

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Des McAnuff on directing ‘Ain’t Too Proud’: Our show ‘is about what’s going on in our country now’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“This is a show that is about today. It’s about what’s going on in our country now,” declares director Des McAnuff about his Broadway musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times…

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Friday, May 10, 2019

Beth Leavel (‘The Prom’): ‘It’s so much fun to play someone who leads with such narcissism’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“I have a very strong inner Dee Dee Allen,” reveals Tony winner Beth Leavel. Dee Dee is the gloriously vain Broadway diva that Leavel portrays in “The Prom.” Her impressive comedic c…

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Brandon Uranowitz (‘Burn This’): ‘1st time I feel like I have my feet firmly planted in the Broadway community’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“I just sort of assumed some other celebrity was attached to the project,” admits Brandon Uranowitz of the initial table read for Lanford Wilson’s “Burn This.” His assumption was w…

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Best Director of a Musical deja vu: Is Scott Ellis (‘Tootsie’) steering this Tony race towards another shocking upset? by Sam Eckmann

Most pundits agree that the race for Best Director of a Musical is coming down to Rachel Chavkin (“Hadestown”) vs. Daniel Fish (“Oklahoma!”). But the inclusion of Scott Ellis (“Too…

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Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar (‘The Prom’) on how theatre can ‘change hearts and minds’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“When you’re starting with a completely blank slate, it’s definitely more of a challenge,” admits book writer and lyricist Chad Beguelin. Beguelin and composer Matthew Sklar picked u…

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Friday, May 3, 2019

2019 Tony Awards video slugfest: Snubs and surprises shake up major races [WATCH] by Sam Eckmann

When the nominations for the 2019 Tony Awards were finally announced on Tuesday, major races were shaken up by shocking omissions. Gold Derby contributors David Buchanan and Sam Eckmann got …

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Lilli Cooper (‘Tootsie’) on making Julie Nichols ‘an independent, self-made, strong woman’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“She’s an independent, self-made, strong woman,” declares Lilli Cooper of her character in the new musical adaptation of “Tootsie.” Cooper plays Julie Nichols in David Yazbek’s n…

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Jason Sherwood (‘Rent: Live’ production designer) on a ‘surreal, strange dream come true’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“I am a ‘heart creature’ myself,” reveals production designer Jason Sherwood. “I like to have a personal connection to something” he says of the projects he chooses, “to find a…

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

2019 Tony Awards eligibility rulings (Round 3): Harvey Fierstein’s surprise return to the race by Sam Eckmann

00The Tony Awards Administration Committee met for the third time in the 2018-2019 Broadway season, and announced eligibility rulings for the 73rd Annual Tony Awards. Seven productions were …

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2019 Tony Awards nominations: Will ‘Be More Chill,’ ‘Hadestown’ or ‘Tootsie’ lead among musicals? by Sam Eckmann

Unlike recent Broadway seasons, this year’s Tony Award race for Best Musical is wide open. This is one of the few points on which David Buchanan and myself agree. As Tony season begins to …

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Heidi Schreck (‘What the Constitution Means to Me’): Pulitzer Prize before Tony Awards? by Sam Eckmann

The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama will be announced on April 15. American playwrights will surely hope to see themselves named as winner, not only for the prestige that comes with t…

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Vanessa Hudgens (‘Rent: Live’) on being ‘obsessed’ with the musical and falling ‘in love with the community and family’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO I by Sam Eckmann

“I became obsessed,” admits Vanessa Hudgens of her love for “Rent.” After performing in the show at a Hollywood Bowl performance in 2010, she “fell in love with the community and f…

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

George Salazar (‘Be More Chill’) on using ‘weirdness as a strength’ for his role on Broadway [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“Playing the character is literally a dream come true” says George Salazar of his character Michael in “Be More Chill” the new musical from Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz. Salazar’s Mich…

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Orfeh (‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’) on ‘finding perfect balance’ in adapting iconic film roles for the stage [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“I’ve kind of found this perfect balance” says Orfeh in regards to adapting roles from beloved films. The actress currently stars as Kit De Luca in “Pretty Woman: The Musical,” and…

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Lucille Lortel Award nominations give Tony hopefuls ‘Be More Chill,’ Heidi Schreck, and Mike Birbiglia a bump by Sam Eckmann

The Off-Broadway League announced nominations for the 34th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on April 3rd. As the first nominations announcement of the theatre awards season, several Tony Award h…

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Saturday, March 30, 2019

‘The Prom’ leading ladies Beth Leavel and Caitlin Kinnunen are hoping to make Tony Awards history by Sam Eckmann

The new musical “The Prom” won over industry folks with its big heart and bevy of Broadway insider jokes. But many wondered where each member of the ensemble cast would compete at this y…

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Tony Awards 2019: Prediction center is open so make your early picks today by Sam Eckmann

Gold Derby’s 2019 Tony Awards prediction center is now open! Broadway productions must open by an April 25th cutoff date in order to be eligible for Tony consideration. So it’s time to m…

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Friday, January 25, 2019

2019 Tony Awards eligibility rulings (Round 2): ‘Network,’ ‘The Cher Show,’ and more by Sam Eckmann

The 2019 Tony Awards may be months away, but the Tony Awards Administration Committee is busy determining category placement for shows from the 2018-2019 Broadway season. The committee met f…

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Will the 2019 Tony Awards ditch the Best Musical Revival category? by Sam Eckmann

The Tony Awards give out four top awards each year: Best Play, Best Play Revival, Best Musical, and Best Musical Revival. These are the most coveted categories for producers hoping a win wil…

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Tony Awards announce first round of eligibility rulings for the 2018-2019 Season: ‘The Boys in the Band,’ Pretty Woman,’ and more by Sam Eckmann

The Tony Awards Administration Committee met for the first time in the 2018-2019 Broadway season, and announced the first round of Tony Awards eligibility rulings. Seven productions were dis…

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

After finally conquering the Tonys, is an Emmy next for Kelli O’Hara (‘The Accidental Wolf’)? by Sam Eckmann

It took a decade for Broadway royalty Kelli O’Hara to snag her first Tony Award win. But shortly after that success on her home turf, O’Hara may be on the way to her first Emmy Award tha…

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Saturday, June 9, 2018

2018 Tony Awards predictions: Toughest 4 play categories made easy by Sam Eckmann

Predicting the outcome of the design categories at the Tony Awards proves a challenge every year. But if you want to perform well in our prediction contest, you’ll need to ace these tough …

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2018 Tony Awards predictions: Toughest 4 musical categories made easy by Sam Eckmann

Plenty of attention is paid to the top races and acting categories at the Tony Awards. But if you are looking to do well in our prediction contest, you will also have to make smart decisions…

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Tony Awards battle for Best Actress in a Musical: Katrina Lenk (‘The Band’s Visit’) vs. Lauren Ambrose (‘My Fair Lady’) by Sam Eckmann

This year’s Tony Awards race for Best Actress in a Musical is turning into a nail-biter. Competition was so fierce that the nominating committee found an extra slot in the category. On…

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

2018 Tony Awards preview: Best Actor in a Musical race is too close to call by Sam Eckmann

Broadway fans bemoaned the lack of leading men in musicals this year with only five eligible for consideration at the Tony Awards. While Paul Alexander Nolan (“Escape to Margaritaville…

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Tony nominee Katrina Lenk (‘The Band’s Visit’): ‘It becomes a very personal experience to each audience member’ [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] by Sam Eckmann

“It becomes a very personal experience to each audience member,” reveals Katrina Lenk of her Broadway musical “The Band’s Visit.” Lenk portrays Dina, an Israeli woman who befriends…

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Saturday, May 5, 2018

2018 Tony Awards outrage: Which nominations snub makes you the angriest? [POLL] by Sam Eckmann

There was plenty to cheer about when the 2018 Tony Awards nominations were announced on May 1. Deserving performers like Michael Cera (“Lobby Hero”), Deborah Findlay (“The …

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