All stories by Jenelle Riley on BroadwayStars

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
Friday, May 6, 2022

Tony Winner Levi Kreis on Taking on Hermes and Greek Mythology in ‘Hadestown’ by Jenelle Riley

Levi Kreis was a born performer, a singer-songwriter touring for audiences from the age of 12 and landing a full scholarship to study piano at Vanderbilt University when he was only a sophom…

SOURCE: Variety at 04:28PM
Thursday, April 7, 2022

David Letterman, Howie Mandel and More Comics Share Comedy Store’s Impact on Their Careers by Jenelle Riley

After almost 50 years as an interviewer, comedian and talk show host, David Letterman’s pedigree on stage feels so firmly established that it’s hard to imagine a situation where he’d b…

SOURCE: Variety at 04:00PM

How Comedy Store Co-Founder Mitzi Shore Transformed Iconic Comedian Hub by Jenelle Riley

No matter how many people tied to the Comedy Store you ask about the late Mitzi Shore, the connective tissue between their answers is an almost identical impression of the late owner. David …

SOURCE: Variety at 02:00PM

Historic Comedy Store, Birthplace of Comedians David Letterman, Jim Carrey and More, Turns 50 by Jenelle Riley

The Comedy Store turns 50 this year, and it’s now known as a storied birthplace for the careers of literally hundreds of comedians — from David Letterman to Jim Carrey to Whoopi Goldberg…

SOURCE: Variety at 01:00PM
Friday, November 5, 2021

Bringing Back the Laughs: The New York Comedy Festival Returns Live by Jenelle Riley

When Louis Faranda and his team started putting together the New York Comedy Festival after a year’s absence due to the pandemic, they knew it would be a lot of work — it always is. But …

SOURCE: Variety at 09:00AM
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Just for Laughs 2021 Festival Set for Hybrid Launch, Awards Show by Jenelle Riley

Just for Laughs Montréal is the world’s largest international comedy festival and this year it’s taking that notion to a new level. With COVID travel restrictions making it impossible t…

SOURCE: Variety at 12:00PM

Creative Impact in Comedy Honoree Bert Kreischer on Becoming ‘The Machine’ by Jenelle Riley

Bert Kreischer can pinpoint the exact moment his life changed: Dec. 28, 2016. Before then, Kreischer had been a stand-up comedian for about 20 years and had achieved what appeared to be a go…

SOURCE: Variety at 11:00AM
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Aaron Sorkin on How He Considered Turning ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ Into a Musical by Jenelle Riley

Aaron Sorkin is widely considered the king of film and TV dialogue. Actors line up for a chance to feast on his words and the opportunity to deliver a Sorkin-penned speech. And yet his monol…

SOURCE: Variety at 08:10PM