All stories by Sam Eckmann on BroadwayStars

Friday, June 2, 2023

Annaleigh Ashford (‘Sweeney Todd’) on learning from Stephen Sondheim: ‘Every clown is crying underneath the laughter’ [Exclusive Video Intervi by Sam Eckmann

“Steve would always say this as a comedy, and I find Mrs. Lovett to surely and truly be the clown as she was written to be,” says Annaleigh Ashford of her character in the Broadway reviv…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 10:30AM
Thursday, June 1, 2023

NaTasha Yvette Williams (‘Some Like it Hot’) on infusing the ‘extremely strong’ Sweet Sue with humor: ‘We’re having class every night’ [ by Sam Eckmann

“The moment before it happens, you’re like, okay, this is another year of not hearing your name and then just preparing yourself mentally for it not to hear it,” says NaTasha Yvette Wi…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 11:30AM

Wendell Pierce (‘Death of a Salesman’) physicalizes a ‘psychic breakdown’ as the 1st Black actor to play Willy Loman on Broadway [Exclusive Vi by Sam Eckmann

“Who better to know how the American dream turns into the American nightmare than an African American family?,” asks Wendell Pierce. The actor earned a Tony nomination, his first as a pe…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 10:30AM
Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Jamie Walker McCall (‘Schmigadoon!’ production designer) on her ‘creative license to be a little bit more theatrical’ with the show’s ‘dar by Sam Eckmann

“I knew that we were going in a darker turn this year,” says “Schmigadoon!” production designer Jamie Walker McCall. “But still it was important to still have the fun liveliness of…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 01:30PM
Saturday, May 27, 2023

Dominic Fallacaro and Bill Sherman (‘& Juliet’ orchestrations) on using strings to bring a ‘cohesive’ sound to Max Martin’s pop catalog by Sam Eckmann

“It was a major challenge,” admits Bill Sherman on working with the wide variety of music used in “& Juliet.” He and collaborator Dominic Fallacaro created the orchestrations for…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 03:00PM
Friday, May 26, 2023

Betsy Wolfe (‘& Juliet’) on ‘filling in the gaps’ of Shakespeare’s women and finding empowerment through Celine Dion [Exclusive Video In by Sam Eckmann

“We don’t know a lot about these female characters,” says Betsy Wolfe of the women in the plays of William Shakespeare. The prospect of “filling in the gaps” of these women intrigu…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 05:30PM
Thursday, May 25, 2023

Taylor Williams (‘Ain’t No Mo’ sound designer) on the ‘terrible and wonderful burden’ of encapsulating Black culture in a burst of audio [Ex by Sam Eckmann

“It is such a show about Blackness, and it’s so special for me to have been able to bring part of myself to the work in this way,” explains “Ain’t No Mo” sound designer Taylor Wi…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 06:30PM
Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Jessica Stone (‘Kimberly Akimbo’ director) on ‘growing into the story’ with the transfer from downtown to Broadway [Exclusive Video Interview] by Sam Eckmann

“I think it was sort of a long time coming,” admits Jessica Stone of her transition to directing. She worked as an actor for years, with seven Broadway performance credits under her belt…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 12:30PM
Monday, May 22, 2023

Scott Pask (‘Shucked’ and ‘Some Like it Hot’ scenic designer) on leaping from an ‘off-kilter’ barn to an Art Deco ‘crucible’ [Exclusiv by Sam Eckmann

“To be recognized, particularly in this year, it’s massive,” admits scenic designer Scott Pask. He earned two Tony nominations for Scenic Design of a Musical for the new tuners “Shuc…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 06:30PM

David West Read (‘& Juliet’ book writer) tells ‘the ultimate story of young love and heartbreak’ with Max Martin pop songs [Exclusive vide by Sam Eckmann

“If I was going to repurpose and reinvent Max’s music, it also made sense to reinvent the story,” reveals “& Juliet” writer David West Read. He took on the daunting task of com…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 03:30PM
Saturday, May 20, 2023

2023 Drama League Awards winners: Annaleigh Ashford (‘Sweeney Todd’) takes Distinguished Performance by Sam Eckmann

Winners of the 2023 Drama League Awards were announced on Friday, May 19, 2023, at an in-person ceremony, hosted by Emmy-winning reporter Frank DiLella at The Ziegfeld Ballroom. The Drama Le…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 07:00PM
Friday, May 19, 2023

Dane Laffrey (‘A Christmas Carol’ scenic designer) on the mysteries of his ‘shapeshifter’ set: ‘We want the space to be unreliable’ [Exclu by Sam Eckmann

When Jefferson Mays wanted to perform a solo version of “A Christmas Carol,” scenic designer Dane Laffrey knew right away that it wasn’t going to be a simplistic approach with an actor…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 04:30PM

Sean Hayes (‘Good Night, Oscar’) on embodying Oscar Levant and tickling the ivories: ‘I could just see the mountain I had to climb’ [Exclusive by Sam Eckmann

“It’s rare that lightning in a bottle happens, but it did with this show. It’s wild,” exclaims Sean Hayes of “Good Night, Oscar.” The actor received a Tony Award nomination for h…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 12:30PM
Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Michael Arden (‘Parade’ director) on the trial of Leo Frank: ‘If we don’t grapple with the trauma… we are bound to repeat it’ [Exclusive V by Sam Eckmann

“The whole point of the piece to me is that if we don’t grapple with the trauma and the history of our past, we are bound to repeat it,” explains Michael Arden of “Parade.” The dir…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 05:30PM
Saturday, April 29, 2023

2023 Tony Awards slugfest: Final predictions for musical nominations [WATCH] by Sam Eckmann

Another busy Broadway season has drawn to a close and Tony nominations are just days away. David Buchanan joins me in a rousing slugfest to sift through what musicals will be remembered at t…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 07:30PM
Friday, April 28, 2023

2023 Tony Awards eligibility rulings (round 3): Aaron Sorkin contends for ‘Camelot,’ a ‘Shucked’ star goes lead, and more by Sam Eckmann

The Tony Awards Administration Committee met on April 28, for the third and final time during the 2022-2023 Broadway season, to discuss the eligibility of 11 productions for the 76th Annual …

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 03:45PM
Thursday, April 27, 2023

Marchánt Davis (‘Ain’t No Mo’ and ‘Good Night, Oscar’) on deepening ‘the humanity’ of multiple roles at the Belasco [Exclusive Video In by Sam Eckmann

Marchánt Davis can’t seem to keep away from the Belasco Theatre. He starred in Jordan E. Cooper’s “Ain’t No Mo’” at the 44th street haunt in December, and now just a few months …

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 11:30AM

Calvin Leon Smith (‘Fat Ham’) on the ‘ultimate release’ of turning trauma into catharsis [Exclusive Video Interview] by Sam Eckmann

The tone of “Fat Ham” runs the gamut from heavy drama to absurd humor, but Calvin Leon Smith admits, “don’t get the immediate gratification of laughter.” The actor portrays Larry i…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 10:30AM
Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Andrew T. MacKay (‘Life of Pi’ composer) on making music in the rehearsal room to ‘get an instant reaction’ [Exclusive Video Interview] by Sam Eckmann

“I really felt like theater was a family,” reveals Andrew T. MacKay. The composer has worked extensively on film, but his contributions to “Life of Pi” mark his first foray into comp…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 05:30PM

Chris Herbie Holland (‘Fat Ham’) on being a ‘healer’ for the audience: ‘We can choose joy everyday’ [Exclusive Video Interview] by Sam Eckmann

“One thing that I’ve always strived for…is to be a healer,” reveals Chris Herbie Holland. Lucky for him then, that his character Tio in James Ijames’ “Fat Ham” is the person re…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 04:30PM

Outer Critics Circle nominations: ‘New York, New York’ leads with 12, ‘Leopoldstadt’ has 6 by Sam Eckmann

The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications, today announced the nominees for the 72nd Annua…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 02:00PM

Jordan E. Cooper (‘Ain’t No Mo’) on exploring ‘the mosaic of Blackness and queerness’ in America [Exclusive Video Interview] by Sam Eckmann

“I’m one of those people who will always have to find something to laugh about,” reveals playwright and actor Jordan E. Cooper. During the summer of 2016, he was reeling from the killi…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 11:30AM

Alex Joseph Grayson (‘Parade’) on staying present and removing ‘the mask’ of Jim Conley [Exclusive Video Interview] by Sam Eckmann

Alex Joseph Grayson sees the Broadway revival of “Parade” as a chance to grow “more relaxed and more present as a performer.” The actor plays Jim Conley in the Michael Arden-helmed p…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 10:30AM
Tuesday, April 25, 2023

2023 Drama League Award nominations: 47 performers compete for Distinguished Performance by Sam Eckmann

The Drama League today announced the nominations for the 2023 Drama League Awards. Honoring achievements on and Off-Broadway, the nominations were announced this morning by Roger Bart (“Ba…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 03:45PM

Colton Ryan (‘New York, New York’ and ‘Poker Face’) on recreating the sound of the 1940s and working with legends [Exclusive Video Interview] by Sam Eckmann

“I’m a nerd first,” Colton Ryan quickly points out. In that sense, the actor is having the time of his life on his two recent projects which have connected him with legends in the indu…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 12:30PM

Victoria Clark (‘Kimberly Akimbo’) on how her 16-year-old character teaches the preciousness of life [Exclusive Video Interview] by Sam Eckmann

“I don’t think I’m done creating this part! It’s still an exploration,” reveals Victoria Clark in reference to the title character of “Kimberly Akimbo.” In this new musical fro…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 11:30AM
Monday, April 24, 2023

Brandon Uranowitz (‘Leopoldstadt’) explores Jewish ‘family, identity and memory’ in Tom Stoppard’s sprawling play [Exclusive Video Interview by Sam Eckmann

“The play is about family, identity and memory,” reveals Brandon Uranowitz when asked to synthesize the epic scope of Tom Stoppard’s “Leopoldstadt.” Having grown up Jewish within a…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 12:30PM
Friday, April 21, 2023

Will Swenson (‘A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical’) lives out his ‘wildest dreams’ by embodying the iconic singer [Exclusive Video In by Sam Eckmann

“I’m not exaggerating when I say that I grew up on Neil Diamond,” reveals Will Swenson. “He’s my Dad’s favorite singer of all time. So it was just fed to us with our breakfast, p…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 01:30PM
Thursday, April 20, 2023

Arian Moayed (‘A Doll’s House’) on discovering ‘deep truths’ through unconventional staging [Exclusive Video Interview] by Sam Eckmann

“We’re going after so many deep truths,” reveals Arian Moayed of the current revival of “A Doll’s House.” Director Jamie Lloyd has staged Amy Herzog’s new adaptation on a mostl…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 05:30PM

Crystal Lucas-Perry (‘Ain’t No Mo’ and ‘1776’) on exploring ‘what it meant to be Black in America, Black in the world’ [Exclusive Video by Sam Eckmann

When the pandemic shifted production schedules of two long-gestating projects, Crystal Lucas-Perry found herself performing in two powerful works back-to-back in her debut season on Broadway…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 03:30PM
Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Patina Miller (‘Into the Woods’) on how motherhood helped her understand what The Witch is ‘fighting for’ [Exclusive Video Interview] by Sam Eckmann

“What’s exciting for me is being able to appreciate what’s come before me, but also not letting that cloud me in any way,” explains Patina Miller when discussing her portrayal of The…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 05:30PM

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