All stories by Sam Eckmann on BroadwayStars

Friday, December 1, 2023

2024 Tony Awards eligibility rulings (round 1): Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez compete as featured actors by Sam Eckmann

The Tony Awards Administration Committee met for the first time during the 2023-2024 Broadway season on November 30, to discuss eligibility of 10 productions for the 77th Annual Tony Awards …

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 11:00AM
Wednesday, October 4, 2023

2024 Tony Awards will air June 16 for 1st time ever from Lincoln Center by Sam Eckmann

The Tony Awards will once again find a new home for the 2024 ceremony. The 77th Annual Tony Awards will broadcast live from The David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Art…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 01:30PM
Sunday, June 11, 2023

Macy Schmidt is the groundbreaking orchestrator behind Tonys opening number by Sam Eckmann

If you watched host Ariana DeBose dance her way through the stellar opening number at the 2023 Tony Awards, you may have wondered: who is that woman playing the piano in the lobby of the Uni…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 11:41PM

Tom Stoppard breaks his own Tony record with ‘Leopoldstadt’ by Sam Eckmann

Tom Stoppard won the Best Play trophy for “Leopoldstadt” at the 2023 Tony Awards. This is his fifth win in the category, breaking his own Tony record. The theater legend maintains an imp…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 11:03PM

J. Harrison Ghee and Alex Newell become first openly nonbinary performers to win Tony Awards by Sam Eckmann

Two performers broke new ground when it comes to gender diversity at the Tony Awards. J. Harrison Ghee and Alex Newell are the first ever openly nonbinary acting winners at the Tony Awards. …

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 10:50PM

Tony Awards: Casey Nicholaw (‘Some Like it Hot’) finally wins for choreography by Sam Eckmann

Casey Nicholaw has become synonymous with the modern Broadway showstopper thanks to his signature high energy dance numbers. So it may come as a surprise to many theater fans that until this…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 08:11PM
Friday, June 9, 2023

2023 Tony Awards predictions: Toughest 4 musical categories made easy by Sam Eckmann

Plenty of attention is dedicated to the Best Musical race during Tony Awards season, but how confident are you in predicting the design categories? These four races consistently yield surpri…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 05:00PM

2023 Tony Awards predictions: Toughest 4 play categories made easy by Sam Eckmann

Broadway insiders are always quick to offer their predictions for the big races at the Tony Awards, but if you’re aiming for a top score in our Tony Awards prediction contest you’ll need…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 04:00PM

2023 Tony Awards predictions: What musicals and performances will win? [WATCH] by Sam Eckmann

Best Musical is arguably the most coveted trophy of the Tony Awards, and the race this year has narrowed down to two beloved contenders. I am joined by fellow Broadway fanatic David Buchanan…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 10:00AM
Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Charlie Rosen and Bryan Carter (‘Some Like it Hot’ orchestrators) played ‘with a lot of different colors’ to achieve a brassy big band sound [ by Sam Eckmann

“I think it makes for a more fruitful and varied and rich orchestration when you have people with different skill sets and musical backgrounds and vocabularies collaborating on the same th…

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 06:30PM
Monday, June 5, 2023

Audra McDonald (‘Ohio State Murders’) on the ‘psychological toll’ of Adrienne Kennedy’s play and tying the Tony Awards record [Exclusive Vid by Sam Eckmann

“It grabbed my heart and just shook it,” reveals Audra McDonald of Adrienne Kennedy’s searing play “Ohio State Murders.” The six-time Tony Award winner initially participated in a …

SOURCE: Gold Derby at 01:30PM
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

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater