Podcast Episode 193 – Broadway Funny Girl Julie Halston

And we’re baaaaaack!

Welcome to the start of the new ProducersPerspectivePodcast season, everybody!  Did you miss us?  Did you even know we were gone?

Well, even if you didn’t, we’re still back with a brand-spankin’ new season of TheProducersPerspectivePodcast!

It has been almost five years since we started getting Broadway A-listers into a room to talk about their start, their present, and where they believe Broadway is going to be in the future.  It seems like just yesterday when I asked Super-Power Press Agent Rick Miramontez to be my first guest, without any idea what I was doing (if I’m being totally honest).

But within about 15 seconds into his first answer, I knew we were on to something.  Because I was learning and laughing.  And what better combination is there!?

That’s why there have been 193 episodes since then.  And that’s why I’ve kept on harassing Broadway’s most powerful to spend 40 minutes with me so I can share their Wikipedia-like knowledge and Dali Lama-like inspiration with you.

And that’s why we’re back with a new season.  That’s why, like everything else I’ve done, I’m committed to getting even better with this new season.  So watch for tweaks to everything we’re doing, from even bigger guests to showcases on emerging writers to revealing tips to better production value too!  🙂

Because we know more about what we’re doing now, but we’re still learning.  And I honestly believe that this is YOUR podcast.  So tell us what you want, and we’ll keep shaping it as we go.

(Oh, and in the 193 interviews I’ve done, you know what the most commonly uttered phrase is from my guests as they talk about their way up in the industry?  “I didn’t know what I was doing.”  So, I realized I was in good company . . . and if you don’t know what you’re doing, but you are doing something, that’s not only OK . . . it’s a sure-fire indication that you’re on your way to something big.)

In fact, not knowing what you’re doing, but getting out there in front of people and being totally vulnerable is one of the keys to this week’s guest’s massive success.

If you don’t know Broadway Funny Girl Julie Halston, you are in for a treat.  She’s one of the fiercest comediennes we have, currently playing and flambaying a Producer (!) on Broadway in Tootsie, but has been in everything from Gypsy (where we met) to You Can’t Take It With You to Hairspray to Anything Goes and more.

But she got her start on one of the smallest stages in New York City.

And the story of her rise as a Broadway star, a writer, a producer, and more is a real inspiration and education for us all.  Listen to hear all about:

  • How Charles Busch forced her to write her first show in two weeks . . . and how she got the courage to do it.
  • Where she learned how to do dramatic readings of NY Times Wedding Announcements. (And yes, listen to her do a reading from the NY Times at the end of this podcast!)
  • Why she says “yes” to everything she can and why you should too.
  • Why, despite her big Broadway success, she still performs in her one-woman show (including a performance coming up on October 3rd at Birdland!  Go!)
  • How she creates unique characters, like the stripper in Gypsy, that are so memorable and so freakin’ funny and so beyond what’s just in the script.

If you’re an actor or a fan, then you should listen to this podcast.  If you’re a TheaterMaker of any other kind, then you MUST listen to this podcast.

And I apologize in advance for my laughter throughout the episode.  You try and hold it in when talking to Julie Halston!

Enjoy and thank you for coming back to our new season!

  • Click here to listen on our site!
  • Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)
  • Download it here.

This week’s #SongwriterOfTheWeek is Zack Zadek! If you enjoyed the outro music in this episode, go on over to www.ZackZadek.com for more tunes.

This episode is sponsored by Sunlight Studios. Use the code DAVENPORT by October 10 to save on renting studio space.

Podcast Episode 192 — Six-Time Tony Nominee of The Prom and more, Book Writer/Lyricist Chad Beguelin!

Imagine you have a poster up in Shubert Alley of a show you wrote that is supposed to open on Broadway in just a few months.

Then imagine that show suddenly gets canceled.

It might make you want to pack it all in, move back to the small town you’re from, and become a lawyer or doctor or anything but a musical theater writer.

And no one would blame you for it.

Well, that happened to Chad.  But he decided to tough it out and double down on his desire to write for the theater.

And we’re all luckier for it.

The show was The Rhythm Club (it was terrific, by the way).  Chad, the multi-talented and multi-nominated book writer/lyricist of shows like AladdinThe Wedding SingerElf, and this season’s breakout original hit, The Prom, talked about that difficult experience as well as:

  • The pros and cons of writing original musicals versus adaptations of big, branded source material.
  • How he settles “differences of opinions” with his collaborators . . . from Alan Menken to Matt Sklar.
  • The importance of having confidence as a writer, even when you are just starting out, and when those around you have more experience.
  • What award season is like when you’re up against your friends and peers.
  • What he looks for in a producer and why.

Enjoy the podcast here and wish Chad luck on Sunday night!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)

Download it here.

IMPORTANT PODCAST NEWS:  As the current Broadway season comes to an end, so does this season of The Producer’s Perspective podcast!  We’ll be back in the fall with a new look, new sound, and new super-powered guests.  Sign up here to be the first to know when the next episode is released, or click here to subscribe in iTunes.  And if you’re looking for a podcast fix in the meantime, check out the archives here.

Podcast Episode 191 — Tony Nominated Director/Choreographer Warren Carlyle

So many people out there would kill to sing and dance on Broadway.

But not all of them.

When the Billy Elliot-like Warren Carlyle danced over to the US from the West End (after appearing in a ton of big-time shows), he didn’t even think twice about wanting to tread the boards as a performer.

He dove right into creating the steps, instead of dancing ’em.

With that kind of focus and drive, it’s no wonder that he now has about a dozen credits on Broadway, from his Tony-nominated turns this season on Kiss Me Kate to his direction and choreography of Chaplin, Finian’s Rainbow, and more.

Warren is a big part of the Tony race this season (and my money is on him), but he still took time out of his busy rehearsal and cocktail party schedule to sit down with me and talk about:

  • How he was a real-life Billy Elliot and why his Mum got him started on his journey.
  • What made him hang up his dance belt and turn to a life of choreography.
  • The process of creating a number . . .  and how he knows when it is working and when it isn’t . . . .
  • How he got “Too Darn Hot” from an 8 to a 10!
  • What it’s like working with stars like Hugh Jackman and Bette Midler.

Click here to listen to the wisdom of Warren now!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Podcast Episode 190 — The Tony Nominated Composer/Lyricist, Streamin’ Paul Gordon!

I put a little something new into the podcast this week:  music.

You’ll start hearing a bit of a tune from one of my guests’ shows in every episode going forward.

And Paul Gordon was the inspiration.

We were talking about his gorgeous tune, “Forgiveness” from Jane Eyre, and I so wanted to hear it right then I said, “We’re putting this in the damn podcast!”  So you’ll hear a bit.  (And if you want to hear more, go here to get the dang song.)

Paul‘s melodies are why I produced Daddy Long Legs.  Music is the root word of musical, so if you don’t have great music, you should hang a poster on the wall at Joe Allen’s right away.

But Paul is much more than a brilliant Composer/Lyricist.  He’s an incredible art-trepreneur who knows that having some Broadway shows doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait for the offers to come in.

We talked about what he does to get his work out there and more, including:

  • How his super successful pop career writing songs taught him how to write great musical theater songs.  (He reveals what pop songs he wrote and you won’t believe it!)
  • Getting the courage to tell a Tony Winner that he didn’t want to change his show, even when he had never worked in the theater before!
  • Why he started StreamingMusicals.com as a way to showcase his and YOUR work – and how it already landed him a licensing deal.
  • What he learned from his first Broadway show, Jane Eyre, and what he’d do differently next time.
  • Where he gets his ideas and what he does first.

Enjoy this podcast and when you’re done, check out Daddy Long Legs on Broadway HD or get the recording here.  It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve produced . . . thanks to Paul.

Click here for my podcast with Paul!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Podcast Episode 189 — The Tony Nominated Book Writer of Tootsie, Robert Horn

“You have a candy machine in here???”
If you saw or know 13 the musical (my first Broadway producing credit), then you know that this line got one of the biggest laughs on Broadway that entire season. (It was shouted in utter disbelief by a 13-year-old male character who burst into the girl’s bathroom to talk to his girlfriend, only to be distracted by a certain type of feminine product vending machine mounted on the wall.)
The line was written by book writer Robert Horn, who is now getting even bigger laughs at his Tony-nominated musical Tootsiewhich is being heralded as one of the best movie-to-musical adaptations . . . evah.
We talked about Tootsieas well as 13, and . . .
  • What makes something funny — and how he finds it.
  • How he got his start writing by selling monologues to actors for $20 (you art-trepreneur, you!).
  • How his success in TV helped him crack the code on Broadway — which is what he has wanted all along.
  • Could a writer’s room work on Broadway (you’ll be surprised to hear this response)?
  • When to cut something and when NOT to.
Enjoy!  And then go see Tootsie!

So, 5, 6, 7, 8, click here for my podcast with Robert!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)

Download it here.

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