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.

Podcast Episode 188 – Tony Nominated Choreographer, Josh Bergasse

Josh Bergasse’s life could be a musical. He started dancing every day in his mom’s studio since he was barely out of diapers.
And in his own words, ten years and 10,000 hours later, he actually got pretty good.
He could have danced his way up and down Broadway as a performer for years, but he made the early transition to choreography and is already one of the most sought after step-makers on the block.  (If you saw On The Town, you know why.)

Josh and I talked about creating your own luck and that to become a success you have to “never stop dancing,” as well as . . .

  • Why the lack of pressure on himself landed him his first gig and so many more.
  • How that pressure increases when you’ve achieved more and how you deal with it to keep moving ahead.
  • Why choreographers should be engaged early on in musicals (this one changed my thinking about hiring altogether).
  • The process of making a “dance” and what the most important elements are.
  • His experience on the TV show Smash and why it isn’t still running today.

Dance is more of an essential element in musicals than most of us non-dancers realize.  That’s why it’s important for us un-coordinated types to listen to experts like Josh to make sure we’re incorporating it into what we do.

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

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 episode of The Producer’s Perspective podcast is sponsored by Sunlight Studios – the newest studio space in the theater district. Use code DAVENPORT to get 5% off all bookings for the next four weeks! www.SunlightStudios.com

Podcast Episode 187 – Tony-Award Winning Director, Michael Mayer

A flood brought us together.

It was crunch time during tech at Thoroughly Modern Millie when the deluge curtain opened up and flooded the stage and the Director, Michael Mayer, had to figure out what to do.

As the Company Manager, I’ll never forget the look on everyone’s faces when they found out that costumes were ruined, the stage couldn’t be used, etc.

And under Michael’s leadership, everyone buckled down, mopped up the mess, and went on to create a Tony Award-winning musical.

Michael has put a few more Tony-Award winning shows on his resume, including Spring Awakening, and we talked about all the show(s) he has captained, as well as . . .

  • The GOOD review that made him stop reading reviews altogether.
  • Why he convinced everyone to wait for Neil Patrick Harris to be available for Hedwig and how we got that performance out of him.
  • How he can still feel like a fraud, even with a Tony Award on his shelf, and how he gets through that when he starts a new show.
  • Plays versus musicals and the skills you need for both.
  • The day he knew to hang it up as a performer because there were bigger things that he could do.
Let the flood waters part and enjoy Michael Mayer!

 

Click here for my podcast with Michael!

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

Download it here.

 

Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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