Podcast Episode 177 – A Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer Who Also Trains Broadway Producers.

 

Tom Viertel has produced some of the biggest hits that Broadway has seen, including The ProducersHairspray and more. 

But what I love about his trajectory is that he got his start producing some of the smallest shows that Off-Broadway had ever seen.

And worked his way up. (If that sounds familiar, it’s what I did too . . . and what I recommend all startup Producers (and startup anythings, actually) do).

It’s fitting that Tom is also the Executive Director of The Commerical Theater Institute, which helps train Broadway Producers To Be.

We talked about how producing has changed over the years as well as . . .

  • What’s wrong with Off Broadway today?  And can it be fixed?
  • How to learn from the shows that don’t work.
  • The most important skill a Broadway Producer must have.
  • The advantages of taking small investors and how he built his database.
  • What real estate and Broadway producing have in common.

Click above for my podcast with Tom!

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 176 – Two Time Tony Award-Winning Composer/Lyricist, Maury Yeston

There was one disappointing thing that I kept thinking during the recording of my podcast with Maury Yeston.

During the recording of my podcast with the two time Tony winner, I kept thinking how disappointed I was . . . that I didn’t have him on sooner.

You’ll hear what I mean from the get-go of this episode.

Because not only is Maury a super-talented genius of an artist and a Grand Master of the Musical Theater form, he has a passionate positivity for our business that few can match.

And it wasn’t always easy for the man who dreamed up Nine and wrote the “other” Phantom . . . not to mention writing one of my favorite musical theater songs of all time.

We talked about his struggle to “make it” along with . . .

  • Why he wrote Nine before he even had the rights to the film on which it was based.
  • How critics have changed, and how he believes they should write their reviews (this one is not only for the critics out there, but for anyone who has asked for advice on a show, or tweets, etc.)
  • The most important thing he learned in his decades with the Lehman Engel BMI Workshop, both as a student and as head of the program.
  • How bad reviews for an out of town tryout can actually be a blessing in disguise.
  • What he thinks is the biggest mistake writers make today.

Enjoy this podcast, and I wish you the same joy in your work as Maury takes in his.

Click above for my podcast with Maury!

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 175 – Composer-Lyricist and Winner of So Many Awards, Ryan Scott Oliver

 

With apartments as small as they are in this city, I’m not sure where Ryan Scott Oliver keeps all his trophies.

Because Ryan has won just about every single award an emerging musical theatre writer can win in this town.  The Jonathan Larson, multiple ASCAPs, Richard Rodgers, etc, etc.  I mean, you’d think this guy has a big future ahead of him.

Oh, wait, Entertainment Weekly did call him “The Future of Broadway.”

And that’s why I wanted to talk to him.

Ryan has built an amazing career of super cool projects from Darling to 35mm to Jasper In Deadland, all of which are performed all over the world.  Recently, he passed over 1 million streams on Spotify.

And he hasn’t yet made his Broadway debut.

It’s coming, for sure, but how has he done what he has done in the meantime?

We found out on this podcast.  We also discussed:

  • Why he decided to go into musical theatre rather than join some of his peers in pop music.
  • How he found a balance between making money and pursuing the projects he’s really passionate about . . . and how you can too.
  • His pros and cons of grad school.
  • Why he founded the super successful Actor Training Program Actor Therapy with Broadway Star Lindsay Mendez.
  • The reasons why feedback from fellow writers is so important.

Click above for my podcast with Ryan!

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 174 – Pulitzer Prize Winner, Alfred Uhry

 

I first met Alfred Uhry when I was company managing the reading and the workshop of Paradethe musical he wrote with Jason Robert Brown, years before it made it to Broadway.
Shows undergo so much transformation during readings and workshops that to watch a Pulitzer Prize winner like Alfred bob and weave with his pen during these few weeks was one of the most educational experiences I have ever had.
Because it was obvious that Alfred, who had scored big time with his first (!) play, Driving Miss Daisy, was a genius.  But what I love about Alfred, as you’ll hear in this week’s podcast, is that he doesn’t come off like some know-it-all intelligentsia . . . even though he does know it all, and if I was on the same Jeopardy telecast with him, I’d quit before the Alex could let me choose a category.
There’s a bunch of mind-blowing moments in this podcast, including:
  • How he kept writing after a couple of big ol’ Broadway disasters that would have sent most people to law school.
  • Where he got the inspiration for Driving Miss Daisy, and the magic words he heard from his agent when she read it.
  • Musicals and plays . . . and the different skills needed for both.
  • His process of sitting down and writing, and how that has changed since he began.
  • Writing what you know . . . the pros and the cons.

Click above for my podcast with Alfred!

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 173 – Broadway Dance Arranger and More, David Chase

 

Like Beetlejuice, David Chase has appeared.

His name had been uttered at least three times by so many of my previous podcast guests that I had to have him on.

And as you’ll hear in this podcast, he didn’t disappoint.

David sits in a very unique musical position on Broadway shows, getting a view into the creation of scores from a vantage point that few get to see.  And in addition to being the #1 Dance Arranger on Broadway, he’s also an Orchestra Supervisor and more.

Listen to hear David talk about . . .

  • Why Composers don’t have to read or write music to compose a show.
  • What does a Dance Arranger actually do anyway?
  • How the modern musical has changed over the years and where he thinks it’s headed.
  • How he made a name for himself in a niche that no one knew much about.
  • One of the most common things that derails a show.

Enjoy this musical masterclass and click above for my podcast with David!

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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