Break A Bat! where Baseball Meets Broadway

Broadway Podcast Network

Celebrating two of New York City’s greatest fabrics: baseball and the performing arts. Born out of a passion for both Broadway musicals and triple-digit fastballs, we attempt to show that fans of sports and theatre don’t have to live in such separate worlds, and maybe even break some stigmas. Hosted by Al Malafronte, the show serves as a platform for fans of both mediums to hear intimate conversations with their favorite performers from the stage, screen, and stadium. Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network.

Start Here
#60 - Now Batting: Steve Whitmire
2d ago
#60 - Now Batting: Steve Whitmire
From November 2020. Steve Whitmire steps into The Batter’s Box for Episode 60! Here on Broadway, we have a deep appreciation for artists who master the ability to create characters. Over the course of a 40-plus year career in show business, few have done this better than Steve Whitmire. Whitmire got his start with The Muppets in 1978 as a lead puppeteer alongside Jim Henson on The Muppet Show. It was there he originated the wise-cracking New Yorker, Rizzo the Rat, and he would then go on to perform in nearly every Henson project thereafter including Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and all of the major Muppet films. After Jim Henson’s passing in 1990, Whitmire was tapped as the man to succeed him as the performer of Kermit the Frog, as well as Ernie on Sesame Street. Whitmire’s incredible body of work shines particularly bright here in New York City, and what makes this chat unique from some of Whitmire’s previous interviews is the special focus on various projects he helped create in the Big Apple. Whether it be working on one of the ultimate films about Broadway in The Muppets Take Manhattan, Sesame Street, or the many Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades that he performed in, his stories and insight are truly incredible. One story that provided some particularly big laughs actually came via Whitmire's time at Yankee Stadium, when he was invited to perform with Kermit at Yankees' Opening Day in 2012. He also dives deep into how he channeled the necessary technique and craft in order to not only perform Kermit, Ernie, and Rizzo, but develop them as living entities in the world.  Another key talking point in our conversation was the current state of The Muppets. While Whitmire was performing his characters through 2016, he was truly one of the key players in keeping Jim Henson’s legacy and lineage tradition alive with The Muppets. Today, Whitmire’s thoughts on what it would take to bring the franchise back to what it was built upon echo those of other prominent creatives who worked closest with Jim Henson, and really hits home for those who believe in the purity of the characters. He even discusses a definitive project he’s developed that could very well re-introduce The Muppets to a new generation of viewers under a promising new executive at The Muppets Studio. While Whitmire has accomplished nearly everything one can in puppetry, he still continues to do phenomenal work with his own character Weldon the I.T. Guy on the CAVE-iN series, in which he created and also stars. The series serves as a live streaming platform for viewers to interact with his character and very much captures the brilliance of his work that he’s become known for throughout his distinguished career. Connect with Steve Whitmire on Instagram: @steve_whitmire, Facebook, and on his website. Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#60 - Now Batting: Steve Whitmire
2d ago
#60 - Now Batting: Steve Whitmire
From November 2020. Steve Whitmire steps into The Batter’s Box for Episode 60! Here on Broadway, we have a deep appreciation for artists who master the ability to create characters. Over the course of a 40-plus year career in show business, few have done this better than Steve Whitmire. Whitmire got his start with The Muppets in 1978 as a lead puppeteer alongside Jim Henson on The Muppet Show. It was there he originated the wise-cracking New Yorker, Rizzo the Rat, and he would then go on to perform in nearly every Henson project thereafter including Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and all of the major Muppet films. After Jim Henson’s passing in 1990, Whitmire was tapped as the man to succeed him as the performer of Kermit the Frog, as well as Ernie on Sesame Street. Whitmire’s incredible body of work shines particularly bright here in New York City, and what makes this chat unique from some of Whitmire’s previous interviews is the special focus on various projects he helped create in the Big Apple. Whether it be working on one of the ultimate films about Broadway in The Muppets Take Manhattan, Sesame Street, or the many Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades that he performed in, his stories and insight are truly incredible. One story that provided some particularly big laughs actually came via Whitmire's time at Yankee Stadium, when he was invited to perform with Kermit at Yankees' Opening Day in 2012. He also dives deep into how he channeled the necessary technique and craft in order to not only perform Kermit, Ernie, and Rizzo, but develop them as living entities in the world.  Another key talking point in our conversation was the current state of The Muppets. While Whitmire was performing his characters through 2016, he was truly one of the key players in keeping Jim Henson’s legacy and lineage tradition alive with The Muppets. Today, Whitmire’s thoughts on what it would take to bring the franchise back to what it was built upon echo those of other prominent creatives who worked closest with Jim Henson, and really hits home for those who believe in the purity of the characters. He even discusses a definitive project he’s developed that could very well re-introduce The Muppets to a new generation of viewers under a promising new executive at The Muppets Studio. While Whitmire has accomplished nearly everything one can in puppetry, he still continues to do phenomenal work with his own character Weldon the I.T. Guy on the CAVE-iN series, in which he created and also stars. The series serves as a live streaming platform for viewers to interact with his character and very much captures the brilliance of his work that he’s become known for throughout his distinguished career. Connect with Steve Whitmire on Instagram: @steve_whitmire, Facebook, and on his website. Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#90 - Now Batting: Norbert Leo Butz
Aug 3 2022
#90 - Now Batting: Norbert Leo Butz
From June 2021. We have the honor of welcoming our very first Tony Award-winner to The Batter's Box, as the great Norbert Leo Butz joins us for Episode 90! Butz's many Broadway accolades are highlighted by four Tony Award nominations, winning twice for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical thanks to his performances as Freddy Benson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in 2005, and again in 2011 when he portrayed Agent Carl Hanratty in Catch Me If You Can. He's also starred in Rent, The Last Five Years, Wicked, Big Fish, My Fair Lady, among other prominent credits. In addition to all of his accomplishments on stage and screen, Butz is just as passionate about baseball as he is for theatre. Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, he spent much of his childhood at Busch Stadium during the heart of the Cardinals' great run in the 1980's with Whitey Herzog at the helm. To this day, he still gets major adrenaline rushes on stage when his performances coincide with Cardinals' World Series games, and has some very memorable stories about those occasions. In an extremely candid conversation, he discusses growing up in what he describes as a very Catholic household with 10 other siblings, and how sports and performing were always at the forefront of his passions. He also takes us through some of the major personal triumphs he's experienced within the Broadway community, having found the ultimate teammates that bring out the best in him to help propel some of his greatest grand slams even in trying times. Anyone from Joe Torre to Keith Hernandez to Bruce Springsteen has come to see Butz perform on stage, and even with all of his success as an actor, he's as humble as anyone we've gotten to speak with. That humbleness, as well as his gratitude and brilliant comedic wit are on full display in this conversation that can be enjoyed by baseball and Broadway fans alike! Connect with Norbert Leo Butz on Instagram: @norbert_leo_butz Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#76 - Now Batting: Christy Altomare
Jul 27 2022
#76 - Now Batting: Christy Altomare
From March 2021. LOOKOUT! Christy Altomare steps into The Batter’s Box for Episode 76! One of Broadway's most beloved players, Altomare’s talent as a leading lady is up there with anyone's in the game. She got her start in show business when she starred as Wendla in the first national tour of Spring Awakening in 2008, before taking on the role of Sue Snell in the off-Broadway revival of Carrie in 2012. Later that year, she’d go on to make her Broadway debut in Mamma Mia! when she starred as Sophie Sheridan, and most recently, she originated the role of Anya in Anastasia. In doing so, she not only earned a Drama Desk Nomination and Theatre World Award, but she also won the very prestigious Broadway.com Star of the Year title in 2017. We often parallel that honor to being MLB's top Vote-Getter at the All-Star Game… In a conversation that covers all bases, Altomare speaks with host Al Malafronte about anything from her latest songwriting endeavors to her biggest grand slams on Broadway. She also discusses achieving great heights as a performer, and in her case, overcoming a tough period of darkness in order to do so. Altomare explains what inspired her to make changes in her life off-stage in order to propel success on it, which is a story that can motivate anyone who’s looking to excel either on stage or at the stadium. This chat also features big laughs during this week’s 7th Inning Stretch trivia, along with some epic banter about Billy Joel vs. Bruce Springsteen concerts, Italian name translations, and even New York Yankees references in Friends. Tune in for a special one. Connect with Christy Altomare on Instagram: @christyaltomare Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#31 - Now Batting: Derek Klena
Jul 20 2022
#31 - Now Batting: Derek Klena
From April 2020. Derek Klena steps into The Batter's Box for Episode 31! Klena is currently starring as Nick Healy in Broadway's Jagged Little Pill, and has authored a phenomenal career on stage. In addition to this, he may be one of our podcast's most theme-appropriate guests. As a high school pitcher in his native Southern California, Klena was a two-time first-team All-San Antonio League selection and two-time first-team All-Valley honoree, before enrolling in UCLA. While there, he was rostered on the school's iconic baseball team, pitching alongside eventual MLB All-Star hurlers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer. He did all of this while simultaneously participating in theatre, with full awareness of the parallels between the two mediums. Klena has a clear understanding of the focus and dedication required to be successful both on the mound and on stage, as well as the necessary confidence to overcome peer pressure and stigmas. We also had plenty of fun in this episode, as we re-hashed many of Klena's roles and highlights here on Broadway, as his other credits include Wicked, The Bridges of Madison County, and Anastasia. While speaking about Nick Healy in Jagged Little Pill, it was fascinating to hear why he believes Alanis Morissette's iconic music and the story it's set to - plays so well on stage, as well as his overall connection to the character he's taking on in the show. Hosted by Al Malafronte  Guest Co-Hosts: Doug Horowitz and Erin Connors Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Connect with Derek Klena on Instagram: @derek_klena and Twitter: @DerekKlena Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#89 - Now Batting: Sweeny Murti
Jul 13 2022
#89 - Now Batting: Sweeny Murti
From June 2021. Sweeny Murti is taking us backstage and into the clubhouse! For 21 seasons and counting, Murti has played the role of the New York Yankees beat reporter on the team's flagship radio station, WFAN, and also serves as a contributor to both MLB Network and SNY. This week, he takes host Al Malafronte through some of the fascinating aspects of his job, the challenges that come with covering the team over a 162-game season both at home and on the road, as well as some of the unique experiences he's had with the Bronx Bombers and their diverse personalities. Murti entered Yankees Universe during a particularly interesting chapter in the team's history. They were in the heart of their most recent dynasty when he came on board in 2001, and soon watched a major change in the guard unfold almost instantly after it ended on a November night in Arizona. His perspective on the franchise, as well as all of the players and events that followed the glory years are truly incredible, and not without some brilliant insight. Some of the other subject matters we touched on spanned anything from earning player's trust, Jeter & A-Rod, the best team he covered that didn't win it all, and developing his own unique style that we believe represents the "good stuff" in baseball coverage. Murti even tells us which Broadway musical he'd most like to star in! Connect with Sweeny Murti on Twitter: @YankeesWFAN and Instagram: @sweeny_murti Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#78 - Now Batting: Doug Mientkiewicz
Jun 29 2022
#78 - Now Batting: Doug Mientkiewicz
From April 2021. "Baseball is in a weird place right now." Doug Mientkiewicz steps into The Batter's Box for Episode 78 in a conversation filled with epic baseball chatter, brutal honesty, and fantastic wisdom. Mientkiewicz's 12-year playing career spanned 1998-2009 for seven different teams and was highlighted by an Olympic Gold Medal for Team USA, a Gold Glove Award, a .360 lifetime On-Base Percentage, and a World Series Championship. While playing he also garnered a reputation as one of the best defensive 1st basemen of his era and a no-nonsense player who would do anything it took to win. This week, he joins host Al Malafronte to revisit his memorable time on Broadway as a member of the New York Yankees in 2007, as well as plenty of other moments that surrounded his eventful career. He also addresses the 2004 World Series final out ball controversy when he battled the Red Sox front office in order to stay true to his own morality. It wasn't pretty, but Mientkiewicz tells all and then some. The ultimate way to define Mientkiewicz is a "winner," and he's a firm believer in differentiating yourself from other performers in a competitive playing field - a principle that can serve hopefuls in both sports and theatre. He's also a master storyteller, and his Yankee tenure was filled with so many wonderful talking points. These include A-Rod and the Toronto stripper incident, special relationships with Joe Torre and Don Mattingly, and a strong affinity for Roger Clemens as a teammate. He certainly wasn't afraid to address some of the more uncomfortable moments he witnessed between A-Rod and Derek Jeter, and his thoughts on the changing nature of today's game...This week's Fastball Derby was also especially fun as Mientkiewicz discusses his love of the musical, Oklahoma, and even which of his former teammates would make the best Broadway leads! Connect with Doug Mientkiewicz on Instagram: @olympicgoldfishing Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#70 - Now Batting: Megan Hilty
Jun 22 2022
#70 - Now Batting: Megan Hilty
From February 2021. Every so often, we’re fortunate enough to welcome personal favorites from show business to The Batter’s Box. That’s very much the case this week, as Megan Hilty joins the show for one of our most enjoyable conversations to date! A veteran of the stage and screen, Hilty’s career began in 2004 when she took the stage as Glinda in Wicked on Broadway. She’s since gone on to put together a tremendous body of work with other highlights that include starring as Ivy Lynn in NBC’s Smash, a Drama Desk nomination for her portrayal of Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5: The Musical, and a Tony nomination for her performance as Brooke Ashton in Noises Off. Episode 70 is the perfect blend of fun and insightful, as Hilty speaks with host Al Malafronte about some of her signature All-Star performances that have earned her love and praise from audiences worldwide. The free-flowing conversation truly hit a wide array of topics spanning anything from nights at the ballpark to America's Band to last spring's Smash reunion. Hilty even offers her candid thoughts on reviving the beloved series, and partook in a fun round of Baseball meets Broadway trivia in this week’s edition of the 7th Inning Stretch! Connect with Megan Hilty on Instagram: @meganhilty Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#105 - Now Batting: The Barretta Brothers
Jun 15 2022
#105 - Now Batting: The Barretta Brothers
From October 2021. Gene and Bill Barretta, known to many quite simply as “The Barretta Brothers,” are stepping into The Batter’s Box for Episode 105! Two master creatives, Gene is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books. He has also animated and illustrated for Sesame Street, Between The Lions, and The Jim Henson Company. Bill has been a director, writer, producer, and core performer with The Muppets for nearly 30 years. Together, they’ve created their own podcast/vodcast series appropriately titled: The Barretta Brothers - a spontaneous fun-filled hour with fascinating guests and great stories from their lives and careers. This week, the two brothers chat with host Al Malafronte about a myriad of topics spanning anything from their shared experiences growing up in Italian households that loved both sports and the arts to Gene competing against LeBron James to memories from the set and stadium. We also discussed the recent release of Muppets Haunted Mansion, a brilliant Halloween special on Disney+ that Bill co-wrote and served as Executive Producer, in addition to performing his signature characters in Pepé the King Prawn, Johnny Fiama, and many others. It was an hour full of big laughs, constant play and gave the boys the opportunity to share some never-been-told stories! Be sure to check out The Barretta Brothers on their website, on YouTube, and wherever you get your podcasts! You can also connect with them on Instagram: @thebarrettabrothers and follow Gene's writing and art on his website: www.genebarretta.com. Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#95 - Now Batting: Sierra Boggess
Jun 8 2022
#95 - Now Batting: Sierra Boggess
From August 2021. LOOKOUT! It’s one of those special days in The Batter’s Box as Sierra Boggess joins us for Episode 95! For nearly a decade and a half, Boggess has cemented a standing as one of the best players in the game here on Broadway through her brilliant ability to bring iconic characters to life on stage, powerful singing voice, and inspiring disposition that embodies the good stuff in show business. Whether it was originating the role of Ariel in the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid, her portrayal of Christine Daaé in both the Broadway and London 25th Anniversary productions of The Phantom Of The Opera, or her other memorable performances in School Of Rock, It Shoulda Been You, Master Class, Lés Miserables, and Love Never Dies, her accomplishments on Broadway and The West End are on par with any hitter who's dominated in both the American and National League. Ironically, some of Boggess’ success on stage is rooted in her own athletic background, as she grew up as a competitive figure skater in her native Denver. Despite having to put the skates aside in her early teens, her passion for the sport has never wavered, and the values it taught her have truly helped shape her into the All-Star actress she is today. Over the past year, she's rediscovered those skills on the ice and this week, she takes host Al Malafronte through this incredible chapter of joy and the intense work she's put into it. She also discusses some of her eventual aspirations in the sport, which may just include competing on the professional level! One of the ultimate testaments to a performer either on stage or at the stadium is their mental fortitude, and some of Boggess’ stories behind her success on Broadway fully back up that notion in this conversation. Her ability to set herself apart as a star player in order to achieve her dreams is on par with anyone we’ve ever spoken with. One might even view her as a master "hitter" when it comes to her technique, mindfulness, and ability to evaluate scouting reports before going into an audition room. On the subject of hitters, it’s fitting that Boggess views herself as a “DH” if she were to take on a position in baseball, and also has some great memories of her hometown Colorado Rockies! If you're in New York, be sure to catch Sierra Boggess in her upcoming concert series at 54 Below from September 8-11, as she helps ring in Broadway's triumphant return this fall! Tickets are available here. Connect with Sierra Boggess on her website, as well as Instagram: @officialsierraboggess Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#71 - Now Batting: Nick Swisher
Jun 1 2022
#71 - Now Batting: Nick Swisher
From February 2021. It’s a SWISHALICIOUS day on Broadway, as the one and only Nick Swisher joins us for Episode 71! During a memorable Broadway tenure that spanned 2009-2012, few performers in New York Yankees history are more beloved than Swisher. While dawning the pinstripes, he not only cemented a legacy as a World Champion (2009) and All-Star right fielder (2010) but as a colorful personality and passionate player that would run through a wall for Yankee fans. These days, he's still involved with the team as a Special Advisor and can be seen on TV as a studio analyst for FS1. Swisher brings great stories and big laughs to The Batter’s Box, as he and host Al Malafronte look back fondly on his Yankee years. Whether it be changing the dynamic of a stuffy clubhouse, triumphing in the face of adversity, or helping ring in the new Yankee Stadium with a World Series, Swisher truly bares it all and then some. Like much of our fanbase, he’s also extremely passionate about the performing arts, as some of his favorite nights in the city center around trips to the theatre. He even has an epic Broadway dream role in mind and shares the little-known backstory behind his own acting gig on How I Met Your Mother. Swisher is one of baseball's good guys, and that very much shines through in this conversation that we're so proud to share with you. Connect with Nick Swisher on Instagram: @yourboyswish and Twitter: @NickSwisher Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast and Twitter: @break_a_bat Hosted by Al Malafronte Photo credit: AP Photo/Kathy Wilens Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#55 - Now Batting: Joel McHale
May 25 2022
#55 - Now Batting: Joel McHale
From October 2020. Joel McHale brings some big laughs to The Batter’s Box in Episode 55! Having made a name for himself in show business as the host of The Soup, and star of Community, McHale has kept as busy as anyone in the industry throughout 2020. Whether it be hosting the critically acclaimed Tiger King after-show special, launching his own podcast The Darkest Timeline, or guest judging on The Masked Singer, McHale’s work ethic and passion for what he does is undeniable. He also serves as the host of ABC’s Card Sharks revival, which has its second season set to premiere this Sunday, October 18 at 10/9c. In addition to everything McHale has accomplished on-screen, he’s also a tremendous fan of both sports and theatre, having participated in baseball, football, and school plays growing up in his hometown of Mercer Island, Washington. After going onto play college football at the University of Washington, and then launching a now 25+ year career in entertainment, his love of both mediums has never wavered. This week, McHale sits down with host Al Malafronte to not only discuss of all of his exciting recent work, but also his thoughts on life in show business, the possibility of a Community reboot, and his many career highlights. We also rehash McHale’s fond memories of the 1995 Mariners, as his hometown is currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of the team that saved baseball in Seattle. Never one to shy away from the big moment, McHale even touches on what it would take for him to dip his toe into Broadway’s waters, as he remains an avid fan of theatre with some phenomenal insight and stories. Connect with Joel McHale on Instagram: @joelmchale and Twitter: @joelmchale Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Photo used in episode art: F. Scott Schafer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#75 - Now Batting: Jodi Benson
May 18 2022
#75 - Now Batting: Jodi Benson
From March 2021. It's one of those special days in The Batter's Box, as Jodi Benson joins us for Episode 75! Inducted as a Disney Legend after serving The Walt Disney Company for the past 33 amazing years, Benson has received worldwide recognition and critical acclaim for her tremendous talent and iconic performances. She's best known as the beloved singing and speaking voice of Ariel in the Academy Award-winning Walt Disney animated feature film, The Little Mermaid. To this day, she remains the only actress to voice Ariel in all of the subsequent Disney projects that have followed the film's initial release. With a resume that spans dozens of prominent voiceover credits, she also performed the bubbly voice of Tour Guide Barbie in Disney Pixar's Toy Story 2, winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture, and then reprised the role in the Academy Award-winning Toy Story 3. In addition to everything Benson has accomplished on-screen, it was right here on Broadway where she began her phenomenal career in show business. Her four Broadway credits are highlighted by a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Crazy For You, which went onto win the Tony Award for Best Musical. This week she joined host Al Malafronte to discuss anything from her love of sports and theatre, the legacy of her characters, and some of the incredible behind-the-scenes stories that have helped shape her as a true Disney Legend in every way. This conversation also featured a guest appearance from our show's original co-host Scotty Katzmann, who was eager to share his latest song parody that pays homage to both The Little Mermaid and The National Pastime. Ms. Benson is truly the good stuff in show business and this conversation ranks high among our podcast's essential episodes - filled with plenty of insight, laughter, and of course, music! Connect with Jodi Benson on Instagram: @jodi.benson Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#65 - Now Batting: Bobby Richardson
May 11 2022
#65 - Now Batting: Bobby Richardson
From December 2020. New York Yankees legend Bobby Richardson steps into The Batter's Box for Episode 65! Over the course of a storied 12-year career spanning 1955-1966, Richardson was selected to more All-Star Games (8) and won more Gold Glove Awards (5) than any 2nd Baseman while performing on Broadway. He also won the 1960 World Series Most Valuable Player Award when he set an all-time Fall Classic record with a remarkable 12 Runs Batted In. That record still stands today, as Richardson would go onto retire as a member of 4 World Championship casts, and the proud owner of a lifetime .305 Batting Average in the World Series. In our 2020 finale, Richardson talks with host Al Malafronte about some of his fondest memories while dawning the pinstripes. Whether it be performing with some of the most iconic casts and characters in baseball history, leading the American League in hits in 1962 with 209, or catching Willie McCovey's screaming liner to close out the World Series, his countless stories were nothing short of a joy to listen to. He also touched on the special relationship he had with his teammate Mickey Mantle, especially during the final years of Mantle's life. It was Richardson that had Mantle's funeral, and delivered a passage that's since become key scripture in the baseball community in "God's Hall of Fame." We were fortunate enough to hear Mr. Richardson recite those words in this conversation that was as uplifting as anything we've ever experienced on this podcast. Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot (Photo by Photo File/MLB Photos via Getty Images) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#22 - Now Batting: Katlyn Carlson
May 4 2022
#22 - Now Batting: Katlyn Carlson
From February 2020. Katlyn Carlson steps into The Batter's Box for Episode 22! Carlson enjoyed one of the most exciting rookie years on Broadway in 2019 as one of the stars of Be More Chill. While far from a rookie in the acting world with other credits including Holly Star, The End Is Here, Billions, and The Jim Gaffigan Show, it was refreshing to hear her perspective on performance and how to navigate the success and adversity that comes with it. Something many baseball players have to deal with as well. In this episode, Carlson takes us through the phenomenon that was Be More Chill, how to raise your game against tough competition, and even how Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda crashed her wedding weekend in her hometown of St. Louis. A lifelong Cardinals fan, it was really interesting to hear what she picked up at the ballpark and how she applied it to her craft. True to our show's style, we did manage to work some Cardinals, Aroldis Chapman, and Be More Chill trivia into this week's 7th Inning Stretch. Our crew has always been a big fan of Carlson's, especially given how open she is with her fanbase when it comes to relatable real-life issues, which speaks to her authenticity as a person. That definitely shines through in this episode. Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network Edited by Matthew Hendershot Connect with Katlyn Carlson on Instagram: @katlyncarlson Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#69 - Now Batting: Darryl Strawberry
Apr 27 2022
#69 - Now Batting: Darryl Strawberry
From February 2021. Darryl Strawberry steps into The Batter’s Box for Episode 69! Beloved by both Mets and Yankee fans during his time on Broadway, the New York baseball legend has just authored a new book Turn Your Season Around: How God Transforms Your Life. In the book, Strawberry uses both his baseball performances and deep faith to share foundational principles that have helped shape who he is today. Strawberry’s playing career was filled with many highs on the field including 8 All-Star Game selections, 4 World Series Championships, and 335 career Homeruns to his name. He accomplished all of this while battling tremendous inner-demons that he’s since overcome, and speaks candidly about with host Al Malafronte. As 2021 marks the 35th anniversary of the iconic 1986 New York Mets championship team, we also looked back on the wild and crazy ride that Strawberry endured as a key member of one of Broadway’s most beloved casts. Strawberry also performed at one of Broadway’s most famous theatres in Yankee Stadium from 1995-1999, and that tenure was certainly filled with plenty of behind the scenes stories. Whether it was bench-clearing brawls, the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, or dramatic moments in the playoffs, Strawberry bares it all in this intimate conversation that can be enjoyed by baseball and theatre fans alike. Turn Your Season Around is available for purchase here. Connect with Darryl Strawberry on Instagram: @darrylstrawberry18 Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#87 - Now Batting: Patti Murin
Apr 20 2022
#87 - Now Batting: Patti Murin
From June 2021. LOOKOUT! A much-anticipated day has finally arrived, as Patti Murin joins us for Episode 87! Murin made her Broadway debut in one of our favorite shows of all time in Xanadu, and then went on to star in Lysistrata Jones, as well as the touring production of Wicked. She's also done a great deal of work on-screen including a recurring role on Chicago Med, and had starring roles in the Hallmark classics Holiday for Heroes and Love on Iceland. Of course, she's best known to the Broadway world for her most recent performance in Frozen when she starred as Anna, earning both Drama League and Outer Critic Circle Award nominations in the process. A proud New Yorker, Murin steps into The Batter's Box to discuss her long-time love of the New York Yankees. Whether it was their triumphs in the 2000 World Series against the Mets or the heartbreak endured during the 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox, Murin's relationship with the Pinstripes is marked by tremendous passion and spans all the peaks and valleys. She even has a specific code of ethics when it comes to following the team, and reveals some little-known facts about her sports fandom in general. In a conversation that truly covered all bases, we also discussed her biggest grand slams here on Broadway, the John Stamos-Beach Boys connection, and even played a fun round of Baseball meets Broadway trivia in this week's edition of The 7th Inning Stretch! Connect with Patti Murin on Instagram: @pattimurin Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#33 - Now Batting: Abby Mueller
Apr 6 2022
#33 - Now Batting: Abby Mueller
From May 2020. Abby Mueller steps into The Batter’s Box with host Al Malafronte for Episode 33! Mueller discusses some of the parallels she sees in high levels of performance both on stage and at the stadium, having grown up in a family that embraced both sports and the arts. Both of her parents were esteemed actors in Chicago’s theatre scene, and her grandfather, Bill Mueller, played centerfield for the Chicago White Sox in the 1940’s. Mueller even shares a memorable ’scene’ that her grandfather had on the field with the great Joe DiMaggio, while the White Sox hosted the New York Yankees at the historic Comiskey Park. Mueller has taken The Great White Way by storm in All-Star caliber fashion ever since her Broadway debut in Kinky Boots in 2013, has since gone onto star in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical in which she played Carole King, and is currently set to take the stage in one of Broadway’s most anticipated shows of the upcoming season - Six the Musical, starring as Jane Seymour. Not unlike quarantined ballplayers gearing up for MLB Opening Day, Mueller is staying atop her game for Six’s eventual opening and offers insight into why she believes the show garnered such a passionate fanbase in its out of town tryout. She also discusses what she’s looking forward to most about its official opening upon Broadway’s return, and just how needed theatre will be to help bring joy back to the city. Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Connect with Abby Mueller on Instagram: @abcmuell and Twitter: @abcmuell Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
#37 - Now Batting: Johnny Damon
Mar 30 2022
#37 - Now Batting: Johnny Damon
From June 2020. Johnny Damon steps into The Batter's Box for Episode 37! Damon's big league career spanned 18 seasons, in which he cemented a legacy as one of the top outfielders of his generation, and one of the greatest leadoff hitters of all-time. More than 15,000 players have dawned a Major League Baseball uniform throughout history, and Damon ranks 32nd all-time in Runs Scored (1,668), 49th in Doubles (522), 55th in Hits (2,769), and 68th in Stolen Bases (408) - feats which remain gold standards for any performer. However, as Damon touches on in this episode, his ultimate measure of success was winning championships, and he holds the distinction of being one of only four players to win World Series Championships as both a member of the Boston Red Sox (2004) and New York Yankees (2009). There was no bigger contributor to either team, and our conversation covered so many of the stories behind his success. Damon's career mirrors those of many Broadway greats, whether it be proving himself as a performer under the brightest of Broadway lights, handling career crossroads, and thriving in different types of roles on a team or cast. We even played some Baseball meets Broadway trivia in this week's 7th Inning Stretch! Off the field, Damon continues to do some tremendous work with his own foundation. The Johnny Damon Foundation aims to raise and donate funds to charitable organizations and assists local and national programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for disadvantaged children at risk. You can find more information about the foundation on its Website. Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images Connect with Johnny Damon on Instagram: @johnnydamon and Twitter: @JohnnyDamon Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices