West of Broadway Podcast

Broadway Podcast Network

On the West of Broadway podcast, Broadway veterans Will Armstrong and Wendy Rosoff discuss the vibrant musical theater scene on the West Coast, covering movie musicals, regional productions, national tours, and more with the cast, crew, producers, and supporters who make it all happen. If you want a lighthearted celebration of musical theater, you can find it all West of Broadway! Part of the Broadway Podcast Network.

Discussing PASSDOOR w/ Megan Sikora & James Tabeek
On this episode of West of Broadway, Will & Wendy are shifting focus slightly away from celebrating Musical Theater in Los Angeles and on the West Coast to celebrating Musical Theater FROM Los Angeles. With the recent announcement that the Broadway Industry will be staying closed until 2021, it is now more important than ever that we support arts education. Will and Wendy sit down with Director of Sales and Partnerships for PASSDOOR and one of their Visiting Educators, James Tabeek do discuss how they are working to help change the face of tomorrow’s Broadway by educating the young artists of today. PASSDOOR The new virtual platform offers intimate dance classes taught by seasoned Broadway performers. Offering over 40 live dance classes per week for aspiring dancers of all ages and skill levels. The emerging company in the New York theatre scene, announced the launch of their virtual platform which hosts professional-level dance classes taught solely by seasoned Broadway performers. Through the instruction of these notable teaching artists who have appeared in over 100 Broadway shows, students on Passdoor will learn dance techniques, skills and choreography from the comfort of their own home — regardless of personal skill level or age. With Broadway dark due to COVID-19, PassDoor was born out of the necessity to provide out-of-work performers an outlet for their art — the opportunity to train, connect and share their talents with future generations of dancers. Each Passdoor class is capped at 20 students, therefore allowing the instructors to provide direct feedback live. Classes are offered in the Ballet, Ballet Barre, Broadway Choreo, Children’s Theatre Playhouse, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Theatre Dance and Theatre Jazz modalities, formatted for both adults and children. “We formed PassDoor out of a need to help displaced Broadway Dancers due to the Pandemic, but quickly discovered it could be so much more. Not only are we providing a space for current professional artists to create and share their craft, but because everything is online, we have an opportunity to change the face of tomorrow’s Broadway by educating the young artists of today that might not have access to theatre or the arts,” said Megan Sikora, Director of Sales & Partnerships of Passdoor. “The team of teachers PassDoor has assembled are the absolute A-list of Broadway talent. Truly the very best of the best.” ~Denis Jones, two time Tony nominee, Best Choreography "The dancers teaching on PassDoor are among the elite Broadway performers of our time and some of my most favorite dancers in NYC! I’ve repeatedly hired many of them myself to dance on Broadway, network television and many other performances. Their unparalleled talent and experience makes PassDoor absolutely one of a kind." ~Josh Bergasse, Emmy Award winner, Outstanding Choreography Be sure to follow @ONPASSDOOR @MEGANSIKORA and @JAMESTABEEK on Instagram and while you’re at it feel free to follow @Wendy_Rosoff and @WillArmstrongPR. for the latest in West of Broadway news. BroadwayPodcastNetwork.com/podcasts/west-of-broadway is how you can keep up with us and find past and future episodes.  Thanks for joining us, until next time, if you’re looking for us, you can find us Just West of Broadway! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 19 2020
44 mins
Musical Theater and America with Adam Epstein
Will & Wendy get a chance to talk to the captivating and brilliant Adam Epstein about his upcoming 11-week online course presented by the Pasadena Playhouse. 11-week Webinar 60-minute virtual lectures every Tuesday at 5:00PM PST May 12–Jul 21, 2020 The Broadway Musical and America is intended to give students a broad overview of the American musical from Oklahoma to the present. The course situates the form as a distinctly American phenomenon and which both influenced and was influenced by the American political landscape since the end of World War II. The course, which will include special Broadway guests, will survey classic works of musical theater, and we will engage, discuss and think about why the Broadway musical has endured as an important American art form. Hosted by Adam Epstein, a theatrical producer whose productions have received 46 Tony nominations and garnered 12 Tony Awards, one of which Adam himself received as a producer of Hairspray in 2003. Adam’s other credits include A View From a Bridge, The Crucible, Amadeus, The Wedding Singer and Cry-Baby. In the West End, both his productions of Amadeus and Hairspray earned multiple Olivier nominations and Hairspray was awarded a record 11 nominations, winning four, including Best Musical. An adjunct faculty member of NYU, (which is also his alma mater,) Adam has also been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Columbia and the University of Miami. Adam recently graduated with his Master’s degree in American Studies from Brown University, and he is currently working in political journalism and media. You can follow Adam on Instagram @Akepstein and while you're at it feel free to follow @Wendy_Rosoff and @WillArmstrongPR. for the latest in West of Broadway news. BroadwayPodcastNetwork.com/podcasts/west-of-broadway is how you can keep up with us and find past and future episodes.  Thanks for joining us, until next time, if you’re looking for us, you can find us Just West of Broadway! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 5 2020
40 mins
Getting to know Laura Bell BundyRock of Ages Origin Story with Matt WeaverSheltering in Place with Kathryn (KAT) BurnsBook of Mormon's Liam TobinCOVID 19 Response
On this very special episode of West of Broadway, Will Armstrong and Wendy Rosoff are discussing the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic and what we might do during this time of widespread shutdowns, work stoppages, and self-isolations. The pair discuss theaters going dark from Broadway all the way west to California and how this is affecting members of the theatrical community. As a working actor and teaching artist, Wendy offers some productive suggestions for using possible downtime to get productive and prepared for when life gets back to normal. Here are some of her terrific suggestions: ·     If you happen to be out of work due to the enforced shutdowns, (and you are healthy and have not been exposed to the COVID 19 virus,) consider assisting with elder or childcare. People are going to Facebook and posting their availability. There are also Facebook groups forming to help place people together. Consider helping with Dog Fostering! This is a terrific way to help dogs in need of a forever home collect important data that will assist with adoptions and you will have company at home. Goto : https://www.outtathecage.org/for more information. Will and Wendy also talk about using this “downtime” to get creative and collaborative with other artists. Whether it’s writing, working on auditions, rehearsing, practicing, or addressing projects that you wanted to tackle but never had the time. But before any of that, take a breath and give yourself the gift of self-care and rest. Mind, body and soul have a chance to rest and recharge. Maybe meditate, read, research and find inspiration that may feed your soul. This is also a great time to update your website, update your social presence and great a social media calendar. If you need inspiration, research accounts you like and follow and use current trends to influence your social media posts. Wendy also suggests that all working actors, work on their self-tape skills. This is a great time to prepare for future auditions, and while we are on the subject of auditions… https://www.weaudition.com/ is a fantastic membership based resource for actors who need someone to help with line readings, scene study or just honing their craft. We Audition is also a terrific site to lend your skills as a reader or coach for other actors while you make some extra money. This is a little obvious, but now is a great time to check out all the podcasts that you have been meaning to listen to. https://broadwaypodcastnetwork.com/ is an amazing resource for theater fans to get an up close and personal look into this amazing world! Or, if you’re so inclined, maybe now is the time to start your own podcast. Will and Wendy recently did an interview for Medium.com offering tips for producing a podcast.  LINK: https://medium.com/authority-magazine/creating-a-bingeable-podcast-as-an-art-form-with-will-armstrong-wendy-rosoff-of-the-west-of-2cb40e4afd8a *Now is also a great time to update your resume and write your long form and short bios, update your mailing lists and your newsletter templates. Finally, use this time to reconnect with friends and family via Skype or Zoom and schedule a date to catch up. The world is telling us to slow down and now is a time to listen and breath and focus on physical and mental health. Thank you all for checking in on us! We hope you enjoyed this irregular episode. Please reach out to us on social and share what you’re doing during this interesting time. Find us on Instagram at: @WestofBroadwayPodcast @WillArmstrongPR and @Wendy_Rosoff and on Facebook @WillandWendy and share your story and catch up on old episodes at https://broadwaypodcastnetwork.com/podcast/west-of-broadway/ So, until next time, be well, be safe, wash your hands and remember, if you’re looking for us, you can find us just West of Broadway! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 14 2020
30 mins
Talking Assassins with Gedde Watanabe & George Xavier of East West Players
On this episode of West of Broadway Will Armstrong and Wendy Rosoff speak with Gedde Watanabe and George Xavier, two cast members of East West Players’ Spring 2020 production of the award-winning Broadway musical Assassins. Will and Wendy first speak with Gedde Watanabe – famous from appearing in John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles, and his stage appearances include the original Broadway production of Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures. Gedde discusses his process and character development as well as his experience working with the East West Players. George, A former student of Wendy's talks about his love for musical theater and his appreciation for working with such an inspiring cast. All performances of Assassins will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 in Little Tokyo. Previews are Thursday, March 12th through Sunday, March 15th, with 8pm shows from Thursday to Saturday, and a 2pm matinee show on Sunday. Regular performances are from Friday, March 20th through Sunday, April 5th, with 8pm shows from Thursday to Saturday, and 2pm matinee shows on Saturday and Sunday. Opening night is Thursday, March 19th at 8pm. Tickets are available at: https://eastwestplayers.org/assassins/ East West Players is the nation’s longest-running professional theater of color and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 6 2020
39 mins
Glass Ceilings -A New MusicalMeet the cast of IAMA Theater's Found
Will Armstrong and Wendy Rosoff met up Downtown LA to see the new musical Found Starring Jonah Platt and Jordan Kai Burnett. This IAMA Theater production is playing at the Los Angeles Theater Center until March 23! Listen in as Will and Wendy talk with cast members and discuss their experience before, during intermission, and after the show. Special thanks to Jonah Platt, Jordan Kai Burnett and Parvesh Cheena for taking the time to speak with us! About the show: Found isn’t just based on a true story — it’s based on hundreds of them! When lost and broke Davy, played by Jonah Platt (Fiyero in Wicked on Broadway, NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live with John Legend) happens to find a peculiar note meant for someone else on the windshield of his car, it sparks an outlandish idea to collect the hilarious and revealing notes and letters that surround us every day. Along with friends Denise (Jordan Kai Burnett, seen in the national tour of Seussical and a Scenie award-winner for the title role in Scissorhands at Rockwell Table & Stage) and Mikey D. (Mike Millan of Broadway’s Escape to Margaritaville, national tours of Sister Act and Piece of My Heart), he’s quickly swept up into a wild, comedic mission to share them with the world. Found is a raucous exploration of human connection and the beautiful weirdness in all of us. WHEN: Performances: Feb. 20 – March 23 • Thursdays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 20 (opening night) ONLY • Fridays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 6, March 13, March 20 • Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 22*, Feb. 29, March 7, March 14, March 21* • Sundays at 4 p.m.: Feb. 23, March 1, March 8, March 15, March 22 • Mondays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 24, March 2*, March 9, March 16, March 23 *Late-night shows of Davy Rothbart’s ‘Found Magazine show,’ as featured on NPR and The Late Show with David Letterman, take place on Saturday, Feb. 22; Monday, March 2; and Saturday, March 21 at 10:30 p.m. WHERE: The Los Angeles Theatre Center 514 S. Spring Street Los Angeles CA 90013 HOW: • 323-380-8843 or www.iamatheatre.com. • Visit IAMA Theatre Company on facebook: facebook.com/iamatheatre/ • Follow on instagram: @iamatheatre @JonahPlatt @JKAIB @Parvey and while your’e at it feel free to follow @Wendy_Rosoff and @WillArmstrongPR. and @westofbroadwaypodcast for the latest in West of Broadway news. BroadwayPodcastNetwork.com/podcasts/west-of-broadway is how you can keep up with us and find past and future episodes.   Thanks for joining us, until next time, if you’re looking for us, you can find us Just West of Broadway! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 26 2020
55 mins
Will & Wendy Escape to MargaritavilleWelcome Wendy Rosoff & Rock of Ages Hollywood
It’s curtains up on a very special episode of West of Broadway, a celebration of musical theatre on the West Coast! with theatre veteran Will Armstrong and introducing West of Broadway’s new co-host Broadway Veteran and all around wonderful human Wendy Rosoff. Wendy has been a guest several times on West of Broadway but now, she has officially joined the show and we are so grateful for her energy, insight and expertise and she couldn’t have come on board at a better time! We have officially joined the BroadwayPodcastNetwork and we can now be found on broadwaypodcastnetwork.com along with a roster of fantastic theater themed shows.   On this episode, Will and Wendy discuss their time working together on the Broadway Revival of 42nd Street and discuss what some of their old cast mates are up too. They also mention several exciting productions coming to Los Angeles that they look forward to covering on coming episodes.  The podcast really takes off when Will and Wendy discuss their experience with Rock of Ages!. Rock of Ages Hollywood is a unique immersive theatrical experience at The Bourbon Room, the perfect home for the show and Will & Wendy recently got to sit down with 2 of the cast members Regina Lavert and Justin Ray.  Regina and Justin share some behind the scenes info about putting the show together and share their individual paths that lead them to Hollywood Boulevard's newest attraction. Great news!!! ROCK of AGES is OPEN ENDED!  But don’t wait. Get your band of friends together and make a night of it! Tickets are available at RockofAgesHollywood.com. You can follow Regina on Instagram @ReginaLavert and Justin is @Just2nray and while your’e at it feel free to follow @Wendy_Rosoff and @WillArmstrongPR. for the latest in West of Broadway news. BroadwayPodcastNetwork.com/podcasts/west-of-broadway is how you can keep up with us and find past and future episodes. Speaking of future episodes, we have some great shows to cover! Escape to Margaritaville and Book of Mormon are coming very soon!  Thanks for joining us, until next time, if you’re looking for us, you can find us Just West of Broadway!             Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 16 2020
35 mins
Pasadena Playhouse's The Father w/ Alfred Molina
It’s curtains up on a special episode of West Broadway! I’m Los Angeles publicist and Broadway veteran Will Armstrong. This episode is a bit of a departure from our normal shows at west of Broadway, but as I think of it, maybe it’s less of a departure and more of an evolution. After all, as I see it, a podcast about musical theater on the West Coast is great. But what is musical theater without… Theater? Yesterday I was asked to attend the opening night of The Father staring Alfred Molina at the Pasadena playhouse that very night. The Pasadena Playhouse is a pretty special theater in the heart of Pasadena. And over the past couple seasons they have really upped their game when it comes to the shows that they produce. And it sounded like this production was no different.   As the official state theater of California, their mission is to enrich people’s lives through theater, community programs and learning. With over 100 years of experience they are one of the most prolific theaters in American history with the legacy of profound theatrical impact and courageous new work Molina, who I’ve adored since Raiders of the lost Ark back in 1981. Made his Broadway debut as Evan in the production of Art and received critical acclaim in the play Red. And musical fans know he also starred in Fiddler on the Roof as Tevye. His laundry list of theatrical and television accomplishments is nothing short of impressive and opening night of The Father was full of fans and dear friends who were there to support and celebrate Mr. Molina The play The father is a dark journey down the tragic one-way tunnel of dementia from French playwright Florian Zeller. This intense drama was adapted in English by Christopher Hampton originally starring Frank Langella who won the Tony Award for his performance of Andre and I knew that Mr. Molina was going to impress.  While covering the red carpet, I wanted to ask the celebrity guests three questions. One: “Why is theater special to you.” Two: “What makes theater in Los Angeles so different” And lastly, “How excited are you to see Alfred Molina in this production?” Veteran Actor, Stacey Keach, Marisa Echeverria of Goliath, Actress Wendie Malick who mentioned the work she does with Playfest in Durango Colorado, Film and stage actress Amy Aquino, Actress and Producer Cindy Fernandez Nixon, Pasadena Playhouse Board member Jane Kaczmarek, Okieriete “OAK” Onaodowan from Hamilton and ABC’s Station 19, Actress and Educator Brenda Banda of Gentefied talks about her relationship with PSArts, Michael Nathanson from Netflix’s The Punisher talks about his callback for this production, and the charmingly brilliant Suzanne Cryer, who you may know from All Rise or Silicone Valley, talks about her love of theater, her family and crying  The Father is playing now at the Pasadena Playhouse and until March 1 for tickets in the information go to PasadenaPlayhouse.org Thanks so much for listening. I hope you enjoyed learning about my experience at the Pasadena Playhouse for more episodes you can find us at Broadwaypodcastnetwork.com/westofBroadway. And you can find me on social media @WillArmstrongPR. Special thanks to my talented audio tech/husband and theater companion Bill Shepard and the team at Broadway Podcast Network, if you have some time poke around on their homepage they’ve got some other really great programming and I’m sure you’ll enjoy. So that’s all for now, thanks so much enjoy the rest of your day and remember if you’re ever looking for us you can find us just west of Broadway. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 12 2020
17 mins
Young Actor, Jacob Laval and Alan Seales from Broadway Podcast Network
It’s curtains up on another episode of West of Broadway. I’m Broadway Veteran Will Armstrong and this is a continuation of our Broadway Con Series. That’s right, the West of Broadway crew went all the way to NYC for the 5th annual Broadway Con. We met celebrities, broadway fanatics and some innovators really changing the way broadway fans connect with their favorite shows and personalities. While walking the Marketplace floor, we ran into someone I just had to interview. Maybe you’ve seen the Netflix special John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch? If not, put it on your must watch list because it’s fantastic. The show features the comedy of John Mulaney and some amazing guest cameos from comedian Richard Kind to The Talking Head's David Byrne, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and the iconic Annaleigh Ashford! The show also features a cast of incredibly talented kids. One of the stands outs is a young man named Jacob Laval and he was walking the Marketplace floor with his mom and his sister and I just had to interview him. … John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch now streaming on Netflix and be sure to catch him on HBO’s the Plot Against America and since we recorded this interview he filmed several other segments for Sesame Street!  I think the world of this kid and I’m excited to see what he accomplishes. You can keep up with Jacob on Instagram : @jacobLaval Broadway Con was so much fun and I got to see and speak with so many incredible people. Someone I was particularly excited to talk to is a fellow theater podcaster who is not only creating fantastic content himself but he’s leading the way for other theater podcasters and providing a platform for creators to host, and share their content in one perfect place. Alan Seales is the co-founder of The Broadway Podcast Network, a one stop shop for all your favorite musical theater themed podcasts. It was such a pleasure to meet and speak with Alan Seales. I encourage you all to check out his show “ The Theater Podcast with Alan Seales and all the programing available on BroadwayPodcastNetwork.com.  And, here’s an exciting update. Since this episode was recorded, West of Broadway has joined the family of programing at Broadway Podcast Network so I encourage you to find us on their site along with a slew of entertaining and unique podcasts for theater fan. That brings us to the end of the show. Thank you so much for listening! Special thanks to Broadway Con, Jacob Laval and Alan Seales. Like I said, you can find past and future episodes of West of Broadway on BroadwayPodcastNetwork.com and you can find me on social @WillArmstronpr across all platforms and coming up very soon, we’ll be announcing our new co-host and a ton of new and exciting interviews on the show.  So until next time be well and if you’re looking for us, you can find us Just west of broadway. Links: https://www.facebook.com/BroadwayPodcastNetwork/ https://www.instagram.com/broadwaypodcastnetwork/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 10 2020
20 mins
Michael Milton - Shadow Star AppLaurie Wells - Broadway Con - Shadow Star AppJoshua Holden - The Joshua Show EP2Laura Benanti - Tales from Soprano Isle
On this episode of West of Broadway, Will talks with Tony Award-winner and five-time Tony Award nominee Laura Benanti who is bringing her one-woman act to Walnut Creek, California's Lesher Center for the Arts on Friday, January 31st. In her show titled, "Tales from Soprano Isle," Laura will be performing alongside a pianist for a night that will leave you in awe and in stitches. We also discuss her participation in the remarkable benefit album, "Singing You Home, Children’s Songs for Family Reunification" where she gathered other award-winning artists to raise money and awareness for families in need at our border. Featuring tracks from Lin-Manuel Miranda & Mandy Gonzalez, Josh Groban & Idina Menzel, Audra McDonald & Jason Robert Brown, Kristin Chenoweth, Cynthia Erivo, Ingrid Michaelson & Ana Villafañe, and a duet with Laura Benanti & Isabella Preston with backup vocals from the Broadway Baby Mamas. The album was conceived by Laura Benanti and produced by Benanti, Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Lynn Pinto. All artists, musicians, technicians and recording studios donated their time and talents to the project, so that a substantial portion of the proceeds from the English / Spanish language album will go directly to the non-profit organizations RAICES and ASTEP to help reunite and support families separated at the border. Available at: https://www.ghostlightrecords.com/singing-you-home-childrens-songs-for-family-reunification.html Lastly, we'll learn Laura's secret tip for staying focused, productive and at the top of her game! (Spoiler alert, It's meditation!) If you'd like to see Laura's show on the 31st, or just keep up with all the exciting projects she's working on, go to LauraBenanti.com where you'll find links to everything you need! Links: http://laurabenanti.com/ https://twitter.com/LauraBenanti https://www.instagram.com/laurabenanti/ https://lesherartscenter.showare.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=1303 http://westofbroadwaypodcast.com/ https://www.instagram.com/willarmstrongpr/ https://www.facebook.com/WillAndLara/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 17 2020
15 mins
Evan Strand - Disney's Frozen 1st National TourMason Reeves - Disney's Frozen 1st National Tour