Backstage Babble
Barry Kleinbort Part 1

Barry Kleinbort Part 1

March 10, 2021

Today, I am joined by Ed Kleban Award Winner Barry Kleinbort. In Part 1 of our conversation, Barry discusses the many musicals he’s penned including 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti, Was, Angelina, The Rat Race, Metropolita(i)n, Second Avenue Rag, Big City Rhythm, and more. Hear him talk about what he learned from Harold Rome, how he decides a property should be musicalized, why you should never assume anyone knows who you are, why he made Frank Gilroy forget the ending of his own play, and why he ended up having two months to write a show to be performed in a barge on the Seine! Plus, more stories about Penny Fuller, Joseph Thalken, Barbara Harris, Tina Landau, and others! Also, throughout the episode you can enjoy never before released performances of Mr. Kleinbort’s songs by Danny Burstein, Howard McGillin, Roger Bart, Rita Gardner, and other great artists!

Brad Oscar

Brad Oscar

March 3, 2021

Today, I am delighted to announce my episode with one of Broadway’s best comedians, Brad Oscar. Tune in to hear him talk about running through the Lyceum with a lit pumpkin, why Mike Nichols made an example of him, crying on the closing of Big Fish, how he developed “A Musical,” and more stories about Mel Brooks, Trevor Nunn, Casey Nicholaw, and everyone in between!

Cass Morgan

Cass Morgan

February 20, 2021

Today, my guest is Broadway star Cass Morgan, writer and star of Pump Boys and Dinettes. Tune in to hear her talk about re-staging a show in a day, the dangers of doing Mary Poppins, how a cathartic trip to Ireland was the basis for her solo show, and more stories about Paul Simon, Debra Monk, Kelli O'Hara, and more. 

 

Also, hear her discuss what it was like being part of the original productions of Violet, Floyd Collins, Memphis, and more.

 

Thanks to logo designer and theme song orchestrator Tom Judson for setting up this interview.

Michael Lavine

Michael Lavine

February 17, 2021

Broadway's sheet music expert, Michael Lavine, is on the podcast today! Tune in to hear Michael talk about his friendships with Stephen Sondheim, Adolph Green, Hugh Martin, and more, as well as preparing Patrick Page for his Spiderman audition, helping Kristin Chenoweth prepare for Rosie O’Donnell, and what makes the perfect audition song. THEN, stick around to hear a 6-song concert which will include a song from Sondheim’s college shows, cut songs from Wildcat and She Loves Me, and more.

Bob Fitch Part 2

Bob Fitch Part 2

February 14, 2021

Today I am joined once again by Broadway's biggest raconteur Bob Fitch. Tune in to hear him talk about catching a pregnant Carol Burnett, how he wrote the plot of Annie, the role that was cut from 42nd Street, triumphing over David Merrick, defending Katharine Hepburn (from an angry truck driver), and more stories about Mike Nichols, Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg, Don Ameche, and more!

Bob Fitch Part 1

Bob Fitch Part 1

February 6, 2021

Today’s guest Bob Fitch truly is the greatest showman. Tune in to hear him talk about mediating between Ray Bolger and Donald O’Connor, testifying in the suit between Jerry Lewis and Alex Cohen, Clive Revill’s pre-show routine, why Angela Lansbury would never look you in the eye, recording taps for Bob Fosse, why he turned down choreographing Lorelei, winning a tap contest against Pat Boone, and stories about Liza Minnelli, Noel Coward, Jose Ferrer, and more.

Susan L. Schulman Part 2

Susan L. Schulman Part 2

January 29, 2021

Today I am honored to be joined once again by veteran press agent Susan L. Schulman. Tune in to hear her talk about making Richard Dreyfuss jealous, saving an interview with Mary Martin, her suspicions about David Merrick, the workshop process of Angels in America, the odd role of press agents at the Tonys, and more. 

 

Buy her book here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079DLQT9V/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Susan L. Schulman

Susan L. Schulman

January 18, 2021

Today I am honored to be joined by veteran press agent Susan L. Schulman. To hear her talk about the all-around genius of Bob Fosse, the bullying habits of John Dexter, how she became the only person Lauren Bacall would talk to during Applause, how she almost killed Ray Bolger, as well as her stories about everyone from Bette Davis to Zero Mostel, make sure to listen to this week's episode!

Mary Jane Houdina Part 2

Mary Jane Houdina Part 2

January 10, 2021

Tune in to hear the 2nd part of my episode with Broadway dancer Mary Jane Houdina. Listen to the episode to hear her talk about jumping into a fountain during The Great Gatsby, why Peter Gennaro reduced an audience to tears every night, how she ended up going on as Annie during a rehearsal, unburdening Danny Gerard during Into the Light, the role that got away, and more.

Mary Jane Houdina Part 1

Mary Jane Houdina Part 1

January 4, 2021

Today, I am joined by veteran Broadway dancer and choreographer Mary Jane Houdina, who has lent her talents to such shows as Annie, Follies, Moose Murders, Into the Light, Rachael Lily Rosenbloom, The Fig Leaves are Falling, Georgy, and more. Tune in to hear her tell the wonderful stories of her amazing career, including prompting John McMartin every night, refusing to do a certain dance in Rockabye Hamlet, why she loved Moose Murders, NOT auditioning for Jack Cole, dubbing tap in Follies, and more.

Ed Asner

Ed Asner

January 1, 2021

What better way to start the New Year than an interview with a true star, a true legend--Ed Asner. Tune in to hear him talk about who he based Lou Grant on,  why singing was not a challenge for him, why New York critics were biased against him, why he was "born to play" his part in The Soap Myth, and more about Mary Tyler Moore, Lotte Lenya, and Eileen Brennan.

Lee Wilkof

Lee Wilkof

December 28, 2020

Our guest today is veteran actor Lee Wilkof, of Little Shop of Horrors, Assassins, Sweet Charity, She Loves Me, Holiday Inn, Kiss Me, Kate, and more. Tune in to hear him talk about the compliment that meant the most to him, taking on the chat boards (about Breakfast at Tiffany's), why he should've turned down Holiday Inn, why Michael Blakemore is a great director, the intense Little Shop rehearsal process, and working with Steve Martin, Nathan Lane, Stephen Sondheim, Sara Bareilles, Donna Murphy, Marin Mazzie, and more.

Richard Seff

Richard Seff

December 24, 2020

Today, I am honored to be joined by Richard Seff, actor, agent, director, writer, critic, and interviewer. 

 

Tune in to hear him talk about his involvements with the original productions of My Fair Lady, the movie of Cabaret, why he got paid for Hello, Dolly, standing in the back of the house with Donald Trump, why Brooks Atkinson's departure hurt his show, how his acting career has formed his perspective as a critic, why Elaine Stritch was a difficult client, and more!

John Weidman

John Weidman

December 15, 2020

Today my guest is none other than legendary bookwriter John Weidman, author of Pacific Overtures, Road Show, Assassins, Contact, Big, and more! 

Tune in to hear him talk about how Pacific Overtures was originally a play, delineating Road Show with Oskar Eustis, getting Susan Stroman to choreograph a different type of dance, why there are no kids shows, the many forms of Assassins, and more!

Eileen Casey

Eileen Casey

December 14, 2020

What better way to celebrate Backstage Babble's 30th episode than with a legendary dancer from Broadway's Golden Age, Eileen Casey? Tune in to hear her talk about why Cab Calloway was "just terrible," the brilliance of Gower Champion, not caring for Ron Field's choreography, why someone had to be fired from Promises, Promises, the out-of-town Seesaw, why Marilyn didn't work, and more!

Tom Jones

Tom Jones

December 5, 2020

Today, I am honored to be able to present my interview with the legendary Tom Jones, author of The Fantasticks, 110 In The Shade, I Do, I Do, Philemon, Celebration, and more!

Listen to hear about a David Merrick joke, Mary Martin's last project, Diana Rigg's "vulnerability," his ideas for theater today to make it less costly and more true to form, an unlikely basis for a musical (A book of Mesopotamian rituals!) and more.

Michael Rupert Part 2

Michael Rupert Part 2

November 28, 2020

Today, Michael Rupert is back! He talks about his experiences starring in City of Angels, Ragtime, Elegies, On The Town, Legally Blonde, and more! Here about trading replacements with John Rubinstein, developing "I Understand," his directing career, how William Finn changed, and more.

Michael Rupert Part 1

Michael Rupert Part 1

November 25, 2020

Backstage Babble is BACK this week, this time featuring an interview with the extremely talented Michael Rupert. Hear him talk about cut Sondheim songs, how to audition for William Finn, and Gwen Verdon as Bob Fosse's memory aide. Michael Rupert has had a truly legendary career in the theater, and I am honored that he shared it with me today.

Steve Ross Part 2

Steve Ross Part 2

November 22, 2020

Today I am joined once again by The Crown Prince of Cabaret, Steve Ross! I hope you enjoy this conclusion to our interview.

Steve Ross Part 1

Steve Ross Part 1

November 16, 2020

Today I am joined by the "crown prince of New York cabaret," the one and only Steve Ross. Tune in to hear him talk about performing in Present Laughter on Broadway, reopening the Algonquin hotel, trying to impress Ethel Merman, and more!

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