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BROADWAY NATION

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BROADWAY NATION

Broadway Podcast Network

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A lively and opinionated cultural history of the Broadway Musical that tells the extraordinary story of how Immigrants, Jews, Queers, African-Americans and other outcasts invented the Broadway Musical, and how they changed America in the process.In Season One, host David Armstrong traces the evolution of American Musical Theater from its birth at the dawn of the 20th Century, through its mid-century “Golden Age”, and right up to its current 21st Century renaissance; and also explore how musi ...
 
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My guest today is Sheldon Epps whose new book is titled, My Own Directions — A Black Man’s Journey in the American Theatre. There he shares the story of his long and successful career during which he has often been “the first”, “one of the few”, or even “the only” person of color to reach various levels of achievement in the world of theater. At th…
 
Today’s episode is the second half of my conversation with JESSE GREEN, author of the New York Times best seller SHY: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers — undoubtably the most talked about theater book in years! Last week Jesse shared with us how Mary Rodgers selected him to tell her remarkable story — from her childhood growing up su…
 
Alexander was a prodigy in all things military and administrative, as unaccountably great in his own field as Mozart was in music or Michelangelo in art. By age 32, he had conquered the mightiest empire ever known and extended the boundaries of his kingdom to the edges of the known world. Against men, beasts, and entire armies, Alexander never lost…
 
My guest today is Jesse Green who, in addition to being the Chief Theatre Critic for the New York Times, is the author of the most acclaimed and talked about theater book in recent memory – SHY: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers. This is the first of two episodes in which Jesse Green shares with us the story of how Mary Rodgers selec…
 
This is the second half of my conversation with author Elysa Gardner whose new book is titled: Magic To Do — Pippin’s Fantastic, Fraught, Journey To Broadway And Beyond. On our previous episode Elysa shared the story of how PIPPIN’s composer & lyricist, Stephen Schwartz, first began work on the show when he was a student at Carnegie Tech (soon to b…
 
At the age of 44, Friedrich Nietzsche, one of the most influential philosophers and writers of his age, suffered a psychotic breakdown. For the next 11 years until his death from pneumonia, he evidenced profound dementia and was totally dependent on the care of others. For many years Nietzsche's decline was blamed on syphilis, but lately that diagn…
 
This is the second of two special holiday bonus episodes of Broadway Nation. Just like the first, this is an audio version of a Broadway Nation Live! performance that was given in December of 2019 at the Vashon Center For The Performing Arts on Vashon Island, WA. If you prefer to watch a video of this performance you can stream it on their website …
 
Here is the link to join the Backstage Pass Club and support Broadway Nation: https://broadwaynationpodcast.supercast.com/new_landing This is a special holiday reprise of one of Broadway Nation's most popular episodes: It's an audio version of a Broadway Nation Live! performance that was presented in December of 2019 at the Vashon Center For The Pe…
 
This week’s special ENCORE Episode is in celebration of Noel Coward’s birthday! Noel Coward was born just outside of London on December 16, 1899, and in fact he was named him Noel because his birth came so close to Christmas! For some reason, ever since I was very young, this lower middle-class, midwestern American gay boy from Cincinnati, Ohio has…
 
My guest this week is author Laura Frankos whose delightful and entertaining new novel is titled Broadway Revival — What If Gershwin Had Lived? Although this is the first work of fiction that I have featured on this podcast, as you will hear, Broadway Revival is filled with fascinating and meticulously researched Broadway history. One of the greate…
 
This is the second half of my conversation with my dear friend and frequent co-host, Albert Evans, in which we explore the differences between stage and film musicals. If you missed part one you may want to catch up before listening to this one. Of course, we don’t really hate any movie musicals, and as you heard on the previous episode and will co…
 
This episode is in response to a question I get quite often from listeners: Is Broadway Nation ever going to focus on movie musicals? Well, today is the day! Of course, I don’t really hate any movie musicals. And I love quite a few of them. In fact, it was largely old movie musicals from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s that I watched on TV when I was a kid…
 
Even King Tut had a mother. Once. And not for very long, it seems. This episode is actually several mysteries in one. Who was King Tut's mother? Why did she die, esecially so young? Was it sickness, childbirth, accident, or murder most foul? A story of 18th Dynasty Egypt, tomb robbers, trauma before and after death, sneaky priests and vile heretics…
 
My guest this week on Broadway Nation podcast is Paul Salsini, author of the memoir, Sondheim & Me. Many listeners will know Paul as the founder and original editor of the much beloved magazine, The Sondheim Review, the first only quarterly magazine ever devoted to a living musical theater composer. Paul launched the magazine in 1994 and over the f…
 
New episode out now! My guests this week are JULIE BOARDMAN & DIANE NICOLETTI — the founders and driving forces behind the Museum Of Broadway! In this episode Julie and Diane share with us the story of how this first ever Broadway museum has come to be. They profile the team extraordinary talents they put together to create it, and most importantly…
 
This is the second half of my conversation with Adam Abraham, author of the engaging new book Attack Of The Monster Musical – A Cultural History Of Little Shop Of Horrors. If you missed the previous episode you may want to catch up with that one before listening to this one. Last week Adam shared the unlikely behind-the-scenes story of the making o…
 
Tutankhamen died at 19 years old. No one is sure why or how. His tomb, his mummy, and his DNA offer some tantalizing clues, but no definitive answer. Here is the life and death of one of the best known mummies, from one of the least known Pharohs, in ancient history; a dive deeper than any other podcast is capable or willing to take. It is a tale o…
 
This special Halloween edition of Broadway Nation! This is the first part of my conversation with Adam Abraham, author of Attack of the Monster Musical – A Cultural History of Little Shop Of Horrors. In this terrific new book Adam relates the unlikely story of how Roger Corman’s schlocky, low budget, 1960’s monster movie was transformed 20 years la…
 
My guest this week is Ted Chapin who’s captivating 2003 book Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical “Follies,” has recently been reissued in a revised and updated edition. As you may know, this book is based on Ted’s first-hand experience as the production assistant on the original Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim, Hal Prince,…
 
My guest today is Peter Filichia who is the author of the new book that he calls The Book of Broadway Musical Debates, Disputes, and Disagreements. As a prolific theater journalist and critic Peter has written for Playbill, Theatermania, Broadway Select, Encore, and if you are in my age range you may even remember a magazine namedTheater Week! You …
 
The third and final member of the Milesian school, once considered the weak little sister of the philosphers, now appreciated in all his Air-udite glory. This is his story, as we have it, which may or may not correlate roughly to some things he actually said or did. As a synthesizer of the works of Thales and Anaximander, he held onto the best and …
 
As you have probably heard, The Phantom Of The Opera – the longest running show in Broadway history –– recently announced that it will close this coming February, just over 35 years after it first opened on Broadway. This New York production of Phantom has been seen by nearly 20 million people and has grossed $1.3 billion dollars. Globally the show…
 
This special Encore episode of Broadway Nation celebrates the birthdays this week of two of Broadways greatest composers -- George Gershwin & Vincent Youmans. Both were born 124 years ago in 1898 and they came into the world just one day apart – Gershwin on September 26, and Youmans on September 27. And even though they were both born in NYC, they …
 
My guest on this episode is Tony Award winning lighting designer Ken Billington who created the lighting for an incredible 105 Broadway plays and musicals, including 21 productions that were directed by Harold Prince. Ken’s career spans from his very first Broadway show in 1967 when he was the assistant to legendary lighting designer Tharon Musser,…
 
This episode is the second half of my conversation with Gary Flannery regarding the life and career of Broadway dancer, director, choreographer, writer and producer, George White. Between 1919 and 1939 George White produced 19 Broadway shows including 13 editions of his own lavish and legendary revue – The George White Scandals. In part one Gary sh…
 
This is the first part of my conversation with Gary Flannery who somehow, while pursuing his own spectacular career as dancer, also found time to become the leading expert on the tumultuous life and career of George White – the fabled Broadway producer, director, choreographer, writer, songwriter and dancer. White rose to fame in Vaudeville and as …
 
Continuing our celebration of the 20th Anniversary of HAIRSPRAY – The Musical, my guest this week is the show’s original choreographer JERRY MITCHELL who shares with us a first-hand, behind-the-scenes look into the creation of that Tony Award winning musical -- especially in regard to the how the show’s unique staging, choreography, design, as well…
 
Today we take a long, hard look at the great Anaximander, the second member of the Milesian School, and possibly one of the most influential thinkers of all time. The first metaphysician, the greatest astronomer of his age, the teller of time and builder of colonies, the man who dared disagree with his teacher and mentor and ended up transcending h…
 
My guests on Broadway Nation today are the Tony Award winning songwriting team of Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman who join me to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Hairspray – The Musical. That’s right! It was 20 years ago, during the summer of 2002, that Hairspray first received its World Premiere in June at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre (where at that…
 
This is the fourth and final section of my conversation with author Margaret Hall, about her recent biography of Paul Gemignani that is titled Gemignani – Life And Lessons From Broadway And Beyond. If you missed the previous episodes in this series, you may want to catch up on those before listening to this one. Paul Gemignani served as the Music D…
 
This is the third part of my conversation with author Margaret Hall, whose captivating new book is titled Gemignani – Life And Lessons From Broadway And Beyond. If you missed the first two parts you may want to catch up on those episodes before listening to this one. As the title suggests Margaret’s book is a biography of Paul Gemignani who served …
 
In this episode we begin a series on the beginnings of "Western" thought and science. We start with the catastrophy of the Mycenean Collapse, the Greek Dark Ages, and the Archaic Age, then continue with a discussion of Miletus and its most revered citizen, Thales. Thales has left his mark on the planet with his work. As a brilliant sage whose ideas…
 
This is the second part of my recent conversation with author Margaret Hall, the remarkable young theater historian whose new book is titled Gemignani – Life And Lessons From Broadway And Beyond. If you missed part one, you may want to catch up on that episode before listening to this one. Margaret spent much of the pandemic interviewing Paul Gemig…
 
My guest this week is Margaret Hall, a remarkable young theater historian who is the author of the celebrated new book Gemignani – Life And Lessons From Broadway And Beyond. As you will hear, Margaret spent much of the pandemic interviewing Paul Gemignani who is without a doubt one of the most significant, and at the same time most under-appreciate…
 
The 1920's brought the second great era of musicals that were written by, staged by, and starring Black theater artists to Broadway. In this episode I profile these brilliant creators and stars including Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle, Flournoy Miller & Aurbry Lyles, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, and their musicals -- "Shuffle Along", "Runnin' Wild", "Bla…
 
This is a special holiday rerelease of the very first episode of Broadway Nation. In this episode David Armstrong and Albert Evans begin to tell the remarkable story of how Immigrants, Jews, Queers, and African-Americans invented America's signature art form -- the Broadway Musical. This includes a special emphasis on George M. Cohan, the grandson …
 
This week’s episode is a little different because it’s two podcasts in one! It’s a collab between David Armstrong’s Broadway Nation and Dirty Moderate With Adam Epstein. My podcast is all about the history of the Broadway Musical, and Adam’s is all about current American politics – today we combine forces to discuss the many connections and interse…
 
My guests are the mother/daughter team of Sammi Cannold & Dori Berinstein, who are the co-directors and co-producers of the new documentary The Show Must Go On -- a film that I found to be both fascinating and very moving. Sammi Cannold is a theater director whose recent projects include Evita at New York City Center, Endings at NY Theater Workshop…
 
2022 marks the 5Oth Anniversary of one of the most popular musicals in the history of Broadway – GREASE. My guests on this episode are two of the many stars that emerged from the original Broadway and touring productions of that long running, record breaking show – Barry Bostwick & Marilu Henner. Marilu Henner’s association with Grease goes back to…
 
Today, part 2 of the Dyatlov Pass mystery. What killed the 9 expert, fit trekkers on Dyatlov Pass in 1959? Is the mystery finally solved? In this episode we dig deep and look hard into what we can know about what happened to the ill-fated expedition. FF to 53:45 if you want the TL;DR version of the episode. Or, if you want to know the why behind th…
 
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