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The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond. Whether you’re an experienced theatre professional or a passionate fan, The Ensemblist will give you the opportunity to get to know new performers and the great work they do onstage, while also shedding light on some of the hidden innerworkings of the Broadway experience. Created and hosted by Mo Brady (The Addams Family, SMASH) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), The Ensemblist is the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out. 

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"IT'S TRUE! The Tonys are a TOTAL BLUR!"

Mo Brady

In honor of our episode on Awards Season, we asked Broadway actors to share their favorite memories of the fast and furious time between when theatre award nominations are announced and the Tony Awards telecast. Today, we hear from friend of the podcast Molly Hager (Waitress).

Molly Hager

Molly Hager

"You know how everyone describes Tony season as 'a blur?' To me that always sounded like a cop out answer. Like, I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT THAT EXPERIENCE WAS LIKE FOR YOU CAN YOU GIVE ME A REAL ANSWER PLEASE THANKS!!!!!"

"But now having had the privilege of experiencing The Tonys last year first hand with the cast of Waitress, I can honestly say that IT'S TRUE! It's a TOTAL BLUR! I'm not sure if it's because too much excitement makes you temporarily dumber or if it's all of the champagne toasts that make you black out (in my case, it was the combo of excitement and stress-eating thousands of cookies -- catapulting me into another stratosphere of sugar high). Either way, the memory is fuzzy. But I'll do my best to remember!"

Molly Hager at the opening of Broadway's Waitress

Molly Hager at the opening of Broadway's Waitress

"'Today's a day like any other. But I am changed, I am a [Tony performer].' That's a (slightly augmented) lyric from Waitress that I keep singing in my head as I'm writing this. I hope you're singing the song now too (if you don't know the song, please stop reading this and immediately get a ticket to Waitress. I am currently playing Sara Bareilles' mother 8 shows a week, and our chemistry alone is worth the price of admission)."

"Anyway, the 2016 Tony Awards. Here's what I remember: I remember getting to the theatre super early day of to get into costume for our dress rehearsal at The Beacon. I remember not sleeping the night before. I remember boarding the bus with my cast mates and taking a thousand pictures. I remember screaming and waving like a maniac at all of the different Broadway shows and celebrities. I remember Glenn Close rehearsing a planned bit at full volume in the green room many times over. (I felt oddly proud when she nailed it during the live telecast). I remember that we had a matinee to get through before the actual Tony performance and it felt like it went on forever. I remember live streaming the red carpet interviews while getting back into costume and putting on makeup again (and fake lashes. It was the Tony's after all). I remember thinking that Keri Russell looked like a g.d. ANGEL while presenting our cast. I remember waiting in the wings thinking that there was no way the crew guys could switch the sets/props on time (which of course they did). I remember sweaty palms and thumping hearts and applause and NOT dropping a pie or a menu, which was a great accomplishment. I remember extreme joyousness and love for our little Broadway community, and finally feeling like a part of it."

Molly Hager (center, with Kimiko Glenn and Christopher Fitzgerald)

Molly Hager (center, with Kimiko Glenn and Christopher Fitzgerald)

"Phew. So that's all that I remember. My first Tony Awards."

"I wish upon all of you reading this a day like that! A day of feeling so happy and overwhelmed that future you will "cop out" and describe it as 'a blur.'"

"...and cookies. I also wish upon you unlimited amounts of cookies."