The Ensemblist social media manager Jackson Cline discusses some of his favorite performances of the spring season.
"You’ve heard me rave about Britney Coleman, Linda Mugleston & Ryan Worsing on the air, but they weren’t the only performers to blow me away this spring."
"What a year for musical theatre ladies! Not only do we have legendary stars such as Bette Midler and Patti LuPone gracing the stages of New York, but this season’s Playbills are also bursting at the seams with incredible female ensemblists. I had the pleasure of seeing Leslie Donna Flesner in two shows that opened in New York this spring: the 2016 out-of-town tryout of War Paint & the 2017 Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! If you've seen Leslie in a comedic role before, you know how hilarious she can be (Her performance in Honeymoon in Vegas is forever etched in my memory). Her second act feature as Tulip in War Paint did not disappoint. She had only a handful of lines as Tulip, but managed to make me laugh more than anyone else in the show. In this year’s Hello, Dolly!, Leslie radiates joy the moment she steps onstage. My eyes were immediately drawn to her whenever she danced."
"Speaking of dancing, it seems as if Morgan Marcell never stops moving in Bandstand. Her technical skills are matched by her artistic prowess, resulting in a rich performance that I was drawn to whenever she was onstage. In dance-heavy shows, I sometimes feel as if I’m just watching some of the dancers execute steps, but Morgan’s movement was fueled by clear and interesting intentions throughout, keeping me engaged in the story she was telling. Bravo."
"I’d also like to give a quick shout-out to Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 ensemblist Lauren Zakrin for her performance as Natasha on Valentine’s Day. What a gift it was to see Lauren share a beautifully fleshed-out understudy performance and her incredible vocal instrument with us."
"The gentlemen of the Great White Way waltzed their way into my heart this season, as well. I always know I’m in for a treat when I see Jim Walton’s name in a Playbill, and Sunset Boulevard was no exception. He brings such a warm and relaxed energy to the company, and his whimsical scene as Manfred had me smiling from ear-to-ear."
"Another gentleman I can always count on to make me smile is Josh Lamon, who is currently treading the boards in Groundhog Day. Josh is a master of building comedic characters, and his current work stood out to me in a company filled with some of the funniest ensemblists in New York. I couldn’t stop cackling during his scene as a practitioner of alternative medicine and thoroughly enjoyed every scene he had as Buster, the master of ceremonies and wrangler of Punxsutawney Phil."
"I couldn’t possibly write about my favorite performances of the season without discussing the company of Come From Away. Of course I was impressed by each individual’s acting, but what’s more astounding to me is their ensemble work. Not one actor is ever totally alone in the spotlight. There are eleven other actors telling the story with them at all times, whether they are playing active characters in the scenes, creating the environment around the main action, or simply listening. This makes a powerful story of love, kindness, and community even stronger. Congratulations on building a beautiful ensemble, Petrina, Geno, Jenn, Joel, Rodney, Kendra, Chad, Lee, Caesar, Q., Astrid, and Sharon. Watching you work together was an incredible gift."