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New York, NY

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. 


"A Chita Rivera Award is Beyond Thrilling."

Mo Brady

Friend of the podcast Brandon Espinoza (Baghdaddy) shares his joy in winning the first annual Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Male Dancer in an off-Broadway Show.

Brandon Espinoza

Brandon Espinoza

Honestly, being nominated for an award that has such a high caliber of talent in every category is just astounding to me. I would have been happy to just have the nomination. To win an award is obviously wonderful. Accolades are lovely. A Chita Rivera Award though, as a performer, is beyond thrilling. Its hard to put into words. 

She is not only iconic, not only a dancer, but she is the consummate professional. She seems to just outwork everybody, always gives everything she's got on that stage, but most importantly, she LOVES it. I strive to maintain that kind of work ethic and passion for the duration of my career.

I'm currently in Chicago in previews for Ivo van Hove's A View From The Bridge at the Goodman Theater, which is why I was unable to attend the ceremony. When I found out (via text through my childhood friends who were at the award show), I was facetiming my girlfriend (Lauralyn McClelland), and I flew off my couch. Yes, I can fly. According to me.

 I feel like there is a "lesser than" attitude in regards to dancers on and off Broadway. The leading/supporting players in shows (more often than not) get all the recognition, the accolades. So to have an award ceremony like this, where the dancers, who can/should be viewed as the backbone of these shows get the recognition they so deserve, I am filled with so much joy and pride. I am honored to be one of them. I have been in this business since I was ten years old, and I grew up dancing in shows alongside such folks as Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Sanchez, Spencer Liff (to name a few), all of who I admired and idolized growing up. So, to win an award such as this one leaves me humbled and, dare I say it....grateful (no hashtag please). I will cherish this for years to come.