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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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"We Are The Freaks At The Ball."

Mo Brady

Podcast guest Erica Dorfler (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812) shares her joy in winning the first annual Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show.

Erica Dorfler (front) with cast members from Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

Erica Dorfler (front) with cast members from Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

“Oh my god they just said US” was the first thing I thought. Then Nick Gaswirth said , “You guys, we just won an award!”.  As Pearl Rhein and Blaine Krauss – who we chose to speak for everyone – walked up to the front to accept, I started to cry. Then immediately felt stupid and stopped. Because it’s not like this cool glass plaque that is now in my house suddenly changes how I felt about our work in The Great Comet. It still would have been the most unique, special and life-changing show I’ve worked on. But the glass plaque is pretty cool.

To be honest, I didn’t think we would win. I was just happy to show up and take some pictures with my fellow Comets and revel in the celebration of our beautiful show one more time. I mean, this was a ceremony full of companies of “dancer dancers” that can all do triple pirouettes and kick their faces with perfectly pointed toes in three inch heels and drop into splits on command. Surely our band of misfits ranging from the classically trained to the enthusiastic participant (as Blaine puts it) wouldn’t come out on top. After all, we are the “freaks at the ball”. Which is right where we like it.

But we did win. And that means so much. Because being an “Outstanding Ensemble” isn’t just about the technical dance moves. It’s how we function as a unit and how our blood, sweat, tears, fire, energy and soul create the world the audience experiences. And we gave it all to do that. Every. Single. Time. 

The ensemble does not get the sort of recognition it deserves and we certainly don’t get awards. But this year the amazing, vibrant, crazy ensemble of the now-departed Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway received two: one from our union  and one from Chita Rivera. So that’s something. In fact, that’s pretty freaking great.

Listen to our episodes on the creation of The Great Comet here.