Friend of the podcast Josh Canfield (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812) shares his joy in winning the first annual Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show.
My journey with The Great Comet started four years ago when I stepped in for Lucas Steele off-broadway in the role of Anatole. From there I became a standby, a swing, and then for the A.R.T. production and the Broadway production I joined the ensemble and understudied Anatole. Throughout this journey we have gone from a cast of fourteen to a cast of 35. The ensemble has grown from six to twenty and with each person added it supercharged life and uniqueness into a show that went on to garner twelve Tony nominations. Unfortunately there is no "Best Ensemble" award at the Tony Awards, and yet the ensemble is what truly brings this show (and many others) to life on stage.
I'm so thankful that the Chita Rivera Awards acknowledge the outstanding work of dancers, singers, actors, and musicians in the ensemble. And I'm beyond thrilled that we have been awarded the FIRST Outstanding Ensemble Award in a Broadway Show by the newly named Chita Rivera Awards! All of the other ensembles were absolutely outstanding. I saw both Groundhog Day and Bandstand and I must say that those brilliant ensemblists truly never stop working and are giving everything out there on stage.
Our ensemble is made up of diverse, unique, and talented unicorns, as our brilliant choreographer Sam Pinkleton likes to refer to us. I've seen our cast go out and push harder, kick higher, and run faster than any other cast i've been a part of. We've gone through our share of hardship with our show, and even now faced the sadness that comes with closing a show that left too soon. But to be awarded Outstanding Ensemble Award in a Broadway Show feels like a beautiful token by the Broadway community to say, "we see you, we love you, and you will be remembered."
Listen to our episodes on the creation of The Great Comet here.