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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. 


"The Show Hit A Very Special Stride."

Mo Brady

Escape to Margaritaville ensemblist Justin Mortelliti updates us on how the show changed during its multiple pre-Broadway tryouts leading up to its New York City debut this winter.

Justin Mortelliti (fourth from left) with the cast of  Escape to Margaritaville

Justin Mortelliti (fourth from left) with the cast of Escape to Margaritaville

After the successful run in La Jolla it was announced that our show would have a three city tour before opening on Broadway in 2018. After a month of rehearsals in NYC we kicked off the tour in New Orleans followed by Houston and Chicago. Of course we all expected small changes, fine tuning and re-writes, as we made new discoveries in the show and as it grew to become what it was meant to be.

But what the cast didn’t realize is how the show would grow and change for us personally. On a deeper level. There’s a kind of magic that comes when you have night after night of packed houses filled with thousands of Parrot Heads (the term for the die hard Jimmy Buffett fans). Feeling that energy, absorbing it into your character and letting it feed, energize and evolve your performance into something new, something you hadn’t planned, was the surprise. Everyone, from the ensemble to the principals, felt this change happen along the journey from New Orleans to Chicago. Our characters grew in spirit, becoming even more energized and fully realized. Not to mention the bonding that happens when a cast goes on the road together. It turned that stage into one big playground.

The show felt like it hit a very special stride as we all came to know the world of the ‘Parrot Head’, including all of them into our little island world onstage. It’s a special thing, this show, and the world of Jimmy Buffett. And I think everyone is going to enjoy a little Escape... to Margaritaville.

Justin Mortelliti with the cast of  Escape to Margaritaville

Justin Mortelliti with the cast of Escape to Margaritaville