by Garen Scrbiner
When I was playing Jerry in An American in Paris on Broadway, my friend since high school, Rebecca Soldinger, would come see the show and hang out with me between performances. One day, relaxing together in my room at the Palace Theatre – which happens to be Judy Garland’s old dressing room – she asked me what the other actors did between shows. I responded that it really varies, and that people get up to all kinds of things. Some people sleep, some go to the gym, some pick their kids up from school. It’s a real mix.
These conversations developed into an idea to make a television show about what Broadway actors do with the time sandwiched between their matinee and evening performances. And Broadway Sandwich was born! Rebecca served as Executive Producer, bringing in her colleague from The Rachael Ray Show, director Jesse Green, who teamed up with us to create the show. It turned out to be a real family affair – his brother Sam Green became our Director of Photography and his girlfriend Marisa DiPaolo was our Associate Producer.
After making a pilot, we pitched the idea to the wonderful Joe Harell at WNET, and suddenly our series had a home. The show will live on ALL ARTS, their new TV network. We endeavored to make an eight-episode first season and quickly got to work booking actors who we thought would have interesting stories. We filmed Kate Rockwell at Mean Girls, Jessica Vosk at Wicked, Tanairi Sade Vasquez at Hamilton, Arielle Jacobs at Aladdin, Caesar Samayoa at Come From Away, Kyle Post at Kinky Boots, Etai Benson at The Band’s Visit, and Isaac Cole Powell at Once On This Island.
I loved making this show. It was fulfilling to feature both stars and ensemble members of these shows and make visible what is usually unseen. The lives of performers are extremely interesting! It takes so much grit, hard work, sacrifice and determination to make it at such a high level. I wanted to delve into what drives these performers and fuels their fire. I love hearing peoples’ stories. This show illuminates so many of the things that usually happen in the dark. We’re thrilled with what we created and look forward to making more. The short-form episodes are currently being released weekly on our Facebook Watch channel and the longer versions will air on television this January.