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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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"Being A Part Of This Legacy Means So Much To Me."

Mo Brady

by Leslie Donna Flesner

 

When I was asked to participate in the reunion concert of Thoroughly Modern Millie without hesitation I instantly said yes, for so many reasons!

 Leslie Donna Flesner (with Giovanni Bonaventura, who did  Millie  together at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre) 

Leslie Donna Flesner (with Giovanni Bonaventura, who did Millie together at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre) 

First of all, it was the first score that I can remember being completely obsessed with. I drove my parents insane, listening to it incessantly and attempting to mimic Sutton’s flawless voice. She truly has my favorite musical theater voice of all time. Sutton paired with Gavin Creel is a duo that truly cannot be beat. Just pure Broadway magic.

Secondly, let’s talk about the dancing. The production numbers in this show may be my favorite of Rob Ashford’s work, which says a lot considering his enormously long list of hit Broadway shows. The original ensemble featured some of my favorite dancers who I aspired to be like including Megan Sikora, the gorgeous JoAnn Hunter (who has been restaging the opening number for the benefit), Joyce Chittick, Jessica Grove’, Casey Nicholaw (and Hello, Dolly!’s own Kate Baldwin!!!!) and many many others.

Tackling the Tony-winning choreography this week has been such a treat and a real challenge! Rob’s attention to detail, story telling, thoughtfulness and impeccable style put the choreography into a category of its own.  JoAnn Hunter and Chris Bailey have preserved it beautifully and still remember every detail of what the steps were and why we were doing it. We learned both the opening number and The Speed Test in about six hours.  It’s really difficult choreography! Getting to be a teeny teeny tiny part of this legacy by learning these numbers means so much to me.

I cannot wait to celebrate this original company and this incredible show that forever changed me as a young girl in high school.  I think my younger self would be blown away to know that one day she would be a part of this special reunion!

 The ensemble of The Actors' Fund concert of  Thoroughly Modern Millie

The ensemble of The Actors' Fund concert of Thoroughly Modern Millie