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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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The Legendary Linda Mugleston

Jackson Cline

BY JACKSON CLINE

 Linda Mugleston

Linda Mugleston

When Lincoln Center Theater announced that Linda Mugleston would be playing Mrs. Pearce in My Fair Lady, it immediately became my must-see show of the Broadway season.

Linda Mugleston is a true Broadway veteran and one of my all-time favorite actresses. Linda made her Broadway debut as Flossie in the 1998 revival of On the Town and has since performed in 12 Broadway musicals, including Wonderful Town, Cinderella, and Nine.

Linda is best known for working as an ensemblist and understudying some of Broadway’s greatest female roles from The Witch in Into the Woods to Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly! Linda is currently originating her first principal role, and she does not disappoint.

What is it about Linda Mugleston that I find so captivating?

Linda brings a very grounded energy to the stage. When I watch her perform, she seems cool, collected, and confident – the type of person I can trust to tell the story. To borrow a phrase from our own Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Linda "takes care of the audience." I know whenever Linda is onstage that she is going to do her job and do it well, maintaining an extraordinary level of truth, gravitas, and artistic integrity along the way.

 Linda Mugleston (third from left) with the cast of  Cinderella

Linda Mugleston (third from left) with the cast of Cinderella

Is there anyone funnier than Linda Mugleston? Probably not. Her comedic style is unique and often involves quiet execution with great payoff. Linda can make an audience crack up from a just slight change in vocal pitch or a subtle shift in physicality. At a moment in My Fair Lady's second act, Linda has the entire audience in stitches from just the slightest movement of her eyes.

Not only is Linda Mugleston a genius actress – her voice is equally stunning. What’s that? You’ve never heard Linda Mugleston sing a solo? Go buy her album immediately – your soul will thank you. This album reveals both the power of Linda’s vocals and her versatility as a performer. Linda seamlessly transitions between musical genres, creating an album that feels cohesive and tugs at the heartstrings. Mugleston’s versatility is just as evident onstage, with roles ranging from Hildy in On the Town to Crazy Marie in Cinderella to Mrs. Primrose in On the Twentieth Century.

Perhaps most significant is the heart that Linda brings to every role she plays. This trait struck me most significantly while witnessing Linda’s performance as Mrs. Pearce in this season’s My Fair Lady. From the way she lovingly watches Eliza Doolittle celebrate her vocal breakthrough to the great care with which she places the cape on her as she is about to head to the ball, Linda’s Mrs. Pearce becomes a significant maternal figure for Eliza and the heart of Henry Higgins’ home.

 Linda Mugleston in  Sweeney Todd  at DCPA (Photo Credit: Adams Visual Communications)

Linda Mugleston in Sweeney Todd at DCPA (Photo Credit: Adams Visual Communications)