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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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“Five Weeks Of Normal, Boring, Day-To-Day Life Together.”

Mo Brady

by Abigail Charpentier

Cameron Hobbs (left) and Stephen Christopher Anthony

Cameron Hobbs (left) and Stephen Christopher Anthony

Cameron Hobbs and Stephen Christopher Anthony have learned about the strains long distances can put on relationships, especially when both actors are touring the country in different shows. Despite the different time zones, different sleep schedules and different show schedules, the pair have stuck it out and will reconnect for five weeks in Washington D.C. while their shows play at the Kennedy Center.

Hobbs, an ensemble member and understudy for the role of Babkak, joined the tour of Aladdin in February of this year and Anthony, who plays Evan Hansen at matinees, launched the Dear Evan Hansen tour last September.  

At the Kennedy Center, Aladdin will play from July 17 to September 7 and Dear Evan Hansen from August 6 to September 6, giving the couple five weeks to be together in the same city.

“We’re over the moon about being at the Kennedy Center together,” Hobbs said. “No matter how often we talk every day, and try to meet each other’s cast mates on FaceTime, we haven’t gotten to fully share in each other’s tour experience until now. It’s kind of surreal and we are incredibly grateful.”

This is the only overlap in their tours, but Hobbs did happen to be visiting Anthony in Costa Mesa when he first got his Aladdin offer. “Before I even got off the phone, Stephen had discovered the D.C. overlap, and we’ve been counting down the days ever since,” he said. 

Stephen Christopher Anthony

Stephen Christopher Anthony

When the two have managed to spend time with each other on tour, their visits are often short and hectic, so their current plans in D.C. include plenty of time cuddling in their Airbnb.  

“To have five weeks of normal, boring, day-to-day life together... that’s all we want... to walk each other to work, binge Netflix shows.” 

The two were set up on a blind date by Noah Ricketts, who currently plays Kristoff in Frozen, and have been together for almost five years. Hobbs and Ricketts grew up together in Louisville, Kentucky while Anthony and Ricketts worked together at summer stock during college. 

Besides missing loved ones and family members, the lack of routines while touring the country is difficult for Anthony. 

“I crave routine. I miss walking into my favorite breakfast spot and the waiter asking if I’m having ‘the usual,’” Anthony said. “I miss that comfort and familiarity so I do my best to create a little routine for myself in each city.” 

Despite the difficulties, traveling the country has been quite the experience for both of them. 

Cameron Hobbs

Cameron Hobbs

“Being in a new city every couple of weeks keeps touring exciting and refreshing,” Hobbs said when talking about his favorite part about touring. “Nice to explore new places. And the food. Always the food!”

“Also the camaraderie! Life on the road is such a unique experience, it’s so much more than just a job, and it’s hard to fully explain to someone who’s never done it. So the people you spend your time with become your family,” added Anthony. 

For couples in similar situations, the two explained that communication is key, and admitted that they are still in the process of learning how to effectively do that. 

“It can definitely be an extra strain on the relationship. But we make each other laugh every day. We lean on each other and find joy in lifting the other up. If one of us is sick the other one orders soup to their hotel. No matter what other tour craziness is going on, we put each other first.”

“Don’t give up! Love wins!”