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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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5 Debut Questions: King Kong's Elyse Niederee

Angela Tricarico

Elyse Niederee.

Elyse Niederee.

This week, we welcome King Kong’s Elyse Niederee to the Main Stem and learn about her journey toward making her Broadway debut.

1. What is your name and hometown?

Elyse Niederee. Originally from Salt Lake City, UT.

2. What is your role/track in your Broadway debut?

I'm a swing for the female ensemble in King Kong.

3. How did you find out you had booked the part?

I had been in a pretty intense two-day audition and callback process for King Kong the week before I was supposed to leave for two months to work at Sacramento Music Circus. I didn't hear anything from King Kong so I went to Sacramento. My first day of rehearsal at Sacramento I received an email from my agent saying that the King Kong team wanted me to come watch a rehearsal at the theater, so I took the red eye back to New York City and was there for five hours to watch this rehearsal and then I flew back to California.

I waited a few days (it was painful) and on a Monday, our day off from Sacramento rehearsals, I was lying in my bed at the Holiday Inn Express and I knew that the offer would be going out that day. It was 7 am California time and I checked my phone and there was a voicemail from my agent. I called him back and he said "Looks like you'll be coming back to New York City earlier than you thought because you'll be making your Broadway Debut in King Kong." And then I spent the day on a pontoon boat with my Sacramento cast and it was the best.

4. What's been the most surprising thing about preparing to perform the show?

Everyone in the cast and company of King Kong is so helpful, friendly, and open. It's been a wonderful experience so far and I've received so much support and guidance. It can be intimidating to join a cast who has gone through the whole process together, but I've been so welcomed and I feel at home at the Broadway Theater!

5. What are you looking forward to most about your experience on Broadway?

Soaking up every moment. Sadly, we're closing on August 18 but I feel very lucky for the time I get to spend with my new King Kong family.

This show is truly amazing and so innovative; the artists, cast, crew, and company of King Kong are a new level of badass and I feel very lucky to work alongside them and bring this show to life eight times a week!

Elyse Niederee.

Elyse Niederee.