Episode 17: Curt Mega Warbler Extravaganza Part 2

Catch up on Part 1 here.

Then listen to Part 2 here, in which Curt Mega and I discuss the filming of “Love, Love, Love,”

Working on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, 

and his big Elsie Fest questions: He’d like me to interview Aaron Tveit and you’ll never guess what he wants me to ask Darren Criss!

Plus, my review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Plus, my Warbler giveaway continues this week. Drawing Friday, 5/19 at about noon EDT. Enter to win a signed Playbill from In Transit by tweeting to @Elsiepod using the hashtag #ElsieTransit.

Autographs are:

Telly Leung, Amy Justman, Brad Standley, Dave Abeles, Moya Angela, Gerrianne Perez, Chesney Snow, Nicholas Ward, Mariand Torres

Coming up on the podcast:

May 22: Broadway Babylon

May 29: Thespian Nerd

June 5: Tony Award-winning Orchestrator Larry Hochman

Feature It

On this week’s Story Matters Podcast (which you should all listen to, right after you listen to it’s host, Curt Mega, on my podcast), Corey Lubowich said, “If you can’t fix it, feature it.” It’s a phrase I’ve heard before, of course, but for some reason it’s resonating with me this week as the secret to everything in life. Just be you. Be the best you you can be. Fix the things about yourself that you don’t like, but then just be honest and upfront about who you are, and you’ll attract the right people.

Today, though, it made me think about one of my favorite regional theaters in the world. On Martha’s Vineyard, there’s an amphitheater in the woods where the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse puts on productions every summer. Some of my favorite theater


Tisbury Amphitheater

moments have happened there, when directors embraced the “if you can’t fix it, feature it” philosophy in dealing with the real challenge of putting on a production in the middle of the woods, at dusk, where there aren’t good places for the actors to hide when they’re offstage (unless you build a set, which has to be weather-proof). Here are some of my favorite moments of all time.

  • A production of Waiting for Godot. In the middle of the woods. I was a teenager and it was my first exposure to the play, and remains my reference point. They selected one tree that was behind the audience to be “the tree” referred to throughout the play. Somehow, the presence of all the other trees did not detract from the experience.
  • The Tempest, in which Caliban came running through the underbrush from way back in the distance. The choice was made because there was no good place to hide him, but the effect was to underscore Caliban’s wildness and relationship with the forest. Part of me believed Caliban was living there all along.
  • I can’t remember the play, but it was a comedy, and whenever a plane flew over us, making it hard to hear, the entire cast stopped and looked up in frustration until the plane could no longer be heard. It turned an ongoing frustration with the space into a running gag that the audience loved.
  • A production of Othello was scheduled toward the end of the summer. The sun went down before the end of the play, so they lit the final scenes with torches. The effect was perfect, especially because as an audience member, you didn’t think about what was happening during the play. It just kept getting darker, then Othello lit some torches in the bedchamber, then as the murder was discovered, more and more people entered carrying torches (as they would have in Shakespeare’s time). After the play, the actors lined up along the path to the exit holding the torches so the audience could leave safely. Brilliant.

So Corey Lubowich is exactly right. If there’s something you can’t change, face it as a challenge, and use it to make yourself more brilliant.

Don’t forget!

Ongoing giveaway as part of the Curt Mega Warbler Extravaganza! Win a Playbill signed 87164-9by nine members of the cast of In Transit, including former Warbler Telly Leung.

Just tweet to @elsiepod (that’s me!) using the hashtag #ElsieTransit to enter. Drawing Friday, May 19th. Details here and on the podcast.

Episode 16: Curt Mega Warbler Extravaganza!

Episode 16 is now available, in which I review Dear Evan Hansen and Groundhog Day, then interview Curt Mega of Story Matters podcast. You may also remember Curt as Nick Warbler from Glee.

Part one of my interview is this week, and I’ll post part two next week. We talked for a really long time.

And we have a Warbler-themed giveaway!

A Playbill from In Transit autographed by 9 members of the cast including Telly Leung, who played Wes Warbler on Glee.



Two Warblers I haven’t met (yet), Curt Mega, & Telly Leung

To enter, tweet @elsiepod using the hashtag #ElsieTransit. I’ll choose a winner on Friday, May 19 at about noon, Eastern time.


This is not the Playbill I’m giving away, but it has the same autographs. I got this one signed, my helpful husband stood beside me and got another one signed. The one I’m giving away is unframed, of course.


Episode 15: Hamiltour

Last week, the Kid and I toured Hamilton sites in the New York City area. Hear all about it, including an interview with Tim Dolan, owner of Broadway Up Close Walking Tours, and a bonus interview with Bryan Barreras, author of Where Was the Room Where It Happened: The Unofficial Hamilton — An American Musical Location Guide.

Listen to the episode here.

Giveaway details:

Broadway Up Close is giving away two tickets on a public Hamiltour. The winner will receive a voucher for two tickets (value $70) on a public Hamilton Tour with Broadway Up Close. The voucher is good for one year.

To enter, tweet @elsiepod using the hashtag #elsietour any time between April 24, 2017 and May 5, 2017 at noon, EDT. A winner will be selected at random from all entries and will be announced on Twitter.

If the winner does not reply to Elsie Cast (via twitter or email) in a reasonable amount of time, as determined by me, a warning will be given, and then an alternate winner will be selected and announced on Twitter.

Immediate relatives of Rachel Ferat or Tim Dolan are not eligible to win. Tom Grace is not eligible to win because he won the last prize and I like to spread them around a bit. Everyone else is eligible to enter including past winners of Elsie Cast prizes.

Episode 14: Puffs, or An Interesting Interview with Matt Cox, playwright

You can listen to episode 14 here.

I review The Lightning Thief, In Transit, and Bandstand. Then I interview Matt Cox about his play, Puffs, and we talk about other Harry Potter parodies including A Very Potter Musical and The Sally Cotter series.

For more information about Elsie alums StarKid, check out http://www.teamstarkid.com.

For plays by my friend Dean O’Carroll including the Sally Cotter series and GEE! A play about a high school glee club without all that annoying singing, check out www.playscripts.com.

To read the interview with Dean O’Carroll that Matt talked about on the podcast, click here.


Two tickets to see Puffs and one free t-shirt! To win, tweet to @elsiepod using the hashtag #puffstix. A winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, April 19th.

The t-shirts are super soft and awesome. You know you want one! Just tweet using #puffstix!

Episode 8: Cosplay Expert

I’m so excited to get ready for Broadway Con with cosplay expert (and Broadway Con panelist) Darcy, of Viscountess. You can listen to Episode 8 here.

Darcy wants me to interview Lea Salonga and just ask her about everything–her whole career! I’d be happy to, Darcy!

And best of all, Darcy is giving away this bow:


It’s the Eliza Schuyler bow, made from the same taffeta used for Eliza’s dress in Hamilton. You know, this one:


So you can go about your business, workin’ it like a Schuyler Sister while all the Muggles think you’re just wearing a pretty bow in your hair. You know you want it.

All you have to do is follow me on Twitter @elsiepod and follow Darcy on Instagram (@viscountessKO) or Facebook (Viscountess). (It would be cool if you listened to the  episode, too, but it’s not required.) I’ll randomly choose one follower on Friday, January 27 at around noon. Why yes, that is the first day of Broadway Con, and it is also the day before Darcy’s Broadway Con panel! In fact, I’ll bet if the winner asks really nicely, Darcy would even bring you the bow at Broadway Con and hand it to you personally. (Or she’ll ship it to you, if you’re far away or just can’t make it to the con.)

Obligatory legal mumbo jumbo (I’m not a lawyer): my immediate family and Darcy’s immediate family are not eligible to win. If the winner doesn’t contact me in a reasonable amount of time (judged by me) then I will choose a different winner. Jen and Branch aren’t eligible to win because they just won stuff from me and I want to spread it around a bit. Oh, and if the randomly chosen winner does not appear to be a real person (like if it’s a robot or one of those companies trying to get me to pay them so I can get more Twitter followers) I’m going to choose a different winner. And honestly? If you win and you don’t really want the thing? Like maybe you’re bald? Let me know and I’ll choose another winner. I want this bow to go to someone who will enjoy and appreciate it.

Also, guess what? There’s going to be another give away for my next episode, and if you’re following me, you’re automatically entered to win that, too!

Who’s excited for Broadway Con? Free “Make More Art” sticker for anyone who comes up and says hi! I’m not a vendor or anything, but I’ll be there in my Elsie Cast t-shirt on Saturday. See you then!



Episode 5: Squigs

Update 12/16/16: The winner of the Lights of Broadway giveaway is @AsInTree. Congratulations, Branch! Thanks for supporting the podcast.

In episode 5, I talk to Squigs Robertson, co-creator of The Lights of Broadway trading cards. We talk about the cards, Squigs’ drawings at Elsie Fest 2016, and lots more. Plus, Squigs has offered a generous giveaway package!

Listen to Episode 5. 

Donate to The Criss Project’s #DarrensDirty30 campaign to raise $3000 before Darren Criss turns 30 on February 5th here. Buy a Christmas themed t-shirt to support the project here. Buy a TCP30 t-shirt to support the project here.

The following Elsie Fest alumni have trading cards available from The Lights of Broadway:

Summer, 2015 edition: Jason Robert Brown

Autumn, 2015 edition: Darren Criss, Laura Osnes, Lena Hall, Leslie Odom Jr, Megan Hilty

Spring, 2016 edition: Aaron Tveit, Cynthia Erivo, Liz Callaway, Seth Rudetsky, Tituss Burgess

Autumn, 2016 edition: Lindsay Mendez, Pasek & Paul

You can buy The Lights of Broadway trading cards on their website, http://www.thelightsofbroadway.nyc 

An article about Dori Bernstein’s new musical Half Time is here.

To participate in the giveaway from The Lights of Broadway, follow me on Twitter @elsiepod. One winner will be selected at random on Friday, December 16 from among my Twitter followers. The winner will be announced on Twitter and on this blog, and will then need to send their shipping information to me at elsiefestpodcast@gmail.com. If the winner does not respond within a reasonable amount of time as determined by me, a second winner will be selected at random. My immediate family members are not eligible to win. @Jennylom10, I know you’re used to winning everything, but you’re not winning this because you won my last giveaway and it’s time to give someone else a turn.

The giveaway includes:

  • 5 packs of Fall 2016 edition cards
  • A limited edition sticker
  • A George Takei card (not available for sale)
  • A New York Times card (only given out at press events)
  • A Tony Awards card