In episode 10 of the Filmed Live Musicals podcast, I chat with Broadway dancer and associate choreographer Barry Busby! We talk about Starlight Express, being a swing, the work of an associate choreographer, creating the incredible jump rope number in Holiday Inn, and more!
Barry Busby is a Texas native, MFA graduate from the University of Oklahoma, and has lived in NYC for over 11 years where he just recently closed the 11-time Tony nominated production of Tootsie. He has been the Associate choreographer to Denis Jones for over 8 years and together they have collaborated on Broadway, all over the country, and internationally on over 40 productions. His Broadway credits include: Honeymoon in Vegas, Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close, and Tootsie. Regionally he has worked at some of North America‘s most prominent theatres including: The MUNY, Goodspeed, Papermill Playhouse, The Kennedy Center, Dallas Theatre Center, TUTS, The Alley Theatre,and Williamstown Theatre Festival. In 2014 and 2016 he was featured on the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and most recently in the 73rd annual Tony Awards hosted by James Corden. When his schedule allows, Barry travels the world teaching master classes to the next generation of musical theatre hopefuls.
Holiday Inn is currently available to stream on BroadwayHD and on PBS Passport!
Learn more about Barry at www.barrybusby.com and follow him on Instagram!
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In this week's episode of the podcast, I chat with Kelly Kessler, Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at DePaul University, about her new book Broadway in the Box: Television's Lasting Love Affair with the Musical.
We talk about Kelly's research, why television networks produce live musicals, the role of adverts, the first musicals on television, the first Broadway musical to air live on television (and who got to watch it), and why we should put musicals on television!
Broadway in the Box: Television's Lasting Love Affair with the Musical is available at all major bookstores.
About This Week's Guest
Kelly Kessler is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at DePaul University. Her work draws on three main areas: the American musical, the intersection of genre and gender, and the mainstreaming of lesbianism in American television and film. Her scholarship can be found in works such as Studies in Musical Theatre, The Journal of E-Media Studies, The Journal of Popular Music Studies, Television and New Media, Movies, Moves, and Music: The Sonic World of the Dance Film, Televising Queer Women: A Reader, and The New Queer Aesthetic on Television: Essays on Recent Programming. Kessler has published two books, including Destabilizing the Hollywood Musical: Music, Masculinity and Mayhem and Broadway in the Box: Television's Lasting Love Affair with the Musical.
Episode 8 of the Filmed Live Musicals podcast is out today! Available wherever you listen to podcasts or online here.
In this week's episode, I chat with actor and Broadway expert Kimberly Faye Greenberg all about her one woman show Fabulous Fanny: The Songs & Stories of Fanny Brice, Barbra Streisand, the technicalities of streaming a show online, creating online “events”, and more!
The Associated Press declared Kimberly Faye Greenberg a "Warm, Sassy Diva!”, while she played leading roles in two off-Broadway musicals at the same time: Danny and Sylvia, The Danny Kaye Musical (as Sylvia Fine) and the solo show One Night with Fanny Brice (receiving a Patrick Lee IBTA Best Solo Performance Award nomination amongst fellow nominees, John Leguizamo, Michael Shannon and Michael Birbiglia). Kimberly's own solo show, Fabulous Fanny: The Songs and Stories of Fanny Brice, has been touring for the past 8 years with the Huffington Post stating the show brings "Fanny Brice to Fabulous Life"!
Fabulous Fanny: The Songs and Stories of Fanny Brice is now available to stream on Stellar. For tickets and to learn more, visit http://www.kimberlyfayegreenberg.com. You can find Kimberly on Instagram at @kfgreenberg.
Take a listen for some fun insights, and if you like what you hear, please rate and review!
Did you know you can access transcripts of each episode?
Visit Buzzsprout and click on the episode title!
Past episodes include Brenda Braxton, Scenesaver with Caroline Friedman, Disney Cruise Line's Tangled with David Colston Corris, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe with Julie Leach and more!
Available wherever you listen to podcasts!
In episode 6 of the Filmed Live Musicals podcast, I chat with actor David Colston Corris who portrayed Maximus the horse in the recently released filmed live Disney musical Tangled, which was performed aboard the cruise ship Disney Magic. We chat about puppeteering, working on a cruise ship, and what it took to bring Maximus to life.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, David has performed for audiences all over the world! National/International Tours: AVENUE Q (Princeton/Rod), RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL (Coach Comet, Charlie-in-the-Box), CURIOUS GEORGE LIVE! (Freddy), and John Tartagila's IMAGINOCEAN (Dorsel). Cruise Lines: DISNEY CRUISE LINE (World Premier cast of TANGLED: THE MUSICAL (Maximus), FROZEN: A MUSICAL SPECTACULAR (Olaf, Duke of Weselton) and NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE (Nickelodeon Host). Regional Theaters: CASA MANANA, SAN JOSE STAGE COMPANY, THE HANGAR THEATRE, GEVA THEATRE CENTER. Theme Parks: WALT DISNEY WORLD, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS ORLANDO, SESAME PLACE and STORYLAND. In addition to performing, David designs and builds puppets. He has also taught puppetry privately, regionally, and for shows and workshops at WALT DISNEY WORLD. David is an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. David holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theater from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
Available now on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Overcast and more! Click here for links!
In episode 3 of the podcast, Luisa chats with the founder and artistic director of Prima, Mitch Nugent. Based in Lancaster, PA, Prima is a non-profit organization focused on invigorating lives through fresh theatrical experiences.
An experienced actor, director, and producer, Mitch has led Prima from its start in 2010 as a nomadic organization, to its own home in 2018. On the west side of Lancaster City, Prima’s new venue offers an exciting location for boutique musicals, concerts and special events.
We chat about how Prima has responded to the COVID-19 crisis, what it takes to put theatre online, developing drive-in theatre, and how bootlegs are akin to medical marijuana!
Subscribe to the Filmed Live Musicals podcast on your favorite app, or take a listen below.
Learn more about Prima at https://primatheatre.org/.
Filmed Live Musicals now has a podcast! We will talk about the world of filmed live musicals, interview creatives, actors, producers and industry folks, look at the research being carried out on filmed theatre, dive into some history, and, of course, talk about the musicals themselves!
In our first episode, host Luisa Lyons and guest host Al Monaco take a look at firsts in filmed live musicals.
In episode two, out on August 3, Luisa chats with the founder of Scenesaver, Caroline Friedman. Scenesaver is a new platform making performances from the world's off-Broadway, off West End, small theatres, and emerging artists available to everyone online. It's free to register and watch with over 150 shows of all genres from around the world available now!
Subscribe on your preferred podcast app and join us for the Filmed Live Musicals podcast!
The following interview was originally published in the July edition of the Filmed Live Musicals Patron newsletter. When you become a patron, you will be supporting the running of this site, and original research into the ever growing field of filmed live musicals. Previous newsletters include content on upcoming screenings, new movie technology, and 360º captures. Star Patrons also gain access to filmed live musical reviews. To gain access to Patreon-only content, become a Patron today!
British actor and writer Carrie Sutton has performed in many West End musicals including Sister Act: The Musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Little Women, Cabaret, Imagine This, and Kiss Me, Kate. She also worked as a dresser on the recent West End musical The Wind in the Willows. You can catch Carrie performing as Laurey in Oklahoma! later this month at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage.
Imagine This, Kiss Me, Kate, and The Wind in the Willows were all filmed live. I recently chatted with Carrie about her experiences working on these filmed live musicals.
What difference is there between acting for camera and acting on stage? How does that translate when you’re filming a live stage show?
You’re still giving a theatrical performance, but there is an awareness of the camera. It’s a different scale. I aimed for the middle of the audience rather than the back, and in close-up moments, I tried to be still. The audience is recorded too, and that energy translates on camera.
For “Kiss Me, Kate” and “The Wind in the Willows,” we did pick-ups after the performance. For example, a mic went down during the show, so afterwards we re-recorded some scenes out of sequence.
You knew Kiss Me, Kate was going to be filmed from the outset. Did you rehearse for the stage or for the camera?
We rehearsed it as a piece of theatre, and it was filmed as a piece of theatre. In fact, John Wilson [the conductor], told us to “chip your teeth on the words” because Royal Albert Hall is so big. You really have to work hard to make yourself understood in that space. So we definitely worked for the live performance of it.
We had rehearsals at the Town Hall in Belsize Park, and then the camera guys would come in and see the work. They would check angles and close-ups, and compare it to marked-up scripts. There is a lot of back and forth between the director, the DP [director pf photography], and the choreographer. It’s very much a group effort.
"Kiss Me, Kate" aired during prime time on Christmas Day. That was so exciting for me. A real bucket list item.
Stage musicals are sometimes altered when the cameras come in. What aspects of Imagine This were changed for the filming?
Some slight blocking changes were made to accommodate the cameras, but from the actors’ perspective very little was changed.
What was it like working as a dresser on “Wind in the Willows”?
It was filmed over three days. We had a dress rehearsal for close-ups, and where they got pick-up footage for when things go wrong in live filming, like a child screaming in the audience, or costume failure. The costumes had to be immaculate — it has to be perfect for film. What passes on a regular show won’t pass on a recording. Socks have to be level, ties have to be straight. There is extra attention to detail on quick changes because all the clothes use velcro, ties are stuck on with velcro, shirts do up with velcro, it has to be exact or it doesn’t look right.
How do contract negotiations work for filmed live musicals?
All the negotiations are done through the producer. For “Imagine This” we were given a fee for filming, or perhaps we waived it, and were bought out for the broadcasts. “Kiss Me, Kate” was all done prior and we just signed a standard BBC contract. If you had a step out, you received extra.
You get reimbursed for royalties. It’s all worked out with the cast and crew and everyone is allocated points based on how much you work during the rehearsals and during the show. Like in “The Wizard of Oz,” we ended up distributing points based on word count. The female ensemble had a lot more to do in that show, so we were given more points.
EPKs [Electronic Press Kit] are included in new contracts. We spend around a day in the theatre shooting scenes for promotional copy. The scenes are different from what’s in the show, we learn new blocking that works better for the camera, like a dance will be more spaced out, or the angles will be slightly different. “The Wizard of Oz” were on Children in Need. We did a montage specifically for that show. It was covered in the EPK as “reasonable promotion.”
What do you think of filmed live musicals or filmed live theatre in general?
It’s both theatre and film. It’s a record. It is important to have records of shows. People who would otherwise never be recorded are able to have a record of their work, especially ensemble members. It creates revenue for the production. It brings art back to the people. It makes the West End accessible to people who are far away.
Do you have a favorite filmed live theatre event?
The entire Kenneth Branagh season. I saw it filmed live, and I watched the films. I loved the Royal Ballet’s “Alice in Wonderland.” I felt really involved in the production, even though I was watching it in the cinema. Also the RSC’s “Henry” plays.
Why are filmed live musicals important?
The “Imagine This” DVD potentially gives that show a future life. It honors the work of the all the people that create the show, all the creatives, and the cast. The level of work that went into the show is incredible. Everything was handmade for the production, and every moment of work is captured. It was just a flash in the pan, but all the work, and commitment, and artistry, it isn’t lost.
Learn more about Carrie at www.carriesutton.com and http://www.londonvoiceover.com/carrie-sutton/.
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