As The Curtain Rises – Broadway’s First Digital Soap Opera
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After the ‘Broadway Disher’ (Lesli Margherita) leaks news of a top secret, in-the-works, new mega musical, the Broadway community goes off-the-charts batty. Top-of-their-game Broadway Producers Cheryl Philips (Lillias White) and Steve Jones (James Monroe Iglehart), arch enemies, pounce. Who will get the rights? Will way-out-of-their-comfort-zone creators Kaye (Ashley Park) and Bobby (Michael Urie) manage to deliver a draft of the show before their marriage implodes? Will Director/Choreographer Zoey Taylor (Ariana DeBose) send the show’s budget into a free fall with her wildly ambitious vision? Will Broadway Diva Emma-Olivia (Sarah Stiles) get a Schmackery’s cookie (with Sprinkles) named in her honor? Will newbie Agent Maxwell Fernsby (George Salazar) step into his new big shoes? And will Science Consultant Andrew Barth Feldman (Andrew Barth Feldman) protect the integrity and authenticity of the in-the-works mega musical, before he needs to leave this top secret show to star in a new Broadway musical?
The drama on stage pales in comparison to the drama behind the curtain….
You don’t want to miss this.
This is an original radio play produced by the Broadway Podcast Network and Executive Produced by Liz Armstrong.
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AS THE CURTAIN RISES was created and recorded entirely in Quarantine.
He received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards for his star turn in Kiss Me, Kate. He also gave Tony-nominated performances in Man of La Mancha, August Wilson’s King Hedley II, and Ragtime. Other notable Broadway shows include Kiss of the Spider Woman, Jelly’s Last Jam, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Shuffle Along. In 2016 he was awarded his second Tony Award, the prestigious Isabelle Stevenson Tony for his Charitable work with The Actors Fund. That same year Stokes was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.
More information via https://www.brianstokes.com/.
Off-Broadway, Lesli starred as Princess in EMOJILAND and Cindy Lou Who in the one woman tour-de-force WHO’S HOLIDAY. Her hilarious show-stopping performance earned her critical acclaim including a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance, a Lortel nomination for Outstanding Solo Show and an Off-Broadway Alliance nomination for Best Solo Performance.
Television credits include the ABC sitcom pilot “Most Likely To” opposite Yvette Nicole Brown and recurring roles on “Homeland” (Showtime), “Instinct” (CBS), “Seven Seconds” (Netflix), “Transparent” (Amazon), and “The Crew” (Netflix). Movie credits include the upcoming The Many Saints of Newark, Opening Night and Boogeyman 2 and Number 23. Lesli’s voice can also be heard on several animated films and shows including Disney’s Cinderella 3 and Nickelodeon’s “Sponge Bob Squarepants”.
Regional stage credits include Adelaide in GUYS & DOLLS (Sacramento Music Circus; Bucks County Playhouse), Signora Psyche Zinobia in A SCYTHE OF TIME (NYMF), Esmeralda in HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Sacramento Music Circus), Lilli / Kate in KISS ME KATE (Reprise; Ovation Award – Best Actress), THE GRONHOLM METHOD (The Falcon ; Ovation nom. – Best Ensemble), Aldonza in MAN OF LA MANCHA (MTW; Ovation & LADCC nom – Best Actress), Julie in SHOWBOAT (Goodspeed Opera), Audrey in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (La Mirada), and Lady of the Lake in SPAMALOT (Sacramento Music Circus).
She is the creator/star of ‘Looks Not Books’ and ‘Ship Happens’ the popular backstage vlogs commissioned by Broadway.com, as well as the digital short series ‘Sparklefpuff,’ all of which can be seen on YouTube. Lesli’s books, NECK PUNCH and CARRY ON: Advice from the “Queen” and BLU!, are available on Amazon & iTunes.
Lesli’s critically acclaimed solo shows Rule, Broad, and This Broad’s Way continue to play to crowds across the country. Her debut live album RULE YOUR KINGDOM is currently in stores and available on all digital platforms.
Her other Broadway productions include On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Kate/ Lucy Avenue Q, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Recent television and film credits include Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane, I’m Dying Up Here, The Blacklist, Dietland and the animated Sunny Day for Nickelodeon. Sarah lends her voice on the recording of Pasek and Paul’s James and the Giant Peach.
Sarah penned her solo show Squirrel Heart and performed it to sold out audiences at Joe’s Pub at the Public in NYC.
Lillias White’s concert appearances include the critically acclaimed cabaret show at Feinstein’s 54 Below, entitled The Lillias White Effect (Bistro Award) and for the Actors Fund in Funny Girl, Hair and the 25th Anniversary concert of Dreamgirls. She was Bloody Mary in the PBS Great Performances broadcast of South Pacific. Lillias has toured internationally with her one-woman show, From Brooklyn To Broadway, and she’s graced the stages at Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Sydney Australia Opera House, the Singapore Opera House and the Palm Beach Pops.
Lillias’ television appearances include a regular role on Sesame Street for which she won an Emmy Award, a current role Netflix in The Get Down, Gotham, Person of Interest, Law and Order SVU, Law and Order, and NYPD Blue. Her film credits include the lead muse in Disney’s Hercules, Anastasia, How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey, Game Six with Michael Keaton, Pieces of April with Katie Holmes, Nasty Baby with Kristin Wigg and Then She found Me. Lillias holds an Honorary PhD in fine arts from The City University of New York.
Her ability to portray characters with raw honesty, humor, and pathos, has sustained her career as an actress for over 25 years. She first appeared on the scene in the HBO series Tanner ’88 directed by Robert Altman and quickly was plucked by Vanity Fair journalist James Wolcott as an “up and comer to watch.” Seinfeld fans recognize her from the infamous episode “The Contest.” She has appeared in many television shows and films including Law and Order, Tanner on Tanner, Damages, The Job, Cashmere Mafia, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Kissing Jessica Stein, Gigantic, Ira and Abby, Failure to Launch, The Nanny Diaries, Friends With Kids and Five Flights Up. As a voice over artist she has done commercials and audio books. In 2018 and 2019 Ilana was cited as a “Twitter Influencer To Follow”. She resides in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, actor Dominic Fumusa, her two children, and their dog, Lola.
In May of 2016, Levine joined the podcast universe when she began hosting Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine, and in May of 2019 co-created the How To Be More Chill podcast.
Iranian-born, Canadian actor, singer Ramin is recognized as the favorite leading man to perform in London’s West End Musical Theatre by whatsonstage.com. Ramin has played starring roles in both of the West End’s longest running musicals; Jean Valjean, Enjolras and Marius in Les Misérables and the Phantom and Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera. Ramin was hand picked by Andrew Lloyd Webber to portray the lead role in his sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies. He originated the role of Phantom in this sequel, a role that won him the prestigious Theatregoer’s Choice Award and the Broadwayworld.com award for Best Actor in a musical. He was also nominated and won the award for the Best Actor category for the prestigious Viewers’ Choice Theatre Awards at Whatsonstage.com in 2011, as well as nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
In 2011, Ramin played The Phantom for three performances alongside Love Never Dies co-star Sierra Boggess in the unique “25th Anniversary Production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall” that was streamed live to cinemas across the world, providing an even larger stage for this theatrical superstar’s talent. Additionally, he performed the title song, Music Of The Night, during the Broadway 25th Anniversary of Phantom of the Opera. Ramin also played the role of Enjolras in the “25th Anniversary Concert of Les Misérables” at The O2 Arena in London in 2010 where it has been one of the most widely viewed shows in PBS history.
During the months of November 2011 to March 2012, Ramin returned to Les Misérables, to play the lead role of Jean Valjean at The Queen’s Theatre, London, for which he won the 2013 Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Takeover in a Role.
Ramin’s debut album on Sony Records, “Human Heart”, is a summary of his life journey. “I have a huge love for country and bluegrass, I love rock ’n’ roll, and I love what I’m doing in musical theatre, so the key was how to balance and blend them all,” Ramin said. “I didn’t want to be just a theater star putting out an album. I wanted to have lived the songs. I wanted an album that was like a diary,” he reflects. Citing influences as diverse as The Tragically Hip, Johnny Cash, Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers, a typical musical theater album was never a possibility. “I wanted to marry the sounds of rock and country with things that people already know me for.” In his album, “Human Heart” Ramin found the perfect marriage, and in his own term “Broadgrass.” Starting in September 2013, Ramin reprised the role of Jean Valjean in a Canadian tour of the newly staged Les Misérables, and made his Broadway debut as Jean Valjean in March 2014.