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When Lightning Strikes!
Podcasts

When Lightning Strikes!

Broadway’s top talents reveal their lightning bolt moments that set them on the course of their dreams. When Lightning Strikes! Is hosted by Forbes.com and Parade.com contributor Jeryl Brunner.

All Episodes

#70 -  Patrick Page

#70 - Patrick Page

A Broadway and off-Broadway veteran who has starred in dozens of productions, Patrick Page is currently performing in the hit play All the Devils Are Here at the DR2 Theatre. Directed by Simon Godwin, this riveting show explores Shakespeare's most fascinating villains.

26 mins
Feb 26
#69 -  Sheryl Kaller and Sean Daniels

#69 - Sheryl Kaller and Sean Daniels

Sean Daniels and Sheryl Kaller are some of the forces behind The White Chip, the hit autobiographical comedy currently playing at MCC Theater. Daniels, who wrote the White Chip, is a prolific theatermaker who leads The Recovery Project for Florida Studio Theatre.

33 mins
Feb 22
#68 -  Warren Carlyle

#68 - Warren Carlyle

Warren Carlyle is a Tony winning and Emmy nominated Director and Choreographer. Most recently he directed and choreographed the musical Harmony, now playing on Broadway.

30 mins
12/18/23
#67 -  Marty LaSalle

#67 - Marty LaSalle

Marty LaSalle is the CEO of the Big Apple Circus. Their latest show, Journey to the Rainbow, created in collaboration with Circus-Theater Roncalli, is now playing at Lincoln Center through January 1. This episode was recorded on November 21, 2023.

36 mins
12/4/23
#66 - Zalmen Mlotek & Avram Mlotek

#66 - Zalmen Mlotek & Avram Mlotek

Zalmen Mlotek is the Artistic Director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. He and his son, Avram Mlotek are the forces behind Amid Falling Walls: Unveiling Resilience and Hope During the Holocaust.

28 mins
12/1/23
#65 - Sade Lythcott

#65 - Sade Lythcott

Sade Lythcott is a Tony and Emmy-nominated producer and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Black Theatre. Founded in 1968, by her mother Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, National Black Theatre is the nation’s first revenue-generating Black arts complex.

45 mins
11/20/23
#64 - Leigh Silverman

#64 - Leigh Silverman

A prolific director on Broadway and off, some of Leigh Silverman's credits include Violet, Grand Horizons, The Lifespan of a Fact, Chinglish, Well, SUFFS, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Soft Power, Sandra, Hurricane Diane,The Wild Party and Really Rosie.

28 mins
11/7/23
#63 -  Alex Michaels

#63 - Alex Michaels

Fresh off of their appearance on RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars Season 8, Alex Michaels, also known as Alexis Michelle, has had a hit cabaret show at Joe’s Pub and appeared at Disney’s Gay Days in Anaheim.

42 mins
10/23/23
#62 - Andrea Syglowski

#62 - Andrea Syglowski

Andrea Syglowski is a riveting actress who has thrived on stage in film and TV. Just a few of Andrea's credits include Pass Over, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, Queens. Lost in Yonkers. Venus in Fur, A Doll’s House and Dear Elizabeth.

34 mins
10/9/23
#61 - Brendan George

#61 - Brendan George

Brendan George wrote and starred in A Eulogy for Roman. The riveting immersive show had a successful run at 59 E 59 Theaters. Directed and conceived by Peter Charney, A Eulogy for Roman was also a hit at Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

39 mins
9/25/23
#60 - Marcia Cross

#60 - Marcia Cross

Marcia Cross stars with Ron Canada and Bryan Batt in Pay the Writer. Written Tawni O’Dell and directed by Karen Carpenter, Pay the Writer is now playing at The Pershing Square Signature Center.

34 mins
9/18/23
#59 - Valisia LeKae

#59 - Valisia LeKae

Valisia LeKae stars as LaVern Baker in Rock & Roll Man. The hit musical is playing at New World Stages. Valisia was nominated for Tony and Grammy Awards playing Diana Ross in Motown: The Musical.

38 mins
8/30/23
#58 - Marilee Talkington

#58 - Marilee Talkington

Marilee Talkington stars as Morgan Le Fey in the musical Camelot now playing at Lincoln Center Theater. A prolific actress on stage and screen, some of her other theater credits include A Nervous Smile, The Middle Ages, The Last Day and her solo show, Truce.

46 mins
7/21/23
#57 - From the Vault: Alex Edelman

#57 - From the Vault: Alex Edelman

Alex Edelman is a comedian and writer whose Orthodox Jewish upbringing has informed his critically and commercially acclaimed work for the stage and screen. He is known for both his TV writing and his solo stage shows, all three of which have been award-winning, sell-out hits in London’s West End and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

43 mins
7/11/23
#56 - Joel Thurm

#56 - Joel Thurm

Joel Thurm is known as one of Hollywood's most accomplished casting directors. He played a key role casting some of the most important shows and films including Cheers, Hill Street Blues, Taxi, Grease, Airplane!, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

42 mins
6/23/23
#55 - Arian Moayed

#55 - Arian Moayed

Arian Moayed was nominated for a Tony Award for his dazzling performance playing Torvald in A Doll's House opposite Jessica Chastain. An Emmy and Tony nominated actor, writer and director, in 2002, he co-founded Waterwell, (www.waterwell.org) a risk-taking and civic-minded non-profit theater company.

37 mins
6/20/23
#54 - Martyna Majok

#54 - Martyna Majok

Martyna Majok was recently nominated for a Tony award for her riveting, profound and funny play "Cost of Living." The play delves into the lengths we go to care for others and what it means to fight for ourselves.

27 mins
6/7/23
#53 - NaTasha Yvette Williams

#53 - NaTasha Yvette Williams

NaTasha Yvette Williams was just nominated for a Tony Award originating the role of band leader Sweet Sue in the new Broadway musical Some Like it Hot. She is also featured in the musical's original cast recording.

35 mins
5/30/23
#52 - Stephen McKinley Henderson

#52 - Stephen McKinley Henderson

A most prolific actor, just a few of Stephen McKinley Henderson's credits include Fences, A Raisin In The Sun, A Doll's House Part 2, Lincoln, Manchester By The Sea, Lady Bird, Dune, Causeway, Beau Is Afraid and the upcoming Dune: Part 2.

51 mins
5/3/23
#51 - Steven Boyer

#51 - Steven Boyer

Steven Boyer currently stars in the dazzling hit musical Kimberly Akimbo now playing at the Booth Theatre. He also received a Tony nomination for the play Hand To God.

42 mins
4/27/23
#50 - Gwendolyn Warnock and Kirjan Waage

#50 - Gwendolyn Warnock and Kirjan Waage

Gwendolyn Warnock and Kirjan Waage both wrote and directed The Immortal Jellyfish Girl at 59E59 Theaters. This dazzling out-of-the-box show is presented by Wakka Wakka and Nordland Visual Theatre.

21 mins
3/27/23
#49 - Leo Reich

#49 - Leo Reich

A comedian and writer, Leo Reich’s comedy show, Literally Who Cares?!, is currently playing at Greenwich House Theater in New York City.

36 mins
3/8/23
#48 - Mitchell Winter

#48 - Mitchell Winter

Mitchell Winter currently plays Wolf, a little boy, in Wolf Play at MCC Theater. Written by Hansol Jung and directed by Dustin Wills, the play, which had a sold-out run at Soho Rep, is presented by MCC Theater in collaboration with Ma-Yi Theater Company.

38 mins
3/8/23
#47 - Christine Pedi

#47 - Christine Pedi

Called the “Lady of 1,000 Voices," actress Christine Pedi is known for her fierce impressions of countless performers including Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Liza Minnelli and Elaine Stritch in the hit show Forbidden Broadway.

44 mins
3/2/23
#46 - Bonnie Milligan

#46 - Bonnie Milligan

Bonnie Milligan stars in the hit musical Kimberly Akimbo at the Booth Theater on Broadway. The show began at the Atlantic Theater Company with Milligan winning the Lucille Lortel Award and getting nominated for a Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League award for her enthralling and utterly brilliant performance as Aunt Debra.

39 mins
2/21/23
#45 - Jinkx Monsoon

#45 - Jinkx Monsoon

Actress, vocalist, and comedian Jinkx Monsoon is the first person in history to win Ru Paul’s Drag Race twice, earning the title “Queen of All Queens” on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. Jinkx recently made her Broadway debut playing “Matron ‘Mama’ Morton” in the jazzy hit musical Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre.

35 mins
2/9/23
#44 - Ray Mercer

#44 - Ray Mercer

For nearly two decades Ray Mercer has been a cast member of 'The Lion King' on Broadway. One of the longest-running male dancers in Broadway history, Mercer, who plays one of the iconic 14 foot giraffes at the top of the show, is also the show's fight captain.

26 mins
12/9/22
#43 - Melissa Etheridge

#43 - Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge is a ferociously talented rock music icon. This Grammy and Oscar-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist is known for her deeply passionate, raw and honest lyrics and smoky, distinctive voice.

17 mins
10/12/22
#42 - Katy Sullivan

#42 - Katy Sullivan

Katy Sullivan is reprising her role as Ani in Martyna Majok's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, 'Cost of Living,' which opened on Broadway October 3rd. Just a few of her other acting credits includes 'Dexter: New Blood,' 'My Name is Earl' and 'Last Man Standing.' A double below the knee bilateral amputee and four-time U.S.

43 mins
10/10/22
#41 - Carl Moellenberg

#41 - Carl Moellenberg

Carl Moellenberg has produced more than 70 shows worldwide and won 13 Tony awards. Just a few of his Broadway credits includes Spring Awakening, Hair, Death of a Salesman, Pippin, All the Way, Dear Evan Hansen, Angels in America, The Band's Visit, Oklahoma, Hadestown, The Minutes, Company and many more.

38 mins
9/12/22
#40 - Eugene Pack

#40 - Eugene Pack

Eugene Pack is an Emmy nominated writer and winner of the Drama Desk award for creating the hit international comedy Celebrity Autobiography. The beloved show where stars act out other celebrity memoirs live on stage, has run on on and off Broadway.

28 mins
6/28/22
#39 - Sharon Wheatley

#39 - Sharon Wheatley

Sharon Wheatley is an original cast member in the the hit Broadway musical, Come From Away. She has the distinction of being the only actress to appear in Cats, Les Miserables and the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

52 mins
6/1/22
#38 - Miriam Pultro

#38 - Miriam Pultro

Miriam Pultro is an actor, singer, composer, lyricist musician, director, filmmaker and theater artist who wrote and stars in Glass Town which played at the Tank in New York City. The rock musical spotlights the Brontë-siblings as rock band.

29 mins
4/6/22
#37 - Nick Blaemire

#37 - Nick Blaemire

Actor-musicians Van Hughes and Nick Blaemire wrote and are performing in “Space Dogs” at MCC theater. The new musical tells the heartbreaking, mind-blowing true story of the first living beings to go into outer space, even before humans.

53 mins
3/12/22
#36 - Clare Barron

#36 - Clare Barron

Clare Barron is a prolific writer who has written the plays “Baby Screams Miracle,” “Dirty Crusty,” “I’ll Never Love Again,” “You Got Older” and the Pulitzer-nominated “Dance Nation." Her gripping play “Shhhh,” which has been called “illuminating” and "raw" recently had a very successful run at the Atlantic Theater Company.

52 mins
3/7/22
#35 - Jeannette Bayardelle

#35 - Jeannette Bayardelle

Jeannette Bayardelle is a Grammy-nominated performer who has traveled to more than 50 countries to share her exceptional gifts. Most recently she starred on Broadway as Mrs. Nielsen in Girl From The North Country featuring the songs of Bob Dylan.

43 mins
2/18/22
#34 - Alex Edelman who stars in 'Just For Us' at the Cherry Lane Theatre

#34 - Alex Edelman who stars in 'Just For Us' at the Cherry Lane Theatre

Alex Edelman is a comedian and writer whose Orthodox Jewish upbringing has informed his critically and commercially acclaimed work for the stage and screen. He is known for both his TV writing and his solo stage shows, all three of which have been award-winning, sell-out hits in London’s West End and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

43 mins
1/18/22
#33 - The Broadway opening of the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Trouble In Mind

#33 - The Broadway opening of the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Trouble In Mind

When Lightning Strikes! goes to the opening Night and Broadway premiere of Alice Childress’ play Trouble in Mind. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, the cast includes LaChanze, Michael Zegen, Chuck Cooper, Danielle Campbell, Jessica Frances Dukes, Brandon Micheal Hall, Simon Jones, Alex Mickiewicz and Don Stephenson.

28 mins
12/16/21
#32 - Jacquelene Acevedo from David Byrne's American Utopia

#32 - Jacquelene Acevedo from David Byrne's American Utopia

Jacquelene Acevedo is a Grammy award winning percussionist and dancer who stars in David Byrne's American Utopia currently on Broadway at the St James Theatre. She has recorded or toured with Jeremy Pelt, Alicia Hall Moran and her mentor/father, Memo Acevedo.

41 mins
11/8/21
#31 - Playwright Martyna Majok

#31 - Playwright Martyna Majok

Martyna Majok is a playwright who won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cost of Living. Her newest play, Sanctuary City from New York Theatre Workshop is now playing at The Lucille Lortel Theatre.

50 mins
10/6/21
#30 - Pamela Moller Kareman, executive director, The Neighborhood Playhouse

#30 - Pamela Moller Kareman, executive director, The Neighborhood Playhouse

Pamela Moller Kareman is the executive director of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre. Just a few of their alumni includes Tony Randall, Mary Steenburgen, Robert Duvall, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Gregory Peck, Christopher Lloyd, Chris Noth, Dylan McDermott, Allison Janney and Joanne Woodward.

54 mins
9/29/21
#29 - At the red carpet premiere of The Show Must Go On

#29 - At the red carpet premiere of The Show Must Go On

When Lightning Strikes goes to the premiere of the new documentary, The Show Must Go On. For the first time since the March 2020 shut down, an audience filled the Majestic Theatre that is home to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of The Opera.

15 mins
8/20/21
#28 - Russell Granet, President and CEO of New 42

#28 - Russell Granet, President and CEO of New 42

Russell Granet is the president and CEO of New 42, New 42 is a nonprofit organization behind the New Victory Theater, the New 42nd Street Studios and the Duke on 42nd Street. Their mission is to make performing arts a vital part of everyone’s life from the earliest years onward.

39 mins
8/13/21
#27 - Dan O’Brien

#27 - Dan O’Brien

Dan O’Brien is a playwright and poet whose work has been produced off-Broadway at Primary Stages, throughout the United States and in the United Kingdom. Some of his plays include The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage and The Body of an American.

33 mins
8/6/21
#26 - Mandy Gonzalez

#26 - Mandy Gonzalez

Mandy Gonzalez is an Obie and Drama Desk-winning singer, actress and author. She is so ferociously talented and has such a fierce belt that she was nicknamed “The Beast.” Mandy stars on Broadway in Hamilton as Angelica Schuyler and also originated the role of Nina Rosario in the Tony–winning Broadway musical In The Heights.

45 mins
6/4/21
#25 - Casting team James Calleri, Erica Jensen and Paul Davis of Calleri Jensen Davis

#25 - Casting team James Calleri, Erica Jensen and Paul Davis of Calleri Jensen Davis

James Calleri, Erica Jensen and Paul Davis make up the casting team Calleri Jensen Davis. The winners of 15 Artios Awards, they have a vast repertoire casting for Broadway, Off-Broadway, major motion pictures and television series.

49 mins
5/6/21
#24 - Mark Armstrong, Artistic Director of The 24 Hour Plays

#24 - Mark Armstrong, Artistic Director of The 24 Hour Plays

Mark Armstrong is the Artistic Director of The 24 Hour Plays which brings together creative communities to produce plays and musicals that are written, rehearsed, and performed in 24 hours.

48 mins
4/19/21
#23 - Christina Papagjika

#23 - Christina Papagjika

Christina Papagjika is a Tony and Olivier Award-winning producer who creates film, television and theater. Just a few of her productions includes the six-time Tony Award-winning Best Musical "Kinky Boots" and the film, "Lee Daniels' The Butler" starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, and Jane Fonda.

47 mins
3/22/21
#22 - Nina Meehan and Khalia Davis

#22 - Nina Meehan and Khalia Davis

Meet two forces from the Bay Area Children’s Theatre: Nina Meehan, the theater’s founder and CEO. And artistic director, Khalia Davis. Bay Area Children’s Theatre is one of the leading theaters for young audiences in California.

53 mins
2/20/21
#21 - John Lloyd Young

#21 - John Lloyd Young

A Tony and Grammy Award-winning force, John Lloyd Young played Frankie Valli in the Original Broadway Cast of Jersey Boys. He also starred as Valli in Clint Eastwood's Warner Bros. movie adaptation of the show.

42 mins
2/8/21
#20 - Frank DiLella

#20 - Frank DiLella

Frank DiLella is the host of “On Stage” on Spectrum News NY1. He won a Best News Magazine Emmy Award for his special on the musical “Come From Away.” Frank has interviewed everyone including James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, Bono, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jane Fonda, Lady Gaga, Andrew Lloyd Webber and on and on and on.

49 mins
1/25/21
#19 - Jonah Platt

#19 - Jonah Platt

Jonah Platt is a prolific performer and creator who has appeared on stages around the country. On Broadway he played Fiyero in Wicked. He did Hair at the Hollywood Bowl and was also in Floyd Collins, BARE, A Walk on the Moon and Found.

44 mins
12/13/20
#18 - David Lindsay-Abaire

#18 - David Lindsay-Abaire

David Lindsay-Abaire is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, screenwriter, lyricist and librettist. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his devastatingly beautiful play Rabbit Hole.

47 mins
11/25/20
#17 - Shaina Taub and Roz Lichter

#17 - Shaina Taub and Roz Lichter

By the time she was a student at Bennington College, Elizabeth Swados was already a force, considered an exceptional talent as a writer, composer and director. In 1978 when she was in her twenties her musical Runaways, about teenage runaways began at the Public Theater, moved to Broadway and earned her four Tony nominations.

47 mins
11/20/20
#16 - Christine Ebersole

#16 - Christine Ebersole

For more than three decades Christine Ebersole has dazzled on stage, screen, in television series, concert appearances, recordings and on and on.

47 mins
11/9/20
#15 - Krista Detor

#15 - Krista Detor

Rolling Stone magazine calls Krista Detor’s soul-nourishing music "A small miracle.” A singer/song-writer, her solo albums have reached national and international prominence on the Euro-Americana and Folk and Independent Music charts.

50 mins
10/7/20
#14 - James Sampliner

#14 - James Sampliner

There are musicians, composers, arrangers, orchestrators and then there is James Sampliner. He is a pianist, composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, music producer, percussionist and music copyist.

54 mins
9/21/20
#13 - Patrick Boll

#13 - Patrick Boll

In his thirty year career Patrick Boll has performed on Broadway, off Broadway and around the country. For nearly three years he starred as Bill Austin in Mamma Mia! on Broadway.

56 mins
9/16/20
#12 - Marin Ireland

#12 - Marin Ireland

As New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley wrote, Marin Ireland is “one of New York theater’s most inspired and entertaining interpreters of people programmed to self-destruct.” Just a few of her theater credits include Happy Talk, Blue Ridge, Summer and Smoke, Ironbound, On the Exhale, Kill Floor, Marie Antoinette, The Big Knife, Three Sisters, Miss.

54 mins
9/5/20
#11 - Astrid Van Wieren

#11 - Astrid Van Wieren

Astrid Van Wieren is an original cast member of the the hit Broadway musical, Come From Away. She has been in the show since it opened in 2017. Van Wieren also co-wrote, co-produced and stars in the indie feature film, The River You Step In.

46 mins
8/29/20
#10 - Charlotte Moore and Ciarán O’Reilly (Irish Repertory Theatre)

#10 - Charlotte Moore and Ciarán O’Reilly (Irish Repertory Theatre)

Charlotte Moore and Ciarán O’Reilly founded Irish Repertory Theatre in 1988. Ever since they have been passionately devoted to bringing Irish and Irish-American works to the stage.

44 mins
8/12/20
#9 - Michael Zegen

#9 - Michael Zegen

Michael Zegen stars as Joel Maisel in the beloved Amazon hit series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. His vast theater resume includes Bad Jews, The Spoils, A View From The Bridge and most recently Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice with The New Group.

44 mins
8/10/20
#8 - Tedra Millan

#8 - Tedra Millan

Tedra Millan appeared on Broadway in Present Laughter. Her Off-Broadway credits include: Happy Talk,The Wolves, On the Shore of the Wide World, Nassim. On television you can see her in Fosse/Verdon, Tales of the City, Almost Family, Katy Keene and The Goldbergs.

43 mins
8/3/20
#7 - Katie Brayben

#7 - Katie Brayben

Katie Brayben won a Olivier Award playing Carole King in the West End premiere of Beautiful. Just a few of her theater credits include Girl from the North Country, Honour, A Walk on The Moon, The Spoils, My Mother Said I Never Should, King Charles III and American Psycho.

46 mins
7/27/20
#6 - Aneesa Folds

#6 - Aneesa Folds

Aneesa Folds shares how she went from being a student at the Freestyle Love Supreme Academy to starring on Broadway a few months later in Freestyle Love Supreme. Her other theater credits includes Sistas The Musical, Seussical, Freaky Friday and Ragtime.

32 mins
7/21/20
#5 - Jonathan Marc Sherman

#5 - Jonathan Marc Sherman

Jonathan Marc Sherman has been a professional playwright since he was a teenager. At 18 his play, Women and Wallace, was part of the Young Playwrights Festival and directed by James LaPine and then Don Scardino.

53 mins
7/9/20
#4 - Asmeret Ghebremichael

#4 - Asmeret Ghebremichael

Asmeret Ghebremichael is a force on Broadway, off Broadway and the West End. A Drama Desk winner, she has been working on Broadway for twenty years. Just some of her credits include The Book of Mormon, Elf, In The Heights, Legally Blonde, Spamalot, Wicked, Dream Girls on the West End.

36 mins
6/19/20
#3 - Anika Larsen

#3 - Anika Larsen

There are singers and then there is Anika Larsen. Known for her ferocious belt, she made her Broadway debut in Rent and was nominated for a Tony award playing prolific songwriter Cynthia Weil in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

47 mins
6/11/20
#2 - Tiler Peck

#2 - Tiler Peck

Tiler Peck was dancing before she could walk. By the time she was four-years-old she had a talent for remembering three minute dance solos. “I was dancing all the time,” says Peck who has been a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet for over a decade.

35 mins
5/29/20
#1 - Annie Golden

#1 - Annie Golden

Annie Golden got her start in the 1970s as the lead singer of the CBGB headlining band, The Shirts. In the 1970s director Milos Forman “discovered” Annie Golden singing at CBGBs with her band The Shirts. He cast her in his 1979 film adaptation of Hair.

53 mins
5/18/20

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