Maestro Wards Stare, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s music director, joined host Robert Hammond in studio at WXXI to talk about the RPO’s upcoming concerts, Broadway Rocks. Stage Notes did indeed rock out with songs from Wicked, Rent, The Phantom of the Opera,Hairspray, and more. Full program available on demand below.
Stare is likable and knowledgeable. You’ll enjoy the lightness of the conversation, especially the life stories he shares. His story about the famous Styx song “Come Sail Away” is a highlight. Sit back and listen to a special rockin’ edition of Stage Notes. Remember to follow Stage notes on Twitter @stagenotes, and like our page on Facebook.
It seems Like Stage Notes began airing on WXXI FM 91.5 yesterday – October 24th marked its sixth anniversary. Although it airs elsewhere throughout the country, WXXI was the first station that gave it the green light.
Thank you for listening and supporting the program. Below is a link to the full anniversary program that aired. It featured many special guests, including Norm Silverstein, Sue Rogers, Elissa Orlando, Ruth Phinney, and Julia Figueras. NPR’s Ari Shapiro was kind enough to join the celebration. Thank you, Ari!
Please Follow Stage Notes on Twitter @stagenotes, and be sure to like our page on Facebook. Again, thank you. Enjoy!
The talented and beautiful Megan Hilty joined host Robert Hammond on Stage Notes to discuss her Broadway and television career, as well as her performances with orchestras throughout the country, including the Rochester Pops on Friday & Saturday, September 11 &12 at the Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Music from her CD, It Happens All the Time, and Smash are featured. Songs from Broadway shows on tour are also showcased throughout the program. Click below to listen.
In a few short years, Megan Hilty has gone from understudy on Broadway to a star of stage, screen, and music. Her impressive accomplishments have made her one of the fastest rising talents in the entertainment world.
Megan was born in Bellevue, Washington on March 29, 1981. Drawn to music at a young age, she explored a career in opera before deciding to pursue musical theatre. After graduating from the Washington Academy of Performing Arts Conservatory High School in Redmond, Washington, she moved to Southern Oregon and spent two years waiting tables and working odd jobs while performing in shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Hello Dolly!, and My Fair Lady. She then enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she performed in a variety of college and regional productions. She graduated from CMU in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre.
Upon graduation, Megan was offered the role of “Glinda” standby for the Broadway company of Wicked. She made her Broadway debut in the fall of 2004 opposite Tony winner Idina Menzel, and was asked to take over as principal Glinda in May 2005. After a year on Broadway, Megan performed the role on tour and in the 2007-2009 Los Angeles production.
During her years with Wicked, Megan was workshopping the role of “Doralee” in 9 to 5: The Musical, Dolly Parton’s adaptation of the popular film. In 2009, Megan starred in the show on Broadway alongside Allison Janney and Stephanie J. Block. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical, an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in a Musical, a Drama League Award, and an Ovation Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
During this time period, Megan made guest appearances on many television shows, including Bones, The Closer, Desperate Housewives, and Ugly Betty, while also providing the singing voice for Snow White in Shrek the Third. She also made concert appearances around the U.S. in the Meg an’ Sho Show (alongside Shoshana Bean) and with a solo cabaret show called Megan Hilty Sings the Blondes.
In 2011, Megan joined the cast of NBC’s Smash as “Ivy Lynn,” an actress who is desperate to land the lead in a musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe. Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker said of her work: “Hilty has built a character who feels like a real Broadway diva: sexy, funny, ambitious, insecure, at once selfish and giving.” The show aired from 2012-2013 and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Outstanding Musical or Comedy Series, while also offering Megan the opportunity to record both covers of popular hits and original songs from the musical within the show, “Bombshell.”
During her hiatus between Smash‘s first and second seasons, Megan starred in the New York City Center production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as Lorelai Lee, a role made famous by Carol Channing and Marilyn Monroe. Megan received rave reviews for both the production and its cast recording. Ben Brantley of The New York Times called the opening performance “…one of those single, golden nights, so cherished by theatergoers, that thrust its leading lady into the firmament of musical stardom.”
In 2013, Megan released It Happens All the Time, her first solo album with Portrait (an imprint of Sony Masterworks), and also made her Carnegie Hall debut. Megan also returned to TV with NBC’s Sean Saves the World starring Sean Hayes.
Megan currently makes frequent concert appearances, both with symphony orchestras throughout the United States and in solo concert at smaller venues. She also regularly performs in a variety of special events, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or Christmas in Washington. Megan maintains an active voiceover career, providing the voice of “Rosetta” in the Disney Fairies series and the “China Doll Princess” in the animated feature Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.
Megan and her husband, Brian Gallagher, were married in November 2013. Their first daughter, Viola, was born in September 2014.
Broadway veteran and now a star on ABC’s hit show Nashville, Kyle Dean Massey joined Robert Hammond on Stage Notes to discuss his success on the boards and specifically his title role in Pippin. Music from the New Broadway Cast Recording of Pippin, original music sung by Kyle, and songs from other musicals he’s starred in are featured.
Kyle Dean Massey Joins the Broadway tour of PIPPIN straight from the Broadway production where he was in the title role. He jumped onto Stage Notes to talk with host Robert Hammond about this extraordinary role, as well as his vast Broadway Career, including leading roles in Wicked, Next to Normal, Xanadu, andAltar Boyz. (Bio below.) Full interview with Kyle will air throughout the country in January.
Starring Kyle Dean Massey as Pippin, Lucie Arnaz as Berthe, John Rubinstein (the original Pippin in the Broadway production), and Sasha Allen from The Voice, The National Broadway Tour of PIPPIN is on its way to your city. Don’t miss it!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and Stage Notes is celebrating the season with some of your favorite Broadway-themed holiday songs! Among many others, songs from Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Idina Menzel’s new holiday CD, and Christmas at Downton Abbey are featured. Full program below. Be sure to Follow Robert on Twitter @stagenotes.
BOO! Robert Hammond hosts the spooktacular fifth edition of The Haunting Music of Broadway. In celebration of Halloween, he featured chilling songs from Broadway musicals and the movies, including The Phantom of the Opera, The Omen, and Sweeney Todd. Click below to listen to the full program. Follow Robert on Twitter @stagenotes.
From the creators of South Park, and winner of nine Tony Awards, including best musical, The Book of Mormon is taking the nation by storm. The second Broadway tour stars David Larsen in the role of Elder Kevin Price. He Joined host Robert Hammond on Stage Notes to discuss his enormous role and why The Book of Mormon is a sweeping success. Special thanks to Broadway star Tom Deckman for arranging this interview with David.
Follow Robert on Twitter @stagenotes.
LISTEN to full program. Aired week of 9/21/14
As the show opens we are introduced to the LDS Church Missionary Training Centre where Elder Price and his classmates of missionaries-to-be demonstrate their daily attempts to convert the public to Mormonism through door to door campaigns with the song “Hello.” Elder Price is looking forward to his two year mission, and prays he will be posted to Orlando, the world of Disney Land. Instead, he and Elder Arnold Cunningham, a nerdy overweight missionary played by Cody Jamison Strand, are posted to Uganda. At Salt Lake City Airport, spunky Elder Price talks about how he hopes to change the world and make a difference to the people of Uganda, aided somewhat by the incompetent Elder Cunningham.
David Larsen in the role of Elder Kevin Price
South Park creators-writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Tony-winning Avenue Q songwriter Robert Lopez collaborated on the script and score to the musical, which earned Tony Awards for Best Book, Best Score and Best Musical.
Co-directed by Parker and Casey Nicholaw, The Book of Mormon opened to critical acclaim March 24, 2011, at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. Both earned Tony Awards for their work and repeat their duties for the tour.
Broadway: Hands on a Hardbody (Chris Alvaro), American Idiot (Tunny), Billy Elliot (Tony u/s), Good Vibrations (Bobby). TV: Boston Public (3 episode guest star). Regional: Leading roles at Hollywood Bowl, Marriott Lincolnshire, St. Louis Rep, KC Starlight, Bay Street Theatre, and Goodspeed. Contributor for Just Desserts NYC. Oregon native with a BFA in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University. Follow David on Twitter @dlarsen22.
Joined by Ted Chapin, past Chairman of the Board for the American Wing (founder and owner of the Tony Awards) and current Vice Chair, host Robert Hammond presented an overview of the 68th annual Tony Award ceremony held on June 8th at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Having just attended the Tonys, Chapin presented an inside “look” at what it takes to put the show together, the history of the Tony Awards, and the voting process.
Theodore S. Chapin is President of Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company. He is responsible for the overall operation of the various divisions within R&H including Williamson Music, the Irving Berlin Music Company, R&H Theatricals, and the R&H Concert Library.
A native of New York City, Mr. Chapin attended the initial semester of the National Theater Institute of the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Theater Center. By the time he graduated from Connecticut College in 1972, he had amassed more than five years of Broadway credits as the production or directorial assistant for THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER AND HIS WIFE, THE ROTHSCHILDS, FOLLIES, and was assistant director for Bernstein’s MASS at the Kennedy Center, and CANDIDE at the Los Angeles and San Francisco Civic Light Operas.
From 1972 to 1975, Mr. Chapin served as Associate to Alan Arkin, where his credits include the original Broadway production of Neil Simon’s THE SUNSHINE BOYS, the CBS telecast of TWIGS starring Carol Burnett; Jonathan Reynolds’ RUBBERS & YANKS 3 DETROIT 0 TOP OF THE SEVENTH; and Neil Cuthbert’s THE SOFT TOUCH.
From 1976 until he joined R&H, Mr. Chapin’s career included serving as Musical Director for the National Theatre of the Deaf’s production of FOUR SAINTS IN THREE ACTS, Associate Director of the National Theater Institute, and Producer of the Musical Theatre Lab at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
In 2003, Mr. Chapin turned his observations as the Production Assistant on the Sondheim/Prince/Goldman/Bennett musical FOLLIES into a book, EVERYTHING WAS POSSIBLE: THE BIRTH OF THE MUSICAL “FOLLIES,” which was published in hardcover by Alfred A. Knopf and in paperback by Applause Books.
Mr. Chapin served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Theater Wing for four years. He was the chairman of the Advisory Committee for New York City Center’s Encores! from its inception. He has served as a Tony Awards nominator for two seasons, and is currently a member of the Tony Administration Committee. He has served as a panelist for the Opera/Musical Theatre program of the National Endowment for the Arts, a producer and lecturer for four concerts of the Doubleday series at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution, and has been a visiting lecturer at Yale, New York University, Lawrence University, Columbia, and Baldwin Wallace. He has been a judge at the Lotte Lenya Awards and has been honored by New York City Center with its Leonard Harris Award. Recently he received two honors, one from Career Bridges for the Arts and one for the preservation of the musical theater, from the Fred and Adele Astaire Awards.
A resident of New York City, he is married and the father of two daughters.