Lisa Howard on Originating Roles on Broadway and the Unjust Stigma Associated with Plus-Sized Actors
As collaborative as theater can be, there are sometimes when the creative process can be more like herding cats—with no clear direction as everyone tries to get on the same page…hopefully. And that’s Broadway or community theater, a web series or major motion picture. I’ve certainly been in shows that started off a bit chaotic but got better as the cast and creative team could unify around a singular vision for the show. But today’s guest has a few stories about the various ways shows come together, some more successful than others.
Lisa Howard began her Broadway career almost 20 years ago with a little show with a big name: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Since then she’s gone on to originate roles in three other Broadway shows and will be talking about two of them in this episode. The first is 9 to 5, which she calls one of the roughest rehearsal periods she’s ever gone through, followed up by Escape to Margaritaville, a fun show for the cast that didn’t find as much fun here in New York City. And we end with a discussion of a topic that she says comes up in every interview--but for this podcast, she wanted to talk about it on her own terms rather than it being something someone else found brave or unusual.
Timeline of this episode's conversation:
02:50 - Lisa and me performing in 42ND STREET at Goodspeed
04:58 - Lisa shares what made SPELLING BEE so much fun
09:55 - Story #1: 9 TO 5's rough rehearsal process
22:12 - How to become a subscriber and stop listening to these promos :)
23:34 - Story #2: Why Escape to Margaritaville was fun for the cast but not audiences
35:14 - Story #3: How being plus-sized is portrayed onstage and in interviews
Audio clips were used from Ghostlight Records and 2005 Tony Awards.
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Why I’ll Never Make It is an award-winning, Top 25 Theater Podcast hosted by actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones, and it is a production of WINMI Media, LLC. Background music in this episode by John Bartmann and Blue Dot Sessions is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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