OFF SCRIPT WITH DAN DWYER (30-Minute Podcast Interviews)
OFF SCRIPT, a radio talkshow, underwritten by Johnnycake Books, is broadcast on WHDD/ Robin Hood Radio, the smallest NPR station in the nation, then podcast here and on-line. OFF SCRIPT has a 30-minute interview format with guests from the worlds of theater, mostly, but also books, film and allied creative fields. With my guests, I start with a project of theirs that’s in the news and then talk with them, in depth, about how their interests brought them to it. Think of the programs as backstories in what makes creative people tick. That’s what always interested me and I think it will you, too.
Show #56 SETH GREENLEAF, Broadway producer, GROUNDHOG DAY (06/16/17)
Show #55 SETH GREENLEAF, Producer/director, F(L)AG FOOTBALL (06/15/17)
Show# 54 KHRIS DAVIS, actor, SWEAT (05/11/17)
One of Broadway’s brightest new talents talks about his role in the Pulitzer Prize- winning drama, what attracted him to that role and as the boxing champ in THE ROYALE and how his goal is to play Othello - as soon as he can.
Show #53 CHARLIE RUSSELL. actor, THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG (05/11/17)
One of the members of Britain’s The Mischief Company talks about the challenges of physical comedy, transferring the West End hit to Broadway, the dfiffernce between English and American audiences and what a blast it is to work in New York for the first time.
Show # 52 BETH LEAVEL, actor, BANDSTAND (05/11/17)
The one and only Beth Leaval, the original, Tony-winning Drowsy Chaperone talks about her nearly three decade love affair with musical theatre.
Show #51 BARRETT DOSS, actor, GROUNDHOG DAY (05/11/17)
Barrett talks about her role as Rita in the musical version of the beloved film and the challenge of singing the marvelously intricate lyrics of composer Tim Minchin.
Show #50 JOHN BENJAMIN HICKEY, actor, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION (04/07/17)
Tony-award winner Hickey talks about his role as Flan in John Guare’s masterpiece and what it’s like working with his good friend Allison Janney, and having the same dressing room at the Barrymore as did Jessica Tandy in Streetcar Named Desire.
SHOW #49 JEFFREY SWEET, playwright, KUNSTLER (02/23/17)
Playwright Jeffrey Sweet talks about his newest play KUNSTLER at 59E59 Theaters. Jeffrey talks about how activist attorney William Kunstler is a window to the radical 60s/70s, how actor Jeff McCarthy totally inhabits the title role, the unintended relevance the play has to today's poliitics, the dramtist's challenge in staging dramas about historical figures, and the consequences of abolishing NEA funding, to boot.
SHOW #48 BILL ROSENFIELD, playwright, 46 BEACON (02/02/17)
Ex-pat, ex-B'way recording exec, now playwright Bill Rosenfield talks about his bold new play 46 Beacon opening at Trafalgar Studio in April. Recorded at Bill's studio office in Shoreditch section of London amidst his fabulous collection of B'way memorabilia. His semi-autobiographical play is about the relationship between a young man and an older actor set in a hotel in Boston's theater district in the late 60s. A candid, revealing interview, about coming-out, dramatic writing and life in London. It's always fun to talk with Bill.
SHOW #47 MATT WOLF, theatre critic, The New York Times international edition (02/103/17)
A wonderful visit with New Yorker MATT WOLF, London theatre critic for the international edition of The New York Times, at his office on Bedford Square at NYU London where he teaches journalism. Matt talks about trans-Atlantic crossings of shows, his own approach to criticism, its relevance in the social media age and what's coming up in the London season ahead.
SHOW #46 RICHARD MALTBY, lyricist, "show creator" etc. SAIGION, etc. (01/20/17)
Great interview with show creator (lyricist, director, producer) Richard Maltby Jr. Richard has two openings coming up: the world premiere of the new musical SOUSATZKA (lyrics with music collaborator David Shire) in pre-Broadway Toronto and the Broadway revival of MISS SAIGON (lyircs), both opening the same night - March 23! Richard talks about growing up in a creative/performance family, the influence of lyricists like Frank Loesser and the shows of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific and Carousel of his youth. A great musical theater conversation.
SHOW #45 RICHARD H. BLAKE, actor, A BRONX TALE (12/16/16)
Richard talks about his role as Lorenzo, the bus-driver dad, in A Bronx Tale The Musical, and working with Chazz Palminteri and Robert De Niro. Richard talks about growing up in Providence as a young dancer, getting to NY, and lead roles in B'way musicals like Rent, Legally Blond, Wedding Singer, Saturday Night Fever, WICKED The Musical and Jersey Boys. He talks about doing Wicked in Souel and playing Boy MacDuff in Macbeth with Glenda Jackson way back when.
SHOW #44 STEPHEN WOLFERT, playwright, actor CRY HAVOC! (12/04/16)
Bedlam's Stephan Wolfert discusses about his extraordinary one-man show Cry Havoc - the play. Stephan talks about Shakespeare, of course, how specifically Richard III changed his life, developing CRY HAVOC with director Eric Tucker, wife Dawn Stern and close friends and how the play lead him to work with fellow veterans through Bedlam Outreach. And we learn of GOOD NEWS! CRY HAVOC will have its New York premiere in 2017!
SHOW #43 Actor SANTA BRADY WHITE, "THE SANTA TO THE STARS" (11/18/16)
Santa Claus....yes, the real one. Actor Santa Brady White, who has been playing Santa for international corporate and celebrity clients since 1969. I met Santa Brady at the launch of Nieman Marcus Christmas Catalog in which Johnnycake Books and E M Maurice Books are selling a Fantasy Gift of Caldecott first editions. Santa Brady talks about gigs involving Dolly Parton, Madonna et al, Edmund Gwenn in Miracle on 34th Street, and bringing out the kid in everybody.
SHOW #42 CLIFTON DUNCAN, actor, THE PIANO LESSON (11/04/16)
Clifton gives a superb performance in Hartford Stage's superb production of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning THE PIANO LESSON. Clifton shares his insight into Wilson's work and the challenges of playing one of Wilson's favorite characters Boy Willie. He also talks about how a fight coordinator trained him for the powerful, final scene.
SHOW #41 JOHN FRICKE, creative consultant, CHASING RAINBOWS: THE ROAD TO OZ (09/16/16)
merica's Judy Garland authority talks about the new musical CHASING RAINBOWS, on which he is creative consultant, in its world premiere at Goodspeed. No surprise John's interest started watching the annual broadcast of THE WIZARD OF OZ on CBS in the 1950s. John puts into perspective Garland family history (bi father, Mama Rose mother). Songs in the musical, which covers her life as young performer up to Dorothy, include popular ballads like "You Made Me Love You" and lesser known tunes from Garland's radio appearances and MGM shorts.
SHOW #40 KRISTEN VAN GINHOVEN, founder of WAM, director, THE BAKELITE MASTERPIECE (09/16/16)
Kristen discusses the world permiere of THE BAKELITE MASTERPIECE at Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, and how WAM supports projects for oppressed women and girls worldwide from the hills of the Berkshires, the cathartic role of theatre as a "change agent" and why THE BAKELITE MASTERPIECE so fits the times we're in. A most thoughtful and provocative discussion from a woman who knows and practices theatre that's for real.
SHOW #39 JOE ICONIS (book, lyrics, music) and LANCE RUBIN and JASON SWEETTOOTH WILLIAMS (book) BROADWAY BOUNTY HUNTER (08/10/16)
Lyricist and composer Joe Iconic with his playwriting buddies Lance Rubin and Jason SweetTooth Williams talk about the world premiere of their new musical Broadway Bounty Hunter at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield. Inspired by 1970s exploitation movies (think Cleopatra Jones), Annie Golden plays a 60-something, down-on-her luck actor who becomes a bounty hunter to capture a South American drug lord. With the ever-versatile Jeff McCarthy. The amazing Iconis talks about scoring a mix of R&B, Funk and, natch, Rock ‘n’ Roll for a story he developed with Lance and Jason. These guys rock.
SHOW #38 CALPURNIA CARTER, tap student (08/05/16)
Calpurnia is enrolling in a performing arts high school in Manhattan to study TAP DANCE. Fascinating discussion about how tap came into Calpurnia's life at the age of 10 and how it came into American culture over a hundred years ago. I wish I had the smarts and the sophistication of Calpurnia when I was 14 years old. Amazing.
SHOW #37 JENNY ODLE MADDEN and ALICE RAINEY BERRY, creators, writers, actors EUDORA WELTY - MISSISSIPPI STORIES (07/29/16)
Jenny and Alice tell how they developed and produced through their company, The Voices of the South, EUDORA WELTY - MISSISSIPPI STORIES, staged performances of "Why I Live at the P. O." and "One Writer's Beginnings" , and how Summoner's Ensemble brought to New York. These two women were a delight to talk to - they have beautiful Southern voices - and they performed cuttings from the plays in the interview. A great conversation about storytelling, language, theatre and memory.
SHOW #36 TAMARA TUNIE, actor, AMERICAN SON
SHOW #35 JULIANNE BOYD,, director, AMERICAN SON, artistic director, Barrington Stage Company
SHOW #34 David Auburn, director, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
SHOW #33 John Simpkins, Artistic director, Sharon Playhouse on GYPSY
SHOW #32 Lighting designer Justin Townsend on THE HUMANS and AMERICAN PSYCHO
DARKO TRESNJAK INTERVIEW (TEXT VERSION OF SHOWS 31 AND 32)
SHOW #31 Director DARKO TRESNJAK, Part 2.
Darko gets introspective about his directorial choices and personal journey in the theater.
SHOW #30 Director DARKO TRESNJAK, Part 1.
Darko talks about rehearsals for the world premiere of the original musical ANASTASIA at Hartford Stage.
SHOW #29 Director ANDY SANDBERG.
A lively intergenerational conversation about STRAIGHT and coming out (or not).
SHOW #28A Director ERIC TUCKER.
On directing Bedlam's SENSE & SENSIBILITY.
SHOW #28B Actor and playwright KATE HAMILL.
On playing Marianne in, and adapting Jane Austen for, Bedlam's SENSE & SENSIBILITY
SHOW #28C Actor and producing director ANDRUS NICHOLS
On playing Elinor in, and being producing director of, Bedlam's SENSE & SENSIBILITY
SHOW #27 Actor JOHN ROTHMAN.
John talks about working with the legendary director, producer and impresario Terence Mann in Theatre for a New Audience's PERICLES.
SHOW #26. Playwright LONNIE CARTER, winner of 2003 Obie for The Romance of Magno Rubio. Lonnie talks about his home-town Chicago, Yale Drama, Robert Brustein, Mike Nichols, Alvin Epstein, Second City, Cafe La Mama, Vineyards Theatre and Chekov and Stanislovski, too. Loads of inside-baseball theater.
Show #25 Actor JOHN BENJAMIN HICKEY talks about being in plays that are chapters in gay history.
Hear him talk about DADA WOOF PAPA HOT, THE NORMAL HEART and LOVE! VALOR! COMPASSION! plus his lead role in the series MANHATTAN on the WGN America. (12/21/15)
SHOW #24 JENNIFER ASHLEY TEPPER, Director of Programming, 54BELOW
What's it like managing New York's premiere cabaret venue for musical theater? with nearly 400 original productions a year? plus write books on the history of Broadway theaters? Jennifer's energy and enthusiasm for all she does is non-stop. Hear it firtshand from this sprited, chronicler of today's New York musical theater scene. (October 2015)
SHOW #22 Actor TYLER LEA in THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
How does a young actor land one of the best roles - Christoper Boone in The Curious Incident - in the world? Find out from Tyler Lea and what really moved him when he first saw the play. And what about that coda? (11/05/15)
SHOW #21 Actor ERIC WILLIAM MORRIS in SONGBIRD
Who knew that Chekhov's Tigorin in THE SEAGULL would be re-imagined as a studly, country/ western songwriter? ERIC WILLIAM MORRIS tells about his role as Beck in Songbird at 59E59 Theaters playing with Kate Baldwin as CW diva Tammy Trip (Chekov's Arkadina). Get an inside look at that plus Eric's work with composer Joe Iconis.(October 2015)
SHOW #20 Actor NATE MILLER in RIPCORD, producer of THE BACHELORS
What's it like playing the straight - but also funny - guy to two funny ladies like Holland Taylor and Mary Louise Burke? And working with a director who's also a really funny actor like David Hyde Pierce? Actor Nate Miller tells all about RIPCORD at Manhattan Theatre Club plus producing as a founding member of Lesser America its new play The Bachelors at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. (11/05/15)
SHOW #19A Actor HEIDI BLICKENSTAFF in SOMETHING ROTTEN
What a hoot. After we get done yakking about her role in this Shakespeare cum musical romp, I actually tried to out-camp the funniest diva I've met. Good luck with that! (11/05/15)
SHOW #19 Actor ALEX BONIELLO in SPRING AWAKENING
Alex talks about breaking new ground sharing the part of Moritz with deaf actor Daniel N. Durant in Spring Awakening. (October 2015)
SHOW #18 Actor TOM PELPHREY in FOOL FOR LOVE
Find out how Tom plays Martin the nice, guy-next-door who thinks he's just picking up a date for the movies when he walks into Eddie and May's mess of a lifetime in FOOL FOR LOVE. (October 2015)
SHOW #17 Actor CAROLINE KINSOLVING.
How does an innovative actress apply her talent on the internet to the literary likes of Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, Anne Sexton and Shakespeare, too? Caroline talks about FOEMS by CK (via YouTube) and covering all the bases, from LA to NY, on stage, film and cable. (10/30/15)
SHOW #16 Interview with JOHN MILLER, Broadway musical and American song expert. What are the five best musicals of all time - according to “Emmy-winning” and retired TODAY SHOW writer, JOHN MILLER? His personal favs, too. OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL, SOUTH PACIFIC, PAJAMA GAME, PAL JOEY, even HOUSE OF FLOWERS. John's seen 'em all. THE ORIGINALS! This interview was a real trip to the Broadway of the 1940s and 50s! (09/05/15)
SHOW #15 Interview with Kate Maguire, Artistic Director and CEO of Berkshire Theatre Group. How does a nice Greek/Irish-American girl from Lowell MA come to manage the largest theater operation in western New England? Kate recounts her early acting days in Boston (while raising twin girls on her own!) to the merger of Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge with Colonial Theater in Pittsfield MA in 2010. How does one program everything from Paula Poundstone to Harold Pinter? What makes a good drama critic? Find out in this fun, candid interview. (08/28/15)
SHOW #14 Interview with WILLIAM KINSOLVING, actor, novelist,
screenwriter, script doctor, saloon singer and playwright. William's most recent play WORDPLAY is being performed at Berkshire Theatre Festival in August. He talks about that plus being on Broadway with Claudette Colbert, his Hollywood days, writing the bestseller and, with a critic's eye, so, much, much more! (08/21/15)
Show #13 Interview with Karen Allen who talks about her pre-Raiders of the Lost Ark days in experimental theater in Washington DC, to teaching acting and directing at Bard , to her current staging of Terence McNally's FRANKIE & JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE, and to her upcoming film directing debut of a Carson McCuller's short story. And why the Berkshires instead of Hollywood? (08/07/15)
SHOW #12 Interview with Barrington Stage Company artistic director and co-founder Julie Boyd, who talks about starting out as a women director when there were few women directors - from her early days in Theater of the Absurd to Broadway's Eubie! to founding BSC to this season's HIS GAL FRIDAY and working with playwright John Guare. Plus, for the Berkshire culture vulture, Julie offers a candid, insider's view about the business side of regional theater. (07/21/15)
Show #11 Interview with director John Simpkins and actor Jason Tam about Sharon Playhouse's production of MERRILY WE ROLE ALONG, the short-lived 1981 Stephen Sondheim musical.
Simpkins and Tam (who broke onto the Broadway scene in 2007 in the revival of A CHORUS LINE) talk about the challenges of telling a story in reverse. Tam talks about the likability of his character Franklin Shepherd, and the discipline needed to sing Sondheim's complicated lyrics - "it could drive a person crazy". In Sharon, CT, 7 performances only, July 15-19. (July 2015)
SHOW #10 Interview with author RINKER BUCK about his new book THE OREGON TRAIL: AN AMERICAN JOURNEY.
Rinker and his brother Nick became the first to retrace the 2,000 mile Oregon Trail in a covered wagon, pulled by mules, wooden wheels and all, in over 100 years. The ultimate road trip story, at once both an epic adventure into the pioneers' American West and a personal journey with its roots in Rinker's family history. (Summer 2015)
SHOW #9 Interview with the legendary dancer/actress/choreographer CARMEN DeLAVALLADE, with director JOE GRIFASI.
bout her performance memoir AS I REMEMBER IT, Ms DeLavallade talks about her career of over six decades working with other greats like Harry Belafonte, Truman Capote, Peter Brook, Lester Horton, Alvin Ailey, Agnes DeMille, Duke Ellington, Josephine Baker and, of course, her husband Geoffrey Holder. (Summer 2015)
SHOW#8 Interview with JOHN CARIANI, who plays the younger Bottom brother in SOMETHING ROTTEN.
John talks about how he was director Casey Nicholaw’s determined choice for the role and how he kept innocent, charming and hilarious his “premature ejaculation” love sonnet scene. On the serious side, John talks about his play, ALMOST MAINE, and gets really impassioned about how his playwriting informs his acting and vice versa. (Spring 2015)
Show #7 Interview with REBECCA NAOMI JONES, who plays Yitzkah in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH.
Rebecca talks about the arc of self-reconciliation her character makes along with Hedwig, her stint in BIG LOVE at Signature, AMERICAN IDIOT and her affinity to roles in rock musicals. (Spring 2015)
Show #6 Interview with HOWARD McGILLIN, Tony-nominated actor, who plays Honore Lachaille in the Broadway revival of GIGI and who holds the record for the performances – 6,300+ - as the Phantom.
Howard talks about inhabiting the role that Maurice Chevalier made famous in the Oscar winning , original film Gigi, working with Linda Ronstadt in Pirates of Pincanze at the Public in his first gig in New York theater, the differences between working on Broadway and London’s West End, and playing leading man to divas (my description, not his) Chita Rivera, Patti LuPone, Elaine Paige and Betty Buckley. The best part is Howard relating why and how Jimmy Stewart came back stage to meet him at Anything Goes. (For the hard-core movie musical buff, the clue is “Easy to Love”). (Spring 2015)
Show #5 Interview with BRANDON URANOWITZ, nominated for a Tony Award for Featured Performance in a Musical for AN AMERICAN IN PARIS.
Brandon talks about playing Adam Hochberg , his show-stopping ballad “But Not For Me,” Oscar Levant in the 1951 movie, working with ballet master Christopher Wheeldon and how a nice kid from New Jersey ends up in a “great, big Broadway show.” (Spring 2015)
Show #4 Interview with BRAD OSCAR, nominated for a Tony Award for Featured Performance in a Musical for SOMETHING ROTTEN.
Brad talks about his role as Thomas Nostradamus, the loony soothsayer, in Something Rotten, the schedule the cast faced in fine-tuning the production without tryouts on the road, originating the role of Fritz Liebkind in The Producers and why he doesn’t read theater reviews anymore! (Spring 2015)
Show #3 Interview with JUDITH IVEY who plays Margaret Thatcher in THE AUDIENCE.
Judith talks about the challenges playing the British Prime Minister least liked by the Queen, and tells a wonderful story about Stephen Sondheim's reaction to her singing of one of his most famous torchsongs, "Losing My Mind,” in Follies, when she played Sally Durant. (Spring 2015)
Show #2 Interview with Chris Boneau, founding partner of Boneau/Bryan Brown, Broadway’s pre-eminent press agency.
Chris talks about the Amsterdam Theater renovation, when Disney came to Broadway, how social media has affected publicity and promotion, New York newspaper critics, the enduring power of word-of-mouth, the Tonys and Christian Borle’s Something Rotten biceps. (Spring 2015)
Show #1 Interview with Jeff Hamlin, retired production manager of Lincoln Center Theatre and stage manager of original Chorus Line.
Hamlin shares wonderful memories of Michael Bennett, Joe Papp, Bernard Gersten, giving notes to Dorothy Loudon on Ballroom, Sarafina, the plumbing for Twelfth Night, Jerry Zaks, and more! (Spring 2015)