With all Broadway performances suspended until at least May 31, 2021, fans are scouring the depths of the internet trying to locate any semblance of the live entertainment of which they have been deprived.
On Thursday, Oct. 22, something premiered to give those fans some solace: the first digital soap opera launched by The Broadway Podcast Network, “As the Curtain Rises.”
This weekly podcast, which consists of three episodes released on Thursdays, delves into the meticulous and collaborative work required to create a Broadway production by giving listeners a behind-the-scenes look at the “drama behind the most dramatic business in the world,” according to Broadway World. The podcast can be listened to on any platform where podcasts are available, or at Broadway Podcast Network.
The storyline of the podcast series is as follows: after the fictional “Broadway Disher” magazine leaks news of a top-secret theatrical production while it is still being worked on by its creative team, fans and critics alike go “off-the-charts batty.”
Within this storyline, each of the different characters, who are either agents for performers or part of the production’s creative team, are thrust into a mission where they have to simultaneously protect the explicit details of the pending production while defending their reputations from the entire Broadway community’s wrath.
The podcast’s star-studded cast list is comprises of Alex Brightman (Tony Award nominee for “Beetlejuice” and “School of Rock”) as the narrator, Ariana DeBose (“Hamilton”) as Zoey Taylor, Andrew Barth Feldman (“Dear Evan Hansen”) as himself, Ashley Park (Tony Award nominee for “Mean Girls”) as Kay, and Lilias White (Tony Award winner for “The Life”) as Cheryl.
Along with the actors, many other Broadway personalities including Natasha Katz (lighting designer for “Hello, Dolly!”) and Alex Lacamoire (orchestrator and music director for “Hamilton”) are featured on the show.
As it deals jointly with the multiple members of the creative team and performers on Broadway, it is quite apt that all proceeds from this podcast go directly to the Actors’ Fund, a nonprofit organization that is devoted to helping all members of the Broadway community who are currently unemployed.
So, if you are interested in the high-stakes behind-the-scenes world of Broadway theatre or just want something tantamount to live performance through the pandemic, then I highly recommend listening to this series of four podcasts. By doing so, you are able to enjoy an entertaining story while also helping the vital Actors’ Fund, which ensures Broadway will make a strong return.