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Podcasts On Broadway

This summer I was fortunate enough to attend the Columbia University Publishing Course in New York City. While I was there, I absorbed valuable information from my teachers, industry professionals and peers. Now, when I say my peers were intelligent, that is a blatant understatement. There were times we would all sit at dinner together and I would listen to the most fascinating conversations about politics, philosophy, music, and of course, books.

Though I went into the program thinking I was an avid reader, I realized quickly that true intelligence requires much more than a trip to Barnes & Noble every week. Luckily, I was surrounded by many, truly intelligent people for the entire summer who inspired me in countless ways.

One of the things my peers introduced me to this summer was the magical world of podcasts.

Surprisingly enough, I had no idea what a podcast was up until that point. I naively thought it was a collection of playlists, similar to Spotify, or something to do with an I-Pod. Yes, that was the extent of my knowledge. I was lucky enough to have housemates that did not judge me for this, but rather instantly starting compiling lists of their favorite podcasts that covered a wide range of topics, from current politics, international business, sports and music composition, to name a few.

Once I discovered the app on my phone, I became obsessed and began consistently exploring this abyss of podcasts. It was overwhelming and I downloaded a lot of episodes so I would have options. There was a problem with this, however; I had an entire queue of episodes that I had no desire to listen to. Though I like to be informed politically, I was not intrigued by any of the political podcasts nor did I want to listen to anything scientific (AP chemistry PTSD) or religious. I feel like I scrolled through 1,000 options before I finally had the idea to type one word into the search bar: Broadway.

I stumbled upon several theatre-centric podcasts, but two caught my eye in particular: Billboard on Broadway and Broadway Backstory.

Billboard on Broadway is an interview style podcast hosted by Rebecca Milzoff, a senior editor at Billboard. The theme of this podcast is discussing the overlap of musical theater and pop music. Though typically a straight up interview style podcast could be perceived as being dull, Milzoff asks interesting, complex questions to some of Broadway’s biggest stars, composers, and musicians in an effort to connect musical theatre music to the contemporary pop we hear on the radio, as well as our pop culture influences. A unique element of this podcast is that the number of guests varies. Sometimes there will be one person being interviewed, other times entire casts will be present. The stars also sometimes perform in the studio before or after being interviewed, and we as listeners have access to the full performances. For me, the best part about this podcast is the intelligence of the discussion, the interesting perspectives of Broadway stars, and most importantly the clear connections made between radio and the stage that I would have not otherwise realized existed.

My Favorite Billboard on Broadway Episodes: Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away, Alex Lacamoire

Broadway Backstory is a documentary style podcast from TodayTix and Theater People that explores how a show develops from an idea to a full Broadway production. (PodBay.com) The podcast is hosted by the ever-enthusiastic, hysterically funny Patrick Hinds, the founder of Theater Podcast Productions. The episodes on the Broadway Backstory podcast include insight from many different people involved in the production process, such as the book writer(s), composer, actors and musical director(s), to name a few. Often times, all of these people are interviewed in one room where they have a discussion with each other about their different perspectives of the process, while other times the interviews are conducted separately and spliced together using supreme editing skills. The seamless editing of this podcast gives a storytelling vibe, and keeps me engaged constantly even if the podcast is lengthy. Other audio elements are incorporated into the podcast as well, such as songs from the show (which are always fun to sing along to!) Though this podcast is narrated in a humorous tone, the content is extremely valuable, interesting, and gives listeners a well-rounded, educated perspective on a show’s evolution from idea to stage.

P.S. If you listen to this podcast, you will have access to a super useful TodayTix coupon!

My Favorite Broadway Backstory Episodes: Bonnie & Clyde, Hamilton, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

Whether you’re interested in this new world of podcasts that I so blessedly have discovered, are a podcast junkie, a theatre fan, or simply are ready to listen to something new at the gym or in the car besides your worn out playlist, I highly encourage you listen to these podcasts for interesting information and most importantly, entertainment!

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