This week on The Broadway Cast, we take a deep dive into the creative process behind the making of a Broadway musical—from composing and songwriting, to scenic design and choreography. For episode five, Playbill welcomes Tony-nominated Come From Away writers and composers Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Tony-nominated choreographer Denis Jones (Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical; Honeymoon in Vegas; and Legally Blonde), and Tony-winning scenic designer Beowulf Boritt, who has designed the sets for 17 Broadway shows, including this season’s Come From Away, A Bronx Tale, Sunday in the Park with George, and the upcoming Prince of Broadway.
Boritt opens up about seeing Phantom of the Opera as a young boy, and how years later, director Harold Prince became a mentor and “father figure” for him. Boritt says he and Prince have been “wrestling with the Phantom [design] on Prince of Broadway,” which pays tribute to Prince’s legendary career in musical theatre. The scenic designer says that they have re-designed the Phantom sequence “about 25 times.” “It’s one of the few shows where we’re not [copying the original design],” he reveals.
Also featured in this week’s episode, Jones opens up about the difficult challenge of directing and choreographing the beloved musical A Chorus Line at the Muny Theatre this summer, and Sankoff and Hein talk about the iconic shows that influenced Come From Away, even if they didn’t know it at the time.
Episode five covers a lot of firsts: The first shows they saw and loved, the first time they saw themselves in a Playbill—and why that feeling never gets old—and that unforgettable moment when they knew that musical theatre would play an essential role in their lives.
Listen to the latest episode below:
In addition to in-studio guests, The Broadway Cast invites fans and theatre pros from around the world to call in and participate—to chat dream casting, industry trends, news, and everything in between.