- OnStage Founder
With the end of 2016 approaching rapidly, it's a good time to look back and reflect on the past twelve months. The Broadway community certainly had its ups and downs throughout the year. We've seen shows that will no doubt become all-time greats and unexpected flops. We've seen performers that will go on to become icons and some we lost way too soon. We've seen designers who will set trends for years to come. We've seen innovative social media masters who bring Broadway to fans in whole different ways. It's been quite the year.
So to honor the amazing work of these people, here is our Broadway's Best of 2016. Since there is so much to get through, let's release these in categories. Today, let's begin with those who made quite the impact on social media. These are in no particular order.
Andrew Briedis (Annoying Actor Friend)
When it comes to Broadway on Twitter, Briedis is a must follow. Whether it's humorous musings, creating fun Broadway hashtags or honest commentary about the industry as a whole, Annoying Actor Friend(@Actor_Friend), has become a first stop for Broadway fans looking for more online.
The Theater People Podcast
If you want to listen to in-depth interviews with your favorite Broadway stars, look no further than the Theater People Podcast(theaterppl.com). In the past year alone, host Patrick Hinds and producer Mike Jensen, have hosted interviews with folks such as James Monroe Iglehart, Laura Benanti, Alice Ripley and Phillipa Soo, just to name a few. They also launched a successful summer concert series and are now partnering with TodayTix on a new podcast called, Broadway Backstory, a documentary podcast that explores the stories behind our favorite shows and how they go from an idea to a full Broadway production.
As not only a host on SIRIUSXM's OnBroadway, James also serves as the station's program director. Her show, Broadway Names with Julie James, provides a fantastic opportunity for fans to get an inside look at all things Broadway. Most recently she's interviewed Alan Cumming, Titus Burgess and Crazy Ex-GF's Rachel Bloom. She's also the star of the massively popular cabaret show, The Julie James Show, which performed at 54 Below.
Laura Heywood (BroadwayGirlNYC)
Beyond just a normal Twitter account, Heywood's @BroadwayGirlNYC has become a top destination for fans wanting to get closer to the Broadway community. Heywood has taken her love for the performing arts and is now sharing it with a whole new audience as a host with AOL's BUILD Series, where she has interviewed artists such as Hamilton's Christopher Jackson and Scenic Designer David Korins.
Some advice: If you're feeling blue and need an instant pickup, just watch Tyler Mount's vlog(youtube.com/user/tylergmount) on Youtube. If that doesn't do the trick, you're a robot. This creative vlog is about the most fun you could ask for. Whether it's playing Lie Dectector with Rob McClure or 3 Minute Recaps of Matilda with Lesli Margherita or Lip Sync Battles with Anthony Rapp, Mount's videos are a must see for every Broadway fan.
The Ensemblist Podcast
One of the most innovative and candid podcasts you can listen to, The Ensemblist(theensemblist.com) takes you behind the scenes and interviews performers you might not know by name but certainly need to hear their stories. Hosted by Mo Brady and Nikki Graff Lanzarone, this series interviews Broadway's ensemble members to get a deeper look at the hidden inner-workings of Broadway. Whether it's advice, cautionary tales or just fun stories, The Ensemblist is an innovative must-listen.