A Must Hear Podcast For All Theatre Lovers

Gianlucca Russo

  • OnStage New York Columnist

Over the past few years, I have become an avid fan of podcasts, specifically those revolving around theatre and the world of Broadway. On my drive to work each morning or on my bus ride into the city, listening to an episode of “The Ensemblist” or “Theater People” gets me excited and ready to nail the day ahead. Recently, a new podcast has caught my eye. Founded by Ilana Levine, this podcast, called “Little Known Facts”, focuses on bringing forth the hidden stories of some of our most beloved actors.

Levine has been acting since the 1990s, appearing on Broadway many times, including in “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown”, and in many films and television shows. The idea for “Little Known Facts” came to her a few months back when a friend approached her asking if she would be interested in creating a podcast. 

“A friend of mine basically inherited a podcast company,” she explains. “I love podcasts; I love listening to them; they have really become part of the soundtrack of my life recently because it’s such a wonderful blend of storytelling and something you can do while cleaning your house or driving or whatever. So when he asked me if I would be interested in doing a podcast, I wanted to find something that would be enjoyable for me. They always tell writers to start with what you know and I think I took that advice and thought about what I know and what I love and what I’m interested in.”

The idea then sparked to interview her friends, who happen to be successful actors including Roger Bart and Matthew Broderick, and tell stories about not only the highlights of their careers but also the downfalls. “I took a couple of weeks to figure out how I would do this and I have some very kind and generous friends, all of whom are pretty successful, and I thought how fun it would be to share their stories and preserve their legacy in some way while doing something different. To make it different, instead of focusing on a project they are working on, I focus on their process and how they approach storytelling and things they would tell me as a close friend that they wouldn’t tell someone that they don’t know.”

She goes on to add, “I think what’s different about this is that this is a really up-close and personal moment with the actor, not so much around a specific job but their life and what brought them to where they are now. I want to find out how people handle things when life doesn’t go well; how they get through hard times, which is relatable to anybody no matter who you are.”

Most recently, Levine released her 11th episode, an interview with Roger Bart. Previous guest include Ben Platt, Anthony Rapp, and John Slattery. She tells that there are many exciting interviews coming soon that she can’t wait to release.

“Hearing about their struggles or about Hearing about their struggles or that Cythnia Nixon still auditions I think that makes all of us feel better. We’re all in it together. It’s not just us and them, we are all one community.”

For more information, visit www.littleknownfactspodcast.com.

Broadway on a Budget

Gianlucca Russo

  • OnStage New York Columnist

For all those theatre loving college students out there, summer break means trips to New York City to catch the newest and hottest Broadway shows. But with ticket prices rising each year, how can the broke college student afford to catch up with the new Broadway season? Thankfully, there are a number of ways the Broadway community has made theatre accessible to everyone, even those on a budget. 

Rush Tickets

Rush tickets began in 1996, when “Rent” was the drawing in a whole new audience to the Great White Way. To help accommodate for the widespread popularity of the show, rush policies were made. Rush tickets are sold the day of the show when the box office opens, usually around 10am. The tickets are listed at a discount price, ranging usually between $25 and $45. However, the number of rush tickets available is limited, so hopefuls should arrive at the theatre prior to the box office opening to attempt to beat the potential crowds. Most theatres allow two rush tickets to be purchased per person. However, some only allow one, so it is wise to check the shows policies online prior to going to the theatre. There are three types of rush tickets. The first are general rush, which are available to the entire public. Student rush tickets are available with a valid student ID shown at time of purchase. The third is senior discount, which is available to seniors around the ages of 62 to 65 years old.

Lottery Tickets

Most shows that do not have rush policies partake in a lottery. This allows theatre goers to enter their name in hopes of being picked to receive discounted tickets, usually priced the same as rush tickets. Lotteries are held the day of the performance, usually two and a half hours before the show begins. Winners are then picked two hours before the performance. In some cases, such as with shows like  “Fun Home,” lotteries are held digitally. Digital lotteries, however, vary from show to show. “Fun Home” holds its digital lottery beginning at midnight each day through the TodayTix app. Others hold their lotteries through the shows website a few hours before the performance. Lotteries are much less reliable than rush tickets. Depending on the show and day of the week, a large amount of people could potentially enter the lottery. For instance, this season’s most talked about musical, “Hamilton,” holds a lottery in which twenty or so selected winners receive $10 tickets to the show. Only $10 to see Broadway’s hottest musical? Sounds great! But on average, thousands of people enter the lottery each night. This makes the chances of winning extremely slim. However, for shows that are not so new, such as “Wicked,” chances of winning the lottery are significantly higher.

Standing Room

When a performance is entirely sold out, some shows, such as “Chicago” and “The Color Purple,” sell a limited number of standing room tickets. These tickets, in which you must stand for the show, are available on the day of the performance. Usually priced between $20 and $30, each customer is allowed to purchase two tickets by means of cash or credit. Rush policies, standing room policies, and lotteries are the three most common ways to get discounted tickets to Broadway shows. 

Though many websites and apps may claim to provide cheap tickets, they are not as discounted as these three means, and they often rack up the prices with processing fees. If you’re planning a trip to New York City to see a Broadway show, make sure to check the shows website to see what type of discount policy they offer. Thankfully, because of these policies, Broadway is now accessible to such a wide audience, including those on a budget.