Putting audiences behind the scenes.
On Stage at Kingsborough will continue its spring season with one of its most popular shows, “Broadway Backstage,” a production that gives attendees a look into the highs and lows of life on Broadway.
Performer, director and creator of the unique look into show business Daniel Levine promises to bring audiences closer than ever to the reality of what goes on behind the scenes.
“’Broadway Backstage’ is a rare opportunity for audience members to really see what goes on backstage during a Broadway show,” he said. “The audience learns the ins and outs of what happens. When you go to a Broadway show like, for example, ‘Wicked’ or ‘Mamma Mia,’ you’re watching this fantastic show and you have no idea of the sort of chaos that’s going on backstage and in the wings with the technical elements so this gives audiences the insider’s scoop as to what makes a Broadway show work.”
Six Broadway stars will appear in the show, on stage and through a multi-media event which includes video interviews in which the stars recount funny stories, and speak of crazy events or things that go wrong during a show.
“We talk about getting our big break or costume mishaps or voice loss or technical problems on stage during a specific show and when we get to the end of that story, one of our stars will sing from the show being discussed,” Levine described. “For example, we have one of the ladies that played Elphaba in ‘Wicked’ and she talks about technical issues that went on during the show and it’s a funny story. Then, at the end of the story, she will sing a song from ‘Wicked.’ That’s basically the structure of show.”
The key to the show, said Levine, is that, “It gives the audience a backstage pass to what happens during a Broadway show. I always found the controlled chaos that’s back stage at any theater really cool. It reminded me of an ant farm where you see worker ants hurrying, doing different chores. I thought if the audience could just see what was making this beautiful piece of art they’re sitting there watching, lift up the curtain to show what’s going on, that would be another incredible show in itself. That gave me the idea.”
This isn’t the first time Levine — who started off in the 1990s when he got his first Broadway role in “Les Miserables,” and has been in seven Broadway shows, also touring all over the country with various Broadway musicals — has collaborated with On Stage at Kingsborough to provide a look backstage.
Anna Becker, executive producer of On Stage, noted, “It’s a show that was here before. It sold out and got great feedback from the audience. However, this is an all-new show with a new cast.”
This time around, the show’s music director is Bryan Perry. Perry is the conductor on Broadway for “Wicked” and has been the music conductor for both “Next to Normal” and “Chaplin,” which also ran on Broadway.
“The great thing is that if you’ve seen the show already and see it again, you’re seeing something completely different,” added Levine. “There are new songs, new stories and actors.”
“Broadway Backstage” will be performed on Saturday, April 1 at 8 p.m. at On Stage at Kingsborough, 2001 Oriental Blvd. Tickets are $32. For more information, visit www.onstageatkingsborough.org.