You're Gonna Want to See This Buddy Holly Musical!

You're Gonna Want to See This Buddy Holly Musical!

We stopped by the rehearsal for Buddy: The Buddy Holly Musical and, wow, it sounds SO good. Check out the video to see what we mean. Broadway favorite Hunter Foster directs with John Dewey playing Buddy Holly. 

The show will be at the Bucks County Playhouse AND at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center this summer. This one might be worth snagging a Zipcar and heading down to Pennsylvania!

Bucks County Playhouse: May 27 - June 17

Philadelphia's Kimmel Center: June 24 - July 9

Banner Image: Joan Marcus

My 54 Below Debut & How Taylor Swift Helped Make It Reality

My 54 Below Debut & How Taylor Swift Helped Make It Reality

My 54 Below Debut & How Taylor Swift Helped Make It Reality

Hi, nice to meet you, I’m Tyler Conroy. You may have a few questions: What’s 54 Below? Who’s Tyler Conroy? and tell me how (Taylor Swift is involved) to make my dreams come true!

On Saturday May 20th, I will be singing at the iconic New York City venue, Feinstein’s/54 Below. Background: if there’s a Broadway performer that you’re obsessed with, they’ve probably sang on this stage; Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Alan Menken (songwriter of pretty much every Disney film), Anthony Rapp (RENT), Matthew Morrison (GLEE), Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen), and Patti LuPone (literal queen of Broadway) just to name-drop a few.

My friend Rachael introduced me to 54 Below three years ago by making me a YouTube playlist with about 50 videos of performances from the venue and telling me I needed to watch, memorize, and worship every single one of those performers. The amount of hours of my life I’ve dedicated to watching performances at 54 Below is probably embarrassing to admit but I don’t regret a single minute because with every new video (or repeat watch), I just so desperately wanted more than anything to perform on that stage. Now, I not only have the incredible opportunity to put on my own show at 54 Below, “Tyler Conroy & His Broadway Baes”, but I’ll be joined by seven disgustingly talented performers: Giuseppe Bausilo (Hello, Dolly!) Adrian Grace Bumpas, Joey Contreras, DeMarius Copes (Newsies), Matt Doyle (Spring Awakening, Sweeney Todd), Chris Rice (Book of Mormon), and Colton Ryan (Dear Evan Hansen).

A little bit about myself and how this show came to be:

I am probably the biggest Taylor Swift fan…so much so that she even invited me to spend a day with her once but we’ll get to that. Anygay, it started back in High School when I was getting bullied for being different. I turned to Taylor and her music but even more than that, I saw who she was as a person and wanted more than anything to be fearless like her. I started playing guitar and writing songs because I too wanted to turn my feelings into art in hopes that it might connect with someone else and help them the way her music helped me.

Flash forward to senior year high school and I’m in my bathroom recording a song I wrote for Taylor Swift that I then turned into a music video which went viral, got her team’s attention, and scored me a hug & kiss from Taylor herself. In college, I continued to follow Taylor’s career using her music to help me find myself. My junior year of college I wrote her a song to thank her, got the chance to meet her again and had her write “fearless” on an index card so I could get it tattooed on my foot to serve as a constant reminder to stay fearless. Then my senior year of college I directed and starred in the first-ever Taylor Swift musical, It’s A Love Story, written by Dale Murphy (that went viral thanks to the help of Perez Hilton). Taylor couldn’t come to the show so instead, she invited me over to her NYC loft to celebrate the launch of her song “Shake It Off” and the start of the “1989-era”. 

Flash forward to 2016 and publishing company Simon & Schuster was looking for Taylor Swift’s biggest fan to help pen a fan driven biography. So, I did what worked in the past… I wrote them a song basically detailing the same story above depicting why I was the biggest “Swiftie” (that’s what we Taylor Swift fans call ourselves). I won the contest and when the book released last October I put on a Taylor Swift tribute concert in New York City.

(here’s where the 54 Below story starts to begin). In the audience at the show was 54 Below programming director Amy Sapp who contacted me about a month later saying that 54 Below would love to have me bring a show to their venue. It took me about a week to respond to that e-mail because I thought it was fake news. I just couldn’t believe that 54 Below actually wanted me. Me! This small-town boy living in Western Massachusetts who devoted the better half of his life to the church of Swift, to do my own show at a venue I had only ever dreamed of performing at.

But the funny thing about dreams: sometimes they come true if you have the power to pursue them. The entire time I was Swift-ing, writing songs about boys who played me like a guitar, and making vlogs of myself singing my order at the Taco Bell Drive-Thru, I was bringing myself one step towards that dream of mine without even knowing. The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is that you should do something every day that brings you one step closer to your dream; doesn’t matter how big or small that step is, just make sure it’s forward.

If you’ve ever wanted to witness someone having their dream come true, then please join me Saturday night at 54 Below where you’ll see my dream come true 6x over. But I think most of all, I’m so excited to get to take all Taylor Swift’s teachings and finally put on a show to tell you my own story (ok, there will obviously be a few Swift songs too…).

Stay fearless.

Love,

Tyler

Me!

Me!

Taylor and her #1 Swiftie (Me!)

Taylor and her #1 Swiftie (Me!)

The Taylor Swift musical that I directed and starred in.

Lindsay Mendez, Justin Guarini, and More in You're Gonna Hate This at 54 Below

Lindsay Mendez, Justin Guarini, and More in You're Gonna Hate This at 54 Below

Coming to 54 Below for one night only, You're Gonna Hate This is a revue conceived by Lindsay Mendez and Michael Holland celebrating America's real favorite pastime over the course of 14 dynamic songs. Hating things (and the many things that deserve to be hated) serves as the inspiration for this series of darkly humorous tales about murder, corruption, and mayhem, set to a score that smears the lines between pop, rock, jazz, gospel, and (gasp) musical theatre. Music and lyrics are by Michael Holland and the presentation is directed by Dave Solomon. 

Joining Lindsay and Michael is a cast of stars including Broadway and television favorites Justin Guarini, Lilli Cooper, Keala Settle, Jenna Ushkowitz, and more, who together sing pretty much every note the human voice is capable of producing. Come despise everything with this group of experienced haters -- you know you want to. 

You're Gonna Hate This performs at Feinstein's/54 Below on Monday, May 22nd at 9:30 pm. Use the code on the image here to get 35% off your tickets!

Banner Image: Kevin H. Lin

Jack and Louisa and Andrew and Kate

Jack and Louisa and Andrew and Kate

For Broadway actors and authors Kate Wetherhead and Andrew Keenan-Bolger, their writing projects were born out of frustration with the uncertainties in the acting world which in turn have helped them appreciate it again.

Amber Riley KNOCKS IT RIGHT OUT OF THE DAMN PARK at the Olivier Awards

Amber Riley KNOCKS IT RIGHT OUT OF THE DAMN PARK at the Olivier Awards

For those who don't know, Glee's Amber Riley is over in London performing as Effie in Dreamgirls on the West End. The production is rumored to be heading to Broadway. Until then, check out this video of her knocking it right on out of the damn park performing the beloved song "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" at this year's Olivier Awards (the West End's Tony Awards®). 

Ask any musical theater fan and they'll tell you: you should not f*ck with this song unless you know what you're doing. Everyone: chill, though. A calm, cool, and collected Amber Riley walks out on to that stage and puts her own spin on this epic number and, quite simply, nails it. We dare you not to weep as she turns that sophisticated English audience into screaming lunatics halfway through. They are on their feet before she can get out that final whopper of a note! It is no wonder she won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical later that evening.

SLAY, Amber. SLAYYYYYY! And let's get this production to Broadway ASAP, please!

Faces of #EduHam

Faces of #EduHam

Faces of #EduHam

Every few weeks, the producers of Hamilton team up with The Rockefeller Foundation, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the NYC Department of Education to welcome 1,300 NYC public school kids to a matinee performance in what has come to be called #EduHam. The energy on 46th Street is electric as the kids arrive around 9am. Once inside, students from each of the 16 participating schools take the stage to perform songs and poems they've written about American history, the founding fathers, and other themes explored in the show. Hamilton cast members then take the stage for a Q&A.

At 2pm, the lights go down for the matinee...and these kids' lives will never be the same. There are no regular ticket holders in the audience. You might wonder if teenagers have a hard time respectfully being attentive to a show for two and a half hours, but that's easy when the show is as powerful as Hamilton. It is impossible to describe the joy of the collective gasp that happens when more than a thousand kids of color realize that a cast member onstage who looks just like them will be playing George Washington in a multimillion-dollar musical about American history.

#EduHam is an incredibly special experience and a true gift to these kids and our society. Check out some of the faces of people involved in the May 10th, 2017 #EduHam and a video from YesBroadway's coverage from a March #EduHam below.

To learn more about #EduHam, visit the sites for these organizations:

Gilder Lehrman

The Rockefeller Foundation

The NYC Department of Education

and Hamilton on Broadway

Check out this video from the last time YesBroadway went to EduHam in March:

Additional reporting by Annie Schiffmann.

Soccer and British Accent Lessons from Present Laughter's Tedra Millan

Soccer and British Accent Lessons from Present Laughter's Tedra Millan

Sam hangs with Tedra "Teddi" Millan from Broadway's Present Laughter and last year's The Wolves Off-Broadway. Why is he getting soccer and British accent lessons from her? Watch the video to find out!