[music] –Hey, everybody! Welcome to Broadway.com’s Live at Five. It is Wednesday, May 8th and I am Ryan Lee Gilbert.
–It’s Matinee Day! –It’s Matinee Day! You just saw a matinee. –I just saw a matinee. I’m Paul Wontorek.
–And we are joined here in the studio by Caitlin Moynihan.
–Hello! –And some of the stars of one of your favorite shows! –Yes, I’m a big fan of What the Constitution Means to Me, playing at the
Helen Hayes Theater and we have Rosdely Ciprian and Thursday Williams joining us this afternoon! So excited to talk to them, but we’ll chat with those two wonderful ladies in
just a moment. First let’s talk about today’s top five. –I’d walk a thousand miles for this Broadway debut. –Oh, I love lyric reference!
–We love a lyric reference!
–So do you! So, Vanessa Carlton –I’m very excited about this
–She I am too made it sounds like I wasn’t. Joining the cast of Beautiful the Carole King musical playing Carole King. This is the first time we’ve had a pop star play –I believe so. Yes.
–Right, we’ve had some other…really good people in that role. But Vanessa Carlton is coming this summer.
She will start June 27th. It’s a ten week run. She is of course replacing the
fantastic Chilina Kennedy, who just rejoined the production. –She did yeah.
–Yesterday –So, Chilina leaves June 26, the before. This will be Vanessa Carlton’s Broadway debut. I did a little Googling and I couldn’t find any sort of
musical theater in her background. –No! I mean,
–She’s not even like a girl who did it in high school.
–Not not as far as we know Yeah
–Maybe she did. –Maybe she was in Guys and Dolls.
–But I will say like as a big fan of hers, like I was a big fan of her
album Harmonium, that’s got the song White Houses, and it’s she’s got like
that kind of Carole King ability to write. –I didn’t know that
–I do know her big hit was A Thousand
Miles which was a big hit from
her debut album Be Not Nobody. Well, she’s not nobody now cuz
she’s coming to Broadway. She launched in 2002. She got 2003 Grammy nominations
for record of the year song of the year and best and the most important
nomination for best instrumental arrangement accompanying vocalist. –Yeah, she also
–THat’s a category? –I guess.
–She also had a music video banned on MTV because she
talked about like sex, and –That’s super exciting.
–Drama –Pumped over at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre –Rodeo Drive is hitting the road!
–That’s right –Baby! Rodeo Drive ahhh!
–That’s right Pretty Woman the musical is a big hit on Broadway at
the Nederlander Theatre. It is launching a North American tour. October of 2020, it
will launch in Providence Rhode Island at the Providence Performing Arts Center.
That’s all we know. Additional cities, casting, exact dates for all of that, we
don’t know yet. But this is a great show. It’s a big hit on Broadway. It’ll do so
great across the country. I’m sure people are eager to see it all over the place.
Of course, Samantha Barks, Andy Karl, Eric Anderson, Orfeh and Jason Danieley as
well as Kingsley Leggs can be seen in the show on Broadway right now. It is also
nominated for five Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards, so if you haven’t
voted yet, go there and share your votes. Go see it at the Nederlander theatre
and if you can’t get to it, you’ll get to see it across the country. –From Penny
Lane to the Lunt-Fontanne –Ooh!
–Thank you –Rain, a tribute to the Beatles this is one of those Beatles tribute shows –It’s been around for a while.
— It’s been everywhere, including Broadway.
–Yeah. –It is it’s coming back to
the Lunt-Fontanne theatre where they’re doing this in residence series. Morrissey
is currently playing the theater. The return run is called The
Best of Abbey Road. Actually this is weird, going from like Mel Brooks,
Morrissey, The Beatles. It’s a strange strange
–Jounrey at the Lunt-Fontanne –It’s
called the Best of Abbey Road Live in celebration of the 50th anniversary of
the Beatles album Abbey Road. You may have heard of it. It’s an eight
performance engagement from July 16th to the 21st. It last played on Broadway in
2010, and it’s literally like a recreation show. –Yeah that’s right
–They’re fantastic. And yeah so four performers play The Beatles and get all
the hits. And so sure a lot people be lining up for that one.
–Absolutely –And we
got we got a West End transfer happening –Yes, Florian Zeller’s The Son, which has been translated by
Christopher Hampton, will move to the West End later this summer. It had a
sold-out run at London’s Kiln Theater. Previews will begin at the Duke of
York’s Theater on the West End on August 24th, and will officially open on
September 2nd. It will play a West End engagement through November 2nd. Here
is what it’s about. The Son centers on Nicholas, who is going through a
difficult phase after his parents divorce. When change feels like the only way
to survive, Nicholas struggles with what to do when when his options begin
to run out. So it’s about a boy –I love how you had that little aww to Nicholas
–Well you know These actors, Amanda Abbington Laurie Kynaston John Light and Amaka
Okafor will reprise their acclaimed performances in the show. –And casting has
been announced for this UK premiere –Another boy going through stuff is
little Josh. –Yes,
–Star of Big the Musical of course Josh wakes up one day and finds
out that –He’s big!
–He’s big! This is of course the movie we love with Tom Hanks,
and it was a musical on Broadway like 20 years ago. And it’s finally coming to the
West End. It will be lets when does it start? September 6 to November 2nd at the
Dominion Theater. We talked about it before, but now we know some of the stars.
Kimberley Walsh will be playing Susan Lawrence, who’s the love interest. Wendy
Peters as Mrs. Baskin the mom who has a ballad in act 2, and Matthew Kelly is
playing George Macmillan. I don’t know that character. Is that the toy guy? –I believe that’s the toy guy.
— I think it’s a guy who owns the toy company. And
previously announced Jay McGuiness will once again play Josh Baskin. He did
it previously in 2016 at Theater Royal Plymouth. So
–He must be good at it –Anyway, this is a
really fun musical. It’s by Shire and John Weidman. And more casting will be coming soon. But I would love to see Big the Musical again.
–Me too. I never got to see it.
–Cross the line is a showstopper! –I’ve listened to it a lot but I really want
to see it.
–A really good track. Okay, I’m gonna get out of here.
–Paul, thank you so much.
–There’s more talented women coming in
my place. –Very excited. Caitlin why don’t you tell us about today’s very special
guests. –Gladly, yes. We have Thursday Williams and Rosdely Ciprian here with
us in the studio. They are two New York City High School students who
are alternating in Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me. The new play just earned two Tony nominations including Best New Play. Make sure to follow Constitution bway on all social media to stay up to date
on this Tony nominated work. And please leave all of your questions in the
comments below. And please welcome Thursday, Rosdely and Ryan! Hello, ladies!
–Thank you so much for coming in here. We’re so excited to have you. We are such
big fans of this amazing piece of work over at the Helen
Hayes Theater. How are things going over there? How does it feel to be on Broadway,
in a Tony nominated show? It’s pretty big! –It feels surreal to me. –Okay
–Just like exciting, but now since I was like I’m used to it, you know someone
doing some of the performances, I’m just like okay I’m doing this. I think I’m
okay at it. We got a Tony, so yeah! –You’re pretty good at it. Yeah, absolutely. –I think it’s more scary now. The pressure. The pressure is on. –Sure. Right
–Yeah, because I’m more scared than I was when we started.
–Well, I want to get to that a little bit.
I mean I know you both —you both were and make sure, make sure I have this
correct. You are a senior in high school right now, Thursday right?
–I am. So,
you’re graduating soon. –Yes!
–Oh my goodness! [LAUGHS] –Wow. That’s gotta be —and you’re a freshman in high school right? –Yes.
–So, you’ve got a journey ahead of you.
–Yes –And you are about to… And you were
well versed in debating before you got involved in this right? How did
your journey get you into What the Constitution Means to Me? –Um, so I started
doing mock trial. I joined the legal outreach program and I did a mock trial
at St. John’s law school. And then I made it to finals at Thurgood Marshall
courthouse. That was the first time I ever did public speaking. I won, so I
guess I did pretty fine. –Yeah, yeah. –But after that, I you know I felt like this is something that
I can continue doing. And so I started debating at NYU Law School my sophomore year of high school, and Brooklyn law school my junior year, and my senior year, I debated at Brooklyn Law School. But, how I got What Constitution Means to Me, I did run
for president of my school my junior year. And one of my goals as president
was to to get as close as I can to all my teachers in the school. And that’s
what I did. So, I got really close to one of my theater teachers. And I mean I’ve
never had her as a theater teacher, but we just we just got close. And they
sent her, You know, we’re looking for a young woman of color who was curious
about the Constitution, who has experience with debate. And I auditioned, got called back, auditioned again.
–Here we are. –Yeah
–Yeah, and you had people looking
out for you that someone brought the the casting to you, as well right? And
encouraged you to get involved? –Yes. Because I was in my middle school debate team, PS 161. And Mr. Baty was my debate coach. But I was also doing plays. We did Lion
King, we did Beauty and the Beast, we did Annie, which I starred in.
[laughs] –Ooh! –We have the star of Annie here with us. –But, I think he recommended me cuz this was the second semester of sixth grade, or seventh round. And I was 12 years old. –My goodness. Yeah.
–And I think he recommended me. I went to the audition. I think I had to memorize an excerpt from Heidi’s speech. I got called
back, and here I am. But, that was two years ago.
–Two years! I would say you have you both have been involved for a long time now.
How has this sort of changed your life? How has it changed your social life? How
has it changed the time you have to do homework? Like, how is it, how has this
just altered the life you had been living? –Well, my life was already I –You were pretty busy. –Yes. I am sergeant of expose programs, legal outreach program. I was
already busy. But this definitely messed with like my, like you know like
going out with my family. –Certainly! Like, they told me, We’re going to a party and I’m like, Okay, I’ll be home in three hours. [laughs] –I have a little show to do. –But, no, it really it changed my social life. But I
think it changed for the better because I am more focused now. Because of this
show, I now know that I want to run for Congress. And I now know which issues the first issue like the I prioritize. I have a better understanding of what issues
need to be dealt with sooner than later. And so, even though I lost my social life, I kind of gained something else.
–A life experience of course. But you Rosdely, you’re even
younger. Like what how is this how is this informed your life, changed what do
you want to do, all of that? –Well, at first, I just wanted to be a doctor and I –Just wanted to be –[laughs] –I mean,
–No, I know –And then I started this two years ago and I got bit by the theater
bug. Now I’m just like, Oh my god. I really want to do this. I want to be like a famous
actress one day. And it changed my social life as well. Like my friends are
just like we’re doing this or where you want to go to the store with us? I’m just
like, Sorry. I can’t. And they’re just like I’m like more distant. But I think
it’s better though. –Yeah. No, of course. And the relationship that each of you have
with Heidi on stage I think if you’re asking people that are fans of the show,
it’s one of our favorite parts of that show. When you when you come out and you
get to interact with Heidi and then you sit back to back on the stage and all of
that. What kind of, how did you bond with Heidi was there a period of time
when you were rehearsing where you would actually debate with her? Like how did
you get to be comfortable with Heidi? –Well,
–We we workshopped the show. We did a um so what we would do is every single day when
we were working on developing the debate portion of the show, we would come in, get
a topic and do on the feet debate. –Hmm –And things that that you know come come out, cuz we get the best stuff when we do yeah like, just whatever comes to mind,
just say if it’s a push a point just say. And that’s how we get —but it’s crazy
because some of the things that we do in the show now, some of them just
happen out of nowhere. And then we just keep it it just seemed to work.
–Totally –Well, when I started doing this two years ago, we would be in like in a room, and then also be workshopping it. And just
like and me and Heidi, I don’t know, we would like at first we were talking
about these weird topics, like I don’t know why… Why does the dollar
say In God we trust? If we don’t have a religion… We would
have something like arbitrary conversations. And then, there’s
just like, Oh, let’s do some workshops. Like let’s start debate. Let’s do it on our
feet. And that’s how we, that’s how like the first script for What the
Constitution Means to Me started, the debate portion. I think Heidi already had hers written out. And then we did that. And then Thursday came in, and I think it was a lot easier
because you have another person working with you that’s throwing all these great ideas. And I’m just like, Man. Where was this two years ago?
–Yeah, right. No. And audience participation is
encouraged at that when you’re debating Mike asks everyone to either
stomp their feet or scream. How does that response that you’re getting affect what
you’re doing up on stage, depending on you know what side of either keeping or
abolishing the Constitution. How does it affect you up there? Do you feed off of
it? –Yes. Because if the I guess if the the audience is like clapping a lot, it’s
just obviously gonna hype me up. I’m just like, Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! But then it’s
the same thing if they don’t because I still want them to like to feel like I’m
actually proving a point. Like I want you to actually listen to what I’m saying.
And like every audience is different. Sometimes you’ll get an audience that’s
tough. Sometimes you’ll get some just like really riled up. And then
you’ll get some this a little too riled up, but you appreciate their support
anyways. –Totally. Totally.
–Um, I try not to feed off the I guess the audience
reaction because when I do real debates, it’s very intense. It’s really
like I literally pace back and forth before I go onstage because it’s like
it’s so intense for me because I take debate a little bit too serious
–Yeah. You’re tellin me –So, uhh, yeah it’s really it’s really like I hold it really close. It’s something that I
really like I think it’s very important. So, sometimes I do. It depends on
I guess it depends on the side that I’m arguing because sometimes it’s like, I
kind of need them, even though sometimes feel like I’m arguing. Like I
don’t believe this, but I believe it, but I don’t know if you guys are gonna
believe it. So, let’s try to believe it. And then I’ll feel better. So sometimes I do. Most times
I try not to. –Mm-hmm just to kind of keep it off.
–Yeah. –Do your family and friends,
do they like hate getting in arguments with you two now at this point? Like, Oh,
don’t bring this up! [laughs]
–We’re not gonna win this. –My mom. I sometimes I think when I have these little arguments with my mom, she’s just like
no no we do not bring the debate here. You leave that outside. You leave that on the stage. And I’m just like, Okay. And all my friends would just say, No. I’m not wasting my
time with you. I know you’re gonna say something. I’m just like, Yeah, I know. –What about you, Thursday? Are your friends do they just avoid? –Like I said, I take debate…
–You’re right. –I take debate really seriously, so I never I never back down.
–Yes! –It’s just a part of who I am.
–Right. And how are you, so the Tony Awards are coming up. You must be insanely excited for this. How are you, how are you preparing for the
Tony Awards? What are you doing? What are you, how are you how are you prepping for
this moment in your lives? –I mean, you can go first.
–Well you can’t really prepare. –Yeah.
–I mean, all of them I’m still trying to take all of this in cuz I’ve never done acting in my life. And and it still feels like I’m dreaming. And sometimes, sometimes reality hits me in the face. But sometimes, it feels like I’m
dreaming. So, like the Tony Awards it’s like oh my god I have to say it. I’m going to the Tony Awards. Like… I can’t, like it’s just a moment that you
just can’t prepare for. I won’t be. I mean my dress, of course.
–I was gonna say, are you gonna prepare who you’re bringing, what you’re
wearing? Yeah. –I think it’s like you know like you know, it’s I
don’t know you just have to live in the moment because… take it all in. This
one time shot. –Absolutely. What about you? How are you how are you prepping for
this big night? –Like Thursday said, you can’t really prep for this. Like um I’m
happy that I’m here. I’m very excited that we got a Tony nomination. I’m just
–Me too –It’s just, it’s a surreal experience but then you can’t just be like, Oh yeah!
We’re doing this for the Tony Awards! We’re doing for the Tony Awards! Because
this is that wasn’t our original intention from the beginning. We just
wanted to spread of the conversation about that the play brings. But, the Tony
Awards, it’s just like it’s a whole other level of recognition.
–Cherry on top –It is. You’ve had some incredibly famous and powerful people in culture come to the
show already. Who is your favorite that you’ve seen there you’ve gotten to meet,
and who hasn’t come yet that you would really really love to come.
–I know I know –You can say as many as you want.
–I know. –So, I’ll say the one, the person I met, and I’ll say the person I’m hoping to meet. So, I, so we’ve all watched Black Panther and The Walking Dead…. So, Danai came and saw the show! And everybody, I was shaking! I was like, Ah! Like, before she even came I was like I I words, like.
She’s like, You’re amazing! And I’m like, You’re amazing! [laughs]
–Forget about this whole show that we just did Let’s like… It was crazy. And I would love for Michelle Obama to
come see it.
–Yes. –I’m reading her book right now
–Yes. –And I’m like the more I read the book
–So good. –the more I’m falling in love with her. But I would love, I would love to meet her. I
feel like we can just make many connections.
–Well put. Absolutely. –Put that into the universe. –Yes, it’s in the universe. –RBG. –Oh, well, yeah. Everybody knows I love Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
[laughs] –Who doesn’t?
–Everybody it’s –It’s a prerequisite.
–Well, with our, yeah. It’s like
–You can’t be in the show and not like RGB. –I mean, when I go on stage, I have her pencil. The pencil says Notorious I don’t know. People never pay attention to me. I always walk out with the pencil.
–Some of us are. –Yeah, like when they ask, Why does she come out with the pencil? Yeah, I love RBG too. –What about you Rosdely? –Meryl Streep came and Ben Stiller came, and so did Hillary Clinton, I think, when we were
off-Broadway. Those, when Hillary Clinton came and then they finally told
me that she was here, I was shaking. I was so nervous because whenever I get
overwhelmed, sometimes, and when they’re not there, I like drop. –I get it.
— I drop to the floor. But Hillary Clinton came, Meryl Streep came, and Ben Stiller came. And I
was just like, Oh my gosh! –Big. Who would you love to see? Who’d you love to see in that audience? –Oh my god. Definitely
Oprah. Like Thursday said, Michelle Obama. So many people. Whoopi Goldberg. And my favorite influencer Youtuber,
Liza Koshy. –Okay! Well come and see What the Constitution Means to Me.
–And Queen Latifah, too. –Yes. Absolutely.
–We’ll invite them all. They’re all watching probably, right? Yeah.
–Speaking of, we love the people that are watching — Are they?
–They very well could be? –Could I send a message to Queen Latifah? –It’s your Live at Five. Yeah. [laughs] –Please come, Liza. –If you’re watching me, I watch you all the time. I watch your interviews. I watch Star. Michelle Obama, I’m reading your book! [laughs] –And I’m loving it. So… –This seems
–Come and see the show. –Please come and see the show.
–And please go to the stage door and tell them who, well, they’ll know who you are. –They’ll recognize you.
–They’ll know. Liza Koshy, Michelle Obama, Ms. Obama. –The people that are watching, what would they like to know from Rosdely and Thursday? –Oh my gosh. We have so many questions. People are loving you two. So, Alexandra wants to know, What is one
of the most interesting things that you’ve learned about the Broadway
industry so far? –Mmm
–They’re really nice. –Oh, good! –I would hope so..
–That’s good. –Well, I learned that
it’s no joke. Off-Broadway is totally, it’s a big
difference with Broadway. Off-Broadway, when Rosdely performed,
I normally don’t have to be there. And it’s better for me because then I go on
to be my president or you know participate in whatever else I have. But, on Broadway,
I have to be here, Rosdely has to be here. And you know, you know, and it’s a
little bit more intense. There’s a lot more paperwork.
–Yeah. Yeah. Lot more things to sign. –It’s really…
so I learned that. I also learned that— and I really like this about— I think
it’s off-Broadway, too. I really like this about the Broadway community. It’s like they’re
really close. I don’t know all of the underneath. But I know on top
–No, you’re right –that they’re really really close. I went to the Easter Bonnet, and I was like, Oh my god! And to hear that these people did it for free
was just even you know it’s just a good community. –It’s a good it’s a family. –They’re really nice. But if you’re gonna be on Broadway, you gotta gotta become…
–Put in the work, yeah.
–Yeah, yeah. –And also Broadway’s
notoriously superstitious. Do you have any like pre-show rituals that you do.
Anything, I mean like mindset, any music you listen to before you go it on stage?
What’s your what’s your pre entrance plan. –Well, when I’m going down, down the
stairs to the stage… The Helen Hayes just got rebuilt, so you know so it
smells really good, just like fresh concrete. And then, when I when I go down,
there’s this humidifier that one of like our the sound people have, Mia. And I sniff it, like for about five seconds. And then I go down. And then I say hi.
–All right. You’re one of the Broadway community now. Now that you have one. What about you Thursday? –I don’t think I have, no, I don’t have one. –No, you just kind of go out there? –No, I pace back and forth, back and forth. I walk to the end of the and then walk back. Our stage manager will try to make me dance, but I never work
–I dance. –All right. Get those jitters out.
–I guess that’s my… But then, there’s something that I always… I guess I do
have one. You have to stand, before you go on stage, you stand behind like like a line. And sometimes, tears come to my eyes before I go onstage because
it’s like I know what I represent. And I know where I came from. And it’s like now
that I get to in front of all these people to show like that who I
am and what I represent, that’s what makes me not nervous.
–No, and [claps] –That’s amazing.
— I have one more. –Please.
–Well, when I’m like right when you’re walking towards the stage, it’s like when you’re like you’re going and like Heidi’s saying her thing. And
then it’s like your turn to go on, I always like pull down my dress to make
sure it’s not like up? [laughs] –That’s good.
–And then I give myself a little pep talk just like, What would Oprah do? What would Liza Koshi do? What would Michelle Obama do? And then I
take a breath and then I go on. –You what they would do? They would go see What the Constitution Means to Me on Broadway. We have another question for these two?
–Yes. All right cool so let’s
this will be our last question. Okay, so people say that you’ve been talking a
lot about how you guys already did debate in that before you joining the
show but what made you guys even want to get into debate to start with and how
did you guys start this debate journey? –Well, there was, like I said, I was in
Middle School in the second semester of sixth grade. I had just finished at
various different programs. My mom always put me in many programs. She put
me in hockey. She put me in basketball, like field hockey, and things like that.
And then I did violin for a minute. I did the recorder for a hot…
–We all had to do that. –Yeah.
–Hot Cross Buns –A little club. I did chorus.
–Okay –And then some, a kid for my school, an old friend, he was just like, Oh, we’re looking
for people for to join the debate team. And I’m just like, Oh, I don’t know
about that. My mom was just like, You’re gonna join. –Mmm
–You’re gonna join. And I was just like, Yeah, but I don’t
–Find out what you like, you know? –Yeah. She said that. She said those exact words to me. So, I went in and I signed up for it as an elective. And I guess it took off from
there. At first, I was horrible… It took me like at least two months or a month to
get the hang of it. –But I mean, credit to you and your perseverance with that
because look where it where it brought you. But yeah what about you Thursday? –I should be very honest to everyone on this Live –That’s what we like
–Yeah, debate, it wasn’t me at first. I was
interested in law because I grew up in a neighborhood where I had I witnessed
a lot of injustice. And then, that’s why I joined the explorers program to work
closer with cops to bridge the the community. Okay, anyway, but yes I was
interested in law, but I didn’t know specifically what I wanted to do. The
legal outreach program came my way and if I should be honest, they pay you. –Hey!
–Hey! We all need money. –They pay you to do a summer law institute. I’m like, Okay, make some cash over the summer while learning law, which is what I care about. And then they’re like,
Oh, we forgot to tell you. There’s a mock trial at the end. And then um over the
summer, it was really rigorous. You have to dress, if you dress bad, they deduct
money. If your essay isn’t over certain pages, they deduct money. Double-spaced,
deduct money. Fail a test, get a test every Friday. It was just
really bad. It was really it disciplined me before my freshman of high school. But I did my first mock trial. My team was a hot mess. I thought we were gonna lose. It was my first time, like, with all that. And
then you know, I won. And after that, I was like, Let’s do this. Let’s go win more. –I mean, for
something that you both thought you may have not been that great at you are two
of the best as we found out. So, around here, we consider it a patriotic act to
go see What the Constitution Means to Me. And going off of what you said, the
representation that both of you show up there in what you’re doing is
absolutely incredible. And you have all of our
admiration. So, thank you so much for doing it. Thank you so much for coming in
here. –Thanks for having us.
–Thank you. –Of course. Our fingers are crossed for you, or mine
are for Tony night. Very exciting things. Thank you so much. Come back and see us sometime soon, and good luck on the rest of the show.
–Thank you. –Thank you.
–Caitlin, why don’t you take us out? –Thank you guys so much for tuning in today. We are live at five every
single day on Facebook. You can listen to us wherever you get your podcasts by
searching for hashtag live at five and hitting that subscribe button. Be sure to
tune in tomorrow when we talk to Tony nominee Ben Walker all about All My Sons.