The latest from ‘As the Curtain Rises’ and Ellen’s Stardust Diner

After a brief hiatus from the main narrative and a series of bonus content installments airing since January, Broadway Podcast Network’s original digital soap opera As the Curtain Rises, written by Dori Berinstein and Mark Peikert, is back this month with new audio episodes going live each Thursday.

Featuring an all-star roster of such Broadway favorites as Michael Urie, Ashley Park, Lillias White, James Monroe Iglehart, Sarah Stiles, George Salazar, Ariana DeBose, Lesli Margherita, Andrew Barth Feldman, Mauricio Martinez, Bonnie Milligan, Ramin Karimloo, and Alex Brightman as the narrator (along with an illustrious array of special guests from the NYC theater community), the hilarious parody follows the journey of a brand new Broadway musical from conception to opening night. Or not. Stay tuned to find out if this one will make it from page to stage, despite all the behind-the-scenes drama, competition, machinations, and egos.

New and previously released episodes of As the Curtain Rises are available for free streaming on the BPN website, but voluntary donations are welcome to support The Actor’s Fund, and the purchase of merchandise from BPN’s online gift shop benefits the Broadway Podcast Network Frontline Initiative.

Opened in 1987, Ellen’s Stardust Diner, located in the heart of NYC’s Theater District at 1650 Broadway, is a mid-century retro-themed diner known worldwide for its singing waitstaff of “Stardusters,” many of whom have made the transition “From Burgers to Broadway.” Following the first successful interactive benefit concert stream from the iconic venue in January, Broadway Alive – a group of young professionals with a goal of bringing beloved Broadway musicals to homes around the world, while supporting the struggling industry and helping to keep “Broadway alive!” – is producing a second virtual event in collaboration with Stardust Artistic Director Scott Barbarino.

The concert, hosted by Matt DeAngelis and Emily McNamara, is a special Alumni Reunion featuring a selection of Broadway’s most legendary hits that have become show-stoppers at the venue, performed by a cast of former and current Stardusters. The line-up includes Alysha Umphress (Smokey Joe’s Cafe), Zak Resnick (Mamma Mia!), Dana Costello (Jekyll & Hyde), Nathan Lucrezio (Aladdin), and Christine Dwyer (Wicked), along with Kayleigh Brennan, Danny Brooks, Gabrielle Elisabeth, Brandon Ellis, Marrick Smith, Morgan Billings Smith, and Anne Fraser Thomas.

Livestreaming on Sunday, April 18, at 7 pm, on Facebook, YouTube, and Broadway on Demand, the show will be available free-to-view, with all donations through Eventbrite going directly to the performers and the Stardust staff. In addition to listening to the vocals, viewers can vote for the songs they want to hear via Facebook and YouTube chats.


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