24-Year-Old Conductor Makes History at Broadway’s Waitress

News   24-Year-Old Conductor Makes History at Broadway’s Waitress
Madeline Smith takes up the baton at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
madeline andrea smith
Madeline Smith Jeremy Daniel

Madeline Smith, who recently conducted this summer’s epic Ragtime on Ellis Island concert in New York Harbor, makes her Broadway debut October 14 conducting the Broadway production of Waitress.

At age 24 she is believed to be the youngest woman to conduct in a Broadway pit. Smith has served as rehearsal pianist, music assistant, and copyist on the production.

”I am over the moon to take the stage with the wonderful cast and band of Waitress tonight,” she told Playbill.com. ”I'm so grateful to the mentors and colleagues who have been in my corner and shown me such generous support as a newcomer to this community.”

Local 802, the union representing Broadway musicians, was unable to immediately confirm whether or not Smith was in fact the youngest female conductor in Broadway history. Representatives for the union are currently working to verify the information for Playbill.com.

According to her website, the B.A. graduate from Harvard University is a music director, arranger, and accompanist, and “has enjoyed working with a wide range of composers, including César Alvarez, Sara Bareilles, Jason Robert Brown, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Bobby Lopez, Laurence O'Keefe, Ryan Scott Oliver, and Matthew Sklar.”

She serves as music assistant on the Broadway-bound production of Disney’s Frozen. Off-Broadway credits include Futurity (associate music director), An Octoroon (associate music director), and The Light Princess (music director). TV credits include The Wiz! Live (music assistant).

Waitress prides itself on its all-female creative team, led by composer Sarah Bareilles, director Diane Paulus, librettist Jessie Nelson and choreographer Lorin Latarro.

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