As the temporary shutdown of Broadway and theatres around the world continues, Playbill is reaching out to artists to see how they are physically and creatively responding to a changed world.
The series continues with Andy Einhorn, who served as the music supervisor and musical director for the recent Broadway revivals of Hello, Dolly! and Carousel. His previous Broadway music directing and conducting credits include Holiday Inn, Bullets Over Broadway, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Brief Encounter, and Sondheim on Sondheim, while his other Broadway work includes Evita and The Light in the Piazza. Since 2011, Einhorn has served as music director and pianist for six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald; he also music directed concerts for the late Barbara Cook. He served as music director and conductor for the Châtelet Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion in Paris and has twice led the New York Philharmonic, conducting for McDonald and Chris Botti. His tour work includes Sweeney Todd, The Light in the Piazza, Mamma Mia!, and The Lion King.
Einhorn also conceived and music directed You I Like: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Herman, Pasadena Playhouse's tribute to the late composer of Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles, which will be available to stream January 10–February 7 on the venue’s PlayhouseLive platform. Expect performances by Lesli Margherita, Ashley Blanchet, Nicholas Christopher, Andrea Ross, and Ryan Vona. A live virtual opening night will also take place with guests including Bernadette Peters and David Hyde Pierce (both seen in the recent Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!).
What is your typical day like now?
Oh, what is a typical day now anyway!? What used to be shuffling from various rehearsal room to room to room is now a series of Zooms, phone calls, and at-home recording projects. It’s been nice to have an easier time “setting” the pace at which things happen, and collectively we’re all finding ways to expand our creativity through the recorded medium.
Tell me about the concept for the Jerry Herman celebration and what audiences should expect.
You I Like originally was conceived as a Lyrics & Lyricists for the 92nd St Y. We performed the evening in February and then the pandemic began. My pal, Danny Feldman, at the Pasadena Playhouse had seen an archival performance and immediately wanted me to recreate it for a more cinematic capture. The evening explores who Jerry Herman was: an artist who created from a place of love, joy, and optimism. His works reflect these values, and we showcase numbers from all his shows, including many songs you know and love, but some you’ll discover.
What book/TV show/podcast/film should everyone take the time to consume during this period?
Do I have to choose just one? There have been the obligatory binge watches: Schitt’s Creek, Succession, The Vow, etc., but I’m partial to a podcast I’ve been working on called [insert movie here!]: The Musical, which lovingly takes movies that should never be adapted for the stage and dreams of the musical adaptation. The end of every episode features a fully realized demo from that musical!
What advice would you give to someone who may be struggling with the isolation and/or the current unrest?
Self-care is essential right now—get out and take walks (wear your mask!), FaceTime and phone friends, listen to new music, read a book…be okay with the pace that things are moving at. There is so much out of our control right now on a larger scale, but we have so much control over the day-to-day ability to focus on the things that give us joy and keep us feeling afloat.
How, if at all, are you keeping your creative juices flowing? Has that been helpful to you?
I’ve been doing an endless amount of recording projects, and they’re all varied. I’ve enjoyed doing a lot of recordings for various charities, as well as a number of concerts with Audra McDonald. But I’ve also had the chance to collaborate with so many new people during this time, including hosting a new show for Broadway On Demand called The Hook. It’s been interesting to keep defining “what makes theatre at this moment” and how do we, as artists, continue to connect with our audience even behind a screen.
What organization would you recommend people learn more about or donate to during this time of change?
I’m a huge champion of BC/EFA, Covenant House, the Humane Society, ASPCA, Anjellicle Cats Rescue (because we got our amazing cat Giacomo from them!), and Education Through Music.