They Finally Get to Dance on Broadway

David J. Holcomb

No one particular but her dog, Alfie, was with Ayla Ciccone-Burton when she heard the excellent information from her agent.

“I acquired up at the pet park in entrance of all these persons that I don’t know,” she claimed. “I’m just operating all around, full screaming, telling my doggy that I’m likely to be on Broadway.”

“He didn’t treatment,” she added, and laughed an effervescent snicker. She enjoys him in any case.

Like most performers, Ciccone-Burton won’t be actively playing a starring role in her clearly show. She’ll be singing and dancing in the ensemble — and building her Broadway debut.

She and three other supporting performers, all scheduled for Broadway bows this fall, talked a short while ago about what that means to them, and what they uncovered about them selves and the business when for these a lengthy time it was all snatched absent.

Atticus Ware is 13 now, but he was 11 when he was solid in the new musical “Traveling Above Sunset,” in 2019. Given that Broadway shut down, he has done a lot of stressing that he might bodily outgrow his role as the young Archie Leach, a.k.a. Cary Grant.

“You know, you just can’t truly do anything at all about it,” Ware reported one morning in August, just back from summer months camp. “So it was pretty tense. But I am significantly additional relieved now. And I’m virtually certainly going to be equipped to do it.”

Just about?

“Because, I signify, you never know,” he mentioned. “I could hit a large development spurt in the subsequent couple of months, or my voice could fall.”

Published by Tom Kitt, Michael Korie and James Lapine, who is also directing, “Flying Over Sunset” is a fantasy about Cary Grant, Clare Boothe Luce and Aldous Huxley on a 1950s Hollywood acid journey. With a cast led by Tony Yazbeck, Carmen Cusack and Harry Hadden-Paton, it was hours from its initial preview when the field froze.

“I initial heard about the pandemic like a 7 days ahead of that,” recalled Ware, who considering the fact that becoming forged has split his time amongst North Carolina, where his mom and siblings are living, and New Jersey, the place his father life. “When it strike, I cried. I cried a lot. It was tough.”

The youngest of 3 young children in a relatives of vegans, Ware started dancing at 4 and undertaking musical theater at 6. His temporary bio is stuffed with credits from Charlotte, N.C., phases. He has been household-schooled for most of his existence, and some of that education and learning has constantly been on the web, but when items shut down, his dance classes went digital, way too.

“It actually lifted my spirits when I commenced to be capable to do in-person dance lessons again,” he said. “That was just really beneficial with my mental state.”

“Flying Over Sunset” is choreographed by the faucet sensation Michelle Dorrance, and she has taught him a large amount, including how to merge pace with precision. But there is also this, he reported: “She’s extremely sort.”

The company, now slated to start out performances in November, spent some of its limbo time accumulating on Zoom for themed events with video games and cocktails. Ware at times had a mocktail to match.

“My mom, I actually do not know how she did it, but she designed like nonalcoholic gin,” he claimed, and laughed. “I generally just get LaCroix.”

On the August day when her pandemic-paused vocation revived at previous, Ayla Ciccone-Burton identified as her mom 2 times in tears.

In the early morning, she wept due to the fact right after a calendar year of doing the job as a nanny, she actually, really did not want to do it anymore.

By midday, nevertheless, she was sobbing with pleasure, for the reason that she’d just been cast in the ensemble of her 1st Broadway clearly show. When “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” opens back again up in October, she will play an Ikette.

“It means anything,” mentioned Ciccone-Burton, 26, a bubbly and considerate actor-singer-dancer who was in Auckland, New Zealand, on tour with “The Guide of Mormon,” when dwell performances stopped.

In her desires of Broadway’s comeback, she experienced envisioned herself as an keen viewers member, and hoped she would have the funds to capture an opening night.

“And now I’m heading to be onstage for a person of these opening evenings? Like, reopenings?” she reported. “I just don’t even have the words.”

Growing up in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Ciccone-Burton threw herself into theater, singing and aggressive dance. When her significant school did “Willy Wonka,” she played Violet Beauregarde.

But by the time graduation arrived, in 2013, the future in efficiency that she experienced aimed for as a baby seemed impractical, primarily due to the fact the B.F.A. applications she auditioned for turned her down.

Using a cue from her mother, a higher school science trainer, she grew to become a biology main at SUNY Fredonia and went on hiatus from carrying out.

“I would say my freshman 12 months of higher education was just one of my saddest many years,” she reported.

It took a while — and ditching that big — prior to she located her way back again. But in 2017, her skilled profession began when she was solid as a dancer and understudy in a nonunion national tour of “Dirty Dancing.” Just right before it ended, she acquired the career in “The Guide of Mormon.”

She put in the initial months of the pandemic back again in Niagara Falls, wherever she streamed videos of Tony Awards demonstrates from her childhood bedroom. When the Broadway Advocacy Coalition held on line conversations of racism in the business, she tuned in to all those, also.

So it is specifically meaningful to her to be part of a generally Black exhibit led by Adrienne Warren, a founder of the coalition. Ciccone-Burton explained that developing up, and prior to “The Ebook of Mormon,” she was often a production’s “token Black artist.”

“To be in this clearly show exactly where it’s the vast majority, and the folks in that the vast majority are making an attempt to actively make improve in the Broadway world, in the neighborhood?” she stated. “Yeah, that feels genuinely very good.”

“Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” whisked Tomás Matos off to Europe in 2016. Matos, who is nonbinary, was just out of Fiorello H. LaGuardia Substantial Faculty — recognized as the “Fame” faculty — when they were being cast in the musical for Norwegian Cruise Line.

Location out on Sundays from Barcelona, the ship sailed close to the Mediterranean. Matos shopped for months in Italian, French and Spanish ports.

“I still left with one paycheck,” they explained, “but I also came back with an overall European wardrobe. The clothing there are iconic.”

Cheeky and funny and full of their have glamour, Matos was in previews with “Diana: The Musical” when Broadway went dark. Since the generation won’t formally open up until Nov. 17 — immediately after a filmed version, shot all through the shutdown, will make its premiere on Netflix on Oct. 1 — Matos’s official Broadway debut is on keep till then, much too.

Cast in the show in 2018, when it was en route to Broadway, Matos is part of the ensemble and has a compact highlighted job, undertaking a duet with Diana.

“There is a great deal of dancing and singing and going total-out, and then standing in the back again as palace team appropriate following,” Matos explained. “And letting the sweat drip down my experience while Queen Elizabeth is singing a ballad.”

At 23, they have been dancing since sixth quality at I.S. 61 on Staten Island, the place the teacher — Danielle McNally, who will get a thank you in Matos’s Playbill bio — said that whoever did the best plié would get a lollipop.

“I damn nicely obtained that damn lollipop,” Matos said.

Matos, who for a although through the pandemic was building and providing empanadas from home with their grandmother, considers capturing the movie “Fire Island” this summer season a private pandemic highlight. Its stars incorporate Bowen Yang of “Saturday Evening Are living,” the place Matos was a backup dancer for Lil Nas X in May possibly.

“Another spotlight, I became sober,” said Matos, who now makes use of each he and they as pronouns, having also embraced a nonbinary identity in the pandemic.

“It’s anything that took a great deal of thought and a good deal of worry assaults, making an attempt to definitely arrive to conditions with my gender identification and how nonconforming it is,” they stated. “And I come to feel genuinely, seriously happy that I can variety of put a pronoun to how I’ve often felt.”

At midnight on Jan. 1, 2020, Yael “YaYa” Reich was onstage in the Phish clearly show at Madison Sq. Garden, just one of a handful of dozen dancers costumed like clones of the band. It was a ridiculous-excellent get started to what so several individuals realized in their bones was heading to be a stupendous calendar year.

For Reich, 28, it certainly appeared that way. In February, she effectively auditioned for “Hadestown,” the reigning Tony Award winner for finest musical. Solid as a swing — a performer who learns a number of ensemble roles and have to be all set to leap in as the understudy for any of them — she was just a few days into rehearsals, with one other human being who was joining the present, when Broadway suspended operations.

Final month, as the generation geared up for its Sept. 2 return, rehearsals concerned the entire business: a little bit of a shock to Reich’s method just after a prolonged stretch of introspection and solitude.

“I’ve been on my possess for most of the pandemic,” she said. “I essentially drove out West and did a complete solo van excursion. It was amazingly soul-exploring and stunning and expansive and tricky. But it has been a great deal, coming again into a home comprehensive of men and women.”

“The point that it’s these folks,” she included, “is sort of the only way I would want to do this right now.”

Reich, who is nonbinary, grew up in Seminole, Fla., performing children’s theater with her young sister from the time they ended up tiny.

“I essentially flew out of the womb singing and dancing,” she said.

In substantial school at the Pinellas County Centre for the Arts, and later at the College of Florida, she majored in musical theater. Immediately after graduating college in 2015, she toured with “Mamma Mia!” for two many years, then with “Rent” and “Evita.”

The shutdown gave her the probability to slow down and action back. Though she has dreamed her whole lifetime of currently being on Broadway, she sees it as “a big milestone” alongside the journey, not the desired destination.

“If I’ve learned nearly anything from the pandemic,” she stated, “it’s that my dreams extend even more and broader and deeper than just one entity, 1 institution, one industry.”

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