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Posted by Broadway Sandwich on Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Garen Scribner is no stranger to Broadway. The actor and dancer previously starred as Jerry in “An American In Paris” at the Palace Theatre, and he’s long been active in New York City performance arts. Still, hosting “Broadway Sandwich” — a new ALL ARTS show that spins around Scribner interviewing stars during their breaks between performances on a two-show day — came with a few surprises.
ALL ARTS reached out to Scribner to discuss the perks of the job, his favorite memories from filming and his latest obsessions ahead of the show’s October 3 premiere on Facebook Watch. Read his answers (below) and watch a trailer for the show (above).
ALL ARTS: Did you always want to be involved in showbiz? How did your passion for the industry develop?
GAREN SCRIBNER: Yes! I started performing when I was 7 in The Washington Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” I played Fritz. I loved being backstage and the rush of adrenaline and mystery when the curtain came up. I was fascinated by the adults. What a cool life they led! They spoke multiple languages and had seen the world. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to know their stories. Which is probably what led me here, doing this show about people’s lives on stage and off.
AA: The show follows stars during a so-called “Broadway Sandwich,” an affectionate term for the hours between matinee and evening shows. We have to ask: What did you do during your Broadway Sandwich while performing in “An American in Paris”?
GS: When I was doing “An American in Paris” on Broadway, I was fortunate to only have to play Jerry once a day. Mostly, I performed the role six times a week, and an alternate played the role two times a week. It was extremely intense physically and vocally. So my in-between time was actually really chill because I didn’t have to do two shows.
But, for a brief moment during the first national tour of “An American in Paris,” I was doing eight shows. So when I was on that two-show per day schedule, I would eat immediately after I came off stage and then take a short nap. Then I’d start to get ready for the second show. If I left the theater, it was just to get food. Never a salad, always protein.
AA: You’ve gotten to spend some quality time with some of Broadway’s biggest names. What has that been like?
GS: Rebecca [Soldinger] and Jesse [Green] and I made this show because we were all interested in what people did between their shows. Whenever I meet new people, they have so many questions about the seemingly monotonous details of my routine as a performer. We thought it would be fun to share those details and also cover the really important facets of these performers’ lives and personalities.
We wanted to cast stars, but we also wanted to feature ensemble performers. There’s a unique story behind everyone. My one focus was to cast kind and generous people. And funny people. This season is filled with beautiful moments, never-heard stories and not-to-be-missed secret spots in NYC. One of my concepts with this show was that when people eat, they let their guard down. I eat with every one of these guests. Breaking bread with another person is intimate, and encourages vulnerability and honesty. It’s in that vulnerability that we learn and share our truth. That’s what I wanted to capture, and I think we’ve uncovered some really magic moments.
AA: What are some of your favorite memories from shooting “Broadway Sandwich”?
GS: There are so many. Speaking to audience members after they saw “Come From Away.” They were American Airlines flight attendants who recounted to me the moments they endured on 9/11, sobbing as they describe the incredible effect the show had on transforming such trauma into a story about people coming together. Tanairi Vasquez from “Hamilton” sharing that her “immigrant from the Caribbean” mother used to clean the dance studios at night so Tanairi could continue to take dance classes.
There were also a lot of funny moments, like riding bikes with one of Lola’s Angels from “Kinky Boots” and digging holes in his garden! And also speaking to a pair of nuns after they saw “Wicked” for the first time, and them remarking that “Jesus would have loved the show.”
AA: What’s something you’re obsessed with right now?
GS: Right now I’m obsessed with Rebecca Soldinger and Jesse Green, who I created this show with. And Sam Green and Marissa DiPaulo and all of our crew who made this show possible. We made something I hope people love — I’m obsessed with each of our beautiful guests for sharing their precious time and hearts with us. Their generosity and honesty and candor have made this all possible.
Click here to subscribe to “Broadway Sandwich” on Facebook Watch to access full episodes, including interviews with Kate Rockwell (“Mean Girls on Broadway”), Jessica Vosk (“Wicked”), Tanairi Sade Vazquez (“Hamilton”), Arielle Jacobs (“Aladdin the Musical”) and more.
Top Image: Courtesy of Broadway Sandwich