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Break A Bat! where Baseball Meets Broadway
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Break A Bat! where Baseball Meets Broadway

Author: Broadway Podcast Network

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Celebrating two of New York City’s greatest fabrics: baseball and the performing arts. Born out of a passion for both Broadway musicals and triple-digit fastballs, we attempt to show that fans of sports and theatre don’t have to live in such separate worlds, and maybe even break some stigmas. Hosted by Al Malafronte, the show serves as a platform for fans of both mediums to hear intimate conversations with their favorite performers from the stage, screen, and stadium. Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network.

108 Episodes
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Still trying to make sense of what went wrong in Broadway's latest flop? The 2021 production of New York Yankees Baseball certainly goes down as one of the most polarizing and frustrating shows that loyal fans of the team have seen in recent years, going well beyond the one-sided Wild Card Game finale in Boston. Searching for many answers on what lies ahead in what will truly be a fascinating offseason, host Al Malafronte welcomes Neil Keefe to The Batter's Box for Episode 106. Keefe is the founder of the popular New York Yankees blog and podcast, Keefe To The City. Formerly of WFAN, Keefe's insight on the team defines what it means to be fair and objective. Since much of our audience considers themselves to be baseball fans first, rather than just Yankee fans, unbiased opinions on the state of the franchise are essential when evaluating what can right the ship in The Bronx. With a championship drought that now spans a dozen years, Malafronte and Keefe examine anything from potential cast and crew changes to the organization's disconnect with the audience. These are complicated issues, however, our chat does its best to address them and truly epitomizes one very specific essence of the Yankee fan --- passion. Connect with Keefe to the City here and Neil Keefe's Twitter: @NeilKeefe Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gene and Bill Barretta, known to many quite simply as “The Barretta Brothers,” are stepping into The Batter’s Box for Episode 105! Two master creatives, Gene is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books. He has also animated and illustrated for Sesame Street, Between The Lions, and The Jim Henson Company. Bill has been a director, writer, producer, and core performer with The Muppets for nearly 30 years. Together, they’ve created their own podcast/vodcast series appropriately titled: The Barretta Brothers - a spontaneous fun-filled hour with fascinating guests and great stories from their lives and careers. This week, the two brothers chat with host Al Malafronte about a myriad of topics spanning anything from their shared experiences growing up in Italian households that loved both sports and the arts to Gene competing against LeBron James to memories from the set and stadium. We also discussed the recent release of Muppets Haunted Mansion, a brilliant Halloween special on Disney+ that Bill co-wrote and served as Executive Producer, in addition to performing his signature characters in Pepé the King Prawn, Johnny Fiama, and many others. It was an hour full of big laughs, constant play and gave the boys the opportunity to share some never-been-told stories! Be sure to check out The Barretta Brothers on their website, on YouTube, and wherever you get your podcasts! You can also connect with them on Instagram: @thebarrettabrothers and follow Gene's writing and art on his website: www.genebarretta.com. Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dylan Dreyer steps into The Batter's Box for Episode 104! Part of the fabric of our mornings for nearly a decade as a co-host of The Today Show on NBC, Dreyer is about to release her very first children's book, Misty the Cloud: A Very Stormy Day. The first in a series, the book provides Dreyer the opportunity to combine her meteorology background with her experience as a mom in a way that's both accessible and enjoyable for children. Co-written by Alan Katz and illustrated by Rosie Butcher, the story follows a little cloud with big feelings named Misty and helps young readers understand how to deal with good days, bad days, and everything in between. The book is published by the fine folks at Random House Children's Books, and you can preorder it here before its official release on October 12th! Dreyer embodies the perfect hitter for our podcast, as she's an avid fan of both sports and theatre. A New Jersey native, she takes us back to her time on the softball field at Manalapan High School, working for NBC Sports, and some of the brilliant sports crossovers she's gotten to experience as the "ultimate utility player" on The Today Show. She also discusses the roots of her place in "Red Sox Nation," and while she warns host Al Malafronte that she wasn't the best clutch hitter in her ballplaying days, her performance in this week's edition of Fastball Derby was nothing short of All-Star caliber - highlighted by some hilarious and inspiring stories, many of which just so happened to center around her favorite nights on Broadway! This episode was recorded just a couple of weeks prior to the birth of Dreyer's third child, Russell James. Congratulations to her and her family! Connect with Dylan Dreyer on Instagram: @dylandreyernbc Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ben Crawford steps into The Batter's Box for Episode 103! Crawford is returning to the title role in The Phantom of the Opera this October and joins host Al Malafronte to discuss his excitement to get back on stage, as well as his longtime Arizona Diamondbacks fandom that goes back to the team's inaugural season in 1998. As baseball celebrates the 20th anniversary of the emotional 2001 World Series between the D-Backs and New York Yankees, the guys had a blast revisiting exactly where they were for each of the seven games, and how the series still resonates so strongly for both of them as one of the greatest of all-time. Crawford also discusses his journey to Broadway and the ways in which his love of both sports and performing truly intersected on his road to success. He's also a very talented musician, and recently put out his own album titled Electronic Pandemic which is now available to stream everywhere. He even has his first Christmas album in the works for this holiday season that truly captures the uplifting spirit of his role in Broadway's triumphant return. Connect with Ben Crawford on Instagram: @crawdady21 Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Ben Crawford headshot by Matthew Murphy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
LOOKOUT! New York's own Victoria Konefal steps into The Batter's Box for Episode 102! Konefal is best known for bringing Ciara Brady to life in NBC's Days of Our Lives and has enjoyed rousing success ever since the launch of the show's miniseries Beyond Salem which is now available on Peacock. This summer, she earned her first Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Performer in a Drama Series for her work on "DOOL," and has some epic stories to go along with her impressive back of the baseball card. Konefal embodies what it means to be a New Yorker with her undying spirit, realness, and personality that was such a pleasure to have on the show. This week she takes us through her eventful summer and start to the fall, the roots of her passion for both performing and the New York Yankees growing up in Brooklyn, and even her longstanding Friends fandom that would make Dr. Drake Ramoray proud. Fastball Derby was also in full swing, as Konefal brought the perfect blend of laughs and insight to this free-flowing chat that's a true grand slam. Connect with Victoria Konefal on Instagram: @victoriakonefal Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
With the MLB pennant race in full swing, Ben Grieve steps into The Batter's Box for Episode 101! Grieve's 9-year career in the big leagues spanned 1997-2005 and was highlighted by an All-Star Game selection in 1998, American League Rookie of the Year honors, and a 104 RBI season in 2000. This week he revisits his glory days on the field, with some great stories about coming up through the Oakland A's system as a highly-touted prospect and having an immediate impact on his cast. We also discuss the challenges Grieve faced playing the game clean in "The Steroid Era," the memorable 2000 Division Series that was played under the bright lights of Broadway, and even the musical Grieve would most like to star in! Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
One. Hundred. Episodes. This week, the two folks that have experienced every second of this show from the ground up come together to celebrate this milestone in a way that only seems fitting. Join Al Malafronte (Creator/Host) and Matthew Hendershot (Editor/Audio Engineer) as they discuss the show's evolution over the last two years, rehash their favorite moments behind the mic and audio mixer, answer some audience questions, and look forward to what’s ahead. Al Mal also reveals a few never-been-told stories from "backstage and inside the clubhouse," and Hendo even "takes a shot" at an epic round of Fastball Derby, which was filled with some awesome stories of his own and plenty of laughing fits. Thanks to each and every one of you in our audience for your love and support as we hit the century mark! The conversations, stories, and laughs we’ve shared together are a blessing unlike any other. We'd also like to thank some of our friends of the show that have helped shape Break a Bat! You may just hear a few of them in a pretty epic Batter’s Box walk-up that kicks off our celebration... Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It's a Bikini Bottom Day in The Batter's Box, as Ethan Slater joins us for Episode 99! Slater is a Tony-nominee and Drama Desk winner for his performance in the title role of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical. He recently just co-wrote the all-new musical Edge of the World which is now available via Broadway Records and he's also getting ready to go back on stage in Assassins this fall where he'll play the role of Lee Harvey Oswald. This week, Slater joins host Al Malafronte to discuss his phenomenal writing endeavors and the emotional journey that Edge of the World has taken him on since the pandemic hit. He's also a big baseball fan going all the way back to his childhood and took us through how Cal Ripken Jr. has helped inspire him to be an "Iron Man" here on Broadway. This chat is the perfect blend of baseball and Broadway talk, as we also discussed Slater's longtime passion for old baseball card collecting, his highs and lows as a Baltimore Orioles fan, and even the Jay Gibbons link in Wedding Crashers! Connect with Ethan Slater on Instagram: @ethanslater Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Another “Muppet Mentor” is stepping into The Batter’s Box, as Carmen Osbahr joins us for Episode 98! More than ten years ago, Osbahr helped spur our host Al Malafronte's creativity during his college production internship at Kaufman Astoria Studios through her friendship, positivity, and encouraging disposition that was instrumental in the launch of this podcast and following our dream of merging sports and the arts. As we close in on our 100th episode celebration, we felt now was as good a time as ever to celebrate her work and personality that has inspired so many over the last 35 years as a principal Muppet performer and creative. A key cog in the Jim Henson universe, the social and cultural impact Osbahr has made all across the globe can’t be overstated. Personally hired by Henson himself, together they created and developed Rosita, the first-ever bilingual Muppet to regularly appear on Sesame Street. She still performs Rosita to this day, and her ability to continually steer the character’s development and evolution with the times is nothing short of brilliant. Whether it be tackling racism in our society or the struggles that military families face, no script is ever too big for Osbahr, as she continues to rise to the occasion in a poignant way that goes far beyond teaching children their letters and numbers. This conversation is unlike most of Osbahr’s previous interviews, as it features a strong dose of baseball metaphors to celebrate both her athleticism as a performer and contributions to The Muppets franchise. It comes during a particularly unique chapter of her career, as she is now one of the last performers in the troupe who actually worked alongside Jim Henson. In many ways, she’s The Muppets’ version of Brett Gardner, and a great veteran leader for the many new players who have come up through the system in recent years. The stories and insight Osbahr provided us are just amazing, touching on anything from performing Rosita alongside the Yankees' Hall of Fame manager, Joe Torre to her own sports background in her hometown of Mexico City. While much has changed as far as the guard of teammates she’s played with, the continued prowess she possesses as a big hitter remains as strong as ever, and our conversation can truly be enjoyed by sports, theatre, and Muppet fans alike! Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Photo courtesy of Sesame Workshop Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Adam Pascal steps into The Batter’s Box for Episode 97! Pascal is widely considered to be one of the most respected players in the game here on Broadway, having played for multiple championship casts that have helped shape the fabric of theatre over the past two and a half decades. Whether it’s the stage or screen adaptation of RENT, the Broadway productions of Aida, Memphis, Something Rotten, Chicago, or Disaster!, the back of Pascal’s baseball card is a sight to behold. He’s played on multiple Tony Award-winning teams that have taken home the Best Musical trophy and his individual accolades are highlighted by a Tony nomination and Theatre World Award. Pascal is currently in the midst of an exciting career retrospective that’s available to stream exclusively on Stellar titled Adam Pascal… So Far. This week he joins host Al Malafronte to not only discuss some of the songs and stories that help shape the retrospective but so much more. Be it giving up his rockstar dreams he had as a kid growing up on Long Island, the best bagels in Huntington, or a "memorable trip" to the old Yankee Stadium, Pascal does not hold back in an incredibly candid (and hilarious) chat. Connect with Adam Pascal on Instagram: @adampascal Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
You know it’s a great day in The Batter’s Box when you're talking about The Muppets, the New York Yankees, and Broadway all within the same hour. However, one might venture that’s par for the course when the legendary Fran Brill steps up to the plate! Brill’s career as an actress on stage and screen spanned more than 40 years. As one of the original Muppet performers, her body of work is marked by a phenomenal ability to create characters, brilliant comedic wit, and ultimately, as a pioneer. She was the very first female performer hired by Jim Henson and she helped pave the way for women puppeteers everywhere. Her many credits with The Muppets include The Muppet Show, The Jim Henson Hour, and of course, Sesame Street, where she brought Prairie Dawn and Zoe to life and into the hearts of children all across the globe. This week, Brill dives deep with host Al Malafronte to look back on the legacy she’s authored and how it still remains as prominent as ever. It's with good reason that her work has endured through the years, as the way she brought such a huge part of herself to Prairie Dawn ranks up there with any example of character development in Muppet history. There are also many never-been-told stories in this conversation, spanning anything from her first Muppet project (The Great Santa Claus Switch) to nearly losing Zoe on a train to the pre-game ritual she shared with Steve Whitmire before each Sesame Street shooting day. Brill also candidly discusses her decision to retire in 2014, which parallels Mickey Mantle’s choice to step away from baseball amid a changing game and guard of teammates. A big sports fan in her own right, she also offers her takes on Alex Rodriguez’s behavior off the field, and discusses some of her favorite moments at the ballpark. Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
LOOKOUT! It’s one of those special days in The Batter’s Box as Sierra Boggess joins us for Episode 95! For nearly a decade and a half, Boggess has cemented a standing as one of the best players in the game here on Broadway through her brilliant ability to bring iconic characters to life on stage, powerful singing voice, and inspiring disposition that embodies the good stuff in show business. Whether it was originating the role of Ariel in the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid, her portrayal of Christine Daaé in both the Broadway and London 25th Anniversary productions of The Phantom Of The Opera, or her other memorable performances in School Of Rock, It Shoulda Been You, Master Class, Lés Miserables, and Love Never Dies, her accomplishments on Broadway and The West End are on par with any hitter who's dominated in both the American and National League. Ironically, some of Boggess’ success on stage is rooted in her own athletic background, as she grew up as a competitive figure skater in her native Denver. Despite having to put the skates aside in her early teens, her passion for the sport has never wavered, and the values it taught her have truly helped shape her into the All-Star actress she is today. Over the past year, she's rediscovered those skills on the ice and this week, she takes host Al Malafronte through this incredible chapter of joy and the intense work she's put into it. She also discusses some of her eventual aspirations in the sport, which may just include competing on the professional level! One of the ultimate testaments to a performer either on stage or at the stadium is their mental fortitude, and some of Boggess’ stories behind her success on Broadway fully back up that notion in this conversation. Her ability to set herself apart as a star player in order to achieve her dreams is on par with anyone we’ve ever spoken with. One might even view her as a master "hitter" when it comes to her technique, mindfulness, and ability to evaluate scouting reports before going into an audition room. On the subject of hitters, it’s fitting that Boggess views herself as a “DH” if she were to take on a position in baseball, and also has some great memories of her hometown Colorado Rockies! If you're in New York, be sure to catch Sierra Boggess in her upcoming concert series at 54 Below from September 8-11, as she helps ring in Broadway's triumphant return this fall! Tickets are available here. Connect with Sierra Boggess on her website, as well as Instagram: @officialsierraboggess Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Battles with Roger Clemens paralleled to Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr dueling in Weehawken? That’s what happens when Danny Tartabull steps into The Batter’s Box! While “The Bull” has largely been out of the public eye since retiring from baseball in 1997, his legacy as one of the best right-handed hitters of the early '90s remains as vital as ever. Over the course of 14 big league seasons, he was selected to an All-Star Game, won a Slugging Percentage title, and knocked in 100+ runs five times. He also had a very memorable tenure as a member of the New York Yankees from 1992-1995. This week, he joins host Al Malafronte for an impartial conversation to set the record straight on his time here and revisit the highs and lows that came with playing on baseball’s biggest stage. Tartabull’s accomplishments as a Yankee were as strong as anyone’s on a rebuilding team, having posted the squad’s first .400 On-Base Percentage of the decade when the organization began to shift focus under legendary General Manager, Gene Michael. In 1993 he took his performance to the next level, posting the first 30 Homerun/100 RBI season by a Yankee in five years, leading the team in both said categories, as well as Runs Scored and Total Bases. However, his big contract was often a point of contention for owner George Steinbrenner, and the two clashed quite a bit as Tartabull explains. Whether it was landing on the field in a helicopter, threatening to move the team to New Jersey, or ripping Tartabull through the media, The Boss’ theatrics were certainly well-publicized and created quite the backstage dynamic. Tartabull tells it all and then some, as it was fascinating to get such an in-depth look at a truly pivotal chapter in Yankee history from a star player’s perspective. This is Tartabull's ultimate tell-all interview, and our chat will certainly satisfy not only the most passionate members of Yankees Universe, but all of the theatre fans in our audience as well. Tartabull loved his nights on Broadway and caught nearly every show that ran in the early and mid ’90s. Whether it be Rent or Les Misérables, Tartabull had a front-row seat to the Broadway revolution and has some awesome stories to go along with it. He’s also a bit of an actor in his own right, having guest-starred on Seinfeld twice at the request of the show’s creator and lifelong Yankee fan, Larry David! His behind-the-scenes memories of working alongside David, Jerry Seinfeld, and Jason Alexander were great to listen to and provided some big laughs!  Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In one of our most fun chats to date, Stephanie Styles brings good vibes and big laughs to The Batter's Box! While Styles is known to many for her starring role in the Broadway touring production of Newsies, the Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate, and her recurring role on NBC's Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, she also has a large number of varied interests that are on full display in this episode. They truly make her personality shine in a free-flowing conversation that's a real grand slam of a listen. While Styles refers to herself as "sports adjacent" these days, she grew up as a tremendous Astros fan in her hometown of Houston. She took annual trips to Spring Training, attended World Series games, and even toured the country with Hall of Famer Craig Biggio as he chased his historic 3,000th hit. We talked plenty of baseball and its parallels to Broadway, but this conversation also featured a fun third element of our hour together, and that's Styles' well-known love of Disney. She and host Al Malafronte spoke at length about some of their most poignant memories as now-adult Disney fans, and in Styles' case, how it helped launch her career when she got to live out her dream of performing for Disney on Broadway. We also managed to sneak some Baseball meets Broadway (meets Disney meets Muppets?) trivia into this week's 7th Inning Stretch, and Styles certainly brought her big power bat to Fastball Derby! Connect with Stephanie Styles on Instagram: @bystyles Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We're trading in our bat for a hoop this week, as Cricket Wampler joins us for Episode 92! Wampler is one of the breakout stars of Disney Plus' new sports dramedy Big Shot, and her portrayal of Samantha "Giggles" Finkman has earned her All-Star acclaim among audiences everywhere. In her very first podcast appearance, Wampler takes us through some of the success she's enjoyed as a leading player for the show and how Giggles came to be in very unconventional production circumstances. The way she developed her character spans anything from honing her skills as a point guard to developing an entire back story for Giggles while on retreat in San Diego. Wampler's sense of humor is on full display in this conversation, and her stories are nothing short of awesome. She even discusses her recent performance alongside John Stamos and The Beach Boys at Petco Park! Connect with Cricket Wampler on Instagram: @cricketwampler Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Every great sports dramedy should have a resident theatre kid, right? Darcy Rose Byrnes answers that call in Big Shot on Disney+, and steps into The Batter's Box to talk all about it. Byrnes plays the role of the ever-ambitious and drama-loving Harper Schapira in the new series and has also lent her songwriting talents to the show's score, having written five original songs that can be heard throughout the first season. No stranger to the screen, she broke into the business as a child star on The Young and the Restless when she was all of five years old. Her other prominent credits are highlighted by The Bold and the Beautiful, How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives, The Young and the Restless, and Sofia the First. One of the great story arcs in Big Shot is Westbrook High's school musical, Beth Macbeth, in which Byrnes' character plays the lead. This week, she talks all about the creative input she offered when bringing the musical to life, and how her own background in the Scottish Play proved to be a grand slam in the process. She also discusses working with John Stamos, and how the show came to be despite some of the many obstacles that the pandemic created during production. We also played a fun round of Fastball Derby, as Byrnes offers some little-known facts about her life off-screen which span anything from her Irish heritage to delaying her road test to her family's Boston sports fandom. Connect with Darcy Rose Byrnes on Instagram: @darcyrosebyrnes Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We have the honor of welcoming our very first Tony Award-winner to The Batter's Box, as the great Norbert Leo Butz joins us for Episode 90! Butz's many Broadway accolades are highlighted by four Tony Award nominations, winning twice for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical thanks to his performances as Freddy Benson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in 2005, and again in 2011 when he portrayed Agent Carl Hanratty in Catch Me If You Can. He's also starred in Rent, The Last Five Years, Wicked, Big Fish, My Fair Lady, among other prominent credits. In addition to all of his accomplishments on stage and screen, Butz is just as passionate about baseball as he is for theatre. Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, he spent much of his childhood at Busch Stadium during the heart of the Cardinals' great run in the 1980's with Whitey Herzog at the helm. To this day, he still gets major adrenaline rushes on stage when his performances coincide with Cardinals' World Series games, and has some very memorable stories about those occasions. In an extremely candid conversation, he discusses growing up in what he describes as a very Catholic household with 10 other siblings, and how sports and performing were always at the forefront of his passions. He also takes us through some of the major personal triumphs he's experienced within the Broadway community, having found the ultimate teammates that bring out the best in him to help propel some of his greatest grand slams even in trying times. Anyone from Joe Torre to Keith Hernandez to Bruce Springsteen has come to see Butz perform on stage, and even with all of his success as an actor, he's as humble as anyone we've gotten to speak with. That humbleness, as well as his gratitude and brilliant comedic wit are on full display in this conversation that can be enjoyed by baseball and Broadway fans alike! Connect with Norbert Leo Butz on Instagram: @norbert_leo_butz Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sweeny Murti is taking us backstage and into the clubhouse! For 21 seasons and counting, Murti has played the role of the New York Yankees beat reporter on the team's flagship radio station, WFAN, and also serves as a contributor to both MLB Network and SNY. This week, he takes host Al Malafronte through some of the fascinating aspects of his job, the challenges that come with covering the team over a 162-game season both at home and on the road, as well as some of the unique experiences he's had with the Bronx Bombers and their diverse personalities. Murti entered Yankees Universe during a particularly interesting chapter in the team's history. They were in the heart of their most recent dynasty when he came on board in 2001, and soon watched a major change in the guard unfold almost instantly after it ended on a November night in Arizona. His perspective on the franchise, as well as all of the players and events that followed the glory years are truly incredible, and not without some brilliant insight. Some of the other subject matters we touched on spanned anything from earning player's trust, Jeter & A-Rod, the best team he covered that didn't win it all, and developing his own unique style that we believe represents the "good stuff" in baseball coverage. Murti even tells us which Broadway musical he'd most like to star in! Connect with Sweeny Murti on Twitter: @YankeesWFAN and Instagram: @sweeny_murti Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
You didn’t think we’d let Friends Fever not make its way onto the podcast, did you? Fresh off one of the best television reunions in recent history, Jane Sibbett steps into The Batter’s Box for Episode 88! Sibbett played the role of Carol Willick on Friends over the course of 7 seasons and joins host Al Malafronte to discuss her whirlwind of emotions as the legendary sitcom takes on a second life.  While Sibbett may be best known for her time on Friends, her other on-screen credits are highlighted by lead roles in Santa Barbara, Herman’s Head and It Takes Two. She’s also a tremendous theatre fan and has done quite a bit of stage directing in recent years. In addition to her accomplishments on stage and screen, she’s also a spiritual healer, and discusses some of the more profound moments she’s experienced in her work all across the globe with her 'dancing hands.' This chat also featured its fair share of laughs, as just talking about life, in general, was an absolute blast. You’ll find her personality to be a far cry from some of the characters she’s portrayed over the years, and a real light to be enjoyed by all. Connect with Jane Sibbett on Instagram: @janesibbett Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
LOOKOUT! A much-anticipated day has finally arrived, as Patti Murin joins us for Episode 87! Murin made her Broadway debut in one of our favorite shows of all time in Xanadu, and then went on to star in Lysistrata Jones, as well as the touring production of Wicked. She's also done a great deal of work on-screen including a recurring role on Chicago Med, and had starring roles in the Hallmark classics Holiday for Heroes and Love on Iceland. Of course, she's best known to the Broadway world for her most recent performance in Frozen when she starred as Anna, earning both Drama League and Outer Critic Circle Award nominations in the process. A proud New Yorker, Murin steps into The Batter's Box to discuss her long-time love of the New York Yankees. Whether it was their triumphs in the 2000 World Series against the Mets or the heartbreak endured during the 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox, Murin's relationship with the Pinstripes is marked by tremendous passion and spans all the peaks and valleys. She even has a specific code of ethics when it comes to following the team, and reveals some little-known facts about her sports fandom in general. In a conversation that truly covered all bases, we also discussed her biggest grand slams here on Broadway, the John Stamos-Beach Boys connection, and even played a fun round of Baseball meets Broadway trivia in this week's edition of The 7th Inning Stretch! Connect with Patti Murin on Instagram: @pattimurin Connect with Break a Bat! on Instagram: @break_a_bat_podcast Hosted by Al Malafronte Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network  Edited by Matthew Hendershot Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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