With over forty-four thousand members and growing, All Things Broadway is one of the largest Broadway fan groups on Facebook. It brings together people from all over the world who want to discuss their love (and obsession) of theater. On any given day there are hundreds of new posts that range from silly to serious. All of this is managed by the group founder and admin, Eliyahu Kheel. We asked him to answer ten questions about All Things Broadway.
1: Where did you get your love of theater?
I grew up in a very musical family. There was always classical music playing around the house. My mom had a strong passion for musical theatre as well. So naturally, as a rebellious child, I wanted nothing to do with any of it. Years later, I started playing guitar and singing along to pop songs on the radio. Beatles, John Lennon, even One Direction and Justin Bieber! (Don’t judge). But none of them clicked with me. So my mom introduced me to the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the musical Carousel. From the moment I heard that beautiful melody, I was hooked.
2: Why did you decide to start a Facebook group and what did you initially think it would be?
The group initially was born because I was annoying my friends by posting Broadway articles on my personal Facebook profile upwards of ten times a day. They kept begging me to take it elsewhere. So I started this tiny group for me and a few theatre friends to geek out about Broadway. And lo and behold, All Things Broadway was born!
3: Were you surprised at how much All Things Broadway has grown?
I’m STILL surprised. I wake up every morning with upwards of sixty notification from the group and about a hundred new posts! I never expected the group to reach past a hundred members! 44,000 and growing is beyond my wildest dreams! It shows what happens when you provide people a space to share their love with people from around the world over this beautiful art form!
4: What’s the best thing that has come out of this group?
There have been so many amazing things to come from the group. From making friends that will last forever, to learning more about theatre than I ever did before. But the greatest thing for me has been just seeing the group flourish so much in the past three years! It seems cheesy. But this group really is my baby. I created it from scratch and now it’s the largest general FB group for theatre fans and Broadway stars alike to share their love!
5: Do you have any future plans for the group?
I am constantly working on improving the group in many ways. Recently, I’ve been branching out to other forms of social media such as Instagram, YouTube, a Facebook page, a website, etc. Facebook groups have so much access. But there’s always more!
At the same time as this, I’ve been working really hard to extend our outreach to the Broadway professional community. I can’t go too much into detail right now. But as an actor, I feel there’s a disconnect between the fans and the pros that isn’t needed and is just harming the art form. I will work till my dying breath to use this amazing group to bring together the three Tony award winners within the group, the fans in the group, and every other pro within the group and outside of the group through the reason we’re all here. Because we love Broadway.
6: What’s your favorite show currently on Broadway?
Dear Evan Hansen. I know it seems like a typical teenage answer, but I’ve been following this show since I saw it closing night in Washington, DC at Arena Stage. I have now seen it fourteen times! There really is something beautiful about the show. In the few months it’s been on Broadway, it has touched more hearts than I think anyone predicted. (I have started a Facebook group for that show as well. Fansens-Dear Evan Hansen Fans. It currently has over 13,000 members!)
7: Which new shows are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to almost everything next season! It’s going to be one incredible year for theatre. From SpongeBob, to King-Kong, to Harry Potter, to the lineup of amazing revivals, wow. I’m getting chills just thinking about it. But the one I’m most excited for is The Band’s Visit. I sadly missed it when it played Off-Broadway. But I’ve heard only incredible things about it. The performance given at the Drama Desk Awards was just stunning!! LET’S GO TONY SHALHOUB!!
8: You’ve taken master classes with a lot of Broadway actors, which has been your favorite?
Oh boy. Tough one. There have been so many incredible classes…..I think I’d have to go with sentiment. Just over two years ago, I took a masterclass with Jeremy Jordan and Tyce Green. They are both unbelievably talented, sweet, and amazing teachers. It was my first time meeting Jeremy in person. I belted out “Stars” from Les Misérables (Not a good choice). It was also the class that got me started working with Tyce who has been my acting teacher and career coach ever since!!
9: If you could co-star with any Broadway performer, who would it be and in what show?
Can we split the role of Evan Hansen between me and Ben Platt? No? FINNNNNEEEE. I would love to play Shrek opposite Annaleigh Ashford as Fiona! Shrek has always been a big dream role of mine. And Annaleigh is one of the most talented and nicest actresses on Broadway!
10: Besides going to a Broadway show, where is the best place to see Broadway stars up close?
54 Below is my home. The waiters there know my name, my order, and give me hugs whenever I go there! They have so many amazing performers! Sometimes, I find myself visiting multiple times a week!! Don’t judge. Samantha Barks, Kyle Dean Massey, Man of La Mancha, and Daniel Koek all in the span of two weeks?!? I couldn’t help myself!
Bonus: Favorite thing about NYC?
Besides Broadway? The pizza. You really can’t beat New York pizza!! I eat more of it than I probably should. But….I DON’T CARE I DON’T CARE WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF ME!!