This holiday season, George Psomas will once again host “Broadway Under The Stars,” a series of performances featuring some of the best of current Broadway shows. The performances take place every Monday from November 13 to December 11 at The Shops at Columbus Circle and are FREE to attend, no tickets required. We asked George about his Broadway experiences in Fiddler and South Pacific and he shared his favorite moments from last year’s performances at Columbus Circle.
How did you get involved with “Broadway Under the Stars?”
One of the women running the event was familiar with my work and approached me about hosting the series. She gave me a rundown of what her team wanted to do, and together we launched the first year of “Broadway Under The Stars.” Year one was a huge success and I am honored that they asked me to host again this year.
What was your favorite moment from last year’s performances at Columbus Circle and what are you most looking forward to this year?
There were so many standout moments from last year that it’s hard to single out just one. However, my favorite moment that occurred weekly was when I had the opportunity to do a Q&A with the performers. I think those moments are what makes this concert series so special. Broadway audiences don’t always get to hear about what goes on behind the scenes, or why an actor chose to pursue a life in the theatre. They don’t always get to know about the mishaps onstage or what it takes to understudy and perform multiple roles. The Q&A was when our audiences got a chance to peek behind the curtain, and the stories we heard were fascinating. So I think the thing I’m most excited about this year is getting to know a whole new group of actors and hearing their stories during the Q&A. I’m also really looking forward to watching our incredible lineup of talent perform!
Best and worst part of being in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway?
Fiddler on the Roof was the first show I ever saw as a kid, and it was the show that made me want to become actor, so doing it on Broadway was a dream come true. For me, the best part of being in Fiddler was the opportunity to be a part of it from the first day of rehearsal. Being able to create with Bartlett Sher, Ted Sperling, Hofesh Shechter, and the incredibly talented cast, was an honor and a privilege. I am so proud of the show we created together and I am grateful to have been a part of that process. Fiddler is a show about family and community, and in our production, that is exactly what we became. So you can imagine that the worst part was having to say goodbye to my Fiddler family.
What was it like being a dance captain for South Pacific?
If someone ever told me that I was going to be a dance captain on Broadway, I wouldn’t have believed them, and becoming one was something that kind of happened unexpectedly. I was part of the original revival cast of South Pacific, so I was with it from the ground up. I paid really close attention to the rehearsal process, and I understood the intention and the origin of every moment in the show. After 6 months, our assistant dance captain left the show, so I was asked if I would be willing to step in. I accepted and I worked alongside our wonderful dance captain Wendi Bergamini, who taught me everything about the job. Eventually Wendi moved on to do another show, and I was asked to replace her. Being a dance captain is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I was responsible for knowing every role in the show so that I could help to maintain the production in various capacities. Anyone who has ever done the job knows how tiring and overwhelming it can be, but luckily I was blessed to work with a fantastic and hard working company of people who made the job easier.
Do you have a favorite memory from South Pacific and Fiddler?
South Pacific was my Broadway debut, so it was filled with firsts and favorites, but one special moment that stands out was the first day of rehearsal. Everyone in the business refers to it as “the first day of school”, and that’s exactly what it felt like. Ever since I was a kid I had dreamed of working on Broadway, and that moment had finally arrived. Walking into the room I didn’t know what to expect, and before I knew it, the room was filled with close to a hundred people who were involved with the production in one way or another. Meeting everyone that day and hearing about the vision for the project was absolutely amazing. I left thinking to myself, “wow, this is going to be great”…and it was.
I was again blessed to work with an incredible company of people in Fiddler, and we made so many memories together. One favorite memory that stands out was from opening night. “Tradition” was the first number of the show and we would all line up together underneath the stage for our entrance. Everyone’s heart was beating so loudly as we waited for our cue. Together we climbed the stairs of the stage and sang the iconic words of the song. As we walked downstage together and joined hands, there was an overwhelming feeling of community and adrenaline running through our hands; it was electric. The audience cheered and our show was underway. That was a great moment.
If you could cast yourself in any show currently on Broadway, what role would you choose (male or female)? Any upcoming projects that your can tell us about?
People are always telling me that I need to play Aladdin. For me, that would be a childhood dream realized.
I would be honored to be in any upcoming show with Bartlett Sher. I have had the pleasure of working with him in two shows and love his creative process.
If I wasn’t an actor, I would be…
Best thing about NYC?
The endless restaurants.
FREE musical performances hosted by actor George Psomas
The stars will shine bright once again at The Shops at Columbus Circle this holiday season. “Broadway Under The Stars” and “Holiday Under The Stars,” among other showcases and events, will surely be a reason to visit the shopping destination. Broadway actor George Psomas (Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific) will return to emcee “Broadway Under The Stars,” the popular series featuring performances from some of today’s hottest shows on Broadway.
11/13 – School of Rock • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory • Kinky Boots
11/20 – Home for the Holidays • Red Roses, Green Gold • Miss Saigon
11/27 – Wicked
12/5 – Chicago • Waitress • Anastasia
12/11 – SpongeBob SquarePants • Once on this Island • A Bronx Tale
“There’s no better place to celebrate the holiday season than in NYC, and I’m thrilled to again host this spectacular Broadway event at The Shops at Columbus Circle, now in its second year,” says Psomas. “These free public performances are a wonderful way to celebrate all things NYC during the holidays.”
Every Monday from November 13 to December 11 on the second-floor, select cast from today’s Broadway musicals will perform (list of shows to be announced soon!). The December 11 finale will be held in The Shops at Columbus Circle’s dazzling Great Room, under the annual holiday display of twelve massive stars. These stars are the largest specialty crafted exhibit of illuminated color display in the world, which hang from the 100-foot-high ceilings. Performances are free to attend and open to the public, no tickets are required.
About The Shops at Columbus Circle
The Shops at Columbus Circle, located in Time Warner Center in the heart of Manhattan, is an iconic indoor and public destination that attracts millions of people a year. It’s the place to dine, shop, live, work and be entertained. The soaring 2.8 million-square-foot landmark with stunning views of Central Park has transformed Columbus Circle into a cultural portal to Manhattan’s Upper West Side. From more Michelin-starred restaurants under one roof to Jazz at Lincoln Center, Mandarin Oriental New York, Whole Foods Market, Equinox Fitness Club and more than 50 retail stores, boutiques and pop-up experiences, The Shops at Columbus Circle is an “only in New York experience” ideal for residents and visitors alike.