CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Broadway News: Backstage at ‘A Bronx Tale’ with Stage Manager Michael Rico Cohen

New York Theatre Guide: Michael Rico Cohen is one of the stage managers of the new Broadway musical “A Bronx Tale.” However, he has stage managed numerous productions over the years, so this is far from his first time at the rodeo, as they say. He also runs, an always up-to-date infographic that shows you what’s playing where on Broadway, now and in the future. NY Theatre Guide got a chance to talk to him about the new show and about his career.


Marisa Rinchiuso said...

What an interesting interview! It's so amazing to get to see the tale of a technician or manager. It's so often that media does interviews, previews, and backstage tours with the cast. It is very exciting to see the life story of a Broadway stage manager. Not to mention a Carnegie Mellon alumni! I've always love to hear the stories of Broadway stage managers because no two are the same. What I loved about Michaels story is that his hard work paid off and has led him to where he is now. I've always wondered how being a production assistant gets you to an ASM role. I've heard people say that it makes great connections, but if the jobs aren't there where can you go from PA? And how long does it take to go from PA to ASM? Those are questions that have always floated in my mind. It was very interesting and insightful to actually hear firsthand how Michael went from CMU grad to production assistant to ASM to stage manager! I think one of the most interesting portions of the article was the discussion about how new musicals develop, and how that affects the stage management process. I never thought about how paperwork would be changed from evening to evening as the production changed as well. From reading the article it sounds like a very intensive process but a very rewarding one as well.

Evan Schild said...

This article is awesome! Over winter break I got the chance to see A Bronx Tale and Rico took me backstage and showed me around. When he said that SR has no wing space he is not lying. Only one or two pieces are able to be stored. He is such an awesome guy. Getting to hear about his career was very inspiring. One thing that did surprise with this article is he process with Chaplin. I am wondering why none of the stage managers were brought from the workshop to the full production, and what is it like emotionally to be a part of a process so new with everyone so ahead. Another question I have is how many hours do Stage manager spend outside of the rehearsal room working on the show. Also are they paid for their extra hours on the show? I wish they explored more into the beginnings of his career! He has done so many productions on and off Broadway.

Megan Jones said...

It's so great to read about an alumni from our program who is working at such a succesful place. I love reading about the different career journeys people took, and how their past jobs have lead them to higher profile jobs today. It's good to know that he started where we all are right now, and worked his way up from a few summer internships to a Broadway show. I loved his honesty about the amount of hours that he puts into every day. A lot of people don't talk about the fact that stage managers stay up for hours after the rehearsal room is empty and arrive back hours before everyone else. It's an extremely busy lifestyle, so it's nice to hear a perspective from someone who's been in our shoes. Hopefully he or another management alumni will be able to come back and give a talk, as I always love to get advice from people with real-life experience and hear their stories.