Thursday, December 25, 2014

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Social Hashtag Gives Broadway Lovers A Glimpse Of Backstage Intermission

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TWC News: Social Hashtag Gives Broadway Lovers A Glimpse Of Backstage Intermission
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Theatergoers who see a hit Broadway musical, especially on the weekend, can enjoy "#SIPs" during the intermission, but they will need a smartphone rather than a beverage. NY1's Arts reporter Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

Most Broadway viewers can along to the famous opening number in "Chicago," but not many people know about "All That Jazz" that takes place backstage. Even for die-hard fans, there is one element of the theater that has remained very much a mystery -- the intermission.

But now anyone can take a peek backstage with "Saturday Intermission Pictures," or "#SIP," a hashtag that keeps actors and theater-goers connected during those important 15 minutes.

With the clock ticking, I rushed backstage at intermission to find actor Cristy Candler organizing fellow cast members in "Chicago" for some fun, "MOM" inspired #SIPs.

"We have such a blast, and it's a good way to bring the community together and tell shows what we are doing and just stay connected and have fun in intermission," says Candler.

The images are sent out with the hashtag "#SIP" via Twitter and Instagram, so fans everywhere can see what is happening. The hashtag is the brainchild of actors Max von Essen and Andrew Keenan-Bolger.

"Well, I mean, truly the one universal truth about doing a show is that weekends are sometimes a little hard," says Keenan-Bolger. "You sometimes do four shows and always that Saturday matinee is the one that's like the hardest to get through."

"I was Magaldi in 'Evita' and he's Crutchie in 'Newsies,' and I had a big entrance while I was doing the first act, and then nearly an hour," von Essen says. "So, you know, it became a fun way to fill our time and do creative stuff, especially on the weekends, to get through it."

The two actors started #SIP back in 2010 but found it really exploded last year. Now, even they have to try to keep up with stars like Tom Hanks and Vanessa Williams posting #SIPs, as well as touring, regional and high school productions all over the world.

Fans are getting in on it too, snapping pictures at Saturday intermission. One can find a roundup at and check out the hashtag "#SIP" to stay in touch with what's happening onstage. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP