Thanks to her acclaimed performance in “Parade,” Micaela Diamond has found herself nominated for a Tony Award at just 23 years old. The attention could be overwhelming for any young actor, so it’s a good thing she knows someone who’s been through it before: her co-star and fellow nominee Ben Platt, who was nominated for a Tony (and won) at 23 for “Dear Evan Hansen.”
Listen to this week’s “Stagecraft” podcast below:
“I’m really grateful that Ben has done this before and is such a grounding presence at theater,” Diamond said during a conversation with Platt on the new episode of Stagecraft, Variety‘s theater podcast. “It’s really nice to share it with somebody. It helps me realize that in all of my fears I’m not necessarily alone, or he’s gone through them before. At the end of the day we love the work so much, and that’s what we get to do every night.”
Looking back on his first nomination and win, Platt said, “One of the only things I regret about that time is that because it’s so overwhelming when something like that happens — no matter what age you are, but particularly when you’re 23 — it can be very blinding. You get very caught up in lots of elements of it, good and bad. I generally, as a person, struggle with being present and not worrying about what’s already happened or what’s about to happen, but just being in the moment that I’m in. I wish that through that craziness I’d have been a little bit more like that. So now I just try to make sure that Micaela’s taking in what’s happening, because it’s a lot of wonderful things all the time, at once.”
Both Platt and Diamond already loved “Parade,” the 1998 Jason Robert Brown musical that’s now nominated for a total of six Tony Awards, long before they starred in the current production. Platt got to know the score by listening to the cast recording during car rides with his family, and Diamond recalled watching an old clip of the song “All the Wasted Time,” performed on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” by original stars Brent Carver and Carolee Carmello, over and over on YouTube. “I can watch that video in my mind, it’s so ingrained in me,” she said.
Also on the new episode of Stagecraft, the actors discussed the ways in which the show’s depiction of antisemitism has a timely relevance to America in 2023. “We’re both Jews,” Platt explained. “Antisemitism is never not relevant, particularly when you’re a Jewish person, but I think there’s a definite feeling of late that it’s not only on an uprise in a literal sense, where there are acts of antisemitism and the rhetoric of it is coming back around, but also the public nature of it is pretty unprecedented. … It feels like something to be looked at and discussed in a way where people are really ready to hear and receive it, and we’re getting that urgent message across in a way that’s really specific to right now.”
The production’s first preview performance prompted demonstrations by neo-Nazis. “It was scary,” Diamond recalled. “It was also incredibly inspiring and galvanizing to remember why we’re doing the piece.”
To hear the full conversation, listen at the link above or download and subscribe to “Stagecraft” on podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and the Broadway Podcast Network. New episodes of “Stagecraft” are released every other week.