Brian Stokes Mitchell hosts a talk show with Broadway stars


NEW YORK — Actor Brian Stokes Mitchell will be hosting a new streaming talk show focusing on fellow artists like him who have made the jump from stage to film, television or music.

The first clutch of guests on “Crossovers: Live!” include Bernadette Peters, Kristin Chenowith, Marc Shaiman and David Hyde Pierce. The six-episode first season starts July 26 with Vanessa Williams as guest.

“I want it to be a show that really lights people up and makes people go, ‘Yes! Look what we can do! Look what we human beings are capable of and I’m going to go out and do that same thing,’” Mitchell tells The Associated Press.

“I hope it inspires everybody and they also have a lot of fun watching it. And it gives them lots of joy and delight and they learn things that they didn’t know about these people before.”

“Crossovers: Live!” will be available on Steller, a new pay live-event platform created by Goldstar. Subscription tickets for the series are $49 and go on sale Wednesday.

Mitchell is in many ways the perfect host for such a show, having a career that spans Broadway, television, film and concert appearances. He won a Tony Award for his work on “Kiss Me, Kate” and had a seven-year stint on “Trapper John, MD.” He’s since alternated between shows like “Mr. Robot” and Broadway’s “Shuffle Along.”

“So much of what I’m talking about is luck because it’s so out of your hands,” he says. “It’s been an interesting journey, exploring why some people hit, why some people don’t, why some people are wildly successful in one medium or sometimes both.”

He said the discussions with his guests will include everything from how they coped with COVID-19 lockdowns to their creative process. Producers say the show will be “cheeky, thought-provoking and wildly entertaining” with “candid discussions, rare footage and unexpected laughs.”

Williams, the first guest, has mastered many entertainment genres, from TV roles on “Desperate Housewives” and “Ugly Betty,” to Grammy-nominated albums and stage roles in “Into the Woods” and “The Trip to Bountiful.”

Mitchell first worked with her when the two were on Broadway in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and says she’s the perfect person to start the show.

“She kind of embodies what we’re going through, what we’ve been through and where we’re headed. She’s had this great career on stage, a great career in television, a great career in recording,” he says. “She is a incredibly deep thinker and an activist.”

Mitchell is chairman of the board of The Actors Fund, which provides a national safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals. A portion of ticket sales will benefit The Actors Fund.


Mark Kennedy is on Twitter as KennedyTwits

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