Zoey’s Playlist Choreographer Mandy Moore On Process/Working with Bernadette Peters and Lauren Graham

Zoey’s Playlist Choreographer talks working with creator to craft 61 dance numbers, favorite moments and working with Jane Levy, Lauren Graham, Bernadette Peters

Emily Mae Heller

AfterBuzz TV Host & Writer
Posted On: April 28th, 2020 9:35pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.

ABTV Loves Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist 

The musical dramedy, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist has captured fans’ hearts with some of the most incredible dance numbers choreographed by the talented, two-time Emmy award winner, Mandy Moore from Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance and various awards shows like the Oscars and Primetime Emmy Awards. 

Mandy Moore the choreographer for Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist joined our aftershow panel to discuss Episode 11, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Mother” with hosts Brandon Hanna, Emily Mae, Amir Yassi, and Kittie Kaboom. This was an emotionally heavy episode for Zoey and her family as they prepared for Mitch’s passing, this also included a legendary appearance by Bernadette Peters and a cameo by Mandy herself. 

(Source: IMDB)

Working with an all-star cast has been a treat and Mandy shared how everyone came from different musical and dance backgrounds. “None of them would have what I call dance experience. Skylar (Astin) obviously has musical theater knowledge, he’s a great mover. Alex (Newell) can move very well…John (Clarence Stewart) funny enough didn’t have dance experience, but I tell him every time, I don’t believe you because you move too well…same thing with Mary (Steenburgen) and Peter (Gallagher) is obviously a theater guy…Jane (Levy) had barely moved ever and was scared to death of it, Lauren (Graham) same thing.” It takes an incredible choreographer and artist to bring out the best in their cast, highlight their best qualities and make them shine, and Mandy sure does that with the cast of Zoey’s. 

(Source: Playbill)

One of the most exciting guest appearances in this week’s episode was Broadway veteran and legend, Bernadette Peters. Mandy shared what it was like to choreograph her number and work with someone that she’s dreamed about forever. “I mean she is the best, you know, I don’t geek out about most of anyone I’ve worked with…she walked in the room and honestly I got nervous. I grew up watching her on Into the Woods VHS and PBS specials and I’m a huge fan of hers too. She is the ultimate professional we got in there and she’s got her old school theater heels on and she came and said where are we starting.” What a moment for Mandy, and the whole cast and crew! 

(Source: IMDB)

Zoey’s Playlist has some of the most emotional and relevant scenes on a network television show, all expressed in music, dance, and authentic dialogue. Austin Winsberg, the creator of the show, worked closely with Mandy to help craft the innovative dance numbers we see every week. 

She shared with us her process working with him,“I mean we go in. Luckily, Austin and I, first of all, are dear friends, dear collaborators, and I’m thankful Austin as a showrunner involves me early on, getting information from the outline phase,” she shared. “Once we know the songs and the general idea of where the story is going, we’ll have what we call the dance concept meeting and we hash it out,” she revealed. “We break down the songs, we talk about any kind of visuals he sees in his head and we talk about the emotions we are supposed to feel or any sort of conceit for the number.” I can’t imagine doing that for 61 musical dance numbers that come to life on the screen every week. We can’t wait to see what other dance numbers happen on the season finale this Sunday. 

(Source: IMDB)

It was a pleasure having Mandy on our AfterBuzz TV aftershow! If you’re a fan of Zoey’s Playlist and Mandy Moore, please share this article with a friend. Watch our Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist aftershow here on Sunday nights at 10 pm PST after Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist airs on NBC. Tune in and sing your heart out! 

About The Author:

Emily Mae Heller is an Emmy-nominated film, tv, live events, and theatre producer, born and raised in Los Angeles with a deep passion for storytelling, sports, and entertainment.

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

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