Our Presenters

Nick Hutson – Email Nick


28661311_730365098042_3759957685387132928_o.jpgNick Co-founded the Podcast back in 2006 and is a composer and lyricist working within the theme park, theatre and cabaret industry. On the podcast, he has interviewed many illustrious guests, including Stephen Schwartz, Alan Menken, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Stephanie J Block, Gerard Alessandrini, William David Brohn, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe – just to name a few!

1. When was your first experience of musical theatre and how old were you?
42nd Street, aged 5 (I think!)

2. Tell us about the best show you have seen: I can’t!

3. Which musical theatre performer or creative inspires you, and why? Matthew Warchus inspires me hugely – though I know nothing about the art of directing.

4. Which Disney film is your favourite? Beauty and the Beast.

5. If you could be any character from a show which one would you be, and why? Elphaba! Because she can fly whilst belting a Db – two things I can’t do!

Thos Ribbits – Email Thos

0A57D0C0-E429-4B67-B813-68C3C0BA7A6CThos joined MusicalTalk in 2007 and has been presenting and producing episodes ever since. He is our resident expert on all things G&S.

1.  When was your first musical theatre experience? I was always taken to pantomime when I was a boy (both professional and amateur) and fell in love with theatre in all its forms from those experiences. However, I think the first one I ever saw was Mother Goose in 1976 at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford, East London.

2. Tell us about the best show you have seen: It’s impossible. There has never been one show that has been head and shoulders better than others, at least for me – but I love How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying which is a great score, a great show and a great film – whilst also being very silly!  It’s ideal for anyone who has ever worked in an office!  Sadly, I have only ever seen amateur versions and slightly resent the periodic and fantastic revivals on Broadway but as a professional version is soon to be on at the Wilton’s Music Hall near Tower Bridge I shall be rectifying that!

3. Which musical theatre performer or creative inspires you, and why? Gilbert and Sullivan – they started it all, and they started it all so well. What other Victorian songs and shows are regularly still being performed on stage?

4. Which Disney film is your favourite? I’ve always had a soft spot for Pinocchio and my late uncle worked on a number of Disney films in the 1960s as an animator, but my favourite is Basil the Great Mouse Detective (or Basil of Baker Street as I believe it is also known outside of the United Kingdom). The late Vincent Price was…er…priceless in it!

5. If you could be any character from a show which one would you be, and why? Mr Benn, whose adventures were turned into a musical a few years ago (see MusicalTalk episode 238).  However, if you are looking for something from the wider, better known canon, it would have to be Captain Corcoran from HMS Pinafore – he gets a sequel!

Dominic McChesney

21414654_10155453040461041_3095484110114068791_o.jpgDom trained at The Academy of Live And Recorded Arts. His knowledge of Musical Theatre is only somewhat marred in that the majority of his favourite shows are flops… but he does have a ridiculous knowledge of obscure pieces and nutty anecdotes from the genre!

1. When was your first musical theatre experience? Most definitely going to see the local amateur companies in my home town in Devon when I was a small boy. The first musical theatre experience was HMS Pinafore performed by the local operatic group. The bank manager played Captain Corcoran.

2. Tell us about the best show you have seen: Certainly the show that is still fresh in my mind even though it was 2015 when I saw it is ‘A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder’. Everything I love about musical theatre was there. Great melodies, clear clever lyrics, very funny book and a superb hard working cast who looked like they were having a ball.

3. Which musical theatre performer or creative inspires you, and why? I think it has to be Noel Coward, his idea of reinventing himself every 10 years was genius.

 4. Which Disney film is your Favourite? I love Fantasia, as I was obsessed with seeing it long before it was re-released in cinemas when I was a kid. Afterwards whenever I would listen to a piece of classical music I would make up my own stories and visuals to go along with it in my head. I still do to this day. Chances are if anyone sees me on the tube on my headphones I am probably imagining the whole carriage dancing to Shostakovich or something equally obscure.

 5. If you could be any character from a show which one would you be, and why? I would love to play the Lovers in ‘Little Me’. What a role, true musical comedy gold. The Original London Cast Recording with Sir Bruce Forsyth is incredible.

Michael Gordon Shapiro

Michael Gordon Shapiro - piano

Michael is a composer, lyricist and bookwriter. He pestered Nick and Thos for years to be interviewed on MusicalTalk – this ended up backfiring, and now he’s a presenter. He lives in Los Angeles where yes, the weather is actually that nice.

 1. When was your first musical theatre experience?  When I was a kid my parents used to drag me to Broadway shows against my will. (I know, a tragic tale of childhood abuse.) An early non-against-my-will favourite was the Jesus Christ Superstar cast album.

2. Tell us about the best show you have seen: Rent in NYC and Wicked at the Pantages in L.A. – Both for their end-of-act-one moments. 

3. Which musical theatre performer or creative inspires you, and why? A few favourites: Howard Ashman for his wit and elegance in lyric-writing, Sondheim for his raw technical skill, and Stephen Schwartz for his guru-like insight about what makes a musical story work. 

4. Which Disney film is your favourite? The Little Mermaid. As a cynical 19-year-old summer camp counsellor I saw it projected onto the back of a trampoline in front of a room full of noisy campers. I showed up half an hour late and barely caught “Under the Sea”. My heart melted.

5. If you could be any character from a show which one would you be, and why?
The Genie from Aladdin. Sense of humour plus raw unlimited power. Duh.

Antonia Gentile 

tonia 4

Antonia is our newest presenter. She is an opera singing Yorkshire lass who isn’t afraid to speak her mind – and she giggles, a lot! She is our resident history nerd and Disney Princess wannabe. 

1. When was your first musical theatre experience? As a performer: aged 3, I was a fairy in a production of Peter Pan – for some reason I ended up losing my costume and had to wear one that didn’t fit… I was also the only dancer with one sock up, one sock down. I think the first show I saw was a local pantomime of Humpty Dumpty, but my first exposure could have actually been a pre-natal one, as Mary Poppins was always on the TV when my mum was expecting me… it would explain the way I’ve turned out!

2. Tell us about the best show you have seen: There are few! Sister Act was a particularly memorable show and it was incredibly exciting to see a show at the London Palladium. But… I recently saw Hamilton, which raised the bar so high, it has swept all before it.

3. Which musical theatre performer or creative inspires you, and why? Marni Nixon, because she had incredible awareness of her voice which allowed her to change her sound to match the actresses she provided vocals for. Julie Andrews has also had a huge influence on my singing style, and of course Audrey Hepburn, who I idolised during my teens!

4. Which Disney film is your favourite? The Hunchback of Notre Dame, because the score is so sophisticated.

5. If you could be any character from a show which one would you be, and why?
Mary Poppins, because she’s practically perfect in every way!

David Herzog


David is a musical theatre performer originally from Springfield, Ohio. He trained as a performer at Wittenberg University and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. As an actor, he has worked extensively between the UK and the US with such shows as 9 to 5: The Musical, Fame, George M.Cohan Tonight!

1. When was your first musical theatre experience? 
I was about 2 years old – my parents took me to see an amateur production of “Peter Pan” (the American musical version). My dad is amazed that I still remember it from that young of an age, but seeing a woman zoom out over the audience throwing fairy dust in the air leaves quite an impression.

2. Tell us about the best show you have seen: 

“Newsies” on Broadway – Alan Menken is probably my favourite current composer. And this production just hit me right in the gut with his amazing music, its brilliant design, and touching story.

3. Which musical theatre performer or creative inspires you, and why? 

Tough one. I would say that there have probably been several people who at some point or another have inspired me. But I always go back to two main inspirations, the first being Cole Porter who emphasized hard work, patience, and perseverance, and also Carol Channing who said that if you can conceive of an experience, then you can make it happen.

4. Favourite Disney film? 

The Lion King and Mary Poppins.

5. If you could be any character from a show which one would you be, and why? 

I would be Don Quixote from “Man of La Mancha,” which is also one of my dream roles. I would love to be blissfully and cosmically ignorant of the needless worries of humanity and yet still fight and strive for peace and romance.


Jonathan Cohen
Robert Gordon
Tim Saward
Andrew Edwards
Mike Dixon
Martin Ball
Andrew Corcoran
Jen Green
Caroline Wigmore