CHICAGO – New York-based musical theatre writing team Bird & Mirabella are pleased to announce two new episodes of their free musical podcast “What Will She Do Next?,” both celebrating notable women in the military. Performed by Broadway, film and TV stars, these family-friendly podcasts use interactive storytelling and Broadway-style songs to celebrate key moments in the lives of history’s greatest women. The educational and entertaining series also features “Bite-Sized Biographies,” all-spoken, full length biographies (no singing or actors) – perfect for bedtime!
The newest episode, set for release on Thursday, December 24, 2020, features Indian American performer, dancer and writer Vaibu Mohan as Padma Bandopadhyay, the first woman Air Marshal in the Indian Air Force. Recording artist and Emmy-nominated TV personality Annette Philip guest stars. Creator Gabrielle Mirabella (National tours: Mamma Mia!, Elf The Musical) also narrates a “Bite-Sized Biography” (just released!) of Captain Annie G. Fox of the Army Nurse Corps, the first woman to receive the Purple Heart for heroism at Pearl Harbor.
“What Will She Do Next?” podcasts can be streamed free of charge at whatwillshedo.com, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio or anywhere you get your podcasts. Donations, which go directly to the performers, are accepted at whatwillshedo.com/donate. The podcast is also seeking corporate sponsors.
Children (8 – 12 years) are also invited to share information about their favorite historical women to be featured at the end of each podcast. To learn more, visit whatwillshedo.com/kid-s-corner.
Past podcasts available for free streaming:
- Episode #1 – Gabrielle Reid (Broadway: Beautiful, Hairspray) as American engineer and physician Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black woman to travel into space.
- Episode #2 – Gabrielle Mirabella (National tours: Mamma Mia!, Elf The Musical) as American socialite and philanthropist The “Unsinkable” Margaret “Molly” Brown.
- Episode #3 –Cassandra Murphy (Frozen Live at the Hyperion) as Maria Tallchief, America’s first prima ballerina. Special guest stars Marina Vinogradova and Ernie Bird.
- Episode #4 –Kara Lindsay (Broadway: Newsies, Wicked, Beautiful) as American journalist, businesswoman and inventor Nellie Bly. Special guest star Matt Lucas (Co-Host The Great British Bake Off).
- Episode #5 – Niki Badua (National tour: Mamma Mia!; Miss Saigon, Titanic at Serenbe Playhouse) as teenage warrior leader Xun Guan. Special guest star Austin Ku (Soft Power at The Public Theater).
- Episode #6 – Georgia Kate Haege (National tour: Mamma Mia!) as Mary Shelley, English novelist and author of “Frankenstein.” Special guest stars T.J Newton (National tour: Spamilton), Sarah Smith and Jacob Hoffman.
- Episode #7 –Gabrielle Mirabella (National tours: Mamma Mia!, Elf The Musical) narrates the story of Victoria Woodhull, an American leader of the women’s suffrage movement who ran for President of the U.S. in the 1872 election.
- Episode #8 – Yasmeen Sulieman (Broadway: Beautiful) as Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Special guest stars Jonathon Timpanelli (National tour: School of Rock), Gabrielle Reid (Broadway: Beautiful, Hairspray) and C.E. Smith (Broadway: Leap of Faith, The Full Monty).
Comments Co-Creator Gabrielle Mirabella, “We hope to keep kids entertained, learning, and to understand that they aren’t alone in feeling ‘stuck’ right now. We’re all searching for ‘what to do next’, and isn’t it great that history’s women can give us those answers? And, truly, the actors who bring these characters to life are the backbone of the show. With live entertainment at a standstill, listening to these artists perform gives you the feeling that you’re back in a Broadway theatre… if only for twenty minutes.”
Co-Creator Ernie Bird adds, “My goal as a musical theatre composer has always been to provoke critical thinking and questioning of the norms. With What Will She Do Next? I inspire kids (and adults) to overcome societal obstacles and accomplish their dreams; while bringing overlooked factual stories to life in a Broadway musical format.”
About the Creators
Gabrielle Mirabella is an actor and musical theatre writer. Graduate of the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, recent writing credits include: Theater Now New York’s 10-Minute Musical Festival at Merkin Hall with her musical RISE, in collaboration with Ernie Bird. As a performer; (National Tours) Mamma Mia!, Elf The Musical, and You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up! (Regional Premiere) First Date, the musical (Professional Premiere) Bubble Boy, the musical (World Premiere) Stranger Sings! A musical parody by Cinco Paul presented by Wolfbane Productions. Graduate of Manhattan School of Music and proud member of Actors’ Equity, Maestra Music and Dramatists Guild. www.gabriellemirabella.com
Ernie Bird is a musical theatre composer, writer, performer, and audio engineer living in New York City. His musical RISE, in collaboration with librettist Gabrielle Mirabella, will be produced as part of Theatre Now New York’s Sound Bites Festival. Bird & Mirabella are also currently co-producing and writing the Musical Women’s History Podcast, What Will She Do Next?. Ernie has received numerous writing accolades, including; The International Songwriting Competition (Finalist 2012 & Semi-Finalist 2013, 2017, 2018), and The Curtain Up Musical Theatre Songwriting Competition (2017, 2020). He has also worked more than six years in audio engineering, music production and live sound. After receiving a competitive Graduate scholarship, Ernie attended the New York University Tisch School of the Arts where he received an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing. Thesis projects include: Return to Grace; book by Gabrielle Mirabella, and lyrics by Jessie Field; and Soroka, libretto by Trinity Chen. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Ernie received a Bachelor of Music degree while double majoring in Music Production & Engineering and Music Management. As an actor, international voice-over work includes; Goofy Movie (Max), Hercules, Bad Teacher. Regionally; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (The Pit, NYC), Legally Blonde, Cabaret, Midsummer Night’s Dream (BPC, Boston). He is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild and the Audio Engineering Society. www.imerniebird.com