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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in American Idol (2)

Friday
Jan242014

Call Answered: Frenchie Davis Metropolitan Room Interview

Frenchie DavisBroadway star and The Voice contestant Frenchie Davis is making her Metropolitan Room debut with her musical soulmate/non sexual life partner, pianist and comedian Kathryn Lounsberry as they proudly present The French & Kat Show. This Pop Cabaret is one part Bach, two parts Kander & Ebb, a dash of Britney, and a sprinkle of Claire Huxtable all served in a Blanche Devereaux martini glass-neat. French and Kat draw audiences on their voluptuous musical bosoms with legit, inventive, and soulful arrangements of songs spanning every decade.

The French & Kat Show will play The Metropolitan Room from February 8 at 7pm, February 9 at 4pm, and February 10 at 7pm. Click here for tickets!

For more on Frenchie be sure to visit http://www.frenchiedavis.org and follow her on Twitter!

Frenchie Davis1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I have been inspired by so many different performers but my favorites include Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Nell Carter, Whitney Houston, Freddie Mercury, Sylvester, and Grace Jones. Aside from the inspiration I take from my Idols, I also take much inspiration from my genuine love of singing.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Um....EVERYONE! Sorry. I didn't mean to yell but there are so many people I'd love to work with, I got excited. I sat next to Rob Marshall at a benefit once. That's pure magic waiting to happen.

3. From February 8-10, you will be presenting (with Kathryn Lounsberry) The French & Kat Show at the Metropolitan Room. What excites you about this upcoming show? I think I am most excited about the fact that it combines my love of pop music with my love of musical theatre. Someone once hilariously described the show as Broadway meets Britney and I think that's the perfect description.

Frenchie Davis Singing4. What are you looking forward to most about making your Metropolitan Room debut? I am looking forward to seeing all of my theatre friends and Rent Heads in the audience. I am looking forward to being back in New York. For an artist and performer, New York is truly one of the most magical places in the world.

5. What does the Metropolitan Room offer you as a venue that another space might not? I love the intimacy of the Metropolitan Room. It allows us to feel as if the audience is a part of what's happening on stage and it allows the audience to feel the same.

6. How did you and Kathryn first come to work together? What do you enjoy most about this collaboration? Kathryn and I met because I needed a pianist for a gig a year ago. The person booking me suggested Kathryn and we hit it off immediately. Her sense of humor is so similar to mine and it didn't take long for us to realize that the musical magic and hilarity between us should be shared with the world and The French and Kat Show sort of evolved out of that.

7. In addition to music, you have performed in quite a few theatrical endeavors including Broadway's RENT, the West Coast Tour of DREAMGIRLS, and the 30th Anniversary National Revival of AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'. What do you get from your theatrical work that you don't get from your music? Theatre was my first love. Musical theatre is how I first fell in love with singing and performing. There is a discipline required from theatre performers that is completely absent from the majority of recording artists. In theatre, you actually have to be a good singer which has become less and less a requirement in the music business. Musical Theatre is Auto-Tune free and it challenges me to be a better vocalist and a better artist, overall.

Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis in Ain't Misbehavin'8. What was it like to be nominated for a Grammy Award for the Cast Recording of AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'? That was surreal and unbelievable. I think it was so unexpected because we literally learned all the music in 2 days and then recorded it on day 3. We were so terrified of screwing up the harmonies lol!! None of us were expecting it to come out as good as it did so we were all shocked when we learned of our nomination.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "The elevator to success is broken. Take the stairs." Thank you Jenifer Lewis!!!!!!

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I've learned and grown up so much on this journey and I've learned that if I am not finding ways to laugh everyday, I'm screwed. Laughter is my life's breath and without it I would truly be lost.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I'm not quite sure how to fully articulate it but I have a feeling that it would be some sort of hybrid power comprised of Spanx and Harry Potter's invisibility cloak.

12. What's your favorite skin care product? I am a third generation Dove Girl. My late grandmother, my mother, and I have all used Dove products over the years. I just LOVE their Campaign for Real Beauty. It is so empowering.

Frenchie DavisMore on Frenchie:

Frenchie Davis first made her mark on Season 2 of the mega-hit reality-television show American Idol where judge Simon Cowel predicted she could win the show! During the filming of American Idol, her stage presence, charismatic performances and power-house vocals cemented her as an audience and critic favorite nationwide. After Idol, Frenchie headed straight to The Great White Way where she starred in the hit Broadway Musical RENT written by Jonathan Larson. Originally only contracted for a six-week run, Frenchie again wowed audiences with her vocal prowess, and the show's producers quickly extended her contract where she starred for the next four years! Frenchie has also starred in the West Coast tour of Dreamgirls playing "Effie White," Sing, Mahalia, Sing playing Gospel great Mahalia Jackson, and in the 30th Anniversary National Revival production of Ain't Misbehavin' (opposite American Idol winner Ruben Studdard) playing the role which won Nell Carter the Tony Award. Frenchie and the cast were honored with a 2009 Grammy Award-nomination for Best Cast Recording! In 2012, Frenchie performed alongside fellow Grammy-nominees Natasha Bedingfield and Taylor Dayne at the Americana At Brand's Summer Concert Series in front of an audience of over 10,000. Frenchie recently starred in Cinderella playing the "Fairy Godmother" at Berkeley Playhouse in Berkeley, CA and was a special guest performer at the 2010 Christmas Tree Lighting event in Sacramento for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Frenchie was educated at Howard University in Washington DC!

Friday
Dec072012

Katie Webber: Let's Kill Grandma This Christmas Interview

A native of Santa Cruz, CA, Katie Webber studied dance at San Jose State University. Her Broadway credits include Rock of Ages, Catch Me If You Can, Memphis, and Wicked. Katie was a contest on Season 3 of American Idol and has made appearances on NBC's Smash and IFC's Onion News Network and will be seen in the upcoming film Imogene with Kristen Wiig.

Currently Katie is starring in Brian Gianci's new comedy Let's Kill Grandma This Christmasa rip-roaring holiday black comedy that takes place as a family gathers to celebrate Christmas Eve dinner. After a rough year rife with economic difficulties, some family members ponder the question...at 80 years old, how much longer does Grandma need to hold on to her vast fortune?

Let's Kill Grandma This Christmas runs through January 6 at the Theatre at St. Clements (423 West 46th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue). Click here for tickets and follow the show on Facebook and Twitter!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I've always known I wanted to be onstage! I began dancing at age 3 and I couldn't be stopped. My focus quickly broadened to include singing and acting, and theatre ended up being a great fit for me!

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I have always wished I could work with Bob Fosse. What a dream!

3. What attracted you to "Let's Kill Grandma This Christmas"? As soon as I got the material for the audition, I was attracted to this play. Brian Gianci, the writer, has created a perfect balance of reality and absurdity that make this play so much fun to do! You cannot read a single page of the script without laughing!

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I hope the audience leaves this show having laughed a lot! The holidays can be a stressful, pressure filled time, and this play is a chance to do something Christmassy that doesn't take itself too seriously.

5. What do you identify most with about your character? My character is a manipulative, evil woman, and I'll admit, playing the villain is fun!! Sometimes it frightens me that all that meanness is inside of me somewhere, but I figure if I get it out onstage, then I won't bring it home!

6. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Where is your favorite place to rehearse on your own? Our rehearsal process has been such a learning experience for me. I've never done a straight play, so this is new territory. I am challenging myself and having a great time taking risks! When I'm rehearsing on my own, I am usually in my bedroom. It's a calm, safe place.

7. You were a contestant on Season 3 of "American Idol." Looking back, what did you enjoy most about this experience? Wow, American Idol feels like a lifetime ago! In a way, it's hard to look at because I have grown so much since then. It was a very cool experience to be surrounded by so much talent. And the pressure surrounding it, makes it a very unique experience. It's something that I am happy I did, but I wouldn't want to do it again.

8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? Working as a performer has proven to me how much I love being in front of an audience. It's that strange thing of, I'd rather be in front of 2,000 people, than in front of three people. It just feels natural and I couldn't imaging doing anything else!

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I have ever received is to be nice. Be easy to work with. Be professional and kind and people will always want to work with you.

10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? When I go to sleep at night, I hope I get to dream of my niece and nephew! They are precious angels!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to spend your day off? I love to spend my day off relaxing! I always say I am too good at being a lady of leisure!

12. Favorite way to stay in shape? When I'm not dancing, I try to stay in shape with hot yoga. Good for body and mind!

13. Favorite skin care product? My favorite skincare product is anything made by Rhonda Allison.

14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? If I had to narrow it down to only one super power, it would have to be to fly!! How amazing would it be to fly around the city?!