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Entries in Broadway (376)

Friday
Oct162015

Call Answered: Steve Schonberg & Laura Heywood: Ghost Light: Songs and Creepy Stories from Broadway and Beyond To Get You In The Halloween Spirit

Steve Schonberg and Laura HeywoodHalloween is one of my favorite holidays of all time! If I'm not going out, I love curling up on the couch watching some of my favorite Halloween-themed shows such as the Halloween episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 or Beauty and The Beast or It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. But I also love telling and hear ghost stories. The theatre is rich in ghost stories! Practically every theatre has a story which is why I was so excited to get to do this special interview with two of my fellow theatre reporters: Steve Schonberg (Center on the Aisle) and Laura Heywood (BroadwayGirlNYC).

They are hosting Ghost Light: Songs and Creepy Stories from Broadway and Beyond To Get You in The Halloween Spirit at Feinstein's/54 Below on Friday, October 30 at 11:30pm. In addition to Steve and Laura, this show will feature Daisy Eagan (Tony Award winner, The Secret Garden), Keala Settle (Tony Award nominee, Hands on a Hardbody, Waitress), Christina Sajous (Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark, Baby it’s You), Doreen Montalvo (On Your Feet!, In The Heights), Stacy Sullivan (2015 MAC Major Artist award winner), and Brian Losoya (Lindsay Mendez & Ryan Scott Oliver’s Actor Therapy). Click here for tickets!

For more on Steve be sure to visit https://centerontheaisle.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter!

For more on Laura follow her on Twitter, Facebook, YouTubeInstagram and visit her at http://www.LauraHeywoodMedia.com!

For more on Feinstein's/54 Below visit http://54below.com and follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

1. On October 30, you are co-hosting Ghost Light: Songs and Creepy Stories from Broadway and Beyond To Get You In The Halloween Spirit at Feinstein's/54 Below. How did you come to join forces for this event? 

Steve Schonberg: Laura and I are friends so I asked her almost immediately after the idea for this show at Feinstein's/54 Below came up, I asked if she'd be willing to join me for it. We are incredibly similar--our energies, our dedication to informing and entertaining fellow theatre enthusiasts and our somewhat obsessive work ethics! I know that will translate into a great time for the audience as soon as we take the stage together, along with these incredible performers. I can't wait!

Laura Heywood: We've wanted to work together for a long time. As two BIG personalities, we knew we needed an event that had an element of being "over the top" for our first collaboration. Halloween seemed like the perfect opportunity, since we'd both be dressing up and being silly anyway. Why not do it together and make it a show? 

Left to Right: Daisy Eagan, Christina Sajous, Doreen Montalvo, and Brian Losoya2. Joining you in this concert are the spine chilling talents of Daisy Eagan, Christina Sajous, Doreen Montalvo, and Brian Losoya. How did you decide you wanted their haunting talents for this show? What makes them "Halloween enthusiasts"? 

Steve Schonberg: Well, it started with Daisy Eagan--a friend and artist I respect and admire a great deal. She was the first person I asked (via text message mind you, ha!) and within minutes she said yes. I knew of Christina Sajous from Baby It's You, but hadn't met until Lauren Worsham introduced us at the Williamstown Theater Festival this summer. They were both in an incredible new musical there called Unknown Soldier, and I realized Christina, besides being an outrageously talented performer, had also played "Arachne" in SpiderMan-perfect for a Halloween show! Same with Doreen and Brian, they're talented artists who caught my eye--Doreen was performing with another close friend, Stacy Sullivan, and I told Stacy--I want her in my show!

They're all Halloween enthusiasts because each one of them, just like each one of us, has a deep love of the holiday. We all grow up with it from childhood, we trick o' treat, we pull pranks and maybe act a little mischievous at points (if not, you're not doing it right!), and each of us in the show have a story - from cute to chilling - that makes us want to connect our love of it to our love of the theatre.

Laura Heywood: Steve did all the programming. I'm so impressed and excited about his choices.

Laura Heywood a.k.a. BroadwayGirlNYC3. What made this Halloween the right time to premiere this show? 

Laura Heywood: When Steve and I were looking at the dates Feinstein's/54 Below had available for the show, we realized the 11:30pm show on the 30th was perfect. First off, it's in the time-honored tradition of the late night shows, a la Rocky Horror, plus it'll end in the wee hours of Halloween morning. Perfect all around for the theme!

4. Out of all the stories you are telling in this show, which one freaked you out the most?

Steve Schonberg: The story of Olive Thomas, the famed ghost of the New Amsterdam Theatre. She's said to have been a performer in the Ziegfeld Follies, who died from swallowing mercury pills. She's pretty infamous among the casts and crew who work there, especially for brushing up against or whispering in the ears of men who work there--she's a flirt! One occasion scared someone so much, he quit on the spot. She'll cause mischief too, like turn out all the lights. There's a photo of her by the stage door, which the cast and crew say "Good night" and blow a kiss to as they leave. Apparently they say it's best to stay on her good side.

Steve Schonberg5. As two people who are immersed in the world of theatre, have you encountered any hauntings while covering Broadway?

Steve Schonberg: Actually, the show was inspired by a theatre ghost, David Belasco's to be precise! The idea came after Broadway star Melissa Errico posted a memory on Facebook about rehearsal for Dracula the Musical. Apparently, a pipe burst, flooding the theatre, and when the fire department showed up the said, "it must be Belasco's ghost again!" I had never even really thought about theatre ghosts before, but said to Melissa it'd make a great show concept, and she suggested I email Jen Tepper at Feinstein's/54 Below, and well, here we are just a couple of weeks out from the performance.

Laura Heywood: There was a rumored ghost in the theatre at the University of Puget Sound, where I was an undergrad. I could see the props storage room window from my dorm room, and the light would flicker in the middle of the night, when no one was there. I had a part time job as a props coordinator, so I was one of a very small number of people who had a key. Occasionally, when I saw the light go on, I'd throw on some sweats and get to the theatre as quickly as I could, bounding up the three flights of stairs to the props room. No one was ever in the building, and the light would be off by the time I got there. It never scared me, though; in fact, on a couple of occasions I came down to the stage and lay next to the ghost light, spending an hour or so talking to the ghost (she never talked back, though!). It was a nice kind of mystical, theatrical therapy--and I don't think I ever told anyone I did it, until now!

Laura Heywood6. If you could haunt any theatre, which one would you haunt and how would you let people know you are there? 

Steve Schonberg: Obviously the Winter Garden, and audience members would see me floating around, reliving my childhood, dressed as the "Rum Tum Tugger" from Cats.

Laura Heywood: I love the Eugene O'Neill. I would be a benevolent ghost for sure; I'd deliver little gifts to the actors if they were ever feeling low.

7. One of the most famous ghost hunters of our time is Scooby-Doo. If he were to be put on a case to find out one creepy story from your own life, what story would he be sniffing out? 

Steve Schonberg: One day when I was a teenager, we had been away on vacation and the night we got home my mom and I were alone in the house for awhile. I was upstairs by myself and suddenly I heard someone just a few feet from me, say my name. I ran into my room, and locked the door. Then, whoever, it was started knocking on the door--and then the weirdest part is the knocking suddenly ran down the length of the wall, as if the person was running in and out of the room next door. I was terrified. My mom came upstairs a little later, but swears no one else was there.

Laura Heywood: It would have to be the Puget Sound props storage room ghost!

Steve Schonberg as "Marlene Dietrich"8. Since this show is to get you in the mood for Halloween, what is your most memorable Halloween? 

Steve Schonberg: One year I went as Marlene Dietrich for Halloween...full drag and all. What a blast! Even more fun having to explain in an affected German accent who Marlene Dietrich was, and loving those people who already knew her as an icon of the silver screen.

Laura Heywood: One year in elementary school, I really wanted to dress up like a shower. I have no idea where I got the idea, but my mom & I made an elaborate costume. I was thrilled, especially since I was sure I'd be the only one with that unique costume idea. Then, when I got to school for the annual Halloween parade, an older kid had also dressed up as a shower. I couldn't believe it! 

BroadwayGirlNYC9. What is your favorite Halloween candy? 

Steve Schonberg: If I had my way, it'd be those "Violet candies"--but I guess if I need to be mainstream here, I'd say "Sour Patch Kids."

Laura Heywood: Gummy cinnamon bears are my all-time favorite.

10. Theatre folks get to dress up everyday as they play characters on stage. In your personal opinion, what are some of the most popular Halloween costumes amongst the theatre community?

 Steve Schonberg: Tried and true--"Elphaba"--In fact I just Googled it and it autofilled with the word "costume" so therefore you know it's legitimately a fact.

 Laura Heywood: I've seen lots of Mormons with "Hello!" badges over the past few years. "Dorothy" is a consistent favorite, and there are always Phantoms of the Opera. But more & more I'm seeing fans who dress up as obscure characters that only their fellow superfans will recognize!

Steve SchonbergMore on Steve:

Steve Schonberg is an award winning media personality and journalist. Through his multi-channel platform "Center On The Aisle", and staff of writers, together they bring fans closer to stars and help them enjoy meaningful connections with Broadway, Off-Broadway, and cabaret shows through features, reviews and more. Steve serves as the theater expert for NBC "Today in New York", writes for TODAY.com, and is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post where he does celebrity features. Steve is a recipient of the GLAAD Outstanding Documentary Media Award.

Laura HeywoodMore on Laura:

Laura Heywood views artistic audiences as collaborators, rather than customers. She leads social media accounts as conversations between artists and fans who are equally invested in the success of the works they love. With a decade-long background in national broadcasting, she understands the intersection of entertainment and dialogue; and how to encourage the passion and loyalty that lead to commercial success. As the brain behind twitter’s @BroadwayGirlNYC, one of the world’s most followed theatre-related social media accounts, Laura has proven her prowess in engaging arts lovers around the globe. 

Thursday
Oct082015

Call Redialed: Kerry Butler: Feinstein's/54 Below Solo Debut

The first time I saw Tony nominee Kerry Butler on stage, she was falling in love with Bat Boy (and how could she not with "Bat Boy" being played by the hunky Deven May). Then I saw her be the rebellious good girl best friend in Hairspray followed by her dreaming of "Somewhere That's Green" in the Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors. She then skated across Broadway in Xanadu, ran away with Aaron Tveit (and who wouldn't) in Catch Me If You Can and got political in The Best Man and Clinton The Musical

Now it's great to catch up with Kerry (click here for our first interview together) as she gets ready for her Feinstein's/54 Below solo debut October 15, 16, and 21, alongside her longtime friend Seth Rudetsky on piano! Kerry will be singing songs from her vast career on stage and off! Kerry will be joined by her Rock of Ages co-star James Carpinello for the October 21 performance only. Click here for tickets! 

For more on Kerry follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

For more on Feinstein's/54 Below be sure to visit http://54below.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Kerry Butler1. This October you are making your solo debut at Feinstein's/54 Below. What made now the right time to make your solo debut? They had been asking me for years, and this summer Seth and I performed this concert in Ptown. I have such a wonderful time performing with him, and the audience feels that. After that experience I wanted to do more. Feinstein's/54 Below happened to contact me right after that concert!

2. You are performing alongside Seth Rudetsky, in which you have a long history with as you performed together as kids. With such a rich history of performing together, what makes you two such a great pair? The sexual tension.

3. What is the funniest moment that has happened between you and Seth in rehearsing for this show? It actually happened onstage during our last show!! We invited my friend JP Potter to perform Bat Boy with me. He got so into it, he accidentally knocked over our table with glasses of water. Glass shattered, and someone snuck on to clean it up during the number!

James Carpinello and Kerry Butler in "Rock of Ages" on Broadway4. You are going to be performing songs from throughout your career. What is one song you will be singing that evokes a truly funny story from the show it's from? James Carpinello is going to join me for the 11:30 show, and we will sing something from Rock of Ages. I have SO MANY funny and humiliating stories from Rock of Ages! I mean the sex, the drugs, the violence. And that was just the audience! It will be difficult to narrow down which to choose.

Kerry Butler as "Hillary Clinton" in "Clinton The Musical", Photo Credit: Russ Rowland Photography5. What do you think will surprise fans about you who come to see this show? I think the dirty Rock of Ages stories are shocking!

6. Knowing his love for Hamilton on Broadway, if President Obama were to come to this show, what would he think of it? He would laugh a lot, perhaps wish he hired me instead of Hillary (you know I portrayed her Off-Broadway), and never allow his daughters to enter the theatrical profession.

7. If you were to be locked in a cell with one celebrity, who would you want to be locked up with? Locked in a cell? Hmmm...Donald trump just to get him out of the election. You're welcome America!

Kerry Butler in "Xanadu" on Broadway, Photo Credit: Peter Lueders/Paul Kolnik Studio8. Since you starred in Xanadu on Broadway, if you could sing a duet from that show with Olivia Newton-John, what song would you choose? No question - "Have you never been Mellow!" As a child I performed songs in my backyard for my neighbors. Those neighbors got a real deal, I only charged a quarter. Anyway, I would always perform that song, and a lot of Donna Summers. Lots of sex sounds - #Inappropriate.

9. What's next for Kerry Butler? I'm going to Disneyland! Well Tokyo Disney to be exact! I'm so excited to perform for D23 in the park!!! Then I drop in on the Playbill cruise in Bangkok to perform a few songs. #rough life. I'm waiting to find out if a show I've been working on is moving to Broadway.

10. I've started a new section on "Call Me Adam" about inspiring people to improve their life by one percent. What part of your life do you want to improve by 1%? What do you think is preventing you from achieving this change? Well performing more concerts was one, so I can cross that off the list. Giving better answers during interviews.

Kerry ButlerMore on Kerry:

Broadway: The Best Man, Catch Me if You Can (Drama Desk Nomination), Xanadu (Tony nom., Drama League nom.), Rock of Ages, Hairspray (Clarence Derwent Award, Drama Desk/Outer Critic Circle nom.), Little Shop of Horrors (Outer Critics nom.), Les Misérables, Blood BrothersBeauty and the Beast. Off-Broadway/regional: Clinton The Musical, The CallBat Boy: The Musical, her solo album Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust. TV/film: "Mysteries of Laura," "Elementary," "Blue Bloods," "Rescue Me," "30 Rock," "Cupid," "Lipstick Jungle," "Borough of Kings," "One Life to Live," "Sesame Street," "Hometown," "Another World," and "Twins" (pilot).

Tuesday
Oct062015

Call Answered: Sierra Boggess: New York Pops: My Favorite Things: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein

Sierra BogessThe first time I saw Sierra Boggess perform in a Broadway show was when she starred opposite Tyne Daly in Master Class. The second time I saw her perform was, again, opposite Tyne Daly in It Shoulda Been You. Hmm...maybe I only see Sierra Boggess perform when she is opposite Tyne Daly...hehe. Whether she's acting or singing, Sierra's talent and vocal skills will engulf you!

Now to be given the opportunity to speak with Sierra about performing with The New York Pops, one of the greatest orchestras in the country, alongside their fearless leader, Steven Reineke, paying tribute to musical theatre legends Rodgers and Hammerstein, is a true honor!

The New York Pops, My Favorite Things: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein, featuring Sierra Boggess, Julian Ovenden, and Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA will take place this Friday, October 9 at 8pm at Carnegie Hall (57th & 7th Avenue). The concert honors Rodgers and Hammerstein's timeless work which has captured the hearts of every generation of music lovers. The program will feature numbers from all eleven of the collaborations between Rodgers and Hammerstein. Selections will include "A Wonderful Guy" and "There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame" from South Pacific, "The Sound of Music" from The Sound of Music, and the "Cinderella Waltz" from Cinderella. Click here for tickets!

For more on The New York Pops be sure to visit http://www.newyorkpops.org and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

For more on Sierra follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Steven Reineke and The New York Pops, Photo Credit: Johanna Weber1. On October 9, you are opening up the New York Pops 33rd season! What excites you about being part of their opening night? Everything! I am so thrilled to be singing at Carnegie Hall and THIS beautiful music with THIS incredible orchestra. Honestly I just feel so completely honored to be a part of this!

2. What are you looking forward to most about performing alongside Steven Reineke and The New York Pops and with Julian Ovenden? Well I first sang at Carnegie Hall back in 2008, I think it was, and Steven was conducting that night. He is an amazing conductor and person! And this orchestra, is one of the finest in the world and I just cannot wait to get on that stage and lend my voice! And now getting to sing with Julian Ovenden who has been a friend for years, we are SO thrilled to sing Rodgers and Hammerstein together. We have only sung with each other at Royal Albert Hall in London a few times, so now to sing on this side of the Atlantic is so exciting.

Julian Ovenden3. The New York Pops' concert is a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein. How has their music influenced you? What do you identify most with about their songs? Their music is part of the reason I was turned on to doing musical theatre in the first place. Their music is so accessible, and their melodies are gorgeous, and the lyrics...ohhh it's just heaven. One of the first songs I ever learned was "If I Loved You," and of course we all grew up on The Sound of Music.

4. Which songs are you looking forward to performing? I have to say it's hard to pick, but I can't wait to sing "Wonderful Guy" from South Pacific! I can't tell you how often that song is in my head and how much those words mean. It also reminds me of my grandparents, my grandmother was a nurse in World War II and my grandad was in the navy...and I imagine she felt like singing "I'm in love I'm in love I'm in love I'm in love" when they were finally reunited!

Sierra Boggess5. If you could give people one reason as to why they should come to The New York Pops' opening night concert, a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein, what would that reason be? To be transported back to another time. Probably the most famous writers in musical theatre, at one of the most gorgeous concert halls of all time, with the most extraordinary orchestra...and wait until you hear Julian sing "Soliloquy" from Carousel. Just wait.

6. If you could star in any Rodgers and Hammerstein show, which show would you want to star in and what part would you want to play? Every single one of them. Seriously, if I ever get asked to do a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical on Broadway I will be there in a heartbeat. To sing that music every night? Yes please. 

Rodgers and Hammerstein7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I guess there was something inside of me that always wanted to be on the stage. Of course Barbra Streisand is one of my biggest influences, by now I think everyone knows that. :) But I love singing, and I love singing really really really good music.

8. What's the best advice you've ever received? Say it with me! YOU ARE ENOUGH! YOU ARE SO ENOUGH! IT'S UNBELIEVABLE HOW ENOUGH YOU ARE! I took a master class at 17 years old and that's what my teacher Mary Setrakian said. It is my mantra and I pass it on to anyone and everyone. And in addition to that I want to encourage everyone to read Brene Brown's book Rising Strong, because there is some incredible advice in there and I can't get enough of it!

9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? It's not at all original, but I would love to fly. It's just the thing you want to do when you're a kid and you dream about it all the time. It would be so awesome.

Sierra BoggessMore on Sierra:

Sierra Boggess will next be seen on Broadway starring in the Andrew Lloyd Weber’s School of Rock opening at the Winter Garden Theatre this winter. She recently concluded a run in the Broadway musical It Shoulda Been You opposite Tyne Daly under the direction of David Hyde Pierce. Other Broadway credits include a limited run as "Christine Daae" in The Phantom of the Opera as well as the 25th-anniversary engagement in The Phantom of the Opera, the revival of Master Class and The Little Mermaid (Drama Desk and Drama League nominations, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award). Her London credits include Les Misérables, the 25th-anniversary concerts of The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall, and Love Never Dies (Olivier Award nomination). Sierra’s other New York theater credits include the one-night-only concert of Guys & Dolls at Carnegie Hall opposite Nathan Lane, Patrick Wilson and Megan Mullally; the final off-Broadway cast of Love, Loss, and What I Wore; and Music in the Air for City Center’s Encores! series. She also starred as "Christine Daae" in the Las Vegas production of The Phantom of the Opera. Regionally, she has been seen in Princesses (world premiere, Goodspeed Opera House and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre), and the national tour of Les Misérables. Her recordings include the 25th-anniversary concert of The Phantom of the Opera (also on DVD), the symphonic recording of Love Never Dies, The Little Mermaid, and Andrew Lippa’s A Little Princess. Concert appearances include the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series The Lyrics of David Zippel, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, and Broadway by the Year at Town Hall. Sierra has appeared several times at 54 Below, her first appearance resulting in the release of her first solo recording, Awakening: Live at 54 Below. She played her second solo show, Finding the Balance (The Journey of the Middle Child), to sold out audiences at 54 Below and San Francisco’s Feinstein’s at the Hotel Nikko.

Steven Reineke, Photo Credit: Michael TammaroMore on Steven Reineke:

Steven Reineke is the Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Pops Conductor Designate for the Houston Symphony, beginning in the 2017-2018 season. Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Edmonton and Pittsburgh. As the creator of more than one hundred orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke’s work has been performed worldwide, and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration FanfareLegend of Sleepy Hollow and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C.L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands around the world. A native of Ohio, Mr. Reineke is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned bachelor of music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City with his husband, Eric Gabbard.

Steven Reineke and The New York PopsMore on The New York Pops:

THE NEW YORK POPS is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Under the leadership of dynamic Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, The New York Pops continues to re-imagine orchestral pops music. The orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall, as well as a summer concert series at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY. The New York Pops is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children’s hospitals and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun. Visit www.newyorkpops.org for more information. Follow The New York Pops on Facebook (facebook.com/newyorkpops), Instagram (@thenewyorkpops), and Twitter (@newyorkpops).

Thursday
Oct012015

Call Answered: Alexa Green: Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy: NYC Fringe Encore Series

Alexa Green, Photo Credit: Kat HennesseyWhen I first met Alexa Green, she was a DIVA, well, one of the lead singers in Marty Thomas presents DIVA that is! Well, the minute I heard her sing, I was hooked! After seeing her this past summer in Adam Overett's Popesical: A Papal Musical, I knew now was the time for us to do an interview together! I am thrilled that we finally got the chance to sit down and talk!

If you did not get the chance to see Popesical: A Papal Musical this summer in the NYC International Fringe Festival, you have four more chances to confess your sin and see this show, now playing at SoHo Playhouse in NYC (15 Vandam Street) as part of the Fringe Encore 2015 which will run through October 26! Click here for tickets! 

For more on Alexa be sure to visit http://alexagreen.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Adam Overett and Alexa Green1. This past summer you starred in Adam Overett's Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy as part of the NYC International Fringe Festival. Now, the show is part of the Fringe's encore series from September 28-October 26! What initially made you want to be part of this show? You mean besides Adam Overett's biceps? Okay seriously, I met Adam years ago when I filled in for my good friend Kristine Reese in one of his concerts. He then he asked me if I would sing a bit on a demo for his new show, Popesical. He said I would be playing the part of "Cardinal Robin" (think Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny), who was a basic girl from Jersey, obsessed with her clothes and was DYING to become pope, like the REAL pope. He played me the music, I read the script, I was hooked. Count me in.

2. Popesical takes place after the pope dies, and Cardinals, locked in the Sistine Chapel, compete in "Papal Challenges" to succeed him. With Pope's Francis' visit to NYC just days before the show started, did doing this show now take on a new meaning? If so, how? The timing could not be more perfect. Actually, I'd like to thank Pope Francis for coming to New York and really increasing our social media presence, I mean, coincidence? I think not.

3. If the Pope came to Popesical, do you think he would like it? I do. This show has a huge heart. It speaks of love and compassion and you don't necessarily have to be Catholic or even religious to relate, understand or appreciate the story we are telling. I don't know him personally, but Pope Francis seems like a pretty cool guy and our show is not only hilarious but hip, especially in our world today and I think he would totally dig it. I have some friends who had the honor to sing for him when he was at Madison Square Garden last week and one friend of mine shared with me this brief tidbit of what he said and your question, Adam, made me think of it. It was something to the effect of, "I am going to discuss a lot of things here today and you don't have to be Catholic, but I ask you to pray for me." That is so cool and profound and really, really gives me a sense of peace, unity and love. It is just so simple and beautiful and that is sort of what our show does too.

Alexa Green in "Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy" in the 2015 Fringe Festival at Theatre 804. If you became Pope, providing a Jewish girl could be Pope, what changes would you make in the Vatican? Welllllllllll, I'm actually a cashew. I was raised Catholic, my mother is Catholic and my dad is Jewish so we celebrated both holidays and I grew up learning about both religions. It was actually amazing for me as a child and I am so thankful that now I have such a deep appreciation for religion in general. As far as changes, I don't know if I have enough life experience to really make CHANGES at the Vatican but I'd like to put forth the idea of maybe a sensible rosé option at communion? Or gluten free hosts? Like, we need some updates. Oh, actually there is one thing, I did get a chance to visit the Vatican in 2008 when I went to Italy and I felt a huge sense of profound peace and connection to my faith inside the walls there. I felt that same way when I went to Israel on birthright in 2013 and went to the Western Wall inside the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem. I think it would behoove us as humans to delve a bit deeper into our spirituality. I think it should be a thing for all of us to travel and really experience our religion. I like the fact that if you're Jewish, birthright is an option, the idea of getting to experience it firsthand is super special. I think the Vatican should get on that train and bring us Catholic kids over for a visit! If you're not religious or whatever, that's fine too, but there is something to be said about the connection to faith, whatever that means to you, and I can say that I am a better person because I got to experience the roots of my faith(s). I got to feel the earth, the vibe and the atmosphere of where it all came from. Yea, I would make that change.

Alexa Green in "Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy" in the 2015 Fringe Festival at Theatre 805. What has been the best part about working with this cast? What are some funny moments that happened either during the initial run during the Fringe Festival or in rehearsal? The best part about working with this cast is, THIS CAST. They are BEYOND. I can't say enough good things about these people. Thank God for them, literally. Basically, we crack each other up constantly. One of my favorite things that happens is Rachel Coloff, like all the time. We were in rehearsals and she would make Stephen Anthony break, without fail which then snowballed into all of us breaking and us basically laughing from 10-5 and then going home. These people are not only professional and seasoned actors, but we are all SO different and bring such funny characters to the table it is such a joy to come to work, I've made some really stellar friends, this cast is good people, inside rehearsal and performance and outside as real, beautiful humans.

Alexa Green and Danette Holden in "Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy" in the 2015 Fringe Festival at Theatre 806. Why did you want to be in a show that was part of the Fringe Festival? What do you love about the quick ride the Fringe is? I did a show last summer at Fringe and had a terrific experience. I love that Fringe is a platform for new art to emerge and make a real mark in the theatre scene. I have a passion for developing new works, especially with new, up and coming writers and Fringe gives them wings to fly. It IS a super quick ride and sometimes that is a good thing, it doesn't give you a lot of time to think, you just have to go and rely on your instincts. It creates a family real quick and sort of just throws you out there, but it is extremely rewarding to see the finished product and you never know what could be next!

7. If you could give people one reason as to why they should come see Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy, what would that reason be? Danette Holden's legs. I mean, have you seen them? We joke about it, but really. Also, because Adam Overett is a star, the work he has done on this piece, writing and composing it is genius. It is funny, it has heart, it is SO fun and I hope everyone gets the chance to experience it!

Alexa Green recording her debut album8. If you were sentenced to performing alongside one performer for the rest of your career, who would you choose? Oh dear, well Bernadette Peters is my childhood idol, I've always looked up to her and would love to play opposite her in ANYTHING. Also, Orfeh because I kind of want to be her in the sense that I feel like we are the same person and it would be hilarious to work together in all the things. Also, Steven Pasquale because I just want to sing the phone book with him. Oh, and Meryl Streep, because, obviously. Well, that's four, but who's counting?

9. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? It's already created, it's called Champagne. I also really dig a dirty gin martini with Hendrick's.

10. I've started a new section on "Call Me Adam" about inspiring people to improve their life by one percent. What part of your life do you want to improve by 1%? What do you think is preventing you from achieving this change? You know, I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I don't necessarily think anything is preventing me from achieving it, I think it's more like all in due time. I'd like to improve upon my patience, with myself and with others. Just to breathe more and live in the moment, that doesn't mean slack off or get lazy but give yourself a break, after all, patience is a virtue. Oh, I know what I could improve...my bedtime. If I tried to improve that by 1% each night I might actually get to bed before midnight once in a while!

Alexa Green, Photo Credit: Kat HennesseyMore on Alexa:

Alexa Green is a New York City based singer, actor, dancer and recording artist best known for her turn as "Glinda" in the Los Angeles and San Francisco companies of the hit Broadway musical Wicked. After playing to sold out audiences for nearly two years, she went on to appear alongside Neil Patrick Harris and Patti LuPone in the international cinematic release of Stephen Sondheim’s Company with The New York Philharmonic live from Lincoln Center.

Alexa has toured both nationally and internationally as an actor and singer, known for her wide vocal range and expressive musical flexibility. She toured as "Martha Cratchit" on the national tour of SCROOGE: THE MUSICAL and played "Mary Magdalene" in the Italian musical EMMANUEL in Rome Italy. Alexa was recently nominated for two Carbonell Awards (South Florida's regional theatre honor) alongside her cast for her work as "Hedi" in The Arts Garage's production of CABARET VERBOTEN. Favorite regional productions include FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, SHENANDOAH, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, LES MISERABLES AND INTO THE WOODS. Alexa's passion is working on the development of new musical theatre and she is currently involved with pre-Broadway productions and recordings of JAWBREAKER THE MUSICAL, PUMP UP THE VOLUME, DUST AND SHADOW, SMALL TOWN STORY, MADLIBS LIVE, and BLooM!. Her dance single UP (We Are Free) is featured on iTunes and she was most recently seen as a guest soloist with The South Shore Symphony, the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey and with her band, Cover Girls Live. This past fall, Alexa debuted her solo show, A SHINING HOUR to a sold-out audience at 54 Below in New York City and is currently working on her debut album set to be released this spring! Check out www.alexagreen.com for more and follow Alexa on Twitter and Instagram @atalexagreen

Monday
Sep212015

Call Misdialed: Anna Chlumsky: Veep: The Lost Interview

I must have dialed the wrong number originally as I just found some lost footage from my interview with two-time Emmy nominee Anna Chlumsky as we discussed her starring on the HBO Emmy Award winning series Veep from when Anna was starring on Broadway in Living for Love! So glad to have the right number now!

For more on Veep visit http://www.hbo.com/veep and follow the show on Facebook and Twitter!

Follow Anna on Twitter at @AnnaChlumsky 

Call Me Adam talks with Anna Chlumsky about Veep: