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Entries in Broadway (337)

Tuesday
Jan062015

Call Answered: Facetime Dream Interpretation video with Bobby Cronin and Jefferson Harman

Jefferson HarmanBobby CroninIn this special episode of "Call Me Adam," dream interpreter Jefferson Harman reveals the meaning behind the dreams of award winning composer/lyricist Bobby Cronin.

 

 

 

For more on Jefferson be sure to visit http://www.everydaysymbology.com and follow him on Twitter!

For more on Bobby visit: http://www.bobbycronin.com and follow him on Twitter, and YouTube! 

Dream Interpretation with Jefferson Harman and Bobby Cronin:

More on Jefferson:

Jefferson Harman is a Symbolic Intuitive, Dream Interpreter, Radio Personality and Writer who reads the symbols present in your dreams & everyday life. By interpreting this invisible language, he identifies your blocks and challenges and ways to overcome them. He has been actively studying the relationships among metaphysics, psychology and anatomy for over 25 years.

Jefferson is available for private readings in person, by phone and through Skype. He conducts workshops on various topics including Dream Interpretation, Overcoming Your Phobias and The Healing Power of the Mind. In his workshop series, New Thoughts, New Lives®, Jefferson explores the transformative power of Affirmation. He also teaches workshops in Origami as a meditation tool to promote World Peace.

Jefferson is a recurring guest on Life Unedited with John Aberle, on WCHE Radio 1520 AM, in the Philadelphia area on the first Saturday of each month - listen live at http://www.wche1520.com/lifeunedited.htm. Listeners can call in to have their dreams interpreted LIVE on the air and are welcome to ask questions on dreams, phobias and more.

Jefferson's podcast series Everyday Symbology® is available at iTunes and on the web. The show includes interviews with holistic practitioners, artists and musicians, presenting topical discussions on all things holistic and metaphysical. Jefferson also has a book in the works by the same title.

Jefferson writes a regular column entitled Night Sailing, originally printed in the holistic publication MARCI Magazine. In each article he interprets dreams that readers have sent him via email. Send your dream to jefferson@everydaysymbology.com. He also contributed articles and book reviews to the magazine, which will be reposted over time to this website.

Jefferson is a former Member of the Board of Trustees of the Holistic Mentorship Network and the former Chairperson of the HMN Publishing Committee, which included the Network's flagship publication, MARCI Magazine. He is also a Board Member of the Pompton Lakes Residents for Environmental Integrity (PLREI).

More on Bobby:

Bobby Cronin is a multi-award-winning composer/writer whose current projects include: Sunset City with bookwriter Wade Dooley and co-lyricist Brett Teresa (2013 Running Deer Theatre Lab, Goodspeed Mercer Project); The Concrete Jungle with co-bookwriter Crystal Skillman, which went into workshop March 2014 and was commissioned in 2012 for London's esteemed ArtsEd School (President: Andrew Lloyd Webber) which opened in June 2012. Welcome To My Life (W2ML) currently under a Broadway option; 'Til Death Do Us Part with Harrington winning bookwriter Allen Mogol (2012 Alec Baldwin Fellowship Winner, UK's S&S Award Finalist). Daybreak (add'l material by Brett Teresa) which won the 2011 New Jersey Playwrights Contest and premiered in Wayne, NJ and London's Tristan Bates Theatre June 2012. Currently writing Mary & Max with Crystal Skillman and Stafford Arima, Alone In The US for CAP21 with Terry Berliner, and the short musical film A Mile In Her Shoes for NYFA. Other: 54 Below, Lincoln Center Songbook Series, Birdland, Symphony Space, London's The Players Theatre and St. James Theatre, and more. Reach The Sky: Live at The Beechman and The Concrete Jungle International Studio Cast Recording both on iTunes. Yale graduate, Member of ASCAP, Dramatists Guild, and MMD (UK).

Wednesday
Dec242014

Call Redialed: Shayna Steele: Rise

Shayna Steele, Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez"Call Me Adam" catches up with recording artist Shayna Steele about her sophomore album Rise, which will be released January 20, 2015. We also discuss Shayna's most recent single "Can't Let Go," working with Jazz vocalist Sachal Vasandani and Kelly Clarkson as well as how being a new mother has influenced her music.

For more on Shayna be sure to visit http://www.shaynasteele.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, iTunesSoundcloud, and Reverbnation!

1. This January, you are releasing your sophomore full length album Rise. What excites you about this upcoming release? The idea of putting another record out into the world excites me, because it's another piece of work that I leave behind before I leave this earth. A recording is like a fixture in time. It's timeless and I'm psyched to feature these songs and these musicians.

2. What did you enjoy most about making this album? I enjoyed recording "Gone Under" again after the Snarky Puppy release on Family Dinner. It’s an entirely different performance with a whole new vibe. I really enjoy that two versions of this piece will be out now!

3. What do you hope fans come away with after listening to Rise? I hope they're inspired to create something of their own, musical or non-musical. Everyone has the ability to make something beautiful. I hope it can get someone through a hard time. Music has that kind of power.

4. The most recent single off your new album is "Can't Let You Go," which features jazz vocalist Sachal Vasandani. I feel "Can't Let You Go" really captures the strength of your non-belting voice and blends wonderfully with Sachal. How did you and Sachal come to work together? What was the best part about working with Sachal? Thank you! It's nice to take a break from the belting and the hollering! I met Sachal through my husband David Cook (also my writing partner/MD) at a University of Michigan event. Sachal was performing and I was immediately drawn to his voice. We've become really good friends and we like to crash each other's gigs, too.

5. What made you want to release "Can't Let You Go" as one of the singles off the album? I really wanted to feature a completely different sound. Not a lot of people have heard me sing something so vulnerable and exposed. I really love the song, too.

Shayna Steele at the Canal Room in NYC, Photo Credit: Press1Photo.com6. Starting in February 2015, you are going on tour around the world in support of Rise. What is the best part about touring and getting to meet your fans from all around the world? I hope it's the entire world! Doing some hits in Europe and the U.S. and I have a few guest performances with Snarky Puppy later in the year. The fans are so amazing. I remember playing this tiny town in Slovakia and I had a one hour conversation with 3 fans who barely spoke any English. We had such a deep talk about hopes and dreams and fears. It was so rad. And the beer was really good.

7. How do you feel you have grown as a singer/songwriter with this album? When I started writing for this album, I was in a place of uncertainty. By the time I'd finished writing for it, I'd become a mother so it was a journey I'd never been on. I also write songs now that I’d want to listen to. Before I thought you had to write songs that were radio friendly?? Where’s the fun in that? For me, well. If I’m not feeling it, what makes me think for one second my fans will dig it?

Kelly Clarkson and Shayna Steele8. You have worked with some of the greatest singers of our time: Moby, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton, Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna, Queen Latifah, and many others. What is like working beside these artists? Who did you learn the most from and what did you learn from them? Some of these artists I either spent 1 day working with them or several years behind them and learned something new from each one. Best lesson I learned was it taught me to know what kind of artist I wanted to become once I stepped out on my own. I still sing with Kelly a lot and she has impressed me so much. Not only are her vocal performances so sick, every single time, but the way she treats her band and staff is so refreshing. She’s a true professional and a super cool chick.

9. What is the best advice you've ever received? Don’t let fear sabotage your goals. That goes for music and for life. I have to remind myself to let the fear go about 10 times a day.

Shayna Steele Singing10. What have you learned about yourself from being a singer/songwriter? That sometimes I suck. Sometimes I write really bad songs and I have to finish them and throw them away. I’ve learned that it doesn’t come easily to me. I’m not the kind of person that can just pull lyrics and melody out of thin air 5 times a day. Maybe 5 times a year! I tend to write mostly when I’m not distracted…usually when I’m overseas traveling. I don’t watch TV when I’m there and I’m usually away from my friends and family. So I focus on the writing. It’s the way I escape the sorrow I have for being away from my loved ones.

11. You recently became a new mother. Has motherhood changed the way in which you make music? Most definitely. I don’t know how to explain it. Now when I write, I think: My daughter will hear this. Her friends and her friends parents will hear this. I don’t want to embarrass her! No seriously, she is my biggest inspiration. She’s so sweet and smart. It’s like I’ve been given another chance to live those years all over again through her. She’s absolutely the best thing that every happened to me.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The super power to sprinkle happiness and love over violent people like terrorists, crooked politicians and rapists…so that they can never, ever hurt another living soul. I think that’s a pretty good super power. The news these days…I'm sick about it. Especially being a mother. The tears I’m shedding this week over those innocent children dying could fill an ocean.

13. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what would the ingredients be? I’m a wine drinker. So something red, spicy, super dry and very interesting.

14. How do you want to be remembered? I want people to say: She was loyal and a solid, trustworthy friend/colleague/mother/daughter. Best thing anyone could ever say.

Shayna Steele, Photo Credit: Shervin LainezMore on Shayna:

There's no need to sugar coat it, since her impressive credits speak for themselves. Her colleagues praise her ability, her dedication and drive to perfecting her craft as a professional singer and knockout performer. On stage and in the studio, New York City based vocalist and songwriter Shayna Steele proves she is a vocal force to be reckoned with.

Born in Sacramento, California, to a black father and a white mother, Steele lived the itinerant childhood of an American Air Force brat. Moving from California to Oklahoma and then to Ramstein, Germany, where she spent seven formative years, she had little chance to contemplate her racial identity until her family landed in Biloxi, MS in 1985. She explains, "[Ramstein] took up quite a bit of my early childhood and had a big influence on how I viewed life, the world and especially racial tension. Living amongst the safety of an Air Force Base in Germany with many other children from bi-racial families gave me a false sense of security and I wasn't quite ready for the criticism and ridicule I would receive when we moved to Mississippi." Feeling "awkward, out of place and unsure where to fit in" in Biloxi, she dove headfirst into music, entering (and winning) several pageants and talent shows, including an appearance on Ed McMahon's Star Search at the tender age of 15. Star Search was her first experience performing in front of a nationally televised audience. After losing by a 1/2 star, Shayna returned to Mississippi to finish high school and pursue a music degree before exposing herself to the cutthroat "reality" of the business. "I was embarrassed and defeated. I wanted nothing more than to go home and crawl in a hole."

Shayna Steele"I never really felt 'grounded' until I moved to NYC. It was then that I really opened up to different genres of music other than R&B." Schooled in jazz by her Godfather, self-taught and guided by her musician father and gospel by her choir director, the Grammy-nominated Michael McElroy, Steele began to develop her sound, blending new influences, from Ledisi to Rachelle Farrell, with her childhood icons Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and the Temptations. A completely unexpected call in 2005 would drop her squarely in the middle of genre she had absolutely no experience with: Electronica. Hearing that Moby "needed a screamer" for a track off his new album Hotel, a mutual friend recommended Steele, resulting in the disc's second single "Raining Again". Two years later, she was back, laying down vocals for "Extreme Ways (2007)" - Moby's theme song to The Bourne Ultimatum - and in early 2008, "Disco Lies", the first single off Moby's 2008 release Last Night. The song reached #1 on the US Billboard Dance charts and went on to be featured in J.J. Abram's summer blockbuster Cloverfield and the movie The Backup Plan starring Jennifer Lopez. Her voice has remained high in demand with recent vocals on Hairspray (movie soundtrack), 2012's The Bourne Legacy, Sex and the City 2, NBC's Smash, 2008 Summer Olympic highlights on BBC, The Shanghai Restoration Project and HBO's The Sopranos.

Steele started writing music with partner David Cook in 2002. The two quickly developed a creative synergy, collaborating on Steele's eponymous debut EP in 2004. Though self-released, the album's breakout soul-funk single "High Yella" achieved the attention she needed to raise her solo profile. She and/or her band have since shared the stage with luminaries Ledisi, opening for George Clinton and the Sugar Hill Gang, a featured singer with Bjorkestra and Grammy winning conducter/composer/trumpeter Dave Douglas, featured with Snarky Puppy in 2014 at the Nice Jazz Festival, the Estival Jazz Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Grammy- nominated Broadway Inspirational Voices and as a sideman with Lizz Wright, Bette Midler, Natasha Bedingfield, John Legend, Matthew Morrison, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson.

It was the release of Shayna's first full-length album I'll Be Anything co-written with Cook that put Shayna on the map as a legitimate solo artist. She was soon sought after by clubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco, New York City, Milan, Rome and Zurich, welcoming her to packed rooms and a dedicated fan base. Shayna and the band have toured and continue to tour extensively throughout the United States and Europe. In 2013, Shayna's original song "Gone Under" was recorded live for DVD on Snarky Puppy's Family Dinner, Volume 1, where the band received a Grammy Award in 2014 for their performance of "Something" with Lalah Hathaway.

Her experience has lead to appearances on: Conan O'Brien, The Grammy Awards, The Tony Awards, The Tonight Show, David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, American Idol, The Brit Awards, Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Billboard Music Awards and The Academy of Country Music Awards as well as contracting and/or doing vocals for Season 1 and Season 2 (contractor) of NBC's Smash and America's Got Talent and the shows Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar and Hairspray on Broadway in New York City.

Shayna Steele on "Conan O'Brien"Most recently, Shayna went to Paris to record a song for saxophonist/songwriter Manu Dabango's (Soul Makossa) upcoming project. Shayna continues to work non-stop in music out of their home teaching privately, recording, writing and creating in addition to being one of the most high in demand and sought after gigging musicians. Tour dates in support of Shayna's sophomore album Rise are already booked in Geneva, Zurich, Bologna, Paris and Berlin in February of 2015.

Tuesday
Dec232014

Call Answered: Conference Call with David Loud & Noah Racey: 92Y's Lyrics & Lyricists: A Good Thing Going: The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration

Noah RaceyDavid Loud"Call Me Adam" chats with Artistic Director David Loud and Actor/Choreographer/Director Noah Racey about putting together the opening show of the 45th Season of Lyrics & Lryicists. This year's opener is A Good Thing Going: The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration which will play at the 92nd Street Y from January 10-12 and feature a host of Broadway talent singing selections from the 1970-1981 partnership of Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince, taking the audience behind the groundbreaking musicals CompanyFolliesA Little Night MusicPacific OverturesSweeney Todd and Merrily We Roll Along.

Scheduled to appear are Broadway's Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Liz Callaway, James Clow, Jason Danieley, and Jeremy Jordan. Click here for tickets!

For more on the 92Y be sure to visit http://www.92y.org and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

1. From January 10-12, 2015, you are opening the 45th Season of the 92Y Lyrics and Lyricists series with A Good Thing Going: The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration. How did you two come to work together on this concert event?

David Loud: Noah and I have been friends since Curtains, the Kander & Ebb show that David Hyde Pierce starred in on Broadway. Noah was one of the leads and I was the Conductor, and our dressing rooms were on the same floor. You learn a lot about people when you are constantly encountering them in various stages of undressedness. We had a wonderful two years. Everything about that show was joyful and rewarding, so I try to work with people from that particular experience whenever possible. Noah has a great talent for physicalizing a song, and is just as skilled at working with singers as he is with dancers. He also seems to intuit everything I want to communicate, which saves time!

Noah Racey: I met David Loud working on the show Curtains. I was a part of the earlier work shops and readings and then we took it to Los Angeles for our out of town tryout at the Ahmanson Theatre and then through our year and a half run at the Hirschfeld theatre. He asked me a few years ago to stage a concert he was putting together and we have continued to work together in that capacity ever since.

2. How did you decide to start the 45th season off with this show?

David Loud: My previous shows at Lyrics & Lyricists were focussed on two terrific composers who are not exactly household names: Burton Lane, who had several major Broadway scores but never quite ascended into the Richard Rodgers - Irving Berlin - George Gershwin - Cole Porter pantheon, and Vernon Duke, an amazing and virtually unknown artist who had flop after disappointing flop, despite the fact that each of his scores contains a few remarkable songs. Both projects were the results of many months of research and arranging, and I loved doing them. For this season, Artistic Director Deb Winer asked me if I wanted to do something "a little less off-the-beaten-path," and I came up with the idea of a Stephen Sondheim show that was different from other Sondheim revues I’d seen or worked on: one that dealt specifically with the shows he created with Director/Producer Harold Prince. I do love the fact that for the Lyrics & Lyricists audience, a Stephen Sondheim evening is considered more "mainstream"…

Noah Racey: I think the obvious reason is that in our industry, for Lyrics & Lyricists, you can't find a more prominent, creative force than Stephen Sohdheim. Ever since his work on West Side Story in 1957, where he established himself as a leading voice in the new vanguard of Musical Theatre writers, he has been at the forefront of the art form in terms of musical sophistication and emotional depth in story telling. It makes perfect sense to have an evening that celebrates the work of the two men who brought those stories to life.

3. What excites you about being the premiere show of this special season?

David Loud: Nothing. It means I have less time to prepare and that I’ll spend all of Christmas orchestrating.

Noah Racey: It's exciting to take part in such a well established series. The audiences for Lyrics & Lyricists are extraordinarily knowledgeable about the material, they tend to know the work very intimately, so you feel at every point in rehearsal that they will recognize and appreciate the intricacies and detail you strive for in staging or interpreting the songs.

Jeremy Jordan4. How did you pick the performers for the evening: Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Liz Callaway, James Clow, Jason Danieley, and Jeremy Jordan? What excites you about working with them?

David Loud: I’ve worked with all of them before, and they are each truly extraordinary. Great voices, of course, and heavenly to work with, but they also have that essential ability to interpret a lyric in a way that’s fresh and clear. Sondheim songs often require the performer to feel contradictory emotions simultaneously, or to exist in an undecided state, or to change one’s mind in the middle of a thought. They’re complicated and particular and demanding, and I needed singing actors who could do that. How lucky am I to have assembled this astonishingly talented group of artists, each of whom said "yes" within minutes of being asked?!

Noah Racey: The beauty of working with David Loud is that the best of the best say YES! when he asks them to join us. And the man knows EVERYBODY! I have had the honor of staging quite a few concerts with him, and through that work I have learned to trust him completely when it comes to choosing which voices he wants to sing each of the pieces. So, to answer the first question, I did very little!

What excites me about working with these people? EVERYTHING. These 6 performers are supremely gifted, to pick one of their characteristics to praise is to overlook their most valuable asset...versatility. One of the wonderful things about this kind of concert is that it is an opportunity for the performers to do such a wide variety of work, in many instances much more than would be asked for in a typical show. And that is why having these particular actors is such joy. They all bring an astounding array of colors and energies to the table for us to pick from and to round it all out, their vocal chops truly can't be beat. Versatility is the definitely the ingredient that excites me most.

David Loud5. How did you decide which songs you were going to feature in the concert?

David Loud: Well first I wrote down all my favorite songs from the six shows they did together, but the 92nd St. Y, apparently, is not interested in producing a five-hour concert, so I had to cut a few. I wanted to pick songs that illuminated the essence of each of the extraordinary pieces that they collaborated on, and, of course, once the cast was set, I wanted to tailor it to them, as well. And I try to find an emotional arc for the whole evening…it becomes quite a jigsaw puzzle.

Noah Racey: Two parts popular demand, two parts personal affection. And then a healthy dose of what does Mr. Loud want to play with?

6. What do you hope audiences come away with after attending this evening?

David Loud: A deep appreciation of the six wildly different shows that comprise the Stephen Sondheim/Harold Prince collaboration. As the Artistic Director of this evening, my goal is to make you hear songs that you may think you know as if you were hearing them for the first time, and to try to explain why I think they’re so extraordinary.

Noah Racey: An appreciation not only for the talent and craft of Steven Sondheim, but for the extraordinary collaboration of these two men, because above all, Musical Theatre is a collaborative art form, it is at it's best when it is the melding of ideas between artists.

Bernadette Peters, David Loud, Parker Ease, Stephen Sondheim, and John Doyle at the closing night party of "A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair", Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter Keddy7. How have Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince influenced each of you? 

David Loud: When I was 18, I was cast in the original Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along. I was already a huge fan of Sondheim’s work, and the opportunity to be a part of a new show that he was creating with Harold Prince was, well, many things: thrilling, intimidating, challenging, heart-breaking…to watch these great craftsmen working on the show — writing, re-writing, editing, re-staging — for five weeks of previews was the greatest crash-course in Musical Theatre ever offered.

Noah Racey: Their work sets the bar for me in terms of emotional depth in lyric, Musical sophistication, and theatrical storytelling/conflict construction. Musical Theatre as an art form has been undergoing a steady transformation from simple music hall sketches and Vaudeville fun to elaborate, thought provoking, daring, exciting and substantial theatre; and it has been ushered forward through these changes and transformations by artists who asked more of it. Steven Sondheim and Harold Prince did just that, they asked more of the people who gathered together to share stories, they asked more of the music and the ears that would hear it; more of the subject matter and the minds that would digest it, more of everyone involved. We should aspire to do the same, ask more of each other.

Noah Racey performing8. If you had to pick your favorite song and show that they produced together, which ones would you choose?

David Loud: Impossible, of course, to choose an absolute favorite, but the duet at the end of the first act of Sweeney Todd, "A Little Priest" has always been on my list of major miracles. Funny, macabre, a beer hall waltz with impossibly clever lyrics that illuminates the entire British class system while playing rhyming games and furthering the story. It doesn’t really get any better than that.

Noah Racey: For over all score I have a huge affinity for Follies. I played "Buddy" in college (complete with bald-pate) and the first revival at the Belasco was my Broadway debut. I love the romance, the sense of nostalgia and desperate yearning to reclaim, the love letter to performers, all of it, it's my personal favorite of his scores. For a single song I would have to say "Weekend In The Country." The entire sequence is just breathtaking.

9. What has been the best part about working together? What have you learned from each other?

David Loud: Noah and I seem to have identical taste, which is hard to find in a collaborator. And he often will come up with an off-the-wall staging idea that would never have occurred to me — one that fulfills the song theatrically in a way that a more pedestrian choice would never have achieved.

Noah Racey: Finding people to work with where you can actually watch yourself growing is one of the most exciting aspects of working in theatre. So much of what we do is a question of taste, and you only discover that taste through an attention to detail. When you find people to collaborate with that mirror or compliment your sense of taste...well, that's everything to me. And then there's the fact that everybody is in love with him! David is one of those examples of the best of the best not bringing any kind of unnecessary "starch" or defensiveness to the creative table, his work speaks for it's self. It's no wonder he and John Kander get along so beautifully. For all the refining and searching we did in constructing Curtains it all felt like taking deep, relaxing breaths.

In working with David, I have learned so much about the art form of Musical Theatre. How inseparable all of it is; the staging, the lighting, the intro, the lyric, the melody, the tempo, the interpretation of all of it, it all must work in tandem. And for all of the pearls of wisdom he has given me (and there have been many), when someone as established and accomplished as David defers to your direction and takes constructive criticism from you, you are given the invaluable gift of learning to trust yourself.

Noah Racey tap dancing10. What's the best advice you've ever received?

David Loud: Do what you love. And if your gut tells you something, follow it.

Noah Racey: Do your homework.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose?

David Loud: Time travel. Is that a super power? I want to go back to the thirties and see a Gershwin show on Broadway!

Noah Racey: The dancer in me insists that it be the ability to fly.

12. If you could be any original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be?

David Loud: Pep-O-Mint.

Noah Racey: Probably raspberry.

13. If you could have a song written about your life, what are some key elements you would want to make sure the lyricist wrote into the song? For example, I've had two theme songs written for me...one for my past radio show and one for a live interview series I used to conduct. The key elements I wanted to make sure got written into each theme song was that I did entertainment interviews and then the lyricists wrote my theme songs around that idea.

David Loud: How lucky I am that my friends are my collaborators and my inspiration.

Noah Racey: It's about rhythm and timing, and letting go into the mystery.

14. How do you want to be remembered?

David Loud: As a good musician.

Noah Racey: Fondly.

David LoudMore on David:

David Loud has frequently collaborated with Stephen Sondheim. Among his many credits, Loud was the onstage pianist of the original Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along, music director of Broadway’s Sondheim on Sondheim, and music director of A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair, a collaboration between Sondheim and Wynton Marsalis and starring Bernadette Peters at the New York City Center in 2013. For the 2011/12 Broadway season, David was both musical supervisor of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and conductor of the incidental music for Death of a Salesman, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. Among his other Broadway credits, he was music director of the original productions of Ragtime, A Class Act, Steel Pier and The Look of Love, and the revivals of She Loves Me, Company, The Boys from Syracuse and Sweeney Todd. This past November David was music supervisor for the world premiere of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Little Dancer, directed by Susan Stroman, at the Kennedy Center. He also has the distinction of simultaneously serving as a cast and artistic staff member of two Broadway shows: Terrence McNally’s Master Class, in which he played "Manny" and was musical supervisor; and Kander & Ebb’s Curtains, in which he played "Sasha" and was music director.

Noah RaceyMore on Noah:

Noah Racey, a performer, director, choreographer and educator, made his Broadway debut in the 2001 revival of Follies, and has since appeared in Thoroughly Modern Millie (for which he was also associate choreographer for Rob Ashford’s Tony Award-winning choreography), Never Gonna Dance and Curtains. Noah’s directing and choreographic work has been seen regularly in the Town Hall’s Broadway by the Year series, and for its 2007 summer Broadway Festival production of All Singin’! All Dancin’! He recently starred in Holiday Inn at the Goodspeed Opera House. Noah is founder and artistic director of the internationally acclaimed New York Song & Dance Company.

Tuesday
Dec232014

Call Answered: Conference Call with Joey Arias and Sherry Vine: Christmas with the Crawfords

Sherry VineJoey Arias"Call Me Adam" chats with Joey Arias and Sherry Vine about starring in Christmas with the Crawfords at the Abrons Arts Center in NYC (466 Grand Street) through December 27! Click here for tickets!

For more on Christmas with the Crawfords be sure to visit http://www.christmaswiththecrawfords.com!

1. This December you will be performing in Christmas with the Crawfords, a holiday show based on the actual Christmas Eve live radio broadcast of the Crawford family from their Brentwood mansion in the late 1940s. What excites you about starring in this show?

Joey Arias: I love the idea of a crazy Christmas gathering...Its an alternative to all the other shows. And it brings back the old days of Hollywood...that the new generation are forgetting about…its almost like a history class in movies and a time when the world was at war….And in this case the war begins at home...When Joan starts to slip when every thing starts to go wrong.

Sherry Vine: What excites me most is being onstage in a big theatre again! I love acting and playing with all these talented fools is pure joy!

2. Joey, it's been 12 years since Christmas with the Crawfords has played NYC. What are you looking forward to most about coming back to NYC with this show?

Joey Arias: I was thrilled to do this role again after 12 years. I was excited to work with Richard Winchester [producer] & Donna Drake [director]. And to see and work with Chris March and hopefully other members of the Original cast…unfortunately...Most could not come from San Francisco. Only Connie Champagne who plays "Judy Garland" did…Its all so exciting!

3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show?

Joey Arias: I hope most people walk out with a SMILE on there face. That the day they had was finished and they were transported into a world that we never knew…HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY!!

Sherry Vine: A pain in their gut from laughing so hard.

Sherry Vine and Joey Arias in "Christmas with the Crawfords", Photo Credit: Jim Moore4. Joey, you are playing "Joan Crawford" and Sherry, you are playing "Baby Jane Hudson" & "Hedda Hopper." What do you each of you identify most with about your characters?

Joey Arias: I feel like Joan Crawford because I actually walk around making sure everything is in order and perfect!!! I think of myself as perfection at certain times…when I'm getting ready to make an ENTRANCE or on STAGE!!!

Sherry Vine: Well, playing someone soooo much older than me is the greatest challenge. And of course not being pretty - the non-glam, old age make up takes hours!!

Cast of "Christmas with the Crawfords", Photo Credit: Jim Moore5. What's it like to play such icons? How do you feel you bring your own flair to your portrayals of them?

Joey Arias: HAD TO STUDY Joan Crawford to watch her facial expressions and the way she found the light…It's pretty tuff actually…because I want to bring her to life!! Not a cartoon..but you do have to go over the top because of the nature of this play….I'm exhausted after the show…It's scary when you realize that you've become this person…I look in the mirror and start to trip out…LOL. I'm looking at Joan...The movie Star!!!

Sherry Vine: Well for "Baby Jane" I felt a need to go method as that character is so iconic. I have to nail it and then of course heighten it a bit but I watched the movie over and over. "Hedda" was a bit easier as she's not so recognizable. I did watch and listen to her but tried to make that more my own.

Joey Arias and Sherry Vine in "Christmas with the Crawfords", Photo Credit: Earl Dax6. Since this show takes place during Christmas, what is your favorite part about celebrating the holidays in NYC?

Joey Arias: I LOVE CHRISTMAS in NYC…going to parties, getting all dolled up and meetings friends over a buffet & cocktails and having a laugh. The weather and fireplace and exchanging stories of the year gone by.

Sherry Vine: I love when all the cheesy over the top decor goes up. Of course the gorgeous windows at Barney's and all the stores over there. I also love the smell of burning wood, not Joey's teeth, but firewood and Christmas trees on the street.

7. What's the best advice you've ever received?

Joey Arias: The best advice I ever got was from PAUL MOONEY [comedian/writer/activist] was to "keep it real!!!"

Sherry Vine: Get the money first!

Sherry Vine as "Baby Jane" and Joey Arias as "Joan Crawford," promoting "Christmas with the Crawfords" at NYC's MAC store8. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose?

Joey Arias: My super power would be mind manipulation.

Sherry Vine: Would want to be mystique.

9. If you could be any original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be?

Joey Arias: It would be called BOYSENBERRY…The flavor of 2 seeds made into one!!! The taste is unbelievable!!! I could only get this at DU`PARS at the Farmers Market in Hollywood.

Sherry Vine: Cherry!!

10. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what would you put in it?

Joey Arias: My cocktail would be called Z CHROMOZOME….a bit of Vodka…a drop of Champagne…and ABSENT…!!! It would make you Dream!!!

Sherry Vine: I'd call it the VERY SHERRY! Silver pedron tequila with club soda and 5 limes!

Joey Arias, Photo Credit: Steven MenendezMore on Joey:

A fixture of New York City's vibrant downtown performance scene for 30-plus years, Joey Arias is a bona fide NYC icon. In 2012 he appeared in a headlining solo concert at Central Park Summer Stage and played the Southbank Centre in London as part of the Antony Hagerty-curated Meltodwn Festival. Then in October Z Chromosome, a short film starring Arias and directed by Manfred (Thierry) Mugler opened the 18th Annual Festival Chéries-Chéris in Paris. A regular headliner at Joe’s Pub, Arias consistently sells out his performances there to critical acclaim.

Joey originated the role of "Emcee" in Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity for 6 years in Las Vegas (which he co-wrote 3 songs) then returned to New York as the star and co-creator of Arias With A Twist with master puppeteer Basil Twist. The show was a critical and commercial hit and extended repeatedly for a total of 8 months at HERE Arts Center. The show toured to Los Angeles, Washington DC and Paris. The Arias With A Twist docu-fantasy premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and had it's US premiere at the 2011 TriBeca Film Festival.

In 2010 Joey returned to New York City with his first full-length concerts in over a decade. Joey Arias in Concert - featuring new jazz luminary Ben Allison and a band comprised of some of NYC's best musicians - played to sold-out houses for two weeks at Abrons Arts Center. A scaled down version of the show opened the Spiegeltent at Bard SummerScape in 2011. Joey has performed worldwide at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Freedom Theatre in London and on a transatlantic world tour into the cabaret clubs of Paris, Tokyo, Moscow, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Canada and England. On film, he has appeared in Mondo New York, Big Top Pee Wee, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Wigstock - The Movie, Flawless and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. Television credits include the infamous Saturday Night Live episode with David Bowie and Klaus Nomi, Ann Magnuson's Vandemonium (Cinemax), Elvira's MTV Halloween Special, HBO's Dragtime, HBO's Real Sex and Gayer Than Gay on VH1, along with numerous appearances on a wide variety of talk shows and programs. Additionally, Joey has produced several of his own recordings including Arias on Holiday, Strange Fruit, Jazzo Lozo, God Shave the Queen and live recordings of StarLust in BerlinArias with a Twist and Bar D'o in New York. A member of the original Groundlings, the LA-based improv comedy troupe, Joey trained where Larraine Newman, Paul Rubens, Phil Hartman and hundreds learned their craft before breaking out to international acclaim. For more on Joey be sure to follow him on Twitter!

Sherry VineMore on Sherry:

Sherry Vine (Keith Levy) was accidentally abandoned by her family when she was 4 years old. But, fortunately, she was found and adopted by a very nice Amish family and raised outside of fashionable Harrisburg, PA. At 16, discovering she was actually Jewish, she ran away to Las Vegas to become a "showgirl" and the rest is herstory. Having established herself as one of NYC's downtown darlings, Sherry also tours the world with her all live singing, comedy shows; performing regularly in Montreal, Berlin, Helsinki, Estonia and Sydney to name a few. Miss Vine is a founding member and co-Artistic Director (with Joshua Rosenzweig and Erik Jackson) of Theatre Couture, and has starred in all of their productions including; the smash sold out hit Carrie, Doll, the Off Broadway hit Tell-Tale, Charlie, Kitty Killer, The Final Feast of Lucrezia Borgia, e.s.p. and The Bad Weed ‘73. Sherry can be seen in numerous films; Welcome To NY, Wigstock, The Raspberry Reich, Stonewall, Charlie, Scream Teen Scream, and Francesca Page. Miss Vine got to strut her stuff on Project Runway and has become an international YouTube sensation with her hysterical video parodies that have been viewed over 10,000,000 times! Most recently, Sherry has been starring in and writing a variety show called She's Living For This on Here TV. Season Two is currently airing. Her new state-of-the-art website contains all of her videos, songs, blog, pictures, merchandise and a full schedule of appearances. For more on Sherry be sure to vist www.SherryVine.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

Monday
Dec222014

Call Redialed: Graham Alexander: Repeat Deceiver

Graham Alexander, Photo Credit: Christina Sees"Call Me Adam" catches up with singer/songwriter Graham Alexander to talk about his sophomore album Repeat Deceiver which was released on December 19! Click here to purchase on iTunes and here for a physical CD!

For more on Graham be sure to visit http://www.graham-alexander.net and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instragram and Soundcloud!

1. On December 19, you released your sophomore album Repeat Deceiver. What are you looking forward to most about this release? Well....quite honestly the #1 thing I look forward to about this album is playing it live (also...finishing what was seemingly a never ending series of sessions that made up Repeat Deceiver). We are excited to promote the album despite its macabre feeling in title, and appearance--most of that has an underlying "freedom" from deception mantra. Across a platform of so so so many things in life, really.

2. How did you come up with the title of the album? I wrote the song first and then it was determined that the rest of the songs were thematically applicable to the rest of them....so it made sense. "Repeat Deceiver" was such a wonderful phrase (I felt) and in two words it described how I felt about so many aspects of the modern age. Is there a day that goes by that you *don't* hear about deception?

3. When you were thinking of recording your sophomore album, what goals did you set to achieve with this recording that you did not get to achieve on your debut album? I didn't set any goals, really. I think you just learn what you like and what you hate and then turn all of that on its head and try to create something that really breathes and makes you excited to listen to it. It's like...I suppose…to me at least, setting goals for an album of any tangible value sort of eliminates the possibility of it being anything you could ever a. enjoy, b. promote with love for it and passion and c. creatively be satisfied with. I say CREATE and perfect as much as possible but try not to shove the project in a box.

Graham Alexander and his band, Photo Credit: Christina Sees4. What was the best part about the making of this album? What was the most challenging? Finishing it. HAHAHAHAHA.......YEA....finishing the album was the absolute best part. Although notable highlights for me also include the live band stuff we did for things like "People Are Only Sorry When They're Caught" and "Third Wheel," which we recorded very much live (like the olden days)…together in a room. Very raw.

5. Aside from this being a new recording, why should fans be excited for Repeat Deceiver? It's my favorite album thus far that I've ever been involved with and my team and I feel we've really created something realllly unique and really enjoyable to listen to. We spent so much time to make sure we weren't cutting a single corner on the production. You hear real violins, cellos, trumpets, saxophones--humans--playing music. It's really a rare album in 2014/2015 and part of an overall plan to bring more substance from a drooping 100+ year old industry. These songs are handcrafted. There aren't any formulas we follow. We don't hire outside writers to churn out the next pop hit. The songs are from us. The music is from us and it's our absolute passion for almost 2 decades now.

6. How do you feel you've grown as an artist with this album? Ya know...I'm not sure how an artist grows really. I would say thinking about it too much might stunt creativity. I feel like thinking about things too much often ruins them like having 6 people try to write a joke. Eventually there are so many punchlines that the concept of the whole thing is dead in the water.

7. In addition to recording your sophomore album, you also reorganized and reincorporated RCA and merged your production and administration facilities with them. What made you want to take on this venture and what have you enjoyed most about this side of the business? Well....the first thing my production company LAIR did was to acquire a bunch of essentially ancient brands including some early record labels (and imprints) because, of course, RCA Records was sold off from the Radio Corporation of America (RCA Corp.) portfolio (to Sony) years before we were able to re-organize it. Because I'm from Victor Talking Machine Co.'s hometown (the very first major record company), I cared more about seeing that restored since it had more historic value for me personally than the later RCA Records division. So once we organized that together with our other brands we decided to dissolve LAIR as the parent holding company and return VTMC (and our other brands which include brand holdings in musical Instruments, pro audio, and apparel) to its parent (which of course GE bought in 1986 and subsequently sold off bits and pieces of...holding the company as a shell until recently).

Graham Alexander performing with his band, Photo Credit: Christina Sees8. Since the album is called Repeat Deceiver, what is an event in your life you would want to do over and over again and have you ever deceived someone? I don't think there is a single thing I've ever experienced that isn't better off a memory HAHAHAHAHA and by that I mean…I love the past BUT it's the past for a reason. Society should move as progressively out of the status it is in at all times and oddly that occasionally means peeking into the past to see what went wrong and how we can all make it better. I know that probably sounds pretty hypocritical coming from the artist releasing a record through a 115+ year old company, but I suppose thats the irony of progression sometimes…and occasionally, you don't know what you've got till its gone. And sadly, even more occasionally, it's not gone because of a natural progression of events.

9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I'd say the power to sleep. At this point. I can't stop my brain these days!

10. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Cherry! but it stains your face.

BONUS QUESTION:

11. How do you want to be remembered? By having done something that makes people happy! I'll keep you updated if that happens!

Graham Alexander, Photo Credit: Christina SeesMore on Graham:

With a style incredibly eclectic and signature, Graham Alexander's life has been dedicated to performing, composing and producing music from an early age. Graham's upbringing brought in an incredibly diverse palette of pop artists from Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra and American folk music of the early 20th century, to Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and 2Pac. Born in a severely depressed post-industrial Camden, N.J., Graham's first guitar was picked from the garbage on account of not being able to afford one on his own. From that point, he and music of every kind became inseparable.

Having grown up with the birth and progression of the internet (and the vast media availability it granted the world), Graham never saw music as something that needed to be genre-based. As a songwriter, he preferred the freedom of writing what struck his mind as interesting at the moment rather than adhering to a trend. This fearless and rebellious attitude towards genre bending pushed him to produce and self release his first album in 2011 to rave reviews (quickly becoming a cult classic). Critics and fans alike lauded the album for its neo-retro sensibility coupling irresistibly catchy songs with organic and incredibly detailed production. Spotify's top 100 songs chosen by fans playlist even included the first single from the album "Biggest Fan" at #6 in its 2011 list. Shortly after, Graham Alexander with his band toured in support of the album, building the brand one set of ears at a time.

Graham formed his band of nearly 15 years while he was still in middle school--a rare feat in this day and age. Their commitment to touring and their history at such a young age makes Graham Alexander & Co. an incredibly special phenomenon in the live music world today. Additionally, they pride themselves on performing without the assistance of sequences or backing tracks that are all too common in live acts today. In addition to his career as a solo artist, Graham's passion for performance was nurtured by his work on Broadway as an actor, musician, and musical director in various productions at the Neil Simon, Brooks Atkinson, and St. James theaters in New York City.

In 2013, Graham reorganized and reincorporated 'Radio Corporation of America' returning it to Camden, NJ. In 2014, Graham merged his production and administration facilities while developing products for the company’s Victor Talking Machine Co., Victrola, His Master’s Voice, and Little Nipper brands.