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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in Broadway (260)

Wednesday
Oct022013

Margo Seibert: Tamar of the River/Rocky Interview

Margo SeibertMargo Seibert is an actress on the rise who's making her mark in New York City's theatre scene. She's currently starring in Prospect Theater's production of Joshua H. Cohen and Marisa Michelson's Tamar of the River through October 20 at Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue). Click here for tickets!

After Tamar of the River, Margo will be making her Broadway debut this February in Rocky as "Adrian" opposite Broadway favorite Andy Karl as "Rocky" at the Wintergarden Theatre.

For more on Margo be sure to visit http://margoseibert.wordpress.com!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? It's difficult to pinpoint one particular moment or person as I think my decision to perform was a cumulative effort, with much encouragement along the way. It starts with my parents cultivating my very active imagination, and instilling a love of music at an early age. Also I credit growing up in Howard County, Maryland, where the arts seemed to be viewed as intensely important, especially in the public school system. I was pretty sold in second grade after seeing a matinee of the Velveteen Rabbit at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia. I ended up working there a little less than ten years after I saw that production.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Working on an original piece of theatre is always a thrill for me, especially when I get to work hands on with the writers. I have had the opportunity to work with many emerging writers/composers and would like to continue to do the same. Looking ahead to the winter, the creatives assembled for ROCKY are a dream team for me. I am a huge fan of Ahrens and Flaherty and fell in love with Alex Timbers's work with Peter and the Starcatcher.

3. What attracted you to Tamar of the River? About 3 years ago, the ever generous Ted and Mary Jo Shen gave us the opportunity to work on Tamar of the River for a full two week workshop at Signature Theatre in VA. What astounded me and completely intimidated me from the get go was Marisa Michelson's music. We began working on the score together a month in advance at her apartment in Brooklyn. I was completely in over my head, and loved it. Now that we've been working so closely on this material for years, I finally feel like the music can live in me rather than being performed by me.

Margo Seibert and the cast of "Tamar of the River"4. What do you identify most with about "Tamar"? Without revealing too much about the show, I identify very much with "Tamar's" reconciliation towards the end of her journey. After all of her successes and mistakes, she asks "Did I make it better?" I think it's something that we all struggle with while we're here on this earth. Did our choices make any positive impact in the world? Will we be remembered?

5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I hope audiences come away moved by incredible musical landscape. I also hope they find themselves questioning the decisions of the characters....because we, well, I make some pretty questionable ones.

6. What have you enjoyed most about working with Prospect Theater Company? Prospect gave Tamar it's first chance to be fully realized on stage and for that I am ever grateful! Doing new experimental work is always a risk and Prospect dives right in when they see a story that needs to be told.

7. After Tamar of the River, you are going to be starring in Broadway's Rocky as "Adrian." What excites you about making your Broadway debut? What does it mean to you to originate this role on Broadway, made so iconically memorable by Talie Shire in the film? What are you looking forward to most about working with Andy Karl? I'm thrilled to be making my Broadway debut with Rocky! What excites me about this opportunity is not only am I able to originate this role on Broadway, which is a complete dream, but that the creative team took a chance on an 'unknown.' I hadn't had any previous connection with the piece, and didn't know anyone involved with the show. The fact that took this chance speaks to the heart of the creative team as well as to the heart of the show.

Andy Karl and I just found out that we actually grew up rather close to one another in Maryland and worked at the same dinner theatre! Not only do we share a lot geographically, but we both worked our way up the rungs with simple means. He's kind, he's honest, and so hard working. I think he's going to make an exceptional Rocky and can't wait to share the stage with him!

8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I've learned there is always more to learn. More theatre to love, more performances to by awed by, more ways to be humbled. I've learned vulnerability is not the enemy, but a damn good friend. I've learned that we are capable of more than we ever thought.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? You are your best investment. 

10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? There are so many amazing choices out there, flying, time travel, etc. But I'm a practical girl, and on a practical superpower level, I'd say it's a tie between making the G train come when I will it to, and unlimited access to everything at Whole Foods without it ever being reflected in my checking account.

Margo SeibertMore on Margo:

Since moving to NYC in 2010, Margo has made herself an invaluable addition to the emerging musical theatre scene; developing work at Playwrights Horizons, NAMT, O’Neill Center, New Dramatists, Ars Nova, and NYU. She has originated work for many award winning writers including: Adam Gwon, Josh Schmidt, Marisa Michelson, Gordon Leary and Julia Meinwald, Tom Mizer and Curtis Moore, and Jahn Sood and Max Mamon.

Her regional career has taken her all over the country from working with Mary Zimmerman at the Goodman Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre in DC, Two River Theatre, to Weston Theatre and more. Internationally, Margo was selected as one of 29 NYC actors for the Old Vic’s UK/US T.S. Elliot Exchange in London for a week of workshops with Kevin Spacey and premiere a new play on the Old Vic Stage.

Margo can be seen on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, on national commercials, and heard on the Naked Angels: Naked Radio podcast.

Sunday
Sep292013

Leigh Ann Larkin: Barry Manilow's Harmony Interview

Leigh Ann Larkin, Photo Credit: Jonathan ResslerFollowing her Broadway runs in A Little Night Music and Gypsy, Leigh Ann Larkin brings her talent to Atlanta, GA's Alliance Theatre in Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow's Harmony which runs through October 6.

Harmony is a spectacular new musical with an original score that celebrates the first sensational boy band: The Comedian Harmonists, six talented young men who came together in 1920s Germany and took the world by storm with their signature blend of sophisticated close harmonies and uproarious stage antics. Click here for tickets!

For more on Leigh Ann be sure to visit http://www.leighannlarkin.com and follow her on Twitter!

Hannah Corneau and Leigh Ann Larkin in Barry Manilow's "Harmony", Photo Credit: Greg Mooney1. You are currently starring in Harmony, Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman's new musical at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA through October 6. What initially attracted you to this show? The story. 100%. And also the strength of the character that I play, "Mary." It's not often in musical theater that a great story is told. Not to mention a story that people should hear and know about. Both the script and the score are just magnificent.

2. What has it been like getting to learn from Barry Manilow himself? Barry is incredible!!! So kind, supportive, and collaborative. He is also an incredible musician and an incredible talent. Barry knows how to write music and he knows exactly what works. People will be floored by his new music. It is very different from his pop anthology. It is musical theater music at its best. Between his music and Bruce Sussman's book and lyrics it is a brilliant and magnificent piece of theater.

3. What do you identify most with about your character "Mary"? Her strength. It seems like I do gravitate and play a lot of strong women! Lol! But she is also very smart, very knowing, and has a lot of heart.

Leigh Ann Larkin and Shayne Kennon in Barry Manilow's "Harmony", Photo Credit: Greg Mooney4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? An awareness of these six men, the women they loved, and what they all went through. I also hope that they leave humming some beautiful music. Each audience member will have a different emotional journey which is just one of the reasons this show is so special.

5. What do you enjoy most about performing at The Alliance Theatre? I love the art and passion that this theater celebrates!! The Alliance believes in the heart and soul of the theater which lends itself to making great art. It's an incredible place to work.

6. Tony Yazbeck, who was your co-star in Broadway's Gypsy is now co-starring with you in Harmony. What has been the best part about working with him again? It's always great reuniting with other actors that you know because you have already developed a professional rapport. He is very talented and adds his spark to every show. We have known each other for such a long time. Even before Gypsy! It's comforting to walk in a room, starting a new project and see a familiar face.

Leigh Ann Larkin, Photo Credit: Kristy Firg7. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That I will never ever stop growing. I will never stop striving to be better. I will always give 100%. I've also learned to appreciate the normal everyday things in life and to be very grateful for everything that I have. I love what I do so much and don't take a minute of it for granted.

8. What's the best advice you've ever received? To never, never give up and to be thankful for everything.

9. In this day and age of social media. How do you feel Social Media has enhanced your career? Oh boy! Lol! I'm kind of terrible at social media and definitely need to get better!! Any advice?:)

10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Probably to fly or beam myself somewhere. That would make things so much easier when it comes to seeing those that I love more frequently when I am away from them.

Leigh Ann Larkin, Photo Credit: Dave CrossMore on Leigh Ann:

Broadway: A Little Night Music ( Petra), Gypsy (Dainty June). National Tours: Disney's On The Record. Regional Theater: The Kennedy Center's Ragtime (Evelyn Nesbit), New York City Center’s Gypsy (Dainty June), Williamstown Theater Festival, Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, The York Theater. Cast Recordings: A Little Night Music, Gypsy, Disney's On The Record. Film/TV: Elementary, Lipstick Jungle, Flight of the Conchords, Remember to Breathe.

Friday
Sep272013

Rachel Klein: The Dead Dream Machine and Around The World in 80 Days Interview

Rachel Klein is a theatre director, choreographer and costume/production designer, recently coined "The Mistress of the Macabre" by Flavorpill. Her production of Around the World in 80 Days received rave reviews for both the production and Rachel herself ("Endlessly clever" New York Post, "inventive" by TheaterMania and "a new generation’s Julie Taymor" by Woman Around Town) and is currently running Off-Broadway at the New Theater at 45th Street (354 West 45th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

Rachel's latest production, Dead Dream Machine by Jake Thomas is an interdisciplinary horror anthology. The debut production at La Luz Art Space in Brooklyn (135 Thames Street) through October 13, features frightening and fun fast-paced nightmare scenarios, aerial acrobatics, video art, puppetry, magic and a terrifying twist on classical ballet. Click here for tickets! 

For more on Rachel be sure to visit http://www.rachelkleinproductions.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

1. Let's start with Around the World in 80 Days. What made you want to direct this show? Around The World in 80 Days was a great opportunity to put an interpretive twist on classic inspired material. I was attracted to the project because of both the time period, which I had a lot of fun playing with and glamming up, as well as the action-adventure structure of the piece.

I was able to infuse the piece with a Neo-Victorian edge, larger than life staging, and the convention of the actors weaving in and out narrative and characterization.

2. What did you enjoy most about staging this show in the newly renovated The New Theater at 45th Street? Having a newly renovated space to play in is always exciting. The Around the World in 80 Days design team was given an extraordinary opportunity because we had a blank slate to create from. The space now has panoramic Victorian murals, LED lights, state of the art sound…it’s amazing what we were able to do to bring this show to life!

3. What attracted you to Dead Dream Machine? An omnibus horror anthology? What’s not to love? This show is a series of small plays and vignettes, held together by a nightmare ballerina and ghoulish aerial performances. It’s a hybrid of one act horror pieces and a variety show…pretty intense to put together, but a breath of fresh air to see come to life.

4. What did you enjoy most about working with the cast and creative team of both shows? Both pieces comprise of performers from a multitude of backgrounds. My cast on Around the World in 80 Days was balanced out by classical actors, and hilarious improv comedians. Our original "Phileas Fogg," played by Broadway veteran (and all around awesome guy!) Bryce Ryness, was the ultimate straight man alongside the gorgeous and talented Shrine Babb. The world of hysterical characters unfolds around the romantic leads, and we hired some of the funniest actors ever to create these roles—the boys from the Nuclear Family (Jimmy Ray Bennett, Stephen Guarino, and John Gregorio), a long lasting improv show with an enormous cult following, brought the comedic joy to the show.

Cast members of "Dead Dream Machine", Photo Credit: Michael BlaseWith Dead Dream, we have actors, comedians, burlesque stars, a magician, aerialists, and a ballerina to bring Jake Thomas’s horror-scape to life. Each scene tells a different story, Tales from the Crypt style, and is threaded together using each performer’s various talents as the glue of the production.

5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing both Around the World in 80 Days and Dead Dream Machine? I feel that both pieces have their own very distinctive artistic voice. Around the World in 80 Days is a comedic romp, where as Dead Dream Machine (although having comedic moments) is an homage to short-form horror. Both provide a lot of eye candy, which of course I hope audiences respond to, but both leave one with a very different feeling.

Cast members of "Dead Dream Machine", Photo Credit: Michael Blase6. Dead Dream Machine is playing at Brooklyn's new space La Luz. What was it like to work in this new space? What does this space offer that another venue might not? The space is brand-spanking-new. The paint on the walls was still drying the night of our first preview. This space really upholds the Bushwick spirit of "we can do it!" which I really admire. The venue owners really believe in what they’re doing, and it’s incredibly refreshing.

7. Dead Dream Machine combines aerial acrobatics, video art, puppetry, magic & a terrifying twist on classical ballet. What's the best part about working with these different genres and make them work together? I love that there is always something to look at. It was a challenge to build it into a cohesive flow, but a joy to put together. I am so excited by the puppets—I had always wanted to work with puppets, and Elena Delgado’s creations have been a blast for us to breathe life into!

Cast members of "Dead Dream Machine", Photo Credit: Michael Blase8. What is it like to watch your artistic vision come alive from concept to execution? Nerve-wracking! There is a lot of pushing to get a vision from the page to the stage, and sometimes things are altered in the process. I always believe in my performers, in their energy and talent, to interpret the staging in ways I hadn’t even foreseen. 

9. How does it feel to adjust your artistic vision from time to time after it's execution? As with Around the World in 80 Days, when a show runs for a long time, it is inevitable that changes will occur. We have a new cast now (the wonderful James Seol, Guy LeMonnier, Matt Lutz, and Gary Littman) who have added their own touches and flourishes to the performance. It’s the same show, but a different show at the same time. I am proud of its continued energy, and am looking forward to seeing what’s next for it.

10. What other projects do you have on the horizon that you can talk about and get us excited about? I am working with the amazing Angela Harriell on a collaboration we have cooking, Carrie: Blood, Fire & Ballet, a sexy, dance interpretation of Carrie the novel, featuring the Love Show dancers. Stay tuned for details!

BONUS QUESTION:

11. What is something most people don't know about you? That I was once working as a trade show model at a Halloween convention in Chicago, whereupon I was dressed as a pink fairy princess and then acted as arm-candy to Dee Snider (Yeah, that’s right, from Twisted Sister). When we went into the haunted house technology portion of the convention, my fairy wings got stuck to a wall of animatronic zombie arms and Dee’s two bouncers had to pry me free.

More on Rachel:

Recent credits include the Mondo Cane Dance Commission from Dixon Place to create her dance and circus nightmare-scape, Symphony of Shadows and the critically acclaimed morbid fantasia The Tragedy of Maria Macabre. Rachel is set to direct the Off-Broadway-bound rock ‘n roll musical Gay Bride of Frankenstein, which she directed at the inaugural iStar Theater Lab, followed by an industry reading. Her other productions include Go-Go Killers! a 1960’s retro-futuristic dance drama about gang debs on the loose, All Kinds of Shifty Villains, a pulp noir portrayal of a man losing his mind and a Neo-Victorian interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She was nominated for an Innovative Theater Award for "Outstanding Director of a Play" and for "Outstanding Choreography/Movement," for the aerial musical spectacular, Circus of Circus at the House of Yes. Her choreographic work has been presented all over the city including at the Kitchen, La MaMa, Theater for the New City, DUMBO Dance Festival, Night of 1000 Stevies, legendary rock ‘n roll club Don Hill's, Galapagos Art Space, (le) Poisson Rouge, HOWL Festival and 45 Bleecker Street. Rachel holds a BA in theatrical directing from Columbia College, is the recipient of an Emerging Artist’s Residency from the Tides Foundation, is an alumnus of the International Director’s Symposium in Spoleto, Italy and is an Associate Member of the SDC.

Tuesday
Sep242013

Charles Busch: Ridin' High at 54 Below Interview

The legendary Charles Busch is a talent like no other. He's a playwright, actor, author, screenwriter, director, drag legend, and now a cabaret star. He is the author and star of such plays as the Tony Award nominated play Tale of the Allergists WifePsycho Beach PartyTimes Square AngelThe Lady in QuestionRed Scare on SunsetYou Should Be So Lucky, Queen Amarantha and Shanghai Moon. His show Vampire Lesbians of Sodom ran five years in New York and is one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history.

Now Charles is gearing up for his triumphant return to 54 Below in NYC with a brand new cabaret act called Ridin' High with musical director Tom Judson. Charles and Tom will be lighting up the stage at 54 Below on October 17 & 24 and November 7 & 14 at 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!

For more on Charles be sure to visit http://www.charlesbusch.com and follow him on Facebook!

Charles Busch cabaret act, Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff1. You are returning to 54 Below this October and November with your new cabaret show Ridin' High. What do you enjoy most about performing at 54 Below? I get a kick out of 54 Below because it was designed by great theatre professionals, so there's a certain intimacy and elegance to it. I just love the whole venue, especially faux 20's look. I love performing at 54 Below because when the show is over, I can walk off the stage, go into the kitchen, count to 10, and walk back out and hold forth by the banquettes where I usually bump into somebody sitting there (where as in a play, after the show's over, I go into my dressing room, get changed, but by the time I am done, most of the people I want to see are gone). I then get to meet everyone who has come to the show, which I throughly enjoy. It's like the second act.

Charles Busch backstage at a Palm Springs Benefit, Photo Credit: David A. Lee2. What do like about performing cabaret? I just love doing this cabaret work which I haven't done since the mid-90s. I used to work with a wonderful music director, Dick Gallagher, who played with so many great singers like Patti LuPone, but sadly, he died very young and after his death, I just stopped doing any sort of musical work and concentrated on my work in (with his famous Charles Busch accent) the legitimate theatre.

About a year ago, I sort of stumbled into this new chapter of my career because I suddenly got booked on an RSVP Gay cruise and had 3 weeks to get my act together. I went through some old material I had and songs I had done at recent benefits, but then I had to find a musical director. It had to be someone who would be fun to be with on a cruise. So I thought of my friend Tom Judson whom I had known for many years, not well, but I knew he was fun and I thought he played the piano [Laughs]. So, we did this cruise and we had a lot of fun and it really cemented our friendship, and it only took 30 years to do that [Laughs]. Then we started getting booked in different venues around the country for cabaret.

I'm very excited about this new act we are doing because it's truly fresh material as opposed to what I had been doing last year. I get to come to 54 Below with all new songs, new comic material, and new costumes. I'm just having a ball preparing for it.

Charles Busch at The Acorn Theatre, Photo Credit: Gary Ward3. How did you decide to title the show Ridin' High? [Laughs], just on whim [Laughs]. My opening song is Cole Porter's "Ridin' High," and I sing that song at the top of the show, so I made that the title of my act.

If truth be told, I don't really like to title my work, and while I'm known for having some pretty wacky titles like Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, they've always been an after thought for me. I don't think a title is necessary if you are selling yourself as a personality. People like having a title because it shows that you are presenting a new act and that's an important thing for the venue you are performing at and so audiences don't think it's the same act as the year before. I don't want people to think, "Oh I saw that old bat last year, why do I need to go see her again." [Laughs], so I put titles on my shows.

4. How do you feel your relationship with your musical director, Tom Judson, has grown since working on cabaret shows together? You know, he's proven himself, so I'm giving him more to do in the act [Laughs]. We are finding that when we sing together we sound better than when we sing separate, so we are doing two duets. We have great chemistry together and people respond well to it, so I'm developing that more. From our working together more, we really have become best friends and I'm just crazy about him.

Tom Judson and Charles Busch, Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing your cabaret show? I hope they come away feeling as though they know me better than before the show started. It's a very weird act I do. I perform my cabaret shows in drag and sometimes I wonder why I am in drag, because really, I am very much myself on stage. I get introduced as Charles Busch, then I come out looking like a very glamorous lady, but the stories that I tell are 95% true and when I sing my ballads, I try to sing as honest as possible, so it's really quite a revealing act, and yet I am in costume. I've thought about not being in drag, but there is something kind of fun about it and I think my audience enjoys me all dolled up, so I do it and it seems to work.

I do feel like cabaret is more of a feminine medium. Don't get me wrong there are some great male cabaret performers, but to me there is something about the glamorous lady nightclub star. The way my plays are able to parody a film genre at the same time as honor it, my cabaret act is similar. I'm doing this cabaret show, singing these songs, but at the same time I'm kind of commenting on the conventions of nightclub acts as well. I guess me being in costume adds to the artifice that I'm poking fun at the genre as well.

Charles Busch as "Judith of Bethulia"6. What have you learned about yourself and your career through cabaret as opposed to writing and starring in plays/movies? Cabaret has been very good for me. I was lucky enough to have a nice long run Off-Broadway in The Divine Sister. It seems to me, and the more I read about it, almost every actor who has a long career at somepoint develops stage fright. For me, it was about two years ago. It wasn't really stage fight as much as stage anxiety that I might possibly forget lines, which was awful to have to work through. I am not sure what it is about. So many people get it and if it phases out, you are very lucky.

So, I've tried very hard to put myself in situations to work through this. I believe that if you have a problem, try to do something about it. So, that's what I did. I put up Judith of Bethulia at Theater for the New City just for fun. I purposely did not invite any critics to see the show which was very helpful, but doing this cabaret work has been great for my stage anxiety. Even though my act is very rehearsed and I know exactly what I'm going to do, there is still a looseness to it. I do a lot of story telling and while I go over the stories a lot when rehearsing, they are free enough where I can suddenly embellish them a bit further when on stage. Talking off the cuff like that makes my stage anxiety less. I'm not that musically experienced and I used to get so nervous to have to learn a song and then sing it for the first time, but I've had do that a lot lately and the more I do something, the less scary it is.

I feel cabaret is looser than a play. I can make more mistakes and be forgiven for them. I was performing a show in Michigan last year, really screwing up the lyrics to the song I was singing, and I could have just continued on, but instead, I stopped, made a joke about it, and said to the audience, "I really love this song and I want you to hear it, just not screwed up, so I'm going to start it over again." People laughed and I went on from there, starting the song over. I like that flexibility.

I'm doing a new play this winter at Primary Stages, so I'm hoping this new calmer attitude will filter through that experience as well.

Charles Busch Portrait by Thomas Nash, in honor of Charles' being inducted into The Players Club's Hall of FameMore on Charles:

In 1988, he wrote a new libretto for the 1955 musical Ankles Aweigh for Goodspeed Opera and has also adapted the book of the Truman Capote/Harold Arlen musical House of Flowers for a tour with Patti Labelle. On film, he's appeared in Addams Family Values, It Could Happen To You and Trouble on The Corner. He wrote the screenplay and starred in the film version of his play Psycho Beach Party, which is available on video and DVD. In June of 1994, Charles starred in Charles Busch's `Dressing Up', a one night sold out extravaganza at Town Hall featuring guest stars Milton Berle, Beatrice Arthur and the late Charles Pierce. In 1995, he co-authored and appeared in a critically acclaimed run in the Off-Broadway musical Swingtime Canteen. 1997 saw him performing his one man show Flipping My Wig at the WPA Theatre and writing the book for the musical The Green Heart which was produced by Manhattan Theatre Club at the Variety Arts Theatre. During this time, Charles starred as the fabulous "Mame Dennis" in a memorable staged reading of Auntie Mame at the American Place Theatre along with Marcia Lewis, Kelly Bishop, Maxwell Caulfield, Juliet Mills, Barbara Feldon, John Davidson and the late Peggy Cass recreating her original role of "Agnes Gooch." In the summer of 2004 he once again played "Mame" in a full production at Maine's Ogunquit Playhouse and at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York. In 2000, Manhattan Theatre Club produced his play The Tale of the Allergist's Wife starring Linda Lavin, Tony Roberts, and Michele Lee. It was nominated for a Drama Desk for best play and won Charles the Outer Critic’s Circle John Gassner Award for Playwriting. It reopened on Broadway in November, 2001, was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Play and ran 777 performances. Charles starred in the film version of his play Die Mommie Die for which he won a 2003 Sundance Film Festival award for best performance. In the winter of 2003, Charles starred in a new production of his play Shanghai Moon for which he was nominated for a Lucille Lortel award and a Drama League Award.  He was also given a special award for career achievement at the 2003 Drama Desk Awards. For two seasons he appeared as "Nat Ginzburg" in the HBO series Oz. In 2004, Charles wrote the book to the Broadway musical Taboo. His first novel Whores of Lost Atlantis was published in hardcover by Hyperion Press and released as a Penguin paperback and republished in May 2005 by Caroll & Graf. In April, 2005 Charles reunited with his long-time stage partner, Julie Halston, for a Gala Benefit for the Actor's Fund of America at Broadway's Music Box theatre, entitled Charles Busch and Julie Halston, Together on Broadway. The evening featured the 20th Anniversary performance of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. Charles made his directorial debut with the film A Very Serious Person, which premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won an honorable mention. He directed L.A. Theaterworks' radio production of The Tale of the Allergist's Wife starring JoBeth Williams, Richard Kind and Amy Aquino. He appeared as a guest artist in the off-Broadway play Spalding Gray Stories Left to Tell. His play Our Leading Lady was presented by Manhattan Theatre Club in 2007 and starred Kate Mulgrew as the 19th century actress "Laura Keene." He performed in a revival of his 1989 play The Lady in Question with Julie Halston at The Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor New York in August 2007. The New York stage premiere of Die Mommie Die opened at The New World Stages for a limited engagement in 2007-2008 with Charles reprising his role of "Angela Arden." His play The Third Story premiered at the LaJolla Playhouse and was later produced in New York by MCC teaming Charles with Kathleen Turner. In June, 2009, Charles played the formidable "Lady Bracknell" in The Importance of Being Earnest for LA Theatreworks. In 2010-2011, he starred in his critically acclaimed comedy The Divine Sister and his play Olive and the Bitter Herbs premiered at Primary Stages in New York. He is also the subject of the documentary film The Lady in Question is Charles Busch.

Tuesday
Sep172013

Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana: The New York Pops and Ronald McDonald House New York Benefit at 54 Below

On Monday, September 23, 2013 at 54 Below, (254 West 54th Street), Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana will perform an intimate benefit concert titled Remember When…. The New York Pops Music Director Steven Reineke will host the evening beginning with a champagne reception at 5:30PM followed by dinner and a performance at 6:30PM. The evening is a joint benefit in support of The New York Pops Education Programs at Ronald McDonald House® New York, which provide creative outlets to the children and families in residence. Click here for tickets!

For more on:

The New York Pops: http://www.newyorkpops.org

Ronald McDonald House New York: http://www.rmh-newyork.org

54 Below: http://54below.com

Cinderella on Broadway: http://cinderellaonbroadway.com

1. On September 23, you both are participating in The New York Pops/Ronald McDonald House benefit concert "Remember When...," a concert benefiting the The New York Pops' Educational program at Ronald McDonald House in New York. How did you both get involved with this benefit? Santino and I were approached by Steven Reineke, who asked if we'd be interested in performing a duo concert together for this event. We eagerly said Yes!

2. What does it mean to you to be part of this special benefit concert? I have done a couple birthday concerts with the NY Pops at Carnegie Hall and am always thrilled to collaborate with them on any project. This one is special because we get to celebrate and honor their relationship with the Ronald McDonald house. I lost my mom to cancer two years ago and Santino has also had family members battling this horrible disease, so our hearts are deeply connected to the cause, especially its focus on children.

3. What are you looking forward to most about the evening? To be honest, Santino and I have discussed the idea of doing a concert together for a while now, so this was a perfect opportunity! And to do it all for such a worthy cause makes it all the more exciting and fulfilling.

4. What excites you about working with New York Pops' Musical Director/Conductor Steven Reineke? Steven not only possesses immense talent, but a tremendous respect and passion for music. Santino and I were honored to be personally invited by Steven to headline this special event. We are bringing in our musical director, Andy Einhorn, to accompany, arrange, and musically direct our concert, but Steven has been pivotal in overseeing the process and coordinating with 54 Below and the Ronald McDonald House.

5. What do you enjoy about performing at 54 Below? The venue is classy yet comfortable. The sound is superb, the food is delicious, and the intimate setting makes performing there such a treat!

6. What do you hope audiences come away with after attending this benefit? We hope to not only entertain but truly touch the hearts of our audience that evening. Our theme of "Remember When..." hearkens back to our childhoods. From playful songs that Santino and I each sang as youngsters, to heartwarming songs that conjure up some of our most special memories, there's sure to be a "remember when" moment that each audience member can relate to.

More on Laura:

Laura Osnes is currently starring on Broadway as the title role in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (Drama Desk Award; Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Astaire Award nominations). She also received a Tony nomination for her performance as "Bonnie Parker" in Bonnie & Clyde, which she originated at Asolo Repertory Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award).

Photo Credit: Janet Mayer / PRPhotos.comMore on Santino:

Santino Fontana was nominated for a 2013 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical for his work in Broadway's Cinderella. He was most recently seen Off-Broadway in Sons of the Prophet at the Roundabout (Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards). Broadway: The Importance of Being Earnest (Clarence Derwent Award), Brighton Beach Memoirs (Drama Desk Award), Billy Elliot, and Sunday in the Park With George.

More 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, and Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. 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 Fanfare, Legend 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 partner Eric Gabbard.