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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in Broadway (300)

Saturday
Mar012014

Call Answered: Facetime Interview with Cass Morgan of Broadway's The Bridges of Madison County

Cass Morgan"Call Me Adam" went backstage with Broadway actress Cass Morgan to talk about starring in the new Broadway musical The Bridges of Madison County, currently playing at The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in NYC (236 West 46th Street). 

For more on Bridges of Madison County be sure to visit http://bridgesofmadisoncountymusical.com and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube! Click here for tickets!

 


Interview with Cass Morgan:

Cass MorganMore on Cass:

Broadway: MemphisMary PoppinsRing of FireBeauty and the BeastThe CapemanThe Human ComedyPump Boys and Dinettes (co-creator), Hair. Off-Broadway: The ImmigrantFloyd Collins. Regional: 1776, Saint- Ex, Music Man (Geva), Emmet Otters Jug Band Christmas (Goodspeed), Cabaret, Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Das Barbecue, Children Of Eden.

Friday
Feb282014

Call Answered: Anne Bobby 54 Below Interview

Anne BobbyFrom NBC's Mad About You, "Call Me Adam" chats with Broadway and Television actress and writer Anne Bobby about her upcoming 54 Below show, entitled The Songs That Came In From The Cold, on Tuesday, March 4 at 7pm! Click here for tickets!

Gathering discarded gems from thirty years of workshops, out-of-town tryouts and black-boxes, plus a few new favorites, Anne will sing songs from Alan Menken to Randy Newman, Marc Blitzstein to Bruce Springsteen, as well as should-have-been-hits from Steven Lutvak, David Spencer, Jimmy Roberts, Keith Herrmann, Daniel Maté and more. She'll be joined by special guests Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), Evan Pappas (My Favorite Year), Laura Dean (Chicago), Frank Vlastnik (The Sweet Smell of Success) and Shannon Ford (Chaplin). 

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Mostly, it was the only place I wasn't picked on. I was pretty much a loner as a kid - I had four real friends growing up, with two of them being my siblings and another being a cat I fed. This isn't a pity party sort of thing - I was a nerdy kid who found her interior life a hell of a lot more interesting that what was going on around me. Other kids caught on to that pretty quick, and I got teased for it, but performing was my refuge. I think it was the one place where my interior world met with the outside. Thank God I had parents who not only nurtured that part of me, but also knew not to stop me when I had the opportunities to perform, though it must have been stressful as hell for them. I don't know how they did it - I think it's one of the reasons I've never wanted children; I don't think I could survive raising a kid like the one I was. My heart's not strong enough.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Anyone who is still learning, who is still growing as a person. Honestly - I could rattle off a wish list, but the people I admire, who I most want to work with, are people who love what they do and love how it informs their life. I'm spoiled in that I've worked with so many great people who lived - continue to live - with that mindset.

If I was really pressed for a short list? Oy - I'd say Michael Mann, David Eagleman, Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Rylance, Naseeruddin Shah, Tim Minchin, Elizabeth Warren, Banksy. They're not as disparate as they sound - they're all so passionate about their work, such inspirations in their chosen fields. They're certainly already a huge part of my life - I'd love to find a way to collaborate with them.

3. On Tuesday, March 4 at 7pm, you will be making your solo cabaret debut at 54 Below. What excites you about this upcoming concert? Spending time with songs that have become like friends to me, playing them with people I love so much, sharing them with a community that's been my family since I was thirteen...what's NOT to be excited about?

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing you at 54 Below? A lot of the songs in my show go back twenty, twenty-five years. They come from shows that very few people got to see - a few of them never had public performances at all! It would be amazing if spotlighting these songs for a night leads to renewed interest in the people who created them.

5. Why is 54 Below the perfect venue for your show? The short answer is the brussels sprouts, but the longer answer is that - I don't know...maybe it's that I was such a nerd as a kid, maybe it's that I've always been challenged and grateful for my close friends, but I seek out friends and family wherever and whenever I can. 54 Below is a place where I find I'm most comfortable, surrounded by people who love what I love...And I'm not just talking about exploring musical theatre, or cabaret - I'm talking about exploring OURSELVES, through song, and exploring how the music in our lives shapes us. Helps us grow. Makes us better people.

To say nothing of the fact that Jennifer Tepper sets the standard for Musical Theater nerds everywhere, and has provided a home for all of us to not just enjoy each other, but to be challenged by each other. If you think of Broadway as a university, 54 Below is a collaborative sort of Independent Study, where the Grad students get to hone their craft and challenge each other.

And the brussels sprouts really are amazingly good.

Anne Bobby Singing6. Your show is titled The Songs That Came In From The Cold. How did you come up with the concept and title for the show? I knew I wanted to do the show when we were past the worst of winter. Given the winter we've been having, I probably should have scheduled this for Memorial Day Weekend, but who knew that back in November?

I also thought about the songs I always said I would do if I had an opportunity like this - I've got a lot of years of workshops and gigs and auditions under my belt, and in those years I've collected some songs that never saw the light of day. Songs that have been lost, or forgotten, from shows that never quite got as far as I would have hoped for them. And I started to think of those songs as just sort of hibernating, waiting to come out of their deep freeze and into the light I've always held them in.

Some of these are songs that are kind of hiding in plain sight, too. There's a great song I'm singing that I've been doing at auditions for years, and it never ceases to amaze me that people are forever asking me who wrote it - because it's actually off what is considered by most people one of the best albums ever made. It's just a song people...sort of miss, I guess. It happened just the other day, actually - someone asked me why _________ never recorded it, and I was like, "Um. He did." (I won't tell you what the song is, it's a surprise - a good one!)

7. You made your Broadway debut at 16 years old. Looking back, what did you enjoy most about this time? What went through your head on opening night? I always knew to never not be aware that I was living an absolutely magical life. I'm so glad I had that foresight, because my memories of that time are vivid, actually, indescribably so. It's hard to talk about a whirlwind in a sentence; it kind of has to be felt that way.

There were scary moments, hysterically funny moments, painful moments. And always, always the precision of doing the show, saying the lines, hitting the marks, hearing the laughter. And then getting on the bus back to Jersey. In New York. On Broadway. In 1984. I've actually started writing a Young Adult book series about it. The first book's nearly done; soon as I finish the script I'm working on now, I'll get back to it.

Anne Bobby with "Lola"8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? In a lot of ways - most ways, actually - I'm still that nerdy kid with the interior world. Performing has continued to be a welcome outlet, but over the years it's been informed by all the other ways I've found to thrive - my books, my plays, my animals, my friends...my life.

I've always said that there's a sort of theorem to acting, and performing in general. Actors recreate life; the more you live, the more experiences you have at your disposal to recreate, the better your chances of being a great actor.

Every part of my life informs my performing. Every part of performing informs my life. It took a long time for me to catch up with myself, but I'm glad I finally did!

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Never use soap on your face; makeup comes off with hot water and moisturizer. And there's no such thing as not enough money for a good book.

10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? What a great question! Growing up, I used to wish for the power to instantly know the answer to any question I had. Over time I learned how the acquiring of knowledge is just as satisfying as the obtaining answers - kind of how I feel about rehearsal, by the way; I could rehearse forever, I swear. Now...? I'd say what I would wish for was the ability to take away shame; too much suffering in the world comes as a result of it.

Anne BobbyMore on Anne:

Anne Bobby made her Broadway debut at 16 and a year later starred in Marvin Hamlisch’s cult classic, Smile. She is known for roles on TV's Mad About You, Cop Rock, Law & Order, and As The World Turns as well as such films as Happiness, Born on the Fourth of July, and Nightbreed.

Friday
Feb282014

Call Answered: Jim Brochu Character Man Interview

Jim Brochu"Call Me Adam" chats with award winning actor and playwright Jim Brochu about his new Off-Broadway one man show Character Man, a salute to the memorable character actors of Broadway, filled with hilarious theater stories and touching personal recollections. Sprinkled with juicy backstage lore, the show spotlights the careers of, among others, Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, Jackie Gleason, George S. Irving, Barney Martin and Brochu’s own mentor, two-time Tony Award-winner David Burns.

Character Man plays at Urban Stages (259 West 30th Street) through March 30. Click here for tickets!

For more on Jim be sure to visit http://www.jimbrochu.com!

Jim Brochu in "Character Man"1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was very lucky to have born at the right time (mid 20th Century) and the right place (New York City) to be able to witness some of the greatest actors ever born up close. My father was a widower who loved the theatre and so he would take me to Broadway shows at least once a week while I was growing up. He also had many friends in the theatre and so the backstage became as familiar to me as the front of house. There was an electricity in the theatre that I never felt anywhere else on this earth and I knew at an early age that it was a world of which I wanted to be a part. My father was a friend of Ethel Merman and so, seeing her in Gypsy, I aspired to do what she did. But then within a month I would get to see performers like Jackie Gleason, Walter Pidgeon, Rex Harrison, Gwen Verdon, Robert Preston, Richard Kiley, Alfred Drake and watched as the audience bathed them in thunderous applause and standing ovations. When I was 13 I gathered all the kids in my Bay Ridge neighborhood together and produced, wrote, directed and starred in a musical review. When I heard that applause and got my own standing ovation, I was hooked.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I always love working with actors that make me better. Acting is like a tennis match and the better the player, the better the game. I’ve had the wonderful fortune of working with some of my heroes already, most of whom are gone now. I know Nathan Lane and would love to work with him sometime. Also Bryan Cranston who I think is one of the greatest actors EVER!

3. What made now the right time to write and premiere Character Man? Because the old Broadway is disappearing. There are no more Merricks, Fosses, Champions, Bennetts, Mostels or Mermans. I feel like I was a witness to theatre history as well as being a link in a chain of character man. If my life is a play, I think I’ve just begun act three and wanted to tell this story while I still had the time and the energy before the curtain comes down.

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? Just what I always came away with after a show…that the theatre is a great place to spend a few hours. Perhaps an appreciation of a time gone by populated with characters, the likes of which we will never see again. I hope the show brings these performers back to life through their work and through their music and I hope audiences leave the theatre with a smile on their face, a tear in their eye and a song in their heart.

Jim Brochu in "Character Man"5. Why is Urban Stages the perfect venue for your show? Every theatre is more than the brick and mortar of a building; it’s the people committed to presenting new works that change people’s lives. I don’t believe anything in the world has the power to change people more than theatre. I know it’s true of myself.   The people who have dedicated their lives to Urban Stages –like its founding artistic director Frances Hill and producer Peter Napolitano have great passion for theatre. Their enthusiasm is contagious. Urban Stages gives tremendous support to us playwrights and actors to create an encouraging, safe atmosphere for an artist. Frances and her staff are some of the most fervent, talented artists I have worked with in  a career that is now approaching 45 years. It’s also a perfect venue because I can walk to work.

6. What was the best part about going back through your life to come up with the material for Character Man? What was the hardest part? The best part was reliving memories while going through a lot of photographs from when I was first starting out. I knew all the character actors I celebrate in this show. They touched my life in a very personal way - being mentored by David Burns, making my first television commercial with Barney Martin, learning how to deliver a joke from Lou Jacobi, timing from George S. Irving and how to create a life in the theatre from Charles Nelson Reilly. The hardest part was feeling that I would never live up to their legacy and realizing just how much I still miss them all these years later.

7. You were also the writer and star of Zero Hour, about theatre luminary Zero Mostel. Looking back, what did you enjoy most about writing and performing this show? Zero is one of the actors I talk about in Character Man. I first met Zero through David Burns when he was appearing in Forum. He was a complicated man whose life was filled with obstacles, personal, political and profession, that he overcame with courage, style and humor. I had been compared to Zero since my high school days and as I was approaching the age he was when he died (62) I thought it was the right time to create a play about him. The play wrote itself and one of the great joys was that it brought so many new friends in to my life, most of whom were friends of Zero. A lot of them came to the theatre with arms crossed thinking "Who is this putz who thinks he can pull off Zero Mostel?," like Theodore Bikel, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara and Doris Roberts. We are all friends now. I used to start the show with my back to the audience at an easel because Zero considered himself a painter first. I used to love to hear the audience gasp when I turned around. There is no feeling in the world like knowing you have moved people to laughter and tears. And I think more than winning the Drama Desk or the Helen Hayes Award was the night that Zero’s son Josh Mostel saw the show, came backstage and said, "You got him!"

8. What's the best advice you've ever received? Two things. The first was given to me by a teacher who saw I could do many things reasonably well and it was to focus. Not to try to do everything in an average way but to find the greatest talent and be excellent at it. And an agent who once told me that if I was serious about a career in the theatre, I had to do something to nurture it EVERY DAY, without exception.

Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel in "Zero Hour"9. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer and playwright? They are two very different dynamics. Being a playwright is a very solitary, almost lonely profession. You sit by yourself with nothing but an idea, a pen and a piece of paper. Then when the play is finished it attracts the army of producer, director, designers, stage managers and stage hands to fully realize your idea. It’s always been fulfilling to me as a playwright that my thoughts have turned into jobs for people that I had never known before who became very important in my life. As an actor, there is no happier place on earth for me than being on a stage in front of an audience. Playwrighting is theory, performing is the proof of your pudding. There is no more rewarding feeling in the world that to write a joke, think it’s funny and then hear an audience explode with laughter. It makes all the lonely hours worth it.

10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I’ve always wanted to be able to fly. Maybe I’ll do Peter Pan one  day. But of course a character man would rather play Captain Hook.

Jim BrochuMore on Jim Brochu: 

Jim Brochu is the only actor in America to win New York’s Drama Desk Award, the Washington D.C. Helen Hayes Award, the Los Angeles Ovation Award and Florida’s Carbonell Award. He won these prestigious honors for Zero Hour, which he wrote and in which he portrayed the great Zero Mostel for over six hundred and fifty performances across the United States and Canada. Jim has appeared on Broadway in many special events, including Brigadoon, playing Andrew McLaren in opposite Christine Ebersole and Len Cariou, and Oliver!, taking on the role of "Mr. Brownlow" to Brian Stokes Mitchell’s "Fagin." Most recently Jim played Broadway's legendary Palace Theatre starring opposite Tony Sheldon in Broadway Backwards 8, directed by Robert Bartley. In Washington, DC he was "Willy Clark" to Theodore Bikel’s "Al Lewis" in Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys and Harry Binion opposite Eddie Albert in Room Service. Brochu made his Off-Broadway debut in the 1968 American Place Theatre production of Endicott and the Red Cross by Robert Lowell, followed by Ephraim Kishon's Unfair to Goliath at the Cherry Lane. Recently, he starred in the Off-Broadway revivals of The Man Who Came To Dinner as "Sheridan Whiteside" and as "Sir" in The Roar of the Greasepaint; The Small of the Crowd at the York. He is the author of two books, ten plays and three musicals (The Last Session, Manhattan Clam Chowder and The Big Voice: God or Merman?) written with his partner of 30 years, Steve Schalchlin.

Tuesday
Feb252014

Call Answered: 54 Below Facetime Interview with Tony Award Winner Beth Leavel

"Call Me Adam" sat down with Tony Award winner Beth Leavel live at 54 Below to discuss her upcoming 54 Below debut on February 26 at 7pm and March 3 at 7pm. Click here for tickets!

 

 


Beth Leavel performs + sits down with Call Me Adam:

Beth LeavelMore on Beth:

From her Tony-winning, scene-stealing performance as the title character in The Drowsy Chaperone to her Tony-nominated performance in Baby, It’s You! to leading the cast of Mamma Mia! in spandex and spangles, Beth has become one of Broadway’s favorite leading ladies. She has also starred on Broadway in Elf, Young Frankenstein, The Civil War, Show Boat, and both original and revival productions of 42nd Street!

Tuesday
Feb042014

Call Answered Again: Marta Sanders Be My Valentine Interview

Marta SandersMAC & Bistro Award-winning vocalist Marta Sanders will return to the Laurie Beechman Theatre with a special Valentine's show, Be My Valentine, for two performances only: Saturday, February 15 at 7pm & Sunday, February 16 at 1pm. She will be accompanied by Musical Director John McMahon on the piano. This show is staged & directed by Debra Zalkind. Click here for tickets!

Marta will also be co-hosting Salon, the multiple award winning weekly open mic, at Etcetera Etcetera (352 West 44th Street) on Sunday, February 9 from 7pm-10:30pm, created and hosted by Mark Janas. The theme of the evening is All Kinds of Love. Come get a sneak peak of Marta on February 9 at Etcetera Etcetera, then join her on February 15 & 16 at The Laurie Beechman Theatre for her show Be My Valentine!

For more on Marta be sure to visit: http://www.martanyc.com!

1. On February 15 & 16, you are returning to The Laurie Beechman Theatre with your new show Be My Valentine. What are you looking forward to about this upcoming show? I look forward to singing some new songs and some old chestnuts. I look forward to laughing with my friends, old and new.

2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Be My Valentine? I hope people will be lifted and relaxed after laughing and sighing at silly and loving characters and songs.

3. You have previously played The Laurie Beechman Theatre. What do you enjoy most about performing there? What does it offer you and your show that another venue might not? Kenny and staff have always made me feel at home. I appreciate that my audience can eat good food and see the show at an affordable price.

4. What made you want to do a Valentine's themed show? Because of my busy schedule as a tour guide, I have a small window when I can take the time to focus and rehearse a show. Winter months are slower for the tour business. I'd done my Christmas show for several years and wanted to do something different. People are looking for a lift during February so...

5. What is your secret to finding and keeping love in your life? Respect and laughter and holding hands.

Marta Sanders6. What are some of your favorite NYC locations for a romantic evening out? River Café, One If By Land, Mas (Farmhouse), Perry Street.

7. In addition to singing, you are one of the top tour guides in NYC, celebrating your 20th Anniversary. What does it mean to you to be one of the top tour guides? I get to be "in" the City every day. I get to experience fabulous events that are planned for my guests. I get to visit and know well, the world class sites that our millions of visitors travel long distances at great expense to see. I get to spend my days schmoozing and laughing with people from all over the world in the city that I love.

8. How do you feel you've grown over the past 20 years as a tour guide? How have you kept your tours interesting for you and those you show around the city? What I get to do is entertain, which is my talent and passion. I've been able to grow as an artist because I work my "chops" every day. Like doing a show 8 times a week for years, every audience is different. I'm seeing my city through fresh eyes, and changing attitudes about what the city is really like, not what they've seen on TV and movies and heard in the news. Also, there is nothing that is always the same when moving people through the city. Logistics is as important as the story and so every tour does a different schedule so that keeps me on my toes. I'm not on a double decker bus that does the same route day in day out.

9. If you could give a tour of NYC to any celebrity, who would you want on your tour? Mariska Hargitay.

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

Marta SandersMore on Marta:

In addition to her Broadway turn as an original cast member of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, MARTA SANDERS has been a fixture on the New York music scene, performing at some of NYC’s top venues including Les Mouches, Rainbow & Stars, The Ballroom, Metropolitan Room, Sardi’s, Upstairs at Greene Street, The Triad & Carnegie Hall. She has also performed internationally, from Russia to South America to the Caribbean. Her latest CD, Panache was named one of 2012’s top ten CDs, alongside such luminaries as Barbara Cook.

Not just another pretty face with a voice, Marta is celebrating her 20th anniversary as one of NYC’s top tour guides, leading tourists from Battery Park to Harlem, from theatres to monuments. Her "Welcome to New York" presentations include well known New York and Broadway songs, as she uses her humor & entertaining charisma to personally welcome guests to her beloved city.