"Call Me Adam" chats with...
Entries in Broadway (316)
"Call Me Adam" catches up with actor Max Crumm about starring as "Matt/The Boy" in the hit Off-Broadway show The Fantasticks playing at Jerry Orbach Theater in the Snapple Theater Center (210 West 50th Street). Click here for tickets!
A modern twist on Romeo and Juliet, THE FANTASTICKS (music by Harvey Schmidt, book, lyrics, and direction by Tom Jones) is the quintessential story of a boy and girl who fall in love and then quickly grow apart when they realize they want to experience the world. The score, includes the hit songs "Try To Remember," "Soon It’s Gonna Rain" and "They Were You."
For more on Max follow him on Twitter!
1. Starting July 8, you joined the cast of the hit Off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks as "Matt/The Boy." What made you want become part of this show? Although I had not seen (or done) the show until a couple of weeks ago, I knew that The Fantasticks was one of those shows that everyone has either seen or been in at LEAST once in their lives! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with this incredible company of people in this legendary production!
2. What do you identify most with about "Matt/The Boy" and the story of The Fantasticks? To me, "Matt" is an artistic man child who loves adventure. That is what I identify most with.
3. What excites you about singing some of theatre's most well known songs? These songs are beautiful! That alone is exciting enough but I enjoy putting my own twist on them as well! There is something extremely rewarding to be able to take on these songs in this particular production!
4. What do you think you will bring to the role of "Matt/The Boy" that others have not? Hmm..I hope to bring a fresh goofy/grounded take on "Matt." I feel very similar to him. Hopefully I can bring a lot of myself to the role.
5. What are you looking forward to about working with this cast? These actors are SO hilarious and true! I can not WAIT to hop in there and play with them!
6. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Ha! Ummm...flight?
7. I know you are a big puppet fan. If you could be an Muppet, which one would you be? I would be Janice.
8. What do you want to be remembered for? I hope to be remembered for being a magically talented goof! :)
Recent credits include "Scott" in DISASTER! and "Christian" in F#%KING UP EVERYTHING, both Off-Broadway. Max is best known for playing "Danny Zuko" in the most recent Broadway revival of GREASE, having won the reality television show "Grease! You're the One That I Want!" He also appeared in the hit film EASY A.
Call Answered: Facetime Interview with Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White: 54 Below Birthday Show
"Call Me Adam" chats with Fred Ebb and Richard Rodgers award winning playwright Doug Cohen about his show The Gig which will be part of NYMF 2014 from July 15-24, playing at PTC Performance Space (555 West 42nd Street). Click here for tickets!
The Gig tells the story of a used car salesman, a dentist, a real estate agent, a financial advisor, a deli owner, and a teacher who put their careers and families on hold to pursue their passion – jazz – with their first professional "gig" in the Catskills. The results are funny, touching, and unexpected.
1. What made you want to write The Gig? I saw the movie on TV and had a very visceral, emotional response. It deals with the opportunity to live a dream and explore the road not taken, even if the timing is less than fortuitous. First and foremost, it follows six entertaining guys who have the capacity to feel tremendous joy through music, even though their interaction becomes more complex when the music stops.
2. What excites about you having this show be part of NYMF 2014? I had an excellent experience with NYMF in 2005 when I wrote the score to THE BIG TIME (with a book by Douglas Carter Beane). I love how the emphasis of NYMF is not on big production values but the material itself. Plus the opportunity to work with the very talented Igor Goldin (who is directing his eleventh show for NYMF) is a significant incentive.
3. How do you feel NYMF will foster this show in a way another festival might not? I’ve never been part of another NYC festival, but I like the way NYMF makes you feel like an integral part of the experience. They’ve chosen excellent venues this year and have been attentive to our needs. They have a strong marketing campaign and a great staff. We were honored to be part of their press launch and represented with an abridged version of our opening number.
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I hope people will be entertained and moved by the characters’ journey. It would be great if they’d consider their own choices in life and how important it is to take risks, even if the end result isn’t necessarily what you planned.
5. Since The Gig is about pursuing your passion, did you leave a previous career to pursue playwrighting or do you still have another passion you want to pursue? For eighteen years, I was an employment counselor helping people find jobs while I wrote musicals in my spare time. I got a keen sense of the 9-5 world and how important creativity was for my soul and sanity. I now teach song interpretation at the Neighborhood Playhouse, which is a great way to encourage students to embrace musical theater and understand how the best songs are really one-act plays.
6. What are you looking forward to about this cast bringing your work to life? I think I most look forward to their choices as actors, which illuminate the material. This is an exceptionally talented cast of actors who are also very giving and intuitive. I’ve made changes based on some keen observations, so I welcome the time we spend together in rehearsal as it strengthens the piece. They also work beautifully as an ensemble, which is how the show was designed.
7. You have one several awards and grants for your previous work. What do this recognition mean to you? Who doesn’t want to be recognized, especially in such a difficult field which is usually devoid of recognition? If an award gives credibility to the work and makes people eager to see it, then that in itself is meaningful.
8. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright? I was raised on musicals starting at the age of two, so I have to thank my parents for making theater an important part of my diet. My grandmother was a concert pianist, so her influence is keenly felt. But the idea of writing music and lyrics first occurred to me when I was cast in HANSEL AND GRETEL in the fifth grade and wanted to beef up my ancillary part by writing a song for the "narrator." Fortunately, my teacher encouraged me, and the score of H & G became 95% Englebert Humperdinck and 5% Doug Cohen!
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? I’m not sure I have an answer to that, although I truly admire Frank Gilroy’s fortitude. He never dwells on the negatives and instead always thinks "onward and upward."
10. What have you learned about yourself from being a playwright? Creating musicals takes time. You have to be willing to accept a significant gestation period, be humbled by workshops and early productions, and learn from people who may have the perspective you lack.
11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I definitely like the idea of popping in and out of locations, revisiting the past and exploring the future. Basically anything Elizabeth Montgomery did on BEWITCHED.
12. What do you want to be remembered? I think THE GIG contains more of me than other shows I’ve written, so I guess I’d like this musical to be my legacy.
Doug received the 2010 Fred Ebb Award and two Richard Rodgers Awards for writing No Way to Treat A Lady (produced twice off-Broadway and worldwide) and THE GIG (O’Neill Conference, Goodspeed). He penned scores for The Opposite of Sex (WTF) and The Big Time (book by Douglas Carter Beane) which debuted at NYMF. Drama Desk nominated for Children's Letters to God, Doug received a Jonathan Larson Grant for Barnstormer and contributed songs to Boozy directed by Alex Timbers. Nine Wives, with collaborator Dan Elish, debuts July 24-27 at the TriArts Sharon Playhouse.
"Call Me Adam" chats with MAC and Bistro Award winner Scott Coulter about directing Here She Comes Again: 54 Below Does Dolly Parton on July 27 at 9:30pm. This very special evening will feature the music of the legendary Dolly Parton as 54 Below (254 West 54th Street - cellar) pays homage to the talents of a woman who literally changed pop and country music forever. Click here for tickets!
In addition to Scott, featured performers include Lisa Asher, Carole J. Bufford, Tim DiPasqua, Natalie Douglas, Alex Getlin, Mary Lane Haskell, Jessica Hendy, Lisa Howard, Fay Ann Lee, Lucia Spina, Gabrielle Stravelli, and KT Sullivan.
1. On Sunday, July 27 at 9:30pm, you are directing Here She Comes Again: 54 Does Dolly Parton. What made you want to direct an evening of Dolly Parton music? I have always loved Dolly Parton. I was raised in Tennessee (grew up in Nashville) and country music has always meant a lot to me. For my money it's the only music (outside of Broadway) being written today that still focuses on melody and story and of all the country music songwriters Dolly reigns supreme.
2. For over 40 years, Dolly Parton has been entertaining audiences with her music. How did you decide which songs you wanted to feature? The thing I love about Dolly is that while she is a world-famous, iconic entertainer, it's her songwriting that truly sets her apart. In picking songs for the show I tried to choose material that showcased that fact. She's really an underappreciated master songwriter so while "9 to 5" is represented so is a perfect gem like "Down from Dover" which tells the heartbreaking story of a pregnant teenage girl waiting for her lover to return. It's an incredible song.
3. Why is 54 Below the perfect venue for your evening of Dolly Parton music? What does the space offer that another one might not? 54 Below is intimate and elegant and contemporary all at the same time. Dolly's songs are really musical stories and they are going to play beautifully in the space.
4. What excites you most about directing this evening and what challenges do you think you might face as the director? I'm most excited about having some of Dolly's biggest hits presented or heard in a new way. For example, "Jolene" is being sung by Fay Ann Lee, an incredible Asian-American actress. The song is about a woman begging her rival to leave her man alone. The lyric says the singer can not compete with Jolene whose
I think the idea of Fay singing this song will impact the song in a new way. And Fay's version is chilling.
5. How has Dolly Parton and her music influenced your own music? Well I've always been drawn to story songs and songs that take the audience on some sort of emotional journey. Dolly's music does just that.
6. Which Dolly Parton song speaks to you the most? Well, I must say I have always loved "I Will Always Love You." It's so simple and so right. And for me Dolly's version is -- and alway will be -- the best. I love me some Whitney but Dolly owns this song. I also really love "Down from Dover." That's such a killer song.
7. How did you pick the performers you wanted to par take in the evening? Who did you want to be part of this evening that wasn't available? The very first call I made was to Carol Hall who wrote The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I asked her to come sing "Hard Candy Christmas" and was very sorry to hear that she'd be away the night of the concert. I am a HUGE fan of Carol Hall. In fact, to this day the only fan letter I've ever written was to her.
Everyone else I asked said 'yes' so I'm a lucky guy. I asked a bunch of fiercely talented vocalists who know how to tell a story. That's what you need for an evening of Dolly Parton.
8. Since you are directing Here She Comes Again: 54 Does Dolly Parton, what do you get from directing that you do not get from singing/songwriting? What made you want parlay into directing? I guess I've been directing almost as long as I've been singing. I stared singing around four or five and directing shows for the neighborhood kids around six or seven. To me they've always gone hand in hand. I truly believe that every song is a story and it's up to the singer to make sure that story is being told. That's what a director does too. Plus, I like to arrange all the songs musically so I stick my hands in everywhere.
9. Who or what inspired you to become a singer/songwriter? I've just always been singing -- as long as I can remember. And my favorites have always been the ladies: Dolly Parton, Tina Turner, Olivia Newton-John, Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand, Julie Andrews, Linda Ronstadt, Whitney Houston, Oleta Adams, Bette Midler, Trisha Yearwood, Wynona Judd. God, that says a LOT about me, huh? I love them all though. They taught me how to sing. I sang along with them note for note, phrase by phrase.
10. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Dolly Parton. :) And I do love Trisha Yearwood and Wynona Judd.
12. What have you learned about yourself from being a singer/songwriter/director? I've done a lot of teaching over the last few years and I love it. I get to work with young performers -- late teens, early twenties -- a lot and I get excited by the journeys they are taking or are about to take. It reminded me of the path I took to get to where I am and how everything you do leads to the next thing, the next step. It's really amazing for me to look back and trace how I got from there to here. And most of it had to do with saying 'yes' time and time again.
From being a singer I've learned what a gift it is to be able to touch someone and move them in an honest genuine way. Music is such a healing force and I'm happy to be able to share in musical experiences.
13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I would love to fly. For me that's what singing is like and I would love to fly up, up and away.
14. How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as someone who smiled a lot -- and who loved to sing.
For his work in cabaret, Scott Coulter was awarded both the 2001 Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) Award, as well as the 2001 Bistro Award for Outstanding Male Vocalist. He received a 1997 Bistro Award for the revue Get Your Tickets Now! and his debut solo show won the 1998 MAC Award for Male Debut. Time Out New York picked Coulter’s Unexpected Songs as one of the "Best of 1999." Coulter’s self-titled debut CD won the 2003 MAC Award for Outstanding Recording and was chosen as the best recording of the year by Scott and Barbara Siegel of Theatre Mania and Jeff Rosen of Cabaret Scenes magazine. He won two 2007 Nightlife Awards including Outstanding Male Vocalist. Scott has appeared at Town Hall in the 1949, 1953, 1954, 1962, 1964, and 1968 editions of the popular Broadway by the Year series and can currently be heard on the Bayview recordings of the 1949, 1953 and 1962 performances. Other Town Hall appearances include Sentimental Journey: The Songs of World War II, From Brooklyn to Hollywood, All That Jazz: A Tribute to Kander & Ebb, and the critically acclaimed Broadway Uplugged. Since 1997, Scott has performed around the country with award-winning songwriting duo Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich in their many revues and tours, and with composer Stephen Schwartz, Liz Callaway, and Debbie Gravitte in the revue Stephen Schwartz & Friends. Scott toured the U.S. as "Jinx" in Forever Plaid and was in the world premiere of Floyd Collins, directed by Tina Landau at the American Music Theatre Festival. His regional theatre credits include Into the Woods, In Trousers, Cotton Patch Gospel, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and As Bees in Honey Drown.
He has directed many shows for the Town Hall in New York, and along with Michael Kerker and ASCAP, has produced Michael Feinstein’s Standard Time at Carnegie Hall. He is a graduate of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.