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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in Broadway (323)

Thursday
Aug282014

Call Answered: Ute Lemper: Sings The Love Poems of Pablo Neruda at 54 Below

Ute Lemper"Call Me Adam" chats with Ute Lemper, renowned international chanteuse and star of Broadway and London's Chicago, about her upcoming engagement at 54 Below from September 2-6 entitled Ute Lemper Sings The Love Poems of Pablo Neruda. Click here for tickets!

1. From September 2-6, you will be returning to 54 Below. What excites you about this return engagement? What do you like most about performing here? I am very comfortable in 54 Below. It is in the center of Manhattan, close to Broadway, a perfect location and a very nice size club with proximity to the most sophisticated and international audience. I love to perform in all different venues in NY, but this one has a beautiful decoration and a good sound system. I am excited to bring my 6 piece band this time to celebrate the love poems of Pablo Neruda.

2. What can fans expect from this show that they have not seen in previous shows? This is a very special performance. I will take the audience on a journey through this original repertoire that I have created over the last 2 years, a song cycle to the love poems of Pablo Neruda. It is in Spanish, English and French. The music, that I have written is influenced by Tango and Chanson and it transforms the poetry into most engaging and powerful melodies and songs.

3. This show is entitled Ute Lemper Sings The Love Poems of Pablo Neruda, in support of your recently released album of the same name. Why did you want to do an evening of music set to his poems? What is about Pablo's poems that you identify with most? I admire this poet. He was able to be a politician, a humanist, a diplomat and an artist all at the same time and his fight for freedom and equality was unique. I chose nevertheless the non political love poems as they are universal and easier to put into music. We have performed this concert all over the world and I have witnessed how much love and adoration people of all nations carry for Pablo Neruda. He has consoled many souls through times of oppression and given hope to them.

Of course my own inspirations first of all came from life itself. The love in my heart for life, my family, my children, my love, and my music, but also for everything I ever sang from the most beautiful songs of Brel/Piaf/Weill/Piazzolla/Ferre…..all those special songs that live in my heart for so long...somehow they also took influence in the NERUDA project.

You will see the unbelievable talent of my band, such great musicians that carry us through the evening with virtuosity.

Ute Lemper4. For this concert, you are also taking the audience on a tour around the world not only singing selections from your new album, but from some of your favorite composers. As an international star, what have you enjoyed most about performing around the world? If I have a little time left, I will of course venture through the Weimar Republic and sing some Kurt Weill and possibly Edith Piaf.

5. How do the audiences differ and how are they the same? Every audience is different and also has different pockets in itself. It is always a pleasure to perform, in front of quiet or wild or loud or very popular or very sophisticated audience. I communicate through music and poetry and I am so grateful to find this common space of mind and heart with my audience and of course entertain them with heart and soul and wicked humor.

6. In addition to singing, you have had a quite a career on the theatrical stage. What do you get from your theatrical endeavors that you do not get from singing? I mostly love singing and making music and I miss the music very much when I perform straight theatre. Nowadays I mostly do concert tours and create my own original projects, but of course my main mission is to keep my root repertoire of German and French Chanson alive and contemporary.

7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Its my inner demons and my utter passion for music and the realization and communication of it.

Ute Lemper8. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? There are many wonderful artists I wish to collaborate with and to meet, but then I am very happy to work on my own too with my wonderful team of musicians.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? It's the one that I discovered myself...follow your first impulse and listen to your intuition and stay truthful to your passions.

And: giving is way more extraordinary than receiving....

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? It is a gift and a privilege to make this passion into a profession and it needs the utmost dedication, but also the utmost inspiration by life in all its ups and downs.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to stay in shape? Eat only the half....stop before you are full, stay active...with kids or sports....and train your core, stomach and back and shoulders.

Be positively spirited at all times and engage in happiness as much as you can.

12. Favorite skin care product? Shiseido

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Love trigger and medicine.

14. If you could be an original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Love flavor.

15. How do you want to be remembered? Haha...well as one of the last great European ladies to sing and create chanson...no may be not....a great mother...a great lover...or just crazy Ute...

Ute LemperMore on Ute:

Ute Lemper's career is vast and varied. She has made her mark on the stage, in films, in concert and as a unique recording artist. She has been universally praised for her interpretations of Berlin Cabaret Songs, the works of Kurt Weill and Berthold Brecht and  the French Chanson Book. As well as her own compositions and the more Jazz influenced collaborations and works. In the world of theater Ute made her mark with her portrayals on Broadway, in Paris and in London's West End.

Ute was born in Munster, Germany and completed her studies at The Dance Academy in Cologne and the Max Reinhardt Seminary Drama School in Vienna.

Ute Lemper SingingHer professional debut in theater after her studies at the Max Reinhardt Seminar was the Fassbinder play Katzelmacher at the Stuttgarter Staatstheater and a collaboration with Jerome Savary Bye Bye Showbiz. On the musical stage she starred in the original Vienna production of Cats in the roles of "Grizabella" and "Bombalurina", as "Peter Pan" in Peter Pan (Berlin) and "Sally Bowles" in Jerome Savary's Cabaret (Paris) for which she received the Moliere Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She played "Lola" in The Blue Angel (Berlin) and Maurice Bejart created a ballet for her, La Mort Subite (Paris). Ute also collaborated with Pina Bausch and her Tanztheater on the Weill Revue. Ute created the part of "Velma Kelly" in London's production of Chicago in the West End, for which she was honored with the Laurence Olivier Award, and moved to the Broadway production after one year.

Ute Lemper's solo concerts, which include Kurt Weill/Berthold Brecht Recitals, Berlin Cabaret, Dietrich and Piaf, Jacques Brel, Leo Ferre, Kosma, Prevert, Sondheim, Piazzolla and also Lemper's own songs, have been produced in prestigious venues throughout the world. Her symphony concerts include The Seven Deadly Sins, Songs from Kurt Weill,Songbook (Michael Nyman) and Songs from Weill, Piaf and Dietrich with the symphony orchestras of London, Israel, Boston, Hollywood, San Francisco, Berlin, The Paris Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Illusions Orchestra (Bruno Fontaine) and the Michael Nyman Band (Michael Nyman). She also appeared in Folksongs with the Luciano Berio Orchestra (Luciano Berio) and with The Matrix Ensemble (Robert Ziegler) performing Berlin Cabaret Songs. She has performed with the best symphony orchestras all over the world from Buenos Aires to Sydney.

Her celebrated recordings for DECCA include Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill (Vols. I and II), Three Penny Opera, The Seven Deadly Sins, Mahagonny Songspiel, Prospero's Books (Michael Nyman), Songbook (Michael Nyman/Paul Celan), Illusions (Piaf/Dietrich), City of Strangers (Prevert/Sondheim) and Berlin Cabaret Songs (German and English versions). She was named Billboard Magazine's Crossover Artist of the Year for 1993-1994. In early 2000, Decca/Universal Music released Punishing Kiss, featuring new songs composed for her by Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Philip Glass, and Nick Cave. Her following release on Decca, But One Day, features new arrangements of Weill, Brel, Piazzolla, Heymann and Eisler songs, as well as the first recordings of her own compositions, for which she wrote both lyrics and music. She has also recorded Crimes of the Heart, Life is a Cabaret and Ute Lemper Live for CBS Records and Espace Indecent, Nuits Etranges and She Has a Heart for POLYDOR.

She recorded Blood and Feathers (available on both CD and DVD), live at the Carlyle, one of New York's hottest Cabaret stages. It was released worldwide on DRG/Koch Records and EDEL Records in Europe.

All That Jazz/The Best of Ute Lemper, which features highlights from her illustrious career to date was released in 1998. It accompanied her playing "Velma Kelly" in the London production of Kander and Ebb's Chicago for which she received the 1998 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical. After nine months in London's West End, Ms. Lemper made her Broadway debut in September 1998. A major highlight of her eight months American engagement in Chicago was starring with Chita Rivera in the Las Vegas premiere in March 1999.

Her album, Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, consists entirely of self-penned music and lyrics, and Ute enjoyed co-producing all of her songs together with her partner Todd Turkisher.

In film, her many credits include L'Autrichienne (Pierre Granier-Deferre), Prospero's Books (Peter Greenaway), Moscow Parade (Ivan Dikhovichni), Prêt-à-Porter (Robert Altman), Bogus (Norman Jewison) and the most recent releases, Combat de Fauves (Benoit Lamy), A River Made to Drown In (James Merendino) and Appetite (George Milton). She has appeared on television in Rage/Outrage, The Dreyfus Affair (Arte), Tales from the Crypt (HBO), Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill (Bravo), Illusions (Granada), Songbook (Volker Scholendorff), The Wall (Rogers Waters) and The Look of Love (Gillian Lynn).

Wednesday
Aug202014

Call Answered: David Perlman: Fiddler on the Roof: Goodspeed Opera House

David Perlman"Call Me Adam" chats with actor and photographer David Perlman about starring in Goodspeed's production of Fiddler on the Roof as "Motel," the tailor. Fiddler on the Roof runs through September 12 at Goodspeed Opera House (6 Main Street, East Haddam, CT 06423). Click here for tickets!

For more on David visit http://www.david-perlman.com and http://www.davidperlmanphotography.com

1. You are currently making your Goodspeed debut in their production of Fiddler on the Roof. What originally made you want to be part of this production? Has the reality of your debut lived up to what you had hoped it would be? This audition came from my agents, but knowing me I probably hounded them about it when I saw that Goodspeed was doing Fiddler. It’s a show that I love, a role that I think suits me, and a theater with a great reputation. My experience here has been incredible so far.

David Perlman and Barrie Kreinik in "Fiddler on the Roof" at Goodspeed, Photo Credit: Diane Sobolewski2. You are playing "Motel," the tailor. What do you identify most with about him? The thing I most identify with about "Motel" is his courage. Not to say that I am some sort of courageous hero or anything, but (like most of us I’m sure), I’ve had some moments where I’m overtaken with fear about doing something important that could really change my life. I admire that "Motel" acts through his fear in what turns out to be a landmark moment for him.

David Perlman as "Motel" in "Fiddler on the Roof" at Goodspeed, Photo Credit: Diane Sobolewski3. You are playing one of the most well known roles in one of the biggest shows in theatrical history. How do you feel you've made the role of "Motel" your own? What has been the most fun about playing "Motel"? Wow, I’ve never really thought of it like that. Rob Ruggiero, our director, was really committed to creating a very truthful and honest telling of this story, avoiding some of the usual shtick that is traditionally in Fiddler. I quickly picked up on the fact that he didn’t want to concentrate on making "Motel" "funny," and it’s been incredibly rewarding to be able to play the scenes rather than play a character. I get to experience some of the best and most exciting days of "Motel’s" life: the day he stands his ground and gets permission to marry "Tzeitel," his wedding day, and the day he finally gets his sewing machine. It’s a pretty thrilling role to play!

I also feel so lucky to be acting opposite Barrie Kreinik ("Tzeitel") and Adam Heller ("Tevye"). They are amazing actors, always present and alive, and they make this show exciting and fresh, every single time.

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Fiddler at Goodspeed? I hope people are able to get invested in this beautiful story. I hope they laugh and cry and are able to have an enjoying and meaningful evening.

David Perlman's headshot of actress Catherine LeFrere5. In addition to being an actor, you are also a photographer. What do you get from photography that you do not get from being an actor? I do mostly headshots, which I love! Like acting, photography has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I actually went to college for Film & TV Production at NYU, and we studied photography for most of freshman year. My favorite thing to photograph, always, was people. During college, I decided to try out being a professional actor, but I retained this secret desire to be a headshot photographer. About two and a half years ago, I chose to pick up the camera again.

6. Bringing your two worlds together, you've worked with (in Once Upon a Time in NJ) and taken the headshots of my friend Catherine LeFrere. What was the best part about working with her as an actress and having her as a client? Catherine is awesome for many reasons, as anyone who knows her will tell you. What I love about working with her is that she really throws herself into whatever she’s doing, whether it’s playing a crazy dance teacher (as she did in Once Upon a Time in NJ) or getting her picture taken.  She is completely passionate and shows up focused, prepared, and ready to work and play.

7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer/photographer? I saw a production of Guys and Dolls at the local high school when I was 7 years old. I became infatuated with the girl who played "Adelaide;" I remember meeting her in the hallway and being starstruck. I wouldn’t stop singing the songs around my house, and that’s when my parents signed me up to do You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at the local JCC.  From then on, I was hooked. So I guess my inspiration was whoever played "Adelaide" in Guys and Dolls at NVRHS Demarest when I was 7.

Cast of "Fiddler on the Roof" at Goodspeed, Photo Credit: Diane Sobolewski8. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I’d love to work with Bernadette Peters!

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Recently, I’ve been reminding myself of Jack Plotnick’s advice before I go onstage each time: to release and destroy the need to get the scene right or to be funny or be emotional. Just release and destroy the need to try to control the scene. It’s very freeing.

10. What have you learned about yourself from being an actor and a photographer? Whenever I get frustrated or doubtful, I am usually trying to figure out if I’m doing it right. I’ve learned that there is no way to get it right. It’s not my job to judge my work; my job is to do the work.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to stay in shape? I lift weights, and I’ve also gotten really into CrossFit.

12. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I’d want to fly!

14. If you could be an original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? This is by far the hardest question you have asked. I think I’d want to be Strawberry, but that probably already exists.

15. How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as someone who made a difference and added compassion, love, and peace to any situation.

David PerlmanMore on David:

Broadway: Baby It’s You!. Off-Broadway: "Rotelli" in Yank! (York Theatre), "Melman" in Madagascar Live! (Radio City Music Hall), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM), "Murray" in Iron Curtain (Prospect Theatre Company). National/European Tours: "Woof" in Hair, "Joe" in Schoolhouse Rock Live!. Regional favorites: "Motel" in Fiddler on the Roof (PCLO), "Seymour" in Little Shop of Horrors (Penobscot Theatre), "Abe" in Altar Boyz (Riverside Theatre, Arvada Center), "Artie" in Sunset Boulevard (PCLO, Ogunquit Playhouse). TV: 30 Rock, Law and Order. David is also a photographer.

Tuesday
Aug122014

Call Answered: Kim Ehly, Playwright & Director: Baby GirL: 2014 NYC Fringe Festival

Kim Ehly, Photo Credit: Rick Gomez"Call Me Adam" chats with playwright and director Kim Ehly about her show Baby GirL which is currently playing in the 2014 NYC International Fringe Festival through August 24 at The Kraine Theatre (85 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue & Bowery). Click here for tickets!

Baby GirL: After coming out as a lesbian and being alienated by her adoptive family, Ashley, a spirited young daydreamer, goes on an extraordinary journey to find love and a place to call home. When Ashley's fantasies meet reality, expect the unexpected!

For more on Kim be sure to visit http://www.kimehly.com!

1. From August 8-24, your show Baby GirL will be playing in the 2014 NYC International Fringe Festival. What are you looking forward to most about having your show in this festival? I don’t even know where to begin. The Fringe offers the chance of reaching and inspiring more people in a city that has the ability to help this story live on through the patrons, the potential for other productions in, around, or outside of NYC, and the chance to work with a really talented team. The play was conceived in NYC and it is cool to bring it back to the place of inception.

2. How do you feel the Fringe will help nurture Baby GirL in a way another festival might not? The Fringe is a platform that can draw audiences that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to cultivate. This show is super relevant and FringeNYC is the place for work like this to launch. There aren’t a lot of works out there by lesbian playwrights or adoptees and the Fringe welcomes unique voices.

Kim Ehly and the cast of "Baby GirL" at 2014 NYC International Fringe Festival, Photo Credit: Daniel R. Graney3. What excites you about having this cast bring your show to life? I’m truly overwhelmed by the talent on that stage. They are genuine, hilarious, creatively spontaneous, open, professional, and most importantly passionate about this true story. Having that kind of authenticity on stage is invaluable in the telling of a true story.

4. Since this show is about finding love and a place to call home, where do you call home and have you found love? I have found true love. It took me a while though! Home is with my partner, Faiza Cherie and our 3 dogs, Monkey, Butter and Mona. Wherever they are, I am home. Oh and we have a house by a beautiful lake in Fort Lauderdale. Though, we are weighing options of where to land next.

Christa Meyers and Nori Tecosky in Kim Ehly's "Baby GirL" at 2014 NYC International Fringe Festival, Photo Credit: Daniel R. Graney5. Baby GirL made it's world premiere in 2012 in Florida at your theatre company Kutumba Theatre Project with a sold-out run and named one of the Top Five Plays by the Sun Sentinel, Top Ten by the Miami Herald & Best Debut by Florida Theater Onstage. You were also named one of the 9 most intriguing people in the arts community of South Florida & one of the 50 most influential people in the LGBT community of South Florida by the South Florida Gay News. Additionally, you are the first female playwright to win the SILVER PALM AWARD, honoring outstanding contributions to South Florida theatre as well as being nominated for a Carbonell Award & a Broadway World Award for Best New Work for Baby GirL. What do all these honors and accolades mean to you? You know, I was entirely surprised by these accolades. I didn’t really know I was a writer or that my words would be so meaningful to people. I wrote my story, because it had to come out. I wrote my story hoping that audience members would be comforted in knowing that we all feel alone sometimes and that we can find a place to fit in, in the world. I love that I was able to do that with a sense of humor. Hearing the audience roar with laughter is such a gift! All of the awards and accolades are a wonderful surprise. The biggest gift is the audience members that come up to me afterwards to share what the play means/meant to them.

6. How do you feel the show has grown since its premiere? This is such a fun show to work on. Since it’s a comedy, that lends itself to an atmosphere of exploration and that is even more apparent with this production. I’ve also grown as a director and a writer since the premiere, so that is a benefit to the process. This production is blessed with a cohesive, fun and dedicated family of actors, designers and assistants. The people make the project.

Christa Meyers and Nori Tecosky in Kim Ehly's "Baby GirL" at 2014 NYC International Fringe Festival, Photo Credit: Daniel R. Graney7. There are a lot of people out there who are adopted. What has the reaction from fellow adoptees been like after they've seen Baby GirL? This may be one of the most humbling aspects of sharing my story. Adoptees have a special connection to the struggles of "Ashley," our central character, because most of them know what it is to wonder about where we came from, who might be more like us, where we might find a sense of belonging that is only known with a birth parent, at least in the adoptee mind. The fantasy aspects of this show really resonate with adoptees. The reunion element is tricky for most adoptees and that is something most have a strong connection to with this story.

8. How did this experience make you stronger? What a great question. I grew up with a family member (I’d rather not say which one to protect their privacy), but I grew up with a family member that used to say "You will live a very lonely life, if you continue to be so opinionated." What they meant by opinionated is simply being "me," being the gay, artistic, liberal lesbian I am. What I have realized in putting my story out into the world, is that the more "me" I am, the more loved and respected and honored I am by my partner, close friends and even people I barely know. My world has become bigger since Baby GirL and my courage even stronger to speak my truth.

9. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright/director? Ironically, the family member that I quoted earlier is the one that said to me when I was a kid that I was a gifted writer, so that is where the inspiration began. I took a writing workshop when I lived in NYC (as an actor) for the heck of it and wrote a personal monologue for a scene study class. That’s when Baby GirL was conceived. Once I put Baby GirL out there and received such a warm reception, I realized I had found another place to call home, tapping on the keyboard. My degree is in Acting and Directing, so it was a natural progression for me to move from acting to directing. The ability to choose the play and put my stamp on it makes directing my preference to acting these days.

10. What have you enjoyed most about having your own theatre company? What challenges do you face? Having my own company means I can choose the stories I put out there into the world. It is an excellent way to have a voice in a very clear way. I am also able to put an emphasis on the "L" in LGBTQ, which is needed. Kutumba Theatre Project is focused on producing works for underserved populations, so I get to build a patronage with people who are hungry for their voices to be heard.

The challenge is convincing people that our voices are valid. My first and thus far only blog, which I posted on August 4th speaks to the struggles of wanting to write and produce work for a population that is underserved. The blog can be found at kimehly.com, if your readers are interested.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. What's the best advice you've ever received? Be yourself and speak your truth. Live your life in the way that is meaningful to you, not what you think others want your life to be. In tough times, "Another train’ll be along in a minute." – My Gram used to tell me that, meaning there is hope and it’s about to arrive.

12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The ability to grant empathy to people, who don’t have it or lack it.

13. If you could be any original flavor lifesaver, which one would you be? Orange, because it’s yummy and it’s my favorite color and I might add, my partner is a ginger ;)

14. How do you want to be remembered?As someone who inspired change, inspired people to embrace who they are and have the courage to speak up for themselves and others, for being a loyal and loving partner and friend.

Kim Ehly, Photo Credit: Albert AcevedoMore on Kim:

Kim Ehly is a veteran of the theatre and has worked in film, TV, theatre, commercials and voiceovers in NYC, LA, and South Florida. Kim recently directed Julie Johnson and The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, two of Kutumba’s smash hits. Kim wrote and directed her debut play, Baby GirL, as the inaugural production of her company, Kutumba Theatre Project. Baby GirL enjoyed sold out audiences and critical acclaim. As a result of that production, Kim was the first female playwright to receive the SILVER PALM AWARD for Outstanding New Playwright and was nominated for a Carbonell Award and a Broadway World Award for Best New Play. Kim’s play under her direction, also received the honor of being named in the Top Five Plays of 2012 by the Sun Sentinel, Top Ten in the Miami Herald, and Best Debut by Florida Theatre On Stage.

Kim has a BFA in acting/directing from FAU. She directed two shorts for an LGBT short play series (SILVER PALM AWARD). Kim wrote a short for that project called The Happy Ones. That short was selected to be part of Girl Play at The Women’s Theatre Project this summer and was voted Audience Favorite. Kim was recently commissioned to write two, one-minute plays, "T" and "Places," which premiered at this year’s One Minute Play Festival in Miami. She has directed for City Theatre, The Women’s Theatre Project, Island City Stage, The New Theatre, Naked Stage, and in NYC at Michael Howard Studios. Kim was recently named one of 9 most influential people in the arts community of South Florida and one of 50 most influential people in the LGBT community of South Florida by the SFGN (South Florida Gay News).

Monday
Aug112014

Call Answered Again: Andrew Glaszek: Doubtless Summer Shorts 2014 

Andrew Glaszek, Photo Credit: Kevin McDermott"Call Me Adam" once again chats with actor Andrew Glaszek. This time around we discuss starring in Albert Innaurato's Doubtless as part of the 2014 Summer Shorts Series taking place at 59E59 Theaters in NYC through August 30 (59 East 59th Street). Click here for tickets!

With such formidable opponents as hypocrisy, government, hysteria, neurosis, family, religion and pop culture - can we ever really know and accept who we are? Well, these two brave nuns are going to give it a go in Doubtless.

For more on Andrew be sure to follow him on Twitter!

1. From July 26-August 30, you will be starring in the Summer Short Series B at 59E59 Theaters, specifically, in Doubtless written by Albert Innaurato. What made you want be part of this show? I love working on new shows and was thrilled to be asked. There's a few random references in the script (like one to a song from Brigadoon) that seemed to speak to me specifically saying that I was meant to take this trip

Andrew Glaszek in Albert Innaurato's "Doubtless" as part of Summer Shorts 2014 at 59E59 Theaters2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? A quote or two to shock and mortify their friends! Mr. Innaurato's play gives us a fantastical chance to consider the absurdities of pop culture and religious dogma...Peaches Geldof, Ann Romney's horse, little Mother Teresa, and the second coming.

3. What do you identify most with about your character? The script only describes "Father" as "distinguished"...um, that's me! We get to dance on and cross the lines of propriety and political correctness, with a lot of blasphemy thrown in - that's very much my humor

4. What has been the best part about working with your fellow castmates, director Jack Hofsiss, and playwright Albert Innaurato? Getting to watch the man who directed the original The Elephant Man in action and be directed by him is an honor. Then to hear him and Mr. Innaurato talk about the play and share stories about their experiences in the theater including some people they've worked with has been priceless and hilarious.

Andrew Glaszek in Albert Innaurato's "Doubtless" as part of Summer Shorts 2014 at 59E59 Theaters5. What excites you most about being part of the Summer Shorts series? Besides riling up the audience with the rest of the cast, Brenda, Tasha, Dana, and David... we're on a bill that includes new work by Neil LaBute, Daniel Reitz, and Warren Leight which is pretty exciting.

6. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Every teacher who would have me read aloud in class - it came naturally to me and encouraged me to take it further.

7. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Elaine Stritch! No? ... Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer on Broad City...Terrence McNally...Martha Plimpton...and I think Michael Fassbender, Chris Pratt, and I would make a good team.

Andrew Glaszek in "Broadway Bares Winter Burlesque"8. I know you give a lot of time raising funds for Broadway Bares every year. Why is this cause so close to your heart? BC/EFA is an amazing organization & supports so many - I raised the red bucket at shows before I moved to New York and then I saw Broadway Bares and was hooked. It's a way for me to do what I can for good. I've also met some of the best people and made lifelong friends by doing it.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "If You Don't Dance They Beat You" - Jose Quintero (and I think I JUST got it)

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? Everything I've learned about others and therefore myself has come from being a performer. Which is a lot. And perhaps nothing at all.

Andrew Glaszek in the film "Leather"BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I'd want to fly. Fast.

12. If you could be any original life saver flavor, which one would you be? Pineapple.

13. Boxers or Briefs? If someone really wants to know, they can watch the Nothing But Trash interview video on this blog ;)

Sunday
Aug102014

Call Answered: Gregg Daniel: True Blood & Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble

Gregg Daniel"Call Me Adam" chats with Gregg Daniel, actor and Artistic Director of Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble about starring on HBO's True Blood for the past 4 seasons, his stage work including this summer's run of Romeo & Juliet at Shakespeare Center of L.A., and being the Artistic Director of Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble.

True Blood airs every Sunday on HBO at 9pm.

For more on Gregg be sure to visit http://www.lowerdepththeatreensemble.org, IMDB, and follow him on Twitter!

1. It's the final season of HBO's True Blood and you are back on as "Reverend Daniels." What initially made you want to be part of this Emmy Award winning show? One of the factors which drew me to the show was learning that writer producer, Alan Ball had created it. I'm an absolute devotee of Alan's work since he created, SIX FEET UNDER. He's an outstanding writer and possesses a fine sense of creating drama for television. I knew if Ball was involved, it was going to be high quality.

2. What has been the best part about being on the show for 4 seasons? What will you miss the most? One of the best parts of being on the show for 4 seasons is seeing how each character’s story line is being developed by our writers. I’m in awe of how our writers introduce key story elements and how those elements will alter the lives of our characters in future episodes. One of the many things I’ll miss about the show is the camaraderie among the actors, crew, office staff, etc. Every member on the True Blood team is focused on creating the best possible episode/season we can. To be in the company of so many dedicated and consummate professionals is inspiring!

Gregg Daniel as "Reverend Daniels" on HBO's "True Blood"3. What do you identify most with about "Reverend Daniels"? I like to think of "Reverend Daniel’s" as an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary circumstances. I identify with his fierce loyalty and the compassion he feels for compassion for Lettie Mae as well as for the town of Bon Temps. Daniels tries to face even the most difficult circumstances with faith and unconditional love.

4. This summer you're starring in Shakespeare Center of L.A.'s production of Romeo & Juliet as "Lord Montague." What makes you most excited about being back on stage? What makes working in theatre and being on stage exciting is the interaction between the audience and the performer. No other art form has anything quite like it. There’s a new and different audience every night to perform for. In the theatre, an actor can feel the audience’s interest and attention, it’s a amazing, unpredictable alchemy which fuels our performance!

5. In addition to acting, you are also the Artistic Director of the L.A. based Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble. Why did you want to become the Artistic Director of a theatre company? What do you get from this venture that you do not get from acting? Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble was founded by a group of theatre artists who wanted to keep their instruments sharp as well as to work with writers, actors, directors and designers we admire. Rather than waiting for a phone call to be invited to do something creative, we decided to create our own theatre company to mount plays we cared about. My colleagues chose me as the Artistic Director along the way. However, we make all our decisions in a very collaborative way.

6. From film to television to stage, you have acted in every medium. What do you like best about performing in each medium? The amount of people who can access an actor’s work through film and television is extremely satisfying. I’m constantly meeting fans who saw my work on a sitcom, episodic or feature film decades ago. I also enjoy the challenge of working in front of the camera. While you want your performance to be contained (since the camera is right there), it still needs to be charged, so your internal clock is needs to working overtime in order to keep the intensity. As I as stated earlier, theatre offers the thrill of working in front of a live audience nightly. Your performance changes ever so slightly depending on what the audience is giving you.

7. Who or what inspired you to become an actor? It was the love of language which first drew me into acting. My family had a volume of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets sitting around our house. I remember when I first opened it and began to say the words. I had no idea what they meant but it was something about the poetry which thrilled me. Later on, when I heard a trained speaker reciting classical language, I was hooked. I wanted to be able to sound like that and on reflection, be that character as well.

Gregg Daniel, Joy Bryant, and Dax Shepard on NBC's "Parenthood"8. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? On our show, I’ve always wanted to work with Anna Paquin more, we rarely have scenes together. I just love what she does with the character of "Sookie," Anna makes what is an intensely complex character seem sweet and simple. In the larger realm of working with actors, there are a host of people whose work I admire and would some day like to work with, to name a few - Viola Davis, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Christophe Waltz, etc.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? I’ve been lucky enough to have received support and encouragement on my journey as an actor from many sources. Beginning with my parents and continuing on to teachers, fellow actors & directors I’ve worked with, the advice has always been the same, "pursue your dreams."

10. What have you learned about yourself from being an actor? I think I’ve discovered from being an actor that I’m actually a shy, quiet and thoughtful individual. I’d much rather stay at home reading a book. However the side of me that wants to share stories and characters I care about can only be expressed when I’m acting. It takes a certain amount of courage to be an actor, I’m glad I can find that courage when I need it!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? If I chose to have a super power it would probably be flying. The thought of defying gravity and being able to soar among the clouds is very appealing. On a practical level, being able to fly would help navigate around Los Angeles traffic.

12. If you could be any original flavor lifesaver, which flavor would you be? The one flavored Lifesaver I’ve always loved is, CHERRY. The taste and the color outshines all others.

13. How do you want to be remembered? Other than wanting to be remembered as a kind and decent human being, I’d like to be remembered as an actor’s actor. Someone who my peers thought was talented and brought honor to the craft of acting.

Gregg DanielMore on Gregg:

Actor/Director Gregg T. Daniel returns for the final season of HBO’s True Blood as the wise and sympathetic Reverend Daniels, marking his character’s fourth season on the Emmy winning series. With over 100 credits in film and television, Gregg’s roles span the spectrum from comedy (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Weeds) to drama (The West Wing, Castle, Desperate Housewives) to procedurals (NCIS), science fiction (Star Trek: Voyager) and children’s shows (Austin & Ally, Kickin’ It). Big screen credits include Spiderman 3, Hancock, Mars Attacks, Evan Almighty, Pump Up The Volume, and White Men Can’t Jump.

An accomplished theatre director, Gregg is the Artistic Director of the Los Angeles-based Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, and was nominated for a 2013 NAACP Image Award for helming the Los Angeles production of Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Elmina’s Kitchen, which also won the NAACP Award for Best Ensemble for 2103. Prior to that, his stage direction included 2009’s acclaimed production of Tom Stoppard’s Heroes, Sybyl Walker’s Beneath Rippling Waters, Lee Blessing’s Cobb, and Frank McGuinness’s Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me. Gregg also directed the world premiere of solo performance artist Joyce Guy’s War Stories at the Los Angeles Theatre Center and at St. Mark’s Church in New York. For Theatre 150 in Ojai, California, he directed Athol Fugards’ Sizwe Bansi, Diana Son’s Stop Kiss, and the 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner, I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright.

A trained theatre actor from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Gregg's previous stage acting credits include the Williamstown Theatre Festival (Back Country Crimes, Gogol), The Mark Taper Forum (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone), the Pasadena Playhouse (Jitney), Actors Theatre of Louisville (Master Harold), Hartford Stage Company (Peer Gynt), and South Coast Repertory (Fences, Death Of A Salesman).

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Gregg Daniel resides with his family in Los Angeles.