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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in Broadway (323)

Friday
Aug082014

Call Answered: James Barry: SMASHED: The Carrie Nation Story 2014 NYC Fringe Festival

James Barry"Call Me Adam" chats with composer James Barry about writing the music for SMASHED: The Carrie Nation Story which will be in the 2014 NYC International Fringe Festival from August 9-15 at The Celebration of Whimsy (21 Clinton Street, between Houston and Stanton). Click here for tickets!

For more on James be sure to visit http://www.james-barry.com!

1. From August 9-15, SMASHED: The Carrie Nation Story will be playing in the NYC International Fringe Festival. What made you want to compose the music for this show? SMASHED wasn’t written specifically for the Fringe Festival. We applied, and were accepted into the festival. The show was written for the local Brooklyn dive bar opera company Opera On Tap. Its formal premiere was at the HERE Arts Center in April 2013, and we brought an immersive version of the show to Freddy’s Bar in Park Slope in November 2013. I had the idea for an opera about Carrie Nation, a drunken opera of sorts, and thought it would be the perfect marriage of art and mission for Opera On Tap and the perfect leading lady role. So I pitched the idea to Anne Hiatt, the general managing diva of Opera On Tap at a beer hall. She said, "Carrie Nation? I wrote a report about her in high school. Let’s do it!"

2. How did you and Timothy Braun come to work together? Tim is a close friend of Anne Hiatt’s, husband Chris. I’d never met Tim before. He sent a few samples of his writing. I immediately related to his style, his humor. So we moved forward on the project. And, as luck has it, turns out we have a damn good working relationship. His stroke of genius was to consider the book for the show an "exquisite corpse." This gave all of us involved the flexibility we needed to mold and shape the show.

"SMASHED: The Carrie Nation Story" at Here 20133. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? That this opera is fun. They enjoyed themselves, laughed, and experienced a show that was unlike what they thought they might see at "the opera."

4. How do you feel the Fringe Festival will help nurture this show in a way another festival might not? Not to sound cliché or presumptuous, but this show sits at the border of opera. When it’s been included on opera showcases that feature contemporary opera, it sticks out like a sore thumb. In a good or bad way, is up to the individual. But for me, it feels out of place because of the subject matter and the music is quite accessible. The spirit of Fringe Festival feels more inclusive. I’m looking forward to experiencing the show in this community of creativity.

"SMASHED: The Carrie Nation Story" at Here 20135. What excites about working with this cast? This cast is AMAZING!!! I saw Krista Wozniak, our Carrie Nation, in a production several years ago. So I asked for her specifically – I wanted her beautiful voice, her musicianship, her comic acting. David Schmidt, our new male lead, was involved in a workshop scene early on, and he is the perfect voice for this role. Huge, powerful, and his comic acting and dancing for a man standing 6’5” is something to see. Lynn Berg our narrator; he owns the show every night! He’s infectious, and his improvisational skills are unreal. The show has two choirs: Seth Gilman, Patricia Vital and Evan McCormick are the Uncle Jimmy’s Liquid Courage Brigade & the Carrie Nation All-Stars are Christiana Little, Cameron Russell, and Jocelyne O’Toole. All of these individuals are so talented, stars in their own right, and bring so much to this opera. Our director, Jenny Lee Mitchell is beyond amazing and inspirational with her vision. The assistant director Daniela Hart is equally awesome, and is the designer of our ridiculously awesome sound cues. Mila Henry, our music director, who has been with us from day one, is a godsend. And we have a red hot band in Ezra Gale, Harvey Valdes and Adam Feldman. Ramona Ponce and Chris Weston are back with us again providing superb costuming/props and lighting that create the stage for this show. All of this is supported behind the scenes by the fabulous Anne Hiatt, Sara Noble, and Gabbi Coenen. Speaking for myself, every night I leave rehearsal in awe about what has happened in the room, what I’ve learned, how lucky I feel to be surrounded by these folks.

"SMASHED: The Carrie Nation Story" at Here 20136. Who or what inspired you to become a composer? I might have been hardwired to write music. When I was a kid, I found a guitar in my parents closet while they were out one night. I opened up the case, pulled the guitar out, and wrote a little song, "Chickens in the Yard." Ever since that day I’ve needed to write music. That said, I give all credit to me being a "composer" to Jim Lewis, my first composition teacher. I bumped into him one summer while trying to register for Fall classes and he told me, you should be a composer because the composing writing exercises you did for my class last semester were very good. I didn’t even know being a composer was a thing. In all seriousness, this random occurrence changed the course of my life.

7. What's the best advice you've ever received? I’d say the best advice I’ve ever received was actually criticism. After a performance at a music festival, a local university professor made his way to me, introduced himself, and said: "this piece – the audience must have enjoyed it." It was certainly meant to be rude. But in an instance I realized I had really offended this man with my music. And that made me happy. So from that day forward, I’ve always written the music in my heart, that an audience would hopefully enjoy.

"SMASHED: The Carrie Nation Story" at Here 20138. What have you learned about yourself from being a composer? You have to have confidence and believe in yourself. And you have to have thick enough skin to know not everyone will like what you do. Sometimes that hurts. Learn from that. You don’t have to accept all criticism as "you" failed. That negative comment might be the thing you aspire to do.

9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Could I choose them all???

10. If you could be any original lifesaver flavor, which one would you be? If memory serves me, LifeSavers used to give me a headache when I was a kid. So I’m pretty sure I would have preferred the cherry, and found a way to "drop" or throw out the other flavors. Who am I kidding, I likely spit the cherry one out too. HA!

BONUS QUESTION:

11. How do you want to be remembered? I could die any day I suppose. :) I’m too modest to answer a question like this. Though I’m sure I could point you in the direction of a composer or two who might provide you with volume 1 & 2 of their answer to this!!!

James Barry, Photo Credit: Isabelle ShelbyMore on James:

The music of New York City based composer, James Barry has been described as "immediately engaging and distinctly American," "an emotional roller coaster," "truly moving," and, well, "quirky." A recipient of the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters his opera, orchestra, ballet, dance, theater, and chamber music scores are heard across the US each season. James has been the recipient of numerous awards, prizes, and commissions: ASCAP, Meet The Composer, American Music Center, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Dayton Ballet’s New Music for New Dance, Opera On Tap, Holyoke Civic Symphony, the Chicago Ensemble, Auros Group for New Music, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s Fresh Ink, the SCI/ASCAP Student Composition Commission, The Commission Project, CASE Arts Group, Xoregos Performing Company, and CelloSpeak among others. Over the past few seasons James’ music has been premiered and performed by numerous groups and organizations: FringeNYC Festival, OPERAtion Brooklyn, OPERA ELVIS: A Lament for the King, Opera Grows in Brooklyn, Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Sacramento Youth Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony Youth Orchestra, Tennessee Tech University Orchestra, Northeastern University Concert Band, Florida State University Symphonic Band, Kutztown University Concert Band, Society for New Music, Sirius String Quartet, Esterhazy Quartet, Opera on Tap’s New Brew Series, Reizen Ensemble, Le Nuove Musiche, Forecast Music, Iktus Percussion Quartet, Brandon High School Orchestra, Heartland Community Flute Choir, Make Music New York Festival, North American Saxophone Alliance Conference, National Flute Association National Conference, and the College Music Society National Conference.

Saturday
Aug022014

Call Answered: Facetime Interview at 54 Below with Nellie McKay: A Girl Named Bill: The Life and Times of Billy Tipton

"Call Me Adam" went live on location to 54 Below to sit down with singer, songwriter, and Theatre World Award winner Nellie McKay about her new show at 54 Below A Girl Named Bill: The Life and Times of Billy Tipton, playing August 5-9 (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

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

 

Interview with Nellie McKay at 54 Below:

 

Nellie McKayMore on Nellie:

Nellie McKay has won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of "Polly Peachum" in the Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera and performed onscreen in the film PS I Love You, as well as writing original music for the Rob Reiner film Rumor Has It and contributing to the New York Times Book Review. Her music has also been heard on the TV shows Weeds, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Privileged and Nurse Jackie. She has appeared on numerous TV shows including Late Show with David Letterman (with the Brooklyn Philharmonic), The View, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Live with Regis & Kelly and CBS Saturday Morning. In 2010, the Chase Brock Experience produced a ballet of her third album, Obligatory Villagers, while Nellie recently finished contributing to the soundtrack for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Home Sweet Mobile Home is McKay’s latest album of all-original material and features the musical wanderlust, lyrical playfulness and unique point of view that has characterized her music since her breakthrough debut Get Away From Me.

A recipient of The Humane Society’s Doris Day Music Award in recognition of her dedication to animal rights, Nellie is known as an outspoken and fierce advocate for feminism, civil rights and other deeply felt progressive ideals.

This spring, Nellie premiered her latest project, "I Want to Live!" the "brilliant, zany film-noir musical biography" (New York Times) of Barbara Graham, the third woman to die in the gas chamber at San Quentin, "McKay’s virtually unlimited gifts as a singer, songwriter, actress, pianist, ukulele player, mimic, satirist and comedian into a show that is much deeper than its surface might suggest…In the most lighthearted way they evoke a heartless environment of social injustice in which people who fall through the cracks are invisible to everyone else" (New York Times).

Wednesday
Jul232014

Call Answered: Factime Interview with Tony Nominee Malcolm Gets: Come A Little Closer at 54 Below

"Call Me Adam" went live on location to 54 Below in NYC to interview Tony Nominee Malcolm Gets about his upcoming show Come A Little Closer at 54 Below on Sunday, July 27 at 7pm (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

 

 

 

Interview with Malcom Gets at 54 Below:

Monday
Jul212014

Call Answered Again: Max Crumm: The Fantasticks Off-Broadway

Max Crumm"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!

Samantha Bruce and Max Crumm in "The Fantasticks"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! :)

Max CrummMore on Max:

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.

Thursday
Jul172014

Call Answered: Facetime Interview with Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White: 54 Below Birthday Show

"Call Me Adam" went live on location to 54 Below to interview Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White about her upcoming birthday show at 54 Below, July 18 and 19 (254 West 54th Street - cellar, between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

 

 

 

Interview with Lillias White at 54 Below: