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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in Broadway (251)

Friday
May032013

Christopher McDonald: Lucky Guy Interview

Christopher McDonald and Adam Rothenberg at "Lucky Guy" stage doorChristopher McDonald is one of Hollywood’s most prolific and versatile actors. Starring as "Harry Daugherty" on Martin Scorsese’s critically acclaimed HBO series, Boardwalk Empire, Christopher is a classically-trained stage actor who can currently be seen on Broadway alongside Tom Hanks in Nora Ephron's final play Lucky Guy at the Broadhurst Theatre through July 3 (235 West 44th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

For more on Lucky Guy visit http://www.luckyguyplay.com and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Jack Nicholson's performance in Five Easy Pieces that I saw in college inspired me to become an actor.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Jeff Bridges, Daniel Day Lewis, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford and Kristen Wiig.

Christopher McDonald as "Eddie Hayes" in Nora Ephron's "Lucky Guy", Photo Credit: Brigitte Lacombe3. What made you want audition for Lucky Guy on Broadway? What do you identify most with about your character "Eddie Hayes"? Nora Ephron's words...Opposite Tom Hanks...George C. Wolfe directing. What I identify most with playing "Eddie Hayes" is his tremendous drive...

4. What have you enjoyed most so far about being in the show? I've enjoyed the great cast and meeting all the great actors who come backstage to tell us how much they enjoyed the show. The most honest ones say they are "jealous"...

Tom Hanks and Christopher McDonald in Nora Ephron's "Lucky Guy"5. What have you learned from working with Tom Hanks? Tom has a deep well of energy and focus and heart that feeds his great talent.

6. What do you get from your theatrical endeavors that you don't get from your film/TV work? The audience! It is a living, breathing organism that changes with every performance.

7. What has been the best part about being on HBO's Boardwalk Empire? The "bragging rights"... Boardwalk Empire is one of the best shows on Television!

8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I've learned that I am happiest when I am in a Hit! But, seriously, I've learned that I really enjoy mixing up the mediums in acting...The Stage Film and Television...and soon the Internet!

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Find out what you do best...and do it like Hercules" Stella Adler (my acting teacher)

10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Flying! Man I'd be flying RIGHT NOW!!!

More on Christopher:

Christopher is also beloved for his memorable performances in Thelma and Louise, Requiem for a Dream, Quiz Show, The Perfect Storm, Happy Gilmore, and voice talent in The Iron Giant. His notable dramatic television guest-starring roles include The Sopranos, The Bronx is Burning, 61, and Harry’s Law.

Christopher first caught Hollywood’s attention when he played Goose McKenzie in Grease 2, starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Even though more movie offers followed, Christopher opted instead to work on his acting craft, immersing himself in acting studies at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Upon returning to Los Angeles, Christopher performed in over thirty-five productions at the Los Angeles Theater Center, including Hamlet, Othello, Death of a Salesman, and Taming of a Shrew, which led him to begin an enviable career that has never slowed down. Film highlights include The Boys Next Door (1985), Outrageous Fortune (1987), Chances Are (1989), Dutch (1991), Wild Orchids 2 (1992), Grumpy Old Men (1993), Fatal Instinct (1993), Terminal Velocity (1994), Cover Story (1994), Rich Man’s Wife (1995), Leave it to Beaver (1997), Flubber (1997) Spy Kids:2 (2002), Grind (2003), Takedown (2004), Rumor Has It (2005), American Pie (2006), Kickin’ It Old Skool (2007), My Sexiest Year (2007), Mad Money (2008), Superhero Movie (2008), Fanboys (2008), The House Bunny (2008) and The Best and The Brightest (2010).

Christopher’s long held respect for the stage led him to return to New York to star as "Billy Flynn," the nefarious self serving lawyer in Kander and Ebb’s Chicago. The show toured major markets nationwide with Christopher’s leading performance embraced by critics and audiences alike. Other theater credits include Nightclub Cantina, Hay Fever, and Bouncers. He is also the recipient of a Drama-logue Award for Best Actor (Final Touches).

Christopher’s TV credits also include regular appearances on the series Cracking Up, (Fox), Kim Possible (Disney), North Shore (Fox), Family Law (CBS) and Veronica’s Closet (NBC).

Born and raised in New York City, Christopher is one of seven children. Originally, a pre-med major at Hobart College, Christopher decided to pursue an acting career in his senior year. In addition to his theater studies in London, Christopher also attended the Stella Adler Acting Conservatory in New York. He and his wife, Lupe, are the proud parents of 3 daughters and a son, who reside in Los Angeles.

Monday
Apr292013

Video Interview with two-time Tony Award Nominee Alison Fraser

Adam Rothenberg and Alison FraserIn my latest video interview, Call Me Adam sat down with two-time Tony Award Nominee Alison Fraser to talk about starring in Wendy Beckett's new play Love Therapy which is playing at Daryl Roth's DR2 Theatre in NYC's Union Square through May 25.

Love Therapy tells the tale of a young therapist, "Colleen," who walks a fine line of what is considered acceptable practice. It's a session you won't want to miss! Click here for tickets and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and http://www.lovetherapyplay.com!

For more on Alison visit http://alisonfraser.com!

Part 1: Alison and I talk about Love Therapy

Part 2: Alison and I talk about life, theatre, and super powers

Tuesday
Apr162013

Interview with Steven Reineke, Musical Director/Conductor of The New York Pops

In my seventh video interview, Call Me Adam sat down with Steven Reineke, Musical Director/Conductor of The New York Pops to talk about The New York Pops 30th Anniversary Gala on Monday, April 29 at 7pm featuring Megan Hilty, Laura Osnes, Kelli O'Hara, Marilyn Maye, Donna Murphy, Nick Adams, Laura Benanti, Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase, Liz Callaway, Max von Essen, and many others! For tickets visit http://www.newyorkpops.org!

Monday
Apr152013

SNEAK PEAK: Call Me Adam chats with Steven Reineke about The New York Pops 30th Anniversary Gala

Here is an EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEAK at Call Me Adam's interview with Steven Reineke about The New York Pops' 30th Anniversary Gala taking place on Monday, April 29 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. For tickets visit www.newyorkpops.org.

 

Tuesday
Apr022013

Lucie Arnaz: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts Interview

The daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Lucie Arnaz has had an extremely diversified career spanning over 45 years in show business. She made her Broadway debut as "Sonia Wolsk" in Neil Simon-Marvin Hamlisch-Carole Bayer Sager-musical They're Playing Our Song for which she won the Theatre World, LA Drama Critics and Outer Critic's Circle Awards and has gone onto star in numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway shows as well as dazzling audiences in both film and television.

Now Lucie is continuing on with her recording career as she comes to Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 8pm with her show "An Evening with Lucie Arnaz" where concert goers can hear new arrangements of favorite standards by Gershwin, Ellington, and Porter, as well as Latin tunes made famous by her father and showstoppers from her Broadway career. Showtime is 8pm. Click here for tickets!

For more on Lucie be sure to visit http://www.luciearnaz.com and follow her on Facebook!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Not ever going to be sure of that. One would have to guess though, right? My folks were in the biz and I saw that they loved what they did for a living. If they sold fruit and loved it, I might be a produce manager now.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? The list is very long. And most have died. But, for the living, we can start with Ron Howard, Steven Soderberg, George Clooney, Kathleen Marshall, Hugh Grant...........and on and on.

3. You are going to be performing at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on May 18. What excites you about this upcoming concert? I rarely get a chance to perform my shows close to home and my friends are always asking when they can see me. Now they will have no excuse!!

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing your concert, "An Evening with Lucie Arnaz"? A happier outlook on their lives.

5. With a wide range of material to choose from, how did you decide which material you wanted to perform for this concert? Each show is a bit different from the last. I look at the audience I will be playing for (demographics sometimes matter- often they don't), the money matters only in the size of the band I can provide and the size of the band then decides which of my 200+ charts I will do. Some songs work well with a small band and other arrangements really need the full complement. This is going to be the trio show and so it's a cozier feel. The material is always drawn from the same well, though. GREAT SONGS. Or, at least, what I believe is a great song- fairly new or a vintage standard. Stick with the best songwriters and great stories and you cannot go wrong. Plus, I am an "arrangement whore." A good arrangement of a song can send it into a whole new stratosphere.

6. Your latest album Latin Roots, is a celebration of your Latin heritage. What made now the right time to put this CD together? I had been asked to produce an evening celebrating the music of my father and his Desi Arnaz Orchestra for the 40th Anniversary of Lyrics and Lyricists Series at The 92nd Street Y in NYC. My musical director and I had been discussing the idea of a "Latin Roots" CD for years as we do so much of this music in our shows. It seemed criminal not to have that kind of a CD available for sale in the lobby if we were going to produce this big evening tributing my roots. SO, we produced both at the same time!!!

7. What is your favorite part of the creative process in putting an album together? The first time I hear the charts played by the full orchestra is pretty fabulous. When you get the head phones on in the booth and start signing to those amazing tracks. And hearing the completed, mixed CD for the first time is bliss.

8. You starred in one of my favorite Broadway shows They're Playing Our Song. Looking back, what was the best part about starring in this show?  That's an almost impossible question to answer. There was so much good about that experience. Working with and learning from the genius that is Neil Simon. Working with and learning from the genius that was Marvin Hamlisch. Laughing harder than I can remember at Robert Klein's humor. Being directed by Robert Moore. Watch Carole Bayer Sager create. I am a lyricist, too, and that was a dream come true for me right there. Being a star in a hit Broadway show. That's like being Cinderella at the ball every night. NOT being nominated for a TONY. There was more love and compassion sent my way because of that than if I had WON. And, best of all, I met my husband Larry Luckinbill, during the run of that show and we have been married 32 years now and he gave me three beautiful children and two delightful stepsons.

9. What do you get from your theatrical ventures that you do not get from your music or television/film work? A sense that, after working very hard and giving it my all during rehearsal, that I did it all by my self once the curtain goes up. There is great pride in that. It's a big wire act that thrills me to no end. It is also a huge amount of work to DO eight shows a week for an extended period, to keep showing up every night and giving 100%. That is something to be very proud of. 

10. You were the executive producer of two specials about your parents Lucy and Desi, the I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special and Lucy & Desi: A Home Movie. What was it like going back through all the pictures and footage for these specials? I directed Lucy & Desi: A Home Movie, too, and in both cases, it was a very healing experience. I encourage everyone to try it, whether they have famous parents or not. Walk a mile in their shoes and see what choices you might have made if you had been in their place at the same time. It's a very forgiving experience.

Lucy Arnaz, Desi Arnaz, Desi Arnaz Jr, Lucie Arnaz, Photo from www.luciearnaz.com11. What do you miss most about your parents? Boy, you ask the big questions, don't ya? I feel like I should have a book deal and a big advance at this point for these answers!!!!! I miss now what I missed when they were both alive. I miss them being there.

12. What is like to be the daughter of two people who made such a big impact on the world of entertainment? A gift. A bonus. A pain in the ass.  A huge responsibility. A challenge. An inspiration. A reason to search for the real truth in life. SO, ultimately, a blessing.

13. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That I can be a light in this world.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

14. What's the best advice you've ever received? 

From my father: "There must be a way."

 From my mother: "Be good to Lucie." 

 From Unity: That we are all ONE and the power of God is within ME.

15. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I have not got a clue. Can I see the list of super powers? Is there a power to bring peace to all nations? If so, that would be my choice.

More on Lucie:

Lucie Arnaz's other New York stage credits include Lost in YonkersDirty Rotten Scoundrels and Grace and Glorie; in the London premiere of The Witches Of Eastwick; in the Coconut Grove Playhouse premieres of Once Removed and A Picasso; in national tours of SeesawWhose Life Is It Anyway?Social Security and My One And Only (Sarah Siddons Award); and in regional theatre productions of Wonderful Town, Master ClassCabaretThe GuardsmanAnnie Get Your GunI Do! I Do!Educating RitaVanities, and Mack And Mabel.

She has appeared on television in The Lucie Arnaz ShowSons And DaughtersThe Black DahliaThe Mating SeasonWho Gets The Friends?Washington Mistress, Death Scream and six seasons of Here's Lucy; on the big screen with Neil Diamond and Sir Laurence Oliver in The Jazz Singer (Golden Globe Nomination), Down To YouSecond ThoughtsBilly Jack Goes To WashingtonThe PackWild Seven and has lent her voice to the new animated fantasy about the NY Yankees, Henry And Me.

Lucie has performed the opening number on the Academy Awards (1981) and at The White House several times. She was Executive Producer of the I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special (Emmy nomination), and Lucy & Desi: A Home Movie (Emmy winner 1993). She recorded her first album for Concord Jazz, "Just In Time," and her newest CD, "Latin Roots," is a celebration of just what the title says. Lucie has been traveling the country and the world with her various concerts for over 20 years. With her brother, Desi, she manages Desilu, too, LLC. With her husband, actor Laurence Luckinbill, she manages five grown children.