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Entries in Feinstein's 54 Below (25)

Wednesday
Sep062017

Call Redialed: Maxine Linehan: "One: The Songs of U2" at Feinstein's/54 Below

Maxine Linehan, Photo Credit: Emma MeadeMaxine Linehan has one of the most beautiful voices I've heard! The minute I was introduced to Maxine, I fell in love with her. From U2's "One" to Martina McBride's "In My Daughter's Eyes" to Petula Clark's "Downtown," Maxine really knows how to put her stamp on a song. She makes them sound like they were written just for her! 

It's been two years since my last interview with Maxine, so believe me, it's wonderful to catch up with her as she readies to hit the Feinstein's/54 Below stage this fall with her show One: The Songs of U2The extraordinary songs written by Bono and U2 find a new voice in a concert that holds to the beautiful melodies, while bringing the lyrics forward into a fresh light. Accompanied by piano, cello, violin, bass, and drums, Maxine will continue her mission of providing audiences with the unexpected experience of hearing U2's famous songs as if for the first time - while staying true to the heart and soul of each time-honored hit.

One: The Songs of U2 will be play Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue) on September 15 & October 13Click here for tickets!

For more on Maxine be sure to visit http://maxinelinehan.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

For more on Feinstein's/54 Below visit https://54below.com and follow them on FacebookTwitterYouTube, & Instagram!

1. It's so great to catch up with you! Last time we chatted was in 2015 when you were releasing your album Beautiful Songs. What do you feel has changed the most for you in the past two years since we last spoke? I love chatting with you Adam, and spinning with you! Beautiful Songs was an exciting project and the album has been so well received, beyond my expectations - it even became a top 10 pick by USA Today. That album and show was really the catalyst for what has become a wonderful concert career. The next show we created was What Would Petula Do?, my tribute to Petula Clark. It has travelled the county and last year we took it to Paris’ famed Théâtre du Châtelet where it sold out. At that performance we recorded a live album with an incredible Parisian orchestra which will be released in the Fall.

Beautiful Songs also features U2’s "One," which was the first time I had recorded or performed a U2 song, and that led to my asking the question, "Are there more U2 songs that could be given this treatment?" Turns out there were!

2. Now, you are getting ready to return to Feinstein's/54 Below with your show One: The Songs of U2. What made now the right time to perform this show? The songs written by Bono and U2 are extraordinary. Many of my fans who have heard me sing The American Songbook are not too familiar with the songbook of the boys from Dublin. Bringing that music to a different audience has been very exciting. We performed the show for the first time as concert with many performers and a fundraiser for BCEFA, and the response really surprised me. The audience fell in love with the profound lyrics combined with the beautiful new orchestrations. As I developed the show further, I found new meaning and emotion in these classic songs. Bono doesn’t write fluff, he’s one of the greatest lyricists of our time, and when you shine a light on his lyrics they are very powerful. It’s amazing to me that songs they wrote in the 1980’s about war, about taking care of each other, are more relevant today than ever! Our world is chaotic right now and to come together with music, spreading words of love and forgiveness is essential.

3. Let's go back to the beginning for a moment. When did you become a U2 fan? What was it about that particular song/time that made you go, this is a group, I will like for years to come? Growing up in Ireland it was easy to become a U2 fan. As a nation, we are exceedingly proud of these four Irish men who changed the face of music. Of course today it’s not only their music that is extraordinary, it’s also the longevity. I just saw The Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour and they are as exciting and relevant today as they were 30 years ago! As I mentioned, recording "One" on Beautiful Songs was a tipping point. The potency of that song performed live is outstanding.

4. How long did it take you to create this show...from idea to inception? The show developed from a group concert to a solo show over a two year period. I have collaborated with Scott Siegel (Director) and Ryan Shirar (Music Director) on all my concerts and together I believe we’ve created something very unique with this show.

5. What was the hardest part about putting this show together and what was the most fun? The hardest part was selecting the songs. With such a vast and brilliant songbook, it was very difficult to select just 14 or 15 songs. The most fun for me was hearing Ryan’s orchestrations played by some of my favorite musicians for the first time. I was reduced to tears. Tears of joy!

Maxine Linehan6. With U2's immense catalog of music, how did you narrow down which songs you wanted to perform? Well, as I said, it was the most challenging part. However, I need to sing songs that resonate with me on a deep personal level so that was a helpful way to narrow down the song choices. I don’t think I can bring anything new or interesting to "Mysterious Ways" or "Lemon," but I sure do connect with "One" and "Bad!"

7. For those who are big U2 fans, why should they come to see you sing their music? How do you think you'll win them over? As some critics have said, it’s U2 like you’ve never heard them before. I’m no Bono, no one ever will be! With all my tribute shows I’m very careful to interpret, not impersonate. I take these incredible U2 songs and present them through my voice, my experiences and my emotions.

One of the things I find most remarkable about the reception this show has received is the support of diehard U2 fans! When I see these fan clubs and social media groups talk about how much they love my interpretations it validates me. I’m so grateful to all the U2 fans for that support.

8. How do you feel your musical style or interpretation of music is similar to theirs to make you a premiere interpreter? Deep, compelling lyrics are my favorite. Connecting with an audience through the great lyrics of a song is one of the most powerful experiences a singer can have. U2 has always done that, and I continue to strive to do that with every song I sing.

Maxine Linehan9. One of my favorite U2 songs is "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." What is something you are still searching for? I find great joy in interpreting songs, from Gershwin to U2 and everything in between. The next chapter for me is about finding my own original voice. Songs that come from me. I have started to explore what that is and next year I will be teaming up with some remarkable writers to help me find that voice. So stay tuned!

10. Another one of their songs is "Last Night On Earth." If this was your last night on earth, how would you spend it? Sitting around the fire pit in my back garden with my husband and children, sipping wine and listening to U2!

11. If, during one of your shows, Bono jumped up and said, let's sing a duet together, your choice. Which song would you choose? "One." No contest! After I picked myself up off the floor of course!

Maxine LinehanMore on Maxine:

International concert and recording artist Maxine Linehan has been hailed as an incredible talent by the thousands of audiences who have witnessed her performances. Maxine made her Paris debut at Théâtre du Châtelet with the wildly acclaimed What Would Petula Do?, a tribute to Petula Clark. As a concert performer she has enraptured crowds in venues large and small, from New York’s Lincoln Center and The Town Hall, to Feinstein’s/54 Below and Birdland, to cities across America. Her ability to emotionally engage throughout a stunning vocal performance is unparalleled.

Her solo show An American Journey, a story of immigration told through song, sold out its New York City run, and led to a live album. Maxine's show Beautiful Songs (and album of the same name) also had a sold out run and received rave reviews from The New York Times, USA Today and The Huffington Post.

The most recent addition to her three albums, Beautiful SongsWhat Would Petula Do?, and An American Journey, is a single of U2’s "One." A live album of What Would Petula Do? at Théâtre du Châtelet drops in the Spring of 2017.

A Barrister by training, Linehan studied at The Inns of Court School of Law in London, The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and is a member of Actors’ Equity.  She lives in Vermont and New York City with her husband and two children.

Thursday
Aug242017

Call Redialed: Orfeh: "Legally Bound: Orfeh & Andy Karl Live at Feinstein's/54 Below"

Orfeh and Andy Karl at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Walter McBrideIn December 2016, I was lucky enough to attend Orfeh & Andy Karl's concert Legally Bound at Feinstein's/54 Below. Then it was announced that these concerts were going to be made into a live album by Broadway Records. I was beyond excited. The end result is an album that really captures the essence of the evening, from their powerhouse vocals to the fun and excitement of seeing them live.

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" to describe just how thrilling it was to speak with Orfeh about the making of Legally Bound: Orfeh & Andy Karl Live at Feinstein's/54 Below. She really gave me a piece of her heart, opening up to me about her life with Andy! This is one "History" lesson you don't want to miss!

Orfeh & Andy Karl: Legally Bound: Live at Feinstein's/54 Below is available now on Broadway Records and iTunes!

For more on Orfeh & Andy follow them on Twitter @official_orfeh and @Andy_Karl

For more on Broadway Records visit http://www.broadwayrecords.com and follow them on Twitter!

CD design by Robbie Rozelle1. You and Andy just released your live recording of Legally Bound: Live at Feinstein's/54 Below. What made you want to make this concert into a live album? We've been planning on doing a recording together for some time now as it's the one thing we have not done previously. At the time of the concerts, Andy was about to go into Groundhog Day & I was very busy with a few projects and we just felt this would be the perfect time to make this recording. These concerts get booked so far in advance and you just never know when the next opportunity for our schedules to align would come up, so we took advantage of this moment together. Plus, we were very proud of the performances and material.

2. What is the recording process like for a live album as opposed to a regular album? The process is really difficult, but we had a great team working with us. I produced the album with Broadway Records President Van Dean along with Steven Jamail and Michael Moritz & Robbie Rozelle. Steven & I come from the world of pop music while Robbie, Michael, & Van Dean are more musical theatre, so it was great to have all our expertises joined together.

The challenge of making a live CD is getting the right balance of capturing the live experience and not making it sound like mush. You want to be able to hear the harmonies, background vocalists, the bass at a certain time, etc. It's not easy to get it perfect, but we had so many great people helping, which made the process a lot easier.

Me: Well, the album does sound good. I've been listening to it since it's release and you did a great job with the mixing of it all. You hear a little bit of the plates clinging together, but it's so subtle, that you hardly notice it and it allows you to hear your vocals really well.

Orfeh: One thing we really strived for with this recording is to give it a feel, that if you weren't able to be in the audience for any of our shows, you can still capture the live experience of the nights.

Me: I definitely feel you did that. I was lucky enough to come see Legally Bound, but after listening to this album, you definitely capture the fun of the evening and how great & powerful it was to hear you and Andy sing. I love both of you individually, but hearing you two sing together with your powerhouse vocals was insane!

Orfeh and Andy Karl performing at Feinstein's/54 Below3. Were both of you equally invovled in organizing the concert or did one of you take the lead in putting it together? It was definitely 50/50. You've got to make it comofortable for both of you. You know, Andy & I sing in such different stratospheres and keys so, when we were doing the opening Motown Medley, we had to choose songs that would work for both of our voices because our vocals then have to blend on the harmonies as well. Those songs are so harmony heavy that it’s very important to pick songs that make sense vocally.

4. One of my favorite songs that you did was Whitney Houston’s "I’m Your Baby Tonight." I liked how you said, at the show, that this is a song everybody knows, but it’s not a song done very often. You did it so well. Out of all the songs in Whitney’s music catalog, what was it about that song that made you go, this is the song I want to sing? ? It’s my favorite Whitney song. It’s such a catchy, first-listen hit, that no matter what the audience is like (whether they be rock-heavy or Broadway-heavy), it’s going to be a major crowd pleaser, if you do justice to it.

Whitney made her songs seem so effortless to sing, but they are actually very complicated to do. There was no voice like Whitney before her and there will never be a voice like hers again. I got to meet Whitney a few times and she was so nice to me and the people around me. I love her so much & miss her terribly.

I never wanted to do a concert and say, "Well, I’m going to sing Whitney now because she’s gone." It's like with Prince, I’ve been singing "Kiss" for years and I decided to add Whitney in because I am finally at a place vocally, where I feel I can do the song correctly and not have a melt down in the middle of it.

Andy Karl and Orfeh5. What was your favorite duet to perform with Andy? We really enjoyed performing "Make Like A Nail"/"If Can Dream" (from The Great American Trailer Park Musical & the Elvis Presley song). Somehow you would never think these songs would make any sense together and somehow they do. We’ve done it in the past and I just think it works really well and I think the audience enjoys it, so again, you are hitting on all cylinders.

I also think, oddly, which no one expected us to do, is "History" by One Direction. I feel like this is the best track on the album. It’s such a great song, such a catchy melody, but you’d never think the two of us would do it. We loved singing it. The back-up singers enjoyed singing it. The band loved playing it. It’s one of those songs that will definitely be a keeper in the set.

I come from the pop world, I had a pop hit years ago, but randomly, here we are doing a Broadway-esq cabaret show with pop songs including a One Direction song, which we made a video of for Broadway.com, and I often hear from fans or read on Twitter people saying they like this version better than the One Direction version. Some say it’s their favorite track on the CD. Here, we get to introduce this song to an audience that may not be One Direction fans and they instantly like it. I think that is the point of music. Good music is good music and that’s universal.

6. Was there anything, now that the album is out and you’ve had time to look back on the concert, you wish you did a little bit differently? I don’t think I would do anything differently. I’m very happy with how everything turned out and the choices we made.

Orfeh and Andy Karl7. Since the show was called Legally Bound and that is the name of the album, what is your secret to a successful marriage with Andy? I guess, according to the entertainment world, we’ve been married for like 110 years [laughs]. A long time ago, a girl I knew had a very successful/happy marriage and I said to her, "What’s the secret to your marriage?" and she said, "I married my best friend." Recently, I was having this same conversation with someone and they asked me the same question and I said, "Andy is my best friend. The best person I know on the planet."  I know it sounds cliché, but that is a very major ingredient. Prior to Andy, I had some ridiculous boyfriends, so I sort of came to the party with the knowledge of what I didn’t want in a relationship. That made things easier because I was able to go, "This I don’t want, this I don’t want, and this I don’t want," and then you meet someone who’s not suffering from those issues, who happens to be the most wonderful person out there. And Andy’s a really good person. We kind of matched instantly and while we are very different people, our core values are very similar, so it just really worked out.

Because of our schedules there’s a lot of time apart, which in it’s own bizarre way helps because it gives us our individual space and time. But what it really comes down to is that I like the person I love. When you like the person you love, it’s very, very, different and I like Andy more than anyone on this planet.

8. Just to go back in time a little bit. You and Andy met during the Broadway run of Saturday Night Fever. How long after you met, did you feel like he’s the one? We got married six months later [laughs]. It was truly love at first sight. It was one of those moments that you only think are complete nonsense when you hear about them happening to other people or you see them in movies or on TV. It’s a fantasy, but then it happened to both of us and we still look at each other and say, "Did that really happen to us?" [laughs]

Andy came into Saturday Night Fever in July and we got married in January. There are some people to this day who don’t know we’re married, but certainly, the cast/crew of Saturday Night Fever had no idea. It was just one of those moments. It's like trying to explain catching lightening in a bottle. It really was love at first sight. Nobody thought it would last, but, you know, they were wrong. And he’ll be the one forever and ever!

9. What’s next for you and Andy together, career wise? We’d love to do some film/TV together. I don’t have concrete dates yet, but I definitely think there will be more concerts in the not so distant future. The goal would be to wind up in some project together.

OrfehMore on Orfeh:

Broadway: "Paulette" in Legally Blonde: The Musical (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, Broadway.com Audience Award), Saturday Night Fever, Fascinating Rhythm, Footloose. Off Broadway: Love, Loss, and What I Wore, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Love, Janis. TV/Film: Sleeping with the Fishes (with Gina Rodgriguez), Across the Universe, Film U, L&O CI, Sex and the City, Chappelle's Show. She has performed at Lincoln Center with her husband, Olivier Award winner and Tony nominee Andy Karl, and in numerous Broadway benefits including Hair for the Actors Fund (Grammy nomination). Her extensive recording career includes music with the '90s pop group Or-N-More, she has performed with many music icons from legends the O'Jays to Cissy Houston. Her solo CD, What Do You Want From Me, latest single, "Forget My Name," and live album Orfeh & Andy Karl: Legally Bound – Live at Feinstein's/54 Below are available on iTunes.

Andy KarlMore on Andy:

Winner of the 2017 Olivier Award for "Best Actor" in a Musical for Groundhog Day, Andy was recently seen on the NBC series Law & Order: SVU as "Sergeant Mike Dodds." Andy has also won the Outer Critics Circle Award and has been nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Drama League Awards for his starring role opposite Kristin Chenoweth in the Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century. For his critically acclaimed performance as "Rocky Balboa" in the Broadway musical Rocky, Andy was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards. Other Broadway credits include the revival of The Mystery of Edwin DroodJersey BoysWicked9 to 5Legally BlondeThe Wedding Singer and Saturday Night Fever. Off-Broadway/NYC credits include Chita Rivera: NOWADAYS at Carnegie Hall, Annie Get Your Gun (City Center), Altar Boyz (OCC Award), Slut and Saturday Night. His film and television credits include Forever, And So It Goes, Joyful Noise, and Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods.

Monday
Aug212017

Call Redialed: Lindsay Mendez: Feinstein's/54 Below: The Golden Age of Broadway

Lindsay Mendez, Photo Credit: Murphy Made Photography (Matthew Murphy)It's been five years since Lindsay Mendez & I got to chat, so it's great to finally catch up with her and find out what's been happening! First and foremost, we talk about her upcoming concert at Feinstein's/54 Below from Sepetmeber 12-16, highlighting the Golden Age of Broadway. We also discuss life changes, Broadway, and the one thing Lindsay has not spoken about in any other interview....

Lindsday Mendez will be performing at Feinstein's/54 Below from September 12-16. Click here for tickets!

For more on Lindsay follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

For more on Feinstein's/54 Below visit https://54below.com and follow them on FacebookTwitterYouTube, & Instagram!

Lindsay Mendez Wakefield & Philip Wakefield, Photo Credit: Murphy Made Photography (Matthew Murphy)1. I can't believe it's been five years since we last spoke! It was 2012 and you were starring in Pasek & Paul's Dogfight. What do you feel has been the biggest change for you or in you during these last five years? I know!!! So wild! And so happy to be back! The biggest change in the last 5 years is probably my new marriage! I am married to an amazing man named Philip Wakefield now…and my marriage and our little family is a big focus for me and what I am working for.

2. However, I did get to see you in Significant Other in 2016 which I loved. It was like watching my own life of dating unravel before my eyes. What did you relate to most about your character and that story? Well, I saw myself so much in this story…both in the character I played AND in Gideon’s character from my single days. I think I related most to that feeling of change and growth in friendship…and how it can be really painful when people are growing at different rates than you are. I went through that a lot when I first moved to New York and all of my friends from home were settling down...and it still felt very palpable to me when I played this role this time around.

Lindsay Mendez3. This September you are returning to Feinstein's/54 Below with an all new solo show performing songs from the golden age of Broadway, beloved tunes from your collaborations with current musical theatre writers, and more! My first question right away is, what is the more? HAHA. I’d say the "more" are selections of random FAVORITE artists of mine that may or may NOT be Musical Theatre artists. Fans that know me know that I am also a folk music fan…and if they come to see my show…they will DEFINITELY get to hear some great folk tunes that evening as well.

4. What is it about the Golden Age of Broadway that made you want to create a show around that time? The first music I fell in love with as a child was Rodger’s and Hammerstein and MGM Judy Garland movies…that material was exactly why I wanted to do this for a living. And when I think of Cabaret, I think of exposing the audience to your own personal style, taste, and journey…so this felt like the right time for me to express and explore my love for the art form THROUGH the stuff that got me started.

Lindsay Mendez singing at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: David Gordon5. If you could have been in any show during the Golden Age of Broadway, which show or shows, would you have liked to be part of? OH MAN!!! SOOO MANY! Meet Me In St. Louis, Bell’s Are Ringing, High Spirits, Oklahoma, Flora The Red Menace……dare I go on? You don’t have enough cyber space!

6. What do you like most about performing at Feinstein's/54 Below? I absolutely LOVE the atmosphere there. The audiences are all so warm, kind and appreciative. And the staff is just lovely to work with, always. And, that venue is so iconic, and beautiful. It just feels like home to me. And it feels like what I always dreamt cabaret would feel like…it’s that exact feeling. Like the PERFECT….jacuzzi??? Warm, welcoming, life-changing. (Is that too much?)

7. Which musical theatre writers songs will you be singing? What is it about them that makes you want to perform their music? I am going to be singing some Marvin Hamlisch, Stephen Schwartz, Pasek and Paul, and Ryan Scott Oliver. I have a nice long history with all of these composers…and singing their work feels like an extension of them that I am excited and honored to get to present. These are all people I love (or loved), and I couldn’t perform a night without having them be up on that stage with me.

Lindsay Mendez with Pasek and Paul8. Which writers do you want to work with that you haven't already? OH my! There are so many! I love collaborating with anyone who wants to write and work…so I don’t feel like I can name anyone specifically. I am OPEN and always excited to attack new work!

9. What is something you can tell us about Lindsay Mendez that you haven't revealed in another interview before? Hmmmmm….I love clothes???? Shopping is like, the biggest release and relaxation exercise for me. I LOVE getting to shop around and try stuff on…even if I don’t end up buying anything…it’s just something I used to do with my mom that always makes me feel happy and energized.

10. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better every day? Oh! I love this! Okay…one thing I would love to improve everyday is committing time “for myself…” where I am not booked up all day everyday and never have a moment for me to just, read, exercise, walk my dog, or hang out and watch tv...that is something I would love to get better at.

Lindsay Mendez, Photo Credit: Murphy Made Photography (Matthew Murphy)More on Lindsay:

Lindsay Mendez is a gifted singer and actress who has appeared in numerous Broadway shows including Grease, Everyday Rapture, and Godspell. In her most recent Broadway musical engagement, Lindsay took flight with the role of "Elphaba" in Wicked. Lindsay is celebrated for her star turn in Pasek & Paul’s Dogfight, which premiered at Second Stage Theater in 2012, where she earned Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama League Awards nominations.

Thursday
Aug032017

Call Redialed: Facetime Interview: Michael Feinstein: "Showstoppers" at Feinstein's/54 Below

Live from Feinstein's/54 Below, "Call Me Adam" brings the 11 o'clock number to this interview with Michael Feinstein, two-time Emmy & five-time Grammy nominee, about his upcoming concert Showstoppers at Feinstein's/54 Below!

It was great getting to catch-up with Michael, from learning why Michael initially wanted to purchase 54 Below to what he feels makes a song a "showstopper." We also clear the air about misconceptions & find out how Michael wants to improve his life by one percent better everyday!

Showstoppers will feature songs by iconic Broadway composers and lyricists such as Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Marvin Hamlisch, and even some contemporary composers and lyricists of today as well as the backstories of each song. Joining Michael at some of his shows will be Broadway's Erich Bergen (August 12), John Lloyd Young (August 23-27), and Betty Buckley (August 29-September 3).

Showstoppers will play Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue) from August 8-September 3. Click here for tickets!

For more on Michael be sure to visit https://www.michaelfeinstein.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

For more on Feinstein's/54 Below visit https://54below.com and follow them on FacebookTwitterYouTube, & Instagram!

Call Me Adam's 11 o'clock interview with Michael Feinstein:

Michael Feinstein's preview of his concert Showstoppers:

More on Michael:

Two-time Emmy & five-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein is the Ambassador of the Great American Songbook. He has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American Songbook to the world with recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations, Emmy nominated PBS-TV specials, acclaimed NPR series, and concerts spanning the globe. His work as an educator and archivist define Feinstein as one of the most important musical forces of our time.

In 2007, he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Songbook Academy. This summer intensive open to students from across the country has produced graduates who have gone on to record acclaimed albums and appear on television programs such as NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.

Michael earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his CD celebrating the music of "'Ol' Blue Eyes." The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life was released in 2011. He released the CDs The Power Of Two – collaborating with Glee and 30 Rock star Cheyenne Jackson – and Cheek To Cheek, recorded with Broadway legend Barbara Cook. For Feinstein’s CD We Dreamed These Days, he co-wrote the title song with Dr. Maya Angelou.

Michael Feinstein "The Sinatra Legacy"Michael FeinsteinHis Emmy Award-nominated TV special Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, aired across the country in 2011. The PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook, the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award, was broadcast for three seasons and is available on DVD. His most recent primetime PBS-TV Special, New Year’s Eve at The Rainbow Room – written and directed by Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry – aired in 2014. For his nationally syndicated public radio program Song Travels, Michael interviews and performs alongside of music luminaries such as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Rickie Lee Jones, David Hyde Pierce and more.

Michael was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012 and made his conducting debut in June 2013 to celebrated critical acclaim. Under Michael’s leadership, the Pasadena Pops has quickly become a premier orchestral presenter of the Great American Songbook with definitive performances of rare orchestrations and classic arrangements. He launched an additional Pops series at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Florida in 2014.

Michael’s book The Gershwins and Me – the Los Angeles Times best-seller from Simon & Schuster – features a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano.

Michael serves as Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The theater is home to diverse live programming and a museum for his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Since 1999, he has served as Artistic Director for Carnegie Hall’s Standard Time with Michael Feinstein in conjunction with ASCAP. In 2010 he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Michael FeinsteinLiza MinnelliFeinstein’s at the Nikko, Michael’s nightclub at San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel, has presented the top talents of pop and jazz since 2013. He debuted at Feinstein’s/54 Below, his new club in New York, late in 2015. His first venue in New York, Feinstein’s at the Regency, featured major entertainers such as Rosemary Clooney, Glen Campbell, Barbara Cook, Diahann Carroll, Jane Krakowski, Lea Michele, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Alan Cumming from 1999 to 2012.

He has designed a new piano for Steinway called The First Ladies, inspired by the White House piano and signed by several former First Ladies. It was first played to commemorate the Ronald Regan centennial on February 6, 2011.

In 2013 Michael released Change Of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn in collaboration with four time Oscar and eleven time Grammy Award-winning composer-conductor-pianist Andre Previn. The album celebrates Previn’s pop songs and motion picture classics. Earlier album highlights include Hopeless Romantics, a songbook of classics by Michael’s late friend Harry Warren, recording with legendary jazz pianist George Shearing. His album with songwriting icon Jimmy Webb, Only One Life – The Songs of Jimmy Webb, was named one of "10 Best CDs of the Year" by USA Today.

Michael received his fourth Grammy nomination for Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, his first recording with a symphony orchestra. The year before, Rhino/Elektra Music released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning 1987 to 1996 and featuring old favorites and previously-unreleased tracks.

Michael was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Michael became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.

Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which Michael evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music. He also has become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren. Feinstein has received three honorary doctorates.

Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins, Bob Merrill and Marshall Barer), Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.

Wednesday
Aug022017

Call Answered: Facetime interview with "Queen Lesli" Margherita: "Rule Your Kingdom" at Feinstein's/54 Below

Live from Feinstein's/54 Below, "Queen Lesli" Margherita & I have a slap-fest over the return of her signature cabaret show Rule Your Kingdom which will be presented August 24-26!

With her take-no-prisoners attitude and self-deprecating humor, Rule Your Kingdom "inspires," "uplifts," and "slaps you across the face" – and let’s be honest, everyone needs a good slap in the face every once in a while.

Rule Your Kingdom will play Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue) from August 24-26. Click here for tickets!

For more on Lesli be sure to visit http://leslimargherita.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

For more on Feinstein's/54 Below visit https://54below.com and follow them on FacebookTwitterYouTube, & Instagram!

Call Me Adam & "Queen Lesli" Margherita's slap-fest interview:

Lesli Margherita's preview performance from Rule Your Kingdom:

More on Lesli:

An Olivier Award winner for her West End debut as Inez in ZORRO THE MUSICAL, Lesli made her Broadway debut originating the role of "Mrs. Wormwood" in MATILDA THE MUSICAL. After over 1000 performances, she bid farewell to the Broadway company of Matilda and crossed the street to The Helen Hayes to star as the diva "Mona Kent" in the Broadway premiere of Randy Skinner's DAMES AT SEA. In September 2016, Lesli returned to the role she originated to close out the Broadway run of MATILDA.

Last summer, Lesli created the award-winning role of "Signora Psyche Zinobia" in the NYMF production of A SCYTHE OF TIME (Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role). Later in the summer, she appeared as "Esmerelda" in a brand new production of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME at Sacramento Music Circus. Lesli also starred opposite Topher Grace, Taye Diggs & JC Chasez in the feature film Opening Night.

Born and raised in California, Lesli trained at UCLA and was soon after chosen to star in MGM's television series Fame LA directed by Kenny Ortega. She has gone on to star and recur on numerous television shows and pilots including Donny!, The Good Wife, Major Crimes, The Suite Life On Deck, Charmed, NYPD Blue,  and On The Lot, produced by Steven Spielberg.

Film credits include Lucky Stiff with Jason Alexander, Joel Schumacher's The Number 23, and the Sam Raimi produced Boogeyman 2. Lesli's voice can also be heard on several animated films and shows including Disney's Cinderella 3 and Nickelodeon's Sponge Bob Squarepants.

Regional stage credits include "Lilli/Kate" in KISS ME KATE (Reprise; Ovation Award - Best Actress), THE GRONHOLM METHOD (The Falcon; Ovation nom. - Best Ensemble), "Aldonza" in MAN OF LA MANCHA opposite Davis Gaines (MTW; Ovation nom. & LADCC nom - Best Actress), "Julie" in SHOWBOAT (Goodspeed Opera), "Audrey" in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (La Mirada), "Lady of the Lake" in SPAMALOT opposite Gary Beach (Sacramento Music Circus), "Ilona" in SHE LOVES ME (CLOSBC), the West Coast Premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE (Blank Theatre), Rated RSO (Boston Court), and "Gloria" in DAMN YANKEES (Reprise; dir. Jason Alexander).

In June 2015, Lesli published NECK PUNCH and CARRY ON: Advice from the "Queen", a series of 'inspirational' messages inspired from her Twitter feed (@QueenLesli). The book, which debuted at #1 on the Humor charts, is available exclusively on iBooks.

She is the creator/star of 'Looks Not Books' and 'Ship Happens' the popular backstage vlogs commissioned by Broadway.com which can also be seen on YouTube. Lesli's critically acclaimed solo shows ALL HAIL THE QUEEN​ and BROAD continue to play to crowds in NY, SF & LA.