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"Call Me Adam" chats with...



Entries in Lyricist (16)


Call Answered: Adam Overett: Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy: 2015 NYC International Fringe Festival

Adam Overett and Call Me Adam at "Bound for Broadway with Liz Callaway"

Update: Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy has been selected to be part of the 2015 Fringe Encore Series at the SoHo Playhouse. If you did not get the chance to see Popesical: A Papal Musical this summer in the NYC International Fringe Festival, you have four more chances to confess your sin and see this show, through October 26! Click here for tickets! 

It's Adam x 2! Can you handle all this Adam?? I first came to know Adam Overett when I attended Bound for Broadway with Liz Callaway in 2013. I was so impressed by Adam's performance (okay and good looks), I knew, I just had to talk with him. Well, after two years of staying in touch, I am overjoyed that we finally get to do an interview together for his show Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy that is premiering in the 2015 NYC International Fringe Festival from August 20-29 at Theatre 80 in NYC's East Village (80 St. Marks Place), presented by Tilted Windmills Theatricals. 

In Popesical: A Papal Musical Comedy, The Pope is dead. The Cardinals gather in the Sistine Chapel, where they will compete in a series of grueling "Papal Challenges" to choose the new Pope. For whom will the white smoke rise?

For more on Adam be sure to visit and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

1. Your show, Popesical, is playing in the NYC International Fringe Festival from August 20-29. What made you want to bring Popesical to the Fringe Festival as opposed to one of the other theatrical festivals in the city? This is my first show with the Fringe, but the producers of POPESICAL, Tilted Windmills Theatricals, have produced shows at the Fringe before, including SILENCE! THE MUSICAL and YEAST NATION, so they know the territory and thought Fringe was the best place to start this show off. They love the fun, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants scrappiness of this festival, and I've been having a blast myself. It's a great lesson in being flexible and economical, and I love theater that calls on those qualities.

2. Popesical is about a group of Cardinals who compete in top-secret "Papal Challenges" to succeed the Pope. What made you want to write this show? When Pope John Paul II died, I was fascinated by the idea of this conclave, this centuries-old tradition that is conducted entirely in secret in the Sistine Chapel, one of the most incredible rooms on earth. I found myself wondering, what could they possibly be doing and talking about in there? How does one prove that he is the best person to serve as the Vicar of Christ? Years later, I had the opportunity to write a 15-minute show in a week for a group of eight talented theater students from UC Irvine, and I wrote a short piece about the conclave, with all of them in Cardinal roles that showed off their particular talents. As I worked on it, I started to think it was also, in a way, a kind of metaphor for religion -- you don't know what happens in there, so you have to take it on faith. You are asked to trust what is hidden from you, what you can't see. And I think that faith and trust have their upsides and their downsides, and I'm very interested in that. So I expanded it into a full-length musical.

Cast of "Popesical: A Papal Musical"3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Popesical? I want them to laugh like crazy. And then I want them to be surprised to find themselves really moved. And I hope they leave thinking that maybe the real point of all this -- all these traditions, all this faith and trust -- is to learn to love each other and ourselves better.

4. If you could give people one reason as to why they should come see Popesical, what would that reason be? If you don't, you'll go to hell. It's definitely one of the Commandments.

5. What excites you about having this cast bring Popesical to life? What made you want to have Drew Geraci direct this show? In my first conversation with Drew, I knew he had both the humor and the heart that this show requires -- that he really got it, and that we were passionate about it in the same way. Same with the cast -- they're unbelievable. Watching them in rehearsals is a total delight. Each of them belongs in this crazy conclave. Being an actor myself, I find that the best part of creating a show is finding a synergy between the material and the cast, and the connection among the actors themselves. I want the cast of this show to feel like a family, a wacky family of Cardinals that love to play together, and with this group we've found them. It's incredibly rewarding.

The Cardinals of "Popesical; A Papal Musical"6. Who or what inspired you to become a writer/performer? I started writing new lyrics to songs we learned in first grade. I showed them to my teacher and she said, "You should be a lyricist. Do you know what is?" I didn't, but I was happy to find out. Not long after that, I started listening to cast albums, thinking, "I want to have made this, and to be in it." And off I went.

7. What's the best advice you've ever received? "People will try to pigeon-hole you. Don't let them. Be yourself." It can be very hard -- to trust yourself, love yourself, be yourself -- but it is always the best thing you can do. I got this from a producer I worked for shortly after graduating college. He turned out to be very right. (And a good producer -- he won the Tony for GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE).

Adam Overett composing8. What have you learned about yourself from being a writer/performer? I've learned a lot about the different sides I have. It may be sort of a given that a writer's main character will reflect the writer strongly, but I've found that every character, including the villains, expresses something I carry in me. I find myself surprised after writing something, like, "I didn't know I thought or felt that way."

After writing this show, I realized I have a much more complex relationship with religion than I thought I did. My stories tend to be about people who find in themselves a greater strength than they ever thought they had. So perhaps a lot of what I do as a writer is looking for my own inner strength.

9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Flying. Cliche I know, but I think it would be freaking awesome.

10. Favorite way to stay in shape? Ice cream and pizza. They have never steered me wrong.


11. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs, or boxer-briefs. Some compromise can be a good thing.

Adam OverettMore on Adam:

As a composer/lyricist/librettist, he is the creator of MY LIFE IS A MUSICAL (2014 world premiere production at Bay Street Theatre; 2013 developmental lab production at the Duke Theatre, produced by Martin Platt, David Elliott, Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Patrick Blake, Jhett Tolentino & Joan Raffe, 2013); POPESICAL (2012 developmental production at the Lyric Theatre in LA, 2013 concert performance at Joe’s Pub, NYC); CALL IT COURAGE (based on the Newbery Medal-winning book by Armstrong Sperry), which had its premiere youth production at the Zachary Scott Theatre in Austin, TX (2010), where it was nominated for five B. Iden Payne Awards, including Outstanding Original Script and Outstanding Production of Youth Theatre; and many other works. He also contributed music and additional lyrics to the current off-Broadway hit CLOWN BAR (The Box, summer 2014, NYC) by Adam Szymkowicz.

As an actor, Adam has appeared on Broadway and on national tour in THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, understudying and performing the role of "Fabrizio." He played "Neil Kellerman" in the national tour of DIRTY DANCING, and is currently in the cast of MURDER FOR TWO at New World Stages, after appearing in productions of the show at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the Adirondack Theatre Festival, and the 42nd St. Moon Theatre in San Francisco. He originated the role of "Herb" in the off-Broadway show JUNIE B. JONES (by Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich, based on the bestselling book series) at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, and has performed in many other productions throughout New York City and the country.

He has been a Musical Theater Fellow at the Dramatists Guild (2010-2011), a Lucille Lortel Award nominee for his contribution to the score of the Off-Broadway musical WE THE PEOPLE (2011), and a two-time Harrington Award winner as a member of both the BMI Advanced Musical Theater Workshop and Librettists Workshop. He has also been a resident writer at the Goodspeed Mercer Colony and CAP21 (2013). His song "My Sky," performed by Stephanie J. Block, is featured on the album No More Revivals, released by Sh-K-Boom Records.

Adam is a member of the Lehman Engel Musical Theater Advanced Workshop at BMI, where he won the Jerry Harrington Award for Excellence. He has studied musical theater writing with Tony Award-winners Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty (RAGTIME), Adam Guettel (THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA), and with Andrew Lippa (THE ADDAMS FAMILY), and participated in the Nautilus Workshop on musical theatre collaboration at New Dramatists in 2010. Adam has also authored the short musical MAKING THE CALL; the screenplay The Swallow’s Nest; and several plays, including PASSPORT, STANDING GUARD, and THE BIRDBATH.

Adam is a graduate of Yale University, where he earned a B.A. in dramatic literature and music, and won the John Golden Prize for New Musicals. He is represented by Abrams Artists.


Call Redialed: NEW Facetime Interview with Sam Carner and Derek Gregor: Carner & Gregor One

Derek Gregor, Call Me Adam, and Sam CarnerLive from NYC, "Call Me Adam" catches up with award winning lyricist/composer Sam Carner and Derek Gregor to discuss the release of their debut album Carner & Gregor One featuring the talents of Tituss Burgess ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"), Natalie Weiss, Jeremy Jordan, Eric Michael Krop, Brian Justin Crum, Danielle Wade, Gregory Haney, Sophie Moshofsky, Jackie Burns, Joe Chisholm, Shannon Molly Flynn, Holland Mariah Grossman, Renee Reinecke, Emma Hunton, Nat Zegree, Emily Schultheis, Briana Carlson-Goodman, and Stephen Christopher Anthony. Click here to purchase Carner & Gregor One!

For more on Carner and Gregor be sure to visit and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube!

"Call Me Adam" interview with Carner and Gregor:

Derek Gregor and Sam CarnerMore on Carner and Gregor:

Sam Carner and Derek Gregor were included in’s 12 Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know, and their songs can be heard frequently in concerts around the country and world, having been performed on at least six continents–including Antarctica! They won the 2014 John Wallowitch Award for songwriters under 40 and were finalists for the 2014 Fred Ebb Award. Seven of their songs have been nominated for MAC Awards.

Their musical Unlock’d was produced Off-Broadway at the Duke Theater in the summer of 2013 ("gorgeous" –NYTimes "Astounding, enveloping" –Talkin’ Broadway). Previously Unlock’d won a Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was produced at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2007, where it won the "Best of the Fest" audience prize and received Talkin’ Broadway citations for "Outstanding New Musical" and "Outstanding Original Theatrical Score."

Their musical Island Song, which boasts five MAC-nominated songs, was workshopped in the summer of 2013 at the Balagan Theatre in Seattle and the Indiana Festival of Theatre, following fall 2012 concerts at (le) Poisson Rouge in New York and at Crawfish in Tokyo (in Japanese). The show was presented at the Bloomington Playwright’s project in February of 2014 ("mesmerizing… vibrant, supercharged" –Herald Times).

Other current projects include additional songs for Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (original songs by Michael Devon, book by Todd Graff, directed by Susan Stroman), a musical adaptation of Rex Rose’s novel Toast, and The Great Cookie Quest (a children’s musical with book by Jim Weitzer).

Sam and Derek’s short children’s musical Love, Splat has been touring the US since 2013 in the TheatreWorks USA revue The Teacher From the Black Lagoon and Other Stories. Their song "Sleep Song" was featured in Cait Doyle’s Hot Mess In Manhattan in its Araca Project production in 2012, and their song "Eleven O’Clock" was part of Unsung Musicals’ Passing Show in 2014. They wrote two songs for the popular web series My Gay Roommate. Their ten-minute musical Flash-Priest was presented by the Prospect Theatre Company in Rites of Passage in the spring of 2012.

In 2013, Sing, But Don’t Tell, an evening of Carner & Gregor songs sung by West End performers sold out London’s Matcham Room, and Sam and Derek returned to London in 2014 for a series of concerts at the St. James Studio. Notable New York concerts include Sing, But Don’t Tell at the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival, Buzzed: Tribe Members from Hair Sing Carner & Gregor (2010), and The Songs of Carner & Gregor at 54 Below (2014). They also created the Barely Legal Showtune Extravaganza series, which brings some of the country’s most talented college performers to New York every summer for a blow-out concert.


Call Answered: DISENCHANTED! Conference Call with Dennis T. Giacino and Fiely A. Matias

Dennis T. GiacinoFiely A. Matias"Call Me Adam" chats with Fiely A. Matias and Dennis T. Giacino, the director and book/composer/lyricist of the new Off-Broadway musical comedy DISENCHANTED! which is currently playing a limited run in NYC at the Theatre at St. Clements (423 West 46th Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue) through January 25 only! 

UPDATE: After a successful run at St. Clements, DISENCHANTED is now playing an open-end run at NYC's Westside Theatre (407 West 43rd Street between 9th and 10th Avenue)! So you have a second chance to this hilariously fun show! Click here for my review and link to tickets!

DISENCHANTED! tells the story of the original fairytale princesses and how they are none too happy with the exploitation they’ve suffered in today’s films, books and dolls. 

For more on DISENCHANTED! be sure to visit and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

1. Your newest show, DISENCHANTED! is currently running Off-Broadway at the Theatre at St. Clements through January 25. DISENCHANTED! What made you want to write and direct a musical comedy from the point of view of the Disney Princesses?

Fiely A. Matias: The idea for DISENCHANTED! popped into Dennis' mind several years ago while the two of us were performing Asian Sings The Blues on an international tour.

Dennis T. Giacino: I used to be a history teacher in the 80s and would, each year, tell the story of Pocahontas to 7th and 8th graders. I loved regaling the students with stories of this rough-and-tumble, 10 year old, Powhatan tyke from the pretty pinewoods of Appalachia. When the Disney animated film, Pocahontas, was released in 1995, and I saw their rendition of a more adult, deer pelt lingerie-wearing, somewhat voluptuous woman with long flowing hair, make-up, and leaves following her everywhere, the thought occurred to me:  What would the 10-year-old tomboy from history think of today's sexier, more adult pop culture version?! And a song was born! The show, featuring a band of pissed-off princesses singing out against today's obsession with dainty royals, wasn't far behind!

Fiely A. Matias: DISENCHANTED! is written from the point of view of the original fairytale princesses - the same public domain well that Disney went to for their films. Our princesses are portrayed as strong, real women commenting on today's helpless damsel in distress princesses with big saucer-like eyes and waistlines smaller than their own necks! It's a loving poke, a friendly skewering of the Princess Complex perpetuated by Disney, Toddlers & Tiaras, Barbie dolls, MTV, etc. We wanted to write and direct the show because there's so much gold to mine in real women telling the truth about living supposedly happily ever after! In our show, happily ever after ain't it's cracked up to be!

Cast of "DISENCHANTED!"2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing DISENCHANTED!?

Dennis T. Giacino: Laughter!

Fiely A. Matias: And some truth. Audiences love the ribald comedy, the improvisation, the belting-their-faces-off funny women, and the message of DISENCHANTED!

Dennis T. Giacino: In DISENCHANTED!, every comedy song re-tells, in a riotous, hilarious way, each of the princess stories while hinting at a bigger picture. The message hidden in each of the songs is that happily ever after is self-acceptance; being perfectly you - not what today's entertainment tells you how to be.

Fiely A. Matias: Audiences are enjoying both the comedy and the message!  We've been sold out the entire run!  It's been an amazing NYC experience for us and the show!

Lulu Picart, Becky Gulsvig, Michelle Knight, Jen Bechter, Soara-Joye Ross and Alison Burns in "DISENCHANTED!"3. What has been the best part about having this cast bring DISENCHANTED! to life? 

Fiely A. Matias: Well, you really need six Carol Burnetts up on that stage in DISENCHANTED! They need to have great comic timing and sing their faces off. This cast does not disappoint!

Dennis T. Giacino: It's also been a treat to have two of our original Orlando actors in this Off Broadway production. Along with Lulu Picart (Mulan, Pocahontas, Princess Badroulbadour), it's been so great to have Michelle Knight (Snow White) continue her journey with the show. She brings amazing vocals, great leadership, and a keen sense of wonderful 'straight-man' comedy to the show. We're having such fun watching the NYC audiences love these performances!

4. What have you enjoyed most about this run of DISENCHANTED! and what are your plans for the show after this run is over?

Fiely A. Matias: We are loving watching an audience lose themselves in laughter! Having an Off-Broadway show has been a dream of ours since our Asian Sings The Blues days back in the 90s. It's been great realizing that dream! We went from a one-man cabaret act in Asian to a full-on Off-Broadway musical comedy with DISENCHANTED! - it makes all those years in which I rolled around the stage in a skimpy 12-year-old's one-piece bathing suit singing love-songs-gone-wrong worth it! :)

Dennis T. Giacino: We're in a limited engagement with DISENCHANTED! now. Our hope, due to the sold out houses, raves, and such positive audience reaction, is that the show transfers to a larger Off-Broadway space this year. That would be very exciting!

Cast of "DISENCHANTED!"5. Since DISENCHANTED! is from the point of view of the Disney princesses, which Disney princess have you always wanted to be and why?

Dennis T. Giacino: I'm totally Snow White! I could make fun, off-color jokes about 7 men and waiting for my prince to come but suffice it to say, I just love the idea of dying and coming back to life! Who doesn't want that?!

Fiely A. Matias: I'm all about Pocahontas! I've always been a "just around the river bend" kinda guy plus, come on, she has hair great hair! For a balding 40-something, that's a dream come true!

Dennis T. Giacino: I definitely prefer our empowered princesses, though. There's really nothing like a strong, belting actress who can be mega-funny while she sings her face off!

Fiely A. Matias: Amen. Now that's a super-power!

6. Let's go back in time for a moment. In 2001, I saw your NYC Fringe show Asian Sings The Blues. I still remember the fun I had at that show from Fiely's performance to Dennis' songs. Looking back, what did you like about performing/working on that show? How did you first come to work together and what has made you want to continue this collaboration?

Fiely A. Matias: We've been collaborating for 23 years now! We started a small theater company in Corvallis, Oregon low those many years ago. We were having troubles affording the licensing fees for Neil Simon plays and Sondheim musicals so we started writing our own shows.

Dennis T. Giacino: Wait - hold up! Let's be clear here. Fiely came to me 23 years ago and said, "Licensing fees and actors are expensive. Write me a one-man show." My reaction was, "Okay - you sing a little off-key, all you do is chat about yourself, and you always wish to be the center of attention. You're a cabaret act!" And I wrote Asian Sings The Blues!

Fiely A. Matias: Okay, okay. That's all true! I dream that we will end up in some dive bar in our old age singing songs from Asian - those really were such fun times! What a great way to retire - as a cheesy lounge act!

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

Dennis T. Giacino: That's easy. As a young teenager, I played a song I wrote for Tommy West, a country music singer/producer - I think he worked with Jim Croce. When I finished the song, Tommy imparted this nugget of wisdom: "I love the melody and the lyrics. Make sure that every song you ever write tells a compelling story. It's got to have a beginning, middle and end."

Many of today's pop songs (and some theater songs) have forgotten that. I'm forever grateful to Tommy West for that advice! It has informed every song I've written since - Asian Sings The Blues and DISENCHANTED! Best advice ever.

Dennis T. Giacino and Fiely A. Matias8. How do you want to be remembered?

Dennis T. Giacino: I feel like my purpose in life is to skewer different genres of entertainment - to show how silly live performance can be. Whether it's the Disney princess films, game shows, sitcoms, or the self-centered, semi-talented cabaret performer. I love to lampoon them all. My fave, of course, is spoofing the put-upon accompanist in a lounge act. I'm known as "Scary Manilow" in Asian Sings The Blues. That'd be cool to be remembered for that. Or being the "Princess Whisperer." The guy who brought to life all these strong fairy tale women who gave our ol' buddy Walt the what for!

9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose?

Dennis T. Giacino: I've often thought that I'd like to be able to read minds. But I can already kind of do that - I'm a bit psychic, y'know.

Fiely A. Matias: Okay, what am I thinking right now?

Dennis T. Giacino: That you don't have an answer to the super-power question.

Fiely A. Matias: Wow! You're like Kreskin at the keys!

Dennis T. Giacino: I knew you were going to say that.

Dennis T. GiacinoMore on Dennis:

Dennis T. Giacino,  a New York City native, has created musicals that have toured throughout the USA, Canada and internationally. Giacino’s works have been featured in prestigious by-invitation-only festivals in NYC, DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Orlando, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver BC, Halifax, Montreal, Sydney AUS, Singapore, and Prague. His musicals have received numerous awards including: NJ Playwrights Contest (2010 Winner! -DISENCHANTED!); "Best National Show" (DailyCityNews - DISENCHANTED!); "Best of Orlando 2011" (Orlando Weekly, Orlando Sentinel, Watermark - DISENCHANTED!); "Best Comedy" (Ottawa Fringe Festival); "Best Musical" & "Best Comedy" (USA National GLBT Theater Festival); "Best of Fest" awards (San Francisco, Saskatoon AB and Orlando International Fringe Theater Festivals).

Fiely A. MatiasMore on Fiely:

Fiely A. Matias has directed productions of DISENCHANTED! in Orlando (2011, 2012, 2013), Los Angeles (2012), San Francisco Bay Area (2013), Missouri (2012), Tampa (2014) as well as the original New York City workshop (2009) and staged reading (2012). He has directed musical works by Dennis T. Giacino (author/composer, DISENCHANTED!) for over 20 years, including over 20 International Fringe Theater Festival productions. His awards include "Best National Show" (DailyCityNews - DISENCHANTED!); "Best Musical" & "Best Comedy" (USA National GLBT Theatre Festival), "Best Comedy" (Ottawa Fringe Theatre Festival), "Producer’s Award" (Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival) and "Best of Fest" at the Orlando, San Francisco, and Saskatoon Fringe Theater festivals. Fiely is a proud member of AEA and SDC.


Call Redialed: Scott Alan: Greatest Hits Volume 1 and 54 Below Debut Concert 

Scott Alan"Call Me Adam" catches up with songwriter Scott Alan to talk about his new album Scott Alan Greatest Hits Volume 1 and his upcoming 54 Below debut concert on January 19, 2015 at 7pm, which celebrates the release of Scott Alan Greatest Hits Volume 1!

Scott Alan Greatest Hits Volume 1 features Samantha Barks, Shoshana Bean, Stephanie J. Block, Lisa Brescia, Liz Callaway, Kerry Ellis, Hadley Fraser, Eden Espinosa, Marcus Paul James and Willemijn Verkaik, and new tracks by Marc Broussard, Taylor Dayne, Cynthia Erivo, RJ Helton, Christina Marie, Jonathan Mendelsohn, Stuart Matthew Price, Oliver Tompsett and Natalie Weiss.

Scheduled to appear at Scott's 54 Below concert include 2014 Tony Award Winners James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin) and Jessie Mueller (Beautiful), Tony Nominee’s Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, Violet) and Chad Kimball (Memphis) as well as Lilla Crawford (Little Red Riding Hood in Disney’s upcoming film adaptation of Into the Woods), Alysha Umphress (On the Town), David Burtka (upcoming’s It Shoulda Been You), Mykal Kilgore (Motown), Natalie Weiss (Wicked), Katie Thompson (Giant), Ellyn Marie Marsh (Kinky Boots), Danny Calvert (Altar Boyz), Elizabeth Stanley (On the Town). More performers to be announced. Click here for tickets!

For more on Scott be sure to visit and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

Designed by Robbie Rozelle1. You have just released your new album Scott Alan Greatest Hits Volume 1 which features, well, some of your biggest hits from your previous five albums, plus a few new recordings and re-workings of other hits. What made now the right time to release a Greatest Hits album as opposed to recording a new album? To make a new album would cost too much money and putting out a Greatest Hits album allowed me the opportunity to revisit my older catalogue of music and reconstruct it enough to give these songs a new feel. In addition, since so many of my past albums are out of print, it only made sense to place the greatest hits on one album instead of spending the money to duplicate all or most of my previous albums. Everything comes down to money, which isn’t to say this album didn’t cost money, it actually cost more to make then my debut album, Dreaming Wide Awake.

2. What does it mean to you to have enough material to be able to create a Greatest Hits album? It means I’m getting really old. I’m now in that stage of my life where graduates tell me they discovered my music when they were in Junior High School. Old. Old. Old.

Scott Alan3. How did you decide which songs you wanted to put on this first collection of Greatest Hits and how did you decide which songs you wanted to re-work/change from their original recording? We did a poll on my website and about 90% of the songs were picked from that poll. As for the re-worked songs, it was important to have updates on many of the songs to make this album special and unique and not the normal "greatest hits" collection of songs that fans already own.

4. Some of the artists featured on your Greatest Hits were not the original artists you initially had record the song. Why did you choose to change some of the artists for this release? It started with the song "Anything Worth Holding on To." It’s a very personal song but it never caught on when released on my third album, What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up, even though it was beautifully sung by the iconic voice of Crystal Monee Hall. Then when I did my IndigO2 concert at the O2 and it was performed by the extraordinarily gifted talents of Cynthia Erivo, it gained a new life and a new following. I knew I wanted to try and recreate that and so having Cytnhia record the song was not even a question. Nothing will ever match the magic of the live performance but it’s so incredible to have it recorded for this album. And, to have Stuart Matthew Price re-create his performance of "Over the Mountains" was a no brainer. He was my original idea for the recording but I had already offered it to Bobby Steggert. Then we tried to have him in for the LIVE album but he was busy with Shrek. So, we finally had the timing right. Thankfully. And, "In This Moment" recorded in the studio was a no-brainer. Marc Broussard. Hello. This new version of "Kiss the Air" was featured on the special edition of LIVE, so we changed the arrangement a bit. Oliver Tompsett’s voice is timeless. And Natalie Weiss' new version of "The Distance You Have Come" was our way of going back to the original demo of what the song represented. Simplistic and organic.

Scott Alan and Taylor Dayne5. One artist who is new to this recording is the one and only Taylor Dayne who sings "I'm Coming Home To You." I have loved Taylor Dayne since she burst onto the music scene in the 80s. How did you come to work with this Grammy-nominated artist? I’m annoying and overly eager. Taylor can tell the story better but truthfully I just kept tweeting her and emailing her assistant until she said yes. I wouldn’t give up and kept on pushing and thankfully our schedules linked up and I had the opportunity to work with one of my childhood idols. I grew up the biggest Taylor Dayne voice and that voice hasn’t changed one bit. It’s still crazy to look in my phone and know I can call her, and I do. She’s so down to earth and awesome. The studio session was a blast. Just two Long Island kids. We have the same lingo and she is brilliant in knowing what she wants and how to achieve it. She’s got a brilliant mind. It was an honor.

6. On January 19, you will be making your 54 Below debut to celebrate the release of your Greatest Hits. What excites you about making your 54 Below debut? Why was now the best time to make your 54 Below debut? You know, I feel like I’m having an affair on Birdland because I've been performing there for years but when Jennifer Tepper asked me if I would be interested in doing a concert at 54 Below I couldn’t help but say yes. I mean, aren’t all the cool kids doing it? Sometimes new scenery is just what the doctor ordered.

Scott Alan7. In addition to this concert being your 54 Below debut, your first concert in a year and a half, why should fans get excited for this concert? and What do you hope audiences come away with after attending this concert? I have always feared performing in New York because I feel like I can’t just sit back and relax and be myself. Over the years, performing in London and Australia and Holland and Germany and just having the opportunity to sit back and tell my story - I’m excited to do that now, in my city. It’s gonna be a very different vibe and I’m really excited to share that with this audience.

8. Why did you wait a year and a half to return to the New York concert stage? I always think nobody will show up and so I think it’s always smart to take breaks so that the audience awaits your next visit and I don’t overdose on xanax.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? From Frank Wildhorn. He said "The day you stop thinking you’re a new voice and think you’ve learned everything there is to be learned, leave the industry." Smart advice. Thankfully, I keep learning. And advice I always tell the young one’s which is to "Always remain a fan" and I do. I continue to work with my childhood hero’s because I am still that 12 year old kid in his bedroom waiting for life to begin.

Scott Alan10. What have you learned about yourself from being a composer/lyricist? How truly therapeutic music can be if you let it.

11. How do you want to be remembered? As a father and a husband. I just need a husband and kids to father. But that is what I want my legacy to be. 


12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I seem to dream about flying a lot. I don’t know why. I have dreams often that I can fly. So, I guess that one?

13. If you could be an original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? Oh, hmmmm. Is cool mint an option?

14. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what would the ingredients be? The Dreamer. Part Malibu Rum, Part Pineapple Juice, Part Citrus Absolute Vodka, part Midori Melon and topped off with a cherry. And yes. I was a bartender and that actually was my signature drink back in the day at Stonewall Inn, located in the W. Village. So I’m sorta cheating.

Scott AlanMore on Scott:

Since returning to New York City in 2003 many of Broadway's elite have sung Scott Alan's songs, including Liz Callaway, Jonathan Groff, Shoshana Bean, Adriane Lenox, Stephanie J. Block, Cheyenne Jackson, Eden Espinosa and more, all of which can be found featured on his debut CD Dreaming Wide Awake. Scott then released the follow up CD, Keys, in 2008 which features more of Broadway and West End elite singing his work, including Sutton Foster, Norm Lewis, Kerry Ellis, Randy Graff, Megan Hilty, Hadley Fraser, Julia Murney and many more.

In the fall of 2010, Scott Alan released his third album, What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up, featuring Christiane Noll, Darius de Haas, Christopher Sieber, Willemijn Verkaik, Patina Miller and more.

Scott Alan released his fourth album, LIVE, in 2012 which was recorded at the famed Birdland Jazz Club in New York City. This recording featured Samantha Barks, Lea Salonga, Jane Monheit, Marc Broussard, Ramin Karimloo, Pentatonix and many of today's brightest Broadway and West End stars. On May 24th, 2012 Scott's composition, "It's Good to See You Again" was featured on the premiere episode of the ninth season of So You Think You Can Dance. His work has also been heard in the documentary The Standbys and on VH1's reality show Off-Pitch.

In 2014 Scott released his fifth album, a seven song collection sung by the composer called Anything Worth Holding on To.

Scott Alan has sold out concerts of his music in New York City, London, Holland, Germany, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles and Australia.


Call Redialed: Ashley Griffin: Forever Deadward: The Vampire Musical Parody: 54 Below

Ashley Griffin, Photo Credit: Kristin Hoebermann"Call Me Adam" once again chats with writer and performer Ashley Griffin! We revisit her musical Forever Deadward: The Vampire Musical Parody which will be making it's re-vamped debut at 54 Below on Tuesday, December 16 at 9:30pm! Click here for tickets!

Forever Deadward: The Vampire Musical Parody is a hilarious, intelligent pop rock musical that lovingly takes a bite out of everyones favorite vampire series (and a few other pop culture icons along the way).

For more on Ashley be sure to visit and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

1. On December 16, you will be presenting a new reading of Forever Deadward: The Vampire Musical Parody at 54 Below. I saw a previous incarnation 2 years ago. What made now the right time to present this new version? It was a huge honor to have the show become such a success when it premiered at New World Stages. The show surpassed all of our wildest dreams, and ended up becoming a bit of a pop culture phenomenon, so we wanted to make sure we had all our ducks in a row before moving forward with a commercial production. We’ve been working with an incredible team of lawyers and are so excited to finally be able to bring the piece back. We have an amazing group of fans who have been waiting very patiently, so I’m excited that, especially since we sold out so quickly at New World, those who haven’t had a chance to see the show will finally get to! (And it’s even better then it was last time!)

2. The last reading was at New World Stages. Why did you choose 54 Below as the venue to present this incarnation of Forever Deadward: The Vampire Musical Parody? I’m a huge fan of 54 Below. It’s been described as "Broadway’s living room" and, I think, provides the perfect blend of intimate, classy, and "cool" in which to experience the show. The performance at New World was a very large benefit concert - this time we wanted to do something more intimate as a sort of "welcome back" for the show. And we’re so honored by all the love we’ve gotten from 54 Below, and their excitement at hosting the piece.

3. At the time I saw the previous reading, it had a different name. What made you want to change it to Forever Deadward: The Vampire Musical Parody? Well, one of the big reasons is we wanted to make it very clear that this is a (loving) parody show – and I think this title much better encapsulates the essence of what the piece is all about. And it has a fun double meaning (our leading man’s name is Deadward Cologne).

2012 Cast of "Forever Deadward" at New World Stages in NYC4. How did the feedback from the previous reading influence this version of the show? What changes did you make? What was it like to rework the show for what it is now? What was the most challenging part about the revising process? I may be one of the few writers who feels this way, but I love the rewriting process. The whole development process in general. Some people do Sudoku, I rewrite shows. The New World Stages reading was hugely beneficial – it was the first time Gabriel Barre (the director) and I got to be in a rehearsal room together actively working on the show, the first time we were hearing that draft of the script up on its feet, even the first time I heard some of the songs with a band, and not just as a piano demo. It very much helped us figure out what was working, and what needed to be changed. We made some great adjustments during the rehearsal process, but there’s only so much you can do in a week, so this time has been invaluable to go back and really do all the rewrites that needed to be done. Some songs have been cut, some new songs have been written (including one of my now favorite songs in the show "We Can Give You Everything (Just Give Us Everything)," written by the incomparable Jeremy Ezell and performed with sheer brilliance by Martin Landry as "Arrow" and the rest of the Vampire Capital (yes, another change – we now have an additional pop culture franchise we’re poking fun at). The show is also now a one act, and has even more of the heightened parody everyone already loves. But ultimately the thing I was most happy to have gotten out of the New World reading was to see how much of the show really did work very effectively. And now it’s even better!

2012 "Forever Deadward," Jenna Leigh Green, at New World Stages in NYCThe process of reworking a piece can be a long one. I’m actually a very fast writer – I’m known to have fully rewritten drafts to my creative team a matter of hours after a production meeting. But the process doesn’t end there. Everyone needs to read the rewrites, sit with them for a bit, then give feedback, possibly have a casual table read with members of the creative team to hear how the changes sound out loud, wait for sheet music to be finished, record demos, and then do it all again. Probably the most difficult part of the process is coming to terms with the fact that a script and score will never be finished (at least until the producers force you to "freeze" the show on opening night). I think all writers have a secret fantasy that they’ll turn in a new draft and it will be so fantastically solid and brilliant that no one will think a word or a note needs to be changed. But you’re always going to be tweaking things. You just have to enjoy the process. I think it’s also difficult for me in that there are three other composers on the show in addition to myself– I’m not precious at all about my work, but I always feel terrible having to call one of the other composers to talk about potentially changing, or even cutting one of their numbers.

2012 "Forever Deadward" Martin Landry and Colin Hanlon, at New World Stages in NYC5. Forever Deadward: The Vampire Musical Parody will feature the Broadway talents of Colin Hanlon (Modern FamilySubmissions Only), Cortney Wolfson (Kinky Boots), Jenna Leigh Green (Wicked), Jared Zirilli (Lysistrata Jones), Sara Jean Ford (The Phantom Of The Opera), Stephen Anthony (Book of Mormon), Tyler Maynard (Mary PoppinsThe Little Mermaid), Michael Padgett (Upright Citizens Brigade) and featuring Martin Landry (Dear Edwina) as "Arrow." What excites you about having this cast perform your work? This is an incredible cast and I’m so fortunate to get to work with them Colin, Jared, Jenna and Martin were all a part of the show at New World, and it’s been so exciting to have them continue with the piece. We also have some wonderful new additions Tyler, Sara, Stephen, Cortney and Michael. It’s been great to see all the wonderful new things they bring to the show. I’m especially excited in that some of the cast are not typically known for doing this kind of work – Sara for example is most well known for her fantastic portrayals of ingénues like "Christine Daae" in Phantom of the Opera or "Lusia" in The Fantasticks. But Sara is hilarious, smart and beautifully quirky and I’m so excited for people to see that side of her onstage! I’ve admired all the folks in this wonderful cast for a long time, and it’s such a joy to get to work with them.

And I do have to especially say, Martin Landry has literally been a part of this show since day one, rehearsing in my living room. He’s a very dear friend of mine and it’s very special that we’re still able to work on the show together all these years later. Such a thing is very rare, especially when a show moves into a more commercial realm, and I’m so so excited for people to see his hilarious performance.

2012 "Forever Deadward," Lauren Lopez and Jared Zirilli, at New World Stages in NYC6. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Forever Deadward: The Vampire Musical Parody? First and foremost I hope that everyone has a really fun time, enjoys some great music, and laughs a lot. But there is a deeper message behind all the comedy of Forever Deadward and I hope people walk away thinking about the things that we as a culture take a bit too seriously, and on a more personal level, the things that we as individuals tend to obsess over, to "make into gods." Hopefully "Ella Fawn" can be a bit of a cautionary, albeit really entertaining, tale for us all.

7. How do you feel you've grown with this piece over the past 2 years? I’ve grown a lot with this piece. As an artist, I’m a much better writer now (and I’m sure I’ll be better still two years from now). I’ve had my first (minor) taste of "commercial" success and have learned a lot from the whole process. I think the piece, and I, have matured together.

8. Since this show centers around Vampires, what was your favorite vampire movie growing up? I wasn’t a big Vampire girl growing up, although I do have two odd connections to well known Vampire projects –

I was a child actor growing up in L.A. and almost played the role of Claudia in Interview With The Vampire. (I was the youngest girl seriously up for the role – at all of eight years old). I remember some very funny discussions with the director when she broached the subject of my kissing Brad Pitt.

I was very often compared to "Buffy" (a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer – the TV show) in high school – I looked like I could be Sara Michelle Gellar’s little sister, and have a bit of a Buffy vibe – (to this day one of my good friends calls me "Buffy.") But in an odd series of coincidences the high school gym where they filmed the prom episode of Buffy was the gym of my high school, and my address when I was younger was shockingly close to the "Summer’s" address (minus the "Sunnydale" of course.) Nowadays I’d probably say that Buffy (the TV show) is my favorite Vampire "thing." (Yes, I’m apparently "Buffy" AND "Hermione Granger" (see previous interview).

But when I was a kid I probably would have answered The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t. It’s on youtube. Check it out. Brilliance.

Ashley Griffin as "Elphaba" in "For Good" Special Event Concert at the Gershwin Theater9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? If I was really only allowed one, I would have to go with flight. But If I could add on and get a little more creative I would say:

- The ability to survive in any element (i.e. breathe under water, stand in fire, etc. In my mind this includes flying…)

- The ability to create things (even just in the mind) a la "Ariadne" in Inception (but in waking life,) or "Mastermind" from X-Men (but used in a creative way, not a bad way J)

- I’ve always thought that "Door" from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere had an awesome power – to create doors anywhere that lead exactly where you want them to.

10. If you could be any original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? This is terrible, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a Life Saver! Being a true nerd I looked them up online and based on the list they provided (though with no actual experience of the taste) I’d have to go with pineapple. It may be my favorite fruit. And… (see next question).


11. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what would you put in it? I actually have a (non alcoholic) drink that’s on the menu at Green Symphony in Times Square. It’s a juiced drink I invented, and I love it! It has kale, parsley, lemon, ginger, green apple, and pineapple juice. Tastes like vegetable soup. So good! (It’s called the "Ashley Special" – go get it!)

But, I have worked as a bartender in the past and invented a drink for a customer which quickly became very popular, and I guess is my signature alcoholic drink now in a way, (though ironically I’ve never tasted it – I mean, you can’t drink on the job! But I hear it’s very good.) It’s also been called the "Ashley Special" by pure default, but it needs a better name (maybe "The Griffin?" LOL. When we were doing Broadway themed drinks it was called "The Ingénue" for a bit…) Tweet me at @ashleyjgriffin with your suggestions! It has: Malibu, pineapple juice, sprite, and a dash of cranberry to turn it pink. Very fruity, and very girly.

Though my default alcoholic drink on the rare occasions I do indulge is a Chocolate Martini. I mean, come on.

Ashley Griffin, Photo Credit: Kristin HoebermannMore on Ashley:

Ashley is most well known as the creator of the pop culture phenomenon Forever Deadward (New World Stages.) As a writer, Ashley’s plays have been produced off-Broadway in New York, as well as in Los Angeles, and Chicago. Highlights include: Theater: Changed For Good (for which she also wrote the book, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz which had its premier in 2006, and is currently in development at the York Theater Company, Trial, Fairy TalesThe Death of Emily Webster, SubtextTwilight: The Unauthorized Musical Parody, as well as Wonderland (in collaboration with Joel Jeske) and Lyra: A Dark Fairy Tale (both currently in development.) Film/TV/Web: The 8th Square (currently in preproduction: Doug Jones and Pat Carroll attached), Blank Paige. Music: Ashley has contributed music and lyrics to several musicals including Forever Deadward, and has written and performed many original pieces as a singer/songwriter. Three of her songs were featured at the Comix Comedy Club’s Epic Fail: Broadways Future Flops concert in NYC.

Ashley Griffin in "Epic Fail" - Comix Comedy ClubAshley was the recipient of 2007 outstanding playwriting commendation from the NY International Fringe Festival, and a Grand Prize winner in the Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival's Literary Competition. Ashley has taught Musical Theater History at NYU (Tisch,) and was the 2011/2012 Artist in Residence at Dreamcatcher Entertainment. She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. As a performer, Ashley has performed on Broadway and is a proud member of AEA.