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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in New York City (86)

Tuesday
Nov252014

Call Redialed: Tori Scott: Joe's Pub: Vodka is the Reason for the Season

Tori Scott singing at Joe's Pub, Photo Credit: Kevin Yatarola"Call Me Adam" once again chats with singer and comedian Tori Scott. This time around we talk about her holiday show Vodka is the Reason for the Season which will play at Joe's Pub on Monday, December 8 at 9:30pm. From her early childhood fascination with The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas to her time spent as a singing elf for an old folks home, Tori will take you on a shameless journey of what this time of year really means to her. Click here for tickets!

For more on Tori be sure to follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

1. On December 8, you are returning once again to Joe's Pub with a brand new show, Vodka is the Reason for the Season, which will celebrate this festive time of the year. What made you want come back to Joe's Pub yet again? I love that venue and I love the people that work there. Joe's Pub is like a second home to me. I have so much fun performing on that stage and I also love the attention.

2. Vodka is the Reason for the Season, will take audiences on a shameless journey of what this time of year really means to you, from your early childhood fascination with “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” to your time spent as a singing elf for an old folks home. Without giving too much away, what does this time of year really mean to you? It means day drinking with family and friends while listening to Mariah Carey and Kelly Clarkson's christmas album out in the open (as opposed to privately which is what I do starting in October).

3. What made you want to create a holiday show? I have a lot of fond memories of being dressed as a Christmas elf performing for both the elderly in nursing homes and young children in malls. I just felt the need to share these stories with others. I also LOVE Christmas music and wanted an excuse to sing it.

Tori Scott4. What is your favorite way to spend the holidays in NYC? I make sure to avoid Times Square at all costs. If I take a valium, I can handle walking down 5th avenue and looking in all the windows at the great holiday arrangements for a couple hours...but only if I have a valium.

5. This show will feature music from Dolly Parton, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Florence and the Machine, Ella Fitzgerald and more. How did you decide that you wanted to feature these artists? How does their music reflect the holiday season to you? The music I choose for my shows always helps further the story. This show has some great holiday tunes in it, but you can never go wrong with using a Madonna song to describe being forced to go to church as a child.

6. For fans who have seen your shows before, what will this new show give them that others shows have not? I'm going to give them the Barbra Streisand version of "Jingle Bells" and a little bit of tap dancing. You don't want to miss it!

7. How did you come up with the title Vodka is the Reason for the Season? I grew up in Texas surrounded by a lot of Baptists who loved to remind me that "Jesus is the reason for the season." That phrase always made me laugh. And I love talking about my obsession with Vodka. The two just went hand in hand.

8. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what would you put in it? It's such a shame dirty martini's are already named martini's because there is nothing better than a vodka martini slightly dirty with 3 olives. If it wasn't already named a martini, I would rename it Mother's Milk.

9. If you could be any original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? Cherry!

10. How do you want to be remembered? As a joyful person, a good friend, and a hell of a singer who could tell a damn good story.

Tori Scott, Photo Credit: Johan Salvador TavaresMore on Tori:

As a singer, Tori’s graced the stages of 54 Below, the Laurie Beechman, the Metropolitan Room, and every gay bar on the Eastern Seaboard. As an actress, she's counted to 20 as a singing garbage woman on Sesame Street and dubbed the vocals of a singing hooker on HBO's Cathouse: The Musical. As a woman, she strives every day in every way to be a consummate lady and sometimes wonders if she actually still has a liver or not. 

Thursday
Nov202014

Call Answered: Behind-The-Scenes Rehearsal Facetime Interview with Anthony Nunziata for 54 Below solo debut

"Call Me Adam" went behind-the-scenes with recording artist Anthony Nunziata as he prepares for his debut solo concert at 54 Below in NYC. Anthony let us into his rehearsal studio, where he and musical director Tedd Firth, were busy at work preparing for this big night.

Anthony will be making his solo concert debut at 54 Below on Friday, November 28 at 9:30pm with Tedd Firth - Piano/Musical Director/Arranger, Tom Hubbard - Bass, and Sherrie Maricle - Drums. Click here for tickets!

For more on Anthony be sure to visit http://www.anthonynunziata.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter!

Behind-The-Scenes Facetime video interview with Anthony Nunziata and Tedd Firth:

Monday
Nov102014

Call Answered: Facetime Interview with the cast of Signal Failure Spencer Cowan and Sasha Ellen

"Call Me Adam" went behind-the-scenes of the SoHo Playhouse in NYC to speak with the cast of Signal Failure, Sasha Ellen (who also wrote the play) and Spencer Cowan (from PBS' Downton Abbey). Signal Failure tells the story of a girl and (kind-of) stalker guys’ journey through life, love and the London Underground, until a newspaper column brings them together! Signal Failure plays at the SoHo Playhouse (15 Vandam Street) in NYC through November 16. Click here for tickets!

For more on Signal Failure follow the show on Facebook and on Twitter follow Spencer Cowan @actspencercowan and Sasha Ellen @SashaKEllen!

Interview with Spencer Cowan and Sasha Ellen:

Thursday
Nov062014

Call Answered: Conference Call with John R. Waters and Stewart D'Arrietta: Lennon: Through a Glass Onion

Stewart D'Arrietta and John R. Waters, Photo Credit: Joan Marcus"Call Me Adam" chats with John R. Waters and Stewart D'Arrietta about their new show Lennon: Through a Glass Onion, part spoken word, part concert, and all heart, this show is a celebration of one of the most distinct voices of his generation: John Lennon. Lennon: Through a Glass Onion is currently playing at The Union Square Theatre in NYC (100 East 17th Street). Click here for tickets!

For more on Lennon: Through a Glass Onion be sure to visit http://lennononstage.com and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. Your show Lennon: Through a Glass Onion, is currently making it's New York debut at the Union Square Theatre. First conceived in 1992, you have played to sold-out houses around the world including Sydney's Opera House and London's West End. How did you guys first come to work together?

John R. Waters: Stewart and I were put together by a mutual friend to meet and discuss another project. This was in the mid-eighties. We've worked and written songs together on and off ever since; with our main focus on the times we reconvene to do another tour of Glass Onion.

Stewart D'Arrietta: John and I first worked together on a theatre piece in 1985 for the New Moon Theatre Company. We got on well and when John was offered a 3 week season at a 85 seater Pub theatre, he contacted me asking if I would like like to be involved on a Lennon piece, I said yes.

Stewart D'Arrietta and John R. Waters in "Lennon: Through a Glass Onion", Photo Credit: Joan Marcus2. What made now the right time for Lennon: Through a Glass Onion to make it's New York City debut? 

John R. Waters: We had refined the show for a tour beginning at the Sydney Opera House, and at the same time we joined forces with Producer Harley Medcalf, who made an approach to the estate regarding rights, and it was successful. Opportunities further opened up with the assistance of Richard Frankel here in NY, and the availability of the fabulous Union Square Theatre. Now we're here!

Stewart D'Arrietta: It was the meeting of Harley Medcalf last year that brought about the production here in New York at this time and then Yoko allowing us to perform the piece.

3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show?

John R. Waters: I like what most of the audience tells me afterwards; that they were surprised and taken aback by the unique style of treatment of the material, and that they feel somehow closer to the man and his story.

Stewart D'Arrietta: We would like the audience to be moved as they leave in the sense that realizing the greatness of the man and the loss to our society with his killing.

John R. Waters in "Lennon: Through a Glass Onion", Photo Credit: Joan Marcus4. What made you want to write a show about John Lennon? How has he influenced you?

John R. Waters: I was influenced by not just Lennon, but all the Brit-rock scene of the sixties. It was my time - I was in mid-teens to early adulthood in London in that decade. I had already loved rock-n-roll from the time I heard "All shook Up" at the age of ten. When I decided to write a show that brought all the aspects of my own career together - acting; singing; playing in bands and generally telling stories - the subject matter came very quickly to mind.

Stewart D'Arrietta: It was John’s idea to do a show about Lennon. Lennon's influence has been large in my life as I grew up with his music and his philosophy of peace.

5. How did you decide which John Lennon songs you wanted to include in Lennon: Through a Glass Onion? Were there ones you wanted to include that you didn't?

John R. Waters: It goes without saying that we can't do them all without having a show longer than War and Peace, so I used the most autobiographically interesting songs which provided a 'text' of their own. Plus a few that are just bloody good songs!

Stewart D'Arrietta: The songs that reflected his life journey as a lot of Lennon’s songs were written autobiographically. "In My Life" and "Don’t Let Me Down" are used as underscore but we would have liked to use them as songs sung but it was not to be.

Stewart D'Arrietta in "Lennon: Through a Glass Onion", Photo Credit; Joan Marcus6. Since this show is about John Lennon, if you could have sang any song of his with him as a duet, which one would you have chosen?

John R. Waters: Well if I had ever got to sing a song with John Lennon, I don't think I would have cared much what we sang. "We're a Couple of Swells" in reggae, maybe?

Stewart D'Arrietta: "Come Together"

7. Has Yoko Ono come to the show or anyone from his estate? If so, what did they think of it?

John R. Waters: I am thrilled and gratified to have been licensed by the estate. Beyond that I believe is not my territory, really, but of course I'm very pleased that our treatment that has been approved.

Stewart D'Arrietta: No.

Stewart D'Arrietta and John R. Waters, Photo Credit: Joan Marcus8. What has been the best part about working together? What have you learned from each other?

John R. Waters: Stewart and I know each other well enough to work 'instinctively' off each other, and that saves a lot of time! I think that Stewie's high level of motivation to get things done has been his biggest influence on me.

Stewart D'Arrietta: You always have to have a sense of humor in this business and hang on to the positive.

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

John R. Waters: "Give up acting." It made me try harder.

Stewart D'Arrietta: What goes around, comes around.

Stewart D'Arrietta and John R. Waters, Photo Credit: Joan Marcus10. If you could have a song written about your life, what are some key elements you would want to make sure the lyricist wrote into the song? For example, I've had two theme songs written for me...one for my past radio show and one for a live interview series I used to conduct. The key elements I wanted to make sure got written into each theme song was that I did entertainment interviews and then the lyricists wrote my theme songs around that idea.

John R. Waters: I wouldn't like anyone to write a song about me. Except maybe if it was one of my children who did it. And they could write all about how I was the greatest dad in the world. The best songwriting always contains an element of invention.

Stewart D'Arrietta: Any song written about me would have to have in it that I gave life my best shot and I didn’t die wondering.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

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

John R. Waters: X-Ray vision. I sent off for those glasses advertised on the back of Superman comics. Imagine my disappointment when the girls I looked at still had all their clothes on.

Stewart D'Arrietta: To fly.

12. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be?

John R. Waters: Blackcurrant. Same goes for pastilles, gums etc etc. the black ones.

Stewart D'Arrietta: Lime.

14. How do you want to be remembered?

John R. Waters: Being remembered at all, is a good start! I think I'd be happy with that.

Stewart D'Arrietta: As a Cool Garden Gnome...now wouldn't that be cool!

John R. Waters, Photo Credit: Joan MarcusMore on John:

John R. Waters is one of Australia's most recognized, respected and critically acclaimed actors and singers. Born in Britain, he has built and retained an audience in Australia across four decades of theatre, musicals, TV, film and music. Waters has performed in over 20 stage productions, 22 films and 43 TV series/telemovies. Some of his best known works are My Fair Lady, They're Playing Our Song, Oliver!, The Graduate, Jesus Christ Superstar, Breaker Morant, Weekend of Shadows, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Rush, "All the Rivers Run," "City Homicide," "Singapore Sling," "All Saints," "Underbelly" and "Offspring."

Stewart D'Arrietta, Photo Credit: Joan MarcusMore on Stewart:

Stewart D'Arrietta recently enjoyed a nine-month New York run of his Tom Waits show, Belly of a Drunken Piano. Last January, Stewart was the musical director for The White Album Concert by the Beatles, performing on stage at the world famous Sydney Opera House with 15 other high profile artists including Jon Stevens and Jack Jones. Other musical director/performer/composer credits include Cafe Brel, Reunion and Satango. Stewart has also composed and conducted soundtracks for features, short-form drama and documentaries including Whitsunday Ash, Sugar Inc., Blood Oath, Colour in the Creek and the Emmy Award-winning documentary Faces in the Mob.

Monday
Nov032014

Call Answered: Cecilia Copeland: R Culture

Cecilia Copeland"Call Me Adam" chats with playwright Cecilia Copeland about her new play R Culture, a show about Modern American Culture told through the eyes of three women in a traveling circus ultimately revealing the naked truth our Rape Culture. R Culture plays at IRT Theatre in NYC from November 7-23 (154 Christopher Street, 3rd Floor). Click here for tickets!

For more on Cecilia be sure to visit http://www.ceciliacopeland.com and follow her on Twitter!

1. From November 7-23, your show R Culture is going to be at IRT Theatre in NYC. What made now the right time to premiere this show? It’s funny you should ask that, because right now is an absolutely perfect moment for this show to arrive, and I wish I could say we planned it that way. The truth is, it just so happened that over the past year as I developed the play and as we planned the production the issue of Rape Culture exploded onto the headlines. R Culture was slightly ahead of the curve, because I’ve been working on this for a little over a year and in that time so much has happened that has forced this play even further into the spotlight. The 76 Universities under Title IX investigations, the NFL scandals, the seemingly endless list of victim blaming gaffs by Republican politicians, and just recently, NY Senator Kristine Gillibrand and star of NY Show The Good Wife Julianna Margulies were covered in the NYTimes sharing a conversation about sexual harassment, sexual assult and rape on campus.

2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing R Culture? Although I want some different things for different segments of the population depending on their own personal experiences I do want everyone to have a feeling that they have been through an old fashioned mystical exorcism, something along the lines of a having a festering boil lanced and drained of the poison. I know that sounds grotesque, but there are really putrid elements of society that can cause mass illness, I believe, if they are left to rot. In R Culture it’s my job as the writer to unmask seemingly innocuous rituals or daily occurrences and expose how they are actually hurting us. There are a lot of ways to expose something that needs to be exposed, and hopefully R Culture has the right balance of laughter and lancing so that what is discovered under the surface can be cleaned or exorcised.

Romy Nordlinger, Rachel A. Collins, and Jennifer Harder in Cecilia Copeland's "R Culture"3. What excites you about having this cast bring R Culture to life? As a playwright I tend to make big demands on my casts by writing theatrically robust work that includes a lot of vocal, physical and emotional acrobatics. I’m obsessed as a writer and I need collaborators who share that kind of passion. I’m really grateful to have a cast that takes their craft seriously, knows how to rehearse and can stay focused. On even a basic level this show would be impossible without doing proper warm ups and emotional prep as well as getting proper rest and decompression. The material we’re taking on is so intense that it’s vital to keep the room a place where people are free to trust one another and take risks. Fortunately for R Culture we found a cast of three immensely talented and hard working actors who all have a skill level that is as astounding as their discipline.

Romy Nordlinger and Rachel A. Collins in Cecilia Copeland's "R Culture"4. This show is about Modern American Culture told through the eyes of three women in a traveling circus ultimately revealing the naked truth our Rape Culture. How have you personally experienced this rape culture? I’ve been harassed at different places of work and in different academic settings. I won’t name where those are here and now, but I will say that I’ve experienced sexual harassment and the fact that I’m not even comfortable telling you where and when it happened is a direct result of victim blaming. So…right now I’m experiencing rape culture as I’m trying to answer a question that I know could potentially cause problems for me to answer honestly due to how we treat those who come forward. I’m being evasive right now to protect myself due to rape culture.

5. How do you feel your life has been like a traveling circus? I’ve certainly done my fair share of traveling, but I don’t really see my life like a circus. As a writer I’m a quiet observer rather than a wild performer. I guess if I had to be an act in the circus I would be some kind of exotic creature with huge mirrored eyes who inked out poetry portraits of the audience members as my trick. I would definitely be in the freak show part of the circus or I would be the lion tamer. I have a deep affinity with felines.

6. You are the founding Artistic Director of New York Madness, a theatrical company that explores modern American Playwriting through the use of storytelling. What made you want to start your own theatre company? It’s such a cliché to say it, but I really wanted to be the change I wanted to see in the community. I felt that it was important for me to create opportunities instead of just ask for them and I wanted to surround myself with diverse artists whose work I thought deserved to be produced.

7. What has been the best part about this venture and what has been the most challenging? The best part about this has been the incredible people who have been drawn to this project from collaborators to producing partners to online supporters. We haven’t even opened the show and already so many people are excited about it and want to be engaged with the material. People are hungry to get into a space and have this experience, which is thrilling. The most challenging element has been trying to limit the play creatively, because the R Culture circus could have five new scenes every day.

Jennifer Harder in Cecilia Copeland's "R Culture"8. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Do what you know you need to do." This isn’t advice that anyone has given me, but it’s the advice that I get when I go to the people who I trust the most. By that I mean, sometimes as a writer there are things I know I should do, but I don’t want to do them because I’m being lazy or it’s painful. When I’m avoiding whatever it is that I know I need to do I’ll go to a good friend, someone who knows me well, and I’ll ask what I should do. It never fails, that person who knows me best will give me exactly the advice that I’m avoiding. Once I hear it from someone else I can’t avoid it any longer and then I just do what I need to do. So, I’m trying to get to the point when I can just "do what I know I need to do" without having to ask someone else to kick my butt for me.

9. What have you learned about yourself from being a playwright? That I don’t know how I really feel about something until I’ve written a scene or a play about it. Reading or thinking about something is superficial to my comprehension. Anything I know, I don’t actually fully know or understand until I’ve written about it.

10. How do you want to be remembered? I would much rather people remember my work and for that to live on than to remember me as a character. However, if I do get recorded in his/herstory I should like to be remembered as an insightful and entertaining writer, an ardent feminist, a wearer of red lipstick, a hard worker, a great dancer, and as an adventurous woman who lived in ways that defied convention.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Strength. Being a petite female all my life I would love to be strong enough to fight anyone and win, or at least have a Super Power fighting chance!

12. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Tropical

13. If you could have a song written about you/your life, what would be the key elements you want the lyricist to get in the song? For example, I've had two theme songs written for me...one for my past radio show and one for a live interview series I used to conduct. The key elements I wanted to make sure got in there was that I did entertainment interviews and the lyricists wrote my theme songs around that idea. Key elements would be that it would have to be something that you could dance to, it would have to have lyrics that made you feel like getting back up after getting knocked down and it would have female vocals.

Cecilia CopelandMore on Cecilia:

Cecilia Copeland is the Founding Artistic Director of New York Madness. Named Indie Theater Now's "Person of the Year," her plays have been presented at the Culture Project, Cherry Lane Theatre, Ensemble Studios Theatre, HERE Arts Center, The Anarchist Theatre Festival of Montreal, Venus Theatre, The Chain Theatre, New Perspectives & IATI Theatre, among others. She has also developed work with the Lark Play Development Center & terraNOVA. She was awarded a Special Effects Grant from Metro Screen Australia for her screenplay, Amusement Bomber. Copeland is the winner of a Fine Arts Grant at Ohio University, the Lennis J. Holm Playwriting Scholarship from University of Iowa Writers Workshop, was a semifinalist for The O'Neill Playwrights Conference & the David Callichio Emerging Playwrights Prize. Copeland is a Kilroy's List Nominee, finalist for Mabou Mines Residency & a member of The League of Professional Theatre Women.