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Entries in New York City (127)


Call Redialed: Jackie Beat: "White Meat or Dark?" at The Laurie Beechman Theatre

Jackie BeatI first came to know Jackie Beat in 2012 after I attended her show Me So Thorny. Two years later, I finally got to interview this genius performer about her 2014 holiday show Jackie Beat on Ice. Now, just a year later, Jackie and I reunite to discuss her brand new holiday show White Meat or Dark? Jackie's unique brand of comedy is a laugh-a-minute and her singing voice is unreal! If you have never seen a Jackie Beat show, give yourself some holiday cheer this season and treat yourself to White Meat or Dark?

The Holidays…When one’s thoughts gravitate towards questions that Man has pondered since the dawn of time, such as "Why are we here?" "Is there really a God?" and, the most important of them all, "WHITE MEAT OR DARK?" Join Jackie as she marinates, roasts and cuts up everyone’s favorite season. Just like a Turducken, this show will be bursting with deliciousness: classic material stuffed into new songs, all crammed inside a man dressed like a lady. White Meat or Dark? will play The Laurie Beechman Theatre from December 18-20. December 18 & 19 are SOLD OUT, but there are 2 shows on December 20, 4pm and 11pm. (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue, inside the West Bank Cafe). Click here for tickets!

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

For more shows from Spin Cycle visit and follow them on Twitter!

Jackie Beat1. We did our first interview together for your Christmas show last year and now we are back talking about your new holiday show White Meat or Dark? Since it's been a year since we last spoke, What is something wonderful that happened? What is something that challenged you? Hmmm, let's see…The most wonderful thing, aside from the fact that all three of my precious dogs are healthy, would have to be the upcoming National Treasures Tour starring myself, Lady Bunny, Sherry Vine and Bianca Del Rio. That should be a hoot! And my biggest challenge was, is and always will be my weight. I went vegan this year and gained weight! My next show is going to be called Fat Vegan!

Jackie Beat2. Your new holiday show, White Meat or Dark? is premiering this December at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. For someone who has never seen a Jackie Beat show, what is one reason you would give them to come see this show (aside from the fact they've never seen you)? Everyone should see this show because, frankly, opportunities to see a FULL show of live singing and comedy are getting less and less. Sure, you can see some reality TV "star" move her lips to the latest Katy Perry song, but true show-ponies shamelessly serving up shamblam-free vaudeville is a rare treat!

3. What should excite your die hard fans about this new show (aside from the fact it's new)? Well, I'm excited about the new material which includes a song about spending Christmas with Bill Cosby back in 1993 -- spoiler alert: it didn't go so well -- and a little ditty about the Starbucks cup scandal.

Jackie Beat4. Since your new show is entitled, White Meat or Dark? which do you prefer? Honey, when you get to my age there is no such thing as a preference! If he's blind in one eye and very horny, send him over!

5. If you could spend the holidays with one "white meat" celebrity and one "dark meat" celebrity, who would you choose? I could just go full-on Lesbian and say Rachel Dolezal, right? But since I'm a filthy sodomite I would have to choose Paul Rudd and Drake.

6. According to press notes, in this show, you are going to marinate, roast and cut up everyone's favorite season. I'm going to take this one step further. Looking at your life, when are the moments you choose to marinate, roast, and cut up a situation? Well, as an artist it is my job to take something, pull it apart and put it back together in my own special way. So I would have to say that I always do that. But it especially comes in handy when someone or something is pissing you off. I can turn a horrible situation into a laugh riot quite easily.

Jackie Beat7. Out of the department stores in NYC, who's windows do you like the best? I live in Los Angeles so I guess I should say something delightfully touristy like Bloomingdales?

8. What's your Christmas wish for this year? Peace on fucking Earth! People, get your shit together. Stop blowing shit up and stop killing people. All you're really doing is announcing to the entire world, "I'm miserable!"

9. What's your favorite holiday food? I loves me some stuffing!

10. What is one holiday tradition you started doing as an adult? I do this real cute thing -- and I'd like to think I invented it -- where I eat way too much of all the wrong things and then essentially pass out on the couch while watching TV. Then I wake up and do it all over again. It's so fun! You should all try it this holiday season, trust me!

Jackie BeatMore on Jackie Beat:

It all started so innocently in 1998 with Jesus Christ, It’s Your Birthday!, a delightful non-denominational holiday tribute featuring such seasonal fare as "Sleigh Ride in Leather With You" and "Black Christmas." When the show was prominently featured in The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Right’s 1998 Report on Anti-Catholicism, an annual holiday tradition was born. Beat’s holiday shows, including How The Bitch Stole Christmas, Give ‘Til It Hurts, Blew Christmas, and Drag Nog have been performed at venues nationally.

Award-winning drag darling Jackie Beat has been wowing unsuspecting audiences since 1989. She has toured with Roseanne Barr -- as the comic legend’s opening act -- including a 7-week run at The New York New York in Las Vegas; written for TV (Fashion Police, Hello Ross with Ross Matthews, Hype! and The Sci Fi Channel’s Tripping The Rift) and collaborated on special material with the like of Roseanne, Rosie O’Donnell and Jennifer Coolidge; appeared in countless TV shows (Sex and the City), movies (Grief, Wigstock The Movie, Flawless, Adam & Steve) and Off-Broadway hits (Valley of the Dolls, Tell-Tale!). She has been named Best Drag Queen by New York Press and Best Live Performance by HX Magazine. Jackie is also a columnist, lead singer for the electro-rock band, "Dirty Sanchez," and the subject of the documentary film My Name is Jackie Beat including commentary from Joan Rivers, Margaret Cho, and Roseanne.


Call Answered: Melissa Errico: What About Today Live at 54 Below, Sing The Silence at Joe's Pub, & Billions on Showtime

Melissa ErricoAs a fellow Long Islander, I have known of Melissa Errico for almost half my life. First as the daughter of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Errico, then as a Tony nominated Broadway actress, and now as a recording artist. I'm so excited to have the chance to interview Melissa about life on Long Island, her new live album What About Today: Live at 54 Below, her upcoming Joe's Pub show Sing The Silence, and her role on Showtime's new show Billions starting in January! 

Click here for tickets to Melissa's Joe's Pub Show Sing The Silence on November 18 & 19!

To purchase Melissa's live album What About Today: Live at 54 Below click either Amazon and iTunes!

For more on Melissa be sure to visit and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

CD Design by Robbie Rozelle1. You have so much going on right now...between your live album What About Today: Live at 54 Below that was just released, your upcoming Joe's Pub concerts Sing The Silence and filming the new Showtime series Billions which premieres in January. How do you keep up with everything and stay healthy while so busy? Lots of sleep (Umm, or nice times in the dark) and an operating knowledge of a gmail calendar. My husband and I try to think positive and I teach the kids to go to bed every night thinking of "three good things that happened today, and three things that they look forward to about tomorrow."

2. Let's start with your live CD that was just released, What About Today, which was recorded at 54 Below. This is your first live album. You have performed concerts for years prior to this show, what made this show the one you wanted to record onto an album? It was a kind of culmination of the last few years -- the release of my Michel Legrand CD, a deepening commitment I feel to Sondheim, and generally my returning to Broadway with a sort of renewed passion after having three children. Stylistically, it also has a lot in it that feels like me -- I'm pretty eclectic in my tastes, and this band could get pretty evocative.

Melissa ErricoThis live show has movie songs, theater songs and a few flashbacks to Broadway musicals I was in and never recorded. It has one of my own compositions in it and a throwdown tribute to Eydie Gorme. My director of this show was also a tremendous friend and teacher (not to mention he cast me as "Cosette" in Les Miz when I was 18, so he's known me a long time) and has been pushing me vocally for a few years, encouraging me to open up my vocal range and use it all from soprano to really stretching my belt voice. He also just wanted me to let go and entertain and not watch over my own shoulder. There is definitely a freedom, or why else would I have worn those mini shorts!? Oy vey!

There is more I can do musically. There is another layer I want to do in future, but this live CD feels good and I hope you like it. Nothing is ever perfect. Every time I do something, I start to think what I would like to add, to try more of, to learn to do, to do next. I also wanted to dedicate it to Danny McNie, a young actor who was with me every night backstage and who died suddenly this year. He lived through a lot of hard things, and a hate crime, and he was my assistant during this concert run. He and I laughed and cried and untangled my millions of necklaces, and discussed patter and life. I loved him dearly. He moved to Hawaii to sing on a cruise, and had an accidental death after a few months away. My heart is in a million pieces every time I think of him and I wear a bracelet every day to always remember his talent and friendship. This CD is dedicated inside to him. I needed to give this to him and to his amazing mother.

Melissa Errico in Classic Stage Company's revival of "Passion"3. Since the show was called What About Today? What is something you discovered about yourself today that you wish you knew at an earlier stage in your life? To work for what fulfills me, not for what expectations I seek to be fulfilled by working. You've heard of the book Eat Pray Love? I'm gonna write: Eat Pray Sing.

4. This November, you are doing two concerts at Joe's Pub entitled Sing The Silence, about the time in your life, when due to a vocal injury, you had to withdraw from Passion and be on 100 days of vocal rest. What was the hardest part about being on complete vocal rest? Did you ever think you might not be able to sing again? How did it feel the first time you sang after that 100 days? What steps do you take now to protect your voice? This information will cost you a $25 ticket.

5. You are also in the midst of filming the Showtime series Billions, a complex drama about power politics in the world of New York high finance. Firstly, what made you want to be part of this show? Secondly, the promo video shows us the tag line "Follow The Money." When was there a time in your career you took a job just for the money? What was that job and was it fulfilling? I lived in LA for a few years and NBC had written a sitcom called NEUROTIC TENDENCIES about a downtown New York actress studying acting at NYU who meets an older man who is a Hollywood producer. They are hailing the same cab and get into a "fight" and then share the taxi, and a December/May romantic comedy begins. I got cast in the leading role. It was really charming, and I wouldn't say I did it for MONEY per se, but it would have been awesome if it got past the pilot stage. I would be living on an island in Greece now.

Melissa Errico in "Amour" on Broadway6. You've done theatre, film, television, recordings, and concerts. What have you not done yet that you would like to? Write. I like writing. I have a few novels in my head, but everyone says that. Dare me.

7. As a fellow Long Islander, I loved Adventureland, Hildebrandt's Restaurant, and Laces, the roller rink. As a child on Long Island, what were some of your favorite places to go? LACES!!??? OMG I am in love with you, period end of story. LOVE.

Okay: also loved Louies restaurant in Port Washington, and the Roosevelt Field mall. I took gymnastics at a place in New Hyde Park called The Sport of The Future. I always thought that name was so cool! That was around the time I asked my Mom to call me "Nadia."

Melissa Errico8. Growing up, you spent many summers at an arts camp. Which camp did you go to and now, looking back, how do you feel that experience prepared you for life as an actress today? French Woods camp was a magical time for me. It prepared me to learn things really fast. I don't know how on earth I thought it was FUN to memorize EVITA in two weeks, but that was my idea of a good time. We did a full musical every three weeks and I literally could not get enough. (Jason Robert Brown was "Che," by the way. He was so passionate about musicals too -- he did everything...playing piano, dancing, singing, he was really incredible). The community of that camp was really special. We are a bit of a clan now, even if we don't see each other much. We all know that we kept each other company during teen years when so many people were maybe lost or busy partying. We were busy learning the lyrics to everything under the sun.

Melissa Errico and Angela Lansbury9. One of your idols is Angela Lansbury. If you could go back to any moment in her career, what moment would you choose and why? Angela Lansbury in MAME. I want to see her slide down the bannister.

10. On your album Blue Like That, you recorded "Keep it to myself." What is a secret you have kept to yourself that now you are able to reveal? Again, you may need to buy a ticket to Joe's Pub and see if you can hear it. 

P.S. thanks for remembering that CD, I was really proud of that album. Have you seen the youtube of Blue Like That with a contemporary crossover singer reinventing my title song with mermaids wiggling and flying over her head. Isn't art fun? There's always a new way to see things! :)

P.S. lets go to LACES!!!!!

Melissa Errico, Photo Credit: Michael LavineMore on Melissa:

Melissa Errico, Tony Award® nominee, has starred on Broadway, on network television and film and is an accomplished recording artist and musical concert performer. Last season, Melissa played the recurring role of "Catherine" on the Stephen Soderbergh show The Knickfor Cinemax, and had guest arcs on Blue Bloods and The Good Wife. Her Broadway credits include starring roles in My Fair Lady, Dracula, White Christmas, High Society, Les Miserables, Anna Karenina and Amour for which she was nominated for a Best Actress Tony Award®. She starred in Stephen Sondheim's Passion and Sunday In The Park With George. She has released three studio albums: Blue Like That (EMI Records) produced by Arif Mardin, Legrand Affair (Ghostlight) produced by Phil Ramone, and Lullabies & Wildflowers (VMG/Universal Records) produced by Rob Mathes; and a recent 3-song digital single More Lullabies & Wildflowers to benefit her charity. Through everything, she stays devoted to her loving family including her husband, tennis player Patrick McEnroe, their three young daughters, and one Yorkie! 


Call Answered: Conference Call with Montego Glover and Sy Smith: The New York Pops "Sophisticated Ladies" at Carnegie Hall

Steven Reineke and Montego GloverCapathia Jenkins and Sy SmithThe New York Pops conducted by master maestro Steven Reineke always puts on a great show with top-notch talent to perform with them! This next concert, entitled Sophisticated Ladies, is no exception! Joining The Pops' are Tony Award nominee Montego Glover (whom I throughly enjoyed seeing several times in the Tony Award winning musical Memphis), Broadway's Capathia Jenkins (whom I've seen in Godspell and the film One Night Stand), and singer/actress Sy Smith, whom I enjoyed on Ally McBeal (both as an actress and singer)! 

To bring these three talents together for one night, alongside The New York Pops and Steven Reineke is going to be an evening to remember! Sophisticated Ladies, which is taking place on Friday, November 13 at 8pm at Carnegie Hall (57th Street & 7th Avenue), commemorates the centennial year of the birth of Billie Holiday and also celebrates other groundbreaking icons of American popular song, from Ella Fitzgerald to Sarah Vaughan to Dinah Washington. Click here for tickets!

For more on The New York Pops be sure to visit and follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

For more on Montego be sure to visit and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

For more on Sy follow her on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, and!

Sy Smith, Photo Credit: Emmanuel Ojomo 1. This November, you are performing together with Steven Reineke and The New York Pops for their Sophisticated Ladies concert which commemorates the centennial year of the birth of Billie Holiday. If Billie Holiday were still alive today, what song would you want to duet with her on?

Montego Glover: "Them There Eyes." It's so whimsical and flirty. I think Billie and I would have fun with the playfulness.

Sy Smith: That's easy. I would LOVE to perform "Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do" with Billie Holiday! I wrote a tune of the same title (it's on my album Conflict) and I think a mash-up of the two would be awesome. I love the sentiment of this song, because when it really comes down to it, as adults, the choices that we make in our lives are OURS to make. Her version of it speaks more to her relationships with men, whereas my version ("Ain't Nobody's Bizness") talks about my relationship to my music, but it's all the same. People will always have opinions, but many of those opinions are best left unspoken. If she were still around, I think we'd really cut up singing a duet of this song!

Montego Glover2. This concert also celebrates other groundbreaking icons of American popular song, from Ella Fitzgerald to Sarah Vaughan to Dinah Washington. If you could portray one of these three icons in a film about them, who would you want to portray and why?

Montego Glover: I would choose Ella. She's my idol. I love the flexibility of her voice. And there's something so easy about listening to her. That, and even when I hear recordings I've heard a billion times I always catch a different phrasing or turn I hadn't heard before. She's wonderful.

Sy Smith: This is a really tough question. But I think if I had an opportunity to play one of these icons in a film, I'd love to play Ella Fitzgerald. She just seemed so dedicated to music because it was the only thing that was really true to her. Her life was so unstable during her teens—she went from orphanages to group homes and reformatory schools that she finally had to escape from altogether. Music was the one thing that seemed to stabilize her life and I can really appreciate that. So yeah...I'd love to play Ella!

3. What excites you about performing this music with Steven Reineke and The New York Pops?

Montego Glover: Steven is a masterful musician and leader. He brings such joy and fun to the Pops and its repertoire. That kind of energy is irresistible.

Sy Smith: Oh my goodness! What DOESN'T excite me about performing this music with Steven and The New York Pops! The opportunity to perform classical American music, also known as jazz, by iconic women...this is something I've always dreamed of doing! It really brings tears to my eyes when I think about how much this concert means to me. It's the performance of a lifetime. It's certainly the performance of MY lifetime.

Steven Reineke4. How do you feel Steven Reineke and The New York Pops will make this music heard in a way it has not been done before?

Montego Glover: First, putting together a great group of artists. I'm such a fan of Capathia Jenkins and am so excited to work with Sy Smith. Second, choosing an array of songs that are well known and some that are lesser known brings a kind of newness and variety to an evening. And finally, crafting arrangements that are really interesting and exciting for the Pops to play and for myself, Capathia and Sy to sing using our particular gifts of song. It's a party!

Sy Smith: Steven Reineke is a rockstar conductor! He knows how to make the music "move" in a space and throughout the room. His connection with music and then his deftness at transferring that energy throughout the orchestra...I've never seen another conductor rock like he does. What Steven does with music and The New York Pops is kinda like what Neil deGrasse Tyson does for quantum physics...LOL! Steven makes seemingly foreign and untouchable concepts in music COOL and tangible for anyone who's remotely interested but might be shy about where to begin listening. That might seem like a strange comparison, but remember that you asked me, Sy Smith, and I'm not always gonna say things in the most conventional way. Haha!

Steven Reineke conducting The New York Pops, Photo Credit: Johanna Weber5. What does it mean to you to perform this music today on the stage of Carnegie Hall, with the knowledge of when these legendary performers originally sang these songs?

Montego Glover: It means everything. It's a piece of history that as an artist, a woman and a member of the African American community I get to experience. I consider my being there part of a creative process these amazing women began long before I was born. I feel privileged.

Sy Smith: To perform these songs, at Carnegie Hall, here in the city where I was born (I was born right here in Manhattan!), means the world to me. It is, by far, the most important "homecoming" performance that I will probably ever take part in. I'll be sharing the stage with two incredible performers (Montego Glover and Capathia Jenkins) whose work I admire so much and we'll be singing the songs of some of the greatest artists to ever do it. We'll be joined by a critically-acclaimed orchestra that relishes taking chances with contemporary and classic repertoire alike: The New York Pops! We'll be conducted by rockstar conductor Steven Reineke! And I can't help but remember that during their heyday(s), Billie, Ella, Sarah, Dinah...many times they had to perform in venues where people who looked like them, like us and like me, might not have been allowed in, or if so, not allowed to sit in certain areas. I can't help but think about this because my whole family (it seems!) will be at Carnegie Hall, and they'll be sitting in every section. This makes me smile. It makes me smile in my sleep.

Montego Glover6. Because of the path each of these singers paved, what walls do you feel you didn't have to break down when you started out and what walls do you feel still need to be broken down?

Montego Glover: Recognition of artistry and talent are walls that were already broken down. These women are legends and icons because no matter who they were or what group they belonged to their gifts were undeniable and fully recognized. Continuing to introduce audiences (particularly younger audiences) to their music is a wall we can and should continue to break down. There's so much history, grace and relevance to be gleaned from these women and their works. That's where I'd like to put my energy.

Sy Smith: These women, these heroes, Billie, Ella, Sarah, Dinah...and more that I haven't named, they've kicked down doors that we don't even think about anymore. From huge and obvious injustices like playing venues that didn't originally allow performers of color, to smaller micro-agressions, like challenging the role of female singers as bandleaders. I'm thankful for those acts of pioneering! I think that when artists like Billie Holiday have very public struggles with addiction, that that also helps frame some of our national conversations about drug policies too, especially some of our very recent conversations concerning the rise of heroin overdoses. That shouldn't be overlooked either. There will always be work to do on this road to equality though, because power is not something that people who have it just hand over like a paperback they've finished reading. So I'm always challenging things like unequal pay for singers, making sure vocalists are properly credited when we're in the studio producing/arranging all of our own vocals, and encouraging a change in the language we use when we discuss vocalists as musicians, including supporting vocalists (I have an aversion to the term "back-up singers"). It's the little things sometimes.

Sy Smith7. What do you look forward to about performing together and which songs are you looking forward most to singing?

Montego Glover: I most look forward to making music with Steven, the New York Pops, Capathia and Sy. I'm such a fan of all of them! And I'm probably most looking forward to singing our duets and trios. I'll definitely enjoy the times we can be onstage together at Carnegie Hall celebrating one another and the music.

Sy Smith: I have a "thing" about talking about specifics before a show. Please forgive me, and perhaps call me superstitious, but I can't tell you which songs I'll be doing. Don't kill me! But I will say that I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there will be a trio featuring all three of us! If you know me, you should know that singing harmonies is my THING! I love doing that almost more than anything else. From my days touring with Whitney Houston to singing with the Rickey Minor Band on American Idol, I can sing harmonies all day long! I am really looking forward to singing with Montego and Capathia!

Montego Glover8. Who do you still want to work with that you haven't had the chance to?

Montego Glover: I would love to somehow combine a concert format with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre. I'm a huge fan of Mr. Ailey's works and the company.

Sy Smith: This question is tough because I've worked with so many people already. And I would love to work with almost all of them again. And again! But, as far as people I haven't had the pleasure of working with yet...I would love to work with Roberta Flack. I've really been into a singer/songwriter kind of thing lately and I think it would be really nice to create songs with her. She does that SO beautifully. I'd also love to work with Prince, but on a jazz album. And I would love to work with Basement Jaxx, they use so many jazz elements in their brand of electronic dance music. Oh my goodness, this list could go on and on! I'll stop there.

Sy Smith9. If you could trade one song you are scheduled to sing during Sophisticated Ladies, which songs would you swap around?

Montego Glover: I wouldn't trade anything! I love what we're doing individually!

Sy Smith: Uh oh. This question would require me to reveal information about the songs we'll be performing. Please see the answer to #7 regarding my bit of superstition! ((Apologies!))

10. If Billie Holiday were to attend this show, do you think she would be proud of this celebration of her 100th birthday? Besides from this concert, what would you give her for a gift on her 100th birthday?

Montego Glover: I think she would definitely be proud. Her music lives on and on and on and we delight in sharing it. For her 100th Birthday I would give Billie Holiday a Standing Ovation that lasted forever and ever and ever.

Sy Smith: I think if Lady Day were to be at this show, she'd see how much she has contributed to not only the world of jazz, but the entire world of music. She'd see how much her legacy has meant to contemporary musicians and singers all over the world, including me! That should make her proud, though I think she'd probably still be very humble about it all. What would I give her? Hmmm...If Freedom came in a pretty little perfume bottle, I'd wrap it in a box and give that to her with a little note that says "dab a little bit of this above your top lip/under your nose and whenever you're feeling like the world is getting too heavy, just take a deep breath...and get FREE."

Montego Glover, Photo Credit: Brent DundoreMore on Montego:

Tony Award nominee and award-winning actress Montego Glover is currently starring as "Fantine" in Les Misérables at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway. Previous to Les Misérables, she co-starred in the Broadway original musical It Shoulda Been You. Ms. Glover originated the starring role of "Felicia Farrell" on Broadway in Memphis (Tony Award, Best Musical 2010) for which she received a Tony Award nomination for Lead Actress in a Musical, a Drama League nomination, and won both the Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award for her performance. Ms. Glover made her Broadway debut in The Color Purple and has been a guest artist at the Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, and the Geffen Playhouse among others. Concert work includes The New York Pops, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center Theater, Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Caramoor Music Festival, the Delacorte Theater, and the Smith Center (PBS Special). Television and film roles include FOX’s The Following, ABC’s Black Box, HostagesSmashGolden BoyThe Good WifeWhite CollarNYC 22Law & OrderMade In Jersey and the upcoming feature Alone. Montego has served as a member of the Artists’ Committee for the Kennedy Center Honors and is a New York PopsEd Ambassador. BFA from Florida State University.

Sy Smith, Photo Credit: Mike QuainMore on Sy:

Sy Smith was born in New York City and raised in Washington, DC. After graduating from Howard University, she moved to Los Angeles where she got the attention of her musical contemporaries and heroes, earning her coveted tours as a backing vocalist for the likes of Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Meshell Ndegeocello and many more. Ms. Smith continued to work with musical director Rickey Minor as a supporting vocalist on American Idol and later joined his band at The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. As an indie-soul recording artist, Ms. Smith has released 4 albums to critical acclaim, pioneering the nu-soul scene in LA and taking her sound all over the world. As an actress, she’s starred in numerous TV, film, and stage productions, including a recurring role on FOX’s Ally McBealHow I Met Your Mother, and American Dad. She also received two nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical/Comedy from the NAACP Theatre Awards for her roles in If You Don’t Believe and Body Language. As a songwriter, Ms. Smith garnered an Emmy nod for Best Original Music/Lyrics for her original song "Welcome Back (All My Soulmates)" for the HBO film Dancing In September. Ms. Smith was a featured guest on the Grammy-nominated DVD Chris Botti in Boston and currently tours with the jazz trumpeter, dazzling audiences with her multi-octave range, unique style of improvisation and soulful interpretations of jazz standards.

Steven Reineke, Photo Credit: Michael TammaroMore on Steven Reineke:

Steven Reineke is the Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Pops Conductor Designate for the Houston Symphony, beginning in the 2017-2018 season. Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Edmonton and Pittsburgh. As the creator of more than one hundred orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke’s work has been performed worldwide, and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration FanfareLegend of Sleepy Hollow and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C.L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands around the world. A native of Ohio, Mr. Reineke is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned bachelor of music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City with his husband, Eric Gabbard.

The New York PopsMore on The New York Pops:

THE NEW YORK POPS is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Under the leadership of dynamic Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, The New York Pops continues to re-imagine orchestral pops music. The orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall, as well as a summer concert series at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY. The New York Pops is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children’s hospitals and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun. Visit for more information. Follow The New York Pops on Facebook (, Instagram (@thenewyorkpops), and Twitter (@newyorkpops).


Call Answered: Conference Call with Maggie Moore and Susie Mosher: "From The Hip" at the Laurie Beechman Theatre

Maggie Moore as "Sissy Sheridan" and Susie Mosher as "Sassy Sheridan" in "From The Hip"Anything with Susie Mosher is worth seeing! Ever since I saw her in NEWSical The Musical a few years back, I was hooked on her talent! When I was presented with the opportunity to interview anyone in From The Hip, I decided to go with the show's leads, Susie Mosher and Maggie Moore, as I felt I could have the most fun with them. And, boy, did we have FUN!  

From The Hip, is a musical comedy, written and directed by Blair Fell with original songs by Maggie Moore, about "Sissy" and "Sassy Sheraton," conjoined twins with big dreams: to make it in Hollywood and find that special set of appropriately conjoined lovers. But can Siamese lounge singers really find fame and love...especially when confronted with middle age?

From The Hip plays at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue inside the West Bank Cafe) every Wednesday through November 18. Click here for tickets!

Maggie Moore as "Sissy Sheridan" and Susie Mosher as "Sassy Sheridan" in "From The Hip"1. This November you are both starring as conjoined twins in the revival of From The Hip, which tells the story of how you, as conjoined twins, want to break into the entertainment world in the 1960s. What has been the most fun aspects of the 60s that you've gotten to experience in rehearsing for the show?

Maggie Moore: I love the lounge style, the music, the hair styles and lingo of the time. Ultimately it's a pretty sexy time whether you are in showbiz or not, let alone a Siamese twin in show business. Blair Fell, our writer and director, exploits that sexism and we can take it over the top. Personally, I am drawn to this genre and have the most fun writing songs in this style and hearing them sung by the rest of the cast.

Susie Mosher: It's more of the seedy, side show, fringes of society 1960s as opposed to the flower power peace and love 60's. So the time frame isn't a main element of the story. It could be taking place in almost any decade that has desperate people doing desperate things.

Maggie Moore as "Sissy Sheridan" and Susie Mosher as "Sassy Sheridan" in "From The Hip"2. Maggie, you originally starred in the 1997 production of From The Hip and wrote the songs for the show. Susie, you were in the L.A. production. What made now the right to revive this show and what has it been like to revisit the show? 

Maggie Moore: What made it the right time is that we as actors just wanted to bring it back for the pure comedy of it. We all enjoyed it the first time around incredibly, and somehow now we all happen to be in the same city and in touch all these years later. Blair instigated it. He came to see a reading of mine of another musical project I am working on, that I asked both Susie and Amy to participate in and it sprang from there.  And, Amy and Susie have always wanted to revive "Sassy" (lucky for us Amy took on the role of "Lobster Boy" for this incarnation and we were introduced to Sean by blair). The idea of doing this come up a lot. But it would depend on everyones availability to do it too, because we really didn't want to do it unless we could all do it together again.

Susie Mosher: I did the production of From The Hip in Los Angeles in the late 90's with Maggie and Blair. I played "Sassy Sheridan" to Maggie's "Sissy Sheridan." The main difference is in New York, Maggie's twin was played by Amy Ziff, and in this production Amy is playing "Carlotta," the maid with a terrible secret, and "Billy the Lobster Boy," my love interest.

Cast of "From The Hip"3. When the show made it's New York premiere in 1997, it played at HERE Arts Center. Now the show will be staged at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. What made you want to mount the show at The Beechman for this revival?

Maggie Moore: Susie has a great relationship with The Laurie Beechman Theatre from doing her solo shows and Cashino. I would go to see everyone of them. It seemed perfect and Kenny booked it sight unseen because of Susie.

Susie Mosher: I have worked many times at The Beechman and love it there. It can have the right sort of feel for this show, and the staff is fantastic. Kenny Bell runs the room and does everything to make the artist comfortable and supported.

4. What is the hardest part about playing conjoined twins? 

Maggie Moore: We cannot move around independently once we are in that costume. There's no such thing as personal space but fortunately we don't get in each other's way and really like each other.

Susie Mosher: Playing co-joined twins is mostly a matter of the right dress. If you are stuck together in the clothes, it kinda does the work for you.

Maggie Moore as "Sissy Sheridan" and Susie Mosher as "Sassy Sheridan" in "From The Hip"5. Since you are playing conjoined twins, how have you been attached at the hip outside of the show?

Maggie Moore: Well, we have been friends for a very long time. I appreciate getting to do this show simply because I get to see my friend more often.

Susie Mosher: Maggie, Amy and I are dear old friends, so we love hanging together anyway. Doing this show is a great way to be together for days doing something we all enjoy, making people laugh.

6. If you were conjoined twins in real life, what traits about each other would you want to share and what traits would you be glad are your own?

Maggie Moore: I think we share a love of doing musical theatre, singing, and character stuff and certainly comedy. I love Susie's commitment to "Sassy" and she's just hilarious in anything she is in and she puts her stamp on it. I like that I can write comedic songs that compliment the piece.

Susie Mosher: Maggie and I are definitely playing the twin that suits our personality. She is sweet and kind and easy going, and I tend to be more bossy and driven. I could use a dose of her calmer energy.

7. Do you think the entertainment world of 1960 would have accepted you as a legit act or do you think you would have been seen more as a "freak" show type act?

Maggie Moore: I think we would be considered freaks. Today that would be exploited too.

Susie Mosher: Well, we are definitely an "oddity." But we are actually talented. Do I think we would make it in Hollywood? Most likely not.

Cast of "From The Hip"8. If "Daisy" and "Violet" from Sideshow, another show about conjoined twins in the entertainment business, but a la 1930s, came to see From The Hip, how do you think they would like the show?

Maggie Moore: I hope they would laugh a lot and see the love and integrity in it. At its heart, it is a show biz story and love story. Everyone gets to be a Siamese twin in this show and everyone thinks of themselves as a freak. Being a freak ultimately unites us all.

Susie Mosher: "Daisy" and "Violet" would probably view "Sissy" and "Sassy" with distain. We are from the wrong side of the tracks and more desperate, not as well dressed or demure.

9. What do you think audiences will be most impressed with about this show?

Maggie Moore: I would hope they see it as pure entertainment and just really enjoy it. I would hope they enjoy the songs a lot and how it all ties the story and comedy together. It has a lot going on!

Susie Mosher: It's hilarious and dark, with smart writing and great original songs by Maggie. People laugh throughout the show, and then realize they actually care about these people.

10. If you were to meet someone you both were interested in, how would decided who got to date them? If one of you ended up dating them over the other, how would handle intimacy, since the one twin would be in the room with you?

Maggie Moore: We respect the other person and their "alone" time.

Susie Mosher: Well, "Sissy" is the one who all the boys clamor to. "Sassy" is not as attractive and doesn't seem to appeal to most, so she has thrown herself into her work. There really is no contest. As "Sassy" sings, "'Sissy' gets the big time, the boyfriends, the boobs!"

Maggie Moore as "Sissy Sheridan" and Susie Mosher as "Sassy Sheridan" in "From The Hip"More on Maggie:

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Maggie has performed solo and in concert with artists as varied as Sarah McLaughlin to Lypsinka since the late-mid Eighties. Since arriving in New York in the early-mid Nineties, Maggie has performed in many downtown theaters, (the Ridiculous, La Mama, the Atlantic) and landed on Broadway in Jackie. Maggie is perhaps best known for producing the hit show Viva Las Vegas, the Musical in which she starred as Ann-Margaret. She composed the music and lyrics for From the Hip and Hunchback Without a Bell and starred in both productions which had successful runs in New York. From the Hip went on to play Toronto, L.A. and San Francisco. Maggie can be seen in the critically acclaimed feature films, The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love and Eye of God.

Maggie Moore as "Sissy Sheridan" and Susie Mosher as "Sassy Sheridan" in "From The Hip"More on Susie:

Susie Mosher is also currently appearing off-Broadway in Newsical: The Musical. Her previous credits include Broadway: Hairspray. Off-Broadway: Suds, Back to Bacharach & David. TV: Nurse Jackie, Without a Trace, HBO's If These Walls Could Talk 2 with Vanessa Redgrave, Beverly Hills 90210, Veronica's Closet, and a recurring role of Showtime's The L Word. Films include: A View From the Top, Lost Souls, It's Pat, The Wedding Planner, and Bear City 2: the Proposal.


Call Answered: Comedian Joel Creasey: The Hurricane at The Laurie Beechman Theatre

Joel Creasey, Photo Credit: Luke FontanaI love to make people laugh and put a smile on their face. I also enjoy someone who can make me laugh out loud. A few of my favorite comedians are Joan Rivers, Wendy Liebman, Sandra Bernhard, Ellen DeGeneres, and Jessica Kirson. 

When Australian comedian Joel Creasey was presented to me, I took a gander at his work. What I found was a bright, young, fresh comedian, who made me laugh out loud! I'm so excited to have had the chance to interview Joel about his start in comedy and upcoming show The Hurricane at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC from November 13-15 (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue, inside the West Bank Cafe).

In this show Joel recounts hilarious stories drawn from his time spent in locations as diverse as the African Jungle (where he competed on the reality TV show I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! opposite Maureen "Marcia Brady" McCormick), Hollywood (where he was invited to a gay celebrity orgy), and, of course, across Australia. Click here for tickets!

For more on Joel follow him on Facebook and Twitter!

1. Let's start from the beginning. Who or what inspired you to become a stand-up comedian? Well I really thought I was going to be a serious actor...but every time I got up on stage people laughed. So I really had no other choice than to be a stand up. It was either that or get a real job.

Joel Creasey, Photo Credit: Jim Lee2. What comedians today, do you enjoy watching? I love all the ladies of comedy. I think they're so much funnier than the men. I of course adored Joan Rivers. I do also love Jen Kirkman, Margaret Cho, Heather McDonald, Tig Notaro and Rachel Feinstein.

3. I've watched a bunch of your stand-up clips online and hope to get to catch you in person when you are in NY. You are very adorable and quite funny! When you decided to go into stand-up comedy, did you go in with the notion you would be an openly gay comedian? As an openly gay comedian, do you feel you've encountered any challenges that a straight comedian might not encounter? Absolutely. Every time I walk out on stage I have to deal with the whole "will they be cool with it?" thing. Fortunately it's 2015 so it's rare that there are any backward dicks in the crowd. Having said that, I quite enjoy the challenge of turning a crowd around. Some of my best gigs are at football clubs or out in country towns. Places where a camp man like myself aren't commonplace.

4. At just 24 years old, you have had quite a career already! You've had your own ABC2 TV standup comedy special, opened for Joan Rivers and were a finalist on I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! What has it been like to watch your career rise so quickly? What is the hardest adjustment you've had to your growing popularity? It has been incredibly exciting and I'm so thrilled it's all working. Touch wood. I guess for me, particularly in Australia, people feel like they know me and unfortunately some people make up their mind that they seriously don't like me based on what they've seen on television. But whatever. I feel that, as a comic, if some people don't hate you then you're not doing your job properly.

5. I am a big Joan Rivers fan. What was the best part about opening for her? What did you learn from her? To be in her presence was just so cool. She was such a beautiful, humble, inspiring lady. I remember she told me to "Just be funny. All that matters is to be funny." It sounds like such basic advice from one comedian to another but I think there's more to it when you look into it. It's really stuck with me.

6. This November, you are blowing into the Laurie Beechman Theatre with your new tour The Hurricane, where you will recount hilarious stories drawn from your time spent in locations as diverse as the African Jungle (where you competed on the reality TV show I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! opposite Maureen "Marcia Brady" McCormick), Hollywood (where you were invited to a gay celebrity orgy), and, of course, across Australia. What is one hilarious story you wanted to put in your show, but didn't get to? And, please tell us the story. Well I do remember on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (which is basically Celebrity Survivor) we were camping in the deep jungle of Africa and were told on the first day not to look the baboons in the eyes as they're quite territorial and it can start a turf war. Well within half an hour of being there Maureen McCormick had clocked a baboon right in the eyes. For the next 6 weeks the baboons hated us and would not leave us alone. They basically wanted to kill Marcia Brady.

7. Competing opposite Maureen McCormick on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! What was it like to compete against her? Did you feel she was good competition or did you just want to throw a football at her to get her out of the competition? Haha! She was truly one of the loveliest, most eccentric people I have ever met. She looks incredible as well. But everybody got on my nerves on that show. Camping with 10 other celebrities for 6 weeks is exhausting. So yes, there were some days I just wished the baboons would just come and take Marcia Brady out.

8. What excites you most about returning to New York City? I don't know how to answer this. New York is just such a damn cool city so I can't wait to be back amongst that unique New York atmosphere. Plus drinks are much cheaper in the States...and you guys free pour I do love that!!

Joel Creasey9. Since the show is titled The Hurricane, has there been a time in your life when you felt it was spinning out of control? If so, what was that time, how did you get through it and what did you learn from that experience? Oh constantly. I'm on the road 80% of the year and my work never really stops so there are days I let it overwhelm me. But all you can really do is just step back and take stock of the situation and take a deep breath. And as Joan Rivers told me..."just be funny."

10. How did you get the nickname Acid Tongue Prince? It actually came from a negative review. I think the reviewer meant it as a bit of a jab at me. I was so flattered though and it's stuck ever since. I was like "Wow! He thinks I'm royalty!"


11. How do you feel you've grown as a comedian since starting out? I've definitely drunk a lot more than I would had I been in any other profession. But I do think I clearly have a style now that no other comedian is doing, certainly not in Australia. And I have been so lucky to build such a beautiful fan base who delight me every time they rock up to a show. It's very cool.

Joel CreaseyMore on Joel:

Over the past 5 years, openly gay Aussie comic Joel Creasey has taken the Australian comedy festival circuit by storm, scored his own ABC2 TV standup comedy special, opened for Joan Rivers and won a legion of fans as a finalist on I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! Lovingly referred to as Australia’s "Acid Tongue Prince," Joel, already has an impressive list of TV credits including two of his own stand-up specials and a Just For Laughs gala filmed for television at the Sydney Opera House. He is one Australia’s youngest, brightest, and most sought-after comedians.

Appearing seemingly out of nowhere at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2010, Joel quickly became the talk of the town with his debut – ultimately earning him a nomination for the prestigious Best Newcomer Award; at just 19 years of age, Joel was one of the youngest ever nominees. Since then, Joel has toured the country performing solo as well as with the prestigious Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow, alongside a selection of Australia’s best comedians. In a short time Joel has built a cult following that is rapidly growing into the wider comedy community. People everywhere falling in love with his intelligent observations, acerbic style and pop-culture expertise.