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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in New York City (89)

Wednesday
Dec172014

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 http://scottalan.net 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. 

BONUS QUESTIONS:

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.

Tuesday
Dec092014

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 http://www.ashleygriffinofficial.com 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).

BONUS 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 Alice...in 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.

Sunday
Nov302014

Call Answered: John Kevin Jones: Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol at the Merchant House

Kevin Jones rehearsing Summoners Ensemble Theatre "A Christmas Carol", Photo Credit: Joey Stocks"Call Me Adam" chats with actor John Kevin Jones about the return engagement of Summoners Ensemble Theatre's production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at the Merchant House in NYC (29 East 4th Street) which will play from December 11-28. Click here for tickets!

For more on Kevin follow him on Twitter!

1. From December 11-28, you are presenting a return engagement of Summoners Ensemble Theatre A Christmas Carol at the Merchant House. This is your 3rd year staging this show, the second at the Merchant House. What initially made you want to stage this show at the Merchant House? When my co-adapter, Rhonda Dodd, and I were developing the production in 2011 we showed the piece in different settings – from performing for invited friends in the Loewe Room at the Dramatists Guild to parties in Victorian Homes in Hartford and matchbox apartments in Manhattan. The fit inside a Victorian home really added a feeling of history coming alive. Performing a 19th Century story in a 19th Century home – it takes us back to that time but also shows us how much in common we have with the people who lived then and how truly relevant this story still is for all of us.

2. Out of all the Christmas shows out there, why did you chose A Christmas Carol? I had done a lot of really wonderful productions regionally but some of the more over-produced ones tended to lose the real heart of the story. Dickens himself read an edited text at the holidays in great halls, people stood on line for days to get tickets. I read this performance text of his and immediately saw how challenging it would be as an actor to move from character to character in such high stakes situations. And honestly, I’m moved by the story. Which for me is so much more than a tale of a bad man who goes from being stingy and mean to being generous and gregarious. Scrooge was a nice boy, who came from a nice family but he faced terrible hardships in a world that valued material gain above all else, and that hardened him – this is really a story of how a man returns to his true self. I think deep down we’re all empathetic giving people, this little fiction unlocks that reality in us – maybe for a moment, maybe for longer. It has something to say, and I discovered I wanted to say it.

Kevin Jones performing "A Christmas Carol" at NYC's Merchant's House Museum 20133. What excites you about this upcoming return engagement? Being in the Merchant’s House is a wonderful thing all by itself. You can feel the history all around you and the opportunity to share this story from the same time period and become a part of the history of the house is humbling. It’s an honor, really.

4. What made you want Rhonda Dodd to be the show's director? What has been the best part about working together? Rhonda and I worked on adapting the script together so it seemed a no-brainer that she would come on to direct. She’s my best cheerleader and my worst critic – and that combination is truly the best thing about working together.

5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing A Christmas Carol at the Merchant House? I would love for everyone to see a bit of themselves in Scrooge. I certainly have, and it has changed my perspective in some personally profound ways. Maybe the audiences will realize how they may have closed their hearts to the world and their own potential for doing good in it.

I hope what I offer rekindles their understanding that doing good for others is really doing good for yourself and for your entire community. And it feels good! The studied nonchalance and detachment of our modern age be damned!

Kevin Jones performing "A Christmas Carol" at NYC's Merchant's House Museum 20136. What makes your version of A Christmas Carol different from other, previous staged, versions? I don’t have any bells and whistles, just my voice (or voices in this case – I do 20 different characters), a table, and chair. Dickens words are so powerful on their own. I’ve had many people come to me after seeing the show saying that they’d never really heard the story before. That’s the biggest compliment, to make something so careworn feel fresh and new.

7. Since A Christmas Carol at the Merchant House is being presented during the holiday season, what is your favorite part about spending the holidays in NYC? I usually spend the holidays at my family’s home in Oklahoma (Rhonda is coincidentally from Oklahoma too) but this year my father and brother are coming to stay with me – so that’s my favorite part of this holiday season in NYC, spending time with my family and being a tourist with them in my own city.

rehearsing Summoners Ensemble Theatre's "A Christmas Carol" at Merchant's House Museum. Photo Credit: Joey Stocks8. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My family moved around a lot and we landed in New Jersey for a while. The high school was doing The Music Man and my elementary school music teacher chose me and some other boys to audition for the show - they were looking for young children to play "Winthrop" and his friends. I got cast as a friend and when I told my mother I know she was glad I was doing something that would get me involved with other kids – moving around so much had made me painfully shy and making friends was difficult for me.

The day came for the first rehearsal and I told my mother I didn’t think I should do the show, I was afraid of going and meeting new people, afraid of being teased at the high school by a lot of kids that knew a lot more about this stuff than me. She told me that I had obligated myself to doing it and I would have to honor my commitments. The next day I got home from school, got my script and score and went to the car. When I became concerned that we would be late I honked the horn several times and yelled out the car window, "Hurry mother! They told me I cannot be late!" So I have my mother and the amazing group of kids in that first show to thank for being bitten by the bug. I’ve always been very grateful for that.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Theater is all important, and not important at all.

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That being vulnerable is a strength.

11. How do you want to be remembered? I prefer to focus on the now, but I hope that those who know me will remember me for how much I love to laugh.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I’d like to be invisible whenever I wished. Think how much I’d save on plane fare.

13. If you could be any original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? Cherry….of course.

14. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what would you put in it? Jonesin’ –  1 shot tequila, pomegranate juice and a lime – really cold. Satisfying, but leaves you wanting more.

Kevin JonesMore on Kevin:

John Kevin Jones is a member of Actors’ Equity, The Dramatist Guild of America, and is the Executive Director of Summoners Ensemble Theatre. New York credits include the 2013 holiday season's successful presentation of A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House, Nothing But Trash at Theater for the New City, Jeffrey (opposite Bryan Batt) at Lincoln Center, The Winter’s Tale and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, both with Hipgnosis Theatre. Regional: American Stage in St. Pete, Florida (The Pavilion), Arkansas Rep. (Othello), Kentucky Rep. (The RivalsAll My SonsComedy of Errors), Memphis’ Playhouse on the Square (Angels in AmericaLast Night of BallyhooGross Indecency). Directing credits include A Lie of the MindRevenge of the Space Pandas, and Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Kevin received his BA in Theater, Performance from the University of South Florida and his MFA in Theater, Directing from the University of Memphis.

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: