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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in New York City (74)

Sunday
Sep072014

Call Answered: Joan Shepard: Confessions of Old Lady #2 2014 International Fringe Festival Encore Series

Joan Shepard in "Confessions of Old Lady #2""Call Me Adam" chats with actress Joan Shepard about her show Confessions of Old Lady #2, chronicling her 74 year career on Broadway and Television that is part of the 2014 International Fringe Festival Encores Series at Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, entrance on 25th Street) on September 18 and 28. Click here for tickets!

For more on Joan be sure to visit http://www.joanhaydenshepard.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

1. Your show, Confessions of Old Lady #2, about your 74 year career on Broadway & television, just finished its initial run in the 2014 NYC Fringe International Theatre Festival and is now being presented in their Encore Series. What excites you about having your show in the Fringe Encore series? Excited & pleased to have been chosen.

2. What made now the right time to present Confessions of Old Lady #2? The last 2 summers I took the show to the Edinburgh Fringe. I loved it and would have gone back this year. But my daughter, the esteemed director Jenn Thompson, persuaded me to shoot for NYC Fringe as a higher target.

3. How do you feel the Fringe Festival helps foster this show in a way another festival might not? Plainly the attention given to Fringe NYC is extraordinary. I  got 4 reviews. The other Festival I applied to, offered a single performance as opposed to 5. 

Joan Shepard in "Confessions of Old Lady #2"4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Confessions of Old Lady #2? The promise that there is life after 80.

5. Since this show is about tales from your career, is there a story that did not make it into the show that you can share with us? In the show I tell about playing a 5 line part in The Member of the Wedding on Broadway. I don't want to distract from the impact of quoting Miss Ethel Waters &  telling how "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" got into the show, so I don't tell how (11 years after Bway) Miss Waters chose me to play the leading role of "Frankie Addams" on the West Coast, opposite her. One of my proudest possessions is a program cover showing me on her lap as we sing the famous hymn.

6. What was it like to go back through your whole life and career to put this show together? Were there moments when it was all too much for you? It was exhilarating rather than upsetting.

Joan Shepard in "Confessions of Old Lady #2"7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was totally hooked by my first show Romeo & Juliet, starring Laurence Olivier & Vivien Leigh. I never considered any other profession from, that day to this.

8. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I would love to work with Liza Minnelli. She's in my show, but we never shared a stage at the same time.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Don't ever let yourself be bitter." (too many character ladies have made this mistake).

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That being scared is okay. I am still terrified before each performance, particularly of CONFESSIONS, and I know it's part of the deal.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? No question: the power to fly.

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

13. How do you want to be remembered? As someone who brought delight.

Joan ShepardMore on Joan:

Joan Shepard has enjoyed 74 years as a working actress, beginning with being cast as an extra in Laurence Olivier's Broadway production of Romeo & Juliet in 1940. Since then she has racked up 8 more Broadway plays, including The Member of the Wedding with Ethel Waters and Foolish Notion in which she played Tallulah Bankhead's daughter. As a child, she was one of radio's Quiz Kids, as a grown up she has had a distinguished career on stage and on television. Most recently she has appeared regionally at such theatres as the Human Race, New Harmony, the Pasadena Playhouse and the Ivoryton Playhouse in Connecticut. At the latter, she served also as Managing Director and was, along with her husband, Evan Thompson, directly responsible for saving that historic theatre from the wrecking ball. At Ivoryton she received a record number, seventeen of Pictorial Gazette Awards for her performances, and on television she was a memorable shoplifter on ABC's What Would You Do? as well as appearing on the HBO series Girls. In 2012 & 2013 she took her one-woman show CONFESSIONS OF OLD LADY #2 to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she was critically hailed as "a musical powerhouse" remotegoat.com, "a must see for any aspiring performer" StageWon, "Marvellous" (Whats'On), "a wonderful raconteur" Carrie Gooch SGfringe; "fabulous but not fading" (Scotsgay), 4 stars, "a gleeful account" (Libby Purves, the London Times). NYC's Cabaret Scenes described her show as "fascinating and fun" and called her "an eternal sprite whose company is a true pleasure".

Friday
Sep052014

Call Answered: Janet Prince: Murder, Margaret & Me: 2014 International Fringe Festival Encore Series

Janet Prince"Call Me Adam" chats with actress Janet Prince about starring in Murder, Margaret & Me which is part of the 2014 International Fringe Festival Encore Series playing at Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, entrance on 25th Street) on September 13, 19, and 20! Click here for tickets!

1. Murder, Margaret & Me just finished its initial run in the 2014 NYC Fringe International Theatre Festival and is now being presented in their Encore Series. What excites you about reprising this show in the Fringe Encore series? Being able to reach more people. The show completely sold out its run even with two extra shows and even my husband couldn't see it!

2. How do you feel the Fringe Festival helped nurture this show in a way another festival might not have? Certainly for an international show there is no other opportunity to stage a production in NY as accessible as this, even to the point that FringeNYC petitions for the visa which is always a difficult hurdle to overcome.

Janet Prince in "Murder, Margaret & Me"3. What made you want to initially audition for Murder, Margaret & Me? The piece was commissioned for me and I was convinced I could never play three different characters; the iconic actress Margaret Rutherford in particular, but the reviews have proved me wrong!

4. What do you identify most with about Margaret Rutherford and "Miss Marple"? Margaret Rutherford and I both love(d) swimming in cold sea...a point I prove weekly at Rockaway beach! and "Miss Marple" and I are both rather nosey!

5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing this show? A real sense of being involved in an extraordinary true story and with a smile on their face.

6. What has been the best part about starring in this show? The whole experience has been a delight...in fact the only downside with a solo show is the last night party is a bit quiet!

Janet Prince in "Murder, Margaret & Me"7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Stella Sizer Simpson (still remember her name) who took me for speech classes was such a glamorous character with long red nails and bright red lipstick and in my eleven year old eyes was a perfect role model!

8. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Margaret Rutherford!

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Procrastination is the thief of time...my dad wrote it in my autograph book...but I still put everything off till the last minute....still think it is good advice though!

Janet Prince in "Murder, Margaret & Me"10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? Very confident in youth, wobbly in the middle years and now I fear nothing!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Pour parler français instantanément!

12. If you could be an original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? Had to google this...thought a Life Saver was the guy at the pool...so now I am an expert...did you know they were first introduced in 1902...I'd create a margarita flavour....

13. How do you want to be remembered? With a great big laugh!

Wednesday
Sep032014

Call Answered: Barry Levey: Hoaxocaust! 2014 International Fringe Festival Encore Series

Barry Levey in "Hoaxocaust!""Call Me Adam" chats with playwright Barry Levey about his one-man show Hoaxocaust!, about Barry's unbelievable round the world adventure as he tracks down deniers of the Holocaust from Illinois to Iran, meets engineers and ex-presidents, and dodges a brother in Hungary and a boyfriend back home on a journey to discover the shocking truth.

Hoaxocaust! is part of the 2014 International Fringe Festival's Encore Series playing at Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, entrance on 25th Street) on September 11, 18, 21, and 24. Click here for tickets!

For more on Barry and Hoaxocaust! visit http://www.hoaxocaust.com and follow the show on Facebook and Twitter!

1. Your show, Hoaxocaust!, just finished its initial run in the 2014 NYC Fringe International Theatre Festival and is now being presented in their Encore Series. What excites you about having your show in the Fringe Encore series? Though an experienced playwright, I'm a novice performer, and it took me all 5 Fringe performances to get comfortable being onstage. Our opening night, I think I did our 70 minute show in 59 minutes--without dropping any lines, mind you; just speeding through it like a bullet train. I'm absolutely thrilled for this chance to continue my growth as an actor and keep getting to know our audiences night after night--to be able to really dialogue with them, and share the experience, and not be terrified that I'll lose my place.

2. How do you feel the Fringe Festival helped foster this show in a way another festival might not have? I don't know that I'd ever have been willing to risk being so vulnerable as a first-time writer/performer outside of the Fringe. For that matter, I don't know of any other producing organization that would have offered me the chance!

Barry Levey in "Hoaxocaust!"3. Hoaxocaust!, is a show about those who believe the Holocaust never happened. What made you want to write a show on the non-believers? When I first became aware of Deniers in the news, I was mystified at how these people could possibly exist--what kinds of supposed "facts" they could possibly believe or promulgate that justified their inanity. At first I thought that anything they had to say would be flat-out hysterical. I wasn't prepared to find them quite as terrifying as I did, and as I hope I convey in the piece.

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Hoaxocaust!? What have been the biggest reactions so far from audiences? I hope people come away from it, first and foremost, entertained. I'm a big believer in the first dictum of "Don't Be Boring." I also hope people feel engaged, like they've been part of a dialogue rather than some one-sided harangue. And I hope they're a little bit scared: of what's out there, and how interrelated but asymmetrical our self-perceptions can be compared to the ways we're perceived, and how difficult it is to choose what past traumas we let define our present-day identities.

Barry Levey in "Hoaxocaust!"5. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright? Pure selfishness. I was better at writing dialogue than I was at anything else, including performing, which I absolutely loved until my voice changed during an ill-timed community theater presentation of Bye Bye Birdie.

6. Who do you hope to get to work with in your career? Scott Rudin.

7. What have you learned about yourself from being a playwright? That I'm pretty good at leading people someplace meaningful, but terrible at letting them stay there without undercutting it immediately with a laugh.

Barry Levey in "Hoaxocaust!"8. Favorite way to stay in shape? I love running, but always with music and never with company. And I can't say I've ever done it enough to make it calisthenic, but I love me a kayak. Even after falling into the Hudson on my very first try.

9. Boxers or Briefs? True to my completely ambivalent, Libra spirit, I can truthfully answer: boxer-briefs.

10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Teleportation. It's close with flying, but I figure teleportation gets me most of flying's benefits, with less work and time.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could be an original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? I don't know if this would make a good Life Saver, but I have always believed if someone could successfully combine chocolate, peanut butter, mint and coffee into one flavor experience, the world might end from collective gluttony. I've come close to creating this dessert perfection, with a chilled mini peppermint patty coated in peanut butter, but I failed to involve the coffee. Maybe I should have sprinkled grounds on the top? Anyway, it's too late now; I went vegan since that first attempt, and peppermint patties are out.

12. How do you want to be remembered? As a nice guy. A writer's writer. Giver of a pretty good wedding toast.

Barry LeveyMore on Barry:

Barry’s New York productions include HOAXOCAUST! at Theater for the New City and Prospect Theater Company; CRITICAL DARLING at the New Group; ALL THE WAY FROM CHINA at the Gene Frankel; and the short plays YALE LAW SCHOOL (Heideman Award Finalist, Actors Theatre of Louisville) and DOWNEASTER ALEXA at Ars Nova. He is a two-time O’Neill finalist, for CITIZENS OF ROME and WOMAN OF TROY. His work has been developed by the Lark, Arena Stage, Rattlestick, and Williamstown, among others. He is a graduate of Yale College and the MFA program at UC San Diego.

Sunday
Aug312014

Call Answered: Full Facetime Interview with Ben Rimalower and Aaron Mark: Bad with Money

"Call Me Adam" reconnects with actor and playwright Ben Rimalower and director Aaron Mark to discuss their new show Bad with Money playing at The Duplex in NYC (61 Christopher Street at 7th Avenue) from September 4-November 6, every Thursday at 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!

Bad with Money chronicles Ben's struggle with his finances. 

For more on Bad with Money visit http://www.badwithmoney.net and follow the show on Facebook and Twitter!

Bad with Money Interview with Ben Rimalower and Aaron Mark:

Thursday
Aug282014

Call Answered: Ute Lemper: Sings The Love Poems of Pablo Neruda at 54 Below

Ute Lemper"Call Me Adam" chats with Ute Lemper, renowned international chanteuse and star of Broadway and London's Chicago, about her upcoming engagement at 54 Below from September 2-6 entitled Ute Lemper Sings The Love Poems of Pablo Neruda. Click here for tickets!

1. From September 2-6, you will be returning to 54 Below. What excites you about this return engagement? What do you like most about performing here? I am very comfortable in 54 Below. It is in the center of Manhattan, close to Broadway, a perfect location and a very nice size club with proximity to the most sophisticated and international audience. I love to perform in all different venues in NY, but this one has a beautiful decoration and a good sound system. I am excited to bring my 6 piece band this time to celebrate the love poems of Pablo Neruda.

2. What can fans expect from this show that they have not seen in previous shows? This is a very special performance. I will take the audience on a journey through this original repertoire that I have created over the last 2 years, a song cycle to the love poems of Pablo Neruda. It is in Spanish, English and French. The music, that I have written is influenced by Tango and Chanson and it transforms the poetry into most engaging and powerful melodies and songs.

3. This show is entitled Ute Lemper Sings The Love Poems of Pablo Neruda, in support of your recently released album of the same name. Why did you want to do an evening of music set to his poems? What is about Pablo's poems that you identify with most? I admire this poet. He was able to be a politician, a humanist, a diplomat and an artist all at the same time and his fight for freedom and equality was unique. I chose nevertheless the non political love poems as they are universal and easier to put into music. We have performed this concert all over the world and I have witnessed how much love and adoration people of all nations carry for Pablo Neruda. He has consoled many souls through times of oppression and given hope to them.

Of course my own inspirations first of all came from life itself. The love in my heart for life, my family, my children, my love, and my music, but also for everything I ever sang from the most beautiful songs of Brel/Piaf/Weill/Piazzolla/Ferre…..all those special songs that live in my heart for so long...somehow they also took influence in the NERUDA project.

You will see the unbelievable talent of my band, such great musicians that carry us through the evening with virtuosity.

Ute Lemper4. For this concert, you are also taking the audience on a tour around the world not only singing selections from your new album, but from some of your favorite composers. As an international star, what have you enjoyed most about performing around the world? If I have a little time left, I will of course venture through the Weimar Republic and sing some Kurt Weill and possibly Edith Piaf.

5. How do the audiences differ and how are they the same? Every audience is different and also has different pockets in itself. It is always a pleasure to perform, in front of quiet or wild or loud or very popular or very sophisticated audience. I communicate through music and poetry and I am so grateful to find this common space of mind and heart with my audience and of course entertain them with heart and soul and wicked humor.

6. In addition to singing, you have had a quite a career on the theatrical stage. What do you get from your theatrical endeavors that you do not get from singing? I mostly love singing and making music and I miss the music very much when I perform straight theatre. Nowadays I mostly do concert tours and create my own original projects, but of course my main mission is to keep my root repertoire of German and French Chanson alive and contemporary.

7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Its my inner demons and my utter passion for music and the realization and communication of it.

Ute Lemper8. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? There are many wonderful artists I wish to collaborate with and to meet, but then I am very happy to work on my own too with my wonderful team of musicians.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? It's the one that I discovered myself...follow your first impulse and listen to your intuition and stay truthful to your passions.

And: giving is way more extraordinary than receiving....

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? It is a gift and a privilege to make this passion into a profession and it needs the utmost dedication, but also the utmost inspiration by life in all its ups and downs.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to stay in shape? Eat only the half....stop before you are full, stay active...with kids or sports....and train your core, stomach and back and shoulders.

Be positively spirited at all times and engage in happiness as much as you can.

12. Favorite skin care product? Shiseido

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Love trigger and medicine.

14. If you could be an original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Love flavor.

15. How do you want to be remembered? Haha...well as one of the last great European ladies to sing and create chanson...no may be not....a great mother...a great lover...or just crazy Ute...

Ute LemperMore on Ute:

Ute Lemper's career is vast and varied. She has made her mark on the stage, in films, in concert and as a unique recording artist. She has been universally praised for her interpretations of Berlin Cabaret Songs, the works of Kurt Weill and Berthold Brecht and  the French Chanson Book. As well as her own compositions and the more Jazz influenced collaborations and works. In the world of theater Ute made her mark with her portrayals on Broadway, in Paris and in London's West End.

Ute was born in Munster, Germany and completed her studies at The Dance Academy in Cologne and the Max Reinhardt Seminary Drama School in Vienna.

Ute Lemper SingingHer professional debut in theater after her studies at the Max Reinhardt Seminar was the Fassbinder play Katzelmacher at the Stuttgarter Staatstheater and a collaboration with Jerome Savary Bye Bye Showbiz. On the musical stage she starred in the original Vienna production of Cats in the roles of "Grizabella" and "Bombalurina", as "Peter Pan" in Peter Pan (Berlin) and "Sally Bowles" in Jerome Savary's Cabaret (Paris) for which she received the Moliere Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She played "Lola" in The Blue Angel (Berlin) and Maurice Bejart created a ballet for her, La Mort Subite (Paris). Ute also collaborated with Pina Bausch and her Tanztheater on the Weill Revue. Ute created the part of "Velma Kelly" in London's production of Chicago in the West End, for which she was honored with the Laurence Olivier Award, and moved to the Broadway production after one year.

Ute Lemper's solo concerts, which include Kurt Weill/Berthold Brecht Recitals, Berlin Cabaret, Dietrich and Piaf, Jacques Brel, Leo Ferre, Kosma, Prevert, Sondheim, Piazzolla and also Lemper's own songs, have been produced in prestigious venues throughout the world. Her symphony concerts include The Seven Deadly Sins, Songs from Kurt Weill,Songbook (Michael Nyman) and Songs from Weill, Piaf and Dietrich with the symphony orchestras of London, Israel, Boston, Hollywood, San Francisco, Berlin, The Paris Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Illusions Orchestra (Bruno Fontaine) and the Michael Nyman Band (Michael Nyman). She also appeared in Folksongs with the Luciano Berio Orchestra (Luciano Berio) and with The Matrix Ensemble (Robert Ziegler) performing Berlin Cabaret Songs. She has performed with the best symphony orchestras all over the world from Buenos Aires to Sydney.

Her celebrated recordings for DECCA include Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill (Vols. I and II), Three Penny Opera, The Seven Deadly Sins, Mahagonny Songspiel, Prospero's Books (Michael Nyman), Songbook (Michael Nyman/Paul Celan), Illusions (Piaf/Dietrich), City of Strangers (Prevert/Sondheim) and Berlin Cabaret Songs (German and English versions). She was named Billboard Magazine's Crossover Artist of the Year for 1993-1994. In early 2000, Decca/Universal Music released Punishing Kiss, featuring new songs composed for her by Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Philip Glass, and Nick Cave. Her following release on Decca, But One Day, features new arrangements of Weill, Brel, Piazzolla, Heymann and Eisler songs, as well as the first recordings of her own compositions, for which she wrote both lyrics and music. She has also recorded Crimes of the Heart, Life is a Cabaret and Ute Lemper Live for CBS Records and Espace Indecent, Nuits Etranges and She Has a Heart for POLYDOR.

She recorded Blood and Feathers (available on both CD and DVD), live at the Carlyle, one of New York's hottest Cabaret stages. It was released worldwide on DRG/Koch Records and EDEL Records in Europe.

All That Jazz/The Best of Ute Lemper, which features highlights from her illustrious career to date was released in 1998. It accompanied her playing "Velma Kelly" in the London production of Kander and Ebb's Chicago for which she received the 1998 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical. After nine months in London's West End, Ms. Lemper made her Broadway debut in September 1998. A major highlight of her eight months American engagement in Chicago was starring with Chita Rivera in the Las Vegas premiere in March 1999.

Her album, Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, consists entirely of self-penned music and lyrics, and Ute enjoyed co-producing all of her songs together with her partner Todd Turkisher.

In film, her many credits include L'Autrichienne (Pierre Granier-Deferre), Prospero's Books (Peter Greenaway), Moscow Parade (Ivan Dikhovichni), Prêt-à-Porter (Robert Altman), Bogus (Norman Jewison) and the most recent releases, Combat de Fauves (Benoit Lamy), A River Made to Drown In (James Merendino) and Appetite (George Milton). She has appeared on television in Rage/Outrage, The Dreyfus Affair (Arte), Tales from the Crypt (HBO), Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill (Bravo), Illusions (Granada), Songbook (Volker Scholendorff), The Wall (Rogers Waters) and The Look of Love (Gillian Lynn).