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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in New York City (59)

Tuesday
Jul222014

Call Answered: Sue Loncar: Contemporary Theatre of Dallas: Laundry & Bourbon

"Call Me Adam" chats with Contemporary Theatre of Dallas' Artistic Director and actress Sue Loncar who is mounting James McLure's Lone Star and Laundry & Bourbon (which she also stars in) through July 26 at Theatre Row's Clurman Theatre in NYC (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

Lone Star is a character study of a pair of Texas "good ol’ boys" carousing on a Saturday night while Laundry & Bourbon focuses on the discontent and very funny gossip of three small-town wives whose marriages have turned out to be less than ideal.

For more on the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas visit http://www.contemporarytheatreofdallas.com and follow them on Twitter!

1. From July 5-26, you are bringing Contemporary Theatre of Dallas' productions of James McLure's Lone Star and Laundry & Bourbon to NYC. What made you want to have a NYC run of these shows? I wanted to bring the "real" Texas to New York. I wanted New Yorkers to see Texas as Texans know it, not Texas as it's displayed on TV and in movies. As part of that, I wanted our company to be made of Texas actors. James McLure (who just recently passed away) loved Texas, and it shows in Lone Star and Laundry & Bourbon. I also knew James McLure personally, and thought he was hysterical. We successfully produced these two shows in Dallas twice, in 2004 and 2006 to critical raves and full houses. It remains to this day one of our most beloved shows. I also thought it was good timing with all the love out there for Friday Night Lights, the TV show that they filmed in Austin that was so brilliant.

2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing these shows? I hope audiences get a sense of how proud we are of our state and culture, but that we are also able to laugh at ourselves. To me, though, the much bigger theme of the show is the love and strength of family and friendship. And how that sustains us in our life. That's what I get out of it every time I perform.

Sue Loncar as "Hattie" in "Laundry & Bourbon"3. You are going to be starring in Laundry & Bourbon. What do you identify most with about your character? Her hectic life with her kids-I have six! I understand her love and devotion to "Elizabeth," her best friend, and how they will always be there for one another. I love that "Hattie" is a survivor; you can throw a situation at her, and she will come up with a solution and turn a negative into a positive. My friends would probably say that we're most alike because I'm loud and talk a lot! Everyone has always said this is the perfect role for me, and I'm not quite sure how to take that....

4. Since Laundry & Bourbon focuses on the discontent and very funny gossip of three small-town wives whose marriages have turned out to be less than ideal, how have you gotten through moments of discontent in your life? I lived in Amarillo, Texas for 12 years in a very tightly knit community that was filled with generations of family. I didn't know anyone and had to work my way in, which was no easy task! It was a place where getting into the Junior League was like trying to win a senate seat, and until then I had been a big city girl having grown up in Atlanta and Houston. Everything you did was under scrutiny, and everybody did talk about everybody. It was like living under a microscope. You don't have the luxury of any anonymity. The only way to get through that or anything is faith, family, and friends.

Sue Loncar, Marianne Galloway, Marisa Diotalevi in "Laundry & Bourbon", Photo Credit: Julie Ann Arbiter5. What made you want to be the Artistic Director of Contemporary Theatre of Dallas? What has been the most rewarding part of this journey and the most challenging parts? I didn't! Honestly, I just wanted to do a couple of shows a year that I loved with roles that really mattered to me. The shows had to be important to me if I was going to take that kind of time away from my family! I wanted to be close to home so I didn't have to spend a couple of extra hours in the car driving. The next thing you know I own a building, and I have a full season and subscribers. The whole project snowballed on me! It got totally out of control from what I had had in mind. I was not remotely prepared to do this job; I still am not (my 14 year old daughter knows more about theater than I do)! I have an English degree! I know next to nothing about the technical end of theater and less than that about the business end. I hadn't even acted a lot by comparison, and Dallas has a huge acting pool. My focus has always been on being a Mom! It still is my #1 priority. It's my staff that makes everything possible. They make this happen, and I get to work on the artistic projects. Ignorance truly is bliss! My secret is that I've always found and hired the best people in town! They surround me and make me look good!

The most rewarding part of acting is the family we create when making a show. It is always devastating to me when it is over. I go through an almost crippling withdrawal and depression. I miss the show and the people so much. Plus, our patrons are the loveliest, kindest, most supportive audience you could ever hope to have! They love us, and they feel like CTD is their home. They never stop telling me this. They fill my heart with such love and joy and such a feeling of appreciation that I can't even describe it. I always say, "Damn the naysayers or critics. If my audience loves the show I have done my job!" That's who I aim to serve and please.

Sue Loncar and Marisa Diotalevi in "Laundry & Bourbon", Photo Credit: Julie Ann Arbiter6. Contemporary Theatre of Dallas' mission to present plays that depict relationships of all kinds. Whether it is a mother, sibling, a lover, a friend or a child, we all struggle to connect, to communicate, to find intimacy, acceptance, tolerance and above all, love. How did you decide for this to be the theatre's focus when choosing plays? I'm all about relationships. I wish I had been a therapist. I would have been a damn good one. I wanted the theater to be an extension of who I am. I wanted it to feel like a home, and it's close. Our building is actually an old church! The building brings its own personality to the whole enterprise. I wanted the theater to represent what I think is important, which is relationships, community, overcoming things, and not feeling alone in this world with your problems. I want people to leave feeling like they have had a shared experience, that they saw themselves and their life play out on that stage. I want them to hear their story.

I think we all want to feel a little less alone in our struggles and be able to identity with one another. We are all so much more alike than we are different. I want to highlight that. The best is being able to move people, to touch their heart. I love when three days later they are still thinking about a scene from the play, or something a character said, or that a character (as they often tell me) is either "just like" them or someone they know. That just thrills me! Someone just told me "Hattie" was the spitting image of her best friend all through high school. I loved that. She then preceded to tell me all about her!

7. What's the best advice you've ever received? Take reviews and critics with a grain of salt. It's just someone's opinion. That is so true. One day you're up and the bee knees and the next time maybe not so much, so you can't let the critics be your litmus test. Unfortunately, as a producer, it can effect the box office, so it does matter. Just don't take it personally. Maybe you were having a bad day or maybe the critic just doesn't like that play, and that's okay. It's not the end of the world, and it doesn't mean I was wrong to choose that show. I love that about art. There is no right or wrong.

Sue Loncar and Marianne Galloway in "Laundry & Bourbon", Photo Credit: Julie Ann Arbiter8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer and Artistic Director? How much stress I can take is unfathomable to me now! I would have never thought it possible to survive the chaos. I've learned I can perform after my best friend's daughter killed herself and after learning my beloved grandmother died. I've learned I can come straight from the hospital on morphine with a major migraine and perform this very show as well as Steel Magnolias. He'll, I've learned I am a steel magnolia. I've learned that actors are the most passionate people on earth and will work tirelessly to get the job done. I've learned that almost anything you think can go wrong will at some point. Nothing surprises me anymore. You just learn to deal with it-just like life! In the end it's what YOU think about your performance that matters. It's your experience! Claim it for yourself! Don't give that power to anybody else.

9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? To create love, peace, and understanding between all people. I would promote the concept that we are all so much more the same than we are different, that we all want the same things out of life: to love and be loved, to be healthy and safe, and to guarantee our children's happiness. Wow, if I could do that...imagine!

Sue Loncar10. Favorite skin care product? Retin-A to keep the age monster at bay.

BONUS QUESTION:

11. What do you want to be remembered for? For having a heart as big as TEXAS.

Monday
Jul212014

Call Answered Again: Max Crumm: The Fantasticks Off-Broadway

Max Crumm"Call Me Adam" catches up with actor Max Crumm about starring as "Matt/The Boy" in the hit Off-Broadway show The Fantasticks playing at Jerry Orbach Theater in the Snapple Theater Center (210 West 50th Street). Click here for tickets!

A modern twist on Romeo and Juliet, THE FANTASTICKS (music by Harvey Schmidt, book, lyrics, and direction by Tom Jones) is the quintessential story of a boy and girl who fall in love and then quickly grow apart when they realize they want to experience the world. The score, includes the hit songs "Try To Remember," "Soon It’s Gonna Rain" and "They Were You."

For more on Max follow him on Twitter!

1. Starting July 8, you joined the cast of the hit Off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks as "Matt/The Boy." What made you want become part of this show? Although I had not seen (or done) the show until a couple of weeks ago, I knew that The Fantasticks was one of those shows that everyone has either seen or been in at LEAST once in their lives! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with this incredible company of people in this legendary production!

2. What do you identify most with about "Matt/The Boy" and the story of The Fantasticks? To me, "Matt" is an artistic man child who loves adventure. That is what I identify most with.

3. What excites you about singing some of theatre's most well known songs? These songs are beautiful! That alone is exciting enough but I enjoy putting my own twist on them as well! There is something extremely rewarding to be able to take on these songs in this particular production!

Samantha Bruce and Max Crumm in "The Fantasticks"4. What do you think you will bring to the role of "Matt/The Boy" that others have not? Hmm..I hope to bring a fresh goofy/grounded take on "Matt." I feel very similar to him. Hopefully I can bring a lot of myself to the role.

5. What are you looking forward to about working with this cast? These actors are SO hilarious and true! I can not WAIT to hop in there and play with them!

6. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Ha! Ummm...flight?

7. I know you are a big puppet fan. If you could be an Muppet, which one would you be? I would be Janice.

8. What do you want to be remembered for? I hope to be remembered for being a magically talented goof! :)

Max CrummMore on Max:

Recent credits include "Scott" in DISASTER! and "Christian" in F#%KING UP EVERYTHING, both Off-Broadway. Max is best known for playing "Danny Zuko" in the most recent Broadway revival of GREASE, having won the reality television show "Grease! You're the One That I Want!" He also appeared in the hit film EASY A.

Thursday
Jul172014

Call Answered: Facetime Interview with Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White: 54 Below Birthday Show

"Call Me Adam" went live on location to 54 Below to interview Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White about her upcoming birthday show at 54 Below, July 18 and 19 (254 West 54th Street - cellar, between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

 

 

 

Interview with Lillias White at 54 Below:

Tuesday
Jul152014

Call Answered: Scott Coulter: Here She Comes Again: 54 Below Does Dolly Parton

Scott Coulter"Call Me Adam" chats with MAC and Bistro Award winner Scott Coulter about directing Here She Comes Again: 54 Below Does Dolly Parton on July 27 at 9:30pm. This very special evening will feature the music of the legendary Dolly Parton as 54 Below (254 West 54th Street - cellar) pays homage to the talents of a woman who literally changed pop and country music forever. Click here for tickets!

In addition to Scott, featured performers include Lisa Asher, Carole J. Bufford, Tim DiPasqua, Natalie Douglas, Alex Getlin, Mary Lane Haskell, Jessica Hendy, Lisa Howard, Fay Ann Lee, Lucia Spina, Gabrielle Stravelli, and KT Sullivan.

1. On Sunday, July 27 at 9:30pm, you are directing Here She Comes Again: 54 Does Dolly Parton. What made you want to direct an evening of Dolly Parton music? I have always loved Dolly Parton. I was raised in Tennessee (grew up in Nashville) and country music has always meant a lot to me. For my money it's the only music (outside of Broadway) being written today that still focuses on melody and story and of all the country music songwriters Dolly reigns supreme.

2. For over 40 years, Dolly Parton has been entertaining audiences with her music. How did you decide which songs you wanted to feature? The thing I love about Dolly is that while she is a world-famous, iconic entertainer, it's her songwriting that truly sets her apart. In picking songs for the show I tried to choose material that showcased that fact. She's really an underappreciated master songwriter so while "9 to 5" is represented so is a perfect gem like "Down from Dover" which tells the heartbreaking story of a pregnant teenage girl waiting for her lover to return. It's an incredible song.

3. Why is 54 Below the perfect venue for your evening of Dolly Parton music? What does the space offer that another one might not? 54 Below is intimate and elegant and contemporary all at the same time. Dolly's songs are really musical stories and they are going to play beautifully in the space.

Dolly Parton4. What excites you most about directing this evening and what challenges do you think you might face as the director? I'm most excited about having some of Dolly's biggest hits presented or heard in a new way. For example, "Jolene" is being sung by Fay Ann Lee, an incredible Asian-American actress. The song is about a woman begging her rival to leave her man alone. The lyric says the singer can not compete with Jolene whose

"beauty is beyond compare 
With flaming locks of auburn hair 
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green"

I think the idea of Fay singing this song will impact the song in a new way. And Fay's version is chilling.

Dolly Parton5. How has Dolly Parton and her music influenced your own music? Well I've always been drawn to story songs and songs that take the audience on some sort of emotional journey. Dolly's music does just that.

6. Which Dolly Parton song speaks to you the most? Well, I must say I have always loved "I Will Always Love You." It's so simple and so right. And for me Dolly's version is -- and alway will be -- the best. I love me some Whitney but Dolly owns this song. I also really love "Down from Dover." That's such a killer song.

7. How did you pick the performers you wanted to par take in the evening? Who did you want to be part of this evening that wasn't available? The very first call I made was to Carol Hall who wrote The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I asked her to come sing "Hard Candy Christmas" and was very sorry to hear that she'd be away the night of the concert. I am a HUGE fan of Carol Hall. In fact, to this day the only fan letter I've ever written was to her. 

Everyone else I asked said 'yes' so I'm a lucky guy. I asked a bunch of fiercely talented vocalists who know how to tell a story. That's what you need for an evening of Dolly Parton. 

Scott Coulter8. Since you are directing Here She Comes Again: 54 Does Dolly Parton, what do you get from directing that you do not get from singing/songwriting? What made you want parlay into directing? I guess I've been directing almost as long as I've been singing. I stared singing around four or five and directing shows for the neighborhood kids around six or seven. To me they've always gone hand in hand. I truly believe that every song is a story and it's up to the singer to make sure that story is being told. That's what a director does too. Plus, I like to arrange all the songs musically so I stick my hands in everywhere.

9. Who or what inspired you to become a singer/songwriter? I've just always been singing -- as long as I can remember. And my favorites have always been the ladies: Dolly Parton, Tina Turner, Olivia Newton-John, Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand, Julie Andrews, Linda Ronstadt, Whitney Houston, Oleta Adams, Bette Midler, Trisha Yearwood, Wynona Judd. God, that says a LOT about me, huh? I love them all though. They taught me how to sing. I sang along with them note for note, phrase by phrase.

10. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Dolly Parton. :) And I do love Trisha Yearwood and Wynona Judd.

11. What's the best advice you've ever received? Just keep on keeping' on. Just do your thing. Don't let anyone ever stand in the way of your joy.

12. What have you learned about yourself from being a singer/songwriter/director? I've done a lot of teaching over the last few years and I love it. I get to work with young performers -- late teens, early twenties -- a lot and I get excited by the journeys they are taking or are about to take. It reminded me of the path I took to get to where I am and how everything you do leads to the next thing, the next step. It's really amazing for me to look back and trace how I got from there to here. And most of it had to do with saying 'yes' time and time again.

From being a singer I've learned what a gift it is to be able to touch someone and move them in an honest genuine way. Music is such a healing force and I'm happy to be able to share in musical experiences.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I would love to fly. For me that's what singing is like and I would love to fly up, up and away.

14. How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as someone who smiled a lot -- and who loved to sing.

Scott Coulter Singing, Photo Credit: Krissie FullertonMore on Scott:

For his work in cabaret, Scott Coulter was awarded both the 2001 Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) Award, as well as the 2001 Bistro Award for Outstanding Male Vocalist. He received a 1997 Bistro Award for the revue Get Your Tickets Now! and his debut solo show won the 1998 MAC Award for Male Debut. Time Out New York picked Coulter’s Unexpected Songs as one of the "Best of 1999." Coulter’s self-titled debut CD won the 2003 MAC Award for Outstanding Recording and was chosen as the best recording of the year by Scott and Barbara Siegel of Theatre Mania and Jeff Rosen of Cabaret Scenes magazine. He won two 2007 Nightlife Awards including Outstanding Male Vocalist. Scott has appeared at Town Hall in the 1949, 1953, 1954, 1962, 1964, and 1968 editions of the popular Broadway by the Year series and can currently be heard on the Bayview recordings of the 1949, 1953 and 1962 performances. Other Town Hall appearances include Sentimental Journey: The Songs of World War II, From Brooklyn to Hollywood, All That Jazz: A Tribute to Kander & Ebb, and the critically acclaimed Broadway Uplugged. Since 1997, Scott has performed around the country with award-winning songwriting duo Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich in their many revues and tours, and with composer Stephen Schwartz, Liz Callaway, and Debbie Gravitte in the revue Stephen Schwartz & Friends. Scott toured the U.S. as "Jinx" in Forever Plaid and was in the world premiere of Floyd Collins, directed by Tina Landau at the American Music Theatre Festival. His regional theatre credits include Into the WoodsIn TrousersCotton Patch GospelPump Boys and Dinettes, and As Bees in Honey Drown.

He has directed many shows for the Town Hall in New York, and along with Michael Kerker and ASCAP, has produced Michael Feinstein’s Standard Time at Carnegie Hall. He is a graduate of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Sunday
Jul132014

Call Answered: Facetime interview with Mitch Jarvis and Wes Taylor: It Could Be Worse Season 2 Launch Concert 54 Below

"Call Me Adam" went live on location to 54 Below in NYC to interview Mitch Jarvis and Wes Taylor about their upcoming concert for the launch of their web series It Could Be Worse Season 2 on July 15 at 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!

In addition to Mitch and Wes, the evening will feature Megan Hilty, Stephanie J. Block, Marc Shaiman, Adam Chanler-Berat, Jenn Damiano, Bryce Ryness, Blake Daniel, Lauren Molina, and Robb Morrison. The evening will be hosted by Brennan Brown.

For more on It Could Be Worse visit http://www.itcouldbeworse.tv and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Interview with Mitch Jarvis and Wes Taylor at 54 Below: