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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in New York City (102)

Monday
Mar092015

Call Answered: Jeremy Duncan Pape: Woyzeck, FJF

Jeremy Duncan Pape"Call Me Adam" chats with director Jeremy Duncan Pape about his adaptation of Georg Büchner's Woyzeck. Presented by No-Win's Productions, Woyzeck, FJF will play at the New Ohio Theatre in NYC (154 Christopher Street between Greenwich and Washington Streets) through March 21.

Using Büchner's original dialogue, Woyzeck, FJF, examines the end of a man’s life through the lens of his own insurmountable madness. It has been radically re-imagined as the haunting story of a condemned man desperate to uncover the truth in a dangerous world. Click here for tickets!

1. From February 28-March 21, your adaptation of Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck will be playing at the New Ohio Theatre in NYC. What made you want to adapt and direct this show? I first read Woyzeck in undergrad and immediately felt a connection to it. Büchner’s stunning language was just too much for me to ignore. Over the years I would occasionally pick it up and read it and eventually I decided to completely re-approach the play. Things crystalized and Woyzeck, FJF came to be.

2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Woyzeck, FJF? The long answer is that I want people to have a better understanding of what it means to live without being able to relate to the world as everyone else seems to; a better understanding of what it means to be mad. The real person that this play is based on was almost certainly a schizophrenic, a condition that we know very little about, much less understand. If a better understanding ultimately leads to compassion for a murderer, then I will feel that we have accomplished our goals.

The set of "Woyzeck, FJF"3. What excites you about having this cast bring Woyzeck, FJF to life? I trust each and every one of them, they trust me, and they trust each other. They are creative, passionate artists who bring everything that they have to every role. To have them invest themselves in this idea is an honor. You really just have to see them at work to understand.

4. What makes The New Ohio Theatre the perfect venue for this production of Woyzeck, FJF? As with many productions, the space in which these characters live is a character in and of itself. Wide open, unique, challenging, the New Ohio stage is just right for a play like this. Then you add in the wonderful people who make up the New Ohio and you get something perfect. Robert, Marc and Alan have been so welcoming and supportive and I cannot imagine our first production happening anywhere else.

"Woyzeck, FJF", Photo Credit: Scott Wynn5. This production of Woyzeck, FJF is set within the claustrophobic confines of a hospital. Tormented by the figures of his mind, memory and reality, "Woyzeck" struggles to understand why he is being held, and must finally face the terrible truth of what he has done. When has there been a time in your life when you had to face the truth of something you've done that you didn't want to see? August 2003.

6. Additionally, Woyzeck, FJF examines the end of a man’s life through the lens of his own insurmountable madness. If you were at the end of your life, how would you want to be remembered? A teacher, a father and maybe a little bit mad.

Cast of "Woyzeck, FJF", Photo Credit: Russ Rowland7. What has been the best advice you've ever received? Don’t take yourself too seriously.

8. What have you learned about yourself from being a director? I have learned how much I like listening.

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

10. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? Bourbon. Or rye. Or both. And cigar bitters. And I’m not telling you the rest. I think I’ll call it a Last Breath.

Jeremy Duncan PapeMore on Jeremy:

Jeremy Duncan Pape holds an MFA in directing from the New School for Drama and a BFA in acting from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. His directing credits include Carlos Cisco’s The Last Days, Bill Winegardner’s Waste of Space and William Whitehurst’s Knuckleball, which won Best Drama and Best Overall Production at the 2008 San Francisco Fringe. Jeremy’s directing and design work was seen in the Amoralists’ critically acclaimed 2008-2011 seasons at P.S. 122 and Theater 80. From 2006-2010 he was the Associate Artistic Director and Technical Director of EndTimes Productions. Currently, Jeremy is the Production Manager for The Amoralists and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and the founding Artistic Director of No-Win Productions.

Monday
Mar022015

Call Redialed: Selene Luna: Jumbo Shrimp Laurie Beechman Theatre

"Call Me Adam" catches up with comedian and burlesque star Selene Luna! This time around we discuss her new comedy show Jumbo Shrimp which will be at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC (inside the West Bank Café at 407 West 42nd Street at Ninth Avenue) on March 27 and 28. Click here for tickets!

For more on Selene be sure to visit http://seleneluna.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

1. It's great to catch up with you after our last interview! On March 27 and 28 you will be returning to the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC with your new show Jumbo Shrimp. What made now the right time to return to NYC with a new show? Thank you, Adam, great catching up with you too! Last fall I worked quite a bit with my long-time galpal and mentor, Margaret Cho, as her opening act. Being on the road with Margaret gave me the opportunity to fine-tune and explore new themes I’ve been working on, so I feel ready to return to NYC with fresh and daring material.

Selene Luna, Photo Credit: Austin Young2. What made you want to come back to the Laurie Beechman Theatre with Jumbo Shrimp? It’s been my experience that New York City audiences are fun and electrifying, so premiering Jumbo Shrimp at the Laurie Beechman Theatre seemed like a no-brainer for kicking off a new show.

3. What can fans expect from this new show? My show addresses the multi-layered obstacles and triumphs of everyday life, as seen from my perspective as a little person. The last year has been one of my most personally challenging years, so the audience can also expect to hear me poke fun at my own misfortune; I must laugh to keep from crying. My life experience is unique but I strive to make it universally humorous and relatable.

4. Why did you want to title the show Jumbo Shrimp? This past Holiday, I was at a Christmas party seated in front of the jumbo shrimp platter and every time my friend Jackie Beat would reach for a shrimp, she would call me "jumbo shrimp" under her breath. It was hilarious! The next morning it dawned on me that "Jumbo Shrimp" would make a great show title, especially since my life feels like an oxymoron sometimes.

Selene Luna performing5. For someone who has never seen you perform, what is one reason they should come to Jumbo Shrimp? Little people seem to be that last acceptable blackface in entertainment, coming to see my show; "Jumbo Shrimp" will give new audiences the opportunity to witness a humanized side of people like me, through dark silly blue humor.

6. When did you first take a comedic look at yourself and realize you can make people laugh with your material? I grew up being taunted, ridiculed, neutered and dismissed by society because of what I look like. By age five, I was savvy enough to know that I would have to be an entertaining person to redirect the unsolicited attention I was getting. Humor and comedy have always been a survival mechanism for me.

Selene Luna performing7. You have worked with some of the greatest comedians of our time including Roseanne Barr and Robin Williams. What was the best part about working with them and what did you learn from them? Both Roseanne Barr and Robin Williams were gracious, embracing, and kind. I had the opportunity to work with Roseanne when she invited my friends Jackie Beat, Nadya Ginsburg and me to shoot a series of original commercial parodies with her for her website and Youtube channel. From Roseanne, I learned to take full control of my career and never apologize for it. I only worked with the late Robin Williams once, and it was enough to impact me for the rest of my life. From Robin, I learned to remain present, generous, and kind, even under the most trying circumstances.

Selene Luna, Photo Credit: Austin Young8. What haven't you accomplished yet that you would like to? I feel like I still have a lot to accomplish but headlining my own comedy tour and homesteading a pygmy goat farm in Big Sur are at the top of my the list.

9. How do you want to be remembered? I would like to be remembered as a trustworthy, kind and caring person with a demented sense of humor.

10. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? I’m not much of a drinker but I love my weed, so my signature drink would be a nonalcoholic refreshment, "Jumbo Shrimp Cucumber Cooler." In a shaker, combine dry cucumber soda, lime juice, thin cucumber slices, cannabis tincture, and ice. Shake & strain into a vintage Fostoria crystal cut rose stem glass and garnish with mint. Enjoy.

Selene Luna, Photo Credit: Austin YoungMore on Selene:

A trail-blazing little person in the entertainment world, Selene Luna, at 3’10″, is a small package with a very big presence. Comic/host/writer/burlesque artist/broadcaster/model/actor/activist, Selene cut her teeth performing in clubs and art venues, and quickly became a darling of Hollywood’s underground scene. An original member of the Velvet Hammer Burlesque, Selene tours internationally and performs regularly with the undisputed Queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese. Selene is probably best known for her role in Lionsgate’s feature, My Bloody Valentine 3D, and her role as Margaret Cho‘s assistant in VH1′s The Cho Show – a performance that landed her a nomination for MTV LOGO’s NewNowNext: Brink of Fame: Comic Award. To date, Selene has written and performed six original one-woman shows, most recently Born to Be Alive, produced by the Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center. Selene’s stand-up comedy has led her to work alongside comedy legends Roseanne Barr and Robin Williams. Selene’s most celebrated stand-up comedy credit has been regularly opening for Margaret Cho.

Saturday
Feb282015

Call Answered: Katie Buchanan: Glow + Arlene's Grocery Release Concert

"Call Me Adam" chats with rising singer/songwriter Katie Buchanan about her debut full-length album GLOW and album release concert at Arlene's Grocery (95 Stanton Street) in NYC both on March 3. Showtime is 9pm! Click here for tickets!

For more on Katie be sure to visit http://www.katiebuchanan.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud!

1. On March 3, you are releasing your first full length album, GLOW. What excites you about this album? On a purely personal level, this is the first piece I’ve put out that I have no regrets over. No "well that’s good but this could be better..." I’m sure I’ll get there—self-doubt is life blood of singer/songwriters everywhere. But for now I’m pretty darn happy with it.

Katie Buchanan performing at CHARGEDfm2. What do you hope people come away with after listening to GLOW? I hope people come away from GLOW feeling lighter. People keep calling it "uplifting," which I think is kind of hilarious. The lyrics are pretty transparently about death. But that’s partly why I was so focused on making the tracks feel good outside of the song content, you have to pad musings on mortality somehow. And hopefully that feeling can extend beyond the record. So maybe "uplifting" is right.

3. What made now the right time to release your debut full length album? This sounds like a line, but it was the right time to release an album because there was an album to release. I had planned to follow up the last EP with a string of singles. Then five or six tracks go by and I realize it might be something a little more. It was such a quick process that I didn’t have much time to think about it as a "DEBUT full length," which ended up being so freeing.

4. You are celebrating this release with a concert at Arlene's Grocery in NYC on March 3. What are you looking forward to about performing at this famed NYC landmark? Why did you choose Arlene's Grocery as the venue you wanted to have your album release concert? The thing about being a NYC musician is that half the venues are already famed and half of them will be (eh, maybe a third of them, let’s go with a third). So it kind of takes the edge off of "LANDMARK." Or at least that what I keep telling myself. But aside from Arlene’s deserved place in the history books, it’s still a really current venue with a good room that sounds good and is run by good people. Sometimes it’s that simple. Also they’re totally down with loud. Loud is essential for a Katie Buchanan release show.

Katie Buchanan performing, Photo credit: Laura Rietz5. What do you enjoy most about performing live? I’m a total hermit when making a record. Before it goes off to be mixed and mastered, no one else touches it. So playing it live is like discovering the songs all over again. I’m blessed to play with really amazing musicians (Christian Nourijanian, Goh Izawa, and Lauren Falls) who take the tracks and make them their own. So the audience gets something representative of the record, but also something fresh and new.

6. For someone who has never seen you perform or really know your music, why should they purchase GLOW and/or come to your concert at Arlene's Grocery? Because it’s good. (Honestly, I totally typed that as a joke, because: holy narcissism Batman. But you know what, I’m leaving it. Stand behind your product, I say!)

But also it’s going to be a genuinely fun night. I asked two of my favorite NYC bands, The Nepotist and Raye, to join the bill and they said yes. And there will definitely be a whole slew of glow in the dark stuff flying around. You don’t put out an album called GLOW and not play into it.

Plus my reputation for whiskey drinking and bad jokes is there for a reason.

Katie Buchanan7. What is your favorite part of the creative process in putting an album together? When it comes right down to it, I’m mainly a songwriter. I’m completely addicted to the feeling of finally finding the prefect line. And putting an album together feels a lot like that. So much of it is chasing random whims and finding new sounds and surprising yourself. It’s a big part of the reason I chose to work alone on the creative half of this record. I was completely free to chase any idea. I’m not quite evolved enough as a person to do that collaboratively.

8. Who or what inspired you to become a singer/songwriter? I was born into long line of musicians. My grandfather put a fiddle in my hand when I was four. So music got me early, I didn’t really have much choice in the matter. Not that I mind, starting at such a young age has been an invaluable gift. Plus, I have far too much to say (see: this interview) to ever be a non-singer/songwriter musician.

Katie Buchanan9. What is the best advice you've ever received? Always leave them wanting more via my grandfather via the world. I’m finally getting that right on a record (GLOW is only about 32 minutes). Still working on it otherwise (see: again, this interview).

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a singer/songwriter? This is one of those questions I never quite know how to answer since I don’t really know what it’s like to not be a singer/songwriter. I literally don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing, when I wasn’t singing. It’s as much part of my DNA as my DNA.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Teleportation. The magic kind, not the science-fiction kind because that theory is way too morbid.

12. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? I would call it whiskey. It would be whiskey.

Katie Buchanan, Photo Credit: Lexi LambrosMore on Katie:

Originally from Kansas, singer-songwriter Katie Buchanan explores a vein of subtle guitar pop steeped in Americana and heartbreak. She plays around New York rock clubs, drinks too much whiskey, and combines Midwest honesty with the directness that accompanies living in the city. Obsessively prolific, she will be releasing her newest LP, titled Glow, out March 3rd. Her first single, "Honey Don’t," is an intense kernel of pop that combines pristine guitars and synths with Katie’s smoky, cracking voice. The result is a deep sense of longing and catharsis – less an update of her sound than a deepening and strengthening of what makes Katie unique.

Sunday
Feb152015

Call Answered: Mike Lemme: Where I'm From: New York Frigid Festival

Photo Credit: Michael Toy"Call Me Adam" chats with comedian Mike Lemme about his one-man show Where I'm From which will be making its debut in New York's Frigid Festival from February 20-March 8 at UNDER St Marks Theater (94 Saint Marks Place). Click here for tickets!

Where I'm From is a coming-of-age, stand-up comedy show about struggle, survival, and scoliosis. Lemme talks about using what he learned growing up in a highly dysfunctional suburban family to navigate life in New York.

For more on Mike be sure to follow him on Twitter!

1. From February 20-March 8, you will be performing your one man show Where I'm From in NY's Frigid Festival. What made you want to have this show in the Frigid Festival? It's a great opportunity to try something new. I feel like New York City is all about finding new ways to challenge yourself. Having the chance to do 5 shows in a theater, in Manhattan? Why not go for it?

2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Where I'm From? I just hope they have fun. That they enjoy the show, maybe find humor in something they normally wouldn't.

Mike Lemme, Photo Credit: Patrick Holbert3. What made now the right time to premiere this show? I've been getting anxious. I knew I had a story to tell, it was just hard to believe that I could actually make it happen. After three years of living in New York, I feel like I'm finally starting to get out of my own way...starting to reach for opportunities instead of waiting for them.

4. Where I'm From takes a comedic look at your life from being the quiet kid in school to your weight to your scoliosis to your mom's suicide attempts. When did you first realize you could poke fun at these heavy issues? What was it like to hear people's reactions to your comedy? I realized I could poke fun at heavy issues when my friends started making fun of them before me. They had some great suicide attempt jokes! Just kidding! 

I don't really know the answer. My favorite comedians are the ones who talk about their lives and experiences. So I think I've always tried talking about those topics, but the jokes didn't start to do well until I became more comfortable on stage. When I first started performing, people felt bad for me but that's only because I didn't know how to set the jokes up properly, and I was only on stage for 5 to 10 minutes. Those topics are hard to get to in that short period. Doing longer sets and learning how to build a relationship with the audience has led to my most emotional jokes getting the best reactions.

Mike Lemme, Photo Credit: Michael Toy5. What was your favorite part in creating Where I'm From and what was the hardest part? I did a run through of the show at this great art gallery in Cambridge, MA called Gallery263. A lot of my friends from college were able to come through and it was just a fun experience getting to show them what I've been working on. 

Hardest part is promoting the show. Scheduling podcasts, interviews, trying to figure out how to Facebook message some people (women) without them seeing the last thing I wrote them.

6. How did revealing these truths and making fun of them help set you free? It's very therapeutic. I spent my whole life being ashamed of these things and now they might help me get closer to my comedy goals.

7. What do you like best about being a stand-up comedian? The freedom to express yourself. Being able to say whatever you want and getting instant feedback on it.

Mike Lemme closing out "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire", Photo Credit: Heidi Gutman 8. What's the best advice you've ever received? Get out of your own way by learning how to talk about what you're dealing with. "A closed mouth doesn't get fed."

9. What have you learned about yourself from being a comedian? I have a high tolerance for pizza and cookies.

10. How do you want to be remembered? You should've ate less pizza and cookies.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Flying. I want to start traveling more, but I'm always either too broke or can't find the time to plan the trip.

12. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what would the ingredients be? I'd find a way to mix kale, avocado, with that birthday cake vodka and call it "Putting my future kids through college."

13. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers, only because I need to do laundry.

Mike Lemme, Photo Credit: Michael ToyMore on Mike:

Mike Lemme started performing stand-up as a teenager. Since then he has been featured on PBS, written for Nickelodeon and Second City, warmed up audiences for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and was part of the production staff for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and CONAN.  Mike can be seen performing every night in New York City right before he goes to sleep on his air mattress.

Friday
Jan302015

Call Answered: Facetime Interviews with Andrew Lippa, Tom Greenwald, Kate Baldwin, Conor Ryan, and Jonathan Silverstein from Keen Company's "John & Jen" Press Event

"Call Me Adam" brings you behind-the-scenes facetime interviews with the cast and creative team from the Keen Company's press event promoting the 20th Anniversary production of Tom Greenwald and Andrew Lippa's musical John & Jen featuring Tony Nominee Kate Baldwin and Broadway newcomer Conor Ryan with direction by Keen's very own Artistic Director Jonathan Silverstein.

John & Jen will run at Theatre Row's Clurman Theatre (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue) from February 10-April 4. Click here for tickets!

In a changing America between 1950 and 1990, John & Jen is a musical about brothers and sisters and parents and children. It tells the story of Jen and her relationships with the two Johns of her life: her younger brother, and his namesake, her son who is trying to find his way in a confusing world.

For more on the Keen Company be sure to visit http://keencompany.org and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Call Me Adam's Interviews: Andrew Lippa, Tom Greenwald, Jonathan Silverstein, Kate Baldwin, and Conor Ryan:

BONUS QUESTIONS with Andrew Lippa, Tom Greenwald, Jonathan Silverstein, and Kate Baldwin: