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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in New York City (111)

Monday
Jun152015

Call Answered: Rain Pryor: Fried Chicken & Latkes

"Call Me Adam" chats with comedian, actress, and writer Rain Pryor about her one-woman show Fried Chicken & Latkes, Rain's funny take on growing up Black and Jewish as the daughter of one of the world’s most beloved and iconic funny men, comic genius Richard Pryor

Fried Chicken & Latkes, directed by Kamilah Forbes, is making its world premiere at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre (NBT) in Harlem (2031 Fifth Ave between 125th & 126th Street) through June 28! Click here for tickets!

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

1. After several developmental runs, Fried Chicken & Latkes, is now making its world premiere at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre (NBT) in Harlem from June 2-June 28. What made now the right time to have the show's world premiere? We finally had the right level of production team and the right director.

2. Why did you choose to create a one woman show about your life as opposed to writing it as a book? I wrote a book also, but after I had begun my solo show. I never set out to tell my story as much as, I wanted to entertain and show my talents.

Rain Pryor in "Fried Chicken & Latkes"3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Fried Chicken & Latkes? A sense of, we all still have work to do, to make the world a more racially tolerant place. That maybe they audience member can see a piece of themselves or people they know or have known in it.

4. In Fried Chicken & Latkes, you play all 11 characters. What do you like about playing multiple characters in one show and what challenges do you face with this kind of immediate change every night? I love characterization of us humans and the psychology that goes with their movements and choices. The challenge is, to separate each character in specifics as not to have them be one, but to really craft individual people.

5. What was it like to go back through your life to create this show? Did any emotions or memories come to the forefront that you didn't expect? I grew up with telling the reality/truth. So there was no real catharsis, just writing a story that was about us versus them but yet from my perspective.

6. Fried Chicken & Latkes is your take on growing up Black & Jewish as the daughter of one of the world’s most beloved & iconic funny men, comic genius Richard Pryor. What do you think your dad's reaction would be to this show? Dad would love it. He would say he was proud and to keep on keeping on.

Rain Pryor in "Fried Chicken & Latkes"7. Without giving too much away or answering this question with something that is not in the show, what was it like to grow up as Richard Pryor's daughter and how did you come into your own? Do you remember the moment you felt like I have made it on my own? What was that moment like? Dad was a dad. He was strict, which I find funny for a comic and known drug abuser. However, it made me who I am and strong. I think I found my "own" when I had a child.

8. What was one thing your dad taught you that you don't talk about in Fried Chicken & Latkes? Don't ever date a comic. I of course a few times, had to test his theory. He was right.

9. In addition to Fried Chicken & Latkes premiering at The National Black Theatre Festival this summer, your new documentary, That Daughter's Crazy will be shown as well. How does your documentary differ from Fried Chicken & Latkes? The film is a more in depth look of how I came to create the show and why.

10. As if your show and documentary weren't enough, you are also releasing your comedy CD Black & White on the same label as your dad's 12 comedy CDs. What made you want to record your comedy CD on the same label as your dad? What was the recording experience like for you? I did not set out to do a comedy CD. I am still a baby in that world. However when David Drozen approached me, I knew I had to take a leap and do what was presented to me. The experience was a challenge I had to overcome. I had to face the fear that I had/was becoming a stand up.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. What's the best advice you've ever received? Tell the truth no matter what. You'll feel better in the end.

12. What have you learned from being a performer/writer? You must as a writer, write it all down and never edit as you go. As a performer it's to always breathe life into the person or persons you are portraying.

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The ability to control water. It's a powerful and needs to be respected. We depend on it to survive.

14. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it, and what ingredients would you put in it? It would have watermelon, rum, gin. I don't know, but sounds exotic lol.

15. Favorite skin care product? I have two, pure coconut oil great for skin and bacteria. And Kai it's a fantastic oil perfume that smells divine.

Rain PryorMore on Rain:

Rain Pryor is an award-winning actor, writer, producer, standup comedian, activist, dynamic speaker and mother. She wrote and starred in Fried Chicken & Latkes receiving rave reviews during its development. She followed up with That Daughter’s Crazy, an award-winning, autobiographical documentary and her comedy CD Black & White.

Rain made her TV debut on the ABC hit series Head of the Class, playing the tough-talking "T.J." and starred opposite Sherilyn Fenn & Lynn Redgrave as "Jackie" on the Showtime series Rude Awakening. She is currently a co-host of ARISE TV’s Arise & Shine, which airs in New York, London & throughout Africa. Her stage credits include the title role of "Billie Holiday" in The Billie Holiday Story (UK Tour), "Ella Fitzgerald" in Marilyn & Ella (UK tour) and "Lady in Red" in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf.

As a standup comedian, Rain regularly headlines across the country, from the Florida Improv (with the Jokes on You Comedy Tour) to Carolines on Broadway & from the Funny Stop & Joke Factory to the Borgata.

Monday
Jun082015

Call Answered: Facetime Interview with author Michael Colby, "The Algonquin Kid"

Live from The Algonquin Hotel in New York City, "Call Me Adam" chats with The Algonquin Kid himself, author Michael Colby, whose newly released autobiography, The Algonquin Kid, chronicles Michael's time growing up in The Algonquin Hotel, surrounded by some of Hollywood's, Music's, and Theatre's biggest names! From Marilyn Monroe to Agnes Moorehead to Lerner and Lowe who wrote "I Could Have Danced All Night" from My Fair Lady at the Algonquin, Michael tells it all, in this rich behind-the-scenes look at a life lived in one of New York City's most famous hotels! Click here to purchase The Algonquin Kid!

Come join Michael at the Historic National Arts Club in Gramercy Park (15 Gramercy Park South) on June 18 at 8pm as Michael reads passages from The Algonquin Kid and Broadway's Christine Pedi, Eric Michael Gillett, Jeff Keller, and Bethe Austin perform some songs made famous by Algonquin denizens! Proper attire is required (For men that means a suit and tie; for women that means evening wear). For reservations, call 212-475-3424!

For more on Michael be sure to visit http://www.michaelcolby.com and follow him on Facebook!

For more on The Algonquin Hotel visit http://www.algonquinhotel.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

"Call Me Adam's" interview with "The Algonquin Kid" himself, Michael Colby, live from The Algonquin Hotel:

Michael ColbyMore on Michael:

Michael Colby is the librettist/lyricist of such musicals as CHARLOTTE SWEET (Drama Desk Award nomination), TALES OF TINSELTOWN, NORTH ATLANTIC (Show Business Award), SLAY IT WITH MUSIC (off-Broadway & London), MRS. McTHING, THEY CHOSE ME!, and LUDLOW LADD. He was chief writer for the Drama Desk Award-winning New Amsterdam Theatre Company, and has been a writer for The NY Festival of Song as well as the Theatre By the Blind.

He wrote continuity for two benefits at the 92nd Street Y: STANDING OVATIONS (starring Carol Channing, Nell Carter, Elaine Stritch, Leslie Uggams, and other great ladies of the theatre) and THE LONGEST RUNNING SHOW ON BROADWAY (a tribute to Maurice Levine, hosted by Angela Lansbury). He also wrote STEPHEN SCHWARTZ: A MUSICAL CELEBRATION, a benefit for the Directors Company, starring Betty Buckley, Paul Shaffer, Kathy Najimi, et al.

He created special material for ANIMAL CRACKERS (PaperMill Playhouse/Goodspeed), lyrics for MEESTER AMERIKA (The Garage Theatre, NJ) and THE HUMAN HEART (at Marymount Manhattan College), and the narration for THE MAYOR MUSICALS, a benefit for Musicals In Concert hosted by Sheldon Harnick. Among the personalities for whom Mr. Colby has written material are: Linda Lavin, Tony Randall, Tovah Feldshuh, Heather MacRae, Robert Cuccioli, Savion Glover, Dina Merrill, Susan Stroman, Michael Feinstein, Jack Gilford, Andrea Marcovicci, Kristin Chenoweth, Bruce Adler, Cliff Robertson, Lainie Kazan, Jane Powell, Eric Stoltz, Julie Wilson, Alison Fraser, Mary Cleere Haran, Donna McKechnie, & Cicely Tyson.

Movie credits include writing the title song for the film HEART OF THE BEHOLDER.

A member of BMI and the Dramatists Guild, he lives in Metuchen, NJ with his wife Andrea and son Steven.

Monday
Jun012015

Call Answered: Conference Call with Jeremy Bloom and Brian Rady: The Upper Room

Brian Rady and Jeremy Bloom, Photo Credit: James Matthew Daniel"Call Me Adam" chats with husband/husband team Jeremy Bloom and Brian Rady about their new play The Upper Room which is part of a new collaboration between New Ohio Theatre and IRT Theater. Running through June 12, The Upper Room is inspired by the back-to-the-land movement. A darkly humorous consideration of spirituality and the dangers of our changing environment, The Upper Room features a live mixed score, antique scuba suits and an overhead projector to create a brand new music theater event. Click here for tickets!

For more on Jeremy and Brian be sure to visit http://www.radyandbloom.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. Your show The Upper Room, is being presented through June 12 as part of a collaboration between New Ohio Theatre and IRT Theater. You are the second company to be completing your residency as part of this collaboration. What was it like to be selected for this participation with New Ohio Theatre and IRT Theater?

Jeremy Bloom: It was absolutely life-saving/life-affirming! Space and time are crucial elements in making theater. This residency serves up both. Robert, Marc and Kori had no idea what we were going to make and neither did we, but they offered us a commitment to see it grow, and that no matter what happened, we would have space and time to present the work two years later in the type of run we are having now. This kind of residency is incredibly rare, and incredibly beautiful. And what good company, as we have so enjoyed seeing the work of the first year's artists.

Cast of "The Upper Room"2. How do you feel this collaboration will help The Upper Room as opposed to producing this show on your own?

Brian Rady: The fact that the residency came along when it did made the thing happen - it's not a matter of whether it helped us or not. It willed us into being, along with other such support from individuals in our community and from The Drama League and LMCC, but none of it would have happened if Robert Lyons hadn't called us that day and asked us to make something.

3. What made you want to write The Upper Room?

Jeremy Bloom: It's the result of several instances. One being that we wanted to work with Catherine Brookman to base a play around her compositions and the idea that she would perform the music she wrote in the play. After that was established, we became increasingly aware of the Earth and its elements as this mammoth thing that we abuse while it has us in its grasps.

Brian Rady: We definitely wanted an outlet to create something about this overwhelming feeling of how rapidly the earth is changing, mostly due to our own collective actions, and how much these changes are impacting our environment and our health, even in ways that we may not fully realize now.

Julia Sirna-Frest and Govind Kumar in "The Upper Room"4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing The Upper Room?

Jeremy Bloom: I hope they are entertained, moved, and delighted.

Brian Rady: I hope they see the world through a different-colored lens, as we all wonder how to embrace the changes in the landscape and find better ways to be healthy, to eat well, and take care of the atmosphere.

5. What excites you about having this cast bring The Upper Room to life?

Jeremy Bloom: The cast is a phenomenal assemblage of our favorite people in the world right now. Some we've worked with for several years, some less, but each person is someone whose work we are invested in, and it's incredible to watch them onstage in the play.

Catherine Brookman in "The Upper Room"6. In addition to being co-writers on this show, you are also a married couple. What do you enjoy most about collaborating together in so many different aspects of your life? What, if any, challenges do you face with having so much intertwined?

Jeremy Bloom: We are both "project people" and love to have something to work on, and even when we take on individual projects they wind up inherently being an unofficial part of our company by default.

Brian Rady: When it's good it's really great - we have lots to celebrate, but it's also important to keep a healthy perspective on what we're doing so we don't lose the rest of the world.

7. What is the best advice you've ever received?

Brian Rady: "Enjoy your life" were the words printed on the plastic bag the Walrus mask we use in the show came in.

Robert Gadol Lavenstein in "The Upper Room"8. What have you learned about yourselves from being writers?

Jeremy Bloom: Knowing what you want to say is more important than the words.

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

Jeremy Bloom: Invisibility - so as to sneak into buildings.

10. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it?

Jeremy Bloom: Ice, seltzer, vodka, cucumbers, parsley, sage, mint, rosemary, big basil leaves, all whole and fresh from the garden, with a twist - the twist is instead of drinking it you throw it in your face, and gasp for air, and shout "wow, what a dream, what a garden," as a reminder that drinks are available all over New York City, but refreshing experiences are harder to find.

Brian Rady and Jeremy BloomMore on Jeremy and Brian:

Rady & Bloom Collective Playmaking is the husband/husband team of Jeremy Bloom and Brian Rady. They have worked at Ars Nova, The Flea, New Ohio, IRT, The Brick, the cell, Walkerspace and Exapno. Their major directing fellowships include the Drama League Director’s Project, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the EST Director’s Residency and the T.S. Eliot Directing Fellowship. They have received support from LMCC’s Process Space and Manhattan Community Arts Fund/the NYS Department of Cultural Affairs, the Archive Residency, The Drama League’s Artist Residency Program and the HERE Artist Residency Program. R&B’s Peter/Wendy is published by Playscripts.

Monday
May182015

Call Answered: Facetime Interview with singer/actress Maxine Linehan

"Call Me Adam" sat down with singer/actress Maxine Linehan to talk about her newest album Beautiful Songs, an album of love songs that blend the musical genres of Pop, Theatre, American Songbook, and World Music. We also discussed motherhood, acting, and so much more!

For more on Maxine be sure to visit http://www.maxinelinehan.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

"Call Me Adam's" interview with Maxine Linehan:

Want to see Maxine live? Catch her at one of her many upcoming appearances:

May 19 - 7pm: The Amazing Library Variety Show, presented by The Irish American Writers & Artists Association at the Cell Theatre to benefit Urban Libraries Unite. For reservations call 917-957-3077 or e-mail mwbutler17@gmail.com

June 13 - 9:30pm: Edith Piaf All-Star Celebration at 54 Below: Click here for tickets!

July 8 - 7pm: 54 Sings Irving Berlin at 54 Below: Click here for tickets!

July 9 - 7pm: What Would Petula Do? Wayne YMCA Concert Series in Wayne, NJ: Click here for tickets! (on sale June 1)

October 17 - 9:30pm: Maxine's 54 Below SOLO DEBUT with Beautiful Songs: Music for the Soul and the Senses: Click here for tickets!

Maxine LinehanMore on Maxine:

Maxine Linehan has performed at venues as diverse as Ars Nova, Birdland, and The Town Hall. She was acclaimed in her one woman drama, Bronte, starred in the National Tour of the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific, directed by Bartlett Sherr, and has recorded three CDs, including the brilliantly reviewed CD Beautiful Songs.

Beautiful Songs is created and directed for Maxine Linehan by Scott Siegel, the creater/writer/director/host of Broadway by the Year at The Town Hall, who has written, directed and produced for Michael Feinstein, and created shows for Carole J. Bufford.

Monday
May042015

Call Answered: The Light of the Moon Facetime Interview with Carlo Velayo and Jessica M. Thompson

Jess Thompson and Carlo Velayo"Call Me Adam" went to the offices of Stedfast Productions for a video interview with film producer Carlo Velayo and writer/director Jessica M. Thompson about their debut film The Light of the Moon, about a woman who is sexually assaulted after a night out with her friends in NYC, and how this assault impacts the relationships in her life. Filming starts in the fall! Stay tuned to "Call Me Adam" to hear when this film will be released.

For more on The Light of the Moon be sure to visit http://www.stedfastproductions.com/lotm and http://www.seedandspark.com/studio/LOTM. Also, follow The Light of the Moon on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

"Call Me Adam's" video interview with Carlo and Jess about The Light of the Moon: 

Jess ThompsonMore on Jess:

Jess studied acting at three major drama schools in Australia between the ages of 12 and 21. She attended film school, majoring in Writing/Directing, at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she met Carlo Velayo. They quickly formed a formidable filmmaking duo and have made several short films together, including the award-winning films Hike and Percepio. Jess won the Kodak Award for New Directors for her first short film, Hike.

After graduating and globe trotting for a year, Jess became a Junior Editor at Mike Reed’s, the first post-production house in Australia. Here she quickly progressed the ranks to become a full time Editor, working on various television series, films, music videos clips and commercials.

In 2011, Jess traveled across North America for nine months and filmed a documentary series, The Land of Milk and Honey. She finished the trip in NYC and co-founded Stedfast Productions. Stedfast is a collective of visual storytellers who use imagery to entertain, inspire hope, provoke thought, and explore the human story.

During her time in NYC, Jess wrote, directed, and edited the short film, Across the Pond, which was selected as a finalist at Tropfest NY and the Bath Film Festival. She has worked as an Editor with Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, Liz Garbus, as an Additional Editor on the Sundance-winning film Watchers of the Sky, and as an Associate Producer on both the Indie Thriller 419 and on Academy Award-nominated, Sandy McLeod’s Seeds of Time. Jess just recently finished editing Cheryl Furjanic’s award-winning documentary, Back on Board: Greg Louganis and she looks forward to making her feature directorial debut with The Light of the Moon with her best friend, Carlo, by her side.

Carlo VelayoMore on Carlo:

Carlo Velayo attended film school and completed a double degree in International Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. This is where he met Jess Thompson, with whom he has been making films with since 2003. In 2006, while Carlo was completing his year of exchange in Manila, the Philippines, their short film Hike was shortlisted for Tropfest Sydney. Seven years later, their short film Across the Pond was a finalist in Tropfest New York.

Carlo is a Producer at Stedfast Productions – a small production company he started with Jess Thompson in New York City. He is an Associate Producer on Cheryl Furjanic’s award-winning Back on Board: Greg Louganis and was a Researcher on Academy Award-nominated, Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s forthcoming documentary, Food Evolution. Carlo started out in VFX and post-production on Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and George Miller’s Happy Feet 2 respectively.

Although Carlo holds a Masters in Anthropology, he is as skilled operating a Super 8 camera, recording sound, editing, or keeping a shoot day on schedule and on budget, as he is at writing a scholarly paper. He is keen to produce his first narrative feature, The Light of the Moon with his best friend, Jess, by his side.