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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in Off-Broadway (293)

Saturday
Sep202014

Call Answered: Facetime Interview with the cast of National Lampoon's Bayside! The Musical!: The Saved By The Bell Musical

Live from their Opening Night at Theatre 80 in NYC, "Call Me Adam" interviews the cast of National Lampoon's Bayside! The Musical!: The Saved By The Bell Musical including Dustin Diamond (Saved By The Bell's original "Screech"), Sam Harvey ("Zack Morris"), Katie Mebane ("Kelly Kapowski"), John Duff ("AC Slater") , Justin Cimino ("Screech Powers"), Shamira Clark ("Lisa Turtle"), Amanda Nicholas ("Every Other Student At Bayside"), Seth Blum ("Mr. Belding/The Max/Others"), April Kidwell and Adriana Spencer ("Jessie Spano", not featured in interview).

National Lampoon's Bayside! The Musical! plays at Theatre 80 in New York City (80 St. Marks Street at 1st Avenue)! Click here for tickets!

For more on Bayside! The Musical! be sure to visit http://baysidethemusical.com and follow the show on Facebook and Twitter!

Interview with cast of National Lampoon's Bayside The Musical:

Thursday
Sep182014

Call Answered: Pamela Weiler Grayson and Alice Jankell: Urban Momfare 2014 NYC International Fringe Encore Series

Pamela Weiler Grayson (left) and Alice Jankell (right)"Call Me Adam" chats with Urban Momfare co-writers Pamela Weiler Grayson and Alice Jankell (who also directs the show) about having their show in the 2014 NYC International Fringe Festival Encore Series.

Why don't we ever hear songs about moms not actually liking their kids? Urban Momfare is a romp through motherhood on Manhattan's Upper East Side spans 17 years: "Music For Gifted and Talented Babies" to bra straps and Bellinis. Strap on your stilettos cause this is war!

Urban Momfare plays at the Soho Playhouse in NYC (15 Vandam Street) from September 21-28. Click here for tickets!

For more on the Urban Momfare be sure to visit http://www.urbanmomfare.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

1. You co-wrote the new musical Urban Momfare which just finished a run in the 2014 NYC Fringe Festival and is now part of their Encore Series at the SoHo Playhouse. What excites about having the show in their Encore Series? 

Pam: It’s exciting that our show was chosen out of over 200 shows in the regular Fringe Festival to be in this Series. It’s a huge honor and we are so grateful to have another opportunity to present the show. It’s especially exciting to be having a production during the fall season, when people are back from the Hamptons, Fire Island, Europe, or wherever else they told us they were when they said they couldn’t come to the show in August.

Alice: The Encore Series offers continued opportunity to learn about our show. Every time we get to see it in front of an audience, we see what lands, what can grow, what wants fleshing out.

Cast of "Urban Momfare", Photo Credit: Dixie Sheridan2. How do you feel the Fringe Festival fosters this show in a way another festival might not? 

Pam: The Fringe Festival has a very loyal and built-in audience that supports the festival, and the fact that it’s based in New York City gave us the opportunity for industry people to come to the show. Also, the size, scope, and prestige of the NY Fringe Festival allowed us to meet lots of really talented people and have the kind of press that helps boost the recognition and buzz of our show.

Alice: The Fringe’s audience is savvy and diverse, and we were able to get a great deal of feedback. Additionally, the prolific nature of the festival forced us to pare our show down to its essentials. We feel we can pick up our production and go anywhere with it now!

3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Urban Momfare?

Pam: I hope that audiences experience relief, connection, and joy, because the deep, dark, complex feelings they have about their kids, family, friends, and themselves were articulated on a stage, and validated. I want them to say, "I had those same feelings and thoughts, and I wasn’t sure anyone else really did. And not only did the characters have those thoughts and behaviors, but they sang about them!"

Alice: We want to convey the dirty secret that mothers are all human, and we all have selfish and irresponsible human impulses, and that’s ok. We want to open up the dialogue.

Cast of "Urban Momfare", Photo Credit: Dixie Sheridan4. Urban Momfare is a show about mothers who don't like their children. What has been the most trying part about being a mother? What has been the most rewarding?

Pam: Well, the show is not really about mothers who don’t like their children, but we do have that feeling expressed in part of the show, in the sense that mothers have very complicated feelings about their kids, and they feel guilty for not liking them all the time (of course we love them, but liking them as people, not always!). I think for me the most trying part about being a mother is feeling like I am supposed to be the role model and "get things right," and so many times I feel like I’m doing a lot wrong - that I’m not behaving any more maturely than my kids, and sometimes I’m even more infantile! You have to be a grown-up and act like you have the answers, when we really don’t know what we’re doing most of the time. The most rewarding thing has been the sense that I actually did a pretty good job, in spite of all my insecurities. My kids are both teenagers now (one is in college), and they are really loving, bright, and good kids, who actually say nice things to me.

Alice: It’s not a show about mothers who don’t like their children at all. These mothers love their children.  But like ALL mothers, they struggle with conflicting emotions and impulses at times.

Pamela Weiler Grayson, Clare Cooper, Alice Jankell, Photo Credit: Hershey Miller5. How did you two come to work together? 

Pam: We were "fixed up" by mutual friends of friends. I had this idea for a show of some kind that was partly based on some freelance writing pieces I wrote about women, and particularly mothers on the Upper East Side. My friend knew someone who knew Alice, whom they thought could act as dramaturg and help me shape the piece (and eventually direct it). We all met at a Pain Quotidien and talked. Alice and I clicked instantly. We now finish each other’s sentences, both on and off the page.

Alice: We were put together by a consulting producer 3 ½ years ago. Pam’s writing made me laugh out loud and cry too. When I asked her if she was willing to explore the darker side of motherhood, she jumped at the chance, and we were off and running.

6. What has been the best part about working together on this show? 

Pam: Alice and I are so in sync, it’s been the most amazing collaborative experience of my life - a close second to the one I have with my husband. It’s truly a "marriage" of mind and heart. We laugh and cry at the same things and both have so much passion for this subject. We are not afraid to tell each other if we think something needs to be fixed, and we are both perfectionists about our work. And because we are both moms, we don’t have to feel bad telling each other that we can’t talk at that moment because one of our kids is having a meltdown.

Alice: Crafting the piece together and watching it emerge.

Cast of "Urban Momfare", Photo Credit: Dixie Sheridan7. Who or what inspired you to become playwrights?

Pam: This is actually the first full show I have written. But I wrote freelance pieces for many publications (mostly magazines and newspapers) for years. I love the way that writing reaches people and also how it allows me to express myself. I relish finding just the right words. I have a background in theatre, as I was performing in shows all through my childhood and as an adult. Also, I have always been passionate about the power and magic of theatre, especially how a song in a show can touch an audience in a way that is so with different from prose.

Alice: The immediacy of a live audience and the magic of crafting moments anew night after night.

8. What's the best advice you've ever received? 

Pam: "Never let those jealous bitches get you down." Okay, well, that’s not exactly the best advice, but it kind of touches on something that was great advice: Once when I had written some pieces for a newspaper that generated a lot of controversy among my "social group," and I was really worried about it, my editor at the time gave me great advice. She told me that I should really enjoy the controversy, because if something I wrote caused people to react that strongly, then I had touched a nerve and really written something worthwhile. I think about that a lot, and it helps me be brave in my writing.

Alice: As a director, I helped so many other people shape their scripts. I was eager to try writing myself.

9. What have you learned about yourselves from being mothers and playwrights?

Pam: In terms of being both mother and playwright (and composer/lyricist), I’ve learned that it’s a constant balancing act, like any other kind of work you do when you are trying to raise kids. But writing is the kind of career you can have that is pretty flexible, so it has allowed me more time to be with my kids than if I had stuck with being a lawyer (which I did for 5 years). I’ve learned how to incorporate my writing time into my mommy lifestyle pretty well. So much of my family life has informed my work, so that often when something happens to me, instead of running to my therapist, I can run to my laptop and write it into the show - although sometimes I also run to my therapist because I am paying for her time anyway.

Alice: That being a quiet, patient listener is invaluable. I’m not always good at that!

Cast of "Urban Momfare", Photo Credit: David Gordon10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose?

Pam: I’d probably choose the ability to take stressful situations and diffuse them instantly, which seems like a super power to someone as high-strung as me. So instead of my usual freaking out reaction, all of a sudden I’d be as calm as the Dalai Lama. I think that super power could be used to great effect on a global level. And I’d also like a really flattering costume - if I have to wear tights as a super heroine, they need to be black, because colored tights on a woman over 40 and under 5'5" don’t look that great.

Alice: Healing.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

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

Pam: I never really liked Life Savers that much, but I guess I would choose pineapple, because it’s exotic and fun and more unusual than the basic flavors. 

Alice: Cherry.

12. Favorite skin care product?

Pam: I love Janet Sartin products (I go to their salon for facials), and their White Astringent is great. It goes on white but you dab it off with a tissue, and it does wonders for tightening pores. 

Alice: Serum.

13. How do you want to be remembered?

Pam: I’d like to be remembered as a loving, loyal person who was funny, smart, and original. I’d love to be remembered for the nice things I did and the not-so-nice things I’ve written, because "nice" isn’t usually funny. The darkly comic observations, those that are provocative, honest, and raw, are most interesting to me and my legacy as a writer.

Alice: By my sense of humor.

More on Pamela:

Pamela began her theatrical career as a performer in summer stock theatres. She then worked in television production and spent a number of years practicing law. Pam has also written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, The New York Observer, and Harper’s Bazaar. Some of Pam’s original songs have been performed at The Metropolitan Room, Don’t Tell Mama, and Toshi’s Living Room. She is the co-writer and lyricist of the short musical film, “Burning Up!” which was a featured selection at the Katra Film Series this past May. Pam’s inspiration for writing Urban Momfare came from her own experience of being an Upper East Side mom, and years of freelance writing about it. The show had its first public reading at Emerging Artists Theatre’s New Work Series, in March 2013. Pam just completed the two-year songwriting program at The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Education: Brown University and Fordham Law School. 

More on Alice:

Alice is originally from New York City and has lived on both coasts. For Disney, Alice helped to create and develop new Broadway musicals. As Associate Artistic Director of The Williamstown Theatre Festival, her directing work included As You Like ItDinah Was based on Dinah Washington, and Enough Rope, the special event on Dorothy Parker starring Elaine Stritch. She has worked and learned in venues as varied as the Mark Taper Forum, the L.A. Opera, Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, La Mama, and City Theater, among many others, as well as in film and TV. Favorite acting roles include a solo performance, backed by the L.A. Philharmonic, at the Hollywood Bowl. Alice is the Creative Director of F.A.B. Women (For, About, and By Women) under The Barrow Group’s off-Broadway umbrella, helming the company of 100 professional female writers, actors and directors. Education: Wesleyan, Masters at NYU.

Saturday
Sep132014

Call Answered: Natalie Douglas: Hello Dolly: The Music of Dolly Parton

Natalie Douglas, Photo Credit: Susan Block"Call Me Adam" chats with seven-time MAC Award, Backstage Bistro Award and Nightlife Award Winner Natalie Douglas about her concert at Birdland in NYC Hello Dolly: The Music of Dolly Parton this Monday, September 15 at 9:30pm! Click here for tickets!

Natalie honors another notably-buxom performer: the beloved singer, actor, songwriter and Broadway composer. Fans can expect to hear songs that Dolly wrote such as "Jolene," "Coat of Many Colors," and "I Just Might" from the Broadway musical 9 to 5, in addition to numbers that Dolly creatively covered like Neil Young’s "After The Gold Rush" and Led Zeppelin’s "Stairway to Heaven." Birdland is located at (315 West 44th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue).

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

Natalie Douglas at Birdland, Photo Credit: Seth Walters1. On September 15, you are presenting Hello Dolly: The Music of Dolly Parton at Birdland in NYC. What made you want to showcase a whole show of Dolly Parton music? Like millions of other fans, I have LOVED Dolly Parton for decades. Since hearing me sing "Jolene" in one of my Birdland concerts back in 2005, Jim Caruso, who’s not only the Broadway @ Birdland impresario, but also a talented entertainer himself, has been asking me when I was gonna sing an entire evening of Dolly music. Recently, there have been a few happy coincidences - I was asked to sing in a Dolly revue, someone sent me a link to Tori Amos' "Jolene" cover, heard someone calling his dog named, "Jolene" - the song seemed to be following me around. Seems like the world is having a Dolly Moment...so I wanted to play along!

2. How did you decide which songs you wanted to include? That's a long story and a short one at the same time...hmmmmm, guess the best way to put it is I try to figure out what best tells the overall story of the concert, plus what songs I REALLY want to sing. That probably seems obvious, but it can be tricky - sometimes a tune I wanted to sing months ago or a tune that seems like the perfect fit, isn't what I want to sing right now - and I've learned the hard way, the best shows are born of what I truly want to say. Also, any tune that makes me cry - that's in!

Natalie Douglas and Jim Caruso at Birdland, Photo Credit Kevin Alvey3. What made you want to do this show at Birdland? Why is Birdland the perfect venue for you to perform at? I've worked a zillion of clubs and they all have things to recommend them, but Birdland has been my NYC concert home for 10 years this month. Ever since my dear friend, Jim Caruso debuted his Broadway @ Birdland series there in June 2004, he, the owner, Gianni Valenti, and the entire brilliant Birdland staff make it a joy to come to play that room! Not only does the room have a truly legendary status, it's run beautifully and it's a thrill to stand on that stage every time! This will be my 28th solo performances at Birdland - it's a room that's all about the music!

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing this concert? That's an easy one! I hope they have a really GOOD time! I always do scads of research and scour the archives to try to find good stories & good songs, so that each audience member might discover something new about these artists or these tunes or themselves (I really hope they're moved!), but ultimately, in addition to my being a serious history/social studies/culture/politics/trivia geek, I'm out to have a blast & the audience is invited to come along with me! I feel "joined at the soul" with my audience, so I hope they walk away feeling that too!

Natalie Douglas at Birdland, Photo Credit: Kevin Alvey5. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Joe Williams & my Uncle Beau. My parents took me to hear live music often when I was small. One night, seeing the Count Basie orchestra, I watched Joe Williams come out on stage, begin to sing the verse of Ellington's, "Something to Live For," and completely captivate the audience - not a sound in that hall! I decided I wanted to do that. Make that particular kind of magic. 

Also, one of my earliest memories is sitting on my Uncle Beau's lap whilst he played piano. He'd place my tiny hands on the back of his hands and play anything he'd every heard without a leaf of sheet music. I adored him, my mother's brother, and felt as though we communicated perfectly even though he had some difficulties in the outside world and rarely left the facility in which he lived. I thought back on it as I got older & realized how music - the piano & the radio - were his way of making connection. I've always felt so glad he let me into his world.

6. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Oh that's so hard! So many of my Number One choices are no longer with us, (Nina Simone, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Joe Williams) which is the main reason I hope for an afterlife...that would be one cool club in which to hang out.

7. What's the best advice you’ve ever received? Say, "Yes." One of my favorite acting professors in college reminded us how important it is. It's taken me years to really hear what she meant, but since I've started living that way, my life & career have gotten even more enjoyable!

Natalie Douglas singing, Photo Credit: Lynn Redmile8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I'm still learning it, but I work every day to find the right amount of "me" in my work - actors can be rather self-obsessed, which is understandable - we are our instrument, but connecting with an audience, other musicians & the people who populate the world around you is the point of what we do, so that ego really needs to get out of the way. It's a balancing act & I feel as if I'm always learning to dance that tightrope.

9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? As a long time Doctor Who fan, I have to go with a combo power - I'd be an absolute darling Time Lord! You'd have, the Power of Regeneration, Super Intelligence, Time Travel, Universal Language & Teleportation. That would be soooooooo totally groovy & also, reduce one's carbon footprint! I mean, I just assume a TARDIS operates green! :-)

10. If you could be an original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be?  Pineapple, duh.

BONUS QUESTION:

11. How do you want to be remembered? Well, I'm not planning to go anywhere for a long time (for example, I think it would be fun to stick around for Birdland's 100th birthday party in 2049!), but sometime in the next century say after I pass on, I'd love to be thought of as kind, funny, smart & good at what I do.

Natalie DouglasMore on Natalie:

Natalie Douglas is a seven-time MAC Award, Backstage Bistro Award and Nightlife Award Winner – has garnered rave reviews for her unique mix of jazz, blues, standards, pop, folk and country music blended together. Most recently, she received the 2014 Margaret Whiting Award at Carnegie Hall from the Mabel Mercer Foundation.

Her recent performances include concerts across the U.S. (Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Café Carlyle, and The Appel Room – formerly The Allen Room – at Lincoln Center) and across three continents (Montenegro, Greece, Corsica, Puerto Vallarta, London, Buenos Aires, Cancun & Germany.) In a Greenwich Village tradition, she also performs an annual New Year’s Eve collaboration with Mark Hartman at the Duplex. Her solo recordings include her debut CD, Not That Different – which was nominated for a 2000 MAC Award for Outstanding Recording – and To Nina...Live At Birdland, (a concert recording of her one-woman show, To Nina: A Tribute to Nina Simone) Both CDs, available at iTunes and other outlets, continue to be featured on NPR and Sirius XM Radio. She also appears on Fine and Dandy for PS Classics and Broadway By The Year: 1940 on Bayview Records.

Natalie is also an actress and is featured in feature film The Camera’s Eye, has appeared on ABC’s Cupid and many theatrical productions, including The People vs. MonaThalia FolliestheATrainplays (series 5-22) with The Neighborhood Playhouse, Hillside in Hell with 13th Street Rep and was a featured soloist at the York Theatre Company’s benefit production of Children Of Eden at Riverside Church.

Thursday
Sep112014

Call Answered: Joe Gulla: Faggy at 50: United Solo Festival

Joe GullaAfter two-sold out years in the 2012 and 2013 United Solo Festival, "Call Me Adam" finally gets to chat with The Bronx Queen playwright and actor himself, Joe Gulla about his new show Faggy at 50 which opens the 2014 United Solo Festival starting September 18! Click here for tickets!

For more on Joe be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

1. After two years with the sold-out hit The Bronx Queen, you are back in the United Solo Festival with a brand new show, Faggy at 50. What excites you about premiering this new show? I always envisioned The Bronx Queen as the first of a trilogy! Faggy at 50 takes us further down the road! I’m excited about unleashing this part of my journey on audiences!

2. How did you come up with the title Faggy at 50? How can you be 50 when you look like you are in your 30s??? I wanted the title to be provocative...in the spirit of Larry Kramer’s Faggots and John Leguizamo’s Spic-O-Rama! It’s meant to be funny AND serious. Who gets to define us? How do we define ourselves? Where do we draw the line?

A firm commitment to a good moisturizer..and, um hey, thanks Adam!!!!

3. How do you feel the United Solo Festival fosters your shows in a way another festival might not? The United Solo Festival dares to be specific. They champion the art of solo performance. As a youth, I was incredibly turned on by Spalding Gray and his monologues. Later, I was way into Eric Bogosian. I’ve always enjoyed this challenging and inspiring art form. United Solo celebrates it! If you’re solo performer or a person that enjoys solo performance…it’s where it’s at! They’ve created an incredible and supportive community.

4. In 2012, The Bronx Queen won United Solo's "Best Comedy Script" award and in 2013, it won United Solo's "Most Popular Show." What do these accolades mean to you and what did it mean to you to personally be asked back by the festival? Adam, it is a funny moment in a man’s life when his autobiographical show wins "Best Comedy!" Ha! Seriously, it is very satisfying to receive recognition like this! I am trying to give these shows and their messages a life! Winning awards garners attention. We’re in show business…gotta keep people interested!

This year, United Solo gave me the honor of opening the ENTIRE festival. This was in recognition of The Bronx Queen breaking records last year! I am BLOWN AWAY...complimented, thankful, wildly appreciative! It’s my intention to do them proud!

Joe Gulla5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Faggy at 50? I hope my audiences have a few good hearty laughs! Also, I hope they see that once we get past life's "static"…the important and satisfying stuff reveals itself!

6. What do you like about writing and starring in your own shows? How do you separate yourself between actor/writer? Writing’s a great vehicle of expression and it comes naturally to me! I take it seriously! Delivering MY words MYSELF...to a LIVE AUDIENCE. You’ve heard the expression before, "There’s nothing better! Nothing!" That being said, actors get more free drinks than writers and I’m all about the free drinks!

7. Who or what inspired you to become an actor/playwright? I’m a Bronx boy, a native New Yorker. My family came to Broadway all the time! The thought of being an actor/playwright was fascinating to me, but the reality of it seemed so elusive! I can name the names: John Guare, Terrence McNally, Tom Stoppard. Spalding Gray, Eric Bogosian, David Drake. But, at the end of the day, I was ROCKED when I saw Torch Song Trilogy on Broadway…so let’s go with Harvey!!!

Joe Gulla8. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Nicky Silver…call me!!!

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Never underestimate the value of the Third Avenue Bridge!"

10. What have you learned about yourself from being an actor/playwright? I’ve learned that sharing one’s story is satisfying, gratifying and, surprisingly, healing!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Easy! With a snap of my "super powered" fingers, the cashiers at my local CVS turn into shirtless, hunky, humpy go-go boys…who I tip a dollar for my toothpaste purchase!

12. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Lime! To enliven my green eyes!

13. Favorite way to stay in shape? Equinox Made Me Do It!

14. Boxers or Briefs? Roberto Cavalli Trunks are my go-to!

15. How do you want to be remembered? I wore the SPY Magazine t-shirt in 90’s! On the back, it said: "Smart. Fun. Funny. Fearless."

Joe GullaMore on Joe:

Joe Gulla is an American playwright, actor, and reality television participant. He is best known for the autobiographical monologues that he writes and performs for the theater. His best known work, The Bronx Queen is based on his experience growing up as a gay boy in the Bronx. It was awarded "Best Comedic Script" and "Most Popular Show" at NYC Theater Row's 2012 and 2013 United Solo Theatre Festival.

Joe was a contestant on the NBC Adventure Reality Series, Lost in 2001. The show followed three teams of two as they made there way from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia back to the United States.

His play, Garbo was based on an unrequited love affair experienced while living in Rome, Italy. Garbo was selected to be part of the New York City's Times Square International Theater Festival in 2012. He played the role of "Frankie" in Off-Broadway's long-running hit, My Big Gay Italian Wedding.

The Advocate Magazine named Joe Gulla its "Anti-Bullying Hero." in 2012.

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".