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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in Off-Broadway (322)

Friday
May292015

Call Answered: Be More Chill Facetime Interview with Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz Two River Theater

"Call Me Adam" played it cool with "The Joes," Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz, when he went to Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ to chat with these two musical theatre writers about the world-premiere of their NEW show Be More Chill, which runs from May 30-June 21! Click here for tickets!

Be More Chill, based upon the novel by Ned Vizzini, tells the tale of "Jeremy Heere," an average teenager, who finds out about "The Squip"—a tiny supercomputer that promises to bring him everything he desires most: a date with Christine, an invite to the raddest party of the year and a chance to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school. Will "Jeremy" get the girl of his dreams along with everything else he desires? There's only way to find out, come see Be More Chill!

For more on Two River Theater be sure to visit http://tworivertheater.org and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

"Call Me Adam's" Be More Chill interview with Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz:

Joe IconisMore on Joe Iconis:

A musical theater writer and a fixture on the New York cabaret scene. He has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, a Lucille Lortel Award, and is the recipient of an Ed Kleban Award, a Jonathan Larson Award, an ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award, and a MAC John Wallowitch Songwriting Award. Joe’s songs appeared on season two of NBC’s Smash and his writing has been featured in The New York Times and The Dramatist. He is the author of The Black Suits (Center Theater Group, Barrington Stage Company), the rock and roll Spaghetti Western musical Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova, NAMT), ReWrite (Urban Stages, Goodspeed Opera House), Theatreworks USA’s The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks and We the People. Albums: Things to Ruin (OCR) and The Joe Iconis Rock and Roll Jamboree are both available on Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records. Current projects: the musical version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid for 20th Century Fox (with Joe Tracz; opening at CTC Spring 2016), a musical about Hunter S. Thompson for La Jolla Playhouse (with Gregory S. Moss), and an exploitation musical called Annie Golden: Bounty Hunter, Yo! (with Lance Rubin and Jason SweetTooth Williams). Joe is greatly inspired by Robert Altman, Dolly Parton, The Muppets, and The Family of artists he frequently surrounds himself with. www.MrJoeIconis.com

Joe TraczMore on Joe Tracz:

A playwright with an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His adaptation of the first book in the Percy Jackson series, The Lightning Thief (with composer Rob Rokicki) received a Lortel nomination for Outstanding Musical and is now touring nationally with Theatreworks USA. With Chill collaborator Joe Iconis, he is developing a live stage version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid to premiere at Children’s Theatre Company in 2016. This summer, Williamstown Theatre Festival will present a workshop of his original musical Poster Boy (with composer Craig Carnelia) and a production of his play Song for a Future Generation. Other plays have been developed with Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, Roundabout, Ars Nova, and The Flea, and published in Best American Short Plays. Film/TV includes Epic (20th Century Fox) and Lights Out (FX). Joe is a former Playwrights Realm writing fellow, an alumnus of Theater Masters and the Ars Nova Play Group, and, with Two River and Joe Iconis, a recipient of a 2015 Doris Duke Foundation Commissioning Grant. He has a BA from Kalamazoo College.

Friday
May222015

Call Redialed: Karen Wyman: Here and Now: Iridium Jazz Club 

"Call Me Adam" catches up with Bistro Award winning singer Karen Wyman! Here we talk about her new show, Here and Now, which she will be performing at her Iridium Jazz Club debut in NYC on Tuesday, May 26 at 8:30pm and 10:30pm (1650 Broadway at 51st Street)! Click here for tickets to the 8:30pm show and click here for tickets to the 10:30pm show!

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

1. On May 26 you are making your Iridium debut. What made you want to perform at this NYC landmark? Who wouldn't want to sing at the Iridium? The club is very well known and it holds a lot of weight. I thinks it's very well suited for what I do as a singer. Not that the Metropolitan Room isn't well suited for me, I love it there too, but I feel the Iridium attracts a different kind of audience and at this point in my career, I'm looking to reach a different audience. I want to reach as many people as I can, so I have to sing at different venues.

In today's market, I would be in the category of Pop Jazz, like a Bennett, Bublé or Connick Jr. I can swing, but also be a saloon singer. I love cabaret and, today, cabaret venues are our nightclubs because we don't have nightclubs like we used to. I called this show Here and Now because I'm just getting up there singing great songs. 

Karen Wyman at The Metropolitan Room NYC 20152. What excites you most about this upcoming concert? It's exciting to sing for a new audience. It's an honor to work at such a well known Jazz club, it's known all over the world. What's bad about that (laughs)?

3. If you could give audiences one reason as to why they should come see you perform, what would that reason be? As they say, I found my sea legs. I've really come into my own. I'm a much different singer then when I was younger. I've became a better performer and found Karen Wyman. I can really communicate this to the audience. I'm more relaxed now and really having fun!

I'm one of the last youngest singers from a time that people want to see again. I'm sort of the new kid on the block. I just came back to singing after a 20 year hiatus. I feel I'm the familiar new face people are getting to know all over again.

4. How will this concert differ from your previous concerts? I think this show will make you laugh and cry. I have new material and some that I still do because they're just great to do and people don't get tired of hearing them, and of course there will be people who never seen me before. I have really grown in the last year.

5. What is one new song you are most excited to debut and what classic song of yours do you never tire of singing? I never get tired of singing "Why Can't I Walk Away," my first hit. I do a Beatles' medley and in this show I'm looking forward to singing, "When I Look In Your Eyes" by Leslie Bricusse, the song that got me on The Dean Martin Show. I was going through all of my stuff and found the demo that I sent to the producers. I said wow,  this is unbelievable! 

6. Since we last spoke, you won the 2014 Bistro Award for Acclaimed Return to Cabaret. What did it mean to you to receive this honor? To be recognized from your peers is the best honor you can get. You can't beat that.

7. In addition to your upcoming debut at Iridium Jazz Club, you are also taking part in a staged reading of a new play with music Love, Sex & Menopause by Phyliss J. Esposito at the Davenport Theater on May 7, 13, 21 and 28. What made you want to be part of this staged reading and what do you get from acting that you do not get from your music? I wanted to broaden myself. I'm a singer first, and then an actress, but when I sing I'm acting. I did act when I was in my 20's on National Tours of musicals. So I felt I needed to show another side of myself. Of course I'm no Meryl Streep, but I proved to myself I can do comedy.

Karen Wyman singing at 2014 Cabaret Convention NYC8. Singing, acting, you are doing it all! What do you think is next for Karen Wyman? I'm not quite finished with my singing goals. Singing was a gift that was given to me, but I didn't understand it when I was young, now I do, and that is my first passion. It would be wonderful to do a musical on Broadway or a sitcom...I'm open to all things.

I really want to reach bigger audiences and get an even bigger following. That's why I'm going over to create an audience in the Ireland and London. I would also like to get involved in the European Jazz festivals.

9. How do you want to be remembered? This is hard to put into words, but I want to be remembered as a singer that was great at phrasing and can really touch her audience. It's so important when you sing that you really communicate what the song is saying. I think singing is easy it's the emotions that you want to tell the story.

10. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? I really don't drink, but I would mix watermelon, cucumber, and vodka together and call it "Wyman's Way."

Karen WymanMore on Karen:

As a teenager in her first ever public appearance, Karen Wyman astonished Dean Martin with her extraordinary and powerful voice. Overnight she signed a major recording contract with Decca Records, and captivated audiences on major TV shows hosted byJohnny Carson, Ed Sullivan, Carol Burnett, Mike Douglas, Dick Cavett, Glen Campbell and Merv Griffin.

Karen performed at nightclubs and concert halls alongside such stars as Paul Anka, Milton Berle, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Roy Clark, Jimmy Durante, Alan King, George Carlin, Rich Little, and Shecky Greene, and as an actress appeared on stage with the likes of Alan Young, Davey Jones, and Gordon MacRae.

Currently Karen is celebrating a return to the stage after stepping away to raise her family. Her acclaimed New York concert last year was named a "Critic’s Pick" by Time Out New York and called "a compelling concert and a totally-inspiring comeback performance" by BroadwayWorld.com. She also won a Bistro Award for her acclaimed return to the stage.

Tuesday
May192015

Call Answered: Melba Moore: 54 Below "Forever Moore"

Melba Moore, with earrings courtesy of Oprah, Photo Credit: Willis Roberts"Call Me Adam" chats with Tony Award winner and four-time Grammy nominee Melba Moore about making her 54 Below debut with Forever Moore on May 22 and 23 at 7pm (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue)! In Forever Moore, Melba will be honoring iconic, legendary ladies of song as well as performing her Grammy nominated hits and songs from her Broadway career! Click here for tickets!

For more on Melba be sure to visit http://www.melbamoore.com and follow her on Twitter!

1. On May 22 & 23 at 7pm, you will be making your 54 Below debut with your new show Forever Moore. What made you want to do this show at 54 Below and what excites you about making your 54 Below debut? That was the first available date 54 Below had available and I said, "Let's Go! The sooner we do it the better!" The reason I'm so excited to be part of the 54 Below extravaganza is because they have the best cabaret and theatrical artists in the world performing there. I just went to see my friend Ben Vereen there and it's a beautiful room and the audiences are to die for. I thought to myself, "Oh my goodness, I want that!" 

Melba Moore2. What made now the right time to debut Forever Moore? I'm working on my CD of the same name and it's coming at a time when the entertainment industry, the public relations industry, and the marketing industry have changed dramatically and I've had to make several different adjustments. So, I thought to myself, "Well you don't know how these things are going to continue to change, so why don't you just say something as long as they change I will keep adjusting and that maybe "Forever Moore." 

3. In Forever Moore, which as you mentioned, is also the title of your forthcoming album. In the show, you will be honoring iconic, legendary ladies of song as well as performing your Grammy nominated hits and songs from your Broadway career including your Tony Award winning performance in Purlie. How did you decide which iconic ladies you wanted to include? What is it about these women that make them or their music speak to you so strongly? Of course it's both, the music and the artists. I wanted to take legendary ladies of song that not only I loved, but that the audience would love and appreciate and in some cases there has been some kind of personal connection. And I know in cabaret, the audiences want to hear the story behind the music or the artist. They want to hear about you. They want to hear something that they won't read in a review. They want something personal, so I tried to take artists that there was some kind of personal connection for me. For instance, like Ella Fitzgerald. Everyone loves Ella, but I picked her so it would give me an excuse to sing "Airmail Special" (laughs).

Melba Moore4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Forever Moore? I hope they get a real kind of feel and connect with me personally. That doesn't mean I'm going to tell a lot of personal history, but I think as an interpreter of songs, you connect with people on a personal level. The reason I say this is because after a show, people want to hug me. They feel like they know me and like me. I hope they know how much I really love being there and they think I sing great and that they like what I'm doing with my art and my gift.

5. If you had to give people one reason as to why they should come see Forever Moore, what would that reason be? They are going to get a great show! They are going to be entertained! I know I'm going to have a good time, so I hope they do too.

6. You are a four-time Grammy nominee and a Tony Award winner. At the time, what did it mean to you to get these honors and what do they mean to you now? At the time that they happened, especially the Tony Award, which came first, immediately, the day after, my whole life changed. I have a newspaper clipping from one of the press events from the Tony Awards and I'm standing in between, in the middle of, Lauren Bacall on my right side and Helen Hayes on my left. If you don't know you're life has been changed by that, I don't know what it's gonna take (laughs). If that's an example of how dramatic and how incredible and how different your life becomes as a result that award, then it's like you said, that's awesome.

7. Who or what inspired you to become a singer? I'm sure it was my mother who was a professional singer. Music was the center piece of our family. My mom and step-father formed an act together and rehearsed in our house, musicians came by our house, and we went to see them perform. My step-father made us take piano lessons, so we can became students of music as children. Getting from a technical side and as the unity of our family, you can't help but fall in love with the magic and charisma that takes over everybody. I think by the time I went to high school, I knew I wanted to be involved in music in some kind of way.

Melba Moore with the students of Jamp', Photo Credit: Ron Richardson8. In addition to being a performer, you have dedicated a large part of your life to helping children, especially those who were abandoned, abused, and born with AIDS and addicted to crack. Out of all the help out there one can give, what made you want to dedicate your time to helping children? What have the children you helped taught you? My earlier life growing up as a child with a single mother who was away and my natural father didn't marry my mother, so I longed for a family. I used to ask for a sister and brother all the time and there was a lot of loneliness and abuse that happened because the family was broken. I always had a sensitivity toward children and their longing for wholeness in the family and their lives and their insecurities. I'm sure it started in my youth. The first opportunity I had was back in the 80s when the crack epidemic started. I saw on the news that the Harlem Hospital was asking people to please come up and just hold the babies because young mothers that had become addicted were just leaving their babies there. As a result of that experience I became involved with Hale House and then I started my own foundation and from there on whenever I could of service to abandoned and abused children, I feel a kinship for it.

Melba Moore9. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? One of the things I've learned is whoever that lady is on the stage, I don't know who she is, because she's somebody else. Now that I've been doing it for so long, I'm very aware of myself from becoming that other person or persons, I don't know, there maybe several persons inside there.

Now I'm not really frightened of being on stage, so my natural humor and my natural joy starts comes out. I say to myself, "Oh, that's who you are." I see that the connection I have with the audience has a very strong effect on me. They help bring out other parts of myself that I didn't know was there.

10. What's the best advice you've ever received? Never give up.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I'd never get fat (laughs). I would wipe out all anger and violence in the world.

12. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? I've had a few because as a singer you create your own little remedies. I can tell you one that everybody can make for themselves, but you have to figure out the portions of the ingredients for yourself. The ingredients would be apple juice, honey, and just a pinch of instant coffee. I would it call "The Melba Moore Atom Bomb" or "Rocket Fuel," because it gives you quick energy and it's not going to do you any harm, unless you put too much coffee in it because you can never have too much honey or apple juice. 

13. Favorite skin care product? These days it's anti-wrinkle cream, but I always use moisturizer.

Melba Moore 1977More on Melba:

Hailing from a musical family, Ms. Moore graduated from the famed Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey. At the encouragement of her parents, she went on to pursue music education at Montclair State University where she earned her Bachelor of Music Education Degree. However, her inner voice told her to see if she could make it as a performer. After listening to that inner voice, she landed roles in classic shows such as HairLes Misérables, and Purlie, for which she earned her Tony Award. Although Ms. Moore enjoyed working on Broadway, she never forgot her first love of music. She has recorded several albums and has enjoyed great success musically with such chart topping songs as "Love’s Comin’ At Ya," "Living For Your Love," and "Read My Lips," for which she received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal.

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.

Sunday
May102015

Call Answered: Facetime Interview with Kevin Zak and John Treacy Egan: Clinton The Musical

John Treacy Egan as "Newt Gingrich" and Kevin Zak as "Kenneth Starr" in "Clinton The Musical"From the oval office, "Call Me Adam" went to the set of Clinton The Musical at New World Stages in NYC to chat with Kevin Zak ("Kenneth Starr") and John Treacy Egan ("Newt Gingrich") about starring in this sensational and satirical Off-Broadway musical about Bill Clinton's presidency in the White House! Click here for tickets! 

For more on Clinton The Musical visit http://clintonthemusical.com and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

"Call Me Adam's" interview with Kevin Zak and John Treacy Egan about Clinton The Musical:

 

John Treacy EganMore on John:

Broadway: Casa Valentina, Nice Work If You Can Get It, The ProducersSister Act, The Little Mermaid, Jekyll & Hyde, Bye Bye Birdie. Off-Broadway: Disaster, When Pigs Fly!, and Batboy. TV/film: The Knick, Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock, Law & Order, Last Night, and The Producers.  CDs: Count the Stars and On Christmas Morning.

Kevin ZakMore on Kevin: 

Kevin hails from Buffalo, NY, and is happy to return to his third Clinton The Musical incarnation. Kevin was last seen being villainous Off-Broadway as "Buffalo Bill" in Silence! The Musical. Recent credits: Clinton (NYMF), My Life is a Musical, The Disney FantasyCats.