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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in Off-Broadway (250)


Call Answered: Facetime Interview at The Metropolitan Room with Sarah Rebell and Samantha Massell

"Call Me Adam" sat down with lyricist Sarah Rebell and actress/singer Samantha Massell at The Metropolian Room in New York City to talk about Sarah's show Past Is Present: The Lyrics of Sarah Rebell which takes place on March 24 at 9:30pm at The Metropolitan Room! Click here for tickets!

For more on Sarah be sure to visit and follow her on Twitter!

For more on Samantha Massell be sure to visit and follow her on Twitter!

Interview with Sarah Rebell and Samantha Massell:

Sarah RebellMore on Sarah:

Sarah Rebell recieved her MFA in musical theater writing (book/lyrics) from NYU Tisch. Her work has been performed in cabarets at 54 Below, the Berkshire Musical Theater Writers Lab, the Duplex, the Laurie Beechman Theater, NYU and the Sharon Playhouse. Her songs have been recorded by Broadway stars Melissa Errico, Alexander Gemignani, Rebecca Luker and Laura Osnes, among others. Her musical ROSE PETALS (written with Elizabeth Hagstedt) was an official selection of NYMF 2013’s developmental reading series.

In April 2013, OFF THE WALL, an original musical with book & lyrics by Sarah Rebell and music by Danny Abosch, was presented at NYU. The cast featured Alexander Gemignani, Jaclyn Huberman, Craig Laurie, Patricia Noonan and Jason "SweetTooth" Williams. Other NYU musicals include TYRANNY’S BED, a one-act chamber musical written with John Grimmett, which was presented in May 2012, also starring Alexander Gemignani.

She has been a publicity consultant for cabarets featuring Emily Bergl, Anastasia Barzee and Katie Thompson and has produced master classes with Kait Kerrigan, Georgia Stitt, Pasek & Paul and Susan Blackwell.

Sarah graduated from Vassar College in 2011 with a BA in Drama & Victorian Studies. While at Vassar, she wrote the book & lyrics to ROSE PETALS, an original Victorian musical, as her senior thesis. Sarah currently works in the marketing department at SpotCo, one of Broadway’s premier advertising agencies. 

Samantha MassellMore on Samantha:

Samantha Massell is an actress, singer, dancer, and writer based in New York City who has appeared on Broadway, in films, and in a variety of commercials. A native New Yorker who had a childhood obsession with the Annie movie, Samantha was eight years old when she asked her mother for an agent. It was pretty much all over from there. Samantha is a recent Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The University of Michigan, where she double majored in Musical Theatre and English.


Call Answered: Facetime Interview with the cast of Andy Halliday's Nothing But Trash

"Call Me Adam" went behind the scenes into the rehearsal room to chat with the cast of Andy Halliday's new comedy Nothing But Trash, directed by G.R. Johnson, which will play at Theater for the New City from March 6-23. Click here for tickets! 

For more on Nothing But Trash be sure to visit: and follow them on Facebook!



Interview with the cast of Andy Hallliday's Nothing But Trash:

Andy HallidayMore on Andy: 

Andy Halliday is an actor, writer and director, who was most recently seen Off-Broadway in the 2011 production of Devil Boys From BeyondNothing But Trash marks the third time he has performed in his own work, having previously performed double duty with Sex Slaves of the Lost Kingdom and I Can’t Stop Screaming. He got his start in 1983 performing in Charles Busch’s Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. From 1987 to 1991, the Theatre-In-Limbo company went on to perform three more of Busch’s plays: Psycho Beach PartyRed Scare On Sunset and The Lady In Question, the latter earning Halliday the Scene Stealer of the Month Award from Playbill.

G.R. JohnsonMore on G.R. Johnson:

Has directed Ty Adam’s Bounce and Thunder for the Circle East Theater Company, Seven11.2005 for Desipina Theatre Company and was the Associate Director, as well as Fight Choreographer and Dialect Coach, for a production of Peter Pan in Honolulu. As an actor, he has worked at the Huntington Theater (winner of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award), The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and many others. In New York City, he has performed at NY Classical Theatre, Mint Theater Company, La MaMa E.T.C., NY International Fringe Festival, and in the New York premiere of Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink.


Call Answered: Anne Bobby 54 Below Interview

Anne BobbyFrom NBC's Mad About You, "Call Me Adam" chats with Broadway and Television actress and writer Anne Bobby about her upcoming 54 Below show, entitled The Songs That Came In From The Cold, on Tuesday, March 4 at 7pm! Click here for tickets!

Gathering discarded gems from thirty years of workshops, out-of-town tryouts and black-boxes, plus a few new favorites, Anne will sing songs from Alan Menken to Randy Newman, Marc Blitzstein to Bruce Springsteen, as well as should-have-been-hits from Steven Lutvak, David Spencer, Jimmy Roberts, Keith Herrmann, Daniel Maté and more. She'll be joined by special guests Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), Evan Pappas (My Favorite Year), Laura Dean (Chicago), Frank Vlastnik (The Sweet Smell of Success) and Shannon Ford (Chaplin). 

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Mostly, it was the only place I wasn't picked on. I was pretty much a loner as a kid - I had four real friends growing up, with two of them being my siblings and another being a cat I fed. This isn't a pity party sort of thing - I was a nerdy kid who found her interior life a hell of a lot more interesting that what was going on around me. Other kids caught on to that pretty quick, and I got teased for it, but performing was my refuge. I think it was the one place where my interior world met with the outside. Thank God I had parents who not only nurtured that part of me, but also knew not to stop me when I had the opportunities to perform, though it must have been stressful as hell for them. I don't know how they did it - I think it's one of the reasons I've never wanted children; I don't think I could survive raising a kid like the one I was. My heart's not strong enough.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Anyone who is still learning, who is still growing as a person. Honestly - I could rattle off a wish list, but the people I admire, who I most want to work with, are people who love what they do and love how it informs their life. I'm spoiled in that I've worked with so many great people who lived - continue to live - with that mindset.

If I was really pressed for a short list? Oy - I'd say Michael Mann, David Eagleman, Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Rylance, Naseeruddin Shah, Tim Minchin, Elizabeth Warren, Banksy. They're not as disparate as they sound - they're all so passionate about their work, such inspirations in their chosen fields. They're certainly already a huge part of my life - I'd love to find a way to collaborate with them.

3. On Tuesday, March 4 at 7pm, you will be making your solo cabaret debut at 54 Below. What excites you about this upcoming concert? Spending time with songs that have become like friends to me, playing them with people I love so much, sharing them with a community that's been my family since I was thirteen...what's NOT to be excited about?

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing you at 54 Below? A lot of the songs in my show go back twenty, twenty-five years. They come from shows that very few people got to see - a few of them never had public performances at all! It would be amazing if spotlighting these songs for a night leads to renewed interest in the people who created them.

5. Why is 54 Below the perfect venue for your show? The short answer is the brussels sprouts, but the longer answer is that - I don't know...maybe it's that I was such a nerd as a kid, maybe it's that I've always been challenged and grateful for my close friends, but I seek out friends and family wherever and whenever I can. 54 Below is a place where I find I'm most comfortable, surrounded by people who love what I love...And I'm not just talking about exploring musical theatre, or cabaret - I'm talking about exploring OURSELVES, through song, and exploring how the music in our lives shapes us. Helps us grow. Makes us better people.

To say nothing of the fact that Jennifer Tepper sets the standard for Musical Theater nerds everywhere, and has provided a home for all of us to not just enjoy each other, but to be challenged by each other. If you think of Broadway as a university, 54 Below is a collaborative sort of Independent Study, where the Grad students get to hone their craft and challenge each other.

And the brussels sprouts really are amazingly good.

Anne Bobby Singing6. Your show is titled The Songs That Came In From The Cold. How did you come up with the concept and title for the show? I knew I wanted to do the show when we were past the worst of winter. Given the winter we've been having, I probably should have scheduled this for Memorial Day Weekend, but who knew that back in November?

I also thought about the songs I always said I would do if I had an opportunity like this - I've got a lot of years of workshops and gigs and auditions under my belt, and in those years I've collected some songs that never saw the light of day. Songs that have been lost, or forgotten, from shows that never quite got as far as I would have hoped for them. And I started to think of those songs as just sort of hibernating, waiting to come out of their deep freeze and into the light I've always held them in.

Some of these are songs that are kind of hiding in plain sight, too. There's a great song I'm singing that I've been doing at auditions for years, and it never ceases to amaze me that people are forever asking me who wrote it - because it's actually off what is considered by most people one of the best albums ever made. It's just a song people...sort of miss, I guess. It happened just the other day, actually - someone asked me why _________ never recorded it, and I was like, "Um. He did." (I won't tell you what the song is, it's a surprise - a good one!)

7. You made your Broadway debut at 16 years old. Looking back, what did you enjoy most about this time? What went through your head on opening night? I always knew to never not be aware that I was living an absolutely magical life. I'm so glad I had that foresight, because my memories of that time are vivid, actually, indescribably so. It's hard to talk about a whirlwind in a sentence; it kind of has to be felt that way.

There were scary moments, hysterically funny moments, painful moments. And always, always the precision of doing the show, saying the lines, hitting the marks, hearing the laughter. And then getting on the bus back to Jersey. In New York. On Broadway. In 1984. I've actually started writing a Young Adult book series about it. The first book's nearly done; soon as I finish the script I'm working on now, I'll get back to it.

Anne Bobby with "Lola"8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? In a lot of ways - most ways, actually - I'm still that nerdy kid with the interior world. Performing has continued to be a welcome outlet, but over the years it's been informed by all the other ways I've found to thrive - my books, my plays, my animals, my life.

I've always said that there's a sort of theorem to acting, and performing in general. Actors recreate life; the more you live, the more experiences you have at your disposal to recreate, the better your chances of being a great actor.

Every part of my life informs my performing. Every part of performing informs my life. It took a long time for me to catch up with myself, but I'm glad I finally did!

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Never use soap on your face; makeup comes off with hot water and moisturizer. And there's no such thing as not enough money for a good book.

10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? What a great question! Growing up, I used to wish for the power to instantly know the answer to any question I had. Over time I learned how the acquiring of knowledge is just as satisfying as the obtaining answers - kind of how I feel about rehearsal, by the way; I could rehearse forever, I swear. Now...? I'd say what I would wish for was the ability to take away shame; too much suffering in the world comes as a result of it.

Anne BobbyMore on Anne:

Anne Bobby made her Broadway debut at 16 and a year later starred in Marvin Hamlisch’s cult classic, Smile. She is known for roles on TV's Mad About You, Cop Rock, Law & Order, and As The World Turns as well as such films as Happiness, Born on the Fourth of July, and Nightbreed.


Call Answered: Jim Brochu Character Man Interview

Jim Brochu"Call Me Adam" chats with award winning actor and playwright Jim Brochu about his new Off-Broadway one man show Character Man, a salute to the memorable character actors of Broadway, filled with hilarious theater stories and touching personal recollections. Sprinkled with juicy backstage lore, the show spotlights the careers of, among others, Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, Jackie Gleason, George S. Irving, Barney Martin and Brochu’s own mentor, two-time Tony Award-winner David Burns.

Character Man plays at Urban Stages (259 West 30th Street) through March 30. Click here for tickets!

For more on Jim be sure to visit!

Jim Brochu in "Character Man"1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was very lucky to have born at the right time (mid 20th Century) and the right place (New York City) to be able to witness some of the greatest actors ever born up close. My father was a widower who loved the theatre and so he would take me to Broadway shows at least once a week while I was growing up. He also had many friends in the theatre and so the backstage became as familiar to me as the front of house. There was an electricity in the theatre that I never felt anywhere else on this earth and I knew at an early age that it was a world of which I wanted to be a part. My father was a friend of Ethel Merman and so, seeing her in Gypsy, I aspired to do what she did. But then within a month I would get to see performers like Jackie Gleason, Walter Pidgeon, Rex Harrison, Gwen Verdon, Robert Preston, Richard Kiley, Alfred Drake and watched as the audience bathed them in thunderous applause and standing ovations. When I was 13 I gathered all the kids in my Bay Ridge neighborhood together and produced, wrote, directed and starred in a musical review. When I heard that applause and got my own standing ovation, I was hooked.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I always love working with actors that make me better. Acting is like a tennis match and the better the player, the better the game. I’ve had the wonderful fortune of working with some of my heroes already, most of whom are gone now. I know Nathan Lane and would love to work with him sometime. Also Bryan Cranston who I think is one of the greatest actors EVER!

3. What made now the right time to write and premiere Character Man? Because the old Broadway is disappearing. There are no more Merricks, Fosses, Champions, Bennetts, Mostels or Mermans. I feel like I was a witness to theatre history as well as being a link in a chain of character man. If my life is a play, I think I’ve just begun act three and wanted to tell this story while I still had the time and the energy before the curtain comes down.

4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? Just what I always came away with after a show…that the theatre is a great place to spend a few hours. Perhaps an appreciation of a time gone by populated with characters, the likes of which we will never see again. I hope the show brings these performers back to life through their work and through their music and I hope audiences leave the theatre with a smile on their face, a tear in their eye and a song in their heart.

Jim Brochu in "Character Man"5. Why is Urban Stages the perfect venue for your show? Every theatre is more than the brick and mortar of a building; it’s the people committed to presenting new works that change people’s lives. I don’t believe anything in the world has the power to change people more than theatre. I know it’s true of myself.   The people who have dedicated their lives to Urban Stages –like its founding artistic director Frances Hill and producer Peter Napolitano have great passion for theatre. Their enthusiasm is contagious. Urban Stages gives tremendous support to us playwrights and actors to create an encouraging, safe atmosphere for an artist. Frances and her staff are some of the most fervent, talented artists I have worked with in  a career that is now approaching 45 years. It’s also a perfect venue because I can walk to work.

6. What was the best part about going back through your life to come up with the material for Character Man? What was the hardest part? The best part was reliving memories while going through a lot of photographs from when I was first starting out. I knew all the character actors I celebrate in this show. They touched my life in a very personal way - being mentored by David Burns, making my first television commercial with Barney Martin, learning how to deliver a joke from Lou Jacobi, timing from George S. Irving and how to create a life in the theatre from Charles Nelson Reilly. The hardest part was feeling that I would never live up to their legacy and realizing just how much I still miss them all these years later.

7. You were also the writer and star of Zero Hour, about theatre luminary Zero Mostel. Looking back, what did you enjoy most about writing and performing this show? Zero is one of the actors I talk about in Character Man. I first met Zero through David Burns when he was appearing in Forum. He was a complicated man whose life was filled with obstacles, personal, political and profession, that he overcame with courage, style and humor. I had been compared to Zero since my high school days and as I was approaching the age he was when he died (62) I thought it was the right time to create a play about him. The play wrote itself and one of the great joys was that it brought so many new friends in to my life, most of whom were friends of Zero. A lot of them came to the theatre with arms crossed thinking "Who is this putz who thinks he can pull off Zero Mostel?," like Theodore Bikel, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara and Doris Roberts. We are all friends now. I used to start the show with my back to the audience at an easel because Zero considered himself a painter first. I used to love to hear the audience gasp when I turned around. There is no feeling in the world like knowing you have moved people to laughter and tears. And I think more than winning the Drama Desk or the Helen Hayes Award was the night that Zero’s son Josh Mostel saw the show, came backstage and said, "You got him!"

8. What's the best advice you've ever received? Two things. The first was given to me by a teacher who saw I could do many things reasonably well and it was to focus. Not to try to do everything in an average way but to find the greatest talent and be excellent at it. And an agent who once told me that if I was serious about a career in the theatre, I had to do something to nurture it EVERY DAY, without exception.

Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel in "Zero Hour"9. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer and playwright? They are two very different dynamics. Being a playwright is a very solitary, almost lonely profession. You sit by yourself with nothing but an idea, a pen and a piece of paper. Then when the play is finished it attracts the army of producer, director, designers, stage managers and stage hands to fully realize your idea. It’s always been fulfilling to me as a playwright that my thoughts have turned into jobs for people that I had never known before who became very important in my life. As an actor, there is no happier place on earth for me than being on a stage in front of an audience. Playwrighting is theory, performing is the proof of your pudding. There is no more rewarding feeling in the world that to write a joke, think it’s funny and then hear an audience explode with laughter. It makes all the lonely hours worth it.

10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I’ve always wanted to be able to fly. Maybe I’ll do Peter Pan one  day. But of course a character man would rather play Captain Hook.

Jim BrochuMore on Jim Brochu: 

Jim Brochu is the only actor in America to win New York’s Drama Desk Award, the Washington D.C. Helen Hayes Award, the Los Angeles Ovation Award and Florida’s Carbonell Award. He won these prestigious honors for Zero Hour, which he wrote and in which he portrayed the great Zero Mostel for over six hundred and fifty performances across the United States and Canada. Jim has appeared on Broadway in many special events, including Brigadoon, playing Andrew McLaren in opposite Christine Ebersole and Len Cariou, and Oliver!, taking on the role of "Mr. Brownlow" to Brian Stokes Mitchell’s "Fagin." Most recently Jim played Broadway's legendary Palace Theatre starring opposite Tony Sheldon in Broadway Backwards 8, directed by Robert Bartley. In Washington, DC he was "Willy Clark" to Theodore Bikel’s "Al Lewis" in Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys and Harry Binion opposite Eddie Albert in Room Service. Brochu made his Off-Broadway debut in the 1968 American Place Theatre production of Endicott and the Red Cross by Robert Lowell, followed by Ephraim Kishon's Unfair to Goliath at the Cherry Lane. Recently, he starred in the Off-Broadway revivals of The Man Who Came To Dinner as "Sheridan Whiteside" and as "Sir" in The Roar of the Greasepaint; The Small of the Crowd at the York. He is the author of two books, ten plays and three musicals (The Last Session, Manhattan Clam Chowder and The Big Voice: God or Merman?) written with his partner of 30 years, Steve Schalchlin.


Call Answered: Conference Call Interview with The Seeing Place Theater's Brandon Walker and actor/director Adam Reich 

Brandon Walker: "Two Rooms" Interview:

Brandon Walker"Call Me Adam" chats with The Seeing Place Theater's Founding Artistic Director Brandon Walker, who is currently directing Lee Blessing's Two Rooms and starring (along with Erin Cronican, The Seeing Place Theater's Founding Member & Managing Director) in the first NYC revival of Christopher Shinn's Dying City at The Seeing Place Theater (ATA's Sargent Theater, 314 West 54th Street, 4th Floor) in NYC. These shows play in repertory through March 9! Click here for Two Rooms tickets!

An American kidnapping by terrorists in Beirut sets off a brutal tug of war between the US Government and the Media - and a wife caught in the middle. Named "Best Play of the Year" in 1988 by Time Magazine.

For more on The Seeing Place Theater be sure to visit and follow them on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube!

1. What made you want direct Two Rooms at Seeing Place Theater? I tend to want to direct plays for two reasons. 1) If I love the play and there's no part for me. 2) If I hate the play and really can't imagine wanting to be in it. As far as TWO ROOMS went, I really didn't like it when I first saw it. But I knew it was an important play. And I thought that it was possible to approach the show in such a way that made it live and breathe. Most productions are so artistic that it seems like poetry on stage. I wanted to give the play an opportunity it rarely gets. And we have.

2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I hope audiences come away with an understanding of what things are going on around us that we actively try to ignore. I hope they question what things or people in their own lives that they take for granted and see themselves on that stage. That's what the play gives me, at least.

3. What do you get from directing that you don't get from acting? Directing is way more fun. It's also way more stress and responsibility. But that's only for the last week or two. It's nice to really share with a group of people and have them share what you all learned with strangers. In that way, you don't have to get emotionally naked in front of people every night. And that's nice. But nobody notices you. And you're always the first person to get the blame for anything negative and the last person to get the credit for anything positive.

4. As the founding Artistic Director of Seeing Place Theater, what has it been like to watch your dream grow? I only notice that my dream is growing by the fact that others tell me it is. It's generally nerve-wracking, running a theater company. But people have always told me my ideas of an organic theater were crazy. And some of those people have seen our shows and been blown away. And that's quite a reward, all in its own. The theater can be a living organism - and that's what it is at its best. We strive for that every night. And that's a scary thing to do, for everyone involved. Because we never know exactly what is going to happen. But that's why it's exciting.

Cast of "Two Rooms" at The Seeing Place Theater, Photo Credit: Russ Rowland5. What have you learned about yourself from being such an intricate part of Seeing Place Theater--from founding it to acting in it to directing shows there? I've learned how to talk to people, how to be a leader, how to act, how to direct, how to teach, how to tell a story, how to write, and (most importantly) how to listen to others and learn.

6. What do you feel Seeing Place Theater offers audiences that other theater companies don't? A living theatrical experience. Period. It may not be obvious unless you come twice. But you can still tell that what is happening is actually happening. It's not the flashiest gimmick in the world, but people don't go to the theatre to be impressed. They settle for that when they can't see themselves in the performance.

Adam Reich: "Dying City" Interview:

Adam Reich

"Call Me Adam" chats with actor and director Adam Reich, who is currently directing the first NYC revival of Christopher Shinn's Dying City at The Seeing Place Theater (ATA's Sargent Theater, 314 West 54th Street, 4th Floor) in NYC, which plays in repertory with Lee Blessing's Two Rooms, directed by Brandon Walker. Both shows run through March 9! Click here for Dying City tickets!

Dying City (a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize) follows Kelly, who lost her husband, Craig, to the Iraq War a year before. Despite being a therapist, Kelly has successfully buried her grief until a literal reminder, Peter (Craig’s identical twin brother) shows up unannounced at her door. Grief and guilt collide, and questions for which there are no answers are asked.

For more on The Seeing Place Theater be sure to visit and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

1. What made you want direct Dying City at Seeing Place Theater? Dying City is a beautifully written play about the personal tragedies that have come about as a result of the Iraq war. I love that it is a very intimate play that exposes the lives of fascinating, if contradictory, characters and lets us really see up close the wounds that the war has left behind.

2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I feel that all of us have been affected by the war in some meaningful way. Some more deeply than others. The play lets us get in touch with that hurt, with that sense of loss and grief, and I hope that through this we will come out feeling stronger and more connected to those around us who have also suffered.

3. What do you get from directing that you don't get from acting? Directing gives me a better sense of the bigger picture. As an actor, it’s my job to see the world through my own specific lens, justifying each one of my actions, which sometimes means judging or seeing other characters in a very specific light. When I direct I need to see every character in this way. This means though that no one single character can be "right," but that instead they all are. In one moment I’ll be pushing one of my actors to do something terrible to another actor, telling him how justified he is, and in the very next moment, I’ll tell the other actor how justified she is to do something terrible right back. And in so doing, sensing the formation of that energy and tension that happens between actors, that invisible magical theater stuff that you can only feel and not see, is very exciting and satisfying.

Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker in Christopher Shinn's "Dying City" at The Seeing Place Theater, Photo Credit: Russ Rowland4. What has been the best part about working with Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker as director to actor instead of actor to actor? Well, it’s actually been a very interesting setup. I worked very closely with the two of them in many ways this time around, since they were both producing the show as well as acting in it. So there were things that they as producers would walk me through and there were things that I as the director would walk them through. Theater can create all kinds of interesting situations. Food for another play I think! :)

5. What have you gotten from being part of Seeing Place Theater? I always value any opportunity I get to work artistically with like-minded artists, teasing and fleshing out the deeper meanings behind the words of great playwrights and attempting to bring some small truth to the stage. I am glad that I’ve had that opportunity here.