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Entries in Singer (190)

Thursday
Dec072017

Call Answered: Sarah Stiles: "Squirrel Heart" returns to Joe's Pub this January (2018)

Sarah StilesOne of my favorite musicals is Avenue Q! Upon it's Broadway closing in 2009, Avenue Q did something no other show had done at the time, it re-opened Off-Broadway at New World Stages. It was there, I got to feel special when I saw Tony nominee Sarah Stiles as "Kate Monster/Lucy the Slut."

Now, I am able to return the favor and make Sarah feel special with this fun interview about the return of her show Squirrel Heart at Joe's Pub this coming January! Squirrel Heart is a marathon of musical genres and caffeinated emotions wrapped up in 20 or so costume changes and big hair.

Cartwheels at birth, pooping nerves, working in Television & Theatre, developing Squirrel Heart, Sarah & I cover it all!

Squirrel Heart will play Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette Street) on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 7pm & Monday, January 8, 2018 at 9:30pm! Click here for tickets!

For more on Sarah follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Born that way. My mom says I was born to applause. Which is literally true because she pushed me out in a home birth surrounded by her hippy friends who were holding hands and singing songs. I cartwheeled outta that vag and took center stage to the roar of the crowd.

2. This January, you are returning to Joe's Pub with your show Squirrel Heart. What are you looking forward to most about this return engagement? Not being so stressed and worried leading up to it. The first time we did it I was PETRIFIED that I would get laughed off the stage, and not in a good way. I got so nervous my body shut down. I lost my voice, I couldn’t sleep, I got super skinny cause I couldn’t stop pooping, it was awful. But the show was really great and we’ve since made it even better. I love doing every single second of SQUIRREL HEART. There are no wasted moments. I’m really confident in it this time.

Sarah Stiles3. How did you come up with the show's title Squirrel Heart? It's the title of a poem I wrote awhile ago. When Holly Gewandter and I were coming up with the show we were inspired by that poem. It is now woven into a medley that is ultimately the heart of the show. "The Squirrel Heart Medley" is a true collaboration between my Musical Director Brian Nash, Director Darren Katz, and Holly and me. Once we created that piece, the rest of the show fell into place pretty easily.

4. If you were a squirrel, what do you think your New Year's wish would be? I read this wrong. I thought the question was "If you were a squirrel, what do you think your New Year’s PLANS would be?" So here’s that answer: I would grab an acorn or two, a thimble of champs and lay out in sheep’s meadow watching the fireworks and those nut jobs with glow sticks do the midnight run.

Sarah Stiles as "Lucy The Slut" in "Avenue Q"5. What did you learn from the first engagement of this show in 2016 that you will now bring with you in 2018? The people who show up want to have fun, they want to be filled with joy, they want to smile and laugh and explore your world with you…all you have to do is stay present and bring them on the journey. It’s actually really simple and sweet. And truly whatever happens, happens. Messy is ok as long as you’re ok with it. I didn’t know that the first time around. Now I do!

6. For people who didn't see this show the first time around, what can they expect? It’s a nightclub act with theatrical moments. It’s fully staged and intricately designed but feels off the cuff and spontaneous. I got stories and songs and my morning poems and dance numbers and lots of costume changes. I play the ukulele one time, hand out four packs of goldfish and there may or may not be puppets.

7. Press notes say, Squirrel Heart is a marathon of musical genres and caffeinated emotions wrapped up in 20 or so costume changes and big hair. What are some caffeinated emotions you want to slow down in this coming New Year? Are you suggesting caffeinated emotions are bad? Why are they bad?! Why would I want to slow down?!? AND HOW CAN YOU DO IT WHEN YOU HAVE SO MANY THOUGHT AND IDEAS CONSTANTLY SWIRLING-……Yup seeing it now.

Sean Bridgers & Sarah Stiles in "Get Shorty" on EPIX8. Your press release also mentioned that while you were busy on the West Coast playing "Gladys" in the new hit EPIX series Get Shorty, you also missed the NYC theatre scene. What was the exact moment that made you go, "I miss the bright lights of Broadway"? I missed people laughing at me! I would do these funny scenes in Shorty and not a peep, cause duh we're filming, but it totally messed with me. It took me awhile to get comfortable. I was like, this is cool and all but I’m too needy. I gotta get back on a NY stage so I can get some instant gratification. Also I was really hungry to sing again. I got to sing a tiny bit on Shorty and made me all cravey.

9. I was lucky enough to see you in Avenue Q as "Lucy The Slut/Kate Monster." What I want to know is how are you going to make your audience at Squirrel Heart feel special? Hmmmm... well….Coming to my show is like coming into my bedroom and looking through my private drawers so…that’s pretty special.

10. You also made quite a splash in Showtime's I'm Dying Up Here as "Toni Luddy." When has there been a time in your career when you felt the sentiment of "I'm Dying Up Here"? Oh yes. So many times. Failure is an important part of being a performer - It means you were brave. And I consider myself a little warrior.

Sarah StilesMore on Sarah:

On Broadway, Sarah was nominated for a Tony Award for "Best Featured Actress in a Play" for her role in Hand to God. Additionally, she has appeared as "Muriel" in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever with Harry Connick Jr. and Jesse Mueller, popped her puppet sex cherry as "Kate/Lucy" in Avenue Q, and took turns playing multiple eccentric children in The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee. Sarah received critical acclaim as "Little Red Riding Hood" in The Public Theater’s Into the Woods, presented as part of its Shakespeare in the Park programming. In addition, she voices "Lacey" on Nick Jr.’s Sunny Day and "Spider" on Pasek and Paul’s James and the Giant Peach album. Sarah made a splash as "Toni Luddy" on Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here and is in Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming feature Unsane.

Sunday
Dec032017

Call Answered: Frances Ruffelle: "Les Misérables" + "Frances Ruffelle Live(s) In New York" at Green Room 42

Frances RuffelleOne of my all time favorite musicals is Les Misérables, so how excited was I when, "On My Own," I got asked to interview the show's original "Eponine" (in both London & Broadway), Frances Ruffelle! Frances returns to The Green Room 42 with her show Frances Ruffelle Live(s) in New York, an intimate evening of song that whispers seductive secrets, lays bare the naked truth and explodes with the one of a kind bottle rocket charisma that's kept "Frankie's" ardent fans coming back for more since she created the iconic role of "Eponine" in Les Misérables and turned "On My Own" into one of Broadway's most beloved standards.

Frances Ruffelle Live(s) in New York will play The Green Room 42 (570 10th Avenue, 4th Floor of the Yotel) on Saturday, December 9 at 7pm! Click here for tickets!

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

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was possibly born in a trunk! My Mother is Sylvia Young of the famous British Theatre School. I grew up going to the theatre and living around creative work and I don’t remember not wanting to perform.

2. On December 9 you are returning to NYC to perform at The Green Room 42 with your show Frances Ruffelle Live(s) In New York. What are you looking forward to most about this show? I love performing my one woman shows…I also think I get quite excited about surprising the audience with my unusual theatre piece. The audiences usually expect a cabaret style show…but I tell a story in song and I love how involved they get…I take them on dark but funny trips and I love it when they tell me how they can relate to my story.

3. What will excite fans about this show and what will surprise them? A lot of my fans love me to sing "On My Own" my song from Les Miserables…Of course I do it, but I also love some of to them to sing it too…so get studying on those lyrics!

Frances Ruffelle performing at The Green Room 42.jpg4. Press notes state, Frances Ruffelle Live(s) In New York is wildly entertaining ride straight through the core of the most tender heart, fiery passion and loose comic confidence of a seasoned performer at the height of her game. Let's break this down into a few questions:

 

  • What has been the most tender moment to happen to you in a show? Lot’s of tender moments…but in this show my favourite is when my British friend, the talented Sally Ann Triplet, comes on stage and we sing a sisterhood best friend moment…I cry every time.
  • What’s a project that you worked on or are working on that you have a fiery passion for like nothing before? I secured the rights to Michae John LaChiusa’s Wild Party…I certainly have a fiery passion for that and LOVED performing it in London and am dying to do it again in NY.
  • What is the funniest thing to happen to you on stage? Probably when Andrew Lloyd Webber gave me champagne when I was 18 in between the matinee and evening performances of Starlight Express…which I performed on roller skates…the evening show during the song "A Lotta Locomotion…" I fell on my bum and was a heap of giggles.

Frances Ruffelle5. Press notes also say the show is an intimate evening of song that whispers seductive secrets, lays bare the naked truth and explodes with the one of a kind bottle rocket charisma. What is one secret you've held on to that you are now ready to share with the world? My secrets wouldn’t be secrets if I announced them in print…it’s all part of the fun of the show :)

6. You were the original "Eponine" in both the London & NYC productions of Les Misérables. When you look back at your time in that role, what makes you smile and what makes you go, "Oh, I wish I did that better”? I am so lucky and proud that I was offered that amazing role and performed it in London and New York. I don’t feel I could have done better...I always work hard and do my best in my work and my performances…I never stray from being in the moment…sometimes the moments are different..but that’s the beauty of live theatre.

Frances Ruffelle as the original "Eponine" in London & Broadway's "Les Misérables"7. You got to sing "On My Own" eight times a week and it has become synonymous with you. How do you keep the song fresh for you after singing it for so long? Each word must be expressed as if it’s the first time you have ever thought about it or spoken it.

8. What is something in your life that would ring true to the lyrics of "On My Own," where you created a scenario in your mind, but the reality was quite different? It’s there in my show!

9. You have released five studio albums in addition to performing on stage, TV, & in Film. I love the title of your fourth album Imperfectly Me. When you look in the mirror, what is one imperfection only you see that you would like to improve on? Oh Gosh…I’m sure we all do that…and growing older is no fun…but that title is about the imperfections of human behaviour...I think I do everything with the best intentions but sometimes I make human mistakes…that’s the way it is.

10. Bringing this back to your upcoming concert, Frances Ruffelle Live(s) In New York City, what are your top five favorite things to do when you are in NYC? I live in NY now. I love to wander around the west village, go to the theatre, eat soft boiled eggs at Joseph Leonard, pop into Club Cumming and go to Barry’s Bootcamp!

Frances RuffelleMore on Frances:

You could be forgiven for expecting Frances Ruffelle to be French. After all, her latest album, I Say Yeh-Yeh features a number of French songs and she has played many French roles on stage. Then of course there’s her Gallic-sounding name.

You possibly know her best however for originating the role of iconic waif "Eponine" in the original London production of Les Misérables, for her anthemic hit single "Lonely Symphony," or for recently playing "Naomi," Dorien Green’s vicar daughter in ITV comedy Birds Of A Feather. But Frances is a recording artist at heart, with five solo albums and a series of 5-star sellout UK and US live performances to her name. Oh, and she is British, born in Essex.

As a singer/songwriter Frances has released the albums Fragile (produced by Guy Chambers), Frances Ruffelle (an album of torch songs from the 16th century to the present day, produced by Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp), Showgirl and Imperfectly Me. She also recorded the meditative album Purify, based on ancient Sanskrit mantras as one half of duo PaTala. I Say Yeh-Yeh, her new, fifth solo album showcases her collaboration with renowned singer/songwriter and producer Gwyneth Herbert as she puts a unique, earthy and at times mischievous spin on some of the best – and lesser – known French songs.

Following the success of her widely acclaimed solo Beneath The Dressconcerts at the Edinburgh Festival and in London in 2014, Frances took the show to legendary venue 54 Below in New York, for a series of sold out performances. Later that year she premiered her follow-up show Paris Original at The Crazy Coqs, London, with an updated version of Beneath The Dress selling-out the same venue in March 2015. Following five dates performing I Say Yeh, Yeh in its entirety to celebrate the album’s release, at Crazy Coqs in October 2015, Frances also took the show to Washington DC, New York, and again in London in 2016.

Aside from her own albums and live performances, Frances’ is famed for creating the character of "Eponine" in the original London RSC production of Les Misérables (for which composers Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil wrote the legendary number "On My Own" especially to suit her voice). She went on to recreate the role on Broadway where she won a coveted Tony award, Helen Hayes award, Theatre World award and Outer Circle Critics award for her performance. It seems fitting then, as Les Misérables celebrates its 30th Anniversary in the West End, Frances reinterprets "On My Own" and introduces us to "L’Un Vers L’Autre," a song originally written for "Eponine" that didn’t make into the show.

Frances’ first hit the London stage in Terence Rattigan’s play The Sleeping Prince with Omar Sharif, before starring as "Dinah" in the original production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Numerous stage adventures have followed, including creating the role of "Yonah" in director John Caird’s West End production of Children of Eden, playing opposite Ian Dury in Apples at the Royal Court and starring as "Roxie Hart" in Chicago at London’s Adelphi Theatre.

More recently, Frances was able to explore her love of French chanteuse Edith Piaf, playing the title role in Pam Gems’ play Piaf at the Curve Theatre, Leicester, for which she received a UK Theatre award nomination.

Frances’ film career includes a cameo appearance as "Whore #1" in Tom Hooper’s Oscar-winning big-screen version of Les Misérables (2012), where she was one of only two original West End cast members invited to take part in the movie (the other being original "Jean Valjean," Colm Wilkinson). She also appears in the films Devil’s Tower (2014), Hide (2014).

Alongside the release of I Say Yeh-Yeh, Frances appears in a short film produced by Sadie Frost, which features her album track "Bang, Bang."

With a multi-faceted career spanning recording to live performance to theatre to TV to film, who knows how Frances Ruffelle will surprise us next?

Monday
Nov272017

Call Answered: Sarah Naughton: "Trapped In The Closet" at Feinstein's/54 Below

Sarah Naughton performing "Trapped In The Closet" at Feinstein's/54 BelowGrowing up I was obsessed with "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Stuck in the Closet with Vanna White" off his Even Worse album. When I was older, I hid in the closet myself because I wasn't ready to admit I was gay. I have finally embraced my gayness & love looking at closets to see how they are set up. Now, I get to go inside Sarah Naughton's closet for a revealing look at her show Trapped In The Closet which will be at Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue) on Saturday, December 2 at 9:30pm! Click here for tickets!

Trapped In The Closet is a wildly imaginative journey inside her bedroom closet-turned-recording studio as she shares tales from the unsung world of audiobook narration and reveals some of the most ridiculous books she has ever been paid to read out loud! Trapped In The Closet features music from Broadway favorites (9 to 5, Sunday in the Park With George, Avenue Q, and Spring Awakening) as well as original music written with her music director and collaborator, Jake Weinstein. Also featuring special guest Vishal Vaidya (Groundhog Day).

For more on Sarah be sure to visit https://www.sarah-naughton.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

For more on Feinstein's/54 Below visit https://54below.com and follow them on FacebookTwitterYouTube, & Instagram!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My mom! Patty Naughton is an excellent pianist and musician. As a kid she would teach me songs from old Broadway musicals and we would play and sing together. Those were some of my favorite times. And I cultivated a real love of musical theatre that way. Plus I've been a ham since day one, so becoming a professional performer has always kind of been a no-brainer.

2. On December 2 you are returning to Feinstein's/54 Below with your show Trapped In The Closet. What are you looking forward to most about this return engagement? The return engagement has given me and Jake (Weinstein, my collaborator) a chance to fine tune the show. We're debuting some new material that I'm really excited to share. One medley in particular is going to blow people's socks off!!

3. Trapped In The Closet takes audiences inside your bedroom closet-turned-recording studio as you share tales from the unsung world of audiobook narration. You reveal some of the most ridiculous books you have ever been paid to read out loud! How did you initially get into audiobook recording? There was, and still is I believe, an audiobook production company in my home town of Syracuse, New York called Full Cast Audio that produces beautiful audiobooks. They cast a different actor to play each character, and score the books with music. They're incredible. And they were producing a book called Gilbert and Sullivan Set Me Free by Kathleen Karr that was about a women's prison putting on a production of The Pirates of Penzance. And they were looking for singers! So I auditioned. And they cast me in a small role ("Rachel," the prostitute) but also had me sing "Poor Wandering One." After that I recorded a couple more books at Full Cast, which gave me a few credits on my resume by the time I was down in New York and reaching out to places like Audible. So I actually got into audiobooks via singing!

Sarah Naughton4. What do you like about this world as opposed to performing on a stage? Unlike my first book at Full Cast Audio, with the books I record in my closet, I read the entire thing myself. But that means I get to play every character in the story! Roles I would never get to play like grandfathers and Russian mobsters. So that's really fun. I get to be in charge of every element of the story.

5. What is one book you didn't get to record that you wish you did? Oh I've auditioned for so many great books I didn't get. There was one recently called Hap and Hazard at the End of the World by Diane DeSanders about a family in Texas after World War II that looked great. But didn't go my way. That's the biz!

6. Since the show is called Trapped In The Closet, when has there been a time you have felt like you were "Trapped In The Closet"? How did you break free? The title, "Trapped In The Closet," refers to the work I do narrating romance novels under a pseudonym, and the embarrassment I've felt about bringing such spicy content to life. When I feel like I have to hide this aspect of my work from people I'm literally and figuratively in the closet! But creating and sharing this show has put me back in the driver's seat. Telling my story gives me a real sense of ownership about it and allows me to break free.

Sarah Naughton7. If you could create your dream closet, what would it look like? I love this question! It would be a nice size, comfortable to stand and walk around in, but still small enough so it would be easy to control the sound quality. It would be packed with twinkle lights. Mine has some. But if I had my way it would look like the Rock Center Christmas tree in there. And I'd have some plants, maybe for the oxygen, and some color. And a really comfy chair!

8. What was the best part about performing on The View? What was the most intimidating? The audience was so supportive and awesome when I performed on The View. My parents were there, and before the show the warm-up comic made my Dad read aloud a page from 50 Shades of Gray (it was really hot at the time). So I think that really won the audience over before I even went out there. But the whole thing was super intimidating. It was set up American Idol style so I did 90 seconds of stand up and then got feedback from the ladies of The View! They were, let's say, very honest. And I was just starting out writing standup, so at the time I was bummed that they didn't love me, but in retrospect they gave me really good advice and I learned a lot.

Sarah Naughton9. I know you love living in NYC, so what are some of your favorite things to do? Living in NYC is truly the best. Going out to eat is, I think, life's greatest pleasure. It gets pricey to do a lot. But going out with friends every so often is the best treat. I love The Smith and Kashkaval Gardens. I love New York's parks! We have so many great ones: Central Park, Riverside, Madison Square Park. And I love to go to the theatre of course. Broadway shows, downtown theatre, improv shows, I love it all! I especially love me an immersive experience! Sleep No More. A Third Rail Projects show. Maybe because I'm a performer myself, but I love being a part of the action. Also New York has some sick fitness options. I recently got Classpass and it's so cool! I've gotten to try out a lot of awesome workouts. Title Boxing, Mile High Run Club, and Aerial Yoga at Crunch were some of my favorites.

10. What are your top 5 take-out places to order food from? LOVE this question. I live for this question.

Now I live in Astoria so this is very neighborhood specific BUT:

1. Pizza (my #1 favorite food) - TIE between Retro Pizza (my corner mom and pop shop) and Rizzo's (which is just sick good)

2. Sushi - Pink Nori (beyond bomb)

3. Comfort Food - Sanford's (they have a pecan crusted chicken salad that makes a burger seem healthy by comparison but is so good)

4. Healthy (when I have to) - Create

5. Thai - Three E Taste of Thai

Sarah NaughtonMore on Sarah:

Sarah Naughton is a singer, actress, and Audie-nominated audiobook narrator living in New York. Some favorite credits include: New York Theatre: Death Comes for the War Poets (The Sheen Center) Romeo and Juliet (Lincoln Center - Clark Studio Theater), Diamond Alice (Roundabout Underground), and Summer and Smoke (Access Theatre). Regional Theatre: Mame (Human Race Theater Co), AcousticaElectronica (A.R.T. Oberon), and Meet Me In St. Louis (Mt. Gretna Playhouse). Sarah has narrated over 70 audiobooks which are all available on audible.com. Additionally, Sarah is a comedy veteran and has performed stand-up on ABC’s The View as well as at major NYC venues such as New York Comedy Club, Stand Up NY, and The PIT. Sarah is also a member of the immersive dance theater company called toUch performance art and she works as a supporting artist for CO/LAB theater group, a non-profit organization that has been providing individuals with developmental disabilities a creative and social outlet through theater arts since 2011. Sarah holds a BFA from NYU Tisch and is a proud member of Actors' Equity. 

Monday
Nov272017

Call Answered: Conference Call: Barry Anderson & Lucia Spina: "WISH: The Anderson & Petty Holiday Songbook" charity album/concert for Housing Works

Lucia Spina, Photo Credit: Maia Rosenfeld PhotographyBarry Anderson, Photo Credit: Albert Lin PhotographyI love the holiday season for so many reasons, but what makes this holiday time extra special is getting to catch up with Broadway's Lucia Spina & meeting composer/lyricist Barry Anderson. She is not only part of Barry Anderson & Mark Petty's new album WISH: The Anderson & Petty Holiday Songbook, but she is directing their release concert as well as participating in it.

All profits from the album & concert will be donated to Housing Works, a local NYC organization supporting those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. WISH: The Anderson & Petty Holiday Songbook concert will be on Monday, December 4 at 7pm & 9:30pm at The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th  & 10th Avenue, inside the basement of the West Bank Cafe). Click here for tickets!

The concert, hosted by MTV & VH1’s Amy Paffrath, features songs from the album sung by many of the original recording artists along with other performers from stage and screen. Scheduled to appear are (in alphabetical order): Christy Faber (Les MiserablesKinky Boots), Katie Goffman (Ghost tour, Wisco Queens webseries), Ellen Harvey (Present LaughterHow To Succeed…), Leah Horowitz (FolliesThoroughly Modern Millie), Natalie Joy Johnson (Legally BlondeKinky Boots), David LaMarr (Jersey Boys tour, La Mirada’s Dreamgirls), Kyle Taylor Parker (Kinky BootsCharlie & The Chocolate Factory), Jonathan Rayson (Little Shop of HorrorsA Year With Frog & Toad), Brian Charles Rooney (Threepenny OperaBedbugs), Drew Seeley (Another Cinderella StoryThe Little Mermaid), Lucia Spina (Legally BlondeSilence! The Musical), and Allie Trimm (13Bye Bye Birdie).

For more on Barry Anderson visit http://andersonandpetty.com and follow him & his writing partner, Mark Petty on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

For more on Lucia visit https://www.luciaspina.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

1. How did you come to work together on this project?

Barry Anderson: It just happened to come up casually in conversation. I had been talking to Lucia about the charity album while I was in the midst of recording it. She was the one who brought up the idea of an album release concert. I honestly hadn't even had time to think that far ahead. I'm so glad she offered to take the reins on it! It's a luxury to have someone as passionate and excited about putting the work in as Lucia has been.

Lucia Spina: One day, Barry & I were hanging out and we were talking about the new album and how it was going. I suggested he do a CD release concert to celebrate the album and let people hear the songs live, and I offered to direct/produce it. And that was that!

2. The album and subsequent concert is called Wish: The Anderson & Petty Holiday Songbook. What is your holiday wish this year?

Barry Anderson: My wish is for this country of ours to begin 2018 with a fresh, clean, LOVING slate. This year has been cray-cray, to say the least.

Lucia Spina: My holiday wish this year is that everyone comes to our shows on Monday 12/4 at The Laurie Beechman Theatre! Other than that, honestly and without any intended cheese-factor, I’d really like for everyone to be kinder to one another.

3. Out of all the charities out there, why did you want this concert to benefit Housing Works?

Barry Anderson: Aside from donating clothes to the location near my home every so often, I hadn't really done anything creatively for Housing Works before. Mark and I have enjoyed writing tunes for various charities and benefit concerts both here and in the U.K. for quite awhile. But we thought it would be fitting to reach out to Housing Works this time around, especially given the organization's focus on homelessness. The holidays seemed like a perfect time for doing it.

4. What do each of you like about the other's artistic vision as it lines up with your own - meaning, Barry what is about Lucia as a singer and director that made you go, I want to not only feature her on our album, but also have her direct this show? Lucia, what is about Barry & Mark's songs that made you want to sing them and help them put on this show?

Barry Anderson: I love Lucia's enthusiasm and ability to see the "down-the-road" big picture. It's been fun watching her brainstorm about casting ideas as well as how to best utilize and showcase the music. She's so well-established in the cabaret scene and Broadway community here she knows what works and what doesn't. She's also one of those singers who can handle just about anything you put in front of her. It's been great to have her record for us. And it's also been really fun to have her in a rehearsal studio and just workshop some of our things.

Lucia Spina: Well…I put them together, so I’m kind of invested in them. Barry & I were on tour with Legally Blonde and he mentioned he wanted someone to write with. I was Skype-ing with Mark and he mentioned he wanted someone to write with. So, I set up a facebook message introduction, and the rest is history. The first song of theirs I sang "Love Will Find Its Way" was featured on their first album You Are Home. I’m not sure if they wrote it specifically for me, but I was the first person to sing it and Barry and I wrote the back-up harmonies together. We’ll be featuring a few tracks from You Are Home in the concert and I’ll be singing "Love Will Find Its Way."

Lucia Spina5. What will excite audiences about this concert & album?

Barry Anderson: I think the quality of the product is what I'm most excited about in terms of the album itself. Cameron Moncur did the album orchestrations and is music directing the concert. He's fantastic. Wait until you hear what he's done with some of these songs! And our engineer Matthias Winter has also made this album completely shine. I'm beyond proud of and humbled by the talented singers and musicians who have given their time and creativity to both the album and the live concert. I really feel like each tune aligns perfectly with the people performing it.

Lucia Spina: Barry and Mark write really great songs and these holiday songs showcase them at the top of their game. I can’t stop listening to the CD. It’s been on repeat all day. The tunes are easy to settle into—they remind you of your favorite Christmas pop tunes but with a fresh, new take. They’re going to become part of your permanent Christmas CD collection. Also, the lineup of singers on the album is fantastic! New York audiences especially will drool over performances by Broadway favorites Sean Allan Krill, Alexa Green, Kyle Taylor Parker, Graham Scott Fleming, Brynn Williams, Allie Trimm, Ellen Harvey, Nic Rouleau, and of course the incomparable Liz Callaway. 

Composer/Lyricist team Mark Petty & Barry Anderson6. Lucia, what can you tell us about the song you will be performing? Barry, can you walk us through your writing process for this song? Did you write it with Lucia in mind?

Barry Anderson: "Love Will Find Its Way" was one of the very first songs I brought to Mark to collaborate with me on. He and I had a lot of fun with the idea of "self-love" and owning who you are. Not caring what other people think. It's not always the easiest thing to do. The vibe and feel of the tune was just kinda fun and hooky and a bit brass-y. Once we had the general song in place, we both knew Lucia could knock it out of the park. Hands down. It's the song she sings on our debut album, You Are Home. It'll be so much fun to have her do it live again!

7. Barry & Mark's debut CD, You Are Home: The Songs of Anderson & Petty came out in 2013 and Lucia, you sang on that album as well. When in your life, have you walked into a project or scenario that made you feel, "You Are Home"?

Lucia Spina: Barry & I have always had a great time collaborating and creating. I adore him as a friend and we have a fun, easy, midwestern rapport. But I also have come to treasure my long-time participation in Phil Geoffrey Bond’s Sondheim Unplugged. I’m in my 7th year of singing all sorts of Sondheim’s songs and I’ve been to so many wonderful artists, many of whom have become dear friends.

8. What's your favorite way to spend the holiday season in NYC?

Barry Anderson: My partner Rusty and I LOVE walking through the Christmas market they set up in Columbus Circle every year. It's charming. It's a bit of a tradition. I'm also a fan of a good holiday house party.

Lucia Spina: I usually return home to Chicago for Christmas, but I spend Thanksgiving with a small group of friends and it’s become a lovely new tradition. I religiously watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The National Dog Show, and hit up the Holiday markets across the city.

9. The holidays are a time when people come together (I mean, people should come together year round, but I digress). What do you think is one way this nation can come together this holiday season and bring that unity into the New Year (aside from impeaching that loser running our country)? 

Barry Anderson: By fearing each other less and by looking into each others' eyes MORE.  #FeelsSoMuchBetterToLove :)

Lucia Spina: I agree with you, I think we should do a lot more "coming together" throughout the year. It shouldn’t be reserved for the holidays. I think as we all gather with our families we should contemplate that this isn’t an insular thing—millions of people all over the world are doing the same thing. At the heart of everything, how can we all be that different? Also, as we treasure being surrounded by those we love, maybe we can think of all the people who aren’t so lucky and how we can extend that joy to others as 2018 rolls in.

Barry AndersonMore on Barry:

Barry Anderson is a native of rural Wisconsin and graduated with a music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He has lived in New York City for over a decade where he’s worked as an accompanist/vocal coach, musical director and Broadway actor. His Broadway credits include Legally Blonde & Jersey Boys.

Lucia Spina, Photo Credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia PhotographyMore on Lucia:

Lucia Spina has appeared on Broadway five times, most recently as an original cast member of the Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots. She has also graced regional and Off-Broadway stages originating roles in Winter Wonderettes, Fugitive Songs, as well as SILENCE! The Musical in which she appears on the original cast recording.

Wednesday
Nov222017

Call Redialed: Tori Scott: "Vodka is the Reason for the Season" at Joe's Pub

Live from The Algonquin Hotel, "Call Me Adam" rings in the 2017 Holiday Season with comedian Tori Scott!

In this interview podcast, Tori & I discuss her upcoming Joe's Pub show Vodka is the Reason for the Season, impeaching Trump, Judaism, & so much more!

"Call Me Adam" & Tori Scott at The Algonquin HotelIn Vodka is the Reason for the Season, Tori will take you on a festive autobiographical journey to celebrate what is truly special about this time of year (spoiler: it’s alcohol induced blackouts), including her early childhood fascination with The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and time spent as a singing elf in an old folks’ home. Tori’s shameless holiday show includes stories new and old and songs by Dolly Parton, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and more.

Vodka is the Reason for the Season will play Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette Street) on Tuesday, December 12 at 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!

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

Call Me Adam's Tori Scott interview Vodka is the Reason for the Season interivew:

Tori ScottMore on Tori:

Tori Scott is a New York based singer, actress, and comedian. She has performed her solo shows at Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, the Laurie Beechman, the Metropolitan Room, Provincetown Art House and gay bars along the eastern seaboard. As an actress, she has performed alongside Alice Ripley in the reading of the new musical The Girl with Polka Dot Eyes and performed opposite Linda Lavin, Leslie Uggams and Stephanie J. Block in the Symphony Space tribute to Sheldon Harnick and Fiddler on the Roof. On television, she's counted to 20 as a singing garbage woman on Sesame Street and dubbed the vocals of a singing hooker on HBO's Cathouse: The Musical. Her debut album, Plan B!, was recorded live at Joe’s Pub and will be released in late 2017.