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Here's what I've enjoyed seeing or reading so far...hope you enjoy them as well!

      

 

Sunday
Feb052017

Adam's Call: Marta Sanders: Follow Me: Epitome of Cabaret

Everyone needs to see Marta Sanders' latest cabaret show Follow Me at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC, co-directed by Mark Nadler & Debra Zalkind, with musical direction by John McMahon! Marta is the epitome of what it means to be a cabaret performer--keeping the audience entertained with her stellar voice and hilarious stories. The evening flew by just like a plane taking off for it's next destination. 

Marta took us around the world on a trip of her life. What a life she has lead! From a young girl in Spain to a grown woman conquering NYC, Marta has seen and lived it all. Marta is a performer and one of NYC's top tour guides. It was wonderful watching them come together in this show. 

Marta Sanders at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Photo Credit: Lou MontesanoHer set list was terrific! She opened with a great medley consisting of "Follow Me" by Lerner/Lowe, seguing into "Gotta Move" by Peter Matz, which slipped into "Gypsy In My Soul" by Clay Boland/Moe Jaffe. The moment Marta sang her first note, there was no other option, but to follow her on this journey. Marta effortlessly commanded our attention with her talent, humor, and booming personality!

I also loved two songs she sang about her husband, Gordon, "Falling In To You" by Jason Robert Brown and "Two For The Road" by Henry Mancini. Both songs illustrated the deep love they have for each other. Marta also performed her signature song "Warsaw" by John Wallowitch. While "Warsaw" is an emotional song, Marta found a way through costume and action, to add some humor to the song. Her funniest song came with "Hunk On The Bus," a song written for Marta by her former collaborator Michael Greer. This was a real fun song about a hunk a woman notices during her travels and the secret desires she has for him. This song had everyone roaring with laugther.

In addition to all the songs, Marta's stories added to the already enjoyable evening! Marta is a great story-teller! She really made me feel like I was there with her in every moment she was talking about. Marta can be touching one moment and cracking a joke the next minute. She kept me on my toes the whole time.

Marta Sanders at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Photo Credit: Lou MontesanoMarta Sanders at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Photo Credit: Lou MontesanoThe best treat of the night was Marta's encore song "I'm Still Here" by Stephen Sondheim. I feel this song is Marta's anthem. She's still here performing and giving tours because Marta is the best! Her vocal power is unreal, her comedic timing is spot-on, and her patter is entertaining!

With just 3 shows left, February 11, 16, & 25 at 7pm, I highly encourage you to get tickets for Marta Sanders Follow Me at The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street) because Marta is one performer you'll want to follow for years to come! Click here for tickets!

If you missed my interview with Marta about Follow Me, click here to read it! 

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Sunday
Jan292017

Adam's Call: Chicago: The Musical, featuring Mel B: Still Going Strong

Last week I was wowed by the Tony Award winning revival of Chicago: The Musical, now celebrating 20 years on Broadway! Chicago: The Musical is still going strong because it's everything a Broadway show should be: memorable songs, top-notch dancing, and a story everyone can relate to.

The current cast stars former Spice Girl and current America's Got Talent Judge Mel B as "Roxie Hart," two-time Tony nominee Christopher Sieber as the slick talking lawyer "Billy Flynn," Amra-Faye Wright as "Velma Kelly" and Natasha Yvette Williams as "Matron 'Mama' Morton."

Mel B as "Roxie Hart" in "Chicago: The Musical"Amra-Faye Wright as "Velma Kelly" in "Chicago: The Musical"Kicking things off was Amra-Faye Wright. From the moment she takes the stage and starts singing the first note of "All That Jazz," I was hooked! Her voice is amazing and her dancing is exquisite. I wish I could kick my leg just half as high as she can. I did not get to see Mel B's Broadway debut in Rent, so I was even more excited to get to see her in Chicago: The Musical. Well, Mel B, is a star! She is a fantastic actress (losing her British accent and taking on a Chicago one) whose voice I was already a fan of. Mel B is a perfect fit as "Roxie Hart." She brilliantly conveyed the highs, lows, and every emotion in between that "Roxie" experiences. I think it was Mel B's own life dreams of wanting to be famous and rise to fame with the Spice Girls that helped her identify with "Roxie's" storyline. When Mel B made her entrance, it didn't take me long to lose sight of her and just see the character of "Roxie!" Both Amra-Faye and Mel B gave a spot on portrayal of the comradery and competiton between "Velma" and "Roxie." I could see a true friendship between these two, especially during the final two songs "Nowadays" and "Hot Honey Rag." The fun they have together really came out.

Christopher Sieber as "Billy Flynn" in "Chicago: The Musical"Natasha Yvette Williams (2nd from left) as "Matron 'Mama' Morton" in "Chicago: The Musical", Photo courtesy of Donald Jones Jr.I have been a fan of Christopher Sieber for over 10 years now, so I was thrilled to finally get to see him in the role of "Billy Flynn" (I have missed his previous stints in Chicago: The Musical). What can I say that hasn't been said about Christopher already...he's a talent. That voice. The acting. I could easily listen to him sing on a loop. He has great chemistry with everyone. Natasha Yvette Williams is a dynomite "Matron 'Mama' Morton." She has the voice of an angel and the comedic chops that role requires. She got the laugh every time she was on stage. I loved Raymond Bokhour as "Amos Hart." I think I saw him the last time around too, but what a terrific character actor he his. "Amos" is a man with low self-esteem who often feels invisible. There is NOTHING invisible about Raymond Bokhour's interpretation of "Amos." The cheers and applause he got during "Mister Cellophane" is proof of just how wonderful Raymond is in this show. There is also "Mary Sunshine," played by R. Lowe. The vocals on this man are unreal! You could hear a pin drop every time he sang and sing he did...all the way up to notes I have never heard! Let's not forget the dancers. What a joy it was to see this timeless choreography! All the dancers kept me mesmerized, especially Brian Spitulnik and James T. Lane.

I can't write about Chicago: The Musical without mentioning the songs. Seeing this production reminded me just how much I LOVE this score: "All That Jazz," "Cell Block Tango" (I think this is my all-time favorite Chicago: The Musical song), "When You're Good To Mama," "Roxie," "I Can't Do It Alone," "My Own Best Friend," "Me and My Baby," "Mister Cellophane," "Razzle Dazzle," and "Nowadays." Every song helps move the story forward and resonates after the curtain comes down.

Some long-running shows go stale after years on Broadway, but Chicago: The Musical is not one of them. After 20 years on Broadway, it's still got that fresh, exciting feeling! The cast is having a great time, which allows the audience to have an even better one! Chicago: The Musical will "Razzle Dazzle" you whether it's your first time seeing the show or your hundredth time! So "Tap Dance" your way over to The Ambassador Theatre (219 West 49th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue) to take in this classic show! Click here for tickets!

Mel B and Christopher Sieber will be starring in Chicago: The Musical through February 19 only!

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

If you missed my video interview with Mel B, you can watch it here!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Thursday
Jan262017

Adam's Call: Yours Unfaithfully: Still holds court in today's world

I recently took in the world premiere of Yours Unfaithfully, by Miles Malleson, playing at The Beckett Theatre on 42nd Street. Presented by The Mint Theater Company, Yours Unfaithfully stars Todd Cerveris, Elisabeth Gray, Mikaela Izquierdo, Stephen Schnetzer, and Tony nominee Max von Essen (in his play debut), Yours Unfaithfully takes a look at the life of a couple in an open marriage and the after effects of this decision.

Yours Unfaithfully may have been written in 1933, but it stands the test of time, still holding court in today's world. I have encountered many couples in an open relationship, so this story really fascinated me. Max von Essen and Elisabeth Gray play husband and wife "Stephen and Anne Meredith." "Stephen" is an author who's creative juices have stalled, so as a way to get them flowing again, "Anne" encourages him to find excitement outside their marriage. This is where the drama starts. Lines are crossed, feelings are hurt, and emotions are high. It's very interesting to see how the one who encouraged opening up the relationship is the one who's most affected. "Anne" has a very hard dealing with "Stephen's" play time. While "Stephen" may be happier, "Anne" is suffering and starts playing around herself, which causes even more drama.

Max von Essen and Todd Cerveris in "Yours Unfaithfully", Photo Credit: Richard TermineMax and Elisabeth's chemistry is terrific! They really play off of each other very well. From the loving moments to the painful ones, Max & Elisabeth feel like a real married couple. Mikaela plays the part of "Diana" very well, the friend of "Anne" who is ultimately seduced by Max's character of "Stephen." Mikaela and Elisabeth do a great job of portraying rivals. Some of their scenes reminded of just why I love soap operas. Joining in the choas is Todd Cerveris who plays "Dr. Alan Kirby," a friend of "Stephen's" and old flame of "Anne's," who's also affected by "Stephen and Anne's" open marriage. I wish the depths of his hurt were explored more, but you get a sense of it. Rounding out the cast is Stephen Schnetzer who plays "Stephen's" father "The Reverend Canon Gordon Meredith" who tries to mend the breaking down of "Anne" and "Stephen's" marriage as well his relationship with "Stephen," his son.

Elisabeth Gray and Mikaela Izquierdo in "Yours Unfaithfully", Photo Credit: Richard TermineAs the show progresses, the drama and pain get deeper, while constantly wondering if "Stephen" and "Anne" will remain open or close things back-up. I think Miles made a good choice in how the show ends, but the questions continue long after.

Yours Unfaithfully raises many questions about love, monogamy, and relationships. What makes a couple decide to open up their relationship? Is it better to open things up rather than break-up? Is the decision to open up based upon one event or several events? Does the love you once had for each other remain or is lost when a relationship expands? Once the relationship is open, can it ever be closed? The answers won't be found in this three act, but only 2 hours 15 minutes show. They will need to be considered and thought about by you and your partner, for everyone must come to their own conclusion. What works for one couple doesn't necessarily work for another.

Yours Unfaithfully plays at The Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue) through February 18th only! Click here for tickets!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Thursday
Jan192017

Adam's Call: Melinda Hughes: Cheers Darling: Right Track Baby

Call Me Adam and Melinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyFor British satirist Melinda Hughes, the trip over to NYC from England was well worth it because her new cabaret show Cheers Darling is fantastic! It's funny, timely, and full of original tunes. It also shows Melinda's excellent trait of being able to laugh at herself and everything she talks about.

Her opening number, simply titled, "This is my opening song," is a great farce about any cabaret singer's first number. It's right on the mark! The night takes off from there. She has a hilarious song entitled "Tweets in the Night," about Donald Trump tweeting, a laugh out loud diddy, "Selfie Song," about taking selfies, and "Britannia waives the rules," a great tune about the differences between the US and the UK. Just when you think you can't laugh anymore, Melinda fills the moments between songs with patter that is relateable. She has a keen outlook on the state of the world both stateside and across the pond. While the topics Melinda discusses might be ones we've heard time and time again, Melinda's fresh take on them, makes it seem like this is the first time someone has discussed them.

Melinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyMelinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyFor as funny as this show is, there is also a lot of heart, and the one tear-jerker song "We've been here before." It's a heart-wrenching song about a woman who has lived long enough to see history repeat itself. With the state of the world today, it's a song a lot of people can relate too, especially when are soon-to-be president opens his mouth and speaks.

Melinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyMelinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyWhat more can I say about Melinda's show Cheers Darling? Just go see it, she's on the "right track baby!" Melinda has one more performance, tomorrow, Friday, January 20 at 9:30pm at The Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street, between 5th & 6th Avenue). Click here for tickets (It's one purchase you won't regret (it's also the only way you'll get yourself to smile tomorrow).

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

If you missed my interview with Melinda, click here to read it!

Thursday
Jan122017

Adam's Call: Tracie Thoms: Feinstein's/54 Below: Everybody Loves a Winner!

What an incredible night seeing Tracie Thoms make her Feinstein's/54 Below debut! She was on fire! From her opening number to her numerous standing ovations & super special surprise guest, Tony Award winner Billy Porter (who was also the show's director). The evening was everything I wanted & more!

Tracie took us on a journey of love...from meeting a potential mate to dating to the struggles of a relationship to realizing it's time to move on to learning you are enough, the theme of the evening couldn't come at a more perfect time. I related to it all!

Tracie Thoms and Call Me Adam at Feinstein's/54 BelowThis was my first time seeing Tracie perform her cabaret act and I'm already excited for a new one! Tracie is a great singer, performer, and entertainer. She really gets the crowd going. From her powerhouse vocals to her patter to her energy. She engages everyone right from the get go.

Some highlights of the show were Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," John Legend's "Ordinary People," Blood, Sweat, and Tears' "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know," "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret, and the pumping "Ain't Nobody" by Rufus & Chaka Khan. With every song, Tracie hit all the right notes along with my heartstrings. She got us moving, clapping, and feeling emotional.

Tracie Thoms at Feinstein's/54 BelowMy top two favorite numbers were Tracie's cover of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," which she really made her own, singing a version I have never heard before. I hope Tracie considers releasing this as a single. I also loved the ORIGINAL song Jeremy Schonfeld wrote for Tracie called "Falling Apart." What a beautiful song about the ending of a relationship. Let me say, Tracie knows how to sing with emotion!!

As the show is going along, Tracie announces that it was time to introduce a very special guest. And all of a sudden she introduces Tony Award winner Billy Porter! I have not heard Billy sing since seeing him in Broadway's Kinky Boots. It was great getting to hear Billy perform a song from his forthcoming album, Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers (Billy puts a soulful spin on the songs of composer Richard Rodgers). Billy delighted us with a brand new interpretion of "Edelweiss," (from The Sound of Music, just as an aside, this was the last song Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote together). Billy's version was out of this world and I'm beyond excited for this new album, which is slated for release in April. If that wasn't enough, Billy stayed on stage and sang Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," getting everyone involved. Not only did Billy go out into the audience, but some other special guests joined in the fun including Altar Boyz alum, Ryan Duncan, and Tracie's Falsettos castmate, Anthony Rosenthal, who played "Jason." 

Tracie Thoms and Billy Porter at Feinstein's/54 BelowIf all of this wasn't enough the evening wrapped up with a very special encore..."Seasons of Love" from Rent. It was the perfect ending to a spectacular night of love, talent, and music! Thank you Tracie for sharing your talents with us and for reminding us that no matter what happens with love, we have to love ourselves first and remember we are enough! I can't wait to see what you do next!!

There's one more chance to catch Tracie's show, this Saturday, January 14 at 7pm! Feinstein's/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street (between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!