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

      

 

Friday
Jan232015

Adam's Call: DISENCHANTED!: A very enchanting evening, well worth your time

UPDATE: After a successful run at St. Clements, DISENCHANTED is now playing an open-end run at NYC's Westside Theatre (407 West 43rd Street between 9th and 10th Avenue)! So you have a second chance to this hilariously fun show! Click here for tickets!


From the moment "Snow White" stepped onto the stage at St. Clements in NYC and belted her first note, I knew I was in for a treat at DISENCHANTED!, the hilarious Off-Broadway musical about how some well known princesses feel they've been depicted over the years. Written by Dennis A. Giacino and directed by Fiely A. Matias, DISENCHANTED! is a twistedly funny show with a lot of heart, soul, and talent!

Cast of "DISENCHANTED!": Lulu Picart, Becky Gulsvig, Michelle Knight, Jen Bechter, Soara-Joye Ross, Alison BurnsFrom vocal talents to comedic timing, there was not one weak link in this cast of six very talented actresses, each one getting to showcase their own distinct qualities. Taking a comedic look at the popular stories of "Snow White," "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty," "Belle," "The Little Mermaid," "Rapunzel," "Mulan," and "Pocahontas," Dennis has written a show that provoked thought, in a fun and entertaining way, as to how these women have been portrayed through movies and society. I haven't laughed continually for as long as I did at DISENCHANTED! Each story I found myself saying, "Yes, what a great way to look at this tale. It's so obvious, but yet I never thought about this story in this particular way." 

"DISENCHANTED!" cast: Jen Bechter ("Sleeping Beauty"), Alison Burns ("Belle"), Becky Gulsvig ("Cinderella")Dennis' songs were poignant and funny, moving the story along nicely. Some of my favorites were "One More Happ'ly Ever After," "Without The Guy," "Two Legs," "Finally," and "Perfect." If I had to pick one song to represent my absolute favorite, it would be "Perfect," sung by "Sleeping Beauty." The lyrics, theme of the song, and "Sleeping Beauty's" performance were definitely the highlight for me.

Fiely did a great job directing this show. I felt the choices he made for these characters worked well. I think his vision helped shape the show.

Cast of "DISENCHANTED!": Becky Gulsvig ("Cinderella"), Michelle Knight ("Snow White"), and Jen Bechter ("Sleeping Beauty")In addition to the fun and laughter of DISENCHANTED!, I think its core message is what made this show so wonderful. It reinforced the fact that you are enough just the way you are. While that is a message that has been communicated over and over again, DISENCHANTED! brings a fresh view to this message. Through music, song, a well written script, and excellent direction, DISENCHANTED! is a very enchanting evening well worth your time!

"DISENCHANTED!" cast: Michelle Knight ("Snow White"), Becky Gulsvig ("Cinderella"), Alison Burns ("The Little Mermaid"), Lulu Picart ("Milan")With just a few shows left, DISENCHANTED! limited run will be disappearing on January 25! So, click here to get your tickets now!

For more on DISENCHANTED! be sure to visit http://www.disenchantedmusical.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

If you missed "Call Me Adam's" interview with Dennis and Fiely, click here to check it out!

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

Saturday
Dec202014

Adam's Call: The New York Pops Holiday Concert: Kelli and Matthew: Home for the Holidays: Winter Wonderland

Matthew Morrison and Kelli O'Hara at The New York Pops Holiday Concert, Photo Credit: Adam RothenbergOne of my new favorite holiday traditions is getting to attend The New York Pops Holiday Concert at Carnegie Hall. I am very lucky to get to attend year after year. Getting to see Matthew Morrison and Kelli O'Hara back on stage together, in their first joint concert together at Carnegie Hall, was something very special. Having them backed by the incredibly talented New York Pops, conducted by the one and only Steven Reineke, added a depth to this concert that would not have been if The Pops weren't there. The added bonus was the collaboration with Judith Clurman's Essiental Voices USA whose combined vocals is like hearing angels sing!

The concert opened up with The New York Pops playing a holiday melody and Judith Clurman's Essentail Voices USA singing "We Need a Little Christmas" from Broadway's Mame. As someone who sees a lot of musical theatre, it's a rarity these days to hear a full orchestra play, so that is why I love attending The New York Pops. Steven Reineke does such a great job conducting this orchestra. They always sound great!

Matthew Morrison, Kelli O'Hara, and Steven Reineke at The New York Pops Holiday Concert, Photo Credit: Adam RothenbergSome of the other songs The New York Pops played that I loved was "Winter Wonderland," "Carol of the Bells," and "Jingle Bell Rock." There is a moment in the movie Home Alone where "Kevin" is by himself and "Carol of the Bells" is playing. So, every time I hear this song, I think of that moment in the movie. Then Steven Reineke took us into a new version of "Jingle Bell Rock" that he wrote the arrangements for. It was one of the highlights of the evening for me! I loved this even more rockin' version and to watch Steven dance around while conducting only proved to me just how much he enjoys his version too.

Matthew Morrison, Kelli O'Hara, Santa, Steven Reineke at The New York Pops Holiday Concert, Photo Credit: Adam RothenbergWhen Matthew Morrison and Kelli O'Hara took the stage, that was the moment I was waiting for! They started off with a great rendition of "Baby, It's Cold Outside." To hear Matthew and Kelli's voices together again was phenomenal. They blend so well together. They then went into another one of my favorite holiday songs "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" Matthew took a break and Kelli delighted the audience to her first solo of the night with "I Wonder as I Wander." With a new arrangement by Steven Reineke, Kelli hit all the right notes. This was followed by Matthew's solo number, "I'll Be Home for Christmas/Mele Kalikimaka," which payed homage to his Hawaiin marriage and wife's herritage. I could sit and listen to Matthew sing for hours! He has such an incredible voice. The highlight of this number was getting to see Matthew play the ukulele. He played it perfectly! Another great moment was when Matthew sang "Younger Than Springtime" from South Pacific (which he and Kelli co-starred when it was at Lincoln Center a few seasons back). Matthew prefaced this song by saying he sang this song shirtless 8 times a week and then said he could sing it shirtless now and he started to undo his bowtie. Unfortunatley, the lack luster applause for that, forced Matthew to perform this song fully clothed. I mean, I'm not sure who was in this audience, but who wouldn't want to see Matthew Morrison shirtless. But I digress. Kelli and Matthew then teamed back up for a beautiful duet of the Balcony Scene (Tonight) from West Side Story. This lead into another duet, one of Steven Reineke's favorite holiday songs, "Believe" from The Polar Express, which starred Tom Hanks (this reference is for my friend Lauren). I have never seen The Polar Express, but after hearing Matthew and Kelli sing this song, it makes me want to watch it. Then it was time for Kelli's next solo, "O Holy Night." Kelli really raised the roof on this song as she was bestowed with a several mintue standing ovation. 

Matthew Morrison, Kelli O'Hara, Steven Reineke, Judith Clurman and the Essential Voices USA at The New York Pops Holiday Concert, Photo Credit: Adam RothenbergGetting to hear Judith Clurman's Essential Voices USA was terrific! Judith has picked some of the most talented singers to be part of her chorus. Another number they sang, which I enjoyed, was an original holiday tune called "Wishes and Candles," a beautiful song about holiday wishes. This was the first time they performed this song at The New York Pops Holiday Concert since its 2011 debut. Another one of my favorite parts of The New York Pops Holiday Concert that featured Essential Voices USA was the Chanukah medley. There are so many holiday shows and not everyone includes Chanukah, so it was really nice to see The New York Pops represent my holiday. Judith Clurman stepped in to conduct this part of the concert which featured soloist Arlo Hill in addition to Essential Voices USA. I have never heard of Arlo Hill, but I can now say, I am a fan! He has a terrific voice! I wanted to get to hear more from him.

Matthew Morrison at The New York Pops Holiday Concert, Photo Credit: Adam RothenbergThe New York Pops Holiday Concert always puts me a smile on my face. This year's concert was no exception! It was a real treat to see Matthew and Kelli together again! Separately, they are fantastic, but united, they are something unreal! I'm thrilled they were the focus of this year's New York Pops Holiday Concert and I'm delighted they got to sing with one of the greatest orchestras in the country, conducted by the brilliant Steven Reineke!

With just one concert to go tonight (Saturday, December 20), I would highly recommend getting one of the very few tickets left! Click here to purchase! Carnegie Hall is located at 57th Street and 7th Avenue.

For more on The New York Pops be sure to visit http://www.newyorkpops.org and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

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

Monday
Dec152014

Adam's Call: The Elephant Man on Broadway: Left Me Breathless

Bradley Cooper in "The Elephant Man" on BroadwayThe Elephant Man on Broadway awakened me in a way I have not been in a long time. With a strongly talented cast and powerful story, all under the direction of Scott Ellis, this show left me breathless.

I was so moved by the show’s tale about how one man’s differences made him more of an outsider and spectacle to society than allowing him to just be….that is until one doctor takes him in and while he’s using him for a study, he treats "The Elephant Man" with the dignity and respect we all deserve.

Bradley Cooper’s performance was mesmerizing! I have only seen a few Bradley Cooper movies, but after seeing Bradley on stage in The Elephant Man, I want to see more. Bradley’s dedication to this story is inspiring. From his hand gestures and posture to his vocalization, I was not seeing Bradley Cooper up on that stage, I was seeing "Joseph Merrick," a.k.a. "The Elephant Man." Bradley embodied this character.

Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola, and Patricia Clarkson in "The Elephant Man" on BroadwayThere are so many plot points that I was able to relate to in this show. Similar to "Joseph Merrick," I know what it’s like to be on the outside and looked at as a spectacle. While I’ve never been caged up in a traveling freak show, I have felt like a caged animal people look at and make fun of. Pick any day from elementary school through high school, and I can give you the name of a kid who made fun of me. While I’ve finally found the self-esteem and confidence I lacked as a child, I still have my days of feeling like a joke, but now I just laugh along with everyone instead of getting upset.

Bradley Cooper and Alessandro Nivola in "The Elephant Man" on BroadwayI also identified with "Joseph’s" struggle to survive. Being born premature in 1975, I literally had to fight for my life. Technology wasn’t what it is today, and no one thought I would survive, especially the nurse who was by my mother’s side and told her it was okay they didn’t have a name picked out for me because I wouldn’t make it anyway. But I did survive and surprised the doctors over and over again. With a diagnosis of being deaf, I somehow miraculously regained my hearing about age 3. The first time I heard the phone was quite a day for my family and later in life I overcame my learning disability. "Joseph Merrick" may not have been as lucky as me, but he fought the best fight he could.

Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola in "The Elephant Man" on BroadwayThe other part of the play I found very interesting was the similarity between Bradley Cooper and "Joseph Merrick’s" life in relation to the fact that "Joseph Merrick" was put on display for all to see and every night when Bradley Cooper leaves the stage door, he is put on display by the hundreds of fans waiting to get a glimpse of him, an autograph, or even a picture. I wonder if Bradley brought any part of this experience into his portrayal of "Joseph Merrick?"

Alessandro Nivola was terrific as "Dr. Treves," the doctor who takes in "Joseph Merrick" to study him. Patricia Clarkson took my breath away as "Mrs. Kendell," the actress who is one of the few genuine people to take a real interest in "Joseph Merrick." It was quite touching watching their relationship unfold. Patricia brought a nice mix of comedy/drama to her role. I love when a character can make me laugh one minute and then have me emotional the next. She had some really beautiful scenes that Scott had directed perfectly.

Scott Lowell in "The Elephant Man" on Broadway, Photo Credit; Scott LowellScott Lowell, Paul C. Focazio, and Call Me Adam on the set of Broadway's "The Elephant Man"My other favorite part of seeing The Elephant Man was getting to see Scott Lowell live on stage. I have been a big fan of Scott’s since being introduced to him through Showtime’s Queer As Folk where he starred as "Ted Schmidt." Scott played a variety of roles in The Elephant Man, which gave a wonderful glimpse into the many talents of Scott Lowell. I hope to get to see Scott in more stage productions, especially on Broadway! (If you missed my interview with Scott Lowell about The Elephant Man, click here to read it!)

This production of The Elephant Man is truly one of the best Broadway shows I’ve seen. From the acting to the staging to the direction, everything worked seamlessly! The Elephant Man, which plays at the Booth Theatre (245 West 45th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue), has a limited run through February 15 only, so get your tickets while you can! This is the one show you need to see!! Click here for tickets!

Cast of "The Elephant Man" on Broadway, Photo Credit: Walter McBrideFor more on The Elephant Man be sure to visit http://www.elephantmanbroadway.com and follow the show on Facebook and Twitter!

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

Monday
Dec012014

Adam's Call: Andy Cohen in Conversation with Anderson Cooper at 92Y: An Evening Deep Inside The Clubhouse

Andy Cohen in Conversation with Anderson Cooper at 92Y, Photo Credit: Michael Priest PhotographyAndy Cohen in Conversation with Anderson Cooper at 92Y, Photo Credit: Michael Priest PhotographyOn November 14, I was so lucky to be able to attend the 92Y's event Andy Cohen in conversation with Anderson Cooper where Anderson Cooper interviewed his friend Andy Cohen about Andy's new book, The Andy Cohen Diaries, now a #3 New York Times Best Seller!

This was a great interview because it was really just two good friends sitting down and talking. Anderson definitely had his set of questions to ask, but more often than not, other stories came out. From talking about The Real Housewives to Andy's friendship with Cher to selfies to texts between Anderson and Andy to Andy going on Tinder dates, this evening was full of insider stories, some documented in Andy's new book and some just for those in attendance. One of my favorite stories was hearing about the first time Andy got a phone call from Cher and how that led to her requesting Andy and Anderson send her selfies of them while on vacation. I also loved hearing Andy so candidly talk about being on Tinder and going on dates. What made this interview so different from other interviews I've seen is that since Andy and Anderson are such good friends, there is a certain chemistry that can only surface when two friends are talking and that was quite evident during this interview. I also loved watching Anderson and Andy joke around with each other. I really felt like I was sitting around their dining room table having a meal with them.

Andy Cohen in Conversation with Anderson Cooper at 92Y, Photo Credit: Michael Priest PhotographyAndy Cohen in Conversation with Anderson Cooper at 92Y, Photo Credit: Michael Priest PhotographyI also loved how the evening had a question and answer portion from the audience. Yes, I loved it not only because Anderson Cooper asked Andy Cohen my question, but also because a very different set of questions got asked. I asked Andy "What was the moment when he felt like he had made it?" Andy's answer was "When Watch What Happens Live went to five times a week." And yes, there were plenty of questions about The Real Housewives and their husbands. So much fun information was revealed!

Andy Cohen in Conversation with Anderson Cooper at 92Y, Photo Credit: Michael Priest PhotographyAndy Cohen in Conversation with Anderson Cooper at 92Y, Photo Credit: Michael Priest PhotographyThe evening was so much fun that I didn't want it to end. The 92Y is a great place for an event like this because it took place in their main theatre space, which is big enough to showcase a musical, yet intimate enough to have a discussion between two of today's biggest names. 

Rather than me recount everything that happened, I suggest watching this fun and informative evening below or at 92Y On Demand!

For more on upcoming events at the 92Y visit http://www.92y.org and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

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

Saturday
Oct252014

Adam's Call: Journey of a Bombshell: The Ina Ray Hutton Story: Golden

What an interesting story. Very well acted. Excellently sung. Golden. Those are just some of the thoughts that ran through my head as I was watching Journey of a Bombshell: The Ina Ray Hutton Story (written and performed by Melissa Ritz, with direction by Julie Kline) as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival at Theatre Row in NYC (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue).

For those of you who don't know, Ina Ray Hutton was the most successful female bandleader of the Big Band era. Ina conducted The Melodears, an all-girl band, was the first woman to conduct male bands in the 1940’s, and she was the first woman to have her own TV show in the 1950’s.

The real Ina Ray HuttonMelissa did a fantastic job bringing this story to life. The passion and energy put into this show was evident right from the start. From Ina's early days in Chicago to her trips around the world breaking down barriers for women in music, Melissa portrayed each stage of Ina's life with ease and perfection. While Ina was the main character Melissa played, she also effortlessy jumped between all the supporting characters in Ina's life, from Ina's relatives to her managers to her bandmates.

The thing I liked most about Journey of a Bombshell was learning about Ina's career and the portrayal of her drive, determination, and strength of working her way up in a man's world. Ina knew her talents and didn't let anyone compromise her integrity or vision. She worked hard for what she wanted and it was great to see her grow and change throughout the show.

Melissa Ritz as "Ina Ray Hutton" in "Journey of a Bombshell: The Ina Ray Hutton Story"Intertwining this story together were a host of songs from the Big Band era that were all very enjoyable. Each song helped move this story along. I couldn't write about Journey of a Bombshell without complimenting director Julie Kline for the way she weaved this show together. I felt the movement of the show worked really well and am excited to see where this show goes after the United Solo Theatre Festival.

I truly feel this show has legs and I just don't mean the one's on Melissa that dazzle with her dancing! After 3 sold-out performances, Journey of a Bombshell just has one performance left: November 17. Click here to get your tickets!

For more on Journey of a Bombshell: The Ina Ray Hutton Story be sure to visit www.journeyofabombshell.com and follow the show on Facebook and Twitter!

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