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

Monday
Jun022014

Adam's Call: 92Y Talks: Terrence McNally's Mothers and Sons on Broadway: Inspiring, Informational, Incredible

Cast of "Mothers and Sons" with playwright Terrence McNallyWhen I found out the cast and creatives of Broadway's Tony Nominated Play Mothers and Sons (Tyne Daly, Terrence McNally, Sheryl Kaller, and Bobby Steggert) were going to be part of the 92nd Street Y Talk Series, I knew I simply had to be there. I have seen this powerful show twice already and while I was already eager to see the show a third time, after tonight's discussion, I need to get back there sooner rather than later! I was so inspired and moved by what I heard tonight.

Perez Hilton, Photo Credit: Angelo KritikosThe evening was moderated by celebrity entertainment blogger Perez Hilton. As far as I know, this was Perez's first time moderating a panel discussion like this and I have to say he did a great job! He asked very inquisitive questions, took questions from the audience, and made the evening very relaxed and fun.

Some of the highlights of tonight's evening that resonated with me was learning that Terrence McNally wrote Mothers and Sons with Tyne Daly in mind as the mother "Katharine Gerard" and Bobby Steggert in mind as the younger lover "Will Ogden." For his process of writing, Terrence likes to write for a specific actor with whom he would like to play the role(s) he's writing for. As far as whether or not the actor will actually play the role is a whole other story, but in the case of Mothers and Sons, both Tyne and Bobby jumped at the opportunity to work with Terrence once again. Terrence also discussed in his process of writing a show that he writes about something specific. In Mothers and Sons, Terrence feels the show is about the coat and the process of "Katharine" taking it off and putting it back on. Tyne agreed and went on to say that she feels "Katharine" can't ever quite get the coat to fit right. It's an interesting insight that I didn't pay as much attention to the first two times around, but now I will take a closer look at this when I go back to see it.

Sheryl Kaller, director of Terrence McNally's "Mothers and Sons" and Call Me Adam, Photo Credit: Paul C. FocazioAt one point during the discussion tonight, someone described the show as a gay play, but director Sheryl Kaller doesn't think of the show as a gay play. Some of the characters in the show just happen to be gay. She describes the show as a play about family, grief, and love. I couldn't agree more. As I stated earlier, I have seen this show twice and I do believe it's a show about family, learning how live after you lose someone close to you and how to love again. There are so many layers to this show that the themes in the show are universal to everyone. 

Bobby Steggert and Call Me Adam, Photo Credit: Paul C. FocazioI also enjoyed learning that Bobby identifies with "Will's" smartness, his love of writing, and that he's a good guy. I have read a few articles that Bobby has written for the Huffington Post and he provides a real insight into himself and his place in this world. Since reading some of Bobby's work, I have an even stronger admiration for him. I aslo agreed with Bobby on the fact that this show is so timely and the freedoms that the gay community have now would not have happened without the rallying of generations before us.

Grayson Taylor, Tyne Daly, Bobby Steggert, and Fred Weller, in "Mothers and Sons" on BroadwayTyne Daly brought a lot of insight to her character "Katharine." She talked about how she feels "Katharine" is stuck in her beliefs and her upbringing. I concur with this. "Katharine" is stuck, but it's wonderful to watch her growth throughout the show. Tyne also talked about being nominated for a Tony Award and while she likes being recognized by her peers, she doesn't take it further than that because then it can create a divisiveness amongst the cast. I thought that was very humbling of her.

Fred Weller and Tyne Daly in "Mothers and Sons" on BroadwayEveryone on stage tonight agreed that Mothers and Sons is a show that will stay with you. It's a show that opens up dialogue for many topics. It's a show that leaves you wanting more, wondering what happens to these characters in the coming years. It makes you really analyze each character. It's a show that gets you to participate whether you laugh or cry during the show and/or have conversations afterward. 

Cast of Terrence McNally's "Mothers and Sons"I could go on all night about what I found interesting from this panel discussion. The best way to get the full effect of what I've written here is to just go see Mothers and Sons and experience this rich play for yourself. I, personally, am so excited to go back and see Mothers and Sons for a third time with this new found insight into the show.

Mothers and Sons plays on Broadway at the Golden Theatre (252 West 45th Street). Click here for tickets! 

Follow the show at http://www.mothersandsonsbroadway.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

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

Monday
Jun022014

Adam's Call: 92nd Street Y Lyrics & Lyricists: Panning For Gold: Great Songs From Flop Shows: Where I Want To Be

David Zippel and Call Me Adam, Photo Credit: Jeremy AbramThis past Saturday, May 31, 2014, I got to attend the final installment of the 92nd Street Y's Lyrics & Lyricist 2014 series. This show's title Panning For Gold: Great Songs From Flop Shows was just that...lots of great songs from shows that did not fare well on or Off-Broadway. What did fare well was this evening of music! Hosted by David Zippel (Tony Award winner, two-time Oscar and Grammy nominee, and three-time Golden Globe nominee), the show featured a host of  the talent: Brent Barrett, Lorna Luft, Christiane Noll, Jessica Lea Patty, Lillias White, and Tony Yazbeck! In addition to being so engaging, David was very humorous and humbled when it came around to having his songs from flop shows performed.

Lillias White sining "The Oldest Profession" at 92nd Street Y's "Lyrics & Lyricist" concert, Photo Credit: Stephen SorokoffWhen I found out the line up prior to attending the show, I was already excited! I am a huge fan of Brent, Christiane, Lillias, and Tony. I had seen them all previously in various concerts or shows, so to get to see them all on stage at once, was a real treat! I was very excited to finally get to see Lorna Luft live on stage and hear her sing as well as be introudced to Jessica. I was very happy with everything!

I was actually quite surprised at how many songs I knew throughout the evening. My favorite moments were Lillias singing "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most,"  "Here's That Rainy Day," (from Carnival in Flanders) and "The Oldest Profession" (from her Tony Award winning turn in The Life). It's no wonder Lillias has had a career in both Broadway, Film, and Television.

Tony Yazbeck and Call Me Adam, Photo Credit: Jeremy AbramI also really enjoyed Tony and Jessica's duets of "You've Got Possibilities" (made famous by Linda Lavin from It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman), "Marry Me/A Quiet Thing" (from The Rink and Flora, The Red Menace), and "Paula (An Improvised Love Song)" (from The Goodbye Girl). Their voices sounded great together and what a pair of dancing feet those two have! They kicked it up everytime!

Brent Barrett and Call Me Adam, Photo Credit: Jeremy AbramBrent has one of the richest male voices I have ever heard. It was great to get to hear those vocals on "Where I Want To Be" (from Chess), "Love Changes Everything" (from Aspects of Love), and "All The Things You Are" (from Very Warm for May) with Christiane.

Christiane Noll singing at 92nd Street Y's "Lyrics & Lyricists" concert, Photo Credit: Stephen SorokoffI had seen Christiane in Chaplin and I thought she was remarkable. So it was great to get to hear that beautiful voice once again! She also shined on "Glitter and Be Gay" (from Candide), "Good Thing Going"/"Not A Day Goes By" (from Merrily We Roll Along) and her duet with Jessica "Cold Hard Cash" (from Marilyn, yes long before the days of SMASH).

Last but not least, was Lorna. I am so happy I got to finally experience that voice. It's so powerful! Lorna raised the roof on "Time Heals Everything" (from Mack and Mabel).

Christiane Noll, Tony Yazbeck, Lillias White, Lorna Luft, Brent Barrett, Jessica Lea Patty singing at 92nd Street Y's "Lyrics & Lyricist" concert, Photo Credit: Stephen SorokoffWhile I loved hearing everyone sing separately, I loved, loved loved, the group numbers "Little Old New York"/"New York, New York" (from Tenderloin/New York, New York the film) and "You There In The Back Row" (from 13 Days to Broadway). This group harmonized really well together and still each number allowed them to show what they got that makes them special. There is just two performance left, today (Monday, June 2) at 2pm & 7:30pm. Click here for tickets!

The 92nd Street Y really hits it out of the park with their Lyrics & Lyricist series. I can't wait for the 2015 season to kick off January 10-12 with A Good Thing Going: The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration!

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

Sunday
May252014

Adam's Call: Garage Theatre Group's production of Spring Awakening: The Bitch of Living

This Memorial Day weekend I took an afternoon trip out to Teaneck, NJ to see Anthony Crouchelli in Garage Theatre Group's production of the Tony Award winning musical Spring Awakening. When I initally saw the show Off-Broadway, I wasn't a huge fan of the show, but knowing how talented Anthony is, I decided to give it a second chance.

After seeing the Garage Theatre Group's production of Spring Awakening, I have to say, I am eager to get the cast recording, as I finally fell in love with the music that so many have been raving about for years. The show has a very moving, powerful, and timely story, but unfortunately, I didn't connect to it as much as I would have liked. I think that is because there were only a few actors I felt did a stand-out job portraying their characters and those are who I'd like to highlight.

Dan Deweever and Anthony Crouchelli in Garage Theatre Group's production of "Spring Awakening"Let's start with Anthony Crouchelli, who played "Melchoir" (the role Jonathan Groff played on Broadway). I had seen Anthony sing in a few concerts here and there, so I knew he had a great voice, but this was my first time seeing him in a full theatrical production. Anthony Crouchelli is the true definition of a leading man! From his acting to his voice to his dancing, he has it all, including a slamming body he's starting to show off more! Ariel Nicholson, who played "Wendella" (the role Lea Michelle played on Broadway) also caught my attention. Her voice is soulful, big, and is going to take her far! Marci Elyn Schein and Osborn Focht also impressed me as the "Adult Women" and "Adult Men" respectively. Their transformations between characters were seamless.

Anthony Crouchelli and the cast of Garage Theatre Group's production of "Spring Awakening"Just because I may have not enjoyed this produciton as much as I had hoped, doesn't mean someone else won't enjoy it more. I am glad I saw this production as it made me fall in love with the music and I got to see a handful of talented actors.

Spring Awakening runs through June 1 at The Beacon Theatre at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ (960 River Road). Click here for tickets!

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

Saturday
May242014

Adam's Call: Teresa Fischer: Destinations & Detours: A trip worth taking

On May 13th, 2014, I had the pleasure of seeing Teresa Fischer's Destinations & Detours (directed by Frank Calo, with Musical Direction by Paul Chamlin) at Sophie's in NYC! I have only known Teresa for a few months now, seeing her perform a song here and there, (which was enough to ask her to be the vocalist for my radio show theme song, "It's Showtime with Call Me Adam," written by Andrew David Sotomayor, who arranged several of the songs in Destinations & Detours), but to see her perform a full cabaret show was a night I will always remember.

Teresa's vibrant performance style is infectious and only made me want her to sing more! She has strong vocals and picked a great set of songs to take the audience on the ride of her travels from Missouri to New York! One of the things I liked best about Teresa's show was that the songs she sang were almost all upbeat and positive. So many cabaret singers perform ballad-heavy shows, but Teresa's set was a welcomed change. From what I've seen so far, Teresa works with arrangers that really get her vocal style and in this case they were Paul Chamlin and Andrew David Sotomayor. My favorite selections were "Hero In Your Hometown" by Mary Chapin Carpenter, "I Know This Town" by Cheryl Wheeler, "Feels Like Home" by Randy Newman, "One Blade Shy of A Sharp Edge" by Nancy Griffith, "Outbound Plane" by Nancy Griffith and Tom Russell, "Travelin' Thru" by Dolly Parton, and "Let The Mystery Be" by Iris Dement.

If you are looking to take a vacation that will rejuvinate you, then purchase your ticket to Teresa Fischer's final show of Destinations & Detours on Tuesday, June 3 at Sophie's in NYC (318 West 53rd Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

If you missed my interview with Teresa Fischer talking about this show on It's Showtime with Call Me Adam, then click here to listen to it at your leisure!

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

Tuesday
May202014

Adam's Call: Jeremy Abram: Hit a Home Run with Out of the Game at The Duplex

With a soulful, powerful, and electrifying voice, Jeremy Abram hit a home run with his show Out of the Game (directed by Tracy Stark) at New York City's oldest cabaret and piano bar, The Duplex!

I am so glad I got to attend Jeremy's show. I had interviewed Jeremy on my radio show, It's Showtime with Call Me Adam in April, and at the time, I had only heard a few clips of Jeremy sing from previous shows he had done, but I knew then, he had a great voice. Well, tonight, I learned he doesn't have a great voice, he has an incredible voice who sang the songs of Carole King, Anita Baker, Darius de Haas, and many others.

The Duplex was a great spot for Jeremy to perform at. The intimate theatre allowed the audience to really experience the strength of Jeremy's vocals up close in addition to his positive energy and sexy smile he flashed so often. The room was filled with many adoring fans who couldn't get enough of Jeremy. 

After seeing Jeremy's show tonight at The Duplex, I can easily say that I'm a fan and look forward to attending many more of his concerts!

For more on Jeremy be sure to follow him on Twitter @jermaliciousdef!

If you missed my interview with Jeremy talking about this show, click here to take a listen!

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