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

      

 

Saturday
May212016

Adam's Call: Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli at Feinstein's/54 Below: Sing Happy

There are many performers out there who attempt to sing the songs of Liza Minnelli. Seth Sikes is one of the few singers who CAN sing the songs of Liza Minnelli. In fact, he does such a wonderful job, that I'm sure Liza herself would endorse him, if he decided to record an album of her music.

Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli which I saw at Feinstein's/54 Below a few weeks ago, has everything a tribute show should...a terrific singer, a great set list, and lots of personal stories. Seth really knows his stuff! My favoirte story was the first time Seth met Liza and how tongue twisted he got when trying to speak to her because he was so excited to meet her, he ended up not being able to say anything. It was sweet, funny, and heartfelt all at the same time.

Seth Sikes performing "Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli" at Feinstein's/54 BelowI could easily tell just how much Seth adores Liza and her music. He has put a lot of time and energy into making this show perfect. He never missed a beat and belted every note just as powerfully as Liza. He may sing the songs of Liza Minnelli, but he also makes these songs his own. While Liza's voice may have been ringing in my head at first note, by the second note, it was all about Seth from there on out.

Liza has quite the music catalog and Seth sang a lot of my favorite songs including "Liza with A Z," "Old Friends," "Maybe This Time," "Some People," "Mein Herr," and "Cabaret." Seth sang his heart out on each one of these iconic songs and really defined them like no one else. I love how he played with the lyrics of "Liza with A Z" to suite his name as I have done with my own friends. My favorite Liza song Seth introduced me to was "Sorry I Asked," a really heartbreaking song about a woman finding out her husband was cheating. Seth hit all the right notes and emotions with this song.

Seth Sikes performing "Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli" at Feinstein's/54 BelowHow do I wrap up this review? Simply by saying it's been six years since Liza Minnelli has released an album, I think now would be a good time for Liza and Seth to make a double duets album...one of him and Liza singing her music and then a second disc recreating the duets of Liza and Judy Garland (I mean Seth also has a critically acclaimed show singing the songs of Judy Garland). So, here's my official request for that! 

For those of you wanting to see this triumphant show, Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli will be returning to Feinstein's/54 Below on Wednesday June 8 at 7pm (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

Seth is also bring this show to Feinstein's at the Nikko in San Francisco, CA on June 16 (click here for tickets) and The Mansion Inn in Saratoga Springs, NY on June 23 (click here for tickets).

If you missed my interview with Seth about this show, click here to read it!

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

Thursday
May122016

Adam's Call: Latrice Royale: Here's To Life: Celebration of Love, Life, and Second Chances

Latrice Royale's one woman show Here's To Life, which is currently enjoying a return engagement at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC is definitely one of the best "one person" shows I have ever seen! What makes Latrice's show so different from other drag shows is that Here's To Life is Latrice's true life story, not based upon a persona. She tells her true life story, taking the audience from birth to today.

Latrice does not hold back in this show. She talks about everything from her triumphs to her hardships to her revelations of what she has learned along the way. I have seen a lot of drag shows in my time and while other performers take a dark humor route, Latrice speaks the truth. She's telling a very real story, one with a lot of hurt, but also filled with love, life, and second chances. 

Born in Compton, CA, Latrice was the youngest of five boys. Like she says in the show,"By the time I was born, they've must have run out of testosterone because I came out and was like Hi world!" Growing up gay in Compton was no easy task. But those trying times lead Latrice on her path to where she is today, traveling around the world entertaining and educating people about celebrating who you are! 

Latrice RoyaleWhile there is so much in this show I want to talk about, I dont' want to give anything away (aside from the joke I already mentioned) because this is one show you have to see! Latrice's performance and show reminded me to always be proud of who I am and what I have accomplished at each given moment.

Most of all, Latrice's show inspired me to keep working towards the change I have been striving for. She says, "You're in control of your destiny and only you can decide how you want to rewrite the script." Those words rang deep with in me and I'm going to keep them by my side as a reminder to keep going, even when I'm not sure where it's all going, and when things start going in a direction I don't want them to be going, I'm going to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite!

Latrice RoyaleI hope everyone reading this piece will rewrite their destiny and go see Latrice Royale's Here's To Life at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue, inside the West Bank Cafe). Here's To Life plays through Sunday, May 15! Click here for tickets!

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

Monday
May022016

Adam's Call: Tuck Everlasting: Everything's Golden

The new Broadway musical Tuck Everlasting poses the question, "If you could live forever, would you?" This is something I've been thinking about for quite some time.

Tuck Everlasting presents us with a family who never ages and will never die. As the show unfolds we learn about the advantages, conflicts, and disadvantages living forever can have. In some respects their lives are frozen in time, yet it passes by with a lot of loss as people they come to know leave them, and ultimately teaching them many lessons. Coming from a close family, I'd love it, if we all could live forever, but as family members pass on, you start to learn things about yourself that you may not have known if they were still here, so the quandary of if I would want to live forever continues.

Andrew Keenan-Bolger in "Tuck Everlasting"Carolee Carmello and Michael Park in "Tuck Everlasting"Helping tell this story is a wonderful cast of performers! Leading things off is Andrew Keenan-Bolger as "Jesse Tuck." From taking risks in life and love to learning lessons, Andrew really conveys the fun, excitement, and hardships of what it means to live forever. His character takes leaps and bounds and embraces whatever the results of those moments are. Playing "Jesse's" brother, is the handsome and sexy Robert Lenzi as "Miles Tuck." "Miles" brings a different view to the thought of living forever. He has been crippled emotionally and brings that heartache into almost every situation. "Miles'" journey is definitely a wild ride. Robert does a great job with this multifaceted character. Luckily for us, he gets his real shining moment during the song "Time." Then there are "Jesse" and "Miles'" parents, "Mae Tuck" and "Angus Tuck," played by the very talented Carolee Carmello and Michael Park, respectively. "Mae" is definitely a protector of her family and loves them more than anything in the world. She goes to great lengths to make sure they are safe. Any musical with Carolee Carmello is a lucky one because of her rich vocals and fantastic acting. In Tuck Everlasting, Carolee demonstrates all of this! Michael Park is well cast as "Angus," whose chemistry with Carolee makes me feel as though they are a real life couple. 

Terrence Mann in "Tuck Everlasting"Cast of "Tuck Everlasting"There are lots of comedic moments in Tuck Everlasting, thanks to the genius that is Terrence Mann! He plays the devilish "Man in the Yellow Suit" and steals every scene he's in. Basically, when he's on stage, the spotlight is on him. His character is your typical con artist, trying to get what he feels is golden, but there is nothing typical about Terrence's portrayal. I've adored Terrence for sometime, but this role, is a real winner! 

The rest of the cast is enjoyable and delightful and for the most part I enjoyed the show and the music. I do feel there are a few things that could be fleshed out better with the story. There was one point I thought the show was ending, but it didn't and took a bit to get to the end. I might have chosen to convey that differently, though I do get why it was done that way.

Overall, "Everything's Golden" in Tuck Everlasting and if you are looking to see some talent, this is one show to fly into! Tuck Everlasting plays at the Broadhurst Theatre in NYC (235 West 44th Street). Click here for tickets!

For more on Tuck Everlasting visit http://www.tuckeverlastingmusical.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

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

Sunday
Mar062016

Adam's Call: Broadway Belts for PFF: An Evening of Learning, Belting, and Breath

Jefferson Harman, Julie Halston, and Call Me Adam at Broadway Belts for PFF 2016, Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson PhotographyOn Monday, February 29, I was so honored to attend Broadway Belts for PFF, a benefit for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, with my Dreaming With... associate producer, Jefferson Harman. Broadway Belts for PFF started in 2010 when beloved theater critic Michael Kuchwara, passed away from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Founded by D. Michael Dvorchak, Sue Frost, and Ed Windels, Broadway Belts for PFF is now in it's 6th year, and continues to be hosted by the hilarious Julie Halston! It was an evening of learning, entertainment, and feeling good about helping an important cause.

Prior to Broadway Belts, Jefferson and I were fortunate to have Julie as the first guest on our new internet based TV Show Dreaming With...where we talked with Julie about this amazing benefit prior to Jefferson interpretating a recent dream she had that tied into her husband, renowned radio personality Ralph Howard, being diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis, but luckily surviving through a lung transplant several years ago. Click here to watch our premiere episode!

Broadway Belts for PFF 2016, Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson PhotographyOn the night of the benefit, I was thrilled to speak with Julie even further about Broadway Belts as well as many of the guest performers and supporters of the evening including Hamilton's Daveed Diggs, Everybody Loves Raymond's Monica Horan, Tony Award winner Cady Huffman, It Shoulda Been You's Lisa Howard, Rocky's Margo Seibert, and director Carl Andress. Below are excerpts from my interviews.

Julie Halston and Call Me Adam at "Broadway Belts for PFF 2016", Photo Credit: Stephen SorokoffJulie Halston (Broadway Belts' host)

What do you hope everybody comes away with after the evening? Well, two things. I hope they understand what Pulmonary Fibrosis is and how they can help and I also want them to go away saying, "That was a fantastic show!" The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation has done a remarkable job educating people all across America about this disease and what's happening with the disease now. Our job, as New York Broadway people, is to provide a spectacular show and I have to tell you with the line-up we have, I can't imagine them being anything, but their heads exploding. We have an amazing line-up of talent: We have gorgeous gal singers, Broadway belters, Daveed Diggs from Hamilton, who has created an original song/rap for us, we have a trio of Tony award winners, and we have the cast of Cagney, tapping. The finale is going to be insane. You're not going to be let down.

"Hamilton's" Daveed Diggs, Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson PhotographyCall Me Adam, Daveed Diggs, Jefferson Harman at "Broadway Belts for PFF 2016", Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson PhotographyDaveed Diggs (Hamilton)

What made you want to be part of tonight's event for Broadway Belts for PFF? It's a great cause and really meeting Julie and learning about her story and her husband's story and the organization. It felt like a great opportunity to do something good and have a lot of fun and be around some cool people.

You wrote an original song/rap for tonight's benefit. What was the process like for you to do that? It was great. I was inspired by the work PFF is doing. Quite honestly, writing an original song is easier for me to do than learn a show tune, so I chose both something that fed my inspiration and took the easier way out (laughs).

Carl Andress and Julie Halston, Photo Credit: Evan ZimmermanCarl Andress (Broadway Belts director)

How does directing a benefit differ from directing a theatrical piece? Directing a benefit takes into account much more logistics. You are dealing with the organizers of the event, stage management, venue management, so it's pulling all the pieces together so we can all get on the same timeline. Then we have to get our talented artists onto that same timeline as well, so it's a lot more logistical. The part I most look forward to is picking material with the artists and curating how each number is going to come together and then working with the team to figure out what's the best flow. You have to put on different head when directing a benefit. Then when you come in on the day of the event, it's really about making sure everything goes as you planned, but it doesn't always go that way because plans change...they sell another table or someone has to film a TV show and come late, so you just have to run with whatever the changes are that day.

What made you want direct this particular benefit? Six years ago, when they were doing the first Broadway Belts, Julie asked me personally if I would direct and I immediately said yes a here we are in year six and we are in a muuuch bigger space, so it's very exciting.

Tony Award winners Cady Huffman, Randy Graff, and Judy Kaye, Cady Huffman (Tony Award winner The Producers)

What made you want to be part of this event? Well, Miss Julie Halston, everybody's favorite person, asked me. So, anything I can do to help her and her husband Ralph, who had Pulmonary Fibrosis.

"It Shoulda Been You's" Lisa Howard, Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson PhotographyLisa Howard (Broadway's It Shoulda Been You)

What made you want to be part of tonight's benefit and how has Pulmonary Fibrosis affected your life? Well, not necessarily Pulmonary Fibrosis, but I had a scare with my son, and it ended up all being okay, but I know what that's like of getting that diagnosis and freaking out, so when the opportunity came to help support this cause, I said, "Yes, count me in," cause you know, I'm lucky that our end result came out positively, but I could only imagine what that would have been like if it didn't, so I'm very happy to be here and sing a song for a good cause.

Margo Seibert, Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson PhotographyMargo Seibert (Broadway's Rocky, CBS' Elementary)

What made you want to be invovled in tonight's benefit? Well, I had the pleasure of working with Julie Halston at Papermill Playhouse in Ever After and we had a relationship from that show. After the show ended, she heard me sing the song I'm singing tonight at the benefit, "Flight" by Craig Carnelia, and asked me to be part of it and I'm just so happy to be here helping this cause.

"Everybody Loves Raymond's" Monica Horan and Julie Halston, Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson PhotographyMonica Horan (Everybody Loves Raymond)

What made you want to come tonight and support this event? I think it's so important when people in a creative industry use their talents to repair the world. I've been BFFs with Julie Halston ever since I got my equity card with her doing Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and so it's in support of Julie and Ralph and all the great work they are doing. This is a great opportunity for Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation to get their story out. That's all we really need, to hear the stories, connect, and then participate in doing something about it. 

Adam's Call:

After getting to speak with each person, it was time for the event itself! What an incredible evening! I learned a lot about the great advances in medicine that have been made to help fight Pulmonary Fibrosis and I was inspired by all the performers! Hunter Ryan Herdlicka started things off with a bang with his booming voice when he sang "When the Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabam." Zakiya Young got us grooving with "See What I Wanna See" when her sultry vocals radiated throughout that Edison Ballroom. Telly Leung had everyone cheering with his great rendition of "Before The Parade Passes By." Tony Award winners Rand Graff, Cady Huffman, and Judy Kaye cast a spell upon us when they sang Cyc Coleman's "Witchcraft," while Margo Seibert captivated everyone with "Flight" by Craig Carnelia. Then it was time for Lisa Howard who brought down the house when she reprised her showstopping number "Jenny's Blues" from Broadway's It Shoulda Been You! A standing ovation and two bows, Lisa had the audience feeling anything other than blue. After Lisa, Hamilton's Daveed Diggs took the stage with an original song/rap he wrote just for Broadway Belts. Daveed wrote a truly remarkable rap all about how lucky we are to have breath and the gift of breathing until we no longer have it. Such a talented writer, he is! Rounding out the night was Robert Creighton and the cast (Jeremy Benton, Danette Holden, Ellen Zolezzi, and Josh Walden) of the new Off-Broadway musical Cagney. They tapped their way into our hearts with "Give My Regards to Broadway/Yankee Doodle Dandy." It was a wonderful way to end this incredible night!

If you are looking to help a great cause, a donation to Pulmonary Fibrosis and the gift of breath is the perfect choice! Click here to donate!

Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson Photography

Telly Leung, Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson PhotographyTelly Leung, Call Me Adam, and Jefferson Harman, Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson PhotographyZakiya Young, Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson PhotographyRobert Creighton and the cast of "Cagney", Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson PhotographyJefferson Harman, Christopher McGovern, and Call Me Adam

Wednesday
Jan062016

Adam's Call: Lorna Luft "Triumph" at Feinstein's/54 Below: Celebration of Life

Lorna Luft and Call Me Adam at Feinstien's/54 BelowThere is a reason Lorna Luft entitled her current Feinstein's/54 Below concert Triumph. The reason is because her show is triumphant! Just 18 weeks ago, Lorna was in an operating room fighting for her life while she had a taxing 7-hour surgery for breast cancer. Now Lorna is up on stage singing her heart and soul out! 

In Triumph, Lorna sings songs about life, love, and accentuating the positive. She shows us what it really means to be alive through songs from the American Songbook including a Johnny Mercer medley and a great finale about being cut that you can't miss! Lorna has an energy like no other! Her voice is powerful, her belt raises the roof, and her control makes her one of the best singers around! She keeps the torch lit with her talent!

In addition to her singing, Lorna told some great stories behind the songs as well as behind her battle with breast cancer. It's through these tales that Lorna's heart, soul, and humor are revealed even more. I loved hearing about these special behind-the-scene moments.

To really understand how incredible this concert is, you need to buy a ticket and see Lorna Luft for yourself! She is the epitome of loving life and being grateful for every moment given to you! So, start this New Year off right and celebrate life with Lorna Luft Triumph at Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue)! Lorna has just two concerts left on Friday, January 8 at 7pm and 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!

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