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

      

 

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!

Friday
Oct172014

Adam's Call: Gold Dust Orphans: Snow White and the Seven Bottoms: A fistful of laughs

I recently took in The Gold Dust Orphans' production of Snow White and the Seven Bottoms, a hilarious comedic take on the classic fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs currently playing at Theatre 80 in NYC through October 26. Written by Ryan Landry, Snow White and the Seven Bottoms is two hours of fistful laughter and fun songs.

Ryan Landry as "The Evil Queen" and Olive Another as "The Magic Mirror" in The Gold Dust Orphans' "Snow White and the Seven Bottoms"The cast, is super talented with each cast member holding their own! Olive Another ("The Magic Mirror") landed one zinger after another and always effortlessly interacted with the audience. Scott Martino was delightful as "The Footman," playing very well off of Varla Jean Merman's "Prince Charming." With the right amount of comey, Varla butched it up for "Prince Charming," convincing me she was really hoping to woo "Snow White," played by Jessica Barstis, who's vocal quality was unreal! I couldn't wait to hear sing her next song! Ryan Landry was the perfect "Evil Queen" especially with his comedic timing. One of my favorite parts of Snow White and the Seven Bottoms were the "cameo" appearances of Cher, Liza Minnelli, Ethel Merman, and a few other gay icons through out the show.

Varla Jean Merman as "Prince Charming" and Scott Martino as "The Footman" in The Gold Dust Orphans' "Snow White and the Seven Bottoms"The thing I love most about attending a Gold Dust Orphans' show is that they are not afraid to take chances. They push the envelope, which is what makes them stand-out. Ryan Landry's writing is genius because he forces people to go beyond their comfort zone and that is what makes him unique. Filled with in pop culture jokes and sexual innuendo's, Snow White and the Seven Bottoms takes you deep in the side the forest of this re-imaged fairy tale.

Ryan Landry as "The Evil Queen" and Jessica Barstis as "Snow White" in The Gold Dust Orphans' "Snow White and the Seven BottomsIf you like classic fairy tales with a twist, then The Gold Dust Orphans' production of Snow White and the Seven Bottoms is the perfect piece of theatre to take a bite out of the big apple with. Snow White and the Seven Bottoms plays at Theatre 80 in NYC (80 St. Marks Place, between 1st and 2nd Avenue) through October 26! Click here for tickets!

This show is for ADULTS ONLY!

For more on The Gold Dust Orphans be sure to visit them at http://golddustorphans.wordpress.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

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

Thursday
Sep182014

Adam's Call: Barry Levey's Hoaxocaust: Can't stop thinking about this show

It's been well over 3 hours since I left Baruch College Performing Arts Center in NYC after seeing Barry Levey's, Hoaxocaust, as part of the 2014 International Fringe Festival Encore Series. Hoaxocaust is a compelling, thought-provoking, emotional, can't stop thinking about, how will I sleep tonight one-man show about those who deny that The Holocaust ever happened.

Barry Levey in "Hoaxocaust"I have not been so moved, riled up, and pushed forward with thoughts in a long time. Between my home life and my 7th/8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Laskey, I certainly grew up learning all about the horrors of The Holocaust and about the family members who were lost in it and those who survived. I mean, it was embedded in my brain that we must "never forget" and "we must keep talking about it so another Holocaust doesn't happen."

Even with this upbringing, the message of Barry's show seeped deep into my head. For the first time, I thought, could these deniers be right? Could it be possible that The Holocaust never happened? It astounded me that these thoughts were going through my head, but with what Barry presented, I could see how someone who's not as strong-willed as me could truly believe these deniers.

Dr. Ruth at a previous performance of "Hoaxocaust"It's terrifying to know that Holocaust deniers are out there, but it's even scarier to think that maybe one day their beliefs could become the norm. I mean, the survivors of The Holocaust are dying. The direct family members of the survivors are dying. If these family members don't pass along this history to future generations, who will be able to keep their legacy alive? I know there is plenty of documentation out there that The Holocaust happened, but with all the hate in the world and after seeing Barry's show, it does make me wonder, are there enough of us out there to make sure people know about The Holocaust? In the 1930s, no one thought The Holocaust would happen, but it did. We have succeeded in not letting another one happen, but who knows what the future will bring. Hate is everywhere and in some parts of the world (even right here in the United States of America), these Holocaust deniers are living, gaining members, and getting their message out there. If the ending of Barry's show is any indication of what we are dealing with, well, then you will see why I can't stop thinking about this show!

Barry Levey in 'Hoaxocaust"Barry has 2 performances left. This Sunday, September 21 at 3pm and Wednesday, September 24 at 7:30pm at Baruch's Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, entrance on 25th Street). Click here for tickets!