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

      

 

Thursday
Sep242015

Adam's Call: Dina Martina: Flat & Lacking: Full of Life

Dina Martina is unlike any performer you've seen! Her shows are hard to describe, but one thing is for sure, when you attend a Dina Martina show, you will laugh and leave with a smile on your face! Dina's dark humor is not for everyone, but if you are open to going places that you wonder if it's okay to laugh, then Dina Martina is the perfect show for you to attend! With a mixture of songs and stories, Dina entertains like no other!

Paul C. Focazio, Dina Martina, and Call Me AdamHer latest show, Flat & Lacking, at The Laurie Beechman Theatre is anything but! It's actually full of life! Dina tells new stories about her showbusiness days from the glamourous lights of Las Vegas to summer nights in Provincetown to the Emerald City itself, her hometown of Seattle. What's great about these stories is that you never know who she is going to talk about. Dina is also big on charity work. I love hearing about all the causes that are near and dear and far from Dina's heart. And when Dina is not talking about her life, she's entertaining the crowd with a well known song that is sometimes rewritten in a way only Dina can write...dark and funny!

Dina Martina, Photo Credit: David BelisleDina is not one to shy away from making fun of herself. She is the first person to be in on the joke and that includes her costumes too. She wears the wildest outfits that only Dina Martina can wear! Whether they accentuate her frontside or backside, no one can match Dina Martina's "fashion" sense. And it's her clothes that add to her humor!

I have been seeing Dina Martina for 10 years now and let me tell you, each show gets funnier and funnier! I could easily see each show twice. Dina has so many hidden gems that one viewing is never enough! So, if you are looking to take things to the next level, check out Dina Martina Flat & Lacking at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC through September 27! (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue inside the West Bank Cafe) Click here for tickets!

If you missed my interview with Dina about Flat & Lacking, click here to read it!

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

Monday
Aug242015

Adam's Call: Olivia Newton-John: Summer Nights at The Flamingo Las Vegas: Magic

Olivia Newton-John and Call Me Adam at Olivia Newton-John's "Summer Nights" residency at The Flamingo Las Vegas"Magic" is being made at Olivia Newton-John's Las Vegas Summer Nights residency at the Donny & Marie Showroom inside The Flamingo Las Vegas. I was fortunate enough to get to see Olivia's show while I was in Las Vegas celebrating my 40th Birthday! I saw Olivia for my 25th birthday at Boston's Pavillion, so it's quite fitting to celebrate another milestone birthday seeing Olivia in concert. 

I was mesmorized from start until finish! Olivia is in tip-top shape performing her catalog of music from mega hit songs, to her country roots, to a special Xanadu and Grease suite, as well as some of my favorite Olivia songs that were not big hits. From the moment Olivia started "Have You Never Been Mellow," acapella , I knew I was in for a treat! From there, the show exploded! The 90 minute concert was over in a flash. Olivia is such a captivating, engaging, and enthusiastic singer. I could just tell how much she loved performing this show! She really got everyone engaged and dancing! Olivia interacted with the audience throughout the whole night, making the concert that much more exciting! My favorite part of the show were the back stories Olivia told about some of the songs. It was these vulnerable moments that added such intimacy to the show!

Olivia Newton-John "Summer Nights" at The Flamingo Las Vegas, Photo Credit: Denise TruscelloOlivia Newton-John "Summer Nights" at The Flamingo Las Vegas, Photo Credit: Denise TruscelloI also loved the fact that Olivia did not just sing her hits! She covered her an array of songs from her career. Some of my favorite songs she performed were "Not Gonna Give Into It," which is her personal anthem, as well as one of mine! When I was going through some tough times back in college, this song really kept me moving forward and to this day, whenever I need a boost, I turn up the volume on "Not Gonna Give Into It!" If you read "Call Me Adam," you'll know I am a fan of musical theatre. Needless to say, when Olivia sang my favorite Stephen Sondheim song, it was the perfect merging of my two worlds. Her performance of "Send in the Clowns," was unreal! She completely understands the emotions and feelings behind this song and effortlessly displayed that understanding to the audience. I am so glad she included this song. To get to hear "Sam" and "Please Mr. Please," were just a delight. These are definitely two of my favorite Olivia Newton-John songs. These past few months, leading up to the concert, I have been going on my own journey of gratitude. So when Olivia sang "Grace & Gratitude," I heard this song in a new light for the first time. I truly understood what it meant to have such gratitude for so many things (not that I wasn't grateful before, but this new journey of mine has made me even more grateful than I had previously been).

Olivia Newton-John "Summer Nights" at The Flamingo Las Vegas, Photo Credit: Denise TruscelloOlivia Newton-John "Summer Nights" at The Flamingo Las Vegas, Photo Credit: Denise TruscelloOlivia found the perfect balance of music to perform! From "Physical" to "Xanadu" to "I Honestly Love You," this was one rockin' concert! The Flamingo Las Vegas is the perfect venue for Olivia to have her residency. The space is intimate, with no seat further than, what seemed like no more than 50 feet from the stage. The set is simple...just a white stage, some lights, and her band and back-up singers behind her. I hope everyone will get the chance to go to Las Vegas and see Olivia Newton-John does what she does best...light up the stage with love!

Olivia Newton-John's Summer Nights is in residency at the Donny & Marie Showroom inside The Flamingo Las Vegas through January 2, 2016! Click here for tickets, dates, and times! 

For more on Olivia be sure to visit http://olivianewton-john.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

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

Wednesday
Aug192015

Adam's Call: Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers: One Singular Razzle Dazzle

What a week it's been so far here in Las Vegas! I came here to celebrate my 40th Birthday, but I had the honor to leave my 30s on a high note, taking in one of Vegas' biggest shows, Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers! I was beyond excited to see this show because two of my favorite Broadway stars, Kerry O'Malley and fellow "Call Me Adam" participant, David Burnham, are amongst the lead vocalists. I was also introduced to the talents of Nicole Kaplan, Randal Keith, Andrew Ragone, and Lindsay Roginski, as well as a host of dancers!

With a 30-piece orchestra to back them, these timeless classics sounded better than ever! Except for On The Town, no Broadway show is hosting a 30-piece orchestra these days, so this, was a real treat! There is nothing like a full orchestra and I am so glad Steve Wynn had one for this dynomite show!

From left to right: David Burnham, Lindsay Roginski, Kerry O'Malley, Randal Keith in "Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers"From the first note of "There's No Business Like Show Business" from Annie Get Your Gun to the last note of "One" from A Chorus Line, this show is one big hit after another! It was one explosive number after another. The explosions kept getting bigger and bigger as the night went on! Just when I thought the show couldn't get any better, boom, boom, boom, it kept topping itself all the way until the end!

I haven't seen Kerry O'Malley on Broadway since the 2002 revival of Into The Woods. It was a thrill to see her talents and hear those glorious vocals on such big songs as Gypsy's "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "Together (Wherever We Go)" with Lindsay Roginski, and Annie Get Your Gun's "Anything You Can Do" with Randal Keith.  And on "Cabaret," I mean, please, I almost couldn't handle myself! Kerry's still got the power and elgance I remember from the Into The Woods revival. It was terrific seeing her lighting up that stage!

David Burnham in "Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers" as Billy Fynn singing "Razzle Dazzle" from "Chicago"David Burnham and the cast of "Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers" performing "Razzle Dazzle" from "Chicago"I've seen David perform several times prior to Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers, but in this show, David really gets to demonstrate his comedic side, which is hilarious! He brings the house down on Cabaret's "Willkommen" and "Money Money," shows his goofy side in "The Game" from Damn Yankees and makes our hearts stop with his sexy, slick "Billy Flynn" where he really gives us the "Razzle Dazzle" from Chicago.

And Andrew Ragone, won me over when he sang "Luck Be A Lady" from Guys and Dolls. Talk about a suave guy. He sure knows how to put the moves, not only on his co-star, but on the audience as well. I melted watching him in the bright blue suit as he sang his heart out!

Lindsay Roginski and the cast of "Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers" performing "Cell Block Tango" from "Chicago"Lindsay Roginski, man, this woman, can sing and dance! She raised the roof with "All I Need Is One Good Break" from Flora The Red Menace and "Cell Block Tango" from Chicago. She certainly has it coming to her...more leading roles that is!

I loved hearing Randal Keith sing big! He gave Kerry a run for her money with "Anthing You Can Do" and wowed the crowd even more when he sang "Once In A Lifetime." Every number he sang, was bigger than the one before!

I can't forget Nicole Kaplan. This girl has pipes! She made "All That Jazz" all her own! I haven't seen power like hers in a while! I wasn't sure I was going to make it past 39 after hearing this girl sing. She literally almost killed me with her talent! Such a delight to be introduced to her! 

Nicole Kaplan and the cast of "Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers" performing "All That Jazz" from "Chicago"Cast of "Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers" performing "Money Money" from "Cabaret"Those dancers! They really lit up that stage and didn't miss a beat! My favorite numbers were when all the dancers were on stage together, especially in "Willkommen" and "Money Money" from Cabaret, but the very memorable moment for me was watching them re-create "One" from A Chorus Line. Such a beautiful number! Stunning!

My only surprise to a show presenting Broadway's biggest numbers was that 42nd Street was not included. I would have loved to meet those dancing feet. Other than that, Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers is the perfect feel good show! You get the glitz and glamour of Vegas along with some of the biggest numbers in Broadway history!

Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers plays at the Encore Theater, housed inside the Wynn Las Vegas. Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers plays Monday through Thursday at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, and Saturdays at 6:45pm and 9:15pm! Click here for tickets!

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

Sunday
Jul262015

Adam's Call: Jason CoZmo: Dolly: Coat of Many Colors: Baby I'm Burnin'

Natalie Douglas, Jason CoZmo as "Dolly", Call Me AdamI just got home from one of the best Dolly Parton concerts ever...I mean, that's what it felt like I was at while attending Jason CoZmo's Dolly: Coat of Many Colors at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC!

Jason, a celebrity impersonator, brings Dolly to life in a way I have not seen before. He embodies her, channels her, and lip syncs to her songs, but he does all of this with his own flair and charm! You have to be a true performer to do what Jason did tonight on that stage. There were many moments where I forgot I was watching Jason and just thought I was seeing Dolly Parton. The way he puts his show together is genius. 

Jason CoZmo as "Dolly Parton"With the use of her songs, Jason took us through not only Dolly's story, but his own story of becoming a celebrity impersonator! Jason did a great job using Dolly's vast catalog of music to do this. Sure, he performed some of her biggest hits like "Here You Come Again," "Coat of Many Colors," "9 to 5," "Jolene," and "I Will Always Love You," but he also dug deep into her music vault and brought us "God Bless The USA," "Better Get To Livin'," "Hard Candy Christmas," "Two Doors Down," Help!," and so many more!

Jason's interaction with the audience was terrific! He made us all feel as though we were part of the show! The mixing of various video segments was a nice addition to the show during his many costume changes. The thing I enjoyed most about Dolly: Coat of Many Colors, was Jason's energy, enthusiasm, and demonstration of what it means to be a universal performer! He appealed to everyone, which is what made this show so great! And to get to see this show with Natalie Douglas, who is a huge Dolly fan (with her own Dolly show at Birdland on August 10, click here to purchase tickets), was the icing on the cake!

Jason CoZmo as "Dolly Parton"With just one show left (on August 2), I highly suggest you "Better Get to Livin'" and get yourself a ticket to the best Dolly Show in town!

Dolly: Coat of Many Colors will play The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street, in the basement of the West Bank Cafe, between 9th & 10th Avenue) on Sunday, August 2 at 7pm! Click here to purchase tickets!

If you missed my interview with Jason CoZmo about Dolly: Coat of Many Colors, click here to read it!

For more on Jason be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

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

Friday
Jun262015

Adam's Call: A New Brain: New York City Center Encores! Off-Broadway: Just Go

I was so lucky to get a chance to see New York City Center Encores! Off-Broadway staging of William Finn and James Lapine's A New Brain starring Tony Nominee Jonathan Groff, SNL's Ana Gasteyer, Broadway's Aaron Lazar, Quentin Earl Darrington, Spelling Bee's Dan Fogler, along with Jenni Barber, Bradley Dean, Josh Lamon, Alyse Alan Louis, and Rema Webb.

For those of you who don't know, A New Brain is William Finn's autobiographical musical about surviving a brain tumor. After struggling composer "Gordon Michael Schwinn" (Tony Award nominee Jonathan Groff) collapses at the piano, he is diagnosed with a brain tumor and is forced to come to terms with his creative ambitions and the people in his life: an overbearing mother (Ana Gasteyer), a ruthless kiddie-show host (Tony Award winner Dan Fogler), and a boyfriend who’d "rather be sailing" (Aaron Lazar).

Originally produced in 1998 (which starred Malcolm Gets and Penny Fuller), Encores! staged version is one NOT TO BE MISSED! This powerful show really sends a message about second chances, living in the now, loving as big as you can, and holding tight to the people you care for most.

Aaron Lazar and Jonathan Groff in "A New Brain" at New York City Center Encores! Off-BroadwayCast of "A New Brain" at New York City Center Encores! Off-Broadway, Photo Credit: Sara Krulwich/The New York TimesThis extraordinary cast did a stellar job! Jonathan Groff was outstanding as "Gordon Michael Schwinn." He commands the stage and sings the heck out of all his songs. He has such an amazing singing voice and I am thrilled to have been there live to hear it! He really got down to the depths of the pain and struggle his character goes through. He really tapped into the emotions needed to play this role. Aaron Lazar was terrific playing "Roger," "Gordon's boyfriend!" I was definitely taken on "Roger's" journey and what journey it was. I went from hating "Roger" to adoring him by the end! What a transformation and Aaron's voice was just golden! I was delighted he got to showcase it several times throughout the show on "I'd Rather Be Sailing," "Just Go," "MRI Tomorrow," and "A Really Lousy Day in the Universe." I absolutely adore Ana Gasteyer. I've seen her in a few theatrical shows and I'm always impressed by her talent, especially her vocal quality. Tonight, as "Mimi Schwinn," "Gordon's mother," Ana shined bright especially during "Mother's Gonna Make Things Fine," "Throw It Out," and "The Music Still Plays On." She has quite the vocal strength and it's great she gets to use it! Then there was Rema Webb as "Lisa, a homeless lady." This was my first time being introduced to Rema and from the moment she set foot on stage, I was taken with her talent and soulful, powerhouse vocals! She definitely stole the spotlight every time she was on stage, especially during "Change," and "A Really Lousy Day in the Universe," and "The Homeless Lady's Revenge." Rema is definitely a talent I intend to keep my eye on!

Cast of "A New Brain" at New York City Center Encores! Off-Broadway, Photo Credit: Sara Krulwich/The New York TimesJonathan Groff and Ana Gasteyer in "A New Brain" at New York City Center Encores! Off-BroadwayWith only 3 performances left, "Just Go" see this life changing show! I was so moved by this production that I hope there is a bigger life then this limited run! It's a show everyone can relate to! A New Brain runs through this Saturday, June 27 only! Click here for tickets!

For more on New York City Center Encores! visit http://www.nycitycenter.org and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

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