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

Thursday
Jul182013

Adam's Call: Ethel Sings: Made Me Want To Learn More

Tonight I took in a new play by Joan Beber with direction by Jules Aaron called Ethel Sings is an imaginative take on the execution of Ethel Rosenberg and her husband Julius.

Cast of "Ethel Sings", Photo Credit: Michele Young PhotographyThis show was livened up by its very talented cast. Everyone deserves recognition because I could tell just how much effort each performer put in to this show. A few of my personal favorites were: Shelby Kocee who lead the cast as "Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg," did an outstanding job. From her acting to her singing, Shelby really hit all the right notes; Richard Chassler who portrayed "Roy Cohn," really showed multiple sides to his character. His hard-ass attitude made me fear him at times and his brilliant comedic moments made just laugh; I also really enjoyed Ben Goldsmith who played "Ethel's" son "Michael." In addition to his fine physique, he really shined in the second act, while his guitar playing throught the show was always in the spotlight; Finally, Julia Silverman was wonderful as "Ethel's" mother "Mrs. Greenglass." She had some tough moments that got to me.

Cast of "Ethel Sings", Photo Credit: Michele Young PhotographyBen Goldsmith, Ross Alden, and Shelby Kocee in "Ethel Sings," Photo Credit: Michele Young PhotographyEthel Sings definitely made me want to learn more about the Ethel Rosenberg trial. I didn't know much about it prior to the show, but now I want to know more. While I liked the second act more than the first act, I do think this show is still worth checking out, especially if you are a history buff or like to support new work. For $18, you'll get an evening at the theatre. Click here to purchase tickets!

Ethel Sings runs through this Sunday (July 21) at Walker Space Theatre in SoHo (46 Walker Street)!

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

Sunday
Jul142013

Adam's Call: Julian PO at NYMF: On It's Way

Cast of "Julian PO", Photo Credit: Steven Rosen Photography LRThe summer theatre festivals are upon us and I had the chance to take in Julian PO as part of the 2013 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). I was initially attracted to this show because it starred some of my favorite performers Chad Kimball, Luba Mason, and Jason Gotay.

Adam Rothenberg and Chad Kimball after "Julian PO" at NYMF, Photo Credit: Raellen ForemanLuba Mason and Adam Rothenberg after "Julian PO" at NYMFWhen "Julian PO" comes to middle America to end his life, things don't go exactly as planned. In a show about life, dreams, and self-worth, Julian PO has the potential to be an even better than show it was. I was enthralled by the performances given by Chad Kimball as "Julian Po," Luba Mason as "Lilah Leech," Jason Gotay as "Tom Potter," and Sean Cullen as "Henry Leech." Chad's turn as "Julian Po" was great. He really made me feel for his character's hardships and as always, it was a joy to hear him sing. Luba's portrayal of "Lilah Leech," the wife of the town's mayor, "Henry Leech" was superb. She really captured the heartache her character felt and definitely had me cheering by the end. Her vocal quality was prestine. I was so happy she had several featured solos. She deserved them! I have only seen Jason Gotay sing at some of Bobby Cronin's concerts, so to get to see him in a full production was wonderful. His acting and of course singing were delightful to watch. He was on top of his game and it was great to see him steal the spotlight. Sean Cullen also impressed me as the town's mayor, "Henry Leech." I found myself hating his character, but loving the way he brought his character to life. 

Chad Kimball as "Julian PO", Photo Credit: Steven Rosen Photography LRChad Kimball as "Julian PO", Photo Credit: Steven Rosen Photography LRI think this show has a lot of potential. While I liked the general idea of the book by Andrew Barrett, I would like to see it pulled together a bit more. I think some stories could be cut out to allow other stories to play a bigger role and allow us to really get inside this town even more. I also wanted stronger songs. My favorite thing about going to see a musical is being able to sing the songs long after the show is over. I would like to see that happen with Julian PO. I remember liking certain songs, but I can't recall their names or any of the lyrics. I felt there was real potential for that to happen.

I think Julian Po scores well for a show that is just starting out. I look forward to seeing what is next for Julian Po. For more on Julian Po be sure to visit http://www.julianpo.com.

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

Sunday
Jul072013

Adam's Call: Jackie Hoffman's Old Woman, New Material: Bringing The Laughs Back

Jackie Hoffman has done it again...created a hilarious, fun, and spot-on one woman show called "Old Woman, New Material." Bringing the laughs back to 54 Below, Jackie's new show may still focus on her career, dislike of children, and societal commentary, but she's focusing on these topics in a whole new way! Throughout the hour long show, Jackie riffs on her Broadway, film and television career with new anecdotes and new stories as well as some great new songs. The comparisions she makes between herself and others is very funny. From the lack of press she gets to meeting Stephen Sondheim, Jackie lets the audience know exactly what's on her mind. It is this no-holds-barred presentation I love most about attending a Jackie Hoffman show.

I also really enjoy the diverse comedy style Jackie displays during her show. Not everyone seems to handle the dark humor well, but Jackie has a knack for making off-beat jokes/stories work. I found myself laughing for the full hour, even when some of Jackie's material was on the border of "Did she really just say that?" But that is what makes Jackie stand-out! 

In between comedy bits are some brilliantly written new songs. Jackie hits the mark with songs about iPhones, the New York Times, and her own take on popular theatre songs. These songs just add to the comedy genius known as Jackie Hoffman.

While Jackie is known for ranting about her life, career, and society, she always does it in a fresh new way. "Old Woman, New Material" at 54 Below is no exception! Seeing this show tonight was a great way to end my weekend. With just 3 shows left, I suggest getting your tickets now to Jackie Hoffman Old Woman, New Material at 54 Below. Click here to purchase tickets!

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

Saturday
Jun082013

Adam's Call: Mark Jason Williams' Straight Faced Lies: Left Me Wanting More

Playwright Mark Jason WilliamsRising playwright, Mark Jason Williams, has a new play in town as part of Planet Connections Theatre Festivity at the Rober Moss Theater in NYC called Straight Faced Lies. A smart, well-written, humorous, and intricate script, Straight Faced Lies left me wanting more. Taking the audience inside the home of a family's Thanksgiving celebration, Straight Faced Lies revealed one secret after another and just when you thought you knew them all, another secret came out.

Cast of "Straight Faced Lies" (from left to right): Thom Christensen, Ann Farthing, Hannah Logan Wolfe, Danny HiltThe twists and turns in this hilarious drama is a testament to the strong writing of playwright Mark Jason Williams. I have only seen one other show written by Mark, The Other Day, and was impressed by his writing then too, but with Straight Faced Lies, Mark's writing as really grown. This cast did a fantastic job of bringing Mark's words to life. The cast consisted of Linda Blackstock, Thom Christensen, Ann Farthing, Danny Hilt, Josh Krebs, and Hannah Logan Wolfe. Each of these actors brought something special to Straight Faced Lies. Ann Farthing really stood out to me because of the way she delivered her lines. Whether it was her inflection or facial expression, Ann got the laugh every time, even though behind the laughter, there was quite a story to her character. Linda Blackstock also shined bright as her character went through a real transformation from beginning to end. 

Stringing the story together was wonderful direction by Melissa Skirboll. I really liked how she linked the scenes together, which helped peel back the pieces of Mark's fantastic script. Combing multiple talents, the cast and creatives made a great team.

With just two performances left in the festival, get your tickets to Straight Faced Lies. It's important to support original new work by young playwrights! Mark has a long road ahead of himself as a successful playwright. Let's all help him get there for his work deserves wider exposure! Straight Faced Lies plays Sunday, June 9 at 7:30pm and Saturday, June 22 at 4:30pm at Robert Moss Theater in NYC (440 Lafayette Street). Click here for tickets!

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

Thursday
May302013

Adam's Call: At Hand Theatre's I Wanna Destroy You: Hilariously Provocative

Cast of "I Wanna Destroy You", Photo Credit: Murphy Made Photography (Matthew Murphy)At Hand Theatre company is going out with a bang as their final show, Joshua Conkel's I Wanna Destroy You, is hilariously provocative. I Wanna Destroy You takes the audience on a search for love, purpose, strength, and self-worth. When "Beau" is dumped by his lover on his 30th Birthday, the journey begins.

Anthony Johnston, Kieran Mulcare, and Geneva Carr, Photo Credit: Murphy Made Photography (Matthew Murphy)Joshua has written a play that made me laugh, think, and be entertained, which is the kind of show I enjoy most. Dan Horrigan has done a great job directing the play, while the cast of six bring this story to life! Geneva Carr, Jamie Jackson, Anthony Johnston, Preston Martin, Kieran Mulcare, and Kathy Searle all do an excellent job. Their comedic skills are on par while some (Kieran, Kathy, Preston, and Geneva) excelled to bigger heights. Everyone seemed to be in tune with their characters' personality and path, which helped make this story work.

Kathy Searle and Preston Martin, Photo Credit: Murphy Made Photography (Matthew Murphy)I Wanna Destroy You showed me that we are all on a path to desruction, some of us detonate, while others are able to put the fire out or at least keep it contained for longer. I have always enjoyed attending shows at At Hand Theatre company because they took risks on new playwrights, especially many new gay playwrights. I sure am going to miss this gem of a company, so here is hoping their hiatus is not a permanent one! With only 3 performances left, I suggest clicking here to get your tickets!

I Wanna Destroy You plays at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue) through June 1!

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