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

      

 

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!

Saturday
May232015

Adam's Call: New York Pops 32nd Birthday Gala: Honoring Kathleen and Rob Marshall

New York Pops 32nd Birthday Gala Cast, Photo Credit: Richard TermineKathleen and Rob Marshall being honored at the New York Pops 32nd Birthday Gala, Photo Credit: Doug BazA few weeks back I attended the New York Pops 32nd Birthday Gala which honored Kathleen and Rob Marshall's work on Broadway and in film. Combining their work together, they have been entertaining us for well over two decades!

This concert featured some of the biggest names in entertainment and was lead by the New York Pops brilliant conductor Steven Reineke and backed by the extraordinary New York Pops orchestra! The evening was spectacular! To hear the New York Pops play the music from some of Rob and Kathleen's biggest successes was unreal! They gave new life to these amazing songs!

Alan Cumming singing "Cabaret" at New York Pops 32nd Birthday Gala, Photo Credit: Richard TermineLaura Benanti singing "Unusual Way" at The New York Pops 32nd Birthday Gala, Photo Credit: Richard TermineThe evening opened and closed with the fabulous Alan Cumming singing "Wilkommen" and "Cabaret" respectively from Cabaret. In between it was one high note after another! Some of my favorite moments were hearing Victor Garber sing "Those Were the Good Old Days" from Damn Yankees, Brian Stokes Mitchell killing it on "Where is the Life I Lead" from Kiss Me, Kate, Laura Benanti belting out "Unusual Way" from Nine, Sutton Foster triumphed with "Anything Goes" from Anything Goes, Margo Seibert and James Snyder enchanted us with "Out of Darkness" from Ever After, and Bebe Neuwirth dazzled the audience when she sang "All That Jazz" from Chicago. But the two major highlights of the evening was hearing the queen herself Queen Latifah reminding us what happens "When You're Good to Mama," from Chicago and hearing Renée Fleming blow the roof off Carnegie Hall unmiked! Two moments I'll never forget!

Queen Latifah singing "When You're Good To Mama" at The New York Pops 32nd Birthday Gala, Photo Credit: Richard TermineRenée Fleming performing at The New York Pops 32nd Birthday Gala, Photo Credit: Richard TermineGetting to hear the New York Pops and watching Steven Reineke conduct them is a true master class in music. They make such a great team, sounding perfect every time! I always feel so honored to be able to attend a New York Pops' concert because I get to hear a full orchestra perform some of the greatest music created. And let's face it, you just don't get that sound on Broadway anymore. I am not a musically inclined person by any stretch of the means, so when Broadway decided to limit the number of musicians that could play in the pit of a show, I didn't fully realize how much those limits would affect the music, but after attending many New York Pops concert, I completely understand why a full orchestra is so important!

Bebe Neuwirth singing "All That Jazz" at The New York Pops 32nd Birthday Gala, Photo Credit: Richard TermineSutton Foster singing "Anything Goes" at The New York Pops 32nd Birthday Gala, Photo Credit: Richard TermineIt was so great to relive so many wonderful musical moments throughout our history! Rob and Kathleen Marshall have really made a gigantic contribution to Film and Broadway! It was terrific hearing some of their biggest hits in one evening! The talent on that stage was unreal! The New York Pops always attract the biggest names and top notch talent! If you ever get a chance to go to Carnegie Hall and attend a New York Pops concert, I say DO IT! It's an evening that you'll remember forever!

For more on The New York Pops visit http://newyorkpops.org and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

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

Sunday
Apr192015

Adam's Call: Natalie Douglas: Hello Dolly...The Music of Dolly Parton at Birdland: Stairway to Heaven

Natalie Douglas in dressing room just before hitting the stage for "Hello Dolly...The Music of Dolly Parton" at Birdland 2014, Photo Credit: Kevin AlveyIf you haven't purchased tickets yet for Natalie Douglas' show Hello Dolly...The Music of Dolly Parton which is returning to Jim Caruso's Broadway at Birdland concert series on Monday, April 20May 18, July 6, and August 10 at 7pm, then I'm not sure what you are waiting for! For tickets, click the date above you want to attend!

Natalie Douglas has one of the most soulful voices I have ever heard and when you mix in the great Dolly Parton, well, then "Don't Think Twice," you just need to attend this show!

I saw this show in September 2014 and it was magnificent! What made this show so fantastic was the way Natalie used her gifted vocal talent to make these songs her own. She and her music director Mark Hartman really styled these songs to suit Natalie's voice. All of these songs took on new meaning when I heard Natalie sing them. She really brought fresh arrangements to these timeless songs!

Natalie Douglas in "Hello Dolly...The Music of Dolly Parton" at Birdland 2014, Photo Credit: Kevin AlveyNatalie Douglas in "Hello Dolly...The Music of Dolly Parton" at Birdland 2014, Photo Credit: Kevin AlveyNatalie chose a wonderful array of songs from Dolly's vast catalog of music, focusing on many of the songs Dolly wrote herself as well as some cover songs Dolly has done throughout her career. There was a great mix of hit songs and songs that may not be as widely known. My favorite Dolly-written songs performed during this September show were "Down From Dover," (one of my favorite Dolly story songs), "I Will Always Love You," and "Jolene."

My favorite songs that Dolly has covered throughout her career were Neil Young's "After The Goldrush" (one of my favorite Dolly Parton cover songs), Michael O’Donoghue's "Single Woman" (a wonderful story song), Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil's "Here You Come Again," Yusuf Islam's (aka Cat Stevens) "Peace Train," and Jimmy Page & Robert Plant's, (with additional lyrics by Dolly Parton) "Stairway to Heaven."

Natalie Douglas in "Hello Dolly...The Music of Dolly Parton" at Birdland 2014, Photo Credit: Kevin AlveyNatalie Douglas and Jim Caruso, "Hello Dolly...The Music of Dolly Parton" at Birdland 2014, Photo Credit: Kevin AlveyWith each song, Natalie told some great stories that were either Natalie's association with the song or a fun fact about Dolly herself. Not only is Natalie an extrememly talented singer, but she is a great storyteller. She's very entertaining and captivates you from beginning to end!

I am so glad that this show is being featured throughout the next few months at Birdland because it's a show that I could sit through over and over and over again! Between Natalie's talent and Dolly's exquisite songs, Hello Dolly...The Music of Dolly Parton is like going on a "Stairway to Heaven!"

If you missed my original interview with Natalie about Hello Dolly...The Music of Dolly Parton, click here to read it!

For more on Natalie be sure to visit http://www.nataliedouglas.com and follow her FacebookTwitter, and YouTube!

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