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

      

 

Entries in Review (12)

Saturday
Aug262017

Adam's Call: Michael Feinstein's "Showstoppers" at Feinstein's/54 Below: Hits all the right notes and then some

Michael Feinstein performing at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Stephen SorokoffTwo weeks ago I got to attend Michael Feinstein's Showstoppers at Feinstein's/54 Below. What an exquisite evening of talent, music, and stories this was. Michael hit all the right notes and then some! Michael was on fire and I think he almost caused the smoke alarm to go off, he was so smoking hot! 

From the minute the orchestra started, I knew I was in for a special night as they started playing all the big numbers I love from Gypsy to Rent. While not every song from that intro was actually sung, Michael did take the audience on a musical journey of Broadway's showstoppers. But what truly made this concert so special was Michael's interpretation of showstopper. Most people consider a showstopper those big, upbeat numbers that bring the house, but Michael reminded us, that a showstopper can be a quieter, softer moment, and Michael shared that intimacy with us.

Michael Feinstein performing at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Walter McBrideMichael Feinstein performing at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Walter McBrideFrom his vocal quality to the way he connects to the audience, Michael defines showman. He has the talent, appeal, and variety one needs to be entertained. Whether it's a big band number or a gentler, quieter piano only song, Michael reels you in making you want more. And it's not just his singing that gets you. The stories he tells are so captivating. He has worked with everyone!

I could go on and on about how terrific Michael's show is, but I will leave the rest for you to experience! Michael Feinstein's Showstoppers plays Feinstein's/54 Below through September 3! Click here for tickets!

If you missed my interview with Michael about this show, watch it here!

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

Friday
Aug182017

Adam's Call: The Government Inspector: Funniest Show Off-Broadway

There are just four chances left to see, Red Bull Theater's The Government Inspector, the funniest show Off-Broadway! I have seen this show twice and was doubled over in laughter both times. The Government Inspector is about the crooked leadership of a provincial village who discovers that an undercover inspector is coming to root out their commonplace corruption (where is this Government Inspector for you know who). When the town learns of his impending arrival, they weave together a web of bribery, lies, and utter madness.

While I'll highlight each person's brilliance below, this show is truly an ensemble production! Everyone is given their moment to take the lead, but it's their combined talents that really make the laughter ensue!

Mary Testa, Michael McGrath, Michael Urie, and Talene Monahon in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggMichael Urie and Arnie Burton in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggMichael Urie's physical comedy in this show reminds me of Chevy Chase in the heyday of Saturday Night Live. Michael is a comedic genius as is the rest of the cast, getting the laugh every time! Mary Testa ("Anna Andreyevna") takes the spotlight whenever she is on stage, with a delivery like no one else can do! Arnie Burton steals every scene he is in, jumping between his two roles effortlessly! Arnie gives such distinction to each character, that often times, I had to remind myself, that the same actor was playing both roles.

Ryan Garbayo, Michael Urie, and Ben Mehl in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggThe cast of "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggMichael McGrath kicks the laughter off from the minute the curtain rises. He is hilarious as "The Mayor." Ryan Garbayo and Ben Mehl are perfectly cast as twin brothers "Bobchinsky" & "Dobchinsky." They took me back to the 80s cartoon G.I. Joe when the "Crimson Guard Commanders ("Tomax" and "Xamot") were on the show...while each one posesses their own talents and traits, together, they are a winning team! Stephen DeRosa had me in stitches as the "Hospital Director" while Kelly Hutchinson had me peeing in my pants in the role of "Innkeeper's Wife." Her accents, facial expressions, all won me over. David Manis ("School Principal"), Luis Moreno ("Svetsunov"/"Imperial Messenger"), James Rana ("Doctor"), and Tom Alan Robbins ("The Judge") keep the laughter going, often in scenes together, they played off of each other very well.

Kelly Hutchinson, Stephen DeRosa, David Manis, Michael Urie, Tom Alan Robbins, and Mary Lou Rosato in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggMichael McGrath, Mary Testa, and Talene Monahon in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggLet's not forget Mary Lou Rosato ("Grusha"/"Locksmith's Wife"/"Waitress"). She killed each role she played! I thought I was going to have a permanent smile imprinted on my face from the amount of laughter she provided me. She really knows how to make each character their own landing the joke at just the right moment. Saving the best for last is Talene Monahon. She is great as "Marya," the daughter of "The Mayor" and "Anna Andreyevna." Her character's traits of defiance, yearning to get away from her family, and longing to win over the heart of Michael Urie's "Hlestakov" had all the ingredients of Winona Ryder's character in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice that I adored! Talene tackled each of these moments with raw emotion and ease. If Beetlejuice were to be re-done, she would be the ideal choice for "Lydia."

Talene Monahon and Michael Urie in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggArnie Burton, Mary Lou Rosato, Mary Testa in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggFor a show written in the 1800s, it sure stands the test of time. I have been recommending this show to everyone I can. In these trying times, laughter is so important. The Government Inspector will make you laugh more than you know! So, treat yourself this weekend to the funniest show Off-Broadway!

The Government Inspector plays at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) through August 20 only! Click here for tickets!

For more on Red Bull Theater be sure to visit http://www.redbulltheater.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

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

Tuesday
Mar212017

Adam's Call: A Very Sordid Wedding: A Real Homecoming

A few weeks ago I got to attend a special screening of Del Shores' A Very Sordid Wedidng, the lastest sequel in the Sordid Lives' saga. Right from the start, I felt as though, I had come back home to Winters, Texas. Despite a few cast changes, everything I love about the Sordid Lives brand was still there. Seeing "Latrelle," "Brother Boy," "Noleta," "Sissy," "Dr. Eve," "Wardell," "Odell," "Ty," "Juanita," "Vera," "G.W.," and "LaVonda" provided me with a sense of comfort that is the heart of Sordid Lives.

I love the way Del updated the script to include the passing of marriage equality. It was great how he progressed the show with this addition. Just like when Sordid Lives first started, the big theme was coming out and now all these years later, Del is still tackling the important issues faced by the gay community. It will be interesting to see what the next sequel will bring (Del, you see how I'm putting this out there already, that I want another installment?!?).

Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan, Rue McClanahan (portrait), Dale Dickey and Ann Walker in "A Very Sordid Wedding"But before we get that new film, let's walk down the aisle of A Very Sordid Wedding. Hands down the best part about this film was the way Del set it up. For those of us who were already fans of the Sordid Lives play/film/TV series, it's a real homecoming. For someone who has never seen anything Sordid Lives, Del has perfectly outlined who everyone is, what their relationship is to one another, and a brief history of their storyline.

So, let's throw some rice and celebrate this terrific film! "Brother Boy" is still in the mental hospital worshipping the late great Tammy Wynette, but this time around, he's added THE legendary Dolly Parton & Loretta Lynn to the mix. Leslie Jordan rocks it as "Brother Boy," keeping him living life on his terms and nobody else's. I have so much admiration for "Brother Boy's" courage to be true to who he is, despite all the teasing he gets. "Dr. Eve" is still tormenting "Brother Boy," but in a completly new and inventive way. Love Rosemary Alexander's portrayal of her! "Latrelle" is still learning how to accpet her son "Ty," but she's getting there. I feel she has come a long way since we last saw her. There is no other like Bonnie Bedelia (And the winner is....).

Leslie Jordan and Emerson Collins in "A Very Sordid Wedding""Noleta" is still enjoying her freedom from "G.W." and wanting to get laid by every man possible. At least this time, she has stepped up her game and gotten herself a real hunk! I just adore Caroline Rhea! She is such a great comedic actress and brings all her comedy tricks to this role. "Sissy" continues to quote the Bible while trying to accept the societal changes happening around her, but struggling. I do miss Beth Grant as "Sissy," but did enjoy seeing Dale Dickey back in the role. Then there's "LaVonda," played by the incredible Ann Walker. "LaVonda" has gotten herself in to a bit of trouble in this new tale, but as usual, she figures a way to get herself out of it. Ann just gets it and brings it all back!

Let's not forget "Juanita" and "Vera," played by Sarah Hunley and Lorna Scott respectively. There's not a moment when these two are on screen that laughter was not coming out of my mouth. Every scene with them was funnier than the one before! I couldn't get enough of them. "Ty" is still outspoken, making waves, changing people's minds. Kirk Geiger steps back into the role he originated, so it was nice to see him, but I did miss the depth that Jason Dottley brought to the role of "Ty."

David Cowgill, David Steen, and Sarah Hunley in "A Very Sordid Wedding""Wardell," "Odell," and "G.W." (played by Newell Alexander, David Cowgill, and David Steen respectively) all stayed true to their characters which added to that feeling of comfort and familiarity. 

I love the way Del paid homage to our dear Rue McClanahan (who played "Peggy" on Sordid Lives: The Series). Rue was such an integral part to the show, I definitely missed seeing her in this new story.

And no "Bitsy," meant no Olivia Newton-John. 

Whoopi Goldberg in "A Very Sordid Wedding"As for the new characters Del added into A Very Sordid Wedding, all of them integrated very well into the story. My favorites: "Billy Joe Dobson" (played by the sexy Emerson Collins), "Abernatha" (played by the one and only Whoopi Goldberg), "Kyle" (played by the delightful T. Ashanti Mozelle), "Hortense" (played by the divine Carole Cook), "Hardy" (played by the hunky Aleks Paunovic), "Jimmy Ray," (played by the ever wonderful Levi Kreis), and "Marty" (played by the hilarious Alec Mapa). 

There are a lot of twists and turns in A Very Sordid Wedding, which kept me on the edge of my seat. I was engulfed the whole time and didn't want the movie to end. That is all because of the genius writer that is Del Shores! One moment I was laughing, the next moment crying, then right back to laughing and a few jaw drops along the way. Not everyone can write so fluently, but Del can and always has!

A Very Sordid Wedding is just what the doctor ordered, especially in these trying unsettling times. A Very Sordid Wedding gives us the hope we are looking for. It shows us love will always win over hate. It's demonstrates that we can all grow and be more accpeting of others. It's a film that will leave a smile on your face long after it's over.

"A Very Sordid Wedding" CastAfter a sold-out premiere in Palm Springs last weekend, keep your eye glued to "Call Me Adam" as I will let you know of future screenings!

In the meantime, stay up-to-date with all things Sordid Lives at http://averysordidwedding.com and follow the film on Facebook and Twitter!

If you missed my interview with creator Del Shores and star Ann Walker, you can watch it here!

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

Sunday
Feb052017

Adam's Call: Marta Sanders: Follow Me: Epitome of Cabaret

Everyone needs to see Marta Sanders' latest cabaret show Follow Me at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC, co-directed by Mark Nadler & Debra Zalkind, with musical direction by John McMahon! Marta is the epitome of what it means to be a cabaret performer--keeping the audience entertained with her stellar voice and hilarious stories. The evening flew by just like a plane taking off for it's next destination. 

Marta took us around the world on a trip of her life. What a life she has lead! From a young girl in Spain to a grown woman conquering NYC, Marta has seen and lived it all. Marta is a performer and one of NYC's top tour guides. It was wonderful watching them come together in this show. 

Marta Sanders at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Photo Credit: Lou MontesanoHer set list was terrific! She opened with a great medley consisting of "Follow Me" by Lerner/Lowe, seguing into "Gotta Move" by Peter Matz, which slipped into "Gypsy In My Soul" by Clay Boland/Moe Jaffe. The moment Marta sang her first note, there was no other option, but to follow her on this journey. Marta effortlessly commanded our attention with her talent, humor, and booming personality!

I also loved two songs she sang about her husband, Gordon, "Falling In To You" by Jason Robert Brown and "Two For The Road" by Henry Mancini. Both songs illustrated the deep love they have for each other. Marta also performed her signature song "Warsaw" by John Wallowitch. While "Warsaw" is an emotional song, Marta found a way through costume and action, to add some humor to the song. Her funniest song came with "Hunk On The Bus," a song written for Marta by her former collaborator Michael Greer. This was a real fun song about a hunk a woman notices during her travels and the secret desires she has for him. This song had everyone roaring with laugther.

In addition to all the songs, Marta's stories added to the already enjoyable evening! Marta is a great story-teller! She really made me feel like I was there with her in every moment she was talking about. Marta can be touching one moment and cracking a joke the next minute. She kept me on my toes the whole time.

Marta Sanders at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Photo Credit: Lou MontesanoMarta Sanders at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Photo Credit: Lou MontesanoThe best treat of the night was Marta's encore song "I'm Still Here" by Stephen Sondheim. I feel this song is Marta's anthem. She's still here performing and giving tours because Marta is the best! Her vocal power is unreal, her comedic timing is spot-on, and her patter is entertaining!

With just 3 shows left, February 11, 16, & 25 at 7pm, I highly encourage you to get tickets for Marta Sanders Follow Me at The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street) because Marta is one performer you'll want to follow for years to come! Click here for tickets!

If you missed my interview with Marta about Follow Me, click here to read it! 

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

Sunday
Jan292017

Adam's Call: Chicago: The Musical, featuring Mel B: Still Going Strong

Last week I was wowed by the Tony Award winning revival of Chicago: The Musical, now celebrating 20 years on Broadway! Chicago: The Musical is still going strong because it's everything a Broadway show should be: memorable songs, top-notch dancing, and a story everyone can relate to.

The current cast stars former Spice Girl and current America's Got Talent Judge Mel B as "Roxie Hart," two-time Tony nominee Christopher Sieber as the slick talking lawyer "Billy Flynn," Amra-Faye Wright as "Velma Kelly" and Natasha Yvette Williams as "Matron 'Mama' Morton."

Mel B as "Roxie Hart" in "Chicago: The Musical"Amra-Faye Wright as "Velma Kelly" in "Chicago: The Musical"Kicking things off was Amra-Faye Wright. From the moment she takes the stage and starts singing the first note of "All That Jazz," I was hooked! Her voice is amazing and her dancing is exquisite. I wish I could kick my leg just half as high as she can. I did not get to see Mel B's Broadway debut in Rent, so I was even more excited to get to see her in Chicago: The Musical. Well, Mel B, is a star! She is a fantastic actress (losing her British accent and taking on a Chicago one) whose voice I was already a fan of. Mel B is a perfect fit as "Roxie Hart." She brilliantly conveyed the highs, lows, and every emotion in between that "Roxie" experiences. I think it was Mel B's own life dreams of wanting to be famous and rise to fame with the Spice Girls that helped her identify with "Roxie's" storyline. When Mel B made her entrance, it didn't take me long to lose sight of her and just see the character of "Roxie!" Both Amra-Faye and Mel B gave a spot on portrayal of the comradery and competiton between "Velma" and "Roxie." I could see a true friendship between these two, especially during the final two songs "Nowadays" and "Hot Honey Rag." The fun they have together really came out.

Christopher Sieber as "Billy Flynn" in "Chicago: The Musical"Natasha Yvette Williams (2nd from left) as "Matron 'Mama' Morton" in "Chicago: The Musical", Photo courtesy of Donald Jones Jr.I have been a fan of Christopher Sieber for over 10 years now, so I was thrilled to finally get to see him in the role of "Billy Flynn" (I have missed his previous stints in Chicago: The Musical). What can I say that hasn't been said about Christopher already...he's a talent. That voice. The acting. I could easily listen to him sing on a loop. He has great chemistry with everyone. Natasha Yvette Williams is a dynomite "Matron 'Mama' Morton." She has the voice of an angel and the comedic chops that role requires. She got the laugh every time she was on stage. I loved Raymond Bokhour as "Amos Hart." I think I saw him the last time around too, but what a terrific character actor he his. "Amos" is a man with low self-esteem who often feels invisible. There is NOTHING invisible about Raymond Bokhour's interpretation of "Amos." The cheers and applause he got during "Mister Cellophane" is proof of just how wonderful Raymond is in this show. There is also "Mary Sunshine," played by R. Lowe. The vocals on this man are unreal! You could hear a pin drop every time he sang and sing he did...all the way up to notes I have never heard! Let's not forget the dancers. What a joy it was to see this timeless choreography! All the dancers kept me mesmerized, especially Brian Spitulnik and James T. Lane.

I can't write about Chicago: The Musical without mentioning the songs. Seeing this production reminded me just how much I LOVE this score: "All That Jazz," "Cell Block Tango" (I think this is my all-time favorite Chicago: The Musical song), "When You're Good To Mama," "Roxie," "I Can't Do It Alone," "My Own Best Friend," "Me and My Baby," "Mister Cellophane," "Razzle Dazzle," and "Nowadays." Every song helps move the story forward and resonates after the curtain comes down.

Some long-running shows go stale after years on Broadway, but Chicago: The Musical is not one of them. After 20 years on Broadway, it's still got that fresh, exciting feeling! The cast is having a great time, which allows the audience to have an even better one! Chicago: The Musical will "Razzle Dazzle" you whether it's your first time seeing the show or your hundredth time! So "Tap Dance" your way over to The Ambassador Theatre (219 West 49th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue) to take in this classic show! Click here for tickets!

Mel B and Christopher Sieber will be starring in Chicago: The Musical through February 19 only!

For more on Chicago: The Musical visit http://chicagothemusical.com and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

If you missed my video interview with Mel B, you can watch it here!

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