A classically trained composer, opera singer, and concert pianist, Daniel Lincoln’s career has spanned from the classical world, to Broadway, to pop. He currently conducts the national concert tour of "The Midtown Men": a 60’s rock review show starring the four original stars of Broadway’s "Jersey Boys." Daniel also teaches at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and at the New York Film Academy’s Musical Theatre Conservatory, and accompanies Broadway auditions for the New York casting agency Telsey + Company. He will be in London this year promoting the new musical "Wrong Could Be Right," for which he composed the score. As composer/lyricist, other original musicals include: "Savannah: A Jazz Fable," "Reinventing David," and "Queen Bea: A Soapsical"(which premiered starring the cast of ABC’s Daytime Drama, "One Life to Live"). Daniel is also currently composing the songs for, and musically directing the recording of "Photos on the Floor," the debut pop album of singer JWalker.
Daniel has also become a fixture of New York’s cabaret/nightlife scene and was dubbed a "nightlife icon" in 2010 with successful and long-running shows such as "The Girly Show" (with nightlife personality Justin Van Pelt, aka "Valentine"), "The Broadway Brouhaha" (with renowned nightlife host Brandon Cutrell), and seasonal cabaret series such as "Broadway at the Bistro" (Lively Arts Productions) and "The Stonewall Singalong" (with famed celebrity impersonator Jason Cozmo).
Next up for Daniel is a musical revue of his music at The Laurie Beechman Theater in NYC on Monday, May 14 at 9:30pm entitled "Four Scores...and Seven Shows Ago," which will feature a wide range of new material from Lincoln’s upcoming musical comedies "Bebe vonBreckenburg’s Beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Bridal Boutique," "Miss Humanity" (lyrics co-written by Michael DiGaetano), "Calixte," as well as some of his stand-alone novelty numbers (even including some of the racier ones that earned him nightlife notoriety in New York’s cabaret circuit).
Proceeds from "Four Scores...and Seven Shows Ago" will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The evening will include performances by Broadway’s Brian Cali ("Master Class") and Michelle Dowdy ("Hairspray"), and television personalities Ryan Raftery ("Ugly Betty," "Law and Order: SVU," "Malcolm in the Middle"), and Sasha Weiss (ABC Primetime’s "What Would You Do," "Jerry Springer, The Opera" at Carnegie Hall.) Also performing are Ricky Schroeder ("Naked Boys Singing"), Anne Frasier Thomas ("The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" - US & International Tours), Kyle Kleiboeker (Nat’l Tours: "Hairspray," "Rent"), MAC and BISTRO Award Winning singer and nightlife personality Brandon Cutrell, Jody Cole Wood, Brittany Marie Arnao, and Dimitri Joseph Moise.
"Four Scores...and Seven Shows Ago" will play The Laurie Beechman Theater in NYC (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue). Tickets are $10 + $15 food/drink minimum). Call 212-695-6909 for tickets!
For more on Daniel be sure to visit http://www.danielmlincoln.com!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a composer/opera singer/concert pianist? Well, my grandfather was a professional opera singer and my grandmother was a concert pianist, so I guess you could say I didn't have much choice in the matter. But in all seriousness, I remember being a little whipper-snapper watching my grandparents perform...I would see how much joy it brought them, and how much joy they would bring to their audiences, and I would think, "That's magic. I want to do that kind of magic one day."
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Well, I have two answers to that. I got a chance to work as a music assistant on a production of "Follies" at NY City Center Theater, and so I got to have some interactions with the great Stephen Sondheim (can you say "wow moment?" 'Cause I can...). But if I could get another chance to work on a production with him...and actually work WITH him...that'd be amazing. If Sondheim is disqualified, then I would want to hop into my time machine and hook up with Hal Prince in 1962 and just follow him around through the next forty years. His career includes some of my favorite musicals of all time, like "She Loves Me," "Fiddler," "Cabaret," "Company,"...oh, the list goes on! I'd be in theater dork HEAVEN!
3. What made you want to put together a musical revue of your work? How did you decide to call it "Four Scores...And Seven Shows Ago?" I have always admired the work of Broadway Cares / Equity Fights Aids, and my friends and colleagues have been involved in their events such as Easter Bonnet and Broadway Bares...the organization not only does incredible work but fosters such an atmosphere of community. I wanted to contribute, and I felt the best way to do that was to share my music and lyrics. They jumped at the idea of a concert of my songs as a benefit event. And as far as the title, I wish I could claim I'm that witty, but the sad truth is I posted on my Facebook asking for suggestions and - after receiving some really hilarious options - had my friends vote for a winner. "Four Scores...And Seven Shows Ago" won hands down.
4. How did you decide on who you wanted to perform your music? I've been lucky enough to work with some amazingly talented people in this city, and over the years they have become close friends of mine. They are so generous with their time and their talents...frankly, once word got out that I was doing "Four Scores...," the evening kind of cast itself pretty quickly. I had the unusual luxury of getting to sit back and see which performers, out of the insane number who were willing, would match up to the songs I wanted to include.
5. In this upcoming revue, you are showcasing some of your stand alone music as well as music from 3 of your musicals: "Bebe vonBreckenburg’s Beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Bridal Boutique," "Miss Humanity" (lyrics co-written by Michael DiGaetano), and "Calixte." What can you tell us about these musicals? Well "Bebe..." and "Miss Humanity" are both bright, bubbly musical comedies. "Miss Humanity" tells the story of a pageant-queen-turned-Hollywood-megastar who decides to do "important work" by stopping a war...and, thankfully, her underhanded agent has the reality TV contacts to invent a fake one for her. It's kind of "Legally Blonde" meets "Wag the Dog." Big sets, big cast, big Broadway-style fun. Meanwhile "Bebe..." is a single-set, small ensemble musical farce that follows a woman desperate to save her store and her otherworldly "fairy godmother" helper who takes the physical form of Vera Wang. I know, it sounds like I took a bong hit before I wrote that one. Let me put it this way: "Bebe..." answers the question, "What would happen if Christopher Durang and William Finn wrote a musical together?" Absurdist, meta-theatrical musical comedy fun. The last show, "Calixte," a new, exciting project that was previously titled "The Rise of the King." This musical is my first venture into creating a role for a star, namely the opera singer Maryann Kyle. I had the immense good fortune of music directing Kyle's New York cabaret debut, and was so floored by her talent that I thought, "I have to write for that voice." She was open to collaborating on a new project, and thus "Calixte" was born. "Calixte" is a musical fable about a young outcast-turned-hero who is forced on a quest to vanquish the wicked and seemingly all-powerful Calixte (who Kyle will play). Through a twist of fate, "Calixte" actually finds redemption and the young hero becomes king. Very traditional, "epic hero's journey" musical theater.
6. What excites you about performing at The Laurie Beechman Theatre? The Beechman is like a second home to me. It was one of the first venues I ever performed at here in the city, and it's certainly the one I have found myself returning to the most. The staff is amazing, and the management has always treated me well. From the initial stages of planning "Four Scores...," I knew the Beechman should be its home.
7. In addition to your upcoming show, you also conduct the national tour of the Midtown Men. What has been the best part about working with them? Two words: DREAM JOB. Seriously, what's not to like? I get to tour the country and spend time with heavy-hitter, Tony-winning Broadway megastars Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and J Robert Spencer, and play incredible music at gorgeous venues. Being on the road making music with your friends? Yes, please! There's nothing like performing on stage for 1500 screaming fans, and thanks to The Midtown Men, I get to experience that again and again every week. And those Midtown Men fans are NO JOKE. Next to tweens squealing at a Bieber concert, I don't think there are more energetic and supportive fans out there. We know it's going to be a good show when we can hear the screams coming from the other side of the curtain before the show's even started. First time that happened, I asked the stage manager what they were screaming at. He said, simply, "The house lights went down. They know the show is about to start."
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a composer? Okay, so I know I'm supposed to be deep right now and give some sort of life changing revelation. But sadly, the main thing I've learned about myself from composing is that I am a procrastinator. A helpless, incurable procrastinator. Where are MY twelve steps??? Oh, they're right there? Meh, I'll climb them later. But seriously, I don't know what it is; I can't find the creative spark until the 11th hour and then suddenly - BAM - it comes. I guess it's because I am over-critical and a little OCD, so I can't shut off the persnickety editor in my head until it's too late to really think about it. There is a silver lining, though. Since I have accepted my procrastinator ways, I simply let myself get roped into impossible deadlines. People seem impressed that I can turn a song around overnight if I have to. I don't have the heart to tell them that even if I had a month to write it, I wouldn't put pen to score until the night before anyway. Once you turn your procrastination into an asset, you find you get a lot of writing done. That's why I have pledged to do almost exclusively new material at "Four Scores...," because I know I'll get it done if I have to, and I probably wouldn't have even finished some of these numbers otherwise.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? I picked this up in an improv comedy class when I was a kid, and it just stuck: always say, "Yes, and...." It's helpful to remind myself to do that, because some of the greatest adventures/opportunities/learning experiences I've had came from unexpected places. By approaching the world with an attitude of "yes," I'm always open to whatever new and exciting road is rolling out in front of me. And the "and" is just as important, because it forces me to contribute to this new idea/opportunity, and suddenly I'm on my way down this new road going, "Whoa, look at this pretty scenery! Ooh, a Denny's!"
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Chris Evans. Swoon.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? What's a "day off"?
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Jogging in Central Park. Not only does it make me feel super New York-ey, but that's time I can spend just with myself and my thoughts and the open path. Also, on weekends, there's always something kookey going on in the park, and you never know what you're going to stumble upon.
13. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs, but not tightie-whities. I like more fun, designer-y type undies. Actually come to think of it, my underwear drawer probably sports a palette of colors and patterns so vibrant that even Ray Charles would go, "Gurrrrrrrl, puh-leeze!"
14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Mind control. Definitely mind control. If for no other reason than I'm sick of pitch meetings. Oh, to just wave my hand like Obi Wan Kenobi and say, "You want to produce my musical." Mmmm...that's almost a better dream than Chris Evans. Almost.