"Call Me Adam" catches up with Award-winning comedian, singer, musician, impressionist Stephen Sorrentino as we discuss his upcoming one-man show coming to NYC's famous Iridium (1650 Broadway at 51st Street) for one night only on January 13, 2015 at 8pm! We also discuss working with Debbie Reynolds, having Bruce Springsteen for a cousin and his Long Island upbringing! Click here for tickets!
1. On January 13th, you are bringing your one-man show to The Iridium here in NYC for one night only. What made now the right time to bring this show to NYC? The "One man" show is actually one man doing a million things and two musicians holding me upright while I do it on piano and drums. The roles of Lady GaGa, Jim Morrison, Joan Rivers, Sonny and Cher, Jose Feliciano, Elton John, Tom Jones, Jerry Lewis, The Temptations, Frankie Valli, Groucho Marx, Dolly Parton, Sammy Davis and more are my burden. The rest of the show is held up by Brenda Earle Stokes on Piano and Mike Sorrentino on Drums and Percussion.
It’s a mirror reflection of Peter, Paul and Mary because I get to be the Mary! LOL
My tour schedule has not taken me to the NYC area in years and I have wanted desperately to break back into the Broadway and NY television scene. My connections with regard to TV and film have been so Los Angeles based for 2 decades that it has made me crazy. I want to get back to my New York roots, use my New York big mouth and say what I want to say and sing what I want to sing. I am in town to perform for the APAP convention to expand my opportunities to performing arts centers around the country. I will be doing a private show for buyers at the famous Friar’s Club.
Why not slip in a show at the world famous Iridium. Why not walk my old Chelsea neighborhood streets and drink in that New York energy that I so miss? I can not wait!
2. What are you looking forward to most about performing at The Iridium and what, if anything, are you nervous about? I have a vaudeville sensibility to my show. It’s a nonstop "do you like me now" event. Doing Led Zeppelin sung by Jerry Lewis, Willie Nelson, Tom Jones, Pee Wee Herman and Wayne Newton is WEIRD…and funny. A pantomime routine using recordings of Gloria Swanson, Ethel Merman, and Carol Channing, to name a few, is simply out there but is "art." Will my Iridium audiences get it? Is it to Schticky?
I am a trained singer, pianist, flutist and guitarist but I will not be offering much jazz. I am nervous about that. I give the Iridium and Scott Barbarino of ScoBro Entertainment a bunch of credit for reaching outside the box and grabbing something unique. Unique?
I am also a bit nervous about being out of my large theater element and naked without my big band and girly 8 dancers to hide behind. I am on my own in a way but it is refreshing. Anything can happen.
3. Out of all the venues in NYC, what makes the Iridium, the perfect place for your show? It's intimate, it’s famous, it’s groovy and they said YES!!!!
Plus I lost my virginity in the restroom there in ’77 and again three years ago this January (It's a joke kids).
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing your one-man show? My hope is that I can prove that talent, practice, personality and a connection with an audience still means something in an instagram world. Everyone is famous by posting on social media. I have made a good living my entire adult life by what "I know" is show business. It involves being likable to a group of people. It then involves doing something that they might not be able to do such as musician ship, vocal ability, movement or humor. That is show business. I want people to take a way my sense of RESPECT for the heroes that have come before me and to be able to laugh at ourselves and connect as a group. It is a look back through Hollywood and Rock themes but in a pop, manic and humorous vehicle.
5. One thing we have in common is that we are both Long Islanders. How do you feel your Long Island upbringing helped prepare you for a life in the entertainment industry? I am from a 3 generation show business family in Suffolk County NY. My Grandfather was TONY FORLANO. He was a band leader and a Ricci Ricardo style club owner and Band leader/booking agent since 1950. My mom, MARGIE FARRELL, was his singer and my Dad was the saxophonist and a fellow booking agent. Being around gigs, music, musicians and the process of booking and executing shows since I can remember has created an interesting mix of loving swing music, old Hollywood musicals and its stars, Classic Rock and physical comedy. I am a weirdo mix of 80 years of show business sensibility. I thank GOD for East Islip High School and its teachers. They had the "excellence bug" and cared about the arts. From being in band, vocal groups, musical theater and more, we learned EVERY aspect of the arts. I played 9th grade football with "Boomer" Esiason and took tap dancer lessons after practice then back to "jazz rock" chorus at night. It was a unique and non-judgmental environment that I wish all creative kids have. Without EIHS, I might not have done much in the way of the arts. Go EI Class of ‘79!
6. One thing we don't have in common is that you have toured with Debbie Reynolds and are the cousin of Bruce Springsteen. What is the best part about having "The Boss" as your cousin and did you ever seek out advice from each other? How did you first come to tour with Debbie Reynolds and what have you learned from working with her? The Debbie Reynolds Story is part of my show. It is a great tale of attracting things to you from the universe. I wished Debbie into my life like a bad Hallmark movie and it happened!!
She simply called me up and asked me to perform with her one day when I needed it most. Come to the show and hear the story. I later went on to produce her show and host her last auction in Hollywood only this past July. Debbie is a beacon of positive energy and hope. She is the last of the rainbow, the last living screen legend and deserves this year’s SAG lifetime achievement award. I have some great stories about touring, private planes, crazy stalkers and Debbie’s "just one of the boys" attitude. She is an inspiration.
With Regard to my cousin Bruce Springsteen. I have not offered any advice to him ever. I don’t think I can offer much except a suggestion that he let me open for him for a year or two. I think I can put up with the 40 or 50 thousand seat venues and the adoration that he has from his diehard fans. I am super happy to be on his radar and to be blood relatives. If I can touch as many people spiritually as Bruce has done by the time I am done…I will be very lucky. My hope is that through my acting in film, TV, and on theater stages I can achieve that goal.
7. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? I don’t drink. After 30 years of the sauce…I quit 6 ½ years ago. BUT...If I was to make my signature drink, it would be called THE ENTERTAINER. It has many ingredients and colors. "Blues" Curacao, "Rock" Rum, "Sunset Boulevard" Orange Juice, as splash of "Broadway" Brandy and "Catskills" apple pulp and a Fire Island "Cherry Grove" Cherry on top!!!
It comes with a list of local AA meetings if you so choose :)
8. If you could be any original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? "I am the whole Roll Bitch!!!" All flavors, all colors, all tastes!!!!! :)
9. How do you want to be remembered? I would like to be remembered for caring about the craft. The audience is the most important person in the room. Not the act, the producer or lighting person. It's "you out there in the dark." -Norma Desmond
I truly believe that we serve the people that have given up one or two hours of their lives to see what you do, amuse them, make them forget or to remember. It’s a blessing and should be held above any other thoughts of arrogance or self-importance.
In a short Phrase I would like people to think that "he cared."
"The Boss"- Bruce Springsteen - referred to his cousin Stephen Sorrentino as "talented as hell!"
Throughout his career, comedian Stephen Sorrentino has brought audiences to hysterics with his quick-witted humor, masterful musicianship and expert showmanship that can only be cultivated with a family tree that has proved legendary. Stephen has shared the stage with superstars such as Patti LaBelle, Dennis Miller, Dana Carvey, The Smothers Brothers, Larry "The Cable Guy" and for the past four years, toured with the legendary Debbie Reynolds.
As a 3rd generation performer, this Long Island native always knew that he wanted to pursue a career in music and theatre. Learning to play piano, sax, flute & guitar at a young age, Stephen first stepped on stage at the age of five singing with his grandfather. By the sixth grade, he was doing mock "Tonight Shows," where a friend would host and the young Sorrentino would portray all the other guest stars on the show.
During high school and college, Stephen was involved in musical theatre and began studying musical composition, eventually landing a publishing deal with Famous Music/Paramount as a performer/singer/songwriter.
Stephen's career eventually evolved due to his incredible talent for mimicry, earning him the title of #1 Elton John Impersonator world-wide and he began long-term tours with companies such as Disney, Dick Clark and Legends in Concert.
His Second City training, working directly with creator Martin de Maat, would help to cement him as a major force on stage as well as in front of cameras, where he has appeared in 22 films and TV shows, such as America’s Most Wanted, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Larry, The Cable Guy’s Only in America, Eden’s World and Hollywood Squares, as well as dozens of radio and TV talk shows and more than 50 TV commercials.
Stephen’s Las Vegas and Atlantic City appearances have included The Paris, Riviera, Golden Nugget, Taj Mahal, Hilton, Cosmopolitan, Tropicana & Bellagio Casinos. He was named "Male Impressionist of the Year" by the International Guild of Celebrity Impersonators and Tribute Acts (IGCITA), for three years in a row in Las Vegas. He is currently in production with his new reality show, due this spring.