"Call Me Adam" catches up with Bistro Award winning singer Karen Wyman! Here we talk about her new show, Here and Now, which she will be performing at her Iridium Jazz Club debut in NYC on Tuesday, May 26 at 8:30pm and 10:30pm (1650 Broadway at 51st Street)! Click here for tickets to the 8:30pm show and click here for tickets to the 10:30pm show!
1. On May 26 you are making your Iridium debut. What made you want to perform at this NYC landmark? Who wouldn't want to sing at the Iridium? The club is very well known and it holds a lot of weight. I thinks it's very well suited for what I do as a singer. Not that the Metropolitan Room isn't well suited for me, I love it there too, but I feel the Iridium attracts a different kind of audience and at this point in my career, I'm looking to reach a different audience. I want to reach as many people as I can, so I have to sing at different venues.
In today's market, I would be in the category of Pop Jazz, like a Bennett, Bublé or Connick Jr. I can swing, but also be a saloon singer. I love cabaret and, today, cabaret venues are our nightclubs because we don't have nightclubs like we used to. I called this show Here and Now because I'm just getting up there singing great songs.
2. What excites you most about this upcoming concert? It's exciting to sing for a new audience. It's an honor to work at such a well known Jazz club, it's known all over the world. What's bad about that (laughs)?
3. If you could give audiences one reason as to why they should come see you perform, what would that reason be? As they say, I found my sea legs. I've really come into my own. I'm a much different singer then when I was younger. I've became a better performer and found Karen Wyman. I can really communicate this to the audience. I'm more relaxed now and really having fun!
I'm one of the last youngest singers from a time that people want to see again. I'm sort of the new kid on the block. I just came back to singing after a 20 year hiatus. I feel I'm the familiar new face people are getting to know all over again.
4. How will this concert differ from your previous concerts? I think this show will make you laugh and cry. I have new material and some that I still do because they're just great to do and people don't get tired of hearing them, and of course there will be people who never seen me before. I have really grown in the last year.
5. What is one new song you are most excited to debut and what classic song of yours do you never tire of singing? I never get tired of singing "Why Can't I Walk Away," my first hit. I do a Beatles' medley and in this show I'm looking forward to singing, "When I Look In Your Eyes" by Leslie Bricusse, the song that got me on The Dean Martin Show. I was going through all of my stuff and found the demo that I sent to the producers. I said wow, this is unbelievable!
6. Since we last spoke, you won the 2014 Bistro Award for Acclaimed Return to Cabaret. What did it mean to you to receive this honor? To be recognized from your peers is the best honor you can get. You can't beat that.
7. In addition to your upcoming debut at Iridium Jazz Club, you are also taking part in a staged reading of a new play with music Love, Sex & Menopause by Phyliss J. Esposito at the Davenport Theater on May 7, 13, 21 and 28. What made you want to be part of this staged reading and what do you get from acting that you do not get from your music? I wanted to broaden myself. I'm a singer first, and then an actress, but when I sing I'm acting. I did act when I was in my 20's on National Tours of musicals. So I felt I needed to show another side of myself. Of course I'm no Meryl Streep, but I proved to myself I can do comedy.
8. Singing, acting, you are doing it all! What do you think is next for Karen Wyman? I'm not quite finished with my singing goals. Singing was a gift that was given to me, but I didn't understand it when I was young, now I do, and that is my first passion. It would be wonderful to do a musical on Broadway or a sitcom...I'm open to all things.
I really want to reach bigger audiences and get an even bigger following. That's why I'm going over to create an audience in the Ireland and London. I would also like to get involved in the European Jazz festivals.
9. How do you want to be remembered? This is hard to put into words, but I want to be remembered as a singer that was great at phrasing and can really touch her audience. It's so important when you sing that you really communicate what the song is saying. I think singing is easy it's the emotions that you want to tell the story.
10. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? I really don't drink, but I would mix watermelon, cucumber, and vodka together and call it "Wyman's Way."
As a teenager in her first ever public appearance, Karen Wyman astonished Dean Martin with her extraordinary and powerful voice. Overnight she signed a major recording contract with Decca Records, and captivated audiences on major TV shows hosted byJohnny Carson, Ed Sullivan, Carol Burnett, Mike Douglas, Dick Cavett, Glen Campbell and Merv Griffin.
Karen performed at nightclubs and concert halls alongside such stars as Paul Anka, Milton Berle, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Roy Clark, Jimmy Durante, Alan King, George Carlin, Rich Little, and Shecky Greene, and as an actress appeared on stage with the likes of Alan Young, Davey Jones, and Gordon MacRae.
Currently Karen is celebrating a return to the stage after stepping away to raise her family. Her acclaimed New York concert last year was named a "Critic’s Pick" by Time Out New York and called "a compelling concert and a totally-inspiring comeback performance" by BroadwayWorld.com. She also won a Bistro Award for her acclaimed return to the stage.