Call Answered: Mark Nadler: "The Old Razzle Dazzle: An Evening of Lies, Lying and Liars" at The Laurie Beechman Theatre
Mark Nadler has had quite a career as a singer, pianist, tap-dancer and comedian, winning numerous awards for his one-man shows, including the 2015 Broadway World Editor's Choice Award for Entertainer of the Year, 2013 Nightlife Award, and a MAC Award for Outstanding Celebrity Artist.
I think the name of his latest show, The Old Razzle Dazzle: An Evening of Lies, Lying and Liars, is genius. I had a blast speaking with Mark about this show, which has been enjoying a hit run at The Laurie Beechman Theatre!
Mark’s next two shows of The Old Razzle Dazzle: An Evening of Lies, Lying and Liars will be at The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street, in the basement of the West Bank Cafe) on October 23 at 7pm and October 30 at 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!
For more on Mark visit http://www.marknadler.com!
1. This October you are continuing your run at The Laurie Beechman Theatre with your show The Old Razzle Dazzle: An Evening of Lies, Lying and Liars. What have you been enjoying so far about performing this show? I’ve been enjoying SO MUCH about doing this show. The audience (and frankly, the critical) response has been absolutely overwhelming. And that’s always gratifying! But the funny thing is, because it’s a show about lying and liars, I’m able to tell the truth in ways I never have been able to on stage before. Something about the material in this show really cuts to the bone about how I feel about so many things and I’m able to express all of that in this show. The complications of romance, the absurdity and hypocrisy of moralizers and, of course, the political world, about which I have a LOT to say!
2. What should audiences know about this show before attending? It’s very important that they know that this is an evening of lies, lying and liars. I debuted this show at Café Sebarsky at The Neue Galerie last March and those people had no idea what they were there to see. Consequently it BOMBED!
Since then I’ve done it five times — each time more successful than the previous and, because they knew the basic idea of what the show is about, they absolutely loved it. There’s a line in the show when I ask the audience: “Am I getting too political?” At Sebarsky, a woman in the audience screamed out “YES”!! I don’t ever want that to happen again!! The interesting thing is I’ve had both Republicans and Democrats tell me that they love the show and want to see it again, so people who are of one political persuasion or another don’t need to worry that they’re going to be attacked. BUT, this is a show about lying and liars, so I can’t very well ignore the elephant in the room, can I?
3. How long did it take you to create this show - from idea to inception? This one came together relatively quickly for me. Usually a show takes between six months and a year, but this one was fully cooked in less than five months.
4. What was the hardest part of the show to write? There’s a section in the show where I read lies that I found on alt right web sites, REALLY dark stuff!! HORRIBLE stuff!!
The hardest part was finding something that shocks and horrifies the audience, but not so much that they’re upset for the rest of the show, only thinking about that shock. It was very hard to find something that walks exactly that line.
5. What was the easiest part? There’s a section of the show that’s a medley of songs that are lies we tell our children: The Tooth Fairy, The Stork, The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, etc. That medley came together in no time flat and is REALLY fun to perform!!
6. The show is entitled The Old Razzle Dazzle: An Evening of Lies, Lying, and Liars. Let's break this down a bit.
What's the biggest lie you told growing up that you didn't get in trouble for? I guess the biggest lie is not one I told, but one I lived. I didn’t let anyone know that I was into boys until I was a teenager, but I knew my whole life.
When have you discovered that you were being lied to? You mean aside from what I’m getting daily out of the White House? I guess the one that comes to mind is the time I came home early from work and found my partner “entertaining” another young man.
Who is the biggest liar you have ever encountered? I’ve “encountered” some doozies! I met and knew Roy Cohn (didn’t know him well, but I knew him) in the early 80’s. There was a lawyer, a woman, who wanted to climb the ranks and she figured out the way to do that was to attract the gay political figures by having parties with lots of cute guys around. There were hunky waiters and bar tenders, all in speedos. And she hired me to deal Black Jack in my swimming suit at her poolside. Then, after it got dark, I was hired to sit at the piano and entertain.
This whole thing was very popular with all sorts of gay political figures and Roy Cohn was one of them. You could just SMELL the lies on him, but he also was super charismatic and, even though he was pretty ugly, he was extremely sexy. There’s something about a REAL liar that’s not just intriguing, but so damned entertaining. That’s how they suck you in! (So to speak).
7. What is something about yourself that you have not told in a previous interview that you would like to reveal now? Well, I never told that story in an interview!!
More on Mark:
Mark Nadler is an internationally acclaimed singer, pianist, tap-dancer and comedian. He is the recipient of the 2015 Broadway World Editor's Choice Award for Entertainer of the Year.
His recent off-Broadway hit, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, has been honored with the 2013 Nightlife Award and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and two Broadway World Awards. The show was presented at The Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Adelaide, Australia, where it was nominated for the prestigious Helpmann Award. Additionally, Mark Nadler's Broadway Hootenanny has become a staple of the Adelaide Festival.
Mark has performed at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra and has been a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Oregon Symphony, National Arts Centre Symphony in Ottawa and others. At Philadelphia's 14,000 seat Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Mark did a solo two-act evening with the New York Pops, as well as Three Singular Sensations with Marvin Hamlisch and Martin Short.
He starred in and co-wrote the off-Broadway Gershwin revue, American Rhapsody, which was nominated for a Drama Desk and two Lucille Lortel Awards and received the Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) Award for Outstanding Musical Revue. He also won that award for Always: The Love Story of Irving Berlin. Additionally, he received the MAC Award three years in a row for outstanding Musical Comedy Performer. Additionally, Mark was given the MAC Award for his performance of five different interacting characters in his one man Opera in Honky-tonk, Red Light.
His one-man show, Crazy 1961, was aired on the New York PBS Television series, 66th & Broadway.
Mark's other one-man shows include Running Wild: Songs and Scandals of the Roaring 20's for which he received a Broadway World Award and a MAC Award for Outstanding Celebrity Artist, Addicted to the Spotlight, They Can't Take That Away From Me: Music Of George Gershwin, Let's Misbehave: A Cole Porter Soirée, Mark Nadler In A Nutshell, and …His Lovely Wife Ira: Ira Gershwin With and Without George for which Mark received the Bay Area Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. For his show, Tschaikowsky (and Other Russians), which he performed in New York's Algonquin Hotel, Firebird Supper Club and San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater, as well as the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Australia, Mark was awarded the 2003 Bistro Award for "Continuing To Raise The Standards Of Cabaret Performance." Tschaikowsky (and Other Russians) was reworked as a theatrical one man show called Russian on the Side, which played in Chicago and San Francisco, garnering Mark the Bay Area Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding One-Person show. He also won the Bistro Award for outstanding singer/instrumentalist and for Outstanding Revue for directing, conceiving and music directing Hard Candy: The Songs Of Carol Hall.
He created and co-stars in Something Wonderful: The Songs Of Richard Rodgers and The Night They Invented Champagne: A Toast To Operetta and The Musicals It Inspired. With KT Sullivan he created and performs Make Someone Happy …In The Words Of Comden and Green, A Fine Romance: A Dorothy Fields Songbook, Everything's Coming Up Roses: The Music Of Jule Styne, Sweet and Lowdown: An Evening Of Pure Gershwin, A Swell Party – RSVP Cole Porter, Are We A Pair: Sondheim's Words and Music, Gershwin Here To Stay and Always: The Love Story Of Irving Berlin, for which he and Ms. Sullivan received the Nightlife Award and the MAC Award, both for Outstanding Revue.
Mark has played New York City's Town Hall and in almost every significant night-club in New York City, and Los Angeles, notably, four seasons at Sardi's (where a caricature of Mark hangs among the other famous faces), 54 Below, The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, The Cinegrill in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Maxim's and the West Bank Cabaret where he was, at the age of nineteen, the house master-of-ceremonies and musical director. Abroad, Mark has performed in England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Israel and Australia.
Broadway credits include Dame Edna: The Royal Tour and The Sheik Of Avenue 'B'. At Lincoln Center, Mark cowrote, directed and starred in Schnozzola, a tribute to Jimmy Durante for the "Reel to Real" series. Favorite regional roles have been Tony Whitcomb, the outrageous hair-dresser in the Ft. Lauderdale and San Francisco companies of Shear Madness and the octogenarian piano-ukulele and chimes playing, dancing and singing Miss Mabel in Radio Gals, (a role he reprised for the cast album).
Academy Award nominated documentary maker Ray Errol Fox has created Mark Nadler's Broadway Hootenanny, Live from Sardi's which is available on DVD. His recordings include Runnin' Wild: Sin Songs from the Jazz Age, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, Crazy 1961, Beyond Words: Lyrics of Ira Gershwin and Tschaikowsky (and Other Russians), which Mark recorded live at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. With KT Sullivan, Mark has recorded A Fine Romance: a Dorothy Fields Songbook, A Swell Party - RSVP Cole Porter and Always: the Love Story of Irving Berlin.