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Archive for July, 2009

Photo credit: Rosemary Alexander

Photo credit: Rosemary Alexander

“Sordid Lives” creator & “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Del Shores will be performing this Saturday & Sunday (Aug. 1 & 2) in California.

August 1 (“The Storyteller”)

A benefit for the San Francisco LGBT Community Center (1800 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102)

7pm Show, tickets $25-$100

http://www.jasondottley.com/Del_Shores_My_Sordid_Life/Tour_Tickets.html

Photo credit: Rosemary Alexander

Photo credit: Rosemary Alexander

Jason Dottley DiscoAugust 2 “My Sordid Life” (with special guest Jason Dottley):

Lambda Players (1028 R Street, Sacramento, CA 95811)

7pm Show, $30 General Admission, $50 VIP

http://www.jasondottley.com/Del_Shores_My_Sordid_Life/Tour_Tickets.html


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Reach The Sky A host of talent will be taking part in “Reach The Sky” concert this Monday, August 3 at 7pm & 9:30pm at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street) celebrating the songs of Bobby Cronin including:

Caissie Levy (“Hair”), Jared Gertner (“25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” & upcoming “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant), Kate Pazakis (“Jerry Springer Opera”, “Divas I’ve Done”, “A Broadway Diva Christmas”, solo CD “Unzipped: Live at the Zipper”, & upcoming “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant), Katie Thompson (“Giant”), Natalie Weiss (“Wicked”), & Ben Cameron (“Wicked”).

Tickets are $15 at the door. For reservations call: 212-695-6909.

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Ben StrothmannCatch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Ben Strothmann in the Midtown International Theatre Festival production of “Holy Thy Peace, Thou Knave”, an evening of shorts.

Where Eagles Dare Studio Blackbird, 347 West 36 Street, 13th Floor

Howling Moon Cab Company Presents “The Play Plays”, a darkly comic look at the experience of doing theatre. “Holy Thy Peace, Thou Knave” is a 10 minute play set backstage at a production of “Twelfth Night”-a last minute understudy for Sir Toby Belch goes a little haywire onstage, causing a consternation among the rest of the cast. Ben plays the understudy they find to replace Sir Toby Belch.

Performances:

Friday, July 31 at 5:30pm

Saturday, August 1 at 7:15pm

Sunday, August 2 at 2:30pm

Tickets: $15 (General Admission), $12 (Students & Seniors) https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/664855/1246483800000

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Two AMAZING independent singers/songwriters, 3 albums you need to buy:

Jay Brannan: http://www.jaybrannan.com

Drew Brody: http://www.drewbrody.com

“GODDAMNED”                         “In Living Cover”                  “Drew Brody”

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Photo credit: Anne Rumberger

Photo credit: Anne Rumberger

Photo Credit: Anne Rumberger

Photo Credit: Anne Rumberger

On Saturday, July 25 I went to see the Midtown International Theatre Festival production of “NeverCracked”; produced by The Intentional Theatre Group & Carissa Baker (www.intentionaltheatregroup.net). With “NeverCracked”, you’re getting to see two shows in one night. One show is “CRACKED” & the second is “NEVER SWIM ALONE”.

“CRACKED”, by Gwydion Suilebhan tells the story of a woman, an audience, and an egg.  It stars Grace Kiley as a cooking-show host who will demonstrate the many ways to use an egg as an ingredient. That demonstration is just the surface of what lies beneath, which is performed skillfully by Ms. Kiley. An egg is like the heart–fragile and precious with a protective shell that can easily be shattered if not taken care of properly. We all do what we can to never crack the egg, but sometimes it happens…the egg falls, gets thrown, or even squashed. When it does, the egg just like our hearts morph into something much more…more durable and stronger, eventually becoming whole again.

On the opposite end of the spectrum “Never Swim Alone” by Daniel Macivor is a comedy starring Candice Holdorf, Nick Lewis, and Daniel Dugan. It tells the tale of old friends competing in fast-paced silly battles of wit, one-ups, and manliness. The skills of these three performers blend together wonderfully. Nick & Daniel couldn’t be more perfect buds with many a times talking in unison. It reminded me of the “Crimson Twins (Tomax & Xamot)” from “G.I. Joe” the way one would talk, then the other, then both at the same time. Watching this show, one would believe they have been “friends” for a long time. Candace stands her own as the girl they both hope to get, whether it’s a look she gives the audience (very Bea Arthur) or posing like pin-up girl (a la Farrah Fawcett).  Funny, yet thought-provoking, “Never Swim Alone” made me wonder…what lengths does one go through to beat out the competition? What reward does one get from winning, aside from the prize at hand, while hurting others along the way? Is the competition at hand the best way to use our energy and time when both are so limited?

The only way to figure out the answeres to these questions and the analogy above is to go see “NeverCracked” at the WorkShop Theatre Co’s Main Stage (312 West 36th Street). Remaining showtimes are: Friday, July 31 at 9pm, Sunday, August 2nd at 8pm.  For tickets visit http://www.midtownfestival.org/

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Ian KnauerIan Knauer sparkles on stage, just like his beautiful blue eyes. On Broadway he has starred in “By Jeeves” (which he also recreated for the film) & “State Fair”, while Off-Broadway he has starred in “The Most Happy Fella (NY City Opera), “South Pacific In Concert” (Carnegie Hall), Encores! At City Center productions of “The Apple Tree”, “Wonderful Town”, “Pardon My English”, &  “And Of Thee I Sing”; “How Now, Dow Jones” (York Theatre); “Clue: The Musical” & “Suspect” (NYMF), and a workshop of Barry Manilow’s “Harmony”. Nationally, Ian has ben seen in “42nd Street”, “The Will Rogers Follies”, “Doctor Dolittle”, “Sunset Blvd”, “The Wizard Of Oz”, & “Seven Brides….”  Currently, Ian can be seen lighting up the stage on the smash hit North American Tour  of  “Mamma Mia”. To find out when the tour will be in your area visit: http://www.mamma-mia.com/

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I don’t think there was one person who inspired me – at least not that I remember. I am inspired often though when I see performers now who seem to resonate with me. Meryl Streep in Doubt was absolutely transforming to me. Dudley Moore in Arthur. Eva Cassidy in almost every song. . . If I could have the impact on one person that they have had on me – I would be a happy man!

2. What is your best and worst experience in a show? My best experience is any time I make an audience roar with laughter – I know that that laughter is the product of a collaboration – but it sure feels good! My worst, I think, is during one show of Clue – The Musical off-Broadway. A group of drunk bachelorettes were sitting in the front row and one of them decided to wake up the bride-to-be. She proceeded to scream profanities at the top of her lungs about how horrible it was that our show was still going on. Good times.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Nope!

4. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks – Large Earl Grey Tea with one tea bag – skim milk and lots of sugar. 🙂

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? I do a lot of walking and I do sit-ups and push-ups every other day and lots and lots of stretching. Of course the shows that I do help to keep me in shape too.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

7. Favorite TV show? I don’t watch TV but I think I would like Ugly Betty.

8. Favorite actor? I don’t have a favorite.

9. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman – I like a strong man who looks good in tights!

10. Summer Resort or Winter Retreat? Summer resort – I love the sun and all of the activities around the beach or a pool.

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Ben StrothmannCatch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Ben Strothmann in the International CringeFest ‘09, a super fun theatre festival of bad plays, bad musicals, & bad films.

Grand Theatre @ The Producers Club, 358 West 44th Street

His evening is entitled “Children & (Other) Sharp Objects”. Ben stars in the following shorts:

“Playthings” by Rob Talyor (Ben plays “Clarence” in this piece, a bratty child in silhoutte

“The Closet” by Aoise Stratford (Ben plays “Bart Sponge Round Trousers”, a character loosely based on “SpongeBob SquarePants”

“Bitterella: The Musical” by Mark LaPierre (Ben plays “Jonus”, a Mormon Prince Charming)

Showtimes:

Tuesday, July 21 at 8pm

Sunday, July 26 at 7pm

Friday, July 31 at 8pm

Wednesday, August 5 at 8pm

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at http://www.theatermania.com/new-york/shows/international-cringefest-09-bad-plays-bad-musicals–bad-films_154398/

For more information on “CringeFest ‘09″ visit: http://www.nyartists.org/festivals.html

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Mark ComptonAward Winning actor Mark Philip Compton has been acting for over 15 years.  He won the 2002 Best Actor & 2004 Best Supporting Actor Award at the Working Drama Festival for his roles of  “Arnold” in “Torch Song Trilogy” &  “Tom/Phyllis” in A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia”, respectively.  To rave reviews, Mark recently finished playing “Carlos” in  “The Woodsman” at London’s Old Red Lion Theatre.  Starting August 7, catch Mark at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival starring in a new play “Hayton on Homicide”, but first catch the previews in London July 21, & 22 at the Tristan Bates Theatre and July 23 & 24 at ADC Cambridge.  For tickets and showtimes visit: http://www.haytononhomicide.co.uk/tickets.html

2. When did you realize you wanted to become a performer? I realized I wanted to be a performer at a very early age 3 or 4 – I remember being at my grandmother’s house and getting her to sit and watch while I would pretend to be the circus ringmaster with the various clowns, acrobats, lion tamers etc and introduce and then be the act as well.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Who inspired me is difficult – partly the reason I have answered question 2 first is because the when is easier. I am not sure any one person inspired me when I was so young – certainly being taken to see a circus was an influence. However as I have got older I find I am influenced every time I go to the theatre – watching Kenneth Branagh recently in ‘Ivanov’ in London was mesmerising; seeing Nathan Lane in ‘The Producers’ and watching him play an audience and know how to win them over; Ian McKellen playing Widow Twankey (a pantomime dame) in ‘Aladdin’ and seeing an actor just have enormous fun and bringing great joy to an audience; Dame Judi Dench in anything she does; Glenn Close in ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and more recently in ‘Damages’; Kevin Spacey in ‘The Usual Suspects’ – these are all among the many people I watch who influence me to be the best I can be as an actor – however this is just a small part of a very long list of great performances I have seen which influence me. I find watching actors tackle role – especially on stage – that are a challenge to them and also challenge an audiences perception of them as actors a great influence – I know it is one of the reason I became an actor to push those personal boundaries and those of the people who watch me.

3. What advice would you give yourself at age 16? My advice to myself at 16 would have been do not let anyone tell you that you cannot follow your dreams – a number of family, friends and teachers all said I should not go to drama school, become an actor because it is a precarious life. Maybe they were right and I was not mentally and emotionally ready to pursue this career at 16 which is why I did not complete my post grad until I was 30. But I would still tell myself to follow your heart and your dreams and if it does not work at least you gave it a go. You do not want to get to old age having not followed a dream and regretted it – always take the chances and opportunities and never regret anything.

4. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? The worst experience on a show is having another cast member tell me I am incompetent and that I am a disgrace to acting – that is hard. Going through that kind of reaction from a fellow actor especially at the end of what I considered a successful first run and then having to transfer the play with the same company is hard. However looking back I think that there was a fear in the other actor and a lack of trust in their own ability and strength as well as a lack of trust in the other members of the company whereas I wrongly or rightly will trust the people around me in a production to support me and get me out of a problem on stage in the same way that I would if they were in trouble. As they say what does not defeat us makes us stronger.

As for the best experiences – there are so many – the first play I did at school playing Jack in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ and having so much fun that I wanted to go and repeat the performance with the rest of the cast straight away. Playing Arnold in ‘Torch Song Trilogy’ a play which was very close to me because I was not out at the time and there was a sense that I was bearing my soul and pouring my heart out on stage especially during the final part of the play knowing my mother was in the audience and the conversation I was having on stage was the one I wanted to be able to have with her. Then winning a best actor award for the role just made it even better. Taking a show abroad for the first time to Toronto in 2008 and playing to audiences who have no idea who you are because you are still early in your career and getting great reactions. Having an opportunity as an actor to explore and challenge people – currently appearing in ‘The Woodsman’ by Steven Fechter (April 2009) and spending hours talking to people about the themes of the play even though they are very dark and it is very much a taboo subject. These are just some of the best experiences.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I don’t believe I have any strange or unusual talents hidden away. I am reasonably fearless as a performer and have done to myself just about anything a director has asked – gained weight, lost weight, grown and cut hair, performed naked etc – but I don’t think I have any unusual talent – however I am still waiting to see – so who knows…

6. Books or Magazines? Books – no question about this at all. Growing up we did not have a TV at home (my parents did not get one until I was about 23 and had left university and was living abroad) so as a child the house was filled with books and my flat still is. I read avidly and will always have a book with me. I read anything that seems to interest me from historical to action, fantasy to biography and everything in between – I can spend hours in a bookshop and will willing accept any recommendations for something to read from anyone who wants to suggest.

7. Favorite kind of sundae (ice cream flavor & toppings)? I am not a huge fan of sundae’s – I had a dairy allergy being lactose intolerant as a child so these were always banned – however am partial to a good sorbet – lemon, mango or fruits of the forest my favorite.

8. Animal Crackers or Oreos? Again do not really have a sweet tooth and we historically have had neither Animal Crackers or Oreos in the UK although Oreos are now available to buy. So just from experience if I had to choose one it would be Oreos.

9. Superman or Wonder Woman? I have to say Superman – never got into Wonder Woman as a child and then we have had Bryan Singer’s movie which has bought Superman back to the forefront of peoples consciousness. I think for me it was the ability to fly – something I would want to do if I had a superpower – the ability to fly wherever I wanted – WOW!

10. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers for me – not that I have anything against briefs but I just prefer the look and cut of boxers – specifically hipster style boxers (and also hipster speedo’s as well).

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Eat MeIf you’re traveling to Provincetown this summer, don’t forget to check fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Hedda Lettuce’s latest show of comedy and song “Eat Me”. It plays at the UU MeetingHouse (236 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657).  For showtimes and tickets visit:  https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/660335

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Del Shores & Jason Dottley Austin TXDon’t forget to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Del Shores & special guest star Jason Dottley TONIGHT (July 19) at 7pm in Austin, TX at Austin: Center Stage Texas. For tickets and information visit: http://delshores.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=199720 (use code FANCLUB for discount).

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