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Archive for October, 2009

Even though Rue McClanahan is recovering from her emergency by-pass surgery this event has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a future date…..

 

Sordid Comedy Affair Returns

An evening of extreme laughter and good times is coming back to Comix in NYC from November 30-December 2. That’s right, “A Sordid Comedy Affair” is making a triumphant return featuring Rue McClanahan, Jason Dottley, Leslie Jordan, and the creator himself, Del Shores (all of whom have been featured on “Adaubmelle’s Quest”). You’ve seen them on “Sordid Lives: The Series” and now see them LIVE ON STAGE as they tell the behind-the-scenes tales that you haven’t heard, not only of “Sordid Lives,” but of their other career highlights! Don’t wait, get your tickets now!

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Next To NormalI have seen many shows in my life and many more because of this blog, but I can’t recall seeing a show that engulfed me as much as “Next To Normal.” This story captures you from the start and continues to pull you in and keeps you way beyond the ending of the show. “Next To Normal” tells the story of a family coping  with mental illness and while you might not think this makes for a musical, you better think twice about that. The music and lyrics successfully help drive this compelling story. Bringing this family to life is the supreme talents of Alice Ripley as the mother “Diana” who is suffering from mental illness, J. Robert Spencer (fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest participant) as the father “Dan” who is trying to help “Diana,” Kyle Dean Massey (who was performing tonight in place of Aaron Tveit) as “Gabe,” “Diana” & “Dan’s” son, Jennifer Daminao as “Natalie,” “Diana” & “Dan’s” daughter, Louis Hobson as “Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine,” the doctors who medically treat “Diana,”, and Adam Chandler-Berat as “Henry,” “Natalie’s” boyfriend. If you have not seen this show, don’t wait a moment longer, it’s worth the journey!

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Tonight my family and I went to see “Next To Normal” (click for my review) and had the very fortunate experience of going backstage after the show. We were invited by fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant J. Robert Spencer. He was so kind to take time out to talk with us and get to know us a little bit. We had such a great time!

THANK YOU Bobby for a wonderful and special experience! We’ll see you soon!

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J. Robert SpencerTony Award Nominated actor J. Robert Spencer has had quite a career. He has been seen lighting up the stage in “Side Show,” “Finian’s Rainbow,” “Heartland,” “Tommy,” “Cats,” and “Lady Duck.” He also originated the role of “Nick Massi” in the Tony Award Winning Musical “Jersey Boys.” In addition to theatre, J. Robert Spencer is also an Independent Film Director, Producer, and Writer, heading up his own Independent Film Company “7 Spencer Productions.” His first independent feature film was “Farm Girl in New York” which was the official selection of the Sacramento International Film Festival (receiving nominations for Best Comedy and Best Actress), Big Apple, Atlanta, Buffalo Niagra, and the Seattle True Independent Film Festivals. “7 Spencer Productions” is currently in post-production of their second Independent Feature titled “Heterosexuals” featuring J. Robert Spencer, Ashley Williams, Tovah Feldshuh, and Natasha Lyonne. J. Robert Spencer has been the lead voice in two Japanese Animated Features, “Nightmare Campus” and the award winning “Grave of the Fireflies.” He also received a Best Supporting Actor Nomination at the SMMASH Film Festival for his role as Psychopathic Killer “Bob” in the Independent Feature Film “Night of the Dog.” In addition to his nomination, the film won “Best Feature Audience Awards” at Palm Beach, Santa Barbara, SMMASH, and PBIFF Film Festivals. Currently, J. Robert Spencer can be seen in the Tony Award Winning Musical “Next To Normal” as “Dan”, a role for which he received a 2009 Tony Award Nomination as well as the one night only  “Rockers on Broadway” concert this Monday, November 2 at B.B. Kings and in the CD/DVD release of “Handel’s Messiah Rocks.” For more on J. Robert Spencer including photos, videos, and merchandise, visit: http://www.jrobertspencer.com/

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? The Audience inspired me…. I was in fourth grade and I auditioned for the role of Alligator from Really Rosie. I did something funny, spur of the moment kinda thing, and all the kids and teachers starting laughing. And I went… (pause) “Hmmmm…”

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? All the greats. All of them. I wanna work with them all…in front and behind the camera/scenes. And….I so wish I could have worked with the late John Cassavetes.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Strange or unusual…..well, before 40, I used to be able to put both legs behind my head.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I’M MARRIED! We don’t dream of anyone else except our loved ones!! ANGELINA JOLIE.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve given someone, but not taken for yourself? To stop doing questionnaire’s.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? In my dressing room I like to work out with my yoga and medicine ball.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Usually Boxers, but recently purchased some briefs by accident….and I’m enjoying them.

8. Favorite musician/singer? Group – RUSH

9. Favorite TV Theme Song? Three’s Company.

10. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I love Chocalate Glazed, Coconut, and Eclair.

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If you’re looking for something a little different be sure to catch “Granada,” a new play by Avi Glickstein. According to press notes, Granada begins in 1992 as the King of Spain prepares to symbolically welcome Jews back to Spain after 500 years of banishment. A young Egyptian Jewish woman has been invited to stand in for all of those exiled—but following the ceremony, she reveals to Spain’s prince that she believes herself to be the resurrection of Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), philosopher, royal physician, and Jewish cultural icon. Quite suddenly, the prince’s world is not what it was before her revelation: he is pursued by a bear, seduced by a princess hatched from a grapefruit, and nearly betrayed by his trusty aide-de-camp. Is this the beginning of the Messianic age? Bringing together characters and storytelling from Sephardic Jewish folklore and history and weaving from Spain to Israel to Morocco and back again, Granada explores issues of identity, both religious and national, and the uncanny link among followers of a tradition separated by continents but united by a state of exile.

“Granada” plays through November 22 at the Access Theater Gallery, 380 Broadway at White Street. For tickets, visit: http://www.polybeandseats.org/home.html

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Mike DoyleBe sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Mike Doyle live on stage in tomorrow’s (Tues, Oct. 27) installment of “Cedar City Falls” at 7pm and 9:30pm. For details visit: http://www.cedarcityfalls.com/Home.htm

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Alix KoreyI had the pleasure of sitting down with the always funny and insightful Alix Korey after seeing her in “Inventing Avi” at the Abingdon Theatre. It was a real joy to talk with not only a great comedic actress and powerful singer, but a genuine, passionate, and down to earth woman. On Broadway she has been seen in “All Shook Up,” Neil Simon’s “45 Seconds from Broadway,” “Triumph of Love,” “Ain’t Broadway Grand,” and “Pirates of Penzance.” She has also delighted audiences Off-Broadway in “The Wild Party,” “No Way To Treat A Lady,” and “Suburb.” She has released two award-winning solo albums and has been in numerous films and prime-time TV shows. For more on Alix Korey, visit: http://www.alixkorey.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My mother. She was a frustrated opera singer and I was always taken to the opera/theatre from a young age. I don’t remember not being in theatre. I’ve always loved watching performances, especially Eddie Hodges in “The Music Man.” Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and Karen Marrow also inspired me. I got to work with Karen in 1981 and I called her after “All Shook Up” ended and I said to her, “How many flops have you had?” She said, “Six.”  I said, “I just beat you with my seventh. I’m leaving NY and moving out to L.A.”

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? In my act “Glitter & Be Gay” I can hit the D and the E I can scream it on key, just not sing it, so I guess you could say an ugly E flat. The lowest note I can sing is below G or below middle C and I have to record those mid-morning, that’s the best time for my lowest notes.

3. Out of all the people you have worked with, who did you learn the most from? I learned about acting and teaching acting from my mentor Aaron Frankel. I’m an unabashed thief. When I did “Pirates of Penzance” with Kevin Kline, I learned about total commitment to something. I never got to work with her, but I love Maggie Smith, watching everything she does, I learned lessons in timing and about the tragedy of comedy. Working with Marian Seldes in “45 Seconds From Broadway” taught me about a total love of theatre. She loves theatre so much that every night when she was not on stage, she’d either be stage right or left listening to the show, whereas most actors when they are not on stage are in their dressing room waiting to go back on, but she loves theatre so much. She’s a very genuine and warm person. I’ve learned to respect actors a lot and how to function in this business. Actors are some of the most giving people out there.

4. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Denis O’Hare. He is brilliant. I got to meet him once and I was completely tongue tied. He is one of those actors that if he read a menu, I would go watch.

5. What is the best advice you’ve given someone, but not taken for yourself? Trust your instincts of what you need and want because everyone has advice for you and most of it applies to themselves and not you. That is one of the things I love about teaching – nurturing confidence back into young people who have been told “no” so many times and teaching them that there is no one answer or path to take. If you don’t trust yourself you will make the wrong choices.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I’m a great Bridge player and crossword puzzler. My chiropractor taught me how to crack backs.

7. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Oscar Wilde. I could read his stuff and quotes forever. He’s always one of my three people I choose if I could have anyone over for dinner.

8. Favorite play/musical? Favorite that I’ve done is “Funny Girl” because it’s a fantastic book, wonderful journey, and good songs. Favorite that I’ve seen (and would love to do) is “110 in the Shade.”

9. Favorite way to spend your day off? Playing bridge, watching taped TV shows, being with my husband and dog.

10. Who do you consider to be your hero? My dad. He just passed away on August 26, 2009. He was an extraordinary man, with the best laugh. There was a joke I just heard that he would have loved. He would have loved seeing “Inventing Avi.”

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