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Archive for January, 2010

Zak was born in New York and has desperately been trying to get back ever since. Raised in Richmond, Virginia, his parents enrolled him in the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC) at the young age of 5 because a friend said, “he doesn’t sing like the other kids.”  Zak stayed with SPARC until he was 16, when he attended Ann Reinking & Debra McWater’s Broadway Theatre Project (BTP) in Tampa, FL. He spent the next 3 summers there learning from the best of the best. After high school, Zak moved to Pittsburgh, PA to attend Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious School of Drama — where he double majored in Musical Theatre and Acting. In his senior year at CMU, Zak spent a semester studying abroad at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia, where he worked with the most wonderful, talented group of people and learned so much about life, art, beauty…and of course theatre. While he was in Sydney, he also started writing his debut album. Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for that!  For the past year, Zak has had the pleasure of singing with the vocal group The Broadway Boys, performing all over New York City and on the ROSIE Cruise (if you don’t know the group, you’re missing out!). Singing Broadway standards and holiday classics in a new age way — with hot arrangements, heavy beats, and…a bit of riffing.  Zak’s favorite roles include: LAST FIVE YEARS (Jamie), DON CARLOS (Lerma), ROCKY HORROR SHOW, LIVE! (Brad), INTO THE WOODS (Rapunzel’s Prince), 110º IN THE SHADE (File), BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL (Rick & Lorraine), and GODSPELL (Jesus).

Now Zak is living in New York City, where he has so long waited to return. Life is good.  Please check out & subscribe to Zak’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/zakresnick.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Well my parents put me in acting school when I was 5 when a friend advised them to…so I’d have to say Raffi was my greatest influence at the time.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Oh lord, who knows…and to be honest I wouldn’t be able to tell you (technically speaking). Not crazy high or crazy low.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I’m not sure if it’s a “talent” but I’m pretty into interior design and personal shopping.

4. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? The best experience you can have is when everybody clicks — cast, creative, management, etc. The worst is having no professionalism between one of those two parts…but probably foremost between director and actor. To (artistically speaking) lose respect for someone is one thing, but to show the lack of respect in the room is horrible.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? Treadmill, Lifting, & Bikram.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer-briefs! Need that support!

7. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Totally Starbucks. I always order a grande white chocolate mocha. In the summer time I just make it iced.

8. Favorite talk show host? Hmmm…I watch Leno the most, I only find Ellen truly funny, I think Letterman is pretty witty, and for the most part I don’t enjoy Conan.

9. Favorite website? YouTube? Is that lame? probably IMDB actually.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Batman!

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Be sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest’ participant CeyJay Jumao-as live this Friday, February 5 at the House of Blues’ Voodoo Lounge in West Hollywood, CA (8430 West Sunset Blvd).

He’s performing in a singer/songwriter Jam. Show starts at 8pm, but things will really get-a-rocking when CeyJay takes the stage at 10pm! Come see him do what he does best…perform the music of his soul!

$10 cover or $5 with a can of food. All donated food goes towards LA Food Bank and a portion of every ticket goes towards Generosity Water, an organization that builds wells in places that don’t have access to clean drinking water.

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Be sure to catch one of Broadway’s powerhouse vocalists & fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Tituss Burgess live at NYC’s famed Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street, between 5th & 6th Ave) this Sunday, January 31 & next Sunday, February 7 at 9:30pm. Tituss is offering fans a stripped down concert of new material intermixed with old favorites. If you’ve never seen Tituss  outside of a Broadway show, you are in for a real treat!

$20 cover + 2 drink minimum. For reservations call 212-206-0440.

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On Monday, January 25, 2010, I attended “Rated RSO: The Music of Ryan Scott Oliver” at Joe’s Pub. This was the first time I have ever heard Ryan’s music and I soon learned, I was in for a treat. His songs are very satirical & humorous, with some emotionally heavier, but they all tell a story or help push a story along. Ryan had quite a roster of performers which included: two fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Andrew Kober & Eric Michael Krop, along with Kacie Sheik, Natalie Weiss, Stephen DeRosa, Morgan Karr, and Lindsay Mendez. I particularly enjoyed all the songs from the shows “Darling” (book by Ryan Scott Oliver & Kirsten Guenther) & “Mrs. Sharp” (book by Ryan Scott Oliver & B.T. Ryback) as well as “Odyssey” sung by Eric Michael Krop, “Hemming and Hawing” sung by Andrew Kober and Kacie Sheik, “The Plane is Going Down” sung by Stephen DeRosa, “On Monday” sung by Natalie Weiss, and “The Ballad of Sara Berry” sung by Lindsay Mendez. The evening came to a rousing end with Morgan Karr, Lindsay Mendez, and company rocking the roof with “Song of the Dead Fairy.” It was a great way to end an enjoyable evening. For a complete song list and other coverage of the evening visit: http://www.crazytownblog.com/

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Be sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Rori Nogee as “Maureen” in “Rent” in Charleston, South Carolina through February 14 playing at Charleston Music Hall (37 Jonh Street, Charleston, SC).

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Best known as “Aunt LaVonda” from “Sordid Lives,” Ann Walker is an award winning actress who has starred in theatre, film, and television! From her early days in Houston, TX, Ann performed in a variety of small theater productions including the Alley Theaters’ 25th anniversary production of “Camino Real” by Tennessee Williams. She then moved to New York City to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and afterwards headed out west to Los Angeles where she has not stopped working! For her role as “Odette Annette Barnett” in Del Shores‘ (fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant) play “Southern Baptist Sissies,” Ann won a Robby, Maddy, and Los Angeles Drama Circle Critics Award and was nominated by her peers for The Ovation Award. Ann also received a Drama-Logue and Robby Award for her role in Tyler Hansen’s play “Ballad.” Other theatre credits incldue “Rain,” “Best Wishes,” “How The Other Half Loves,” “Hysterical Blindness,” “Opera Comique,” “Steel Magnolias,” “The Glass Menagerie,” and “Daughters of the Lone Star State” (also by Del Shores). Ann’s biggest joy came in 1996 when she starred in Del Shores’ smash hit play “Sordid Lives” as “LaVonda Dupree” which she has reprised in the award winning film of the same name in 2000 as well as in the mega-hit TV series in 2008. Other film credits include “Father of the Bride II,” “The Fanatics,” “It Takes Two,” “Soulman,” and “The Jagged Edge, while her numerous TV appearances consist of “The Rutles” with Eric Idle, “The Suite Life,” “Providence,” “Arliss,” “Passions,” “State of Grace,” “Las Vegas,” “Sex, Love, & Secrets,” “MADTV,” “The Mary Kay Letourneau Story,” “She’s No Angel,” “Willing to Kill, The Texas Cheerleader Story,” and “Lone Rider.” Starting this February, Ann will be co-hosting “On The Air With Tony Sweet” on LA Talk Radio. Be sure to visit www.annwalkeronline.com to find out more!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? When I was a kid I would watch the Mike Douglas Show and one day I saw a comedienne named Totie Fields. I thought she was the funniest woman and all of a sudden I wanted to be a stand-up comic. But I also went to the movies a lot. All day Saturdays and on Sundays too. Loved all of those beautiful actresses that I saw and I wanted to do what they were doing.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Meryl Streep. She is the most magnificent actress of our day. Maybe forever!

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Honey, I’ve used every talent that I ever thought I had. I’ve held nothing back that could’ve gotten me work.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My darling deceased husband Steve. He’s been gone 5 years now and I miss him so very much.

5. Books or Magazines? Magazines.

6. Favorite Drink? Grey Goose Vodka Martini straight up with a twist!

7. Favorite skin care product? Cedafil Moisturiser.

8. Favorite store to shop in? Fredricks of Hollywood and Coldwater Creek.

9. Favorite website? My own….annwalkeronline.com.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman

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James Mitchell, best known as “Palmer Cortlandt” on “All My Children” passed away on Friday, January 22, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to his iconic role as “Palmer” on “All My Children,” (for which he received three Soap Opera Digest Awards and seven Daytime Emmy Award nominations), James had an extensive career as a dancer and choreographer in film musicals and theatre (Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Regionally). His performing career began at the American Ballet Theatre. He worked with renowned choreographer Agnes de Mills both as a dancer and choreographer in such Broadway productions as  “Bloomer Girl,” “Brigadoon” (for which he won a Theatre World Award), “Paint Your Wagon,” “Come Summer,” and in the 1955 film “Oklahoma” where he starred as “Dream Curly.” In addition to working with de Mills, James worked the acclaimed Jerome Robbins in the Broadway production of “Billion Dollar Baby.” Other Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include “Carnival,” “Mack & Mabel,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “The Three Penny Opera,” “Winkelberg,” and “Livin’ The Life.” Regionally, James was seen in productions of “The Rainmaker,” “The King and I,” and “Funny Girl.” Throughout his extensive career, James also worked as a director and choreographer for many regional theatres including The Papermill Playhouse and American Ballet Theatre. His film credits include “The Turning Point” and “The Bandwagon.”

Rest in Peace James and Thank You for entertaining me!

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