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Archive for February, 2010

Justin Stein is one of our next generation performers to keep your eye on! At 19, he has already released his debut album “Justin Stein” and has opened for some of the biggest names in music today such as Corbin Bleu, Jesse McCartney, Jordin Sparks, and Raven-Symone. In addition to music, Justin is an actor on the rise…he’s was in the New York Philharmonic’s production of “Camelot” with Gabriel Byrne, Christopher Lloyd, and Fran Drescher, starred with Tony Award Winner Patti LuPone in the Ravinia Festival’s production of “Gypsy” as well Porchlight Theatre’s production of “The Secret Garden,” and The Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire’s production of “Bye, Bye Birdie.” Most recently, Justin starred in fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” parrticipant Bobby Cronin’s industry reading of “The Beaten Path.” For more on Justin be sure to visit: http://www.justinstein.com

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Hmn, im not exactly sure… It has always just been a part of me. My mom brought me up on show tunes and i actually attended phantom of the opera in my moms stomach… so i guess it started then? haha. I have just always loved performing.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Highest, belt… B on a good day… C on a crazy good day. Im a Bari/tenor.

3. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? Best experience: To be honest, i have loved working on The Beaten Path. It has been an amazing experience to create the character of Cody and watch how the character i created influences the script throughout the process of rewriting. I hope i am given opportunities to originate characters in the future. I have also enjoyed working with Patti Lupone and Lonny Price on Gypsy. Watching them work was truly a learning experience. Worst experience: When i was younger I went to a theatre/arts camp and was cast as Joe in Damn Yankees. I had just turned nine and had no idea what i was doing… Basically, i didnt learn my lines in time and because of me they had to turn the show into a musical review. I felt terrible. But it taught me never to be unprepared cause you will disappoint a lot of people… including yourself.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can do the wave with my eyebrows.

5. Who do you consider to be your hero? My parents… Especially my mom. I was a handful as a kid, haha!

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? eating healthy… although im eating a crumbs cupcake as i write this.. so… so much for that! 🙂 i try to go to the gym but seem to have a difficult time dragging myself there….

7. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers.

8. Favorite play/musical? Play: “Augst Osage County”…hands down. Musical: Proabably “Les Miserables.”

9. Favorite website? Hulu.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman..cause he can do basically everything.

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After 15 years apart, “The Tonics” are coming back together to rock your world at Joe’s Pub: Sunday, February 28 & Sunday,  March 8 at 7pm! Come see fellow “Adaubmelle’s Quest” participant Cortes Alexander, along with Gene Reed, Michael Patrick Coughlin and newest member Kathie Talbot for 2 shows only! Cap your weekend off or start your week early with what is sure to be a fun time! For a sampling, check out this 1993 video of “The Tonics” singing “Good Thing Going” from “Merrily We Roll Along” as posted by “TheBestArts.”

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“The more things change, the more they remain the same.” That is what kept running through my mind while watching “The Temperamentals” at New World Stages on Thursday, February 25. A hit last season at The Barrow Group Theatre, the show has moved to the New World Stages with original cast members: Michael Urie (“Ugly Betty”), Thomas Jay Ryan (“In The Next Room), Matt Schneck (“London Assurance”), and Sam Breslin Wright (“Macbeth”). Arnie Burton from Broadway’s “The 39 Steps” has joined the cast. The show tells the story of The Mattachine Society, the first group of gays who came together to fight for equal rights during the 1950s. This show takes you on a journey of firsts and while these victories may seem small in today’s world, they were giant ones back then. This group ignited the spark to stand-up for our freedom and many other groups have followed, but we still have much to fight for and that is why it’s important to have a show like “The Temperamentals.” We need to show the youth of today where we came from so they know what & why we are still fighting. For a piece of history that is still modern, I would suggest checking out “The Temperamentals” at New World Stages in New York CIty (50th Street between 8th & 9th Avenue).

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R.I.P. Andrew Koenig and know that you brought much joy to millions of people. “Boner” always knew how to liven and lighten things up around “The Seaver” home. Thank you for making me laugh!

According to Andrew’s parents, Koenig’s death was from committing suicide. They said if anything can be learned from Andrew’s death, it’s that no matter how hard things get there is always love out there, even if it doesn’t feel like it and that there is always someone to talk to.

Growing up, I was always told that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If you are depressed or feel that you have no where to turn, there is someone who cares: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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Tonight’s installment of the “True Colors Cabaret” at Feinstein’s at The Regency will feature two-time Tony Award Nominee & fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Gavin Creel. Gavin will be joined by Helen Hayes Award Winner & “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Natascia Diaz along with Jerry Dixon, Joey McIntyre, and Sutton Foster. What makes tonight even more special is Natascia, Jerry, and Joey will be delighting audiences with selections from the Off-Broadway smash hit “Tick, Tick…Boom” which the trio starred in together in 2001. Get ready to celebrate love tonight!

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Stonewall Sensation Winner & fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Erik Sisco returns to The Duplex this Friday, February 26 at 7pm for another installment of “Sing What I Wanna Sing.” If you haven’t heard Erik sing, I suggest you come down to The Duplex this Friday night and find out for yourself just how amazingly wonderful he is. He will be joined by stage by 2 other equally amazing talents & fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Kate Pazakis & Bobby Cronin. Come de-stress with good drinks, great friends, and an evening you won’t forget! For a sample of Erik’s talent, click here!

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Today I saw the Attic Ensemble’s production of Martin McDonagh’s “The Pillowman” directed by fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Billy Mitchell. I can easily say this show was one of the most riveting pieces of theatre I’ve seen. It’s a gripping, edge of your seat time! “The Pillowman” tells the story of a writer who’s accused of killing the people depicted in his stories. What unfolds is the haunting reality. The dark content of the show may not be for everyone, but to be able to bring such content to life in such an entrancing way is no easy feat. Bill Graber, Benjamin Holmes, William Allgood, and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Eddie Capuano do this job splendidly! Bill brings his genius comedic charm & timing to the role of detective “Tupolski,” while one hopes not to run into William’s tough guy cop “Ariel” in a dark alley. Though I haven’t seen Eddie in many previous roles, I can tell he was born to play the role of “Michal.” His mesmerizing performance made me really sympathize with his character and understand so many of his actions. Benjamin Holmes takes the gold by bringing to life the torture, heartache, & survival that “Katurian” endured which made him into the vivid writer he has become.  Billy’s direction was brilliantly thought out & worked extremely well in the intimate theatre in which the show is housed. For instance there are scenes in which some of “Katurian’s” stories are recounted and while on Broadway, the actors acted these segments out, Billy wisely used puppets to bring these scenes to life. Even though the core subject matter may be hard to digest for some, this production is well worth seeing. “The Pillowman” runs through Sunday, February 28. Remaining showtimes: Thursday, February 25 at 7pm, Friday, February 26 at 8pm, Saturday, February 27 at 8pm, & Sunday, February 28 at 3pm. Tickets are $20.

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In 2004, Jefferson Mays won a Tony, Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel, and Theatre World Award for his performance in the Broadway production of “I Am My Own Wife,” the Pulitzer-Prize winning play by Doug Wright. His other Broadway credits include “Pygmalion” and “Journey’s End.” He has also starred in the “Quartermaine’s Terms” at Williamstown Theatre Festival. His film and television credits include: “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People,” “Alfie,” “The Nortorious Bettie Page,” “Kinsey,” “The Closer,” “Fringe,” “Law & Order,” and “Nurse Jackie. Currently, Jefferson Mays can be seen in the Off-Broadway production of “Measure for Measure” at The Duke on 42nd Street in NYC (with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Mary Testa).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My mum.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Conrad Veidt.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can recite every English monarch from 1066 to the present in just under 18 seconds.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Departed friends and loved ones.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks: Tall Pike’s — no room for milk.

6. Books or Magazines? 18 inch stack of various books underway on bedside table, three foot column of partially-read New Yorkers teetering Pisa-like in corner.

7. Favorite play/musical? Currently: “Measure for Measure.”

8. Favorite Quote? “The  readiness is all.”

9. Favorite website? ALDaily.com.

10. Favorite pastime? Aimless rambles around town with  my wife.

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Multi-award winning actress Joanna Gleason is known in every medium of entertainment: theatre, television, film, and literature. She won a Tony Award (for the original Broadway production of “Into The Woods”), three Drama Desk Awards (one for “Into The Woods” as well as the Broadway production of “Social Security” & Off-Broadway’s “It’s Only A Play” at MTC), and a Theatre World Award (for Broadway’s “I Love My Wife”). Her other Broadway credits include “Nick and Nora,” “The Real Thing,” and Tony nominated performances in “Joe Egg” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Off-Broadway, Joanna has delighted audiences in “Happiness” (Lincoln Center), “Something You Did” (Primary Stages), “Eleemosynary” (MTC), “The Normal Heart” (The Public Theater), and with her New York theatre directorial debut in MCC’s 2002 production of “A Letter From Ethel Kennedy” (which I was fortunate enough to see). On television she has shined in such shows as “Hello, Larry,” “Love & War,” “Oh Baby,” and my personal favorite “Bette” starring Bette Midler. Joanna has lit up the screen in such films as “Boogie Nights,” “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” She is the author of “Lourdes on Five Dollars a Day” and “Make Me One With Everything.” Joanna can currently be seen in Nora & Delia Ephron’s smash hit Off-Broadway show “Love, Loss, and What I Wore.” Joanna will be with the current cast (which includes Carol Kane, Janeane Garofalo, Caroline Rhea, and June Diane Raphael) until February 28 (a new cast comes in March 3), so hurry on down to the Westside Theatre in NYC (407 West 43rd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue) to see this humorous, touching, and identifiable show.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? You are too young to know about Ernie Kovacs…but he was wild. Also, Bette Davis.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I would like to work with Nathan Lane.

3. What is the best advice a teacher ever gave you? “Get a real life, too” was the best advice.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I would dream of all my departed friends.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks decaf latte and an egg salad sandwich.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Do 8 shows a week. You are either in shape or dead from it.

7. Favorite skin care product? Skin care? just turn me loose in Sephora!!!

8. Favorite play/musical? Can’t pick one. But I love me dem Sondheim musicals, and “Light in the Piazza.”

9. Favorite website? EBAY!!!!! Lookie, here’s comes the UPS guy again!!!!

10. “Mary” or “Rhoda”? Rhoda. No, Mary. Wait, Rhoda…Phyllis?

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Thank you Jesse North at “Stage Rush” for the awesome shout out in your video blog! (shout out to “Adaumbelle’s Quest” at 5:36 into the video, but you should watch the whole video because it’s really fun). It was wonderful to meet you as well at “All About Me” press event. If you love Broadway, but are on a budget be sure to check out “Stage Rush” as Jesse recounts and reviews all his Broadway happenings…on a budget.

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