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Archive for September, 2010

Whether he’s using his soulfully powerful voice to belt out tunes, or his fine acting skills that whisk you away, or dazzling an audience with his dance moves, Marty Thomas is a performer to go see!

Growing up in Missouri, Marty’s star has been shining from an early age. From local talent shows to regional theatre, Marty climbed the ranks, making quite a name for himself. In 1992, Marty won the title of Junior Vocalist on “Ed McMahon’s Junior Star Search.” From there, Marty was featured in many television programs and commercials which led to him to be cast as one of the leads in the Broadway musical “The Secret Garden.” After the Broadway run, Marty headed back home to pursue his singing career by joining a young country pop band called “The Young Branson Stars” who eventually became the opening act for several country stars such as The Oak Ridge Boys, Glenn Campbell, and Steve Warner.

Marty ultimately returned to New York to continue his dream of performing. From Broadway’s “Wicked” and “Xanadu” to solo concerts, Marty has worked non-stop. In 2001, Marty made his Billboard debut with “Resurrect Me (Lift Me Up)” on Westend Records which led him to receive a Billboard award for “Song of the Year” in Gospel/Contemporary Christian Category as well as several Grammy nominations. In 2004, Marty released his solo CD “Marty Thomas” which is a collection of his most popular cover songs. Marty can also be heard on The Broadway Boys CD “Lullaby of Broadway.” Come party with Marty at The Monster (80 Grove Street, NYC) on Sunday, September 12 at 8:30pm at “Glitterball 2010.” Stay to enjoy Marty perform at 10:30pm along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Katie Thompson, Kate Pazakis, and Tituss Burgess. For much more on Marty, be sure to visit http://www.martythomas.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Many people, my oldest sister Amy was a pageant gal in her day, probably the most influential in my wanting to be on the stage. I also found a video cassette at a garage sale when I was 10 of all Linda Eder’s Star Search episodes. I think that video both inspired me to want to be a belter and began my obsession with the divas. I also had a strange obsession with Jennifer Holiday at 6. Do the math.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Hmmm…I can sing down to B Flat..and can belt Ds, Es on good and hyper days. :). Or if Kate Pazakis is in the room, it’s limitless.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Jane Lynch. Love her. I have a feeling we would have very funny things to say to each other.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I don’t think I have any secret talents..I’m such a show off…lord knows if I was good I at it, I’d probably die making sure the whole world knew about it…lol.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? Roller skating! Duh.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs, my jeans are far too tight to fit anything else under them.

7. Favorite meal? All you can eat crab legs and peel and eat shrimp at the casino. Mmmmm….Nothing beats White Trash Casino night!

8. Favorite play/musical? Hmmmm…I’m totally into Memphis right now, but I’m an old school Dreamgirls fanatic.

9. Favorite website? Facebook, I have a problem.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Absolutely Wonder Woman!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. What’s your proudest moment? When I won the Mr. Broadway Pageant…I worked really hard for it, and had a great time, all for a great cause.

12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Do you, let everybody else figure out how fierce you are in their own time.” (Got that from Billy Porter, my hero.)

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Photo by Laura Marie Duncan

Be sure to catch rising playwright and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant David Caudle’s new play “The Sunken Living Room.” It will be part of the 2010 HOWL! Arts Festival, playing September 14, 25, 26 all at 8pm at Theatre 80 (80 Saint Marks Place, between 1st and 2nd Avenue).

According to press notes, “The Sunken Living Room” takes place in Suburban Miami in 1978. A bookish teen tries to keep his family’s showpiece living room in order while his volatile brother and his brother’s pothead girlfriend teach him how messy life can get.”

Directed by Enrico Maria Lamanna

Starring: Macleod Andrews, Karen Giordano, Brian Miskell, and Laura Ramadei

So come on down, take a seat, and relax inside “The Sunken Living Room.”

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This contest is now over & this week’s winner is Dana! Congratulations Dana! Tune in next week for another edition of “Win It Wednesday” for you never know, the winner just might be you! It’s another edition of “Win It Wednesday” and this week one lucky reader, at random, will have the opportunity to win 2 tickets to Bobby Cronin’s Concert in Danbury, Connecticut this Monday, September 13 at 8pm, (produced by TheStage Repertory Theatre) by answering the question below. The winner will be announced at 4:45pm today!

If you could have Bobby write a song for you, what would you want the song to be about and what would you title it?

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Levi Kreis is a multi-talented award winning performer. He won the Tony Award and Outer Circle Critics Award for his portrayal of “Jerry Lee Lewis” in the hit Broadway show “Million Dollar Quartet,” a role he originated in Chicago, where he was nominated for a Jeff Award. In addition to theatre, Levi has appeared in various short films including “Frality” (with Bill Paxton and Matthew McConaughey) and the award-winning independent film “Don’t Let Go.”

Levi is also a successful recording artist. His debut album “One of the Ones” was released in 2005, following an appearance on NBC’s “The Apprentice.” Songs from his debut CD  have been featured on such hits shows as “The Apprentice,” “Days of Our Lives,” and “The Young and the Restless.” Releasing his second album in 2006, “The Gospel According to Levi,” Levi’s music continued to be placed in various television shows and films. His video for “We’re Okay,” from the album, held the #1 spot for nine weeks on MTV’s Logo network. 2009 saw the release of Levi’s third album “Where I Belong” which infuses down home southern soul with pop sensibilities. His first single “Nothing At All,” debuted on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” and delivered a #1 video for MTVMusic.com and #1 for nine weeks on MTV’s Logo network. Levi’s song “Hardly A Hero,” also from “Where I Belong” was included in the recently released “Kiss The Bride” soundtrack. Through his music, Levi has shared the stage with such artists as Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Collective Soul, and Cyndi Lauper from whom he opened for at Wrigley Field.

Photo by Michael Rowe

In addition to entertaining audiences nightly in Broadway’s hit musical “Million Dollar Quartet” as “Jerry Lee Lewis” (on Sept. 10 you can see the real life Jerry Lee Lewis make a one night only appearance performing alongside the cast at curtain call), at the Nederlander Theatre in NYC (208 West 41st Sreet), Levi is gearing up for the release of his second single and video “Gonna Be Alright,” from “Where I Belong.” For much more on Levi and all his greatness, be sure to visit http://www.levikreis.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I sort of came out of the womb performing. I always knew that’s what I wanted to do. Along the way there have been artists, primarily recording artists who have been a huge inspiration for me like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner. They, along with other old-school R&B artists have always informed me of what I wanted to do with my own music and my own self-expression.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I have no idea. I’ve never sat and looked at it on the keyboard. I think a lot of people who have found themselves where I am probably have spent a lot of their years studying traditional voice and legit voice and have wonderful impressive degrees in theatre and acting and I find myself in the midst of a community who I have the greatest amount of respect for because they are so educated and have honed their craft so much, but for me, I do feel a little bit like a fish out of water because I come from a place of instinct.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual that no one knows about? I’ve always had a knack for spiritual studies. I’ve always had a burning passion to study all religions of all types in an attempt to find very practical and tangible ways that we can apply certain principles to our day to day living. On the lighter side though, I’m also good at clogging.

4. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Megan Mullally. I’d love to work with her whether it be TV or musical theatre. She’s a master at timing and putting a button on the end of a moment. Also to work with Sean Hayes would be a dream come true!

5. Do you have any rituals that you need to perform before a show? How do you decompress after a show? I usually like to spend 10 minutes prior to the show doing a quick meditation, getting centered and forgetting the day and what got me there and forgetting what is waiting for me after the show and get very intentional about being present in every moment. It makes my job more fun to make that concerted effort do that before the show. It doesn’t take me long to decompress at all. I’m usually in bed about 45 minutes after that curtain comes down. I’m an early to bed, early riser…not what you would traditionally find for someone who works on Broadway, I would imagine. I come home and my baby’s got dinner on the table. I eat, shower off, and I’m straight to bed.

6. Favorite meal off the $1 menu? For the most part I try to stay away from that, but I love the McChicken sandwich.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I love weight training. I go to the gym 6 days a week. It’s my escape, it’s my meditation. I get out of the city and go to NJ, so I can find a gym that is calm and quiet, and kill it for an hour and a half and come home.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers.

9. Favorite website? Twitter

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Sean Williams Scott.

12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Let it go.”

13. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve read about yourself and where did you read it? I can’t really answer that because I don’t read about myself. After releasing my last album, I stopped reading anything about myself.

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Shayna Steele is a performer with one of the biggest voices (and belts) around! If you’re looking for someone who has stage presence along with a powerful, soulful, and controlled vocals, then Shayna Steele is your go to girl! She has lit up the stage in such Broadway hits as “Rent,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and “Hairspray” as well as on her many TV appearances on “The Grammys,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Conan O’Brien,” “David Letterman,” and “Carson Daly.”

While in NY, Shayna studied jazz with her Godfather and gospel with Grammy-nominated (and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant) Michael McElroy and really started to develop her own sound blending the music of her idols with new influences. Everything changed in 2005, when she got an unexpected call from Moby that would place her right in the middle of a genre she had no experience in: Electronica. Moby was looking for a “screamer” to record a track for his new album at the time “Hotel,” and Shayna came highly recommended by a mutual friend. Together they recorded “Raining Again, the discs second single. Super impressed with Shayna’s talent, Moby had her back to record “Extreme Ways” in 2007, which was the theme song to “The Bourne Ultimatum” and then again in 2008 Shayna recorded “Disco Lies” for Moby’s album “Last Night.” “Disco Lies” reached #1 on the US Billboard Dance charts and went on to be featured in J.J. Abram’s summer blockbuster hit “Cloverfield.” Since working with Moby, everyone has wanted to work with Shayna…she has appeared on such albums as Scott Alan’s “Dreaming Wide Awake,” (also a fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant), the Grammy-nominated “Great Joy with the Broadway Inspirational Voices,” “Legally Blonde 2,” “Bambi 2,” and the 2007 remake of  “Hairspray” as well as singing on “The Sopranos” in it’s final season on HBO.

Shayna has released two albums of her own: 2004 EP “Shayna Steele” and her first full-length album in 2009, “I’ll Be Anything.” She most recently finished singing back-up with the one and only Divine Miss M, Bette Midler in Bette’s show “The Showgirl Must Go On” at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and Shayna’s kicking off her solo tour September 6 right here in New York City at The Bar Next Door at LaLanterna, October 15 at Blue Note in NYC, October 29 at Show at Barre in Los Angeles, CA, October 30 at Coda Jazz Supper Club in San Francisco, CA, November 18 at Musig Bistrot in Bern, Switzerland, November 19 at Kultur im Dampfschiff in Brugg, Switzerland, November 20 at Cafe-Henrici in Zurich, Switzerland, November 21 at Musig Im Ochsen in Muri, Switzerland, December 5 at Il Teatro Manzoni in Milano, Italy. Come hear one of the most powerful and soulful singers around belt out her hits! For much more on Shayna be sure to visit http://www.shaynasteele.com!

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

2. What is the highest and lowest you can sing? Lowest: C (2 octaves below middle C). Highest: (full chest voice) A-Bb (2 octaves above middle C). Head voice…about 2 or 3 more notes higher than that…on a good day.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Dead: Miles Davis. Alive: Quincy Jones.

4. Who do you consider to be your hero? My mom.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Can sound exactly like a newborn baby crying.

6. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I buy the beans, grind them myself, make my own coffee. Stumptown, preferably. Black. It’s very Brooklyn…

7. Favorite meal? Tacos Carnitas with guacamole and mexican style corn washed down with an icy cold Pacifico.

8. Favorite skin care product? Mary Kay eye makeup remover. The Best. Ever.

9. Favorite website? www.runnersworld.com.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Myself, 20 years from now warning me about what NOT to do.

12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? You have the power within you to make yourself happy.

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Fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Paul Downs Colaizzo’s new drama “A Dog’s Tale (or The Thing About Getting) will get a reading this Monday, September 6 at 7:30pm at the Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festvial in Washington, DC. The reading will star Patrick Heusinger, Phoebe Strole, Wesley Taylor, Eric Clem, and Daiva Deupree. Brittany O’Neill will direct.

According to press notes, “A Dog’s Tale (or The Thing About Getting)” is a gripping tale of a young professional at a critical moment in his life, explores the overwhelming human drive for success and the disaster of achieving it.”

Through sharp-witted dialogue and a series of flashbacks, five characters are forced to face their retaltionship with the ever-impending tomorrow.”

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Be sure to catch singer/songwriter and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Scott Alan make his Australian concert debut on Friday, September 3 and Monday September 6.

On September 3, Scott will play Brisbane Powerhouse’s Powerhouse Theatre at 7:30pm. Presented by Harvest Rain Theatre Company, concert goers can hear selections from Scott’s “Dreaming Wide Awake,” “Keys,” and his forthcoming album “What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up.” Click here for tickets!

On September 6, Scott will play Melbourne’s Beckett Theatre at 7:30pm. Also presented by Harvest Rain Theatre Company, this concert will feature several guest stars: Josh Piterman (“West Side Story”), Cassie McIvor (Japan’s “Wicked”), Luke Kennedy and Naomi Price (both from “Jesus Christ Superstar”) singing selections from Scott’s “Dreaming Wide Awake,” “Keys,” and his forthcoming album “What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up.” Click here for tickets!

Scott Alan is a singer/songwriter more than on the rise…his music and lyrics are both inspiring, hopeful, and full of heart! Always gathering the best in the business to sing his music, Scott’s concerts are definitely worth attending! Treat yourself to an evening you won’t forget!

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