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Archive for October, 2010

Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy Halloween! In the spirit of the holiday here are some of my favorite Halloween themed things:

The Halloween episode from “Beauty and the Beast” (the CBS series starring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton).

The Halloween episode from “Beverly Hills 90210” (when “Kelly” is dressed as a seductive witch, “Donna” is dressed as a Mermaid, “Brenda” and “Dylan” dress as “Bonnie and Clyde” while “Brandon” and “Emily” go trick or treating).

“Hands Off” from the movie “Once Bitten” (where “Mark,” “The Countess,” and “Robin” dance it out).

“Halloween” by Aqua (granted this not a video for the song, just the song with their “Aquarius” album as their backdrop, but still one I enjoy)

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Adam Rapp is an Obie-Award-winning playwright and director. His thought-provoking plays have kept audiences on the edge of their seats waiting for his next creation! In addition to an Obie Award, Adam’s playwriting has been honored with The Helen Merrill Award, The 2006 Princess Grace Statue, a Lucille Lortel Playwright’s Fellowship, and The Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

His plays include “Nocturne,” “Faster,” “Animals & Plants,” “Finer Noble Gases” (which earned Adam a 2006 Edinburgh Fringe First Award), “Stone Cold Dead Serious,” “Blackbird,” “Gompers,” “Essential Self-Defense,” and “Red Light Winter” (for which Adam received an Obie Award and was named finalist for a Pulitzer Prize). Adam recently directed Billy Crudup at the Vineyard Theatre in the world premiere of his own play “The Metal Children.”

Adam is also the author several novels including “The Year Of Endless Sorrows” and the more graphic novel “Ball-Peen Hammer.” His latest novel, “The Children And The Wolves,” is forthcoming from Candlewick Press. Adam wrote and directed two films “Winter Passing” and “Blackbird.” Catch Adam’s latest play “Ghosts in the Cottonwoods” at Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place between 1st and 2nd Avenue in NYC) presented by The Amoralists from November 11-December 6. Click here for tickets!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright? John Guare’s “Six Degrees of Separation,” which I saw when I moved to New York.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Daniel Day Lewis.

3. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Don’t stop writing plays” – Marsha Norman

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I would coach high school basketball and teach English.

5. Favorite place to write? My office and bed (a close second).

6. Favorite way to spend your day off? Reading, playing basketball, playing music.

7. Books or Magazines? Books.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Both. I alternate.

9. Favorite website? Goodreads.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Juliette Binoche.

12. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I’ve only thrown up twice in my life. Well, three times, actually.

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It’s pretty amazing to be sitting at show literally watching the next generation performing before your eyes. That is exactly how I felt tonight when I saw “Nine” at Tisch School for the Arts Produced by Micky Chorny, Directed by Shanna Richey, and Choreography by Katie Hill.

“Nine” tells the story of filmmaker “Guido Contini’s” struggle with his creative process as he looks for artistic inspiration to make his next movie while walking the fine line between his reality and his art.

Starring fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Zachary Infante as “Little Guido” along with Noah Shalom as “Guido Contini,” Su Hendrickson as “Luisa Contini,” Gillian Munsayac as “Carla Albanese,” Rachel Duddy as “Claudia Nardi,” Christina King as “Guido’s Mother,” Amanda Savan as “Lilliane La Fleur,” Gina Salvia as “Stephanie Necrophorus,” Mariel Blatt as “Sarraghina,” Sara Tazari as “Our Lady of the Spa,” Melissa Lehman as “Diana/British Reporter,” Molly Blodgett as “Maria/German Reporter,” Tiger Brown as “Annabella/American Reporter/Dance Captain,” Charlie Kolarich as “Francesco/American Reporter/Dance Captain,” Ricky Saunders as “Renato/British Reporter,” and Traver Tischio as “Giulio/Cardinal/German Reporter.”

I am a big fan of this show, especially the music. Watching these students was pretty amazing because I kept thinking, one of these performers could be the star of a future Broadway production. One just never knows. The cast’s chemistry was great and everyone worked well together! Hitting all the right notes, Noah Shalom was able lead the show as “Guido” while Zachary Infante shined as “Little Guido,” particularly his body language and facial expressions which he need to rely on heavily. When Zachary sang, the audience was more than focused! Su Hendrickson was perfectly cast as “Luisa” using her big booming voice to really communicate the betrayal she felt from “Guido.” She commanded the stage during “Be On Your Own.”  Rachel Duddy did a great job with “Unusual Way” as “Claudia,” while Christina King really hit the high notes as “Guido’s Mother.” Amanda Savan gave quite a performance as “Lilliane La Fleur,” especially during “Follies Bergeres,” which garnered her quite the round of applause. Mariel Blatt made her mark as “Sarraghina” during her triumphant “Ti Voglio Bene/Be Italian.” While I’m only highlighting a few of the cast members, everyone really did a great job and when this cast dances all together, boy do they shine!

With a very limited run and wait-list for tickets, do try to catch “Nine” at Tisch School for the Arts The Shop Theater (721 Broadway, 2nd Floor) through this Saturday, October 30.

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Be sure to catch Two Time Tony Nominee and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Gavin Creel in his brand new show “Back To New York” at Birdland on Monday, November 1, 8, and 15 at 7pm as part of Jim Caruso’s Broadway at Birdland Series!

Gavin will be performing new material from his new EP “Quiet” which is an intimate collection of six original acoustic session songs as well as some favorites!

If you’ve never seen this dynamic performer on stage, now would be a good time to come see why he’s so great!

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This week’s contest is now over and the winner is Andrew! Congratulations Andrew!

It’s another edition of “Win It Wednesday” here on “Adaumbelle’s Quest!” This week one lucky reader, at random, will have the chance to win a copy of “Fabulous! A Loving, and Lighthearted Look at Film From The Gay Perspective” by answering the question below. The winner will be announced at 5pm!

What’s your favorite gay-themed movie?

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This past Sunday (October 24), I participated in “Out of Darkness: The Walk To Prevent Suicide,” walking with “The Beaten Path” team. Along with 800 other walkers, we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge and back to Manhattan. Our team raised over $1900 and the walk itself raised over $125,000 with no corporate sponsorships. All of that money was raised by the participants!

It was truly a day of coming together and getting the word out about how suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Bobby Cronin performed two songs (“Daybreak” sung by the amazing Ray Lee and “The Best Is Yet To Come” sung by the equally amazing and upcoming participant Jenn Furman). Both songs of hope were the perfect fit and both Ray and Jenn really hit the mark!

It’s not too late to help support this great cause…donations are being accepted until December 31. Please give what you can…

http://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/adaumbelle

 

 

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Catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Zachary Infante in “Nine” the musical at Tisch School for the Arts (721 Broadway) from October 26 – October 30, playing “Little Guido.”

Come see this rising star live on stage…

For tickets send an e-mail to 9boxoffice@gmail.com. There is a $5 donation at the door when you pick-up your tickets.

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Ben Roberts is another performer who’s on the rise and crossing various genres from theatre to film to music. Off-Broadway and regionally, Ben has delighted audiences in “Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party,” “Walking Down Broadway,” “6 Degrees of Separation,” and “Grapes of Wrath” (Syracuse Stage). His film and television credits include “North Palm Wrestling” on MTV, “New York,” “A Born Comedian,” “A Very Serious Person,” and “Apart.” When Ben is not acting, he fronts a band called The Benjees, currently on tour:

Ocotber 30, 10pm, Crystal Blue Hall, Ozone Park, NY

November 14, 1pm, The Jungle Room, Lebanon, NY

November 23, 9pm, Crash Mansion, New York, NY

December 12, 6pm, Via Emilia, New York, NY ($20 all you can eat appetizer and beer)

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I’m not sure really. I used to get in trouble when I acted up in class when I was a kid. Having a place to do that meant I wouldn’t get in trouble and I could still be silly and act up.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Depends on the day and what I’ve been doing the past few days. More sleep for me usually means a higher and fuller range. I haven’t been sleeping much.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? There are so many people that I haven’t worked with…I guess I would say Clint Eastwood. I would like to be in one of his films.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I cut my own hair. And most of my friends hair, in exchange for beer or wine.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? I like working out, (circuit training) but playing music w/ my band is probably number one. Usually I’m soaking wet after our shows.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Neither and both. I like boxer-briefs.

7. Favorite item off the $1 menu? Is ice cream on the dollar menu? With fudge and nuts.

8. Favorite meal? Tough one. Seared salmon with avocado salsa, and sauteed spinach with pine nuts and raisins on the side.

9. Favorite website? www.myspace.com/thebenjees

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? When I was growing up there was a small chalkboard up in one of my friend’s houses. It simply said “Do your best” and was underlined. Every time I went there I saw it and asked myself if I had been doing that or not. Had I been giving it my all? I always liked the simplicity of the sign and advice.

12. Favorite way to spend your day off? I dont really have days off. I am always doing something. But would say doing nothing sounds like a great way to spend a day off.  Just sitting on a porch somewhere, in the sun or the rain, doing absolutely nothing.

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Tonight I had the fortunate experience of attending “Project Shaw” at The Players Club in NYC. For those of you who do not know, The Players Club was formed in 1888 by Edwin Booth who wanted to have a gathering place for him and his fellow performing colleagues to go to mingle. Started exclusively for men, The Players Club started to allow women in 1989, on Shakespeare’s Birthday. The first woman to join was Helen Hayes.

Rich in history, The Players Club continues to thrive today.  As the building itself is a preservation of history, so is “Project Shaw,” a monthly series dedicated to the readings of George Bernard Shaw’s plays, bringing in some of the finest performers we have today. With only scripts in hand, these performers continue to bring Shaw’s plays to life, entertaining one generation while introducing it to another. For a piece of theatre history, check out “Project Shaw.”

Tonight’s installment was “Captain Brassbound’s Conversion” starring Harriet Harris, Marc Kudish, Brad Oscar, A.J. Shively, Philip Glassborow, Glenn Kalison, David Ian Lee, Ariel Estrada, Matthew Baldiga, Paul Singleton, James Rana, Michael Feingold (from the Village Voice), and Michael Riedel (from the NY Post). “Captain Brassbound’s Conversion” tells the tale of a world famous British lady traveler (played esquisitly by Harriet Harris) who arrives in a Moroccan port and taken captive by an even more famous revengeful pirate! In no time she takes on his band of pirates, an Arab army, and the entire U.S. fleet!

It was a real treat to get to see Harriet Harris and Marc Kudish back on stage together (they previously starred together in the Tony Award Winning Musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” for which Harriet Harris won Best Featured Actress and Marc Kudish received a nomination for Best Featured Actor)! As great as they were together, Harriet Harris really stole the show! Whether it was a look or vocal inflection, Harriet’s brilliant comedic timing hit the target everytime!

After the reading, I went to talk to Harriet Harris. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen her, but after all this time she remembered not only my face, but my name as well. Thank You Harriet Harris for helping make tonight so special and I hope to see you back on Broadway soon!

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When three time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara sings, people listen! People listen so intently they are taken away from their daily lives to another world, a world of extraordinary talent, beauty and passion. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kelli after her triumphant opening night of her one woman show “Beyond the Ingenue” at Feinstein’s at the Regency (click here for my review).

From Oklahoma to New York City, Kelli O’Hara moved here to pursue her dream of becoming a performer and a performer she has become, in every sense of the word! Kelli made her Broadway debut in “Jekyll & Hyde” then going on to star in “Follies,” “Sweet Smell of Success,” and “Dracula.” Kelli earned her three Tony Award nominations in a row: her first nomination was for her performance in “The Light in the Piazza” co-starring Matthew Morrison, she received her second nomination for her performance in “The Pajama Game” co-starring Harry Connick Jr, and her third nomination was for her performance in “South Pacific,” co-starring Paulo Szot and Matthew Morrison.

In between “The Pajama Game” & “South Pacific,” Kelli made her Carnegie Hall debut in the NY Philharmonic production of “My Fair Lady” and released her debut album “Wonder in the World.” Kelli then went on to perform solo concerts at some of the biggest halls in New York and DC including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Cooper Union, Joe’s Pub, and Cafe Carlyle.

Off-Broadway and regionally, Kelli has been seen in “Sunday in the Park with George” (Reprise) “My Life With Albertine” (Playwright’s Horizons), and “Beauty” (La Jolla Playhouse). In addition to theatre, Kelli’s film and television credits include “The Dying Gaul,” “Alexander Hamilton,” “NUMB3RS,” “All My Children,” and the upcoming animated series “Car Talk.”

There are two chances now to catch Kelli live on stage: Now through October 30 at Feinstein’s at the Regency in her one woman show “Beyond the Ingenue” and then November 18-21 in “Bells Are Ringing” at Encores! For more on Kelli, be sure to visit http://www.kelliohara.com.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My voice teacher Florence Birdwell in Oklahoma. She’s pretty amazing. She was my mentor and inspired me to come here and do what I’m doing.

2. What’s the highest and lowest note you can sing? Well, I sang a high F above high C in “Magic Flute,” an opera. The lowest note I sing is probably F below middle C.

3. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Mmmm…Hugh Jackman because I almost have worked with him a few times and it just hasn’t worked out yet. I would also love to work with Megan Mullally.

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I would be a teacher. I love teaching. I teach, but not full time, just when I can. What do you teach? I teach musical theatre master classes.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? No one’s me. So I’m the only one who can do things the way I do them.  So be proud of it and sell it.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Jogging.

7. Favorite skin care product? Clinique Exfoliating scrub.

8. Favorite store to shop in? Anthropology for sure.

9. Favorite website? Etsy.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My husband, Greg Naughton.

12. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I can imitate people’s walks almost perfectly.

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