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Archive for December, 2010

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year! May 2011 bring your dreams to life!

Once again, I’d like to thank every participant, press agent, fan, and those who help me behind the scenes. I wouldn’t be able to bring “Adaumbelle’s Quest” to you without your support!

So be safe, have fun, and most of all enjoy the New Year!

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Stage presence, comedic timing, and a smile to light up the room, Amy Rutberg is a performer to go see! From television to film to theatre, Amy has conquered them all!

She has delighted theatre audiences in New York as well as regionally throughout the US. NY credits include “Perfect Harmony,” “The Jazz Age,” “Our Leading Lady,” “Ostrovsky,” “The Civil War,” “The Night They Raided Minsky’s,” “Bat Boy The Musical,” “The Grave White Way,” and the current Off-Broadway smash hit “The Divine Sister” (click here for my review). Regionally, Amy has lit up the stage in “Dracula,” “Dracula The Musical,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Man of La Mancha,” “My Fair Lady,” “Porkbroker’s Daughter,” “Bye, Bye, Birdie,” “The Pajama Game,” “Into The Woods,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Lysistrata,” “Evita,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Two Gentleman of Verona,” and “You Can’t Take It With You.”

In Film and Television, Amy has been seen in HBO’s “Recount,” “Inside Out,” “Camp Summer Stage,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “The Unusuals,” “As The World Turns,” “Everwood,” “Broken Record,” “Pacific Blue,” “Fourteenth,” and “Emma & Lorraine.”

Amy’s comedic strengths have been showcased in “Gravid Water” with Upright Citizen’s Brigade and “Don’t Quit Your Night Job” at HA! Comedy club and are currently being featured in Charles Busch’s “The Divine Sister” at the SoHo Playhouse in NYC (15 Vandam Street, between Varick Street & 6th Ave), where she is making audiences laugh out loud hysterically 8 times a week!

For much more on Amy, be sure to visit http://www.amyrutberg.com.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? There was never a moment when I thought “I want to be a performer” I just WAS a performer. I had no fear as a child. If there was anything that resembled a stage in my proximity I was climbing onto it and singing. I would come home from school and tell my mother that I had a class assignment where I was supposed to dress up as a character from a book. She knew this wasn’t true but would indulge in my fantasy. She would help me put together a costume and then I would come to class dressed up as “Romona the Pest” and insist on singing “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles in front of everyone…dressed as Romona the Pest. I think everyone else knew I would be a performer way before I did. I was lucky to have encouraging parents and teachers. Well, maybe not always encouraging but at least tolerant.

2. Who is the one  person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I’d love to work with some more fabulous theatre directors like Jack O’Brien or David Cromer. I love their work.

3. What is your most embarrassing on-stage moment? This is an easy one! I did a play called “Perfect Harmony” Off-Broadway last year and I accidentally called an actress by her real name in a scene. That was humiliating. Not sure anyone noticed but she sure did!

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? Running a Hedge Fund.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Better to Loose the battle and win the war” and “Look at your career as a marathon not a race.” They probably came from the same person.

6. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I have a big time sweet tooth and I love coffee, so both make me happy. Not crazy about the donuts at Dunkin. I’m from Southern California. Nothing beats a Winchell’s donut. I like that banana coffee cake thing at Starbucks.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? Oy. I like the classes at “Crunch,” it’s motivating. I also like biking. Anything to avoid cutting out sweets.

8. Favorite skin care product? Kihels “Brightening Botanical Moisture Fluid.” It’s so refreshing after I take of the lbs of makeup I wear for “Divine Sister.” I have a fab dermatologist Dr. Geyer. He gives me free samples and laughs at my jokes. I love him!!

9. Favorite website? www.travelandleisure.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Charles Busch.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Dr. Geyer- I mean, um.. world peace!

12. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I’m really good at brain teasers and games of skill like card games. Backstage I’m often playing word games with my brother on my iphone between scenes.  Also, I once discovered I have an unusual affinity to Bocce ball. Wonder how that can be monetized? I love to gamble. Acting is really the perfect profession for me.


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I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday season and hopes for a Wonderful New Year!

As we wind down the year and get ready to move into the New Year, I hope you’ll continue to support live theatre/entertainment and enjoy reading “Adaumbelle’s Quest” as I bring you more interviews and reviews of the shows I’ve loved as well as continuing to promote participants new projects to the best of my ability.

I can’t let the holidays go by without a word about the importance of life, safety, and love:

Ace of Base has a song called “Never Gonna Say I’m Sorry,” which I feel is my personal mantra. It’s song to remind you to be proud of who you are no matter what other people think! I wouldn’t be here today if I listened to what other people told me I should like, dislike, be, or who I should love. So, no matter if you are gay, straight, lesbian, bi-sexual, or anything in between, be of proud of who you are!

But if you are coming out this holiday season as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or anything in between and need someone to talk to, you can always call the Trevor Project 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 866-488-7386 and talk to someone who understands what you are going through. No matter how it goes, IT DOES GET BETTER and the Trevor Project is here to help you get through it, so hang in there because IT DOES GET BETTER!


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100% pure laughter and enjoyment is how I would describe Hedda Lettuce’s “Lettuce Rejoice: A Holiday Tradition” at the Metropolitan Room in NYC. This was my first time seeing Hedda’s annual holiday show and I’m sure glad I went.

Part stand-up comedy, part cabaret, but all original! Hedda knows how to put on a show and put one on she does! Hedda takes holiday classics such as “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and “Feliz Navidad” and puts her own spin on them with her brilliant parody lyrics. Since this is a holiday show, there is something for everyone…Hedda pays special homage to the Jewish faith as only Hedda can…with comedy!

From the opening number all the way to the end, Hedda had this sold-out crowd laughing out loud for almost 2 hours and even then, the audience cheered for  more.

If you are looking for a holiday delight, then I suggest you get yourself to the Metropolitan Room in NYC for “Lettuce Rejoice: A Holiday Tradition” (34 West 22nd Street, between 5th & 6th Avenue). With only 2 shows left, Friday, December 24 at 7:30pm and Sunday, December 26 at 7:30pm, you don’t want to be standing out in the cold wondering why it’s so hot inside!

Call 212-206-0440 for reservations: $22 cover + 2 drink minimum

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Be sure to catch Two-Time Tony Award Nominee and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Daphne Rubin-Vega along with Ethan Hawke, Natasha Lyonne, Gordon Clapp, Ann Dowd, and Thomas Guiry, in The New Group’s production of “Blood From A Stone.”

According to press notes, “”Blood From A Stone” is an electric and darkly comic portrayal of a troubled working-class family in New Britain, CT. Travis visits his parents home to check on his brother Matt and his mother, only to find himself sucked into intractable conflicts, and a whole household on the verge of implosion. Blood From A Stone is a stunning and shattering debut by Tommy Nohilly.”

Blood From A Stone” plays at the Acorn Theatre in the Theatre Row complex in NYC (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Ave) through February 5th.

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Broadway star Marcia Lewis passed away this morning after battling lung and brain cancer. Marcia made her Broadway debut in “Hello, Dolly” starring Ethel Merman. She continued to entertain audiences for years to come in such Broadway shows as the original “Annie,” “Rags,” “Orpheus Decending,” and the Broadway revivials of  “Fiddler on the Roof” (1990), “Grease” (1994) and the current “Chicago.”  Her Off-Broadway credits included “An Impudent Wolf,” “Who’s Who Baby?,” “Romance Language,” “When She Danced,” “Nunsense,” and the 2002 benefit concert of “Funny Girl.”

Marcia, the only show I got to see you in was “Grease” and I remember enjoying your performance very much! Thank you for entertaining us for so many years! I hope you and Jason Opsahl are singing duets and remembering the fun times you had in “Grease!”

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You have 1 day left to become part of music history by bidding to win one of several spots on the cover of Jason Dottley’s new single “Pop It” as well as winning one of the several spots inside the cover.

This revolutionary idea is Jason’s way of giving back to his fans and thanking them for all of their support! So let’s help Jason continue to entertain us by helping him raise the necessary funds to get this next single while allowing yourself to be part of music history!

If you win, your picture will be featured on iPods, iPhones, and everywhere the single is sold around the world.

So, “Pop It like a red bull” and click on this link to enter!

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Good looks and the extraordinary talent to back it up, Michael West is a performer you should go see! With impeccable comedic timing, Michael is was a long time favorite at “Forbidden Broadway” which allowed him to showcase his dead-on perfect impressions of celebrities as well as his rich baritone vocals. His other theatrical credits include “Mr. President,” “Forbidden Vegas,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “My Fair Lady,” “Oklahoma,” “Della’s Diner,” “Dracula,” and the 1997 Drama Desk Award winner for Best Musical Revue “When Pigs Fly.” Internationally, Michael also starred in “Forbidden Hollywood.” Currently, Michael can be seen tearing up the stage in the hit Off-Broadway musical “NEWSical The Musical” with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Christine Pedi, Christina Bianco, and produced by Tom D’Angora. “NEWSical The Musical” plays at the Kirk Theatre in the  Theatre Row complex in NYC (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue). For much more on Michael be sure to visit http://www.michaelwest.net.

Michael is not only a performer, but a certified AFAA personal trainer. When Michael is not entertaining audiences around the world, he uses his many talents keeping individuals fit and sexy. To find out how Michael can help you reach your fitness goal, visit http://www.michaelwestfitness.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Merman. I used to go into my basement and put on “Merman Sings Merman” and try to sing as loud as she did. Wait… is that a sad story?

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I’m about a C to an A – a little over two and a half octaves, but paying customers might prefer that I not go quite that low or quite that high.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? ONE?  That list is long. Shall we start with Mr. Sondheim? I guess that makes me a cliché. Or maybe that just reinforces the fact that I am, indeed, a cliché.

4. Do you have any rituals you have to do before a performance? Before a performance – I find a space in the curtain or the proscenium and peek at the audience. I HAVE to see them before I get out there. I don’t know why. How do you decompress after a show? After a show, generally a rum and diet coke (we supermodels have to watch our figures) and I’m good.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The “clean underwear” advice from my mom has always served me pretty well.  As a performer, I adhere to the old adage “Sincerity is everything. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I think most of my talents would fall into those categories.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I work out like a maniac. I started working out in my late teens, which has been (cough, cough) twenty – (hack, snort, accidental fart) something years.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Depends on the guy. Oh wait – you mean for myself?  Boxer briefs.

9. Favorite website? I’m an obsessive shopper, particularly for someone who lives on the brink of financial disaster, so I guess my current favorite is gilt.com – I’m keeping them in business. Or… is this where I plug my website?  Well, if you insist.  www.michaelwest.net and www.michaelwestfitness.com.

10. “Mary” or “Rhoda”? Hmmmm… is that a reference from some tv show from long before I was born? OK – Mary. Favorite Mary quote: “I’ve been around. Well alright, I might not’ve been around, but I’ve been nearby.”  That’s my life, in a nutshell.

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The world is full of people who want to be a songwriter. Some of those people make it and others don’t. Jonathan Reid Gealt is singer/songwriter on the rise. With the release of his debut album Thirteen Stories Down on the Sh-K-Boom Record label, it’s evident Jonathan is here to stay! Much like Dolly Parton (though he’s no country girl), Jonathan knows how to write songs with heart, soul, and a multitude of emotions. His lyrics connect to so many different people, lifestyles, and experiences. If his debut CD is any indication, then it’s evident Jonathan’s music will be entertaining and inspiring us for years to come.

Gathering some of today’s rising theatre performers along with those more established, Jonathan not only knows how to write songs, but he knows the talent that should sing them. “Thirteen Stories Down” features Caissie Levy, Adam Chanler-Berat, Natalie Weiss, Quentin Earl Darrington, Carrie Manolakos, Will Chase, Kate Baldwin, Lauren Kennedy, Alysha Umphress, Adam Armstrong, Matt Doyle, Darius de Haas, Capathia Jenkins, and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Tituss Burgess, Zak Resnick, Bridie Carroll, and the man himself, Jonathan Reid Gealt.

If you are looking for a singer/songwriter who knows how to connect with people, then I highly suggest picking up Jonathan Reid Gealt’s “Thirteen Stories Down” at Sh-K-Boom Records, iTunes, or Amazon.com. It’s a ride you will want to go on again and again!

 

 

Song Review:

“I Am Yours”

Is all about finding the one you love…sung splendidly by Caissie Levy. Using her magnificent belt, Caissie hits all the right notes adding much emotion to this beautiful love song. If you are looking for that perfect “couple” song, “I Am Yours” should be at the top of your list.

“I Won’t Have To Anymore”

Get the tissues out for this emotionally powerful, yet inspiring song about a young gay boy growing up with an abusive father and being strong enough to walk away on his own. Adam Chanler-Berat demonstrates with his vocals that he understands the emotion, intensity, and strength of this song.

“Quiet”

Tells the story of fear and how that fear keeps you quiet, but then overcoming that fear and not being quiet any longer. Natalie Weiss nails this song perfectly with her exceptionally controlled vocals from quietly singing the right notes to belting the stronger lyrics to demonstrate the emotions of realizing how letting out the fear will set you free.

“My Best Friend”

I think the title says it all, but this song tells the story of two guys who have been friends since childhood. A beautifully written song to show how friendships grow and change over the years and even though friends sometimes slightly drift apart, a true friendship will last the distance and when you see one another, it’s like no time has passed. Sung by Tituss Burgess and Quentin Earl Darrington, Jonathan made a wise choice choosing these two amazing performers because their voices mesh brilliantly together. Each using their own vocal style when singing separately, but when they come together, it’s pure delight the way they sing in unison.

“No Reason At All”

This song touches on the topic of a woman longing to better herself and her life and trying to figure out how to get there. Carrie Manolakos does a great job portraying the many emotions this woman goes through. Keeping her voice lower/quieter during the low times in this woman’s life and getting louder and louder, eventually moving into a big belt at the end when this woman realizes she can take the steps to better herself.

“September ‘92”

Taking the listener on a journey through this man’s trip down memory lane, Zak Resnick puts the “P” into Power. This is a great song for Zak to sing because it really showcases his vocals ever so brightly.

“Expectations of a Man”

A really witty and smart song about a woman discovering her lesbianism. Bridie Carroll’s energy and delightfully strong vocals make this song even more enjoyable!

“Lessons Learned”

People learn many lessons from their partners and this song touches on just some of those lessons learned. Jonathan knows talent and he again demonstrated it by combining the amazingness that is Kate Baldwin and Will Chase. Their vocals blend so well together. Let’s hope this combination leads to these two starring in a show together featuring this very song…

“Alex…You’re Fine!”

The always enjoyable Lauren Kennedy sings an entertaining song about a girl named Alex who’s a hypochondriac.

“Lovable”

Girl Power through and through! Detailing a woman’s knowledge that she deserves the love she seeks and she finds that love when she finally takes the step to move on. Alysha Umphress scores big with her skilled vocals and range.

“Stay/I’ll Never Go”

Watery eyes will surely follow as you listen to Adam Armstrong and Jonathan Reid Gealt beautifully sing this love song about a gay couple, where one is slowly dying. They hit each emotional state flawlessly.

“Wanting”

A great song about two gay guys who meet by chance and all the feelings/emotions that go with what happens when you meet someone you are attracted to for the first time. Matt Doyle and Darius de Haas superbly sing this song, adding a dimension to the fun and identifiable lyrics.

“Momma Don’t Cry”

Written for the 2008 Broadway in South Africa Concert and based on a poem by “Ana” this song is about a girl’s admiration for her mother who has sacrificed so much. Capathia Jenkins and the Broadway Inspirational Voices exquisitely sing this heartfelt and inspirational song!

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The “Tag It To Win It” Contest for Jonathan Reid Gealt‘s debut album “Thirteen Stories Down” is now over. The winner is Andrey Patino! Congratulations Andrey!! Thank you to everyone who participated…another contest will be happening soon! Stay tuned…

The contest below is happening on my Facebook Fan Page…click here to go to my Facebook fan page, then tag yourself in the CD cover photo and you will be entered in the contest to win a copy of Jonathan Reid Gealt’s debut CD “Thirteen Stories Down!”

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