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Posts Tagged ‘“Adaumbelle’s Quest”’

Check out this hilariously brilliant video of Douglas Hodge “Passing The Torch” to Harvey Fierstein who is now playing the role of “Albin” in the Tony Award Winning revival of “La Cage Aux Folles” on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street)

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I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day! While I try to celebrate love everyday, I do want to take an extra moment today to tell all of you how much I love and appreciate your continued support of “Adaumbelle’s Quest.” It means so much to me that I have fans who enjoy reading “Adaumbelle’s Quest.”

I hope you all have a fantastic day and hope you’ll take an extra moment to tell someone you love them, especially yourself!

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On February 7, 2011, I attended Ryan Scott Oliver’s sold-out “Songbook Release Concert” at Joe’s Pub. Ryan Scott Oliver is one of today’s rising songwriters/composers and tonight the performers he had really demonstrated why Ryan is on the rise.

Ryan has his own way of writing music and that is what makes Ryan’s music so great! With songs about love, hope, fear, and loss, Ryan doesn’t try to be the next anybody, he just tries to be himself. He’s fortunate because he achieves it! Ryan also  knows how to choose the right performers to sing his music. He assembled quite a roster of rising theatre performers to help bring his music to life!

Adam & Lindsay Mendez

Starting off the night was Lindsay Mendez, Alex Brightman, Jay Armstrong Johnson and Grace Wall singing “The Ballad of Sara Berry” from Ryan’s musical “35MM.” This song is about a girl who is feeling the pressure from her family to be crowned prom queen, forcing her to resort to many different tactics to win, including murder. Lindsay used her skilled vocals to take the audience through the many emotions and events running through Sara Berry leading to the ultimate win…but to find out what that ultimate win is, you’ll have listen to the song for that!

Continuing on the high that was left by Lindsay, was Grace Wall who sang “A Hypochondriac’s Song” about a girl who is plagued by her fear of death, she struggles through everyday life as she strives to find a man who will put up with her crazy phobias from Ryan’s musical “Out Of My Head.” Grace’s beautiful voice shined as she brought this girls fear and hopes to life. Alex Brightman was the next performer to dazzle the audience. He was on fire belting the crazy out of “Lost Boy” from Ryan’s musical “Darling.” “Lost Boy” is a new take on “Peter Pan” where Peter recounts the hardships in his life that made him feel as if he doesn’t belong. I’m not even sure Alex needed a microphone tonight, but it just added to the vocal power that radiated from Alex and mesmerized the audience.

Next up was “Crayon Girl” from Ryan’s musical “Out Of My Head.” Sung by Jessica Hershberg, “Crayon Girl” is about an artist who struggles to translate her visions onto paper and starts to question whether or not she should continue her career as an artist due to the negativity she receives from her mother. Jessica scored big with this song allowing the audience to really feel everything “Crayon Girl” was going through. (On a personal note: This song reminds me I should ask more often “Was there ever at time a you thought about quitting and if so what career would you choose?)

Andrew Keenan-Bolger & Adam

Taking the stage right after Jessica was Andrew Keenan-Bolger who sang “Stupid Boys,” a song Ryan wrote about a guy who is anxiously waiting for his love interest to call, but while waiting, this man proclaims that boys are stupid; however when he realizes his “Special Someone” isn’t going to call, the guy recognizes that he, in fact, is the stupid one. This song should be released as a single, it’s so identifiable. I know many people, myself included, who have been in this exact situation. Through his voice, Andrew brilliantly displayed the emotions of anticipation, hope, excitement, disappointment, and ultimately realization of what that this guy was feeling.

Katie Thompson

I’m not quite sure the audience was ready for what happened next, but the phenomenal brilliance that is Katie Thompson took the stage. If it were possible to dazzle an audience beyond captivation, then Katie Thompson did just that when she took Ryan’s song “To Do” (about a hopeful romantic who vows to move forward after a series of unrequited loves) and not only reworked the arrangements, but riffed the roof right off of Joe’s Pub. In all my years of seeing people sing, I have never seen the talent and skill that is Katie Thompson’s musical talent and vocal ability.  She is one of a kind and Ryan is genius for having her perform it like only Katie can do!

Following Katie, were Jay Armstron Johnson and Alex Brightman who sang “Halfway,” a song written by Ryan about two lovers who live on opposite coasts meet each other in the middle of the country, their anticipation building as the separate road trips progress. Through their body language and voices, Jay and Alex really took the audience on this road trip allowing us to believe they were really lovers coming to meet.

Ryan definitely delighted me on many levels with tonight’s show, but one of my many favorite moments came when Lindsay Mendez performed “Make Me A Picture Of The Sun” (A setting of Emily Dickinson’s classic poem) because Ryan introduced this song by saying the arrangements and music were influenced by “Sooner or Later” from the motion picture “Dick Tracy,” which happens to be one of my favorite songs sung by Madonna. Lindsay’s voice guided the words perfectly, making this song just as beautiful as Lindsay’s voice.

Grace Wall came back to the stage and sang “On Monday” from Ryan’s musical “35MM.” “On Monday” is about a fast-moving girl who learns that the greatest love takes the greatest while. Once again, another brilliant song by Ryan that should be released as a single because so many people I know, including myself, get so excited when we find someone we really like and want to rush it along, but have to remember to stop and let love take it’s course. Grace did just that…she let the audience stop and enjoy her voice while she led us down this path of inspiration.

Continuing on the path of inspiration was Colin Donnell singing “What It’s Worth” from Ryan’s musical “Out Of My Head.” “What It’s Worth” is about a man who proclaims that when you love someone, you sometimes need to go through the painful process of letting them go. Colin’s vocal skills definitely brought together the emotions of love and loss, allowing his voice to guide him and the audience through this painful process. (I bet if I asked this character, If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be, he would answer the love he let go).

Jeff Hiller

Bringing the evening to a comedic halt was none other than Jeff Hiller (who many of you will remember Jeff’s grand comedic moments as “John Quincy Adams” in Broadway’s “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”). When Jeff enters a room or walks out on stage, there is no doubt that laughter will be close behind and tonight did not disappoint. Jeff sang “The Plane (is Going Down)” a song by Ryan Scott Oliver about a man who is forced to face his fear of flying when he is asked to go on a business trip. A common fear amongst people, Ryan has very smartly taken a serious subject and turned into a song that allows one to share it in a light and fun way. Leave it to Jeff Hiller to bring the light and fun to it. From his vocal inflection to his facial expressions to his body language, Jeff had the sold-out crowd in stitches! When I interviewed Jeff last October he mentioned in his interview that he was taking voice lessons…well let me tell you, those voice lessons have clearly paid off because Jeff’s voice was in FINE SHAPE! I hope Jeff does more concerts so more people can hear just how great of singer he is!

Bringing back the serious, but with much hope was Krysta Rodriguez who sang “The View From Here” from Ryan’s musical “Darling.” “The View From Here” has 16-year-old Ursula Morgan sitting on her windowsill, reflecting on her neglected childhood and hopes for a better future. Krysta’s voice is gorgeous and she knows how to use it bringing the much needed emotion to this sad, but uplifting song.

Ryan totally surprised the audience when he premiered a new song “Agnes” which is about a boy named Jasper who journeys through the Afterlife intent on rescuing his recently deceased best friend Agnes. In this song, he is attempting to persuade the three-headed guard dog Cerberus to allow him passage. To premiere this song, Ryan brought Alex Brightman back to the stage, which was a wise choice because Alex has the stellar vocal talents to communicate Ryan’s musical message.

Closing the night was Eric Michael Krop, Grace Wall, Katie Gassert, Michael Lowney, and Geoff Kidwell singing “Odyssey,” a multi-genre song about a soldier who abandons a defeated, war-torn land, returning home to the comfort of his lover. Eric Michael Krop was the perfect choice for this song as his vocal skills cross many genres (which he demonstrates well on his EP “Run“) and perfectly showed the wariness of soldier’s fight coupled with the excitement of coming home to his lover.

What made tonight so special for me, personally, was the fact that out of the 16 performers singing, I have been fortunate to interview almost half of them for “Adaumbelle’s Quest” (the songwriter/composer himself Ryan Scott Oliver, Jeff Hilller, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Lindsay Mendez, Eric Michael-Krop, and Katie Thompson). It was a huge delight for me to see my fellow participants strut their stuff and belt out their songs, but it was also great to be introduced to many other talented performers including Alex Brightman, Colin Donnell, Jessica Hecksberg, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Krysta Rodriguez, and Grace Wall.

The next time Ryan Scott Oliver has a concert, I highly suggest checking it out because not only will you hear enjoyable music, but you will be treated to a host of talent on the rise who will be entertaining us for years to come!

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On Monday, February 28, 2011 at 8:30pm at The Canal Room in NYC, NewMusicalTheatre.com will be presenting a follow-up concert to their explosive coming out party from last spring, with Kerrigan-Lowdermilk’s “You Made This Tour” opening at 7:30pm. Produced by John Johnson and Katie Riegel and directed by David Ruttura and music director Matt Hinkley, this concert will feature songs from 12 of the newest writers added to the NewMusicalTheatre.com community, performed by a hand-picked crew of Broadway’s most-talented stars (A full list of performers and songwriters will be announced shortly). YOU JUST MIGHT HAVE THE CHANCE TO PERFORM ALONGSIDE SOME OF TODAY’S RISING BROADWAY STARS AND WRITERS! (for those of you who just want to attend the concert, click here for tickets)

TO ENTER:

Performers should upload a video to YouTube of their performance of any song available for download on NewMusicalTheatre.com (including songs by Bobby Cronin, Jonathan Reid Gealt, Ryan Scott Oliver, Will Van Dyke, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Joe Iconis, Michael Friedman, Pasek & Paul, and Kerrigan-Lowdermilk) then post it to the site’s Facebook fan page (facebook.com/NewMusicalTheatrecom) or tweet it to @nmtsongs. All entries should be received by Sunday, February 20 and one winner will be invited to perform their song at the Canal Room on February 28. Please note that all entrants should be available to be in New York City the day of the show. Travel and accommodation will not be provided.

NewMusicalTheatre.com is dedicated to the distribution and promotion of a new generation of musical theater writers who self-publish their own digital sheet music. Its goal is to create a direct connection between the people who write music and the people who want to perform and listen to it. It provides an affordable and legal one-stop shop to discover and share the work of self-published writers. It aspires to foster a dynamic community where fans and actors can directly connect and impact the writers of
tomorrow’s next big hits. This is an e-commerce website designed by writers for writers. It allows fans to directly support writers when they need it most – before their shows go to Broadway.

Now boasting over 25 of the most exciting new voices writing for the theater today, NewMusicalTheatre.com fosters the idea that fans and actors can directly connect and impact the writers of tomorrow’s next big hits.

NewMusicalTheatre.com Concert at The Canal Room, Monday, February 28, 2011 at 8:30pm (doors open at 7pm, Kerrigan-Lowdermilk open the show at 7:30pm)

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This contest is now over…Congratulations go out to Sheryl Beth Silvers and Andrew Beck! It’s another “Tag It To Win It” contest here at “Adaubmelle’s Quest!” This time around two fans at random, will have the chance to win a pair of tickets to the hilarious hit Off-Broadway show “The Accidental Pervert” written and performed by Andrew Goffman and directed by Charles Messina.

Head on over to my Facebook Fan Page or click on the image below to take you there and then “Tag” yourself in the photo. This contest will end this Wednesday, February 2nd at 7pm!


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A few months back I interviewed and reviewed Benny Marchant’s EP “Conversations Missed” and today (January 28, 2011) it was officially announced that his full-length album “Cold Weather” will be released on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Part of my review made it into the press release! Thank You Benny Marchant and team for including me! I am completely honored and humbled by this!

 

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This contest is now over and the winner is Elli Thekingofbroadway! Congratulations Elli! Here’s another “Tag It To Win It” contest and this week you have the chance to win 2 tickets to the York Theatre Company’s new musical “Road To Qatar.” Head on over to my Facebook Fan Page and “Tag” yourself in the show’s logo. One winner will be selected at random. This contest ends Friday at 7pm!


According to press notes, this new TRUE musical comedy tells the story of two American musical theatre writers commissioned to do the impossible: write a larger-than-life Broadway-style mega-musical for Emir of Qatar including 100 actors, 40 camels, 17 fire-eating jugglers and Muhammad Ali. Surprises abound as the quirky self-professed “short Jewish writers” leave New York and begin trotting the globe in their own version of a madcap Bob Hope/Bing Crosby Adventure.

For those of you who do not win, you can purchase tickets at Yorktheatre.org or call 212-935-5820 and either way, mention code HHCROAD47 for you chance to get tickets for just $47 (regular price $67.50).

Good luck and Thanks for entering!

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Adam & Adam Pascal

On Monday, January 10, 2011, I had the fortunate experience of interviewing Adam Pascal after his and Anthony Rapp’s concert at Town Hall (click here for my review, Anthony’s interview is coming soon). On-stage Adam knows how to entertain and off-stage is no different. Personable and humorous, Adam was kind enough to take the time to answer my questions.

Best known for playing the original “Roger” in the Tony Award Winning musical “Rent,” which earned Adam a Theatre World Award, an OBIE Award, and a Tony Award Nomination, Adam has gone on to have quite a career! After “Rent,” Adam went on to originate the role of “Radames” in Broadway’s “Aida” by Elton John and Tim Rice and played the “Emcee” in the final cast of “Cabaret” by Kander and Ebb. In 2008, Adam starred alongside Josh Groban and Idina Menzel in London for two sold-out performances of the Tim Rice/ABBA musical “Chess” at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

In addition to theatre, Adam has released three solo albums…”Model Prisoner,” “Civilian,” and his latest CD “Blinding Light” and starred in such movies as “Rent,” “SLC Punk,” “School of Rock,” “Temptation,” and his two most recent films “Falling Star” and “American Primitive.” Adam is also hard at work on a musical for Broadway based on the concept album “Operation Mindcrime,” by the progressive rock band Queensryche.

Currently out on tour with Anthony Rapp in “Adam & Anthony Live” they have one more stop on their US Tour. January 29 at 8pm: The Irvine Barclay Theater in Irvine, CA

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Rock music inspired me to become a performer. I got hooked on rock music at 9 years old and shortly after that discovered I could carry a tune and then it just kind of went from there. I just always loved to sing and the harder I sang and the more blood vessels I burst in my neck trying to sing like all of these heavy metal singers I listened to growing up, the better it felt. It was such a feeling of expression and power. If I was feeling vulnerable, it made me feel strong. If I was feeling weak, it made me feel powerful. It’s always been that for me.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Hahaha…I have no idea. I’m so not a schooled singer in that way I couldn’t tell you. I’d just say high and low. Hahaha.

3. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Oh god, there are so many. God, that’s a good question. I would love to work with Jason Robert Brown. We worked a little bit together, but not on a full original production. I love his music and I love his work. I would also love to work with Stephen Sondheim and I would love to work with Michael Greif again. I’m always honored that anybody of note wants to work with me, so I’m open to working with anybody who has an interest in working with me.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? That’s good one too. “Grow up.” I can’t tell you how many countless people I’ve heard that from and it never sticks, but it’s always good advice.

5. What do you get from performing in a solo concert that you don’t get from performing in a Broadway show? For me personally, I’m much more exposed, much more naked. I get to play instruments and get to express myself in what is the most natural way for me to do it. Although, that being said, I’ve always felt a little more comfortable doing musicals than doing a concert and I think that’s because you can hide. You can hide behind a character. You can also hide behind somebody else’s material. I always had this opinion in the back of my mind where I was like, “I know I’m going to go out there and sing well and I’m going to do a good job and if they didn’t like the show, I didn’t write it. There’s a certain security in that. As long as I know people will come away and say that show sucked, but that guy was good, that’s the most I could do.

6. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I never had another career path. I never could do anything else, of value. That’s a really hard question to answer because I’d really be lost. I wouldn’t have a career, I would have a job.

7. Favorite way to spend your day off? At home. At home with my kids smoking weed.  Not smoking weed with my kids, but as two separate events.

8. Favorite way to stay in shape? P90X.

9. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs.

10. Favorite website? I love Broadway Stars. My wife always make fun of me because of the name. The name is misleading because it’s not really about Broadway Stars. It’s really an amazing hub for everything theatre related, whether it’s Broadway, Regional, West End. It’s so dense with information, so I check that site at least twice a day.

11. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

12. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? Not really. I wish I did. The only talent I have is what I can do on stage. Anything else I wouldn’t classify as a talent…I can do light carpentry, light electrical, and light plumbing, certainly not talents.

13. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Hahaha…other than my wife, Jessica Biel, preferably more than once a night. I could dream about her over and over again.

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John Dye, who played “Andrew” on the CBS drama “Touched By An Angel” passed away this past Monday from a heart attack. He was 47 years old.

“Touched By An Angel” was one of my favorite shows in the ’90s and influenced some of my stand-up comedy.

Thank you John Dye for entertaining us and most of all bringing us a little bit of comfort around a difficult subject matter!

Rest in Peace!

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When you leave a theatre smiling and in a good mood that is usually the sign that you’ve had a good time. A good time is exactly what I had when I attended “NEWSical the Musical: Full Spin Ahead” tonight at the Kirk Theatre in NYC.

Highlighting and parodying some of the big news stories from the past year, “NEWSical the Musical” is 90-minutes of enjoyment, humor, and fun! Produced by Tom D’Angora and Elyse Pasquale and written by Rick Crom,”NEWSical” tackles such universal topics as the end of Oprah and Larry King’s shows, Bristol and Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, the crazy JetBlue Flight attendant, sexting, Marriage Equality, airport security, Lipitor, and various celebrity impressions.

Bringing these parodies to life is the extraordinarily talented cast of  Christine Pedi, Christina Bianco, Michael West, and John Walton West. The impressions and comedic chops of each of these performers is amazing! Christina Bianco’s Celine Dion impression is through the roof terrific and if you close your eyes, you’d think Celine was really up on stage. I can’t even describe Christine Pedi as Joan Rivers, Liza Minelli, and Barbra Streisand…unbelievably perfect! Michael West brings down the house as Pee-Wee Herman and George Bush, while John Walton West rocks it out as Morgan Freeman!

If you are looking for a fun night out, then spin on over to “NEWSical the Musical: Full Spin Ahead!” at The Kirk Theatre inside Theatre Row complex (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Ave).

Christina Bianco, Michael West, photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

John Walton West, Christina Bianco, Christine Pedi, photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Michael West, photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Christine Pedi, Christina Bianco, photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

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