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Posts Tagged ‘Ann Reinking’

Wow, wow, wow is what I have to say after attending the opening night of T. Oliver Reid’s show “This Love I Know” at the Metropolitan Room in NYC. I have never heard T. Oliver Reid sing prior to tonight, but I now see why he was the winner of the 2010 “MetroStar Talent Challenge.” Beating out the other 51 contestants during the 8-week jury and audience-voted elimination-round competition, T. Oliver dazzled throughout.

“This Love I Know” takes the audience on a journey of love. T. Oliver chose songs that have helped him through many loves, both the “falling-in-love” and “on-to-the-next” variety. T. Oliver’s voice is powerful, skilled, and most of all wide-ranged! His voice shined and sparkled throughout the whole set with such classics as “Hooray For Love,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “Autumn In New York,” “This Can’t Be Love,” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”  If you are looking for a show to attend with that special someone or someone you love, then “This Love I Know” at the Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street, between 5th & 6th Ave) is the place to be through February 14 at 7pm! $25 + 2 drink minimum.

T. Oliver Reid has spent the past 12 years entertaining audiences on Broadway in “Chicago,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Follies,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Never Gonna Dance,” “La Cage Aux Folles,” “The Wedding Singer,” “Damn Yankees,” and “Mary Poppins.” He has also had the privilege of working onstage with Chita Rivera, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jane Krakowski, Karen Ziemba, Blythe Danner, Judith Ivey, Marin Mazzie, Sutton Foster, and Robert Goulet. He’s worked with some of the best directors, choreographers, and musical directors including Kathleen Marshall, Rob Marshall, Rob Ashford, Jerry Zaks, Ann Reinking, and Jerry Mitchell.

Over the past decade, he has donated his time and resources to The Actor’s Fund, Jeffrey Fashion Cares, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS where he’s served on several fund raising and grant committees as well as committees to help with the distribution of funds to food banks across the country. He is also a charter member of G4G/NYC (Gay for Good, a non-profit service organization). For more on T. Oliver Reid be sure to visit http://toliverreid.com/

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? It would be what. Literally every Saturday morning growing up I watched Turner Classical Movies and the MGM movie musicals. I would sing along to them and get different cast recordings and sing to those. I had the “Annie” cast recording and would sing to it everyday until my mother finally took me to see the road show which was in Charlotte. We went there and that’s where it all started for me.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? That’s a good question. The highest is a Soprano B flat. I used to be able to sing higher, like high E flats, but somewhere along the way, I lost a few notes. The lowest note I can sing is the low F.

3. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I’d love to have David Foster produce something for me. It really goes back and forth between musical theatre and standard pop music composer/lyricists. There are a lot of new composer/lyricist’s I’d like to work with. Me: Which ones? T: I like Scott Alan’s work. I think he’s fantastic.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “You should be singing and not dancing.”

5. What do you get from performing in a solo show that you don’t get from performing in a Broadway show? It’s all about me. Whatever choices I make and songs I choose is about the journey I want to take as opposed to me just being there for someone else’s journey or me filling a part for someone else. It’s a great thing to be able to shape a show myself and to choose all the numbers and sing all the songs and sort of figure out what I want to do. It really becomes more part of you than being part of someone else’s idea.

6. How did you come up with the concept and song selection for your show “This Love I Know?” I had a list of about 40 songs and I would just listen to every song everyday and after a while I was like I don’t want to listen to this one anymore and then take it off the list until I got the list down to a smaller number and then put them in an order that made sense. Me: You did achieve that. I think there was a story that went with the songs and that came through to the audience. T: Thank you, thank you very much.

7. Favorite place to practice/rehearse on your own? When a train is coming into the subway platform that is when I do my loudest singing because I don’t like singing loud around people. When I’m on the train I’m always humming or thinking of songs. I also like to practice in a cafe somewhere because I can’t concentrate well in my apartment, so I’ll go to a cafe and brainstorm my ideas.

8. Favorite way to stay in shape? The gym. Summers I like to ride my bike.

9. Boxers or Briefs? I’ll say briefs, but they are somewhere in between. They are not the usual tighty whities. They are a little bit looser.

10. Favorite website? Facebook.com. I feel like I’m on it all the time.

11. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman definitely!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite place to go on a date in NYC? It would be my favorite restaurant which is actually in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn called Buttermilk Channel. They have the best food on the planet. You really feel like you’re in Brooklyn and the food is amazing.

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My best friend who I lost in April 2010.

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On Sunday, January 30, 2011, I was fortunate enough to attend “Chicago’s Facebook Fan Day” on Broadway. The producers of “Chicago” recognized what an important part online marketing plays in building an audience to a Broadway show and as a “Thank You” to their dedicated fans, it was decided to have “Chicago Fan Day.” The initiative started on November 15, 2010 when “Chicago” launched an exclusive online contest on its Facebook Fan Page. Any fan who recruited 10 of their friends to “Like” the “Chicago Fan Page,” would receive a FREE ticket to the Sunday, January 30, 2011 matinee performance. The response was so overwhelming that after just 5 hours, the Fan Page administrators had to shut down the contest.

In addition to the current cast, many alumni were present in today’s audience including the legendary Chita Rivera (who’s interview was just posted on Sunday), Ute Lemper, Vincent Pastore, and Lillias White. I was very fortunate to be able to talk to Chita and personally thank her and give her a button for participating in my blog. She was so gracious and kind!

Before the show started, fans were able to get their photo taken on the red carpet with the famous “Fosse Girls.” One of the “Fosse Girls” was kind enough to show off some of her best “Fosse” moves…Fans were also treated to cupcakes from CupcakeStop and coffee/hot chocolate from Gregory’s Coffee. On their way into the theatre, fans received a “Chicago” hat and special “Facebook Fan Day” t-shirt!

The energy and excitement in the crowd and on stage was huge today. I have to admit, this was actually my very first time ever seeing “Chicago” on Broadway and what  a day to see it. This electrifying show is filled with the legendary John Kander and Fred Ebb music and lyrics (“All That Jazz,” “When You’re Good To Mamma,” “My Own Best Friend,” “and Razzle Dazzle”) as well as the iconic Bob Fosse choreography (revived by the luminous Ann Reinking for the revival).

The revival of “Chicago” IS a classic Broadway production which is why it has been running for the past 14 years, won six Tony Awards at the 1997 Tony Awards, and in March will become the 5th longest running show in Broadway history. With productions all around the world and on tour, “Chicago” still attracts audiences from all over the world to Broadway. To be able to hear such iconic music and see such legendary choreography on stage is a moment in time and we are so fortunate to have a show like “Chicago” on Broadway in New York City, the entertainment capital of the world!

If you have never seen “Chicago” or if you were thinking about re-visiting it again, now would be the perfect time to come down to the Ambassador Theatre (219 West 49th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue) in New York City to be “Razzled Dazzled” by “Chicago!

The whole afternoon was a thrilling experience and I’m so grateful that I was able to be part of it!

(Check me out in the center back right next to the middle row entrance…hahaha)

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