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On Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, I had the unique opportunity to go backstage after seeing the matinee performance of “Memphis.” (Click for my review and re-review). I was invited by fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Derrick Baskin, who is one of the principal actors in the show, playing the role of “Gator.” My family and I felt privileged to walk onto a real Broadway stage and see the theatre from a different perspective. Although Derrick must have been tired and he still had another show to perform, with great enthusiasm, he showed us the magic of how the set works. That greatly added to the enjoyment of the magnificent show I had just seen. The set designers should really be applauded for their remarkable work. While it seems effortless from the audience’s perspective, we got a glimpse of the hard work and detailed coordination that goes into bringing the set to life at each performance.

Derrick also introduced us to two of the other principle cast members, Montego Glover who plays “Felicia” and James Monroe Iglehart who plays “Bobby.” They were very gracious and warm when speaking to us. In addition to these cast members, I also had the opportunity to speak to two of the producers of the show, Chase Mishkin and Randy Adams…What a treat to meet two of the masterminds behind this show. As we were leaving the stagedoor, we also spoke to another principal cast member, fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Chad Kimball, who plays “Huey.” It was great to catch up with him and I appreciated the time he took to talk with me. It’s apparent by the enthusiasm of the cast that they are enjoying the show. So treat yourself and someone you enjoy and go see “Memphis!”

THANK YOU Derrick and the rest of the cast for a wonderful and unique experience! See you soon…

Enjoy a picture story of my time backstage:

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Check out this great video for the Tour of Broadway’s Tony Award Winning Musical “In The Heights”:

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Jeff BowenJeff Bowen was one of the stars and co-writers of Broadway’s “[title of show]”, winning the 2006 Obie Award as well as a GLAAD Media nomination & Drama League nomination for Distinguished Performance by an Ensemble. In addition to [title of show], Jeff has written music & lyrics for several special events including the 2007 Easter Bonnet competition for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Actors Fund 125th Anniversary Gala, the Vineyard Theatre’s 25th Anniversary Gala, the 53rd Annual Drama Desk Awards & Broadway Bares 18: Wonderland. He has also composed music for several shows at P.S. 122 such as “Avant-Garde-A-Rama in Sparklevision”, & “Hello, My Name Is Avant-Garde-A-Rama”, as well as “Sparklefest 2000” at Dixon Place; “The A-Train Plays”; & the film “Boat Mime”. In addition to composing & writing music & lyrics, Jeff has performed in such productions as “The Who’s Tommy”, “Of Thee I Sing”, “Shenandoah”, “On the Twentieth Century” & the Actor’s Fund benefit of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”. While Jeff is brewing his next creation, keep up with him & everything “[title of show]” by visiting  http://www.titleofshow.com/blog/index.php.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin and Martin Short.

2. What was your best and worst experience in a show? Best – the final performance of [title of show] on Broadway.  I’ve never felt more proud, content, and happy (and sad) in all of my life.  I’ll never forget the tidal wave of emotions that rocked the Lyceum that night.  The worst experience was having a terrible hypoglycemic attack during a production of “The Who’s Tommy” in Brazil.  I had to leave the show and luckily there was a doctor in the house. It should be noted that Heidi Blickenstaff was on stage with me during both of those events.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I’m a pretty good painter; I can sing two notes at once; I make a mean crab cake and I can identify about 300 species of birds by their songs.

4. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Meryl Streep.

5. Favorite meal? Short ribs with anything on the side.  Also potato chips and onion dip.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Eating a half dozen moderate meals a day, jogging, weightlifting and birdwatching.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs but mostly briefs.

8. What website do you get your news from? DCcomics.com.

9. Favorite talk show host? Currently Bonnie Hunt, but I had a huge thing for Mike and Maty in the 90s.

10. Today Show or Good Morning America? Um, are those shows on in the morning? I think I saw one of them once, but I don’t remember which one.

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