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Posts Tagged ‘Carrie Manolakos’

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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Be sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Morgan Karr and Carrie Manolakos this Tuesday, December 14 at 7:30pm at The Bitter End in NYC (147 Bleecker Street). Together, these two powerhouse vocalists will bring you a mix of original music and funkified pop songs! Audiences can expect to hear twits on hits by John Mayer, Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell, and many others.

Take a break this holiday season for an evening of talent and song! Tickets are $10 at the door and NO drink minimum…

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On Tuesday, December 14, be sure to pick up your copy of “Thirteen Stories Down,” the debut album from fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Jonathan Reid Gealt is being released on the Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records’ label! Jonathan is a singer/songwriter who’s music will move, inspire, and most of all entertain you, for it’s honest, heartfelt, and relatable.

Featuring some of today’s best and brightest of Broadway including, fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Tituss Burgess, Zak Resnick, and Bridie Carroll along with Caissie Levy, Adam Chanler-Berat, Natalie Weiss, Quentin Earl Darrington, Carrie Manolakos, Will Chase, Kate Baldwin, Lauren Kennedy, Stephanie Umoh, Lindsay Mendez, Alysha Umphress, Adam Armstrong, Matt Doyle, Darius de Haas, Capathia Jenkins and the Broadway Inspirational Voices.

“Thirteen Stories Down” is the perfect CD to add to your collection! You can pick up the CD at Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records, Amazon.com, or iTunes!

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Every performer has dreams of being able to share their craft with the greater masses. For many, that dream does not come true, but there are a select few who get to live that dream and one of those select few is award winning singer/songwriter (and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant) Bobby Cronin. On Monday, November 29, I got to be in the audience as one of Bobby’s dreams came true when he got to perform “The Roads I’m Taking: The Musicals of Bobby Cronin” to a sold-out crowd at NYC’s famed jazz club Birdland as part of Jim Caruso’sBroadway at Birdland” series. Jim doesn’tallow just anyone perform in his series, he always picks the creme of the crop, and Bobby Cronin is part of that crop!

Performing selections from six of the musicals Bobby wrote the music and lyrics for, Bobby was joined on stage by a host of Broadway talent including fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Tituss Burgess (Guys & Dolls, Little Mermaid), Kate Pazakis (Jerry Springer, South Pacific), Andrew Kober (Hair), Autumn Hurlbert (Legally Blonde), Jenn Furman (Wicked National Tour), Erik Sisco (Stonewall Sensation), as well as Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific), Dee Roscioli (Wicked), Gerard Canonico (American Idiot, Spring Awakening), Carrie Manolakos (Mamma Mia, Wicked), Katrina Rose Diderickson (Hairspray, Jerry Springer), Ceili O’Connor (UK Wizard Of Oz), Geoffrey Kidwell, Ashley Dawn Mortensen, PJ Verica, David Gordon, and the winners of “The Rising Star Contest” Emily Kay Shrader and David Tomczak.

Bobby started the show off with “The Roads We’ve Taken” from “Daybreak” (books, music, & lyrics by Bobby Cronin), a 90-minute musical journey of family secrets, lost dreams, unexpected love, and forgiveness. Like Madonna, Bobby knows how to get the audience “Into The Groove.” “The Roads We’ve Taken” is a song about friendship and how all roads lead back to it.

Kate Pazakis and Andrew Samonsky then took the stage to perform “Come Here Boy” and “8:01” from “Cryana” (book by Crystal Skillman, music & lyrics by Bobby Cronin) which is a modern twist on the Cyrano story. “Come Here Boy” is a song with a double meaning…Kate’s character is singing about trying to reel Andrew’s character in by giving him advice about how to get his dog to listen to him while Andrew’s character is trying to get his dog to listen. By the end of the song, both characters have a date together. Kate and Andrew have great chemistry together on stage and their vocals match wonderfully, both giving big powerful belts to express their emotion. As great as they are together, both performers are able to hold their own. “8:01” is sung by Andrew’s character alone as he is stood up by Kate’s character. Andrew communicates his emotions wonderfully using his vocal talents and really shined as he sung out!

Keeping the energy going was Ceili O’Connor and Dee Roscioli performing two more songs from “Daybreak.” Ceili, who came over from London just for Bobby’s concert sang “A Girl’s Dream” all about a girl dreaming big and Dee sang “Move On” about a girl moving on to bigger and better things. Both performers gave a fine performance demonstrating their powerhouse vocals!

Next up was Andrew Kober, Carrie Manolakos, Ashley Dawn Mortensen, and Geoffrey Kidwell performing songs from “‘Til Death Do Us Part” (book by Allen Mogol, music & lyrics by Bobby Cronin) about a small town minister on the rise, who meets Mary, the love of his life. Who could have imagined the ugly secrets so carefully hidden until murder intervened? All four performers sang “‘Til Death Do Us Part” about finding your true love until death. Together, they sounded great and separately, they held their own. Andrew then sang “Just Choose Right” which really allowed him to shine using his big booming voice as he sings about choosing “right” over “wrong.” Next, Carrie joined Andrew on “Perfect,” which mended their voices together perfectly, yet each performer still able to shine individually.

The next two performers who took the stage were Emily Kay Shrader and David Tomczak, the winners of Bobby’s “The Rising Star Contest” where he asked performers who have never been on Broadway to submit a video of them performing one of his songs. Bobby had this contest because so many people have given Bobby a chance over the years, he wanted to return that favor to two people who had the same dream. With over 100 entries, Bobby and Brett Teresa narrowed down the winners to Emily & David. At a mere 18 years old, Emily has the powerhouse vocals of a seasoned performer while David just out of college, has the voice to match! Emily and David sang “Is This Love” from “A Christmas Carol” (by Angelyn Fullarton and Bobby Cronin) which is the classic Christmas story told through the eyes of five modern-day kids. It was evident these two were so excited to perform and to say they brought down the house is an understatement. The cheers and applause after they sang was evidence the crowd was dazzled and moved!

The next show presented was “Welcome To My Life” (book by Alicia Dempster and Bobby Cronin, music & lyrics by Bobby Cronin) is a powerful, raw, and inspiring pop/rock musical about real issues faced by today’s teens. Bad-boy Cody is sent to a wilderness intervention program where he joins four painfully troubled teens who, with the tough-love of three counselors, embark on a journey toward finding self-worth and forgiveness. Gerard Canonico and Katrina Rose Dideriksen performed 2 songs each. Gerard sang “Run Away/Fine is All I’ve Got” chronicling Cody’s troubled past and current state and “Reach The Sky” a song of hope that one day he’ll make it. Gerard’s vocals are powerful and rough like a rock star which fits perfectly for these songs. Katrina sang “Wilted” about her character’s troubles and “Dear Daddy” a letter her character wrote to her deceased father. I was so moved by the vocal talent that came out of Katrina…she has everything I love in a performer from rich vocals to a soulful powerhouse belt!

Following in their footsteps, were Autumn Hurlbert, Jenn Furman, Erik Sisco, and Geoffrey Kidwell who sang from “Ten Reasons I Won’t Go Home With You” (Book by Kelly Nichols and music & lyrics by Bobby Cronin, et al) for which Bobby, et al  received the 2010 Midtown International Theatre Festival award for “Outstanding Music & Lyrics.” All four performers sang “Lucky In Love” about each of their hopes in finding love. Again, Bobby chose sings who’s vocals work well together, yet allows each one to shine on their own. After that Autumn and Jenn performed “You Deserve Better” a hilarious and true song about how their character’s deserve much better than the boys they’ve dated. Putting these two powerhouse vocalists together was a brilliant idea! Both Jenn and Autumn have powerful belts along with strong vocals and putting them together makes for quite an enjoyable time added to their comedic talents, makes them perfect for performing together, but yet as all the previous group songs, holding their own.

Bobby must have known that saving this next performer and song for last was the way to make sure his show ended on a high note! Tituss Burgess took the stage (and the piano) to sing “The Best Is Yet To Come” from “Welcome To My Life” a positively hopeful song about holding on through the bad times because “The Best Is Yet To Come” (this song should not only become everyone’s personal anthem, but a national anthem as well). Tituss hit all the right notes so perfectly and beautifully, with such heart and soul, that the evening ended with a standing-ovation and cheering/applause that could have been heard throughout Times Square. I e-mailed Bobby right away telling him this song with Tituss singing it needs to be recorded as a single!

Every performer has a dream and for Bobby Cronin, his dreams are coming true because more than anything, he is an incredibly talented singer/songwriter, but also because he’s kind, caring, dedicated to his craft and performers and because he believes in himself and his talent. If Monday’s concert was any indication of what’s in store for Bobby, it surely is that “The Best Is Yet To Come” for Bobby Cronin! Stay tuned to “Adaumbelle’s Quest” because you’re gonna see a lot more of Bobby…

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On November 29, 2010 at 7pm, Jim Caruso’sBroadway at Birdland” will be presenting an evening of amazing talent: “The Roads I’m Taking: the music and lyrics of Bobby Cronin!” Joining Bobby on stage will be fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Tituss Burgess, Autumn Hurlbert, Kate Pazakis, Andrew Kober, Erik Sisco, and upcoming participant Jenn Furman along with Gerard Canonico, Allison Case, Katrina Rose Diderickson, Carrie Manolakos, Ceili O’Connor, Dee Roscioli, Andrew Samonsky, David Gordon, Geoffrey Kidwell, Ashley Dawn Mortenson, and PJ Verica.

If you’ve never attended a Bobby Cronin concert, now would be a good time! His music will move you, his words will inspire you, and the talent (both his and those performing) will leaving you wanting more!

So come on down to Birdland on Monday, November 29 at 7pm for an unforgettable evening of music, song, and talent! Click here for tickets!

After Bobby’s concert, double treat yourself and stay for Jim Caruso’s Cast Party–Broadway’s open mic, for you never who might just step up and sing!

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