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Posts Tagged ‘Drama Desk Award’

Arnie Burton is an award winning actor with impeccable comedic timing! He starred in “The 39 Steps” on Broadway and was most recently seen in the Off-Broadway hit “The Tempermentals” for which he won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. His other New York credits include: “Mere Mortals” (Primary Stages, J. Houseman Theater), “The Last Sunday in June (Rattlestick, Century Theater), “The Jew of Malta/The Merchant of Venice” (Theater for a New Audience), and “The Venetian Twins,”and “The Cherry Orchard” (Pearl Theater). Arnie delighted London audiences in “The Merchant of Venice” (Royal Shakespeare Company), while regional audiences have seen him in productions of “The Seagull” and “The Taming of the Shrew” (Old Globe), “All in the Timing” (Geffen Playhouse), and “I Am My Own Wife” (St. Louis Rep) where Arnie won the Kevin Kline Award for Best Actor. Film and television viewers will recognize Arnie from “Frasier,” “Hope & Faith,” “L&O,” “Caroline in the City,” “White Collar,” “Life on Mars,” “Six Degrees,” “Sister, Sister,” “The Invention of Lying,” “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee,” “Game 6,” and “Igby Goes Down.” Currently, Arnie can be seen dancing up a storm in the Off-Broadway show “Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party” at Theatre Row  (410 West 42nd Street, NYC 10036) through September 5.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Mr. Magoo. When I saw Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol in which Magoo was a big Broadway star doing his hit version of A Christmas Carol. I was 4 and living in Idaho but from then on I wanted to go to Broadway.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Living: Vanessa Redgrave  Dead: Elia Kazan

3. What has been your most embarrassing on-stage experience? I forgot my lines during a speech in “The 39 Steps.” Went totally blank. I just kept me mouth moving, and started channeling dialogue from the movie of “39 Steps” that I didn’t even know I knew.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can put my fist in my mouth.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? Yoga, Gym, walking everywhere in NYC.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

7. Favorite way to spend your day off? Easy, a burger at 5 Guys and sitting by the river.

8. Books or Magazines? Both, I always have to have a book going and I love my New Yorker and New York Magazine.

9. Favorite website? Cnn.com, Playbill.com, Dailybeast.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman (for reasons known only to him).

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a show? How do you decompress after a show? I have to walk the stage. I hate going onstage without having trod the boards.

12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Find the thing you dislike about yourself and embrace it. That is the thing that makes you different.”

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On Monday, April 19, I had the privilege and honor of talking with the multi-talented, dynamic, and award winning Tovah Feldshuh after watching her host the “2010 Broadway Beauty Pageant.” I only had a few moments with her, so I got in as many questions as possible, but for the few moments I had, she was kind, personable, and eager to answer my questions. Tovah is a two-time Emmy Award winner (for her portrayal of Chezch freedom fighter “Helena” in “Holocaust” and on “Law & Order” for her work as defense attorney “Danielle Melnick”) and a four-time Tony Award nominee for her roles in Broadway’s “Yental,” “Sarava!,” “Lend Me A Tenor,” and “Golda’s Balcony.” She has also won four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, the OBIE Award, the Theatre World Award, and the Lucille Lortel Award. Her many other Broadway credits include: “Irena’s Vow,” “Cyrano,” “Rodgers and Hart,” and “Dreyfus In Rehearsal.” Off Broadway, Tovah has been seen in “The Vagina Monologues,” “Tallulah Hallelujah!” (which was chosen as one of the Ten Best Plays of the year by USA Today), ” “Full Gallop,” “The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie,” “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah,” Roundabout Theatre’s productions of “She Stoops To Conquer” and “Mistress Of The Inn” as well as BAM’s “Three Sisters.” Her triumphant one woman show “Tovah: Out Of Her Mind!” sold out London’s West End at the Duke of York’s and culminated in a symphonic concert with Billy Crystal at Los Angeles’ Royce Hall. The Boston Globe named “Tovah: Out Of Her Mind!” as the best one-person show of 2000.

Film and television audiences will recognize Tovah from “Kissing Jessica Stein” (which she won a Golden Satellite Award), “A Walk On The Moon,” “Happy Accidents,” “The Corruptor,” “Brewster’s Millions,” “Friends and Family,” “Old Love,” “Nunzio,” “The Believer,” “Life On The Ledge,” “The Alchemist,” Toll Booth” (for which she won Best Supporting Actress Method Fest 2005), “Lady in the Water,” “Just My Luck,” and “O Jerusalem,” while television viewers will recognize her from “The Amazing Howard Hughes,” “The Cosby Show,” “The Cosby Mysteries,” and “The Education of Max Bickford.”

In 2008, Tovah acquired the rights to “Golda’s Balcony,” which she now takes around the country performing to sold-out audiences. She just finished up a run at the Old Globe in San Diego, CA.  For more on Tovah and to find out where she’ll be next be sure to visit: http://www.tovahfeldshuh.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I was on the wait list at Harvard Law School and won a scholarship to the Tarun Guffy Theater in Minnesota in acting and I thought the writing was on the wall right there, so I followed my fate.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Oh wow, there are many. I would love to work with Fred Molina, among others.

3. Favorite way to stay in shape? I’m a runner. I run 4-5 miles everyday. I also love swimming and love yoga, but have not given myself the time to do either here in NY, but when I go to San Diego, I re-inherit a very nearby pool from the hotel I stay in, so I’m be able to run and swim and will be a much happier person and so will the small of my back.

4. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I went up to a high D with my teacher and I sing to C below middle C well. I could sing that publicly, I don’t know about B below middle C. I would say the three octave range for sure.

5. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Well in my situation, I would say without hesitation Andrew Harris Levy, my life partner.

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In 2004, Jefferson Mays won a Tony, Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel, and Theatre World Award for his performance in the Broadway production of “I Am My Own Wife,” the Pulitzer-Prize winning play by Doug Wright. His other Broadway credits include “Pygmalion” and “Journey’s End.” He has also starred in the “Quartermaine’s Terms” at Williamstown Theatre Festival. His film and television credits include: “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People,” “Alfie,” “The Nortorious Bettie Page,” “Kinsey,” “The Closer,” “Fringe,” “Law & Order,” and “Nurse Jackie. Currently, Jefferson Mays can be seen in the Off-Broadway production of “Measure for Measure” at The Duke on 42nd Street in NYC (with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Mary Testa).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My mum.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Conrad Veidt.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can recite every English monarch from 1066 to the present in just under 18 seconds.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Departed friends and loved ones.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks: Tall Pike’s — no room for milk.

6. Books or Magazines? 18 inch stack of various books underway on bedside table, three foot column of partially-read New Yorkers teetering Pisa-like in corner.

7. Favorite play/musical? Currently: “Measure for Measure.”

8. Favorite Quote? “The  readiness is all.”

9. Favorite website? ALDaily.com.

10. Favorite pastime? Aimless rambles around town with  my wife.

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Drama Desk and Broadway.com Award winning actor Derrick Baskin is an actor to keep your eye on! From his award winning turn as the original “Mitch Mahoney” in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” to starring in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” as “Jetsam,” Derrick has been shining bright! Off-Broadway, he was the co-creator “WORDS!” at The Tank while regionally he was seen in “AIDA” at the North Shore Music Theatre and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” at the Pioneer Playhouse. His television credits include the “59th Annual Tony Awards” and “The Today Show.” Currently, Derrick is dazzling audiences nightly as “Gator” in Broadway’s hottest new musical “Memphis” (along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Chad Kimball). If you haven’t seen this fantastical new musical, you should head on over to the Shubert Theatre on 44th Street in NYC.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I love, love, love music so Stevie Wonder is my all time favorite inspiration. His artistry and philanthropy inspire me to make art and give back to the community.

2. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? Best experience: Playing “Gator” in “Memphis” and knowing that the audience is watching your every move. Worst experience: I completely missed the entrance in “The Little Mermaid.” I played “Jetsam” and there’s a part where “Flotsam” and “Jetsam” are chasing “Flounder.” Well one night, only “Flotsam” chased “Flounder.” “Jetsam” was elsewhere.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I’d love to work with Jeffrey Wright. He’s brilliant.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I’m boring and don’t have anything strange or unusual going on.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? Yoga and circuit training is how I stay in shape.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers.

7. Favorite kind of shoes? There is a store called Jump that has the BEST high top sneakers. Really cool. I gotta get me a pair.

8. Favorite website? I guess my favorite website would be youtube.com. I like looking for funny clips.

9. Transformers or Gobots? Transformers all the way.

10. Favorite ride at an amusement park? Any death-defying roller coaster is my favorite.

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