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Posts Tagged ‘Eric Michael Krop’

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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“Adaumbelle’s Quest” 2nd Anniversary

Photo by Ben Strothmann

I am so honored to be celebrating my 2nd Anniversary here at “Adaumbelle’s Quest.” It has been very exciting to have the continued opportunity to bring my love of entertainment and interviewing to so many people. I’m very humbled by the growth of “Adaumbelle’s Quest” in this second year and hope that this expansion continues.

I may be the face of this site, but “Adaumbelle’s Quest” would not be without each and everyone of you:

Every performer and artist I have had the opportunity to interview. The fact that you took time out of your lives to answer my questions is truly a dream come true for me.

Every press agent who has taken the time to help me get so many of my participants. I would not have been able to interview them without your assistance!

Each and every person who takes the time to read “Adaumbelle’s Quest,” whether it’s on a daily, weekly, monthly, or a whenever I can basis. I’m thrilled to have your support and the reality that I have fans is another dream come true for me.

My many friends who provide me with guidance and support, allow me to talk their ear off about ideas, always there to answer my infinite amount of computer questions, and those who help me with my logos, business cards, and buttons. How would I manage this all on my own? I’m so lucky to have you in my life!

ITBA for your support and giving me a place to meet other theater bloggers.

My family for their constant love and support.

    Photo by Ben Strothmann

So once again, thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart for all of the time, support, and love you give to me and this site. I’m amazed by these two years, not only of the growth of this site, but how this site has affected my personal growth. I’m so fortunate to have it and I don’t take anyone who has ever had an interaction with this site for granted. Thank you for sticking by me and I hope you all continue to do so!

    1. How do you decide who you want to interview? Initially it was artists and performers I have been a long time fan of, but it quickly became an outlet to also promote new talent I’m introduced to.

    2. Who has been your best and worst interview? You’ll have to wait for the book on this one! (hahahaha)…Seriously though, I just feel fortunate I’ve gotten to interview everyone I have because it’s been a dream of mine to be part of the entertainment community and I finally feel like I’m starting to move in.

    3. What are some of the most popular answers? That’s really tough because everyone is so individualized in their answers, but if I had to choose, many people answer Meryl Streep when I ask “Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to?”

    It’s pretty divided between Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts or they don’t like corporate coffee places when I ask “Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts?” It’s also pretty divided between “Superman” or “Wonder Woman,” though every now and then someone gets upset I only give choices for DC Comics. The reasoning behind that is growing up I wasn’t a big comic book fan, so when I watched superhero cartoons on TV, I didn’t know one was DC and one was Marvel. To me it was just a superhero. Plus, when I was thinking of these questions, I thought if two superheros were to have it out, it would be “Superman” and “Wonder Woman.”

    For “Boxers or Briefs”…most people answer boxer briefs, but briefs do seem to win out more over boxes, unless they go commando.

    4. Favorite place to write? My apartment and sometimes on vacation, but anywhere that can just allow me to be with my thoughts and little distraction.

    5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “The impossible is something that hasn’t been tried”–Ernst Bulova. “You can’t get a yes without asking the question.”–Bob Trautman.

    6. What’s your proudest moment? The moment I realized I am finally living the life I always dreamed for myself, just in a completely different way than I imagined.

    7. Favorite way to spend your day off? Sleeping in, going to the gym, catching up on TV shows, hanging with friends, taking a nap, going for a walk, or drinking a vanilla chai tea latte.

    8. Favorite skin care product? Origins…Perfect World Toner, Perfect World for Eyes, Matte Scientist (which they recently discontinued…please bring it back!), Never A Dull Moment, Skin Diver, Checks and Balances, and Firefighter. I also used to love Susan Lucci’s hair care products and her Youthful Essence Microdermabrasion.

    9. Favorite TV Show? I’m sure there are many more, but this is what I could remember. Now: “90210,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Brothers and Sisters,” “Modern Family,” “Glee,” “Cougar Town,” “Mike and Molly,” “Hot in Cleveland,” and “Raising Hope.” Then: “The Golden Girls,” “Family Ties,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Saved By The Bell,” “California Dreams,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Melrose Place,” “Donna Reed,” “Bewitched,” “Punky Brewster,” “Mr. Belvedere,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Silver Spoons,” “He-Man,” “She-Ra,” “GI Joe,” “Superfriends,” “Wonder Woman,” “Ellen” (TV sitcom), “The Class,” “Gobots,” “Jem and the Holograms,” “Bette,” “Sordid Lives: The Series,” “It’s All Relative,” “Strong Medicine,” “Any Day Now,” and “The Practice.”

    10. Favorite Comedian? Ellen DeGeneres, Wendy Liebman, Sandra Bernhard, Jessica Kirson, Leslie Jordan, Chelsea Handler, and Julie Halston.

    BONUS QUESTIONS:

    11. Favorite kind of sundae? Cookies & Cream ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.

    12. Peanut Butter: Crunchy or Smooth? Smooth, so it spreads perfectly when I make my yummy peanut butter and cheese sandwiches!

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On Monday, January 25, 2010, I attended “Rated RSO: The Music of Ryan Scott Oliver” at Joe’s Pub. This was the first time I have ever heard Ryan’s music and I soon learned, I was in for a treat. His songs are very satirical & humorous, with some emotionally heavier, but they all tell a story or help push a story along. Ryan had quite a roster of performers which included: two fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Andrew Kober & Eric Michael Krop, along with Kacie Sheik, Natalie Weiss, Stephen DeRosa, Morgan Karr, and Lindsay Mendez. I particularly enjoyed all the songs from the shows “Darling” (book by Ryan Scott Oliver & Kirsten Guenther) & “Mrs. Sharp” (book by Ryan Scott Oliver & B.T. Ryback) as well as “Odyssey” sung by Eric Michael Krop, “Hemming and Hawing” sung by Andrew Kober and Kacie Sheik, “The Plane is Going Down” sung by Stephen DeRosa, “On Monday” sung by Natalie Weiss, and “The Ballad of Sara Berry” sung by Lindsay Mendez. The evening came to a rousing end with Morgan Karr, Lindsay Mendez, and company rocking the roof with “Song of the Dead Fairy.” It was a great way to end an enjoyable evening. For a complete song list and other coverage of the evening visit: http://www.crazytownblog.com/

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This Monday, January 25 at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, at Joe’s Pub, join 25 Broadway performers as they celebrate the music of multi award-winning composer, Ryan Scott Oliver. Produced by Joey Oliva & Katie Riegel (jokr productions) & John Johnson, this concert is gonna rock the roof! Performers include fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Andrew Kober & Eric Michael Krop as well as Kacie Sheik, Matt Cavenaugh, Stephen DeRosa, Matt Doyle, Morgan Karr, and Natalie Weiss.

This is one show, you don’t want to miss! (Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door)

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Be sure to check out fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Eric Michael Krop’s new song “IF” and “IF” you haven’t downloaded his solo album, “Eric Michael,” head over to iTunes and do so!

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Need help finding videos of your favorite artists or that up and coming performer you just saw. Check out “The BestArts.com,” a website dedicated to bringing together artists and performers from the world of dance, music, and theatre by compiling the best online videos of them performing. Have a suggestion of someone they should add to their collection, send them an e-mail with a link to your artist’s video and see if they can post it. Are you an artist or performer who needs someone to design that cutting-edge new website for you? Visit “The BestArts.com” and find out how they can help!

Current performers include: fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Scott Alan, Tituss Burgess, Gavin Creel, Bobby Cronin, Jonathan Reid Gealt (upcoming), Eric Michael Krop, Kate Pazakis, and Katie Thompson, as well as Judy Garland, Audra McDonald, Heather Headley, Adam Pascal, Bernadette Peters, Patrick Wilson, Seth Rudetsky, “Broadway Boys,” Cheyenne Jackson, Marty Thomas, Tony Yazbeck, Adam Lambert, Danny Calvert, Stephanie J. Block, Shoshana Bean, and Nick Adams.

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Happy Anniversary! I am really excited and honored to be celebrating my one year anniversary! “Adaumbelle’s Quest” is a dream come true for me. I would like to take this opportunity to send a big, huge “THANK YOU” to  everyone that has given their time to “Adaumbelle’s Quest” over this past year…from my participants to the press agents who helped get some of my participants to my dedicated and wonderful fans to those who helped get “Adaumbelle’s Quest off the ground which I could not have done on my own. I have thoroughly enjoyed this first year of “Adaumbelle’s Quest” and look forward to the coming year.

To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to interview myself for this special day and let my fans and participants learn a little bit more about me.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer/blogger? Every actor, artist, and performer I’ve ever been a fan of, plus every participant of “Adaumbelle’s Quest” (after all if they didn’t inspire me, I probably wouldn’t have interviewed them). Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to entertain people. I never really knew how I would do that, I just thought it would happen, but eventually I learned. I always enjoyed making people laugh with my stories and parody lyrics. The comedians that inspired my style of comedy were Ellen DeGeneres, Sandra Bernhard, and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Wendy Liebman. It wasn’t until an open mic night while volunteering with AIDS Action in Boston in 1999 that I thought about pursuing comedy as a potential career. That night was magical with all of us volunteers performing, including fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant CeyJay Jumo-as. After 7 years of trying to make it as a comedian, I took what I thought was going to be a hiatus, but instead turned out to be a retirement. During that time I sure did miss entertaining people on-stage and thought very hard about what my next move would be. It wasn’t until I attended fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Gavin Creel’s concert at The Zipper Factory and heard him sing “The Upperhand,” that I knew something was going to come my way. The song is all about letting “The Upperhand” guide you and that is just what I did. You see, as a theatre lover, I would read all the interviews on Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, and Broadway.com and thought to myself, I would love to interview the artists and performers I admire and ask them what I consider to be the everyday burning questions. One day at work, I was sitting in the lunch room with some of my coworkers and we were talking and I was telling them my thoughts and next thing I knew we were rattling off questions and potential titles to call my blog. I immediately thought of “Adaumbelle” because of the history behind the name (which you can read by clicking on the “Adaumbelle’s Origin” tab) and “Quest” came out of the fact that I’m on a quest to get answers to my burning questions.  With the help of a lot of people, I started researching blog sites and decided to settle here at WordPress.com. With the popularity of Myspace and Facebook, I started “friending” the artists and performers I wanted to participate, sent them e-mails asking to them be part of “Adaumbelle’s Quest” and next thing I knew, I started getting responses and “Adaumbelle’s Quest” was born into reality.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t interviewed that you would like to? That’s not fair to make me single out just one person I still want to interview, so I will list a few…Dolly Parton, Liza Minnelli, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Rivers, Cheyenne Jackson, Lynda Carter, Cher, Chelsea Handler, RuPaul, John Tartaglia, Tyler Maynard, Kathy Griffin, Stephanie J. Block, Betty White, and so, so, so, so many others that I could spend all day listing names.

3. Who do you consider to be your hero? My parents and grandparents.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My grandparents, so I can spend more time with them and update them on what’s been happening since they’ve been gone.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Vanilla Chai Latte with Skim Milk. Most of the time it’s Starbuck’s, but if I could go to an independent coffee shop I would. Oh how I do miss The Factory (they used to be in the West Village in NYC), not only did they make the BEST vanilla chai latte, it was just a great place to hang out.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? By watching what I eat, and by watching I mean watching it go from my plate to my mouth. When that doesn’t work, I enjoy going for a walk to get a vanilla chai latte and lifting the cup to and from my mouth for that extra bit of exercise.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs because they accentuate the positive.

8. Favorite website? Besides, “Adaumbelle’s Quest,”  Olivia Newton-John.comDollymania.net, Amazon.com, and Facebook.

9. Favorite TV Show Theme Song? “Wonder Woman,” “Patty Duke,” “Mr. Ed,” “Punky Brewster,” “Jem and the Holograms,” “Beauty and The Beast,” “Family Ties,” “Silver Spoons,” “Sister Kate,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “The Facts of Life,” “Saved By The Bell,” “California Dreams,” and “Sordid Lives: The Series.”

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Best holiday gift ever? My signed and framed picture of me and Olivia Newton-John swimming with dolphins.

12. Favorite play/musical? To pick one is very, very difficult, but I will say the one musical that really changed me was “Tommy” because it was a show I had no desire whatsoever to see and afterwards I left the theatre singing and dancing. That experience is what I consider to be “The Power of Broadway.”

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