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Posts Tagged ‘“Falling For Eve”’

With one of the most beautiful and powerful voices, Jose Llana is a performer to go see! From Broadway to regional and national tours to film and television, Jose delights and mesmerizes audiences where ever he goes. He made is Broadway debut in the 1996 revival of “The King and I” and in 2005 he created the role of “Chip Tolentino” in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” His other Broadway credits include the revival of “Flower Drum Song” (with Lea Salonga), “Rent,” and “Streetcorner Symphony.” Off-Broadway, Jose has delighted audiences in “Adam Guettel’s Saturn Returns” and “On The Town.” He’s been seen in the national tours of “Martin Guerre,” “Ballad of Little Jo,” and “Candide,” while regionally he’s performed in “Wonderland” at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and The Alley Theatre. Jose’s film and television credits include “Hitch” (Ross) and “Sex and the City” (Damian).

Jose has also released his self-titled solo album “Jose” under the VIVA Philippines label. Other recordings Jose can be heard on are “Broadway Romances Manhattan,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” and the revivals of “The King and I” and “Flower Drum Song.” Currently, Jose can be seen lighting up the stage in the York Theatre’s production of “Falling For Eve” (along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Adam Kantor, click here for my review) through August 8. For more on Jose, be sure to visit http://www.josellana.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I was obsessed with movie musicals as a kid. Gene Kelly, Julie Andrew, Fred Astaire. Then I moved onto the splashy mega-musicals of the 80’s, “Cats” and “Les Miserables.” But I’d have to say the moment that meant a great deal to me was when I watched Lea Salonga, a fellow Filipino, win the Tony when I was in high school. It was the first time I thought, “Hey, maybe I can do that.”

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I sing as low as I need to and as high as the part needs. If I’m lucky that means no higher than a high C.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Mr. Sondheim is still someone I would love to work with. I’ve sung for him a couple of times but have never done a show with him.

4. Do you have any rituals you have to do before a performance? How do you decompress after a show? No weird rituals besides the normal warm up, etc. I do get a little superstitious before callbacks, sometimes I make sure I have the same breakfast or wear the same underwear as the first audition. To decompress after a show I usually veg out in front of the television with a cold beer.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Hmmm… strange and unusual? I’m a pretty good cook, especially Filipino food. Also, I possess a slightly manic need for organization passed down from my mother. I will organize a room, desk or closet to DEATH. I’m talking labels and color coding.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Along with my normal 4 mile daily run and weight training, I’ve become hooked on P90x, but only the Plyometrics Training.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs. And usually in funny prints.

8. Books or Magazines? Both. I always try to have a good book on my nightstand and I can’t let the week go without the bibles Entertainment Weekly and New York Magazine.

9. Favorite website? Playbill.com, Huffington Post, CNN, and my sister’s Baby Blog for my Goddaughter.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Oh, easily Wonder Woman. My sister and I were hooked on the cheesy TV show from the 80’s. I actually own the DVD’s.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite play/musical? “West Side Story,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Company,” and “Violet.”

12. Favorite way to spend your day off? Gym, Food Network, movie date night, dinner with friends, couch time with my dog, Charlie.

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On Thursday, July 22, 2010, I saw the new Off-Broadway musical “Falling For Eve” at the York Theatre. Written by Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro with music by David Howard and lyrics by Bret Simmons, this brand new musical was entertaining, fun, and thought-provoking. Starring fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Adam Kantor and Jose Llana (posting coming soon) along with Krystal Joy Brown, Jennifer Blood, Nehal Joshi, and Sasha Sloan, “Falling For Eve” is a re-telling of Adam & Eve….what happens when Eve bites the apple and Adam doesn’t? How will the human race be created? Those questions and so many more are answered in the 90 minutes.

Adam Kantor and Sasha Sloan star as “God,” Jose Llana as “Adam,” Krystal Joy Brown as “Eve,” Jennifer Blood as “Sarah,” and Nehal Joshi as “Michael.” Overall the cast works well together. Jose and Krystal have great chemistry, stage presence, and dynamite powerhouse vocals. When they are singing, the audience is listening. Adam and Sasha also work well together, playing the same part (a very interesting idea). Both had great comedic timing. Jennifer and Nehal played well off of each other as the Angels assisting God while wanting to bring “Adam” & “Eve” together. All the characters contemplated right from wrong according to what worked best for them.  “Eve,” desperate to find out what life was like outside of Eden, took the risk and bit the apple, resulting in her being banished from the Garden of Eden. “Adam,” struggled with wanting to obey God, but also longing to be with “Eve” and knowing the only way to get there is to bite the apple, but he kept resisting. “Michael” and “Sarah” waived back and forth wanting to obey God, but also wanting to explore the romantic feelings for each other. With all this drama, the show played it out well, making one think, is it better to take the risk and get hurt, but grow stronger, or play it safe and remain inside the security of what you know?

The musical numbers had their strong points. “I Like You,” when “Adam” and “Eve” realized they were falling for each other, a beautiful love song. “Where Will I Sleep Tonight” where “Eve” doesn’t know where she is going now that she is gone from Eden. I could tell Krystal had the vocals in the earlier songs, but this was the song where she really let loose and blew the audience away! This song made me think of the many times I felt lost, but knew I’d find my footing. “Now What?” had “Michael,” “God,” “Sarah”, and “Adam” wondering what will happen now that “Eve” is gone, though it made met think of several scenarios in my life where I wondered “Now What?” is coming. “There’s A Space Next To Me” was a beautiful song about “Adam,” “Eve,” “Sarah,” and “Michael” sending the message out that they all long for each other. “Eve” sung by “Adam” has him missing “Eve” and wondering if she’s alright. Both “There’s A Space Next To Me” and “Eve” made me think of the many friends and family I long to be near again. “Once A Life Ago” has “God,” “Eve,” and “Adam” singing about the life they used to have and their life gone by which made me think of my past and life gone by. “Something Just Happened To Me” is where “Adam” realizes he has to take the step forward and bite to apple if he’s ever going to get to “Eve.” There were several songs where Jose’s voice shined, but this was the one that took the gold! The song made me think of all the steps and risks I’ve taken in my life to get to where I am. I’m happier I took the risks rather than sat on the sidelines, for if I didn’t take the risk, this blog and joy I get from it would not be.

If you’re looking for a show that is thought-provking, yet fun and enjoyable, check out “Falling For Eve” at the York Theatre (619 Lexington Avenue, NYC) through August 8. Showtimes are Tues at 7pm, Wed-Saturday at 8pm, Sat at 2:30pm, Sun at 2:30pm. Click here for tickets!

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This contest is now over…Congratulations to Mike on winning 2 tickets to “Falling For Eve.” So tune in next week because you never know, the winner just might be you…

This week’s “Free Stuff Friday” is being sponsored by the new Off-Broadway show “Falling For Eve.” One lucky reader, at random, will win a pair of tickets to see this new musical which starts July 6 at the York Theatre! To win, answer this question: If you could go back in time and change Broadway history, how would you change it? Winner will be announced at 5pm today!

“Falling For Eve” stars fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Adam Kantor (“Rent”), along with Jose Llana (“25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”), Jennifer Blood (“Susan and God”), Krystal Joy Brown (“Hair”), Nehal Joshi (“Les Miserables”), and Sasha Sloan (“Ragtime”). According to press notes, “Falling For Eve” offers a second look at the world’s first love story. Creation is going perfectly. Eve, curious about what lies beyond the Garden of Eden, and obsessed with the notion that something is forbidden, bites the infamous apple. Then Adam doesn’t. How exactly they’ll get together to create the human race is anybody’s guess. Falling for Eve is a fresh and unconventional retelling of the most famous romance of all time, filled with unexpected twists and turns as Eve and Adam realize that “paradise” may not be a place after all!

For those of you who do not win, you can take advantage of this discount ticket offer and enter code HHCEVE!

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