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Posts Tagged ‘“Jekyll & Hyde”’

When three time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara sings, people listen! People listen so intently they are taken away from their daily lives to another world, a world of extraordinary talent, beauty and passion. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kelli after her triumphant opening night of her one woman show “Beyond the Ingenue” at Feinstein’s at the Regency (click here for my review).

From Oklahoma to New York City, Kelli O’Hara moved here to pursue her dream of becoming a performer and a performer she has become, in every sense of the word! Kelli made her Broadway debut in “Jekyll & Hyde” then going on to star in “Follies,” “Sweet Smell of Success,” and “Dracula.” Kelli earned her three Tony Award nominations in a row: her first nomination was for her performance in “The Light in the Piazza” co-starring Matthew Morrison, she received her second nomination for her performance in “The Pajama Game” co-starring Harry Connick Jr, and her third nomination was for her performance in “South Pacific,” co-starring Paulo Szot and Matthew Morrison.

In between “The Pajama Game” & “South Pacific,” Kelli made her Carnegie Hall debut in the NY Philharmonic production of “My Fair Lady” and released her debut album “Wonder in the World.” Kelli then went on to perform solo concerts at some of the biggest halls in New York and DC including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Cooper Union, Joe’s Pub, and Cafe Carlyle.

Off-Broadway and regionally, Kelli has been seen in “Sunday in the Park with George” (Reprise) “My Life With Albertine” (Playwright’s Horizons), and “Beauty” (La Jolla Playhouse). In addition to theatre, Kelli’s film and television credits include “The Dying Gaul,” “Alexander Hamilton,” “NUMB3RS,” “All My Children,” and the upcoming animated series “Car Talk.”

There are two chances now to catch Kelli live on stage: Now through October 30 at Feinstein’s at the Regency in her one woman show “Beyond the Ingenue” and then November 18-21 in “Bells Are Ringing” at Encores! For more on Kelli, be sure to visit http://www.kelliohara.com.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My voice teacher Florence Birdwell in Oklahoma. She’s pretty amazing. She was my mentor and inspired me to come here and do what I’m doing.

2. What’s the highest and lowest note you can sing? Well, I sang a high F above high C in “Magic Flute,” an opera. The lowest note I sing is probably F below middle C.

3. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Mmmm…Hugh Jackman because I almost have worked with him a few times and it just hasn’t worked out yet. I would also love to work with Megan Mullally.

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I would be a teacher. I love teaching. I teach, but not full time, just when I can. What do you teach? I teach musical theatre master classes.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? No one’s me. So I’m the only one who can do things the way I do them.  So be proud of it and sell it.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Jogging.

7. Favorite skin care product? Clinique Exfoliating scrub.

8. Favorite store to shop in? Anthropology for sure.

9. Favorite website? Etsy.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My husband, Greg Naughton.

12. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I can imitate people’s walks almost perfectly.

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Talented, vocal powerhouse, and booming stage presence are just some ways to describe Helen Hayes Award Winner Heidi Blickenstaff. Beautiful, kind, and personable are a few more. Heidi has brightened up the Broadway stage in “[title of show],” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Full Monty” while Off-Broadway audiences have seen her shine in “[title of show],” “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde” at NYMF 2005. Regionally, Heidi has dazzled audiences in “Meet John Doe” (Ford’s Theatre) for which she won the Helen Hayes Award for her portrayal of “Ann Mitchell,” “The Girl in the Frame” (Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre), “Bat Boy: The Musical” (Theatreworks in Palo Alto), and “Prairie” (New York Stage and Film). Heidi has also delighted audiences around on tour in “The Full Monty,” “Jekyll & Hyde,” “Steel Pier,” “The Who’s Tommy,” and “Dreamgirls.” In addition to theatre, Heidi is also part of the voiceover cast for the PBS kids series “Word World.” If you’ve never seen Heidi on stage, be sure to catch her in “I Love My Wife” from October 22-24 as part of the York Theatre’s Mufti Series.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I’m gonna give this one to Judy Garland. When I was a like 6 or 7, we had one of the first VCRs in the neighborhood because my uncle owned a video store, and I remember my mom sat me in front of old Hollywood movie musicals and I saw Judy in Meet Me In St. Louis, and thought, “Wait a minute, you can do this as a job?” It was over then and there.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I get asked this all the time and the answer is I have no idea. In either direction.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? EASY! Brian Darcy. James. End of meeting.

4. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a show? I stretch the bod a bit. I warm up the voice a little. And sometimes I drill certain parts of the show that make me nervous. (I’m trying to do better with that though, because drilling is the Devil’s work.) How do you decompress after a show? I usually eat a bowl of cereal. And it’s usually a sugar cereal disguised as a healthy cereal like Peanut Butter Puffins or Peanut Butter Pows. I like peanut butter cereal… It takes the edge off after a hard day.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts?  What do you order? Neither lately. But if I have to pick, I pick Starbucks and I’ll have a grande soy misto, please.

6. Favorite skin care product? This is a hard core indulgence for me. I use La Mer face wash, moisturizing cream, and eye concentrate. Stop judging. That shiz works.

7. Favorite store to shop in? I can loose my mind in Saks, but the customer service at Nordstom is a force to be reckoned with. I also heart Rag and Bone.

8. Favorite play/musical? I was just talking about this today. I will happily never be free from The Light In The Piazza. Oddly, I don’t listen to many musicals, with the exception of Piazza. Can’t explain it. Seeing it live wrecked me forever and listening to the cast album makes me cry every time

9. Favorite website? Lately, I’ve been addicted to the NYTimes real estate website, but I just found a new apartment, so I’m going to need a new obsession. What’s a good decorating website?

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Can I pick Wolverine? Wait, can I pick Hugh Jackman?

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I’d love to spend a little more time with my Grandma.

12. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? From my friend Andre Ward about me having a lot of performance anxiety – “Remember. You’re not saving France.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I think about it all the time when I’m taking things too seriously. It always makes me calm down and smile.

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Be sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Julie Reiber at D-Lounge tonight, Thursday (April 15) at 10pm singing the songs of Carner & Gregor! With an incredible voice, this is surely going to be a fun time!

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On Tuesday, April 6, 2010, I had the honor and privilege of interviewing powerhouse vocalist Linda Eder after seeing her opening night performance at one of New York’s legendary nightclubs “Feinstein’s at the Regency.” Gracious and personable, Linda gave the audience an evening to remember singing many songs from her new CD “Soundtrack” as well as an array of songs from her career, including “Someone Like You” and “Vienna.” It was one of Linda’s original songs, “Nice Day for Flying” that really had the audience cheering. With one of the biggest voices in contemporary music, Linda Eder is a performer to see! She truly has the voice of an angel and a belt that no one can rival. Linda’s music reaches across many genres, pop/folk, standards, Broadway, and original compositions. Her concerts have been broadcast on PBS & Bravo and she was the creator and host of “Trail Mix,” a primetime television special for Animal Planet. Linda continuously tours the country performing to sold-out crowds and often teams up with Michael Feinstein for “Two For the Road.” Her powerful rendition of “Gold” was selected for the 2002 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies. Linda also starred on Broadway in “Jekyll & Hyde” for which she won a Theatre World Award and was nominated for a Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Award. Linda also starred in the Goodspeed Opera House’s production of “Camille Claudel.” Linda will be at “Feinstein’s at the Regency” until April 17, so if you are able to make it, it’s a night you won’t forget! For more on Linda, be sure to visit http://www.lindaeder.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Judy Garland first and as far as style it was opera singer Eileen Farrell, then as a young teenager it was Barbra Streisand. These three ladies are the real reason I sing.

2. What is the highest note you can sing? I don’t know if I can hit it anymore since I’ve had my son, but the highest note is F above double high C.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I’d have to say two…In the pop/country style, I’d love to sing with Bryan Adams and in the standard style I’d love to sing with Michael Buble. I think we could go head to head pretty good.

4. What’s your proudest moment? Personally my proudest moment is the birth of my son and professionally my proudest moment would be the first time I played Carnegie Hall.

5. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Right now it would be my boyfriend, which is a good thing. He’s amazing!

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Horseback riding.

7. Favorite skin care product? My lotions and potions are usually given to me in gifts baskets, but I recently got a coconut/almond hand cream that is the most amazing thing I’ve ever smelled in my life; you just want to eat it.

8. Books or Magazines? Books.

9. Favorite website? Youtube.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite hobby? Horses.

12. Favorite scented candle? Vanilla.

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An award winning actress, Julie Reiber has been on Broadway, Off-Broadway, as well traveling the country in National Tours and Regional productions.  She was the standby for “Elphaba” in Broadway’s “Wicked,” the understudy for “Natalie” in Broadway’s “All Shook Up” and the understudy for “Brooklyn” & “Faith” in Broadway’s “Brooklyn.” Off-Broadway she starred in “Ministry of Progress” and toured Nationally with  “Rent” and “Brooklyn” as well as the Korean Concert tour of “Jekyll & Hyde.” Regionally, Julie has been seen in productions of “Caroline or Change” at The Guthrie Theatre, “Wicked” at Pantages Theater, “Godspell” at The Paper Mill Playhouse, “Aida” at the Arvada Center where she won the 2006 Henry Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as received a 2006 Denver Ovation Nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as “Amneris.” Other regional productions include “Footloose” at the Merry Go Round, “Ragtime” at the Ogunquit Playhouse, “Carousel” at the North Shore Music Theatre, and “Sweeney Todd” at Theatre on the Hill. In addition to theatre, Julie has been in such films and television shows as “Guiding Light,” “Eclipse of the Heart,” and “Why Are We Here?” She also hosted the television show “Your LA.” Recently, Julie was featured in a reading of Bobby Cronin’sThe Beaten Path” and just finished a run of “The Full Monty” in North Carolina. To find out what’s up next for Julie, be sure to visit juliereiber.com!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Well…when I was little I was constantly singing Olivia Newton-John and Whitney Houston. I was obsessed with “Annie” as a little girl too and would act out the entire show outside my house in the street. I think it was a combination of singers and shows that got me hooked. I just knew I wanted to perform from a very young age.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Well…on a good day I’d say a high D or D# perhaps. Lowest probably low D on a low day. 😉

3. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? Best: Hmmm…I have had so many great experiences in shows. I’ve been lucky to have many great casts. I would say that “Caroline or Change” at the Guthrie was a highlight. The cast was so incredibly talented and just such lovely people. We were a real family.
Worst…do I have to say? Well…this is a combination of worst and best in one. I did an off-bdway show at The Jane St. called “Ministry of Progress.” It’s a very long story, but in short, the director was a crazy woman and we had to get her banned from the theatre. It was a wild experience…but thru it all that madness gave me some of the best friends I have in this city. I guess a crazy experience like that can bring people very close. 😉

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I wish I had some crazy unusual talent. I can touch my tongue to my nose. Sorry..that’s boring.

5. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Wow…you like to get personal eh Adam? 😉 Well…my boyfriend…of course. Johnny Depp ain’t bad either.

6. Favorite skin care product? Sugar Face Polish and Sugar lip balm by FRESH.

7. Favorite store to shop in? Anthropologie.

8. Favorite musician/singer? Only one?! I can’t. Here’s a few…Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Eva Cassidy…on and on and on.

9. Favorite website? Facebook…of course. 😉

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Dude…I had a Wonder Woman undies when I was a kid. ALL Wonder Woman!

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