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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

Stage presence, comedic timing, and a smile to light up the room, Amy Rutberg is a performer to go see! From television to film to theatre, Amy has conquered them all!

She has delighted theatre audiences in New York as well as regionally throughout the US. NY credits include “Perfect Harmony,” “The Jazz Age,” “Our Leading Lady,” “Ostrovsky,” “The Civil War,” “The Night They Raided Minsky’s,” “Bat Boy The Musical,” “The Grave White Way,” and the current Off-Broadway smash hit “The Divine Sister” (click here for my review). Regionally, Amy has lit up the stage in “Dracula,” “Dracula The Musical,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Man of La Mancha,” “My Fair Lady,” “Porkbroker’s Daughter,” “Bye, Bye, Birdie,” “The Pajama Game,” “Into The Woods,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Lysistrata,” “Evita,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Two Gentleman of Verona,” and “You Can’t Take It With You.”

In Film and Television, Amy has been seen in HBO’s “Recount,” “Inside Out,” “Camp Summer Stage,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “The Unusuals,” “As The World Turns,” “Everwood,” “Broken Record,” “Pacific Blue,” “Fourteenth,” and “Emma & Lorraine.”

Amy’s comedic strengths have been showcased in “Gravid Water” with Upright Citizen’s Brigade and “Don’t Quit Your Night Job” at HA! Comedy club and are currently being featured in Charles Busch’s “The Divine Sister” at the SoHo Playhouse in NYC (15 Vandam Street, between Varick Street & 6th Ave), where she is making audiences laugh out loud hysterically 8 times a week!

For much more on Amy, be sure to visit http://www.amyrutberg.com.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? There was never a moment when I thought “I want to be a performer” I just WAS a performer. I had no fear as a child. If there was anything that resembled a stage in my proximity I was climbing onto it and singing. I would come home from school and tell my mother that I had a class assignment where I was supposed to dress up as a character from a book. She knew this wasn’t true but would indulge in my fantasy. She would help me put together a costume and then I would come to class dressed up as “Romona the Pest” and insist on singing “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles in front of everyone…dressed as Romona the Pest. I think everyone else knew I would be a performer way before I did. I was lucky to have encouraging parents and teachers. Well, maybe not always encouraging but at least tolerant.

2. Who is the one  person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I’d love to work with some more fabulous theatre directors like Jack O’Brien or David Cromer. I love their work.

3. What is your most embarrassing on-stage moment? This is an easy one! I did a play called “Perfect Harmony” Off-Broadway last year and I accidentally called an actress by her real name in a scene. That was humiliating. Not sure anyone noticed but she sure did!

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? Running a Hedge Fund.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Better to Loose the battle and win the war” and “Look at your career as a marathon not a race.” They probably came from the same person.

6. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I have a big time sweet tooth and I love coffee, so both make me happy. Not crazy about the donuts at Dunkin. I’m from Southern California. Nothing beats a Winchell’s donut. I like that banana coffee cake thing at Starbucks.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? Oy. I like the classes at “Crunch,” it’s motivating. I also like biking. Anything to avoid cutting out sweets.

8. Favorite skin care product? Kihels “Brightening Botanical Moisture Fluid.” It’s so refreshing after I take of the lbs of makeup I wear for “Divine Sister.” I have a fab dermatologist Dr. Geyer. He gives me free samples and laughs at my jokes. I love him!!

9. Favorite website? www.travelandleisure.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Charles Busch.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Dr. Geyer- I mean, um.. world peace!

12. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I’m really good at brain teasers and games of skill like card games. Backstage I’m often playing word games with my brother on my iphone between scenes.  Also, I once discovered I have an unusual affinity to Bocce ball. Wonder how that can be monetized? I love to gamble. Acting is really the perfect profession for me.


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Shayna Steele is a performer with one of the biggest voices (and belts) around! If you’re looking for someone who has stage presence along with a powerful, soulful, and controlled vocals, then Shayna Steele is your go to girl! She has lit up the stage in such Broadway hits as “Rent,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and “Hairspray” as well as on her many TV appearances on “The Grammys,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Conan O’Brien,” “David Letterman,” and “Carson Daly.”

While in NY, Shayna studied jazz with her Godfather and gospel with Grammy-nominated (and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant) Michael McElroy and really started to develop her own sound blending the music of her idols with new influences. Everything changed in 2005, when she got an unexpected call from Moby that would place her right in the middle of a genre she had no experience in: Electronica. Moby was looking for a “screamer” to record a track for his new album at the time “Hotel,” and Shayna came highly recommended by a mutual friend. Together they recorded “Raining Again, the discs second single. Super impressed with Shayna’s talent, Moby had her back to record “Extreme Ways” in 2007, which was the theme song to “The Bourne Ultimatum” and then again in 2008 Shayna recorded “Disco Lies” for Moby’s album “Last Night.” “Disco Lies” reached #1 on the US Billboard Dance charts and went on to be featured in J.J. Abram’s summer blockbuster hit “Cloverfield.” Since working with Moby, everyone has wanted to work with Shayna…she has appeared on such albums as Scott Alan’s “Dreaming Wide Awake,” (also a fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant), the Grammy-nominated “Great Joy with the Broadway Inspirational Voices,” “Legally Blonde 2,” “Bambi 2,” and the 2007 remake of  “Hairspray” as well as singing on “The Sopranos” in it’s final season on HBO.

Shayna has released two albums of her own: 2004 EP “Shayna Steele” and her first full-length album in 2009, “I’ll Be Anything.” She most recently finished singing back-up with the one and only Divine Miss M, Bette Midler in Bette’s show “The Showgirl Must Go On” at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and Shayna’s kicking off her solo tour September 6 right here in New York City at The Bar Next Door at LaLanterna, October 15 at Blue Note in NYC, October 29 at Show at Barre in Los Angeles, CA, October 30 at Coda Jazz Supper Club in San Francisco, CA, November 18 at Musig Bistrot in Bern, Switzerland, November 19 at Kultur im Dampfschiff in Brugg, Switzerland, November 20 at Cafe-Henrici in Zurich, Switzerland, November 21 at Musig Im Ochsen in Muri, Switzerland, December 5 at Il Teatro Manzoni in Milano, Italy. Come hear one of the most powerful and soulful singers around belt out her hits! For much more on Shayna be sure to visit http://www.shaynasteele.com!

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

2. What is the highest and lowest you can sing? Lowest: C (2 octaves below middle C). Highest: (full chest voice) A-Bb (2 octaves above middle C). Head voice…about 2 or 3 more notes higher than that…on a good day.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Dead: Miles Davis. Alive: Quincy Jones.

4. Who do you consider to be your hero? My mom.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Can sound exactly like a newborn baby crying.

6. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I buy the beans, grind them myself, make my own coffee. Stumptown, preferably. Black. It’s very Brooklyn…

7. Favorite meal? Tacos Carnitas with guacamole and mexican style corn washed down with an icy cold Pacifico.

8. Favorite skin care product? Mary Kay eye makeup remover. The Best. Ever.

9. Favorite website? www.runnersworld.com.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Myself, 20 years from now warning me about what NOT to do.

12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? You have the power within you to make yourself happy.

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Christina Bianco has a voice that when heard, takes you to another place where all is beautiful. It’s full, rich, and most of all soulfully powerful! From theatre to stage performances, Christina sings her heart out! Her Off-Broadway credits include: “Forbidden Broadway Goes To Rehab,” for which she received a Drama Desk nomination, “Forbidden Broadway: Dances With The Stars,” “Tony and Tina’s Wedding,” and the recent run of “NEWSical the Musical,” (produced by fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Tom D’Angora and co-starring fellow participants Christine Pedi and Rory O’Malley). Christina originated the title role in the national tour of “Dora The Explorer Live!” Her regional credits include: “Rent” (The Weston Playhouse), “Beehive” (Riverside Theatre), “Evita” (Westchester Broadway Theatre), “Jesus Christ Superstar” (Helen Hayes PAC), “Candide” (Cunegonde), “A New Brain,” “Finding Nemo” (workshop), “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and “Raffi on Broadway” (Gershwin Theatre). Christina also performs as a soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and sings with her band “Brother Joscephus.” For more on what’s happening with Christina be sure to visit: http://www.christinabianco.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Many artists! Bernadette Peters, Bobby Darin, Martina McBride, Keely Smith, Ann Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson. The original inspiration though, was definitely Judy Garland. I was one of those little girls who saw The Wizard of Oz countless times and sang “Over The Rainbow” every chance I got. Then I found out she was 4′ 11″ like me and my love for her only grew!!

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? The highest note I can sustain is a high E. (I can trill to an F) My lowest note is also an E, but it’s not pretty.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Hugh Jackman! Who doesn’t?

4. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I’m a Dunkin’ girl!! I get a medium iced coffee when it’s warm outside. If I cheat at Starbucks, I get a chai latte.

5. Favorite way to spend your day off? I love walking around the city with my husband and my dog. I love people watching, finding a restaurant or store we’ve never noticed before and meeting other cute dogs on the street! The outing would have to end at ‘Sundays and Cones’ on 10th st cause they’ve got the best ice cream around.

6. Favorite skin care product? Clean and Clear ‘acne spot treatment.’ I keep it with my at all times. It saves the day!

7. Favorite store to shop in? BCBG Max Azria!!! I call it ‘the official outfitter of Christina Bianco’ because I’ve worn a BCBG dress to every major event I’ve attended.I can’t shop there often cause we all now how much ‘the biz’ pays, but I absolutely love the styles, designs and fabrics.

8. Favorite play/musical? My favorite musicals are “Into The Woods,” “City of Angels,” & “Evita.” I also thought the revival of “Damn Yankees” was musical theatre perfection! My favorite plays are by Shakespeare.

9. Favorite website? Gofugyourself.com It’s so much fun! I could kill hours laughing at the strange things celebrities wear and the commentary is usually very clever.

10. “Saved By The Bell” or “Beverly Hills 90210”? “Saved By The Bell.” But I was never a total freak about it. At that age, I think I was busy watching “Perfect Strangers” & “Full House.” TGIF on ABC ruled!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite scented candle? You can’t get it anymore, but Illuminations ‘eggnog’ candle.

12. Favorite hobby? Reading (I particularly love Jane Austin novels and re-read them all the time) and cake decorating. I’m not great and have no training, but I just love it!

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Max von Essen is one of those performers who has it all…the voice, the talent, and most of all the personality. When Max von Essen sings, you never want it to end and when he’s on stage, he’s the focal point of the action. Starting his career off with a boom, he was a back-up singer on tour with the one and only Liza Minnelli and his star has continued to shine brightly. On Broadway, Max has starred in both the original and revival of “Les Miserables,” “Dance of The Vampires” starring Michael Crawford, and the 2000 revival of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He also starred in “Jerry Springer: The Opera” at Carnegie Hall, “Finian’s Rainbow” at the Irish Repertory Theatre, and “The Fantasticks” at the Sullivan Street Playhouse. Max has been in regional productions of “The Baker’s Wife” at the Paper Mill Playhouse and “Mame” at The Kennedy Center. Other theatre credits includes productions of “Girl Crazy,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Dorian,” “Pirates of Penzance,” “My Fair Lady,” “Hair,” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” When Max is not performing in a show, he’s dedicating his time to many charities close to his heart including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Matthew Shephard Foundation. Currently, Max is skating around the country in the national tour of “Xanadu” as Sonny Malone, so be sure to check him out when he rolls into your town. For more on Max, be sure to check out his website http://www.maxvonessen.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? All my teachers (and old movie musicals!!!)

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Haha, my range? Well, I’m a baritone so I have like a low G and then I can sing up to an A above middle C. But I have an odd falsetto and have played “Mary Sunshine” in “Chicago” and “Tremont” in “Jerry Springer The Opera,” so I’ve had to go up another octave and sing high A’s and B’s in the soprano range.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Oh god, there are so many! I’d love to work on broadway with Brian D’Arcy James in something and in a movie someday with Meryl Streep. I mean, could you imagine?

4. What’s the best advice someone ever gave you? “Follow your bliss.” An older friend told me that when I was a teenager, and it guides me constantly.

5. What is your proudest moment? That is such a difficult question. My proudest moment is simply every time I feel like I’m living my life as a decent human being. That may seem cliché but it’s true. It’s not about booking the next big job or anything for me, but at this point in my life, I just strive to be a good friend, son, brother and uncle.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Eight shows a week. Other than that, I hardly work out. I hate it!!!!

7. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs. Although now that I mostly wear skinny jeans, I usually wear briefs. 🙂

8. Favorite skin care product? Haha, good old Cetaphil cleanser, Kiehl’s Eye Alert, and Mac Studio Fix! Must haves!

9. Favorite website? None that I can tell you about. Well, other than Facebook and Twitter. (I’m slightly obsessed).

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? SUPERMAN all the way!!!!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Books or Magazines? I love magazines. But I really should read books more. Grrrrr.

12. Favorite TV Show Theme Song? Easy…The Nanny!!!!! Love it!

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Deidre Goodwin is constantly working, whether it’s theatre, movies, or television. She has appeared in eight Broadway shows including “Chicago” as “Velma Kelly,” the 2006 revival of “A Chorus Line” as “Sheila,” “Nine” with Antonia Banderas, as “Our Lady of The Spa,” “The Boys From Syracuse,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Chita Rivera: A Dancers Life,” and “Never Gonna Dance.” This past summer Deidre starred in the Fringe Festival hit show “Vote!” She has also delighted audiences in such motion pictures as the current smash hit “It’s Complicated” (starring Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin), as well as the Oscar-winning film version of “Chicago” as “Murderess June” “Every Little Step,” (which chronicles the history of the Broadway show “A Chorus Line” as well as the audition process for the 2006 revival), “Half Nelson,” and “Across the  Universe.” Her upcoming film projects include “Fair Game” and “Rabbit Hole.” Deidre’s television credits include guest starring roles on “30 Rock” (she played DeBORah, the winner of the MILF Island episode), “Law & Order: SVU,” “Rescue Me,” “Life on Mars,” and “Dancing With The Stars.” She also appeared on “Conan O’Brien,” “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” “The View,” “Good Morning America,” and three times on “The Tony Awards” telecast. Deidre can currently be seen as “Velma Kelly” in the Tony Award Winning Revival of “Chicago” at the Ambassador Theatre on 49th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue) in New York City.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Since I didn’t start until I was older it was a mixture of all of the old movie musicals I would watch as a kid, Fame and the first time I saw Paula Kelly definitely put an idea in my head that this could be possible.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I have been very blessed to work with some amazing people. Legends, famous people and extremely talented people. If there was one person, it would be Carol Burnett.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Not really…

4. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? Best, first time on Broadway, climbing the wall in Rocky Horror and the rotating spiral staircase at the end of Nine, are a few of the highlights. Don’t really have a worst but embarrassing. I have fallen twice on a Broadway stage. Both curtain calls. Way to leave a last impression!

5. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Did have a dream a few nights ago that Hugh Jackman was trying to kiss me by offering me a piece of gum then putting in his mouth a la “Lady and the Tramp” style. Nice huh 🙂

6. Favorite meal? Cheese.

7. Favorite TV show? Way too many. Should really cut back on my tv. My favorites right now are Mad Men and Lost.

8. Favorite musician/singer? There are way too may of those too but my old stand by is ahh oh wa! Prince.

9. Favorite website? Don’t have one.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Batman

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In 2009, I was introduced to four amazingly gifted and talented singers/songwriters/composers: Scott Alan, Bobby Cronin, Katie Thompson, and Jonathan Reid Gealt, all of whom became “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants. I have also been fortunate to attend a concert of each of their music.  Tonight, I had the pleasure of attending “The Music of Jonathan Reid Gealt” at The Canal Room. Jonathan’s music is sophisticated, contemporary, and at times quite humorous. He gathered some of the best musical theatre talent to sing his music tonight including the powerhouse vocals of Tituss Burgess (fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant), Natalie Weiss, Lauren Kennedy, Jeremy Jordan, Bridie Carroll, Quentin Earl Darrington, and Zak Resnick. These performers not only knew how to bring Jonathan’s music to life, but how to knock it out of the park. I was blown away so many times tonight that a smile was kept across my face the whole time. One of the most touching moments was watching his proud mom see her son’s dream come true, especially after one of the songs was dedicated to her. Jonathan is on his way to greatness (he’s currently working on his debut musical “Forward” and a screenplay of his life). The next time his music is being presented, I will be there and hopefully you will too. For more on Jonathan and his music visit: http://www.jonathan-reid-gealt.com, http://www.myspace.com/jrgealt, and TheBestArts.com/jrsongs.

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Come to “The Music of Jonathan Reid Gealt” in Concert this Monday, January 11 at 8pm at the legendary Canal Room in NYC. His music will be performed by some of today’s hottest Broadway stars including fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Tituss Burgess (Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid, Guys & Dolls) and Katie Thompson (“R.R.R.E.D.,” “Giant”), as well as Lauren Kennedy (Spamalot, Vanities, Les Miserables), Jeremy Jordan (West Side Story, Rock of Ages), Quentin Earl Darrington (Ragtime), Alysha Umphress (American Idiot), Bobby Steggert (110 In the Shade, Ragtime), Zak Resnick (Broadway Boys), Stephanie Umoh (Ragtime), Matt DeAngelis (Hair), Kasey Marino (Hairspray), Michael Mahany (High School Musical, Spring Awakening), Natalie Weiss (Wicked, American Idol), Adam Armstrong (History Boys), Bridie Carroll (Grease), Rachel Potter, and Jonathan Reid Gealt with music direction by Josh Clayton (Finnian’s Rainbow, City Center Encores).

To sample some of Jonathan’s music prior to the concert you can visit TheBestArts.com.

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