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Posts Tagged ‘Kelly Nichols’

“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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Every performer has dreams of being able to share their craft with the greater masses. For many, that dream does not come true, but there are a select few who get to live that dream and one of those select few is award winning singer/songwriter (and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant) Bobby Cronin. On Monday, November 29, I got to be in the audience as one of Bobby’s dreams came true when he got to perform “The Roads I’m Taking: The Musicals of Bobby Cronin” to a sold-out crowd at NYC’s famed jazz club Birdland as part of Jim Caruso’sBroadway at Birdland” series. Jim doesn’tallow just anyone perform in his series, he always picks the creme of the crop, and Bobby Cronin is part of that crop!

Performing selections from six of the musicals Bobby wrote the music and lyrics for, Bobby was joined on stage by a host of Broadway talent including fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Tituss Burgess (Guys & Dolls, Little Mermaid), Kate Pazakis (Jerry Springer, South Pacific), Andrew Kober (Hair), Autumn Hurlbert (Legally Blonde), Jenn Furman (Wicked National Tour), Erik Sisco (Stonewall Sensation), as well as Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific), Dee Roscioli (Wicked), Gerard Canonico (American Idiot, Spring Awakening), Carrie Manolakos (Mamma Mia, Wicked), Katrina Rose Diderickson (Hairspray, Jerry Springer), Ceili O’Connor (UK Wizard Of Oz), Geoffrey Kidwell, Ashley Dawn Mortensen, PJ Verica, David Gordon, and the winners of “The Rising Star Contest” Emily Kay Shrader and David Tomczak.

Bobby started the show off with “The Roads We’ve Taken” from “Daybreak” (books, music, & lyrics by Bobby Cronin), a 90-minute musical journey of family secrets, lost dreams, unexpected love, and forgiveness. Like Madonna, Bobby knows how to get the audience “Into The Groove.” “The Roads We’ve Taken” is a song about friendship and how all roads lead back to it.

Kate Pazakis and Andrew Samonsky then took the stage to perform “Come Here Boy” and “8:01” from “Cryana” (book by Crystal Skillman, music & lyrics by Bobby Cronin) which is a modern twist on the Cyrano story. “Come Here Boy” is a song with a double meaning…Kate’s character is singing about trying to reel Andrew’s character in by giving him advice about how to get his dog to listen to him while Andrew’s character is trying to get his dog to listen. By the end of the song, both characters have a date together. Kate and Andrew have great chemistry together on stage and their vocals match wonderfully, both giving big powerful belts to express their emotion. As great as they are together, both performers are able to hold their own. “8:01” is sung by Andrew’s character alone as he is stood up by Kate’s character. Andrew communicates his emotions wonderfully using his vocal talents and really shined as he sung out!

Keeping the energy going was Ceili O’Connor and Dee Roscioli performing two more songs from “Daybreak.” Ceili, who came over from London just for Bobby’s concert sang “A Girl’s Dream” all about a girl dreaming big and Dee sang “Move On” about a girl moving on to bigger and better things. Both performers gave a fine performance demonstrating their powerhouse vocals!

Next up was Andrew Kober, Carrie Manolakos, Ashley Dawn Mortensen, and Geoffrey Kidwell performing songs from “‘Til Death Do Us Part” (book by Allen Mogol, music & lyrics by Bobby Cronin) about a small town minister on the rise, who meets Mary, the love of his life. Who could have imagined the ugly secrets so carefully hidden until murder intervened? All four performers sang “‘Til Death Do Us Part” about finding your true love until death. Together, they sounded great and separately, they held their own. Andrew then sang “Just Choose Right” which really allowed him to shine using his big booming voice as he sings about choosing “right” over “wrong.” Next, Carrie joined Andrew on “Perfect,” which mended their voices together perfectly, yet each performer still able to shine individually.

The next two performers who took the stage were Emily Kay Shrader and David Tomczak, the winners of Bobby’s “The Rising Star Contest” where he asked performers who have never been on Broadway to submit a video of them performing one of his songs. Bobby had this contest because so many people have given Bobby a chance over the years, he wanted to return that favor to two people who had the same dream. With over 100 entries, Bobby and Brett Teresa narrowed down the winners to Emily & David. At a mere 18 years old, Emily has the powerhouse vocals of a seasoned performer while David just out of college, has the voice to match! Emily and David sang “Is This Love” from “A Christmas Carol” (by Angelyn Fullarton and Bobby Cronin) which is the classic Christmas story told through the eyes of five modern-day kids. It was evident these two were so excited to perform and to say they brought down the house is an understatement. The cheers and applause after they sang was evidence the crowd was dazzled and moved!

The next show presented was “Welcome To My Life” (book by Alicia Dempster and Bobby Cronin, music & lyrics by Bobby Cronin) is a powerful, raw, and inspiring pop/rock musical about real issues faced by today’s teens. Bad-boy Cody is sent to a wilderness intervention program where he joins four painfully troubled teens who, with the tough-love of three counselors, embark on a journey toward finding self-worth and forgiveness. Gerard Canonico and Katrina Rose Dideriksen performed 2 songs each. Gerard sang “Run Away/Fine is All I’ve Got” chronicling Cody’s troubled past and current state and “Reach The Sky” a song of hope that one day he’ll make it. Gerard’s vocals are powerful and rough like a rock star which fits perfectly for these songs. Katrina sang “Wilted” about her character’s troubles and “Dear Daddy” a letter her character wrote to her deceased father. I was so moved by the vocal talent that came out of Katrina…she has everything I love in a performer from rich vocals to a soulful powerhouse belt!

Following in their footsteps, were Autumn Hurlbert, Jenn Furman, Erik Sisco, and Geoffrey Kidwell who sang from “Ten Reasons I Won’t Go Home With You” (Book by Kelly Nichols and music & lyrics by Bobby Cronin, et al) for which Bobby, et al  received the 2010 Midtown International Theatre Festival award for “Outstanding Music & Lyrics.” All four performers sang “Lucky In Love” about each of their hopes in finding love. Again, Bobby chose sings who’s vocals work well together, yet allows each one to shine on their own. After that Autumn and Jenn performed “You Deserve Better” a hilarious and true song about how their character’s deserve much better than the boys they’ve dated. Putting these two powerhouse vocalists together was a brilliant idea! Both Jenn and Autumn have powerful belts along with strong vocals and putting them together makes for quite an enjoyable time added to their comedic talents, makes them perfect for performing together, but yet as all the previous group songs, holding their own.

Bobby must have known that saving this next performer and song for last was the way to make sure his show ended on a high note! Tituss Burgess took the stage (and the piano) to sing “The Best Is Yet To Come” from “Welcome To My Life” a positively hopeful song about holding on through the bad times because “The Best Is Yet To Come” (this song should not only become everyone’s personal anthem, but a national anthem as well). Tituss hit all the right notes so perfectly and beautifully, with such heart and soul, that the evening ended with a standing-ovation and cheering/applause that could have been heard throughout Times Square. I e-mailed Bobby right away telling him this song with Tituss singing it needs to be recorded as a single!

Every performer has a dream and for Bobby Cronin, his dreams are coming true because more than anything, he is an incredibly talented singer/songwriter, but also because he’s kind, caring, dedicated to his craft and performers and because he believes in himself and his talent. If Monday’s concert was any indication of what’s in store for Bobby, it surely is that “The Best Is Yet To Come” for Bobby Cronin! Stay tuned to “Adaumbelle’s Quest” because you’re gonna see a lot more of Bobby…

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Kelly Nichols is rising performer who crosses many genres. She’s an actress, singer, and stand-up comedian. Kelly has delighted audiences in “Into The Woods” (The Theatre Company in Hoboken, NJ), “Prince Trevor Amongst the Elephants” (Cross-Eyed Bear Productions/Midtown International Theatre Festival), “keepingabreast” (Ratutu Collaborative), and “The Clearing” (The Phoenix Players). For her role in “Prince Trevor Amongst the Elephants,” Kelly was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play and cast won the Midtown Festival’s award for Outstanding Overall Production of a New Comedy Play. As a member of the Wildlife Theatre based at the Central Park Zoo, Kelly uses her talents as a performer to entertain children all over the tri-state area. Additionally, she is a performing company member with the Attic, Jr. Children’s Theatre Series in collaboration with The Attic Ensemble, created, written, directed, and produced by fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Billy Mitchell.  Kelly just finished a successful run in the 2010 Midtown International Theatre Festival writing and starring in “10 Reasons I Won’t Go Home With You,” which was directed by Billy Mitchell and included songs by fellow participant Bobby Cronin, one of seven contributing composer/lyricists (click here for my review). Kelly’s gearing up for her next move, stay tuned to “Adaumbelle’s Quest” to find out what it will be!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Hmmm….that’s tough. I can’t say that any person really inspired me. I have ALWAYS been a ham and have loved being the center of attention. I would say if there was a person who’s always been there rooting for me, it would be my sister. She sang with me when we performed ABBA concerts on my parents’ fireplace. She always laughed at my jokes, so I figured I should keep going.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? The highest note I can sing is probably an A or so above middle C. The lowest is probably an F or an E almost 2 octaves below middle C.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? There are SO MANY people I would love to perform with, but I would have to say since I saw [title of show] I would love to work with Susan Blackwell. She’s hilarious. Maybe we could play sisters. That would be fun.

4. Do you have any rituals that you have to do before a performance? How do you decompress after a show? When I’m in a musical, I steam my throat two times a day for about 20 minutes a session. It just feels good. I drink a lot of warm water and warm up my singing voice and my speaking voice. I also do this weird thing to get into character backstage before the show starts. I would tell you, but then I’d have to kill you…just kidding. The long and short of it is letting go of me and sucking up my character. I decompress by watching just one show on T.V. before I go to bed. If I am lucky and it’s still on my DVR, it’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” It’s ridiculously entertaining to me and helps me to wind down a lot. I also read…This show I’ve been soaking my feet in the bathtub a lot because it’s SO HOT this summer and that helps me cool down before bed.

5. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? If I could dream about anyone while I sleep it would be Eric the Vampire from True Blood. Wait, is my husband going to read this?Then my answer is my husband. Of COURSE I would only want to dream about my husband. Actually, if I could have the whole dream thing happen for me 3 times it would be my husband, Eric the Vampire and my Grandmother, because I’d like to talk with her about why she was the way she was.

6. What’s the best advice someone ever gave you? The best advice someone ever gave me was “Let go.” Simple, effective advice. It’s pretty hard to do for me, but I’ve been working on it for a while. I think I’m getting better. The second was “Grow like a tree,” that was pretty recent, but is surprisingly always applicable for me.

7. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Well, I tend to be pretty vocal about my strange and unusual talents, so many people know what they are, but I would say, what generally slips by people is that I can read upside down. I also have some kind of an inner compass and very very rarely get lost.

8. Books or Magazines? I love books. Not magazines so much. They go by too quickly. My husband loves to tell people about my book buying habits. I generally buy or check out at least 10 books. I can finish reading them in less than a month. I’m a voracious reader. I love so many books that it’s probably easier to tell you some of my favorite authors. I love Alice Hoffman, Charlaine Harris, Jodi Picoult, Carol Goodman…Oh I LOVE BOOKS!!! If I do read a magazine, it’s usually People because I can do the crossword in it in a matter of minutes and it makes me feel super smart.

9. Favorite website? Favorite website at the moment (besides yours??? 😉 ) I love baking websites: thepioneerwoman.com, Bakerella.com, cakewrecks.com. Love love love them!

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman. Is there any question? She has a golden lasso. 🙂

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite skin care product? Ocean Salt Exfoliating Scrub. Mmmmm.

12. Favorite store to shop in? LUSH (bath and body products…I could be in that store FOREVER!!!)

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Tonight I saw “Ten Reasons I Won’t Go Home With You” which is part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival. Written by Kelly Nichols and directed by fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Billy Mitchell, this show has many reasons to attend!

This show is fun and identifiable. “Ten Reasons I Won’t Go Home With You” tells the story of Katie, a mid-western girl who just moved to NYC and hoping to find love. Katie takes the audience on her journey of dating scenarios which the audience can relate to…from on-line dating to finding out your date is not exactly who you thought you were going out with to getting hit on by the homeless man because you missed your train. Whatever the scenario, you either know someone or you yourself have been through that situation.

To help move the story along is a score of enjoyable songs written by some of today’s rising composers. Some of the more enjoyable ones are written by Jason Purdy and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Bobby Cronin. Jason’s song “Worse Things” is very identifiable because dating is very difficult and one can get very sad by it, but now there is Jason’s song to remind that there could be “Worse Things” than bad dates. Bobby’s songs are also identifiable as well as uplifting. “Lucky In Love” is a song that many of us sing in our head as we head out on each first new date, hoping this time it’s going to work out. “You Deserve Better” reminds us that for all the creeps we date, don’t settle for less and lose sight of what you’re looking for deep down because after all YOU are what matters most! “Reasons” (with additional lyrics by Brett Teresa) has Katie searching for why her dates are not working out and gets her starting to look inside herself for the answers.

The scene stealers in this show are Benjamin Holmes as “Homeless Guy” using his pristine facial expressions & body language to bring this character to life, Marvin Riggins, Jr. as “Jon” is very enjoyable as he combines his comedic and puppetry skills together, and Ryan Stadler as the guy who flicks “Katie” off because she won’t go home with him. Last, but certainly not least, is Kelly who stars as “Katie.” In addition to being the book writer of this show, Kelly’s comedic moments are strengthened by her background as a stand-up comedian. When Kelly belts those notes, the audience is listening.

“Ten Reasons I Won’t Go Home With You” is a show to see and you have 2 chances left: Saturday, July 24 at 9pm & Thursday, July 29 at 6pm

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