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Posts Tagged ‘Kennedy Center’

Douglas Sills is a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominee for his performance in Broadway’s “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” With a stage presence, talent, a big booming voice, and good looks, Douglas Sills is your go to guy! His many other stage credits include the Broadway revival of “Little Shop of Horrors,” Encores! productions of “Music in the Air” and “Carnival,” “On The 20th Century” for the Actors Fund, “Moonlight and Magnolias” at MTC, and BCEFA’s benefit “Broadway Backwards 5.” On the road, Douglas has starred in the National Tours of “The Scarlett Pimpernel” for which he was an Ovation Award winner, “The Secret Garden,” and “Into The Woods.” Regionally, he has been seen in “She Loves Me” (Westport Playhouse), “A Little Night Music” (Kennedy Center), “Much Ado About Nothing” (South Coast Rep), “Mack and Mabel” (Reprise), “Othello,” “Cymbeline,” and “Merry Wives” (Cal Shakes), “The Philadelphia Story,” “Richard II,” “Henry IV”, “Henry V,” and “Mrs. Warren’s Profession.” Television audiences will recognize Douglas from his guest appearances on “CSI,” “The Closer,” “Numb3rs,” and “Will & Grace,” while film goers will remember him from “Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo. Douglas just completed a run as “Captain Hook/Mr. Darling” in Papermill Playhouse’s smash hit production of “Peter Pan” (which co-starred fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Nancy Anderson and Zachary Infante). Douglas is gearing up for his next move, so until it’s announced, be sure to keep up with him on Facebook!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? So many. And I look for fresh inspiration all the time.
An interesting mix Olivier, Gielgud, Richardson, Alec Guinness, Peter O’Toole…..and Al Jolson,

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Don’t know. Try not to take notice of absolutes like that. It seems only to enforce limits rather than encourage the spirit of an idea.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Cherry Jones

4. Do you have any rituals that have to do before each performance? How do you decompress after a show? Rituals change according to the demands of the piece.  Sometimes I jog to the theater, or do a recorded warm-up geared to the piece, read historically-related fiction about the period….but whatever it is, it’s generally solitary activity. Decompression also varies depending on the situation….ie: comedy or tragedy, musical or play, near home or long travel afterward,  friends in the show or not. Nothing too routine for decompression. Usually have to get back to let the dog out . She’s been my decompression more than anything….Care of something outside myself. I like to get home and bring something to my partner.

5. What’s your proudest moment? Having my folks attend the Tony Awards at which I was nominated and performed.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can dismember a body in 32 minutes.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? My favorite way would be to eat whatever I like…but that doesn’t work. Ummm working is my favorite way to stay in shape generally. But I like to push myself to try new things….ie: did Bikram for a while. Tried a vegan regimen for a while. I get the feeling yoga is likely the best approach for me.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers around the house. Briefs otherwise.

9. Favorite website? Dailycoyote.net

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Neither. Spongebob, Peter Griffin or Larry David.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite quote? “Astound yourself with your personal courage everyday”  -Olivier

12. Favorite way to spend your day off? Strolling a shaded beach with my dog and my partner, looking for sea life in the shallows.

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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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Nancy Anderson is an Olivier, Helen Hayes, and Drama Desk nominated performer. She delights audiences with her beautiful voice as well as her brilliant acting, especially her comedic timing! She has played multiple roles in a single show and her stage presence reflects her strong skill set. On Broadway she has appeared in “A Class Act” and the revival of “Wonderful Town.” She has appeared on PBS’ Great Performances in the West End premiere of “Kiss Me Kate” as “Lois/Bianca” for which Nancy received an Olivier and Helen Hayes Award Nomination and “Annie Get Your Gun” starring Reba McEntire. Off-Broadway she received Drama Desk Award nominations for playing all the women in “Jolson & Company” and for the title role in “Fanny Hill,” both at the York Theatre. Regionally, Nancy has been seen in “Ordinary Days” (South Coast Rep), “White Noise” (New Orleans), “The Women” (Old Globe), Cape Playhouse’s “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine” and “Sylvia,” “By Jeeves” (Goodspeed, Geffin, & Kennedy Center), “The Black Monk” (Yale Rep), “Sweeney Todd” (Goodspeed), and “Crazy For You” (Pioneer Playhouse). She has also been seen in the Encores production of “No, No Nanette” starring Rosie O’ Donnell & Sandy Duncan as well as appearing with Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall in his Valentine’s tribute concert “Hooray For Love Songs.” Nancy has also performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and is a regular at Town Hall in NYC in Scott Siegel’s “Broadway By The Year” series. Her debut album “Ten Cents A Dance” is available now. Nancy can currently be seen at the York Theatre in the hit Off-Broadway premiere of “Yank: A World War II Love Story” through April 4. For more on Nancy be sure to visit: http://www.nancyanderson.name.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? That’s a tough question, because I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a performer-but my guess is it’s a combination between my grandmother, who was a concert violinist, my sister, who was probably the first person i saw perform, and Judy Garland (from the Wizard of Oz on tv, of course..)

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? High B (high C on a good day). Low E (below middle C).

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Stephen Sondheim.

4. What is your proudest moment? oh, that’s impossible…maybe when I conducted an 80-voice choir of kids at the Summer Stars camp in Rochester, NY.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Well, most people know I play the Ukulele, but not many know that I can tumble-in fact, for the first time in my life I was asked to tumble in an audition for Peter Pan at Papermill-just last week!

6. Favorite skin care product? Elizabeth Arden’s anti-wrinkle serum.

7. Favorite kind of shoes? Platform boots.

8. Favorite play/musical? Sunday in the Park With George.

9. Favorite website? http://www.earthwatch.org.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to spend your day off? In NYC-walking the brooklyn bridge. In San Diego-Surfing.

12. Favorite quote: I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

– John Adams

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Ryan Scott Oliver is an award winning lyricist and composer to keep watching! He is the recipient of the 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant as well as the winner of the 2007 Margo Lion Award for Excellence in Adaptation (along with Kirsten Guenther who wrote the book) and the 2008 Richard Rogers Award for writing the music and lyrics to “Mrs. Sharp,” which ran at Playwrights Horizons in July 2009 starring Tony Award Winner Jane Karkowski. His other awards include the first ever ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award for Excellence in Lyric Writing, the John Denver New Composers Award, and the Looking Glass Theatre Favorite Award for “Out of My Head” (Book by Kirsten Guenther). He wrote the Music and Lyrics to “Darling” (Book by B.T. Ryback), “A Day in Space (Book by Brian Paul Mendoza), the Music to “Angus Oblong’s The Debbies” (Book/Lyrics by Gordon Leary), the Book and Lyrics to “Circle Nine” (Music by Brian Valencia), the Book, Music, and Lyrics (along with B.T. Ryback) to “Quit India,” which was commissioned by UCLA. Ryan’s  work has also been heard on the hit YouTube TV show “The Battery’s Down” as well as in showcases presented by Summer Play Festival (SPF), The York Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, New York Theatre Barn, Monday Nights New Voices (produced by fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Scott Alan), and the Festival of New American Musicals in Los Angeles. Most recently, Ryan Scott Oliver presented evenings of his work, with a host of Broadway talents at Los Angeles’ Boston Court Performing Arts Center,  Joe’s Pub in New York City, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. He is currently working on “35mm,” a multimedia musical exhibition based on photographs by Matthew Murphy, as well as “We the People” which has been commissioned by Broadway Across America for TheatreWorks USA and is supposed to be presented Off-Broadway in 2010. To find out more on Ryan Scott Oliver be sure to visit: http://www.ryanscottoliver.com or TheBestArts for Ryan’s dedicated page with footage of his music being performed by Broadway’s talent.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? All my teachers in middle school and high school, especially the ones that are in jail now.

2. When did you realize you wanted to become a songwriter/composer? It started in vitro, but I couldn’t bring the piano out with me during birth—so I didn’t come back to it till middle school, but seriously began working when I was a Junior in high school when I began work on the epic musical of The Crucible. In college, I realized that I would never get the rights over Arthur Miller’s dead body, but then fortunately, he died.  Unfortunately, I still don’t have the rights.

3. Who is the one person you’d like to have sing your songs that hasn’t already? Gavin Creel.  I need his voice like you need to try the Black and White cake at Amy’s Bread in the West Village.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can flick my tongue freakishly fast.  Too bad that’s completely of no use to me.  And I know morse code, dit-dah-dit.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? I keep my “shape” (and I use the term loosely) by going to the gym 4 times a week, for roughly 4 months out of the year.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer-briefs!  Duh!

7. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks because Dunkin’ Donuts I associate with being careless and fat.  Starbucks I associate with being careless and rich.  Clearly the latter is more attractive.  Unless I’m at the airport, in which case I visit Dunkin Donuts, because if you’re going to propel yourself 36,000 miles in the air where it’s better to be whetted than wealthy.

8. Favorite musician/singer? Awfully fond of Rufus Wainwright, Jason Mraz, and The Killers.  Among so many others!

9. Favorite website? I like StraightDope.com a lot.  Chockfull of useless, intriguing information that makes any dumb person feel brilliant.  Also great for long nights of insomnia (it tires your mind OUT).  And of course I’m also particularly fond of the brand new writer’s blog crazytownblog.com. 🙂  Wink.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? I choose BATMAN!  I love Batman. 🙂

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If you can make to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, tomorrow, Tuesday, February 9 at 6pm to catch the music of the talented Ryan Scott Oliver, I highly recommend it. I just saw a concert of his music 2 weeks ago and he is one of the gifted rising composers of our generation. Treat yourself to an evening of music and laughter…performers of Ryan’s music include Jay Johnson (understudy for “Claude” & “Woof” in Broadway’s “Hair”), Alex Brightman (“Boq” in Broadway’s “Wicked”), and Lindsay Mendez (Off-Broadway’s “The Marvelous Wonderettes).

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