Posts Tagged ‘“Lend Me A Tenor”’

On Monday, April 19, I had the privilege and honor of talking with the multi-talented, dynamic, and award winning Tovah Feldshuh after watching her host the “2010 Broadway Beauty Pageant.” I only had a few moments with her, so I got in as many questions as possible, but for the few moments I had, she was kind, personable, and eager to answer my questions. Tovah is a two-time Emmy Award winner (for her portrayal of Chezch freedom fighter “Helena” in “Holocaust” and on “Law & Order” for her work as defense attorney “Danielle Melnick”) and a four-time Tony Award nominee for her roles in Broadway’s “Yental,” “Sarava!,” “Lend Me A Tenor,” and “Golda’s Balcony.” She has also won four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, the OBIE Award, the Theatre World Award, and the Lucille Lortel Award. Her many other Broadway credits include: “Irena’s Vow,” “Cyrano,” “Rodgers and Hart,” and “Dreyfus In Rehearsal.” Off Broadway, Tovah has been seen in “The Vagina Monologues,” “Tallulah Hallelujah!” (which was chosen as one of the Ten Best Plays of the year by USA Today), ” “Full Gallop,” “The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie,” “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah,” Roundabout Theatre’s productions of “She Stoops To Conquer” and “Mistress Of The Inn” as well as BAM’s “Three Sisters.” Her triumphant one woman show “Tovah: Out Of Her Mind!” sold out London’s West End at the Duke of York’s and culminated in a symphonic concert with Billy Crystal at Los Angeles’ Royce Hall. The Boston Globe named “Tovah: Out Of Her Mind!” as the best one-person show of 2000.

Film and television audiences will recognize Tovah from “Kissing Jessica Stein” (which she won a Golden Satellite Award), “A Walk On The Moon,” “Happy Accidents,” “The Corruptor,” “Brewster’s Millions,” “Friends and Family,” “Old Love,” “Nunzio,” “The Believer,” “Life On The Ledge,” “The Alchemist,” Toll Booth” (for which she won Best Supporting Actress Method Fest 2005), “Lady in the Water,” “Just My Luck,” and “O Jerusalem,” while television viewers will recognize her from “The Amazing Howard Hughes,” “The Cosby Show,” “The Cosby Mysteries,” and “The Education of Max Bickford.”

In 2008, Tovah acquired the rights to “Golda’s Balcony,” which she now takes around the country performing to sold-out audiences. She just finished up a run at the Old Globe in San Diego, CA.  For more on Tovah and to find out where she’ll be next be sure to visit: http://www.tovahfeldshuh.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I was on the wait list at Harvard Law School and won a scholarship to the Tarun Guffy Theater in Minnesota in acting and I thought the writing was on the wall right there, so I followed my fate.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Oh wow, there are many. I would love to work with Fred Molina, among others.

3. Favorite way to stay in shape? I’m a runner. I run 4-5 miles everyday. I also love swimming and love yoga, but have not given myself the time to do either here in NY, but when I go to San Diego, I re-inherit a very nearby pool from the hotel I stay in, so I’m be able to run and swim and will be a much happier person and so will the small of my back.

4. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I went up to a high D with my teacher and I sing to C below middle C well. I could sing that publicly, I don’t know about B below middle C. I would say the three octave range for sure.

5. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Well in my situation, I would say without hesitation Andrew Harris Levy, my life partner.

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I am a member of the ITBA (Independent Theater Bloggers Association) and each year members of the ITBA gather to nominate the Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway shows we think deserve recognition. After the nominations are picked, the voting period begins and the winners are announced. Listed below are the 2010 ITBA Award Winners:

Outstanding New Broadway Play: Red

Outstanding Broadway Play Revival: A View From The Bridge

Outstanding New Broadway Musical: American Idiot

Outstanding Broadway Musical Revival: La Cage Aux Folles

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play: Circle Mirror Transformation

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical: Yank!

Outstanding Off-Broadway Revival: The Glass Menagerie

Outstanding Off-Off Broadway Show: Viral

Unique Off-Off Broadway Experience: The Lily’s Revenge

Outstanding Solo Show: A Boy and His Soul

Outstanding Ensemble Performance: Circle Mirror Transformation

Citation For Excellence In Off-Off Broadway Theatre: Company XIV

Citations For Excellence By Individual Perormers:

Nina Arianda, Venus In Fur
Kate Baldwin, Finian’s Rainbow
Desiree Burch, The Soup Show
Rebecca Comtois, Viral
Viola Davis, Fences
Jon Michael Hill, Superior Donuts
Douglas Hodge, La Cage Aux Folles
Sarah Lemp, The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side & Happy In The Poorhouse
Laura Linney, Time Stands Still
Jan Maxwell, The Royal Family & Lend Me A Tenor (fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant)
Bobby Steggert, Ragtime & Yank! (fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant)
Amy Lynn Stewart, Viral

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With the talent and personality, it’s no wonder Jan Maxwell is a 4-time Tony Award nominee, with her two most recent nominations this current season for “The Royal Family” and “Lend Me A Tenor.” She is also a Drama Desk Award winner (updated: Jan won her 2nd award tonight for “The Royal Family”) and 5-time nominee as well as a 2-time Outer Critics Circle Winner & 5-time nominee. Jan is one of the few performers with the most impeccable comedic timing of our times. When Jan is on stage, the audience is paying attention. She can make your theatre experience one you will never forget! Her other Broadway credits include “Coram Boy” (Tony & Drama Desk Nominee), “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Drama Desk Award Winner, Tony & Outer Critics Circle Nominee), “Sixteen Wounded” (Drama Desk Nominee), “A Doll’s House” (Outer Critics Circle Nominee), “The Sound of Music” (Outer Critics Circle Nominee), “The Dinner Party” (Outer Critics Circle Award Winner), Brian Friel’s “Dancing At Lughnasa” and “City of Angels.” Off-Broadway, Jan has delighted audiences in Howard Barker’s “Scenes From An Execution” (Drama Desk Nominee) and “Camille,” Anton Dudley’s “Substitution,” “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” (Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Nominee), Tina Howe’s translation of lonesco’s “The Bald Soprano,” Jules Feiffer’s “A Bad Friend,” Israel Horovitz’s “My Old Lady” (Lortel Award winner, Drama Desk Nominee), “Opening Doors,” Alan Ayckbourn’s “House and Garden,” and “The Seagull.”  Jan’s television credits include PBS’ “AIDS: Changing the Rules,” “Law & Order,” and “Gossip Girl.” Jan can currently be seen in the 2010 Tony Nominated revival of “Lend Me A Tenor.”

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Both my mother and father. My father is quite the ham. He did community theatre in Fargo, ND, where I was born and also wrote sketches and plays. My mother, though, did the leg work for the few opportunities there were for me to experience the arts in the area. She would find theatre and dance programs and tell me about them; then call, sign me up, and drive me back and forth.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I don’t know. Christopher Guest, Steve Buscemi, Edward Albee . . . too many to list.

3. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? If so, what career would you choose? Umm . . . I think this business quits you before you quit it.  But I’ve always wanted to be in a lot of different professions. I think that’s why I act, so I can be all those things I want to be:  marine biologist, veterinarian, junkie . . .

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Shakespeare – I like epic dreams.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve given someone, but not taken for yourself? Don’t go into acting.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can tie a cherry stem into a knot in less than 15 seconds.

7. Favorite skin care product? I wish I could find one. I keep trying different ones, which is probably the worst thing you can do.

8. Favorite play/musical? Too hard to choose.

9. Favorite website? Google.

10. “Mary” or “Rhoda”? Mary . . . Hartman, though.


11. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Neither. Caffeine is banned after noon. Once, my stage manager, Matthew Melchiorre at Coram Boy, wouldn’t allow me to have it at all. Especially if I have a smaller part. I become a bit obnoxious start trouble backstage.

12. Favorite hobby? Staring at an empty wall (unless I have coffee, and then it’s bouncing off that wall . . . )

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CONGRATULATIONS to all the 2010 Outer Critics Circle Award Winners, especially fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Jan Maxwell and to the cast of “Memphis” on their multiple wins (which stars fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Chad Kimball, James Monroe Iglehart, Derrick Baskin, & LaQuet Sharnell)…the list of winners is below:

Outstanding New Broadway Play: “Red”

Outstanding New Broadway Musical: “Memphis”

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play: “The Orphans’ Home Cycle”

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical: “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” & “The Scottsboro Boys”

Outstanding New Score: “Memphis”

Outstanding Revival of a Play: “Fences”

Outstanding Revival of a Musical: “La Cage aux Folles”

Outstanding Director of a Play: Michael Wilson “The Orphans’ Home Cycle”

Outstanding Director of a Musical: Terry Johnson “La Cage aux Folles”

Outstanding Choreographer: Bill T. Jones “Fela!”

Outstanding Set Design: Phelim McDermott & Julian Crouch “The Addams Family”

Outstanding Costume Design: Matthew Wright “La Cage aux Folles”

Outstanding Lighting Design: Kevin Adams “American Idiot”

Outstanding Actor in a Play: Denzel Washington “Fences”

Outstanding Actress in a Play: Viola Davis “Fences”

Outstanding Actor in a Musical: Douglas Hodge “La Cage aux Folles”

Outstanding Actress in a Musical: Montego Glover “Memphis” & Catherine Zeta-Jones “A Little Night Music”

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play: Jon Michael Hill “Superior Donuts”

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play: Jan Maxwell “Lend Me A Tenor”

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: Levi Kreis “Million Dollar Quartet”

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical: Katie Finneran “Promises, Promises”

Outstanding Solo Performance: Carrie Fisher “Wishful Drinking”

John Gassner Award (Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright): Geoffrey Nauffts “Next Fall”

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Congratulations to fellow and upcoming “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants on their Outer Critic Circle Award Nominations:

Carolee Carmello: “Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical” for “The Addams Family”

Chad Kimball: “Outstanding Actor in a Musical” for “Memphis”

Jan Maxwell: “Outstanding Actress in a Play” for “The Royal Family” and “Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play” for “Lend Me A Tenor”

Bobby Steggert: “Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical” for “Ragtime”

Congratulations to all my “Memphis” participants (Chad Kimball, Derrick Baskin, James Monroe Iglehart, LaQuet Sharnell) on the show’s nomination for “Outstanding New Broadway Musical” and “Outstanding New Score.”

A special congratulations to my former American Repertory Theatre colleague Catherine Zuber for her nomination of “Outstanding Costume Design” for “The Royal Family.” I’m always rooting for you!

For a full list of nominees, click here!

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Photo Credit: Sarah Sloboda

Photo Credit: Sarah Sloboda

Photo Credit: Marcie Hume

Photo Credit: Marcie Hume

Michael Cyril Creighton has been seen on NY Stage in The Debate Society’s “Cape Disappointment” at PS 122 and “You’re Welcome” at Dixon Place, The NY Premiere of Christopher Durang’s “The Vietnamization of New Jersey” (Off-Broadway), Delaney Brit Brewer’s “An Octopus Love Story,” Rachel Shukert’s “Sequins for Satan”, “365 Plays/365 Days” (The Public Theater), “Rip Me Open” (co-written with Desiree Burch and OBIE Winner Kyle Jarrow), and the solo show “The Hermitage of An Exiled Chain Smoker (Fringe NYC) and various other shows. Regionally he has been seen in George Street Playhouse’s critically acclaimed production of “Lend Me A Tenor.” He was a founding member of The New York Neo-Futurists and is a frequent guest artist with The Debate Society. He has performed stand-up and storytelling around the city. Michael is formerly of VH1’s Best Night Ever video podcast and has been seen on the web reading from the notorious book “Cop Without A Badge” (of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” fame) and in episodes of “The Burg” and “The Mimi & Flo Show.” He recently created a new web sitcom called “Jack In A Box,” about an off-off Broadway Box Office employee trying to keep his patience. Michael can currently be seen in “MilkMilkLemonade” through September 26. at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Ave & Avenue A). For tickets visit Smarttix.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Madeline Kahn.

2. When did you realize you wanted to be a performer? When I realized I had no athletic ability or real interest in anything that didn’t involve “pretending”. So , pretty early on. Grade school.

3. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? Best: Any time I’ve had the chance to work with The Debate Society. Most recently, we did Cape Disappointment at PS 122 and spent over a year developing it. It was a really satisfying experience with really great people. I was proud to be a part of it.
Worst: I always try to have fun…so nothing is ever TRULY awful…but see below.

4. What is your most embarrassing on-stage moment? I was doing a show upstate in a Barn, that had a metal roof. Basically, when it rained you had to literaly scream your lines to be heard.  This lovely girl in it had this really funny accent, and during a scene she pointed a gun at me and was screaming something, I forget what, in a Scottish one. And for some reason it was hysterical to me. So, instead of hysterically laughing on stage which would be terrible, I ran to my exit instead of walked. And during that run, I hit the wall. Literaly ran straight into the wall, almost knocking it over and knocking down peices of the set. Humiliating. Better than laughing on stage, though? I think?

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I unfortunately had a  (possibly warranted) temper tantrum in the Starbucks near my work and the Dunkin Donuts closed…so now I go to Empire Coffee. I get a large iced with skim and two splendas. Earlier this year I was getting large iced with sugar and half & half…but things change.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs.

7. Favorite TV Show? Of all time: Six Feet Under and Meadowlands
Right now: The Real Housewives of New Jersey

8. Favorite drink? Maker’s Mark Manhattan on the rocks.

9. Favorite ride at an amusement park? The Gravitron. Which is crazy, since I’m perpetually nauseous.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman. I used to wear black t-shirts on my head and yellow rubberbands on my wrists and pretend to be her, much to my mother’s dismay.

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