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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Testa’

“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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Powerhouse vocals, comedic timing, talent, and a booming personality are just some ways to describe Jenn Furman, performer extraordinaire! Hailing from Trenton, NJ, Jenn’s performing started out like many, doing after school plays, but for Jenn, performing became her passion! From US to International Tours to regional productions, Jenn has dazzled the world with her talent: “Fanny Brice” in “Funny Girl,” “Eva Peron” in “Evita,” “Reno Sweeney” in “Anything Goes,” “Miss Flannery” in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “The Acid Queen” in “The Who’s Tommy,” “Miss Hannigan” in “Annie,” “Mama” in “Chicago,” and “Woman #2” in “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” Jenn spent 2009 and most of 2010 touring the country with the 2nd National Tour of “Wicked” as “The Midwife,” and understudied “Madame Morrible,” getting to perform the role several times. Jenn’s voice and talent are one to be recognized and viewed. So be sure to catch Jenn belting it out on November 29 at Birdland in NYC as part of “Bobby Cronin’s: The Roads I’m Taking.” For more on Jenn and her talent be sure to visit theBestArts.com!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? The first time I saw the movie Hello, Dolly!, I was SMITTEN with Barbra. I was playing that role in the school play at the time, and I wanted to be just like her….only with a retainer. She was my first true inspiration; living proof that being different is a good thing.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? My range is about C below middle C to high C. Maybe I can go higher on a good day…..

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? There’s a MILLION people I’d love to work with!!! But, working with Mary Testa would be pretty amazing. I think she’s hilarious!

4. Do you have any rituals that must do before a show? On most show days, I like to get a good sweat session in during the day. It gives me confidence, and warms up my lungs and voice. And, of course, the obligatory vocal warmup. How do you decompress after a show? Afterwards, it depends on the night, but some vino and good conversation is always a great way to unwind.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I have always loved drawing. If I weren’t in this business, I’d love to illustrate children’s books. I can also make some pretty hideous faces.

6. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks for the Americano, Dunkin’ Donuts for the Hazelnut.

7. Favorite skin care product? I recently started using Vitamin E ointment with my normal products. You just put it on at night, and in the morning, it’s all absorbed. I swear some wrinkles have disappeared! And it’s cheap!

8. Favorite kind of shoes? I will never be without a good, sexy pair of black heels. EVER. And my sneakers!

9. Favorite website? Right now, I’m kind of addicted to cuteoverload.com.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Poison Ivy 😉

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Some of the best advice I’ve ever received is from my parents. They always taught me to a) love who I am, and not try to be anyone else b) be diplomatic. I still try to live by that advice every day.

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would ti be? My husband, Johnathan. Always 🙂

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In 2004, Jefferson Mays won a Tony, Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel, and Theatre World Award for his performance in the Broadway production of “I Am My Own Wife,” the Pulitzer-Prize winning play by Doug Wright. His other Broadway credits include “Pygmalion” and “Journey’s End.” He has also starred in the “Quartermaine’s Terms” at Williamstown Theatre Festival. His film and television credits include: “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People,” “Alfie,” “The Nortorious Bettie Page,” “Kinsey,” “The Closer,” “Fringe,” “Law & Order,” and “Nurse Jackie. Currently, Jefferson Mays can be seen in the Off-Broadway production of “Measure for Measure” at The Duke on 42nd Street in NYC (with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Mary Testa).

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

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Conrad Veidt.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can recite every English monarch from 1066 to the present in just under 18 seconds.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Departed friends and loved ones.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks: Tall Pike’s — no room for milk.

6. Books or Magazines? 18 inch stack of various books underway on bedside table, three foot column of partially-read New Yorkers teetering Pisa-like in corner.

7. Favorite play/musical? Currently: “Measure for Measure.”

8. Favorite Quote? “The  readiness is all.”

9. Favorite website? ALDaily.com.

10. Favorite pastime? Aimless rambles around town with  my wife.

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On Saturday, February 13, I saw Theatre For A New Audience’s production of “Measure for Measure” by William Shakespeare at The Duke on 42nd Street in NYC. Shakespeare loves his words and in a show with many of them, the cast does a great job of not only bring the words to life, but bringing the audience with them. The cast consists of Jefferson Mays, who plays “Duke Vincentio,” who “leaves” town and “Angelo,” played by Rocco Sisto, in charge to help clean up Vienna from the crime, prostitution, and disease that has spread through town. “Angelo” puts into effect an old law that punishes those who fornicate to be put to death. When “Claudio,” played by LeRoy McClain, gets “Angelo’s” fiance pregnant, “Angelo” takes action and makes an example of “Claudio” for all the town to see. “Angelo’s” decision is put to the test when “Claudio’s” sister “Isabella,” played by Elisabeth Waterston, pleas in exchange for her brother’s life, she will give up the holy vow she is about to take. What ensues is the grappling tale of right, wrong, and everything in between.

Jefferson Mays, who won multiple awards for “I Am My Own Wife” & is a fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant is well cast as “Duke Vincentio.” His brilliant acting skills help convey the wordiness of Shakespeare, making it easier for the audience to understand and follow. Elizabeth Waterston is sensational in portraying “Isabella’s” beauty, innocence, and conviction. At the forefront of the tension breaking scenes are the genius comic relief performances of John Christopher Jones as “Elbow” and two-time Tony Award nominee & fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Mary Testa as “Mistress Overdone.” When these two performers are on stage, laughter will be present all around. As an extra special treat, the audience gets to be bestowed upon by the beauty that is Mary Testa’s singing voice.

For an evening of intellectual thought, comedic moments, and a special treat, head on down to The Duke on 42nd Street in NYC to see “Measure for Measure” through March 14.

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When two-time Tony Award Nominee, Mary Testa takes the stage, the audience takes notice, whether it’s her impeccable comedic timing or beautiful singing voice including a belt that knocks the roof off. It’s no wonder she was nominated for her roles in the Broadway revivals of “42nd Street” and “On The Town.” Her other Broadway credits include “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum,” “Barnum,” “The Rink,” “Marilyn,” “Chicago,” “Marie Christine,” “Xanadu,” and the 2009 revival of “Guys and Dolls.” Mary has also delighted audiences Off-Broadway in such shows as “See What I Wanna See,” “First Lady Suite,” “String of Pearls,” “The Vagina Monologues,” “From Above,” “A New Brain”, and “In Trousers.” She was also a series regular on NBC’s “Whoopi” and guest starred on HBO’s “Sex and the City.” Mary can currently be seen in the Off-Broadway revival of “Measure for Measure” (also starring fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Jefferson Mays) playing at The Duke on 42nd Street in New York City (229 West 42nd Street between 7th & 8th Ave).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Marcel Marceau.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you sing? high c (with my arms over my head) and low a.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Luis Bunuel (unfortunately, he is dead).

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Probably God.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Actually, I order decaf coffee from both.

6. Favorite play/musical? Play: A tie between “The Ruling Class” & “Comedians.”  Musical: Anything by Michael John Lachiusa &  Floyd Collins.

7. Favorite store to shop in? Berdorf’s during the shoe sale, and Lord and Taylor.

8. Favorite way to spend your day off? Shopping.

9. Favorite website? dilsted.com and awfulplasticsurgery.com.

10. “Mary” or “Rhoda”? Rhoda.

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Tonight, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Alison Fraser after seeing her amazingly wonderful comedic genius of a performance in Charles Busch’s “The Divine Sister.” Alison is a two-time Tony Award nominee for her role of “Martha” in “The Secret Garden” and “Josefine” in “Romance/Romance.” Her other Broadway credits include her fantastic performance as “Tessie Tura” in the 2008 revival of “Gypsy” starring Patti LuPone, as well as “Dorine” in “Tartuffe,” and “Helena” in “Drood.” Off-Broadway, Alison has captivated audiences as “Trina” in “March of the Falsettos” and “In Trousers,” “Connie/Petula/Brenda” in “Beehive,” “Uta” in “The Green Heart,” and “Miss Drumgoole” in “Up Against It.” In television and film, Alison has lit up the screen in “Between the Lions,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Third Watch,” “The Thing About My Folks,” and “In The Blood.” You can catch Alison in “The Divine Sister,” along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Charles Busch and Julie Halston at Theater for The New City through March 7. For much more on Alison be sure to visit: http://www.alisonfraser.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Anthony Newley. I fell madly in love with him when I was fifteen and the die was cast. I got to meet him years later when I interviewed him for TimeOut and he was even better than I had imagined him. An amazing talent, and a really interesting guy.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Pink. I am totally obsessed with her and I desperately want to play her mother in a music video. Hopefully there will be aerial stuntwork involved.

3. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My late husband, Rusty Magee. A lot of other people have told me they have been visited by him in their dreams, and I haven’t been, so I am jealous.

4. What is your proudest moment? I would have to say “Sweet Appreciation.” This was the night 300 people got together at the West Bank Cafe to celebrate my husband while he was still around to enjoy it. Lew Black really helped put this evening together and there were some great performers such has Rebecca Luker and Mary Testa. But the definite high point was when Rusty performed. He was on fire.

5. Favorite quote? Jonathan Swift: “Happiness is the perpetual possession of being well deceived.”

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I used to be an acrobat. I’m very, very flexible. Are you listening Pink?

7.  Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Dunkin’ Donuts all the way. They use free trade coffee, they don’t burn it, they put the milk in for you and they are cheaper. Large coffee, whole milk. With a delicious breakfast sandwich on a biscuit if I am feeling peckish.

8. Favorite skin care product? Obagi physical sun block, Sabon “mud” soap, and almond oil. Almond oil, you ask? Our costume designer Fabio Toblini told me it’s the best remedy for dry shins. It works great, but my cats keep licking my legs.

9. Favorite website? awfulplasticsurgery.com and gawker.com are guilty pleasures. Whenever I look a hundred years old in the mirror and think, hmmmm, a little nip, a little tuck, I go to awfulplasticsurgery.com, get revolted, and save myself thousands of dollars.

10. “Mary” or “Rhoda”? Mary. Rhoda’s self-deprecation wears a bit thin. “ooh I’m so homely, ooh I’m so fat.” What are you talking about?? You’re gorgeous! Puh-leeze.

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Jenn ColellaAll Fall DownBe sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Jenn Colella in the New York Musical Festival “All Fall Down” from October 9-18 at The Tank at 45th Street Theatre. Directed by Lonny Price, this show also stars theatre favorite Mary Testa and Charlie Pollock. For tickets and showtimes visit: “All Fall Down”

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