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Posts Tagged ‘Megan Mullally’

When three time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara sings, people listen! People listen so intently they are taken away from their daily lives to another world, a world of extraordinary talent, beauty and passion. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kelli after her triumphant opening night of her one woman show “Beyond the Ingenue” at Feinstein’s at the Regency (click here for my review).

From Oklahoma to New York City, Kelli O’Hara moved here to pursue her dream of becoming a performer and a performer she has become, in every sense of the word! Kelli made her Broadway debut in “Jekyll & Hyde” then going on to star in “Follies,” “Sweet Smell of Success,” and “Dracula.” Kelli earned her three Tony Award nominations in a row: her first nomination was for her performance in “The Light in the Piazza” co-starring Matthew Morrison, she received her second nomination for her performance in “The Pajama Game” co-starring Harry Connick Jr, and her third nomination was for her performance in “South Pacific,” co-starring Paulo Szot and Matthew Morrison.

In between “The Pajama Game” & “South Pacific,” Kelli made her Carnegie Hall debut in the NY Philharmonic production of “My Fair Lady” and released her debut album “Wonder in the World.” Kelli then went on to perform solo concerts at some of the biggest halls in New York and DC including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Cooper Union, Joe’s Pub, and Cafe Carlyle.

Off-Broadway and regionally, Kelli has been seen in “Sunday in the Park with George” (Reprise) “My Life With Albertine” (Playwright’s Horizons), and “Beauty” (La Jolla Playhouse). In addition to theatre, Kelli’s film and television credits include “The Dying Gaul,” “Alexander Hamilton,” “NUMB3RS,” “All My Children,” and the upcoming animated series “Car Talk.”

There are two chances now to catch Kelli live on stage: Now through October 30 at Feinstein’s at the Regency in her one woman show “Beyond the Ingenue” and then November 18-21 in “Bells Are Ringing” at Encores! For more on Kelli, be sure to visit http://www.kelliohara.com.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My voice teacher Florence Birdwell in Oklahoma. She’s pretty amazing. She was my mentor and inspired me to come here and do what I’m doing.

2. What’s the highest and lowest note you can sing? Well, I sang a high F above high C in “Magic Flute,” an opera. The lowest note I sing is probably F below middle C.

3. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Mmmm…Hugh Jackman because I almost have worked with him a few times and it just hasn’t worked out yet. I would also love to work with Megan Mullally.

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I would be a teacher. I love teaching. I teach, but not full time, just when I can. What do you teach? I teach musical theatre master classes.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? No one’s me. So I’m the only one who can do things the way I do them.  So be proud of it and sell it.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Jogging.

7. Favorite skin care product? Clinique Exfoliating scrub.

8. Favorite store to shop in? Anthropology for sure.

9. Favorite website? Etsy.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My husband, Greg Naughton.

12. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I can imitate people’s walks almost perfectly.

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Levi Kreis is a multi-talented award winning performer. He won the Tony Award and Outer Circle Critics Award for his portrayal of “Jerry Lee Lewis” in the hit Broadway show “Million Dollar Quartet,” a role he originated in Chicago, where he was nominated for a Jeff Award. In addition to theatre, Levi has appeared in various short films including “Frality” (with Bill Paxton and Matthew McConaughey) and the award-winning independent film “Don’t Let Go.”

Levi is also a successful recording artist. His debut album “One of the Ones” was released in 2005, following an appearance on NBC’s “The Apprentice.” Songs from his debut CD  have been featured on such hits shows as “The Apprentice,” “Days of Our Lives,” and “The Young and the Restless.” Releasing his second album in 2006, “The Gospel According to Levi,” Levi’s music continued to be placed in various television shows and films. His video for “We’re Okay,” from the album, held the #1 spot for nine weeks on MTV’s Logo network. 2009 saw the release of Levi’s third album “Where I Belong” which infuses down home southern soul with pop sensibilities. His first single “Nothing At All,” debuted on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” and delivered a #1 video for MTVMusic.com and #1 for nine weeks on MTV’s Logo network. Levi’s song “Hardly A Hero,” also from “Where I Belong” was included in the recently released “Kiss The Bride” soundtrack. Through his music, Levi has shared the stage with such artists as Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Collective Soul, and Cyndi Lauper from whom he opened for at Wrigley Field.

Photo by Michael Rowe

In addition to entertaining audiences nightly in Broadway’s hit musical “Million Dollar Quartet” as “Jerry Lee Lewis” (on Sept. 10 you can see the real life Jerry Lee Lewis make a one night only appearance performing alongside the cast at curtain call), at the Nederlander Theatre in NYC (208 West 41st Sreet), Levi is gearing up for the release of his second single and video “Gonna Be Alright,” from “Where I Belong.” For much more on Levi and all his greatness, be sure to visit http://www.levikreis.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I sort of came out of the womb performing. I always knew that’s what I wanted to do. Along the way there have been artists, primarily recording artists who have been a huge inspiration for me like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner. They, along with other old-school R&B artists have always informed me of what I wanted to do with my own music and my own self-expression.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I have no idea. I’ve never sat and looked at it on the keyboard. I think a lot of people who have found themselves where I am probably have spent a lot of their years studying traditional voice and legit voice and have wonderful impressive degrees in theatre and acting and I find myself in the midst of a community who I have the greatest amount of respect for because they are so educated and have honed their craft so much, but for me, I do feel a little bit like a fish out of water because I come from a place of instinct.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual that no one knows about? I’ve always had a knack for spiritual studies. I’ve always had a burning passion to study all religions of all types in an attempt to find very practical and tangible ways that we can apply certain principles to our day to day living. On the lighter side though, I’m also good at clogging.

4. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Megan Mullally. I’d love to work with her whether it be TV or musical theatre. She’s a master at timing and putting a button on the end of a moment. Also to work with Sean Hayes would be a dream come true!

5. Do you have any rituals that you need to perform before a show? How do you decompress after a show? I usually like to spend 10 minutes prior to the show doing a quick meditation, getting centered and forgetting the day and what got me there and forgetting what is waiting for me after the show and get very intentional about being present in every moment. It makes my job more fun to make that concerted effort do that before the show. It doesn’t take me long to decompress at all. I’m usually in bed about 45 minutes after that curtain comes down. I’m an early to bed, early riser…not what you would traditionally find for someone who works on Broadway, I would imagine. I come home and my baby’s got dinner on the table. I eat, shower off, and I’m straight to bed.

6. Favorite meal off the $1 menu? For the most part I try to stay away from that, but I love the McChicken sandwich.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I love weight training. I go to the gym 6 days a week. It’s my escape, it’s my meditation. I get out of the city and go to NJ, so I can find a gym that is calm and quiet, and kill it for an hour and a half and come home.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers.

9. Favorite website? Twitter

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Sean Williams Scott.

12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Let it go.”

13. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve read about yourself and where did you read it? I can’t really answer that because I don’t read about myself. After releasing my last album, I stopped reading anything about myself.

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