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Posts Tagged ‘Michael McElroy’

“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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Shayna Steele is a performer with one of the biggest voices (and belts) around! If you’re looking for someone who has stage presence along with a powerful, soulful, and controlled vocals, then Shayna Steele is your go to girl! She has lit up the stage in such Broadway hits as “Rent,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and “Hairspray” as well as on her many TV appearances on “The Grammys,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Conan O’Brien,” “David Letterman,” and “Carson Daly.”

While in NY, Shayna studied jazz with her Godfather and gospel with Grammy-nominated (and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant) Michael McElroy and really started to develop her own sound blending the music of her idols with new influences. Everything changed in 2005, when she got an unexpected call from Moby that would place her right in the middle of a genre she had no experience in: Electronica. Moby was looking for a “screamer” to record a track for his new album at the time “Hotel,” and Shayna came highly recommended by a mutual friend. Together they recorded “Raining Again, the discs second single. Super impressed with Shayna’s talent, Moby had her back to record “Extreme Ways” in 2007, which was the theme song to “The Bourne Ultimatum” and then again in 2008 Shayna recorded “Disco Lies” for Moby’s album “Last Night.” “Disco Lies” reached #1 on the US Billboard Dance charts and went on to be featured in J.J. Abram’s summer blockbuster hit “Cloverfield.” Since working with Moby, everyone has wanted to work with Shayna…she has appeared on such albums as Scott Alan’s “Dreaming Wide Awake,” (also a fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant), the Grammy-nominated “Great Joy with the Broadway Inspirational Voices,” “Legally Blonde 2,” “Bambi 2,” and the 2007 remake of  “Hairspray” as well as singing on “The Sopranos” in it’s final season on HBO.

Shayna has released two albums of her own: 2004 EP “Shayna Steele” and her first full-length album in 2009, “I’ll Be Anything.” She most recently finished singing back-up with the one and only Divine Miss M, Bette Midler in Bette’s show “The Showgirl Must Go On” at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and Shayna’s kicking off her solo tour September 6 right here in New York City at The Bar Next Door at LaLanterna, October 15 at Blue Note in NYC, October 29 at Show at Barre in Los Angeles, CA, October 30 at Coda Jazz Supper Club in San Francisco, CA, November 18 at Musig Bistrot in Bern, Switzerland, November 19 at Kultur im Dampfschiff in Brugg, Switzerland, November 20 at Cafe-Henrici in Zurich, Switzerland, November 21 at Musig Im Ochsen in Muri, Switzerland, December 5 at Il Teatro Manzoni in Milano, Italy. Come hear one of the most powerful and soulful singers around belt out her hits! For much more on Shayna be sure to visit http://www.shaynasteele.com!

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

2. What is the highest and lowest you can sing? Lowest: C (2 octaves below middle C). Highest: (full chest voice) A-Bb (2 octaves above middle C). Head voice…about 2 or 3 more notes higher than that…on a good day.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Dead: Miles Davis. Alive: Quincy Jones.

4. Who do you consider to be your hero? My mom.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Can sound exactly like a newborn baby crying.

6. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I buy the beans, grind them myself, make my own coffee. Stumptown, preferably. Black. It’s very Brooklyn…

7. Favorite meal? Tacos Carnitas with guacamole and mexican style corn washed down with an icy cold Pacifico.

8. Favorite skin care product? Mary Kay eye makeup remover. The Best. Ever.

9. Favorite website? www.runnersworld.com.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Myself, 20 years from now warning me about what NOT to do.

12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? You have the power within you to make yourself happy.

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In 2009, I was introduced to four amazingly gifted and talented singers/songwriters/composers: Scott Alan, Bobby Cronin, Katie Thompson, and Jonathan Reid Gealt, all of whom became “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants. I have also been fortunate to attend a concert of each of their music.  Tonight, I had the pleasure of attending “The Music of Jonathan Reid Gealt” at The Canal Room. Jonathan’s music is sophisticated, contemporary, and at times quite humorous. He gathered some of the best musical theatre talent to sing his music tonight including the powerhouse vocals of Tituss Burgess (fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant), Natalie Weiss, Lauren Kennedy, Jeremy Jordan, Bridie Carroll, Quentin Earl Darrington, and Zak Resnick. These performers not only knew how to bring Jonathan’s music to life, but how to knock it out of the park. I was blown away so many times tonight that a smile was kept across my face the whole time. One of the most touching moments was watching his proud mom see her son’s dream come true, especially after one of the songs was dedicated to her. Jonathan is on his way to greatness (he’s currently working on his debut musical “Forward” and a screenplay of his life). The next time his music is being presented, I will be there and hopefully you will too. For more on Jonathan and his music visit: http://www.jonathan-reid-gealt.com, http://www.myspace.com/jrgealt, and TheBestArts.com/jrsongs.

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Come to “The Music of Jonathan Reid Gealt” in Concert this Monday, January 11 at 8pm at the legendary Canal Room in NYC. His music will be performed by some of today’s hottest Broadway stars including fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Tituss Burgess (Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid, Guys & Dolls) and Katie Thompson (“R.R.R.E.D.,” “Giant”), as well as Lauren Kennedy (Spamalot, Vanities, Les Miserables), Jeremy Jordan (West Side Story, Rock of Ages), Quentin Earl Darrington (Ragtime), Alysha Umphress (American Idiot), Bobby Steggert (110 In the Shade, Ragtime), Zak Resnick (Broadway Boys), Stephanie Umoh (Ragtime), Matt DeAngelis (Hair), Kasey Marino (Hairspray), Michael Mahany (High School Musical, Spring Awakening), Natalie Weiss (Wicked, American Idol), Adam Armstrong (History Boys), Bridie Carroll (Grease), Rachel Potter, and Jonathan Reid Gealt with music direction by Josh Clayton (Finnian’s Rainbow, City Center Encores).

To sample some of Jonathan’s music prior to the concert you can visit TheBestArts.com.

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Jonathan is currently working on his debut musical, Forward. The Forward demo recordings have gained buzz online and around the city with such Broadway heavyweights as Kelli O’Hara, Liz Callaway, Lauren Kennedy, Shoshana Bean, Michael McElroy, Jonathan Groff, Michael Arden, Lewis Cleale, Tituss Burgess, Max Von Essen, Marty Thomas, and more.

Jonathan’s music has been featured in concerts and venues in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Manila, Japan, Australia, London, and New York including the Broadway in South Africa Benefits, UNSUNG 2007, Miracle on 13th Street, Performers for Peace, Cutting Edge Composers II, The MNNV series, The Laurie Beechman, The Duplex, The Triad, The Canal Room, and the MAKOR. He also wrote jingles for The Barn Theatre’s 2003 summer season in Michigan.

Jonathan is a performer as well as a composer and some performing credits include [NEW YORK]: Jason Robert Brown: In Concert (Birdland), The Music of Lucy Simon (Joe’s Pub) Unsung 2007 (BCEFA Benefit), The Secret Garden (Hammerstein Ballroom), Rags (The Nokia Theater) and Miracle on 13th St. [NAT’L TOUR]: Junie B. Jones [REGIONAL]: Les Miserables (Atlanta Theater of the Stars, Kansas City Starlight, The Wolf Trap), MameAnnie Get Your GunThe Sound of Music (Saint Louis MUNY), Thrill Me (Stoneham Theatre), CatsJesus Christ Superstar (Barn Theatre). [FILM/TV]: Kidnapped (NBC), Across the Universe.

Jonathan has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops under the baton of Keith Lockhart and is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory.

To learn more about Jonathan, his music, his upcoming projects, and to purchase sheet music…check out the following two sites: http://www.jonathan-reid-gealt.com AND http://www.myspace.com/jrgealt. This Monday, January 11 at 8pm come hear “The Music of Jonathan Reid Gealt” in concert at The Canal Room with performances by some of today’s hottest Broadway stars.

1. Who inspired you to become a songwriter? Adam Guettel, Jason Robert Brown, Andew Lippa, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Stephen Sondheim, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, my best friends, and my mom.

2. If you could have anyone perform your music, who would you choose? Everyone! Ha! I’ve been really fortunate to work with some of my favorite singers of all time. However, Steven Pasquale, Gavin Creel, Audra McDonald, Caissie Levy, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, Justin Timberlake, Laura Benanti, Kristin Chennoweth, Christina Aguilera, and Pink are just a few that are way up there.

3. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? If so, what did you consider doing? Not really. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Although, I did want to be a professional baseball player when I was a kid. Massage Therapy is also great!

4. What’s the best advice a teacher ever gave you? Stay true to yourself and everything you do will be original.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? Swimming.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer-Briefs!

7. Favorite play/musical? As far as musicals go, I have 3. “Ragtime,” “The Secret Garden,” and “Sweeney Todd.” As far as plays go, “The Pillowman” blew me away. “Reasons To Be Pretty” was incredible.

8. Favorite TV theme song? The Flintstones.

9. Favorite website? Youtube. Is that sad?

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman all the way!

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Michael McElory has one of the best males voices on Broadway. His voice has the power to transport you from reality to a heavenly world where all is good. Michael is the founder of the “Broadway Inspirational Voices,” a group of Broadway actors, who come together and volunteer their time and talent to perform traditional American Music with an emphasis on Gospel all around the country. He has been nominated for both a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for his role in the Roundabout Theatre/Deaf West’s Broadway production of “Big River” in 2004. Michael has also belted out in such Broadway shows as “Rent,” “The Wild Party,” “The Who’s Tommy,” “Miss Saigon,” “Patti LuPone on Broadway,” and “High Rollers.” Off-Broadway, Michael has entertained audiences in “Some Men” (Second Stage), “Blue” (also with Roudabout Theatre), “Violet” (Playwrights Horizon), and “Richard III” (NYSF). On-tour and regionally, Michael has been seen in “Big River” for which he won the 2006 Helen Hayes Award, “Sarafina,” “Broadway Three Generations,” “Blue,” and “Angels in America I & II.” On Television, Michael has light up the screen in “Cantebury Law,” “Love Monkey,” “All My Children,” and “Spin City.” Currently Michael can be seen touring the country in “Rent” as Tom Collins (which he also played on Broadway in the final cast, which is available on DVD).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I was inspired by my mother. Growing up in Ohio, she would take me to see all the tours that came through Cleveland. I saw the National tours of “Porgy and Bess,” “The Wiz,” “West Side Story,” “Best Little Whorehouse,”…I loved it.

2. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? The Deaf West Production of “Big River” was definitely a highlight for many reasons. I’d never done a show like that. I learned sign language and gained a new perspective through another’s experience.

My worst experience shall remain nameless. The funny thing is I didn’t know it was an awful experience until many years later when I looked back.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I don’t think so. Does that make me boring? The only thing I can think of is I love to sing off key. Love it.

4. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some incredible folks: Eartha Kitt, Leslie Uggams, Phylicia Rashad, George Wolfe, Michael Greif, Graciela Danielle, Jeanine Tesori, Michael John LaChiusa. Can’t think of anyone offhand that I’m dying to work with. I just take each experience as it comes. I’ve been really blessed.

5. Favorite store to shop in? Macy’s. They have clothes that fit me.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Go to the gym 6 days a week.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Hmmmm   pass   lol.

8. Favorite pastime? Cooking for friends.

9. Favorite website? Amazon.com. They love me. I buy all my new books, dvd, music, and electronics on this site. Youtube is a close second. Love watching footage of seasoned and new performers.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman. The theme song alone puts her over the top.

BONUS QUESTION:

11. What’s the best advice you’ve given, but not taken for yourself? Be present. Live fully in the moment.

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