Posts Tagged ‘NYMF’

I had the privilege of sitting down with Chip Zien on October 16, 2010 after seeing his show “The History of War” in NYMF, which also starred fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Max Von Essen. My first introduction to Chip was watching him on “All My Children” when he played gossip reporter “Donald Steele,” and from that moment on I was hooked. I then got to meet Chip after seeing him in the Broadway production of “The Boys From Syracuse” in 2002. He was so nice and now to have the opportunity to sit down with him personally for an interview with “Adaumbelle’s Quest” is a real honor!

Chip Zien is an award winning actor who has delighted audiences worldwide in theatre, film, and television! Chip created the roles “The Baker” in Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine’s “Into The Woods” as well as the role of “Mendel” in William Finn’s “Falsettos.” His many other Broadway credits include “In Trousers,” “March of the Falsettos,” “Falsettoland,” “The Country Girl,” the revival of “Les Miserables,” “Grand Hotel,” “The Boys From Syracuse,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” “All Over Town,” and “The Suicide.” Off-Broadway and regionally, Chip has entertained audiences in “Merrily We Roll Along” (L.A. Drama-Logue Award), “Anonymous,” “An Imaginary Life,” “Isn’t It Romantic” (Drama Desk Nomination), “Split,” “Moonchildren,” “Hot L Baltimore,” “Kaddish,” “A New Brain” (Drama Desk Nomination), “Diamonds,” “Real Life Funnies,” and “Tuscaloosa’s Calling Me.”

Chip has also written several shows for the stage. His one-man show “Death in Ashtabula,” “Travels With My Discontent” (a new musical written with Deborah Abramson, et al), and most recently “The History of War” which was presented at NYMF this past fall.

When not on stage or sometimes at the same time, Chip has been a fixture on television. In addition to being the announcer on “The Caroline Rhea Show,” Chip has appeared in numerous television shows such as “Lipstick Jungle,” “Rescue Me,” “CSI,” “Law and Order,” “Cheers,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Thirty-Something,” “Judging Amy,” “Cosby,” “The Cagney and Lacey Movies,” “Chips”, “Son of the Beach,” “Madigan Men,” “Wings,” “All My Children,” “Almost Perfect,” “Now and Again,” “Deadline,” “Shell Game,” “Love, Sidney,” “Reggie.”

Chip has also lit up the big screen in “The Siege,” “Howard The Duck” (the voice of Howard), “United 93,” “Snake Eyes,” “Breakfast of Champions,” “Dorothy Parker and the Vicious Circle,” “Grace Quigley,” “So Fine,” “Hello Again,” “House of God,” “and “The Rose.”

Currently, Chip is reworking “The History of War” for future production. Stay tuned to “Adaumbelle’s Quest” to find out when that will be!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Perry Como. I always thought I’d grow up to be like Frank Sinatra, I thought Dean Martin was the greatest actor I’d ever seen, and I wanted to host a variety show like Perry Como. When I first came to NY, it was really my goal to just sing and host a variety show. Danny Kaye was a big influence on me as well…his songs were the first ones I really learned.

2. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Geoffrey Rush. I would have liked to work with Sinatra. You know early on in my career, I was very friendly with Henry Winkler and I was very jealous of Henry because he got to meet Sinatra and I never did. Of course, I would have also loved to work with Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau. I’ve said “Hi” to Angela Lansbury, but never worked with her, though I would love to. I’d like to work with all these wonderful actors in my show (“The History Of War”).

3. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I was motoring down two paths when I graduated college…one was to be a lawyer and one was performing. I grew up in Milwaukee and as much as you could have a stage mother in Milwaukee, mine was one. She would enter me in these tiny tot talent shows and I would always sing in them. I’d sing “Down Yonder Someone Beckons To Me” and be dressed up like a cowboy with six shooters and a cowboy hat and at the end of the song I would pull my guns out and shoot off caps. So, I was always singing and be in shows, but performing seemed like an odd thing to do as a profession. A lot of my family were lawyers, so my real plan was to go to college, be a history major, go to law school and then be a lawyer or work on a political campaign. I actually ran a guy’s campaign my first year out of college and he lost by 1/2 a percentage point and if he had won, I would have gone to Georgetown Law School at night and work on his staff during the day and then my life would have changed. The reason I ended up acting, not only because I had been doing it my whole life through college, but because my step-sister was running a theatre in Chicago and somebody got sick, this was right after that campaign ended and I had to wait until January to start law school, so my sister said why don’t you come down here and you could play “Little Chap” in “Stop The World.” We are doing these three shows in this repertory theater and after a few months there the theatre burned to the ground, so a bunch of us got in a car and drove to New York and I got work right away in “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown.” The rest as they say is history.

4. What’s your most embarrassing on-stage moment? I’ve had a few…but one of the worst was when I was doing “Grand Hotel” and I took over for Michael Jeter, who was fantastic. My wife was a dancer in the NYC Ballet and now she teaches at the School of American Ballet and she said to me, you know when you kick your leg up to do those big fan kicks, you’re leg is just not going anywhere. She said what really makes it terrible is that you keep looking at it. So don’t look at your leg, look up instead. I was determined to be a better dancer, so when I went on stage that night I looked up and fell backwards on my head (like doing a back flip) and everyone on stage just gasped. The first thought I had was I hope that I’m still standing, and that everyone else had fallen and turned upside down, so I was momentarily convinced that I was okay and the rest of the cast had fallen. Eventually the cast was hysterical laughing and dancing around me. Another time in “Into The Woods,” the fog machines wouldn’t turn off. The stage became so filled up that we couldn’t see anything and we all had to grope our ways out of the stage door onto 45th Street. We stood on the street hysterically laughing. The orchestra was stuck in the pit, the actors are out on the street, and the audience was trying to get out. Oh that night was a complete disaster. I’ve had a bunch of them…

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? It was actually from James Lapine who said to me: “Stay focused on what you are doing. Just do your job. Don’t project too far ahead. Try not worry.” It’s the old cliche of “Staying in the moment.” My mom told me years ago when I was at camp, which I think she heard someone had said to James Cagney (I played all the great female roles in summer camp shows, I was “Lola” in “Damn Yankees,” I was “Liza Doolittle” in “My Fair Lady”), “You know you’re wandering all over the place. Stand still until you have a reason to move.” Wynn Handman, a great acting teacher in New York once said to me “Go to LA and make lots of money, then come back here and I’ll fix you.”

6. What’s your proudest moment? The birth of my children is probably the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me. I also have to say driving by the Martin-Beck Theatre (now the Hirschfeld) when the big boot from “Into The Woods” went up on the marquee. I stood on the corner with Joanna Gleason and I never thought this would happen to me. We stood there together and thought “Wow, this was awesome.” It was this realization that something I wanted to do my whole life had happened and it happened at a very high level which I probably would have never imagined. One of the really cool things was when we taped that show for “Great Performances,” I had a moment with Sondheim after it was over, and we had a really great audience that night. It was one of those audiences who knew every line in the show and Sondheim said to me, “This is as good as it can get” and I just started to cry.

7. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? Not really, but I think the one thing that is different is that I build my own computers. I’m technically pretty sophisticated. I was president of my high school AV squad and I mean old school when you had to thread the 16mm film. As the years have gone by, I was thinking, the things that interested me when I was 12 are the same things that interest me today. I’m also really good at Photoshop…I think it’s the 8th wonder of the world. It’s amazing what you can do. I’m also an excellent Yo-Yoist. I can do really complicated Yo-Yo tricks and that is because there was a Yo-Yo champion in “Grand Hotel” who used to practice back stage.

8. Favorite play/musical? My favorite musical is “Sweeney Todd.” My favorite play I’m stumped on, but I would have to say “Death of a Salesman.” I would love to do that show. I’m old enough to do it. I know they are doing it again, but it’s not with me. Me: Well that’s a mistake. Chip: I also love “Waiting for Godot.” The army scenes in this show are kind of modeled after “Waiting for Godot” at least in my head.

9. Favorite website? I’m a political junkie. I would say The Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, and I sneak onto some of the theatrical websites.

10. Mary or Rhoda? Mary.


11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I used to have a recurring dream where I would drink coffee around a camp fire with John Wayne and he would say “Kid, it’s gonna be okay.” Then that dream mutated to Jack Gilford as I got older. It’s kind of really funny because they are opposite ends of the spectrum. I crossed paths with John Wayne at one moment in my career because at one point we had the same agent, obviously it was late in his career and early in mine, and I was sitting in a lobby across from John Wayne and I thought to myself “Wow, this is really the yin and yang of show business right here.” I said, “Hi” and he said, “Hi, how are you doing kid?”

I would also love to dream about having dinner with Bill and Hillary or President Obama. I liked to dream about being at some of those big meetings they have, like health care. Those dreams can be exciting because you can’t be at them in real life.

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I had the very fortunate experience of sitting down with the one and only hilariously talented Sarah Saltzberg after seeing “Miss Abigail’s Guide To Dating, Mating, and Marriage” (click here for my review)

A comedic genius, Sarah Saltzberg is the actress or writer you need to make sure your show is 100% laughable and enjoyable! On Broadway, Sarah entertained audiences for two years as “Logainne Schwartzandgrubenairre” in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Prior to that she created and developed “Logainne” in “C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E” (upon which “Spelling Bee” is based), which she co-produced at the Theatorium in NYC, and appeared in both Barrington Stage productions. Most recently, Sarah lit up the stage in Off-Broadway’s “Junie B. Jones” at the Lucille Lortel Theater, in “Fat Camp” as part of NYMF, and in her one-woman show “Dear Diary” at Ars Nova as well as throughout NYC as part of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Sarah also entertains audiences with the late-night Broadway-themed improv show “Don’t Quit Your Night Job,” which she co-created and co-produces and she is the co-artistic director of Stage 13, a theater/production company dedicated to cultivating new and original stage, web, and film pieces.

Be sure to catch Sarah’s latest creation (along with Ken Davenport) “Miss Abigail’s Guide To Dating, Mating, and Marriage” starring Eve Plumb and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Manuel Herrera.

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to perform and always been interested in writing. From a very young age I liked to write my own things which I think has been very helpful for me. I’m also a major control freak, so as I got older, I grew very tired of being told what to do. When you’re an actor, you are in a very submissive position where people make decisions for you. It’s very hard to be in the driver seat of your career because you could be very talented and not have the right hair color or you’re too short. And “Spelling Bee” was actually born out of that process. My best friend Liz’s older sister had this idea to do a show about a spelling bee and asked me, my friend Dan Fogler (whom I’ve been friends with since college) and Liz, if we wanted to be involved. We were like okay and we created the show and characters and really wrote it for ourselves. We were like look, this what we do, we’re improvisers and creators, so let’s just do this show and at the very least it will be fun. Honestly with that show there was never any expectation that it would have life outside the three-show run that we initially did. I remember doing the show and after the very first audience learning that we were getting a very wide demographic response. People were like oh this reminds of when I was in grade school and I got out on my spelling bee or this reminded me of when my boss yelled at me. It was then that I knew we had tapped into something and then really moved full steam ahead with it. I produced it early on, before David Stone came on board.  As a performer and a creator I was never like I’m going to change the world with this piece of art. It’s like how can I create an experience for like an hour and a half that is really fun and that people have a good time and maybe they have a little emotional movement as well. For me, it’s never been about life changing, it’s like I want to create an experience that is enjoyable for people and I want to entertain them. That is the same with “Don’t Quit Your Night Job” and this show, “Miss Abigail’s Guide To Dating, Mating, and Marriage.”

2. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I love David Bowie and I love the movie “Labyrinth” and of course in my crazy dream I would create a musical of “Labyrinth” and David Bowie would be my co-writer and we would hang out and he would tell me all about his crazy times in the 70s. It’s incredibly far-fetched I know. I also feel that there are certain iconic people in this world that sort of go beyond musicians or writers and I feel like those are the people that are interesting and I would love to work with. For instance, Ken Davenport, who’s my co-writer of “Miss Abigail…” He’s a writer, he’s a very successful producer, and so he’s able to know like when I throw in some weird-dark joke and he’ll be like that is too weird and too dark for this show. We can not do that. He’s right most of the time. He knows what he’s talking about. It’s a real pleasure to work with someone who’s able to do many different things. He’s very patient and it’s been so great to work with him. I feel honored.

3. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? My parents are both child psychologists and they never really knew why I wanted to be a performer, but they were always super supportive of me and I know a lot of people who’s parents are not so supportive of them when they go into the arts. I was waitressing to pay my bills and my dad was like it’s much better to be a non starving artist. For the first year I was in NY and worked a lot waitressing. It was sort of soul destroying, but I would talk to my parents about the different people I would meet and as I was telling them, I thought if I wrote a play about the different people I met, people wouldn’t believe they existed, but I know they exist. My parents were like, well maybe you could use that. I was like of course I can. Instead of being like oh my gosh I have to go to work again, this sucks, I hate my boss, just being like I’m going to use this as character study. I used it as fodder for story telling because that is what I feel like I do, being a real story teller, and those odd jobs taught me how to retell a story in a susynced way that is also interesting.

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? Well, actually, I already have two careers…In addition to being a writer/actor, I’m also a real estate broker. It’s a full time thing as well and I work in Harlem and I’ve been there almost 10 years and I have a team of about 25 agents that help me run these listings. I do rentals, new developments, and sales. It’s always been important to me to have income that is not from the arts because I create my art from my heart and it’s never about money. It’s great when the stuff makes money, but my real estate career is where my money comes from. It’s interesting work because my worlds collide sometimes…I’ve gotten a lot of places for friends and have learned about the business side of the arts through this other area. I remember when “Spelling Bee” went to Broadway, people were like are you going to stop doing real estate and I was like, no I love real estate.

5. What’s your most embarrassing audition? Don’t worry, I will tell you. It was my first year in NY and I auditioned for “Stomp.” I knew it was an Off-Broadway show and that it was hip and edgy, but I didn’t know too much else. I sent my materials and they called me in and I was like great, I got an audition for “Stomp.” I show up at The Orpheum and there’s a drum kit on stage (Sarah to me: I know we just met, but you can get a sense of who I am and I’m not a drummer). The whole creative team is there and they’re like for some of you guys this is a call back and for some of you this is your first time here, so what we are going to do is have you go up on stage and do your best drum solo and I said to myself, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” So I go up and every other person there has like black cut off gloves and spiky hair and tattered jeans and I don’t.  I’m called up third and we’re all lined up and as I’m in line, I look down the line and everybody has their own drum sticks. I said to the girl next to me, “Did you bring your own drum sticks or did you get them somewhere? She was like, “No, I brought them” and I laughed and said ” Could I borrow them when I go” and she was like okay. So I go up to the stage and the first few people did these crazy drum solos and then it was my turn and I remembered from the ad, “Don’t necessarily need to play an instrument, but you need to have a big personality.” I was like, “they want a big personality, they’re gonna get a big personality.” So I stood behind the drum set and I bang the drum with a boom, boom, while shouting I’m in “Stooooomp.” Nobody clapped and then I shouted “Thank Youuu” and I walk down the stairs to go sit down and remembered I had the girl’s drum sticks, so I had to walk back up the stairs and I whispered “Thank You, Good Luck” to her. That was my  worst/most embarrassing audition. But I said to myself, “Next time I’m going to see the show before I audition because that was a nightmare.” and now it’s just makes a good story.

6. Favorite skin care product? A good moisterizer, especially in the winter. I use Cetaphil, but years ago, I was like only the best, but the best was so expensive (it was like having a cocaine habbit, the best cost so much, and I thought I might as well have the cocaine, but I didn’t want that), and the Cetaphil was only $10 every three months, so I was like Cetaphil that’s what I’ll use.

7. Favorite kind of shoes? I like a very high heel, but I live in NY and walk around a lot, so it has to be very comfortable. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the very comfortable ones are very expensive, like Marc Jacobs, but you can walk around all day in them and they won’t destroy your feet. So, a very expensive shoe is my favorite!

8. Favorite comedian? I love Ricky Gervais, Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara. I’m a big fan of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. I feel “Saturday Night Live” is very hard for women and I feel Amy & Tina were like “nope, we don’t care what anybody thinks, we are doing our own thing.” That was very inspiring to me. I think it’s so awesome that they went onto their own thing.

9. Favorite TV Show? I love “Modern Family” because my friend Jesse Tyler Ferguson is on it and not just because Jesse’s on it, but also because I think it’s an incredibly well written, tight show. Every script is so well done. Every actor is so great, so well cast, and so funny. There’s always just a little bit of darkness and edginess to it and I appreciate that on prime time television. I’m a big fan of “Law & Order: SVU,” which you can tell because of the “Law & Order” music I put in to “Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage.” I also love “Breaking Bad,” so amazing, very dark. I love “Mad Men.” What are some classic shows that you love? Well, growing up, I would always watch “SCTV,” the old “Saturday Night Live,” Thursday night line up: “The Cosby Show” and “Family Ties.” It’s funny because sometimes I go back and watch them now and there were some very edgy episodes. Ken and I were talking about one the other day, I can’t remember what show, but it dealt with child abuse (Me: Oh “Diff’rent Strokes” when Arnold and Sam went to the photographer/bike shop).  I was like, wow, that was the 80s. I also love “The Golden Girls,” a big Bea Arthur fan (Me: I was more of a Betty and Rue fan, but I’m a little partial to Rue because I got to interview her for this blog before she passed away. Sarah: My friend Liz just wrote for Betty’s new show “Hot In Cleavland” and she was like Betty is super sweet. It was a real treat for her to get to write for Betty because she is such a big fan of hers).

10. Favorite website? Other than Facebook, my friend just turned me on to Modcloth, it’s a site with all “Mad Men” type dresses, but they are all around $50 and I’m like this is GREAT! They also have home decorations and I’m so into that.

11. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman.


12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I enjoy when my dreams are very bizarre and I’m big into analyzing dreams like if you dream about mustard, you dream about…I really think I just dream about whatever I was thinking about before I fall asleep. A more fun thing to dream about would be Johnny Depp or John Hamm taking me out on an awesome adventure.

13. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I’m very good at making lanyard bracelets and by very, I mean that was my very first business. I was in fourth grade and I was like “I’m setting up shop. Who wants butterflies with their initials in it?” I had a whole box of materials and made my own patterns. Oh, it was intense. I always felt weird charging for them, so I’d be like “Sweatheart, shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I’m gonna cut you a deal and give it to you for free.” I would do that for everyone and then I was like this not very profitable because I just want to give them to my friends. So, if you ever need lanyard bracelets, Saltzberg is your girl!

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Be sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Max Von Essen along with Michael D’Addario, Christopher Gurr, Sophie Hayden, Paul Kandel, Jason Kravits, William Michals, Andrew Pandaleon, Eric Poindexter, Herman Sebek, Robbie Tann, and Jim Walton in NYMF production of “The History of War,” with a book by Chip Zien, music by Deborah Abramson, and lyrics by Amanda Yesnowitz.

According to press notes, “The History of War” is spun from the imagination of a 12 year old boy-a megalomaniac in training. As he struggles with homework assignments and peculiar visions, he conjures up seven of the most famous tyrants of all time. They did horrible things. He wants to do horrible things. His parents are worried…and everybody sings!…well, almost everybody. Reality and pathology neatly converge in this terrifyingly subversive new musical.

History of War” plays at the ATA Chernuchin (314 West 54th Street)

Friday, October 8 at 7pm

Saturday, October 9 at 1pm

Tuesday, October 12 at 8pm

Friday, October 15 at 7pm

Saturday, October 16 at 1pm and 5pm

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Be sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Deidre Goodwin along with Kerry Butler, Tom McGowan, and James Patrick Stuart in the NYMF production of “Pandora’s Box.”

According to press notes, “Pandora’s Box” tells the story of “Pandora,” a suburban housewife, and her serial-philanderer husband, Oliver who have their love and lives turned upside down the day that Mona, a Lesbian-American handywoman, walks through their door. In this hilarious contemporary sex farce, Mona and Oliver face off in a fight to win the greatest prize of all, the love of Pandora.

Pandora’s Box” plays at The Theater at St. Clements (423 West 46th Street, between 8th & 9th Ave).

Friday, October 8 at 8pm

Saturday, October 9 at 1pm

Monday, October 11 at 5pm

Wednesday, October 13 at 9pm

Thursday, October 14 at 9pm

Saturday, October 16 at 5pm

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If you are looking for a performer with strong vocals, good looks, and most of all talent, then Curtis Holbrook is your guy! A performer on the definite rise, Curtis has delighted Broadway audiences in “Xanadu,” “Follies,” “All Shook Up,” “The Boy From Oz,” “Taboo,” “Fosse,” and “Footloose,” and the current Broadway revival of “West Side Story.”  His Off-Broadway credits include “Saved!” at Playwrights Horizon and “Radiant Baby” at the Public Theater. Curtis has also lit up the screen in such films and television shows as “Hairspray,” “Across the Universe,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Sesame Street,” “All My Children,” and “As The World Turns.” Curtis can currently be seen in “Frog Kiss” (along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Kate Pazakis) produced by Brierpatch Productions as part of the NYMF festival from September 30-October 11 at the Theater at St. Clements (423 West 46th Street).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? First, I would have to say my mother…Because she put in me in tap class at the age of 2 🙂 But when I was old enough to know what being inspired was, I saw Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in Singin’ in the Rain. That moment was truly magical for me. I was hooked.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I don’t actually read sheet music…I do everything by ear. I try not to think about what notes I am singing because it can mess with your head, ya know?…But I think when we filmed Across the Universe I sang a high D.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Just one? There are so many!!! Well even though it isn’t possible…Bob Fosse. His way of storytelling is like no other.

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? Marine Biology.

5. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a show? Depends on the show… Usually, I listen to music that could be the soundtrack of the characters life… That helps to get me focused and fired up. How do you decompress after a show? An adult beverage.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? Hand Farting.

7. Favorite ride at an amusement park? All of them! The X Factor @ Magic Mountain might be my favorite though.

8. Favorite way to stay in shape? Really just by doing what I do…and Yoga. I don’t do gyms.

9. Boxers or Briefs? Really??? If you must know…square cut boxer briefs. So both!

10. Favorite website? YouTube.

11. Superman or Wonder Woman? Batman.


12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? My Grandfather always told me…”Think For Yourself.”

13. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My wife 🙂

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Be sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Kate Pazakis and upcoming participant Curtis Holbrook, along with Hanley Smith, Terry Burrell, Joseph Dellger, Manna Nichols, Theis Weckesser, Jordan Barbour, Kenita Miller, Herman Sebek, Andrew Cao, and Lindsay Chambers in “Frog Kiss” at NYMF (New York Musical Festival).

Produced by Brierpatch Productions and Tamara Tunie the Production Advisor, “Frog Kiss” is about a very scientific princess named “Clementine” who meets a frog she is determined to turn into a prince-with the help of a troupe of Celestial Tap-Dancing Taoist Masters. Will Clementine get the Prince of her dreams, or will she find herself in bed with just another horny toad? It’s a bedtime story with a bawdy twist! Based on the Stephen Mitchell novella “The Frog Prince.”

“Frog Kiss” plays the Theater at St. Clements (423 West 46th Street):

Thursday, Sept. 30: 8pm

Sunday, October 3: 7:30pm

Monday, October 4: 9pm

Wednesday, October 6: 5pm

Sunday, October 10: 7:30pm

Monday, October 11: 1pm

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Be sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Katie Thompson in the NYMF (New York Musical Festival) production of “Bloodties,” written by Ned Massey.

Ned Massy was tapped to be the next big star, but that early promise went largely unfulfilled. With raw honesty and dark wit, a musician explores destiny, faith, forgiveness…and the ties that bind.

“Bloodties” plays at the TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street, 3rd floor):

Tues, 9/28: 8pm

Wed, 9/29: 1pm

Sat, 10/2: 5pm & 9pm

Sun, 10/3: 1pm

Wed, 10/6: 8pm

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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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Ann HaradaJudas & MeBe sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Ann Harada in the New York Musical Festival “Judas and Me” through Sunday, October 11 at the American Theatre of Actors. This show also stars theatre favorites: Leslie Kritzer, Nikki Snelson, Dennis Stowe, & Jennifer Laura Thompson. For tickets and showtimes visit: “Judas & Me”

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The Boys Upstairs

Photo credit: Samantha Souza

“The Boys Upstairs” has it all…Sex, Dating, Friendship, and all the blurry lines in between – A New York story that invites you upstairs to the fabulous living room of group of Hell Kitchen gay boys who handle relationships, careers, and the city with style, scandal, and specialty cocktails! For tickets and more information, be sure to visit: http://www.theboysupstairs.info.

Photo by Samantha Souza

Photo credit: Samantha Souza

Joel T. Bauer plays “Seth”

In New York, Joel has performed as part of the NYMF festival and Regionally he has been seen in “Candide” at Arden Theatre Company (Maximilian) & “A Christmas Carol” at The McCarter Theatre.  Joel is a Wisconsin native, University of Michigan Musical Theatre graduate, and former student of the Moscow Art Theatre. He is a proud member AEA. “The Boys Upstairs” marks Joel’s Fringe Festival debut.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My childhood neighbor. Saw her in a local performance of “Afternoon of the Elves,” and I signed up for theatre camp the next day.

2. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I have a freakishly flexible back.

3. What has been your most embarrassing audition? Improvising two minutes of ballet. shirtless. for a hair product. and the best part is, I almost booked it.

4. Favorite way to stay in shape? Lifting, swimming, rockwall climbing, volleyball, anything and everything.  I work at a gym, and am a firm believer in mixing up the routine.

5. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs.

6. Favorite website? My vice is trashy pop-culture, so I admit I’m always up to date on perezhilton.com.

7. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman?

8. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Jake Gyllenhall.

9. How old were you when you had your first “real” kiss? 7th grade

10. What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever had sex? Rooftop, overlooking 6th ave.

11. Describe your worst date? I plead the 5th, for fear they will read this…

Photo credit: Samantha Souza

Photo credit: Samantha Souza

Kristen-Alexzander Griffith plays “Ashley”

Kristen-Alexzander was most recently seen playing “Davis Roberts” on the popular web-series “DramaQueenz”. He has toured with “Rent” as “Angel” for which he received Chicago Black Theatre Alliance Award nomination, “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” as “Judah/Calypso Soloist”  and regionally he has starred in “Pippin” (Leading Player), Lachuisa’s “Wild Party” (Phil), “Chicago” (Mary Sunshine), & “La Cage Aux Folles” (Jacob).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Many people, but I’ll just say three: Ben Vereen, Michael Jackson &  Diana Ross.

2. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Nope.

3. What has been your most embarrassing audition? All of them.

4. Favorite way to stay in shape? Elliptical.

5. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

6. Favorite website? www.Dramaqueenztheseries.com.

7. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman, Hello!

8. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Recently, its been Rob Pattinson as Edward Cullen.

9. How old were you when you had your first “real” kiss? 8.

10. What is the most unusual place you’ve ever had sex? Depends on what you mean by sex.

11. Describe your worst date? Any date that hasn’t ended in a marriage proposal.

Josh Segarra plays “Eric”

Josh SegarraJosh graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts about 1 year ago and can currently be seen as one of the stars of the all new “Electric Company” on PBS. (Hector Ruiz) At Tisch, he shot five feature films including: “the Ministers” alongside John Leguizamo and Harvey Keitel (scheduled to be released this year), “The Narrows”,  and “Tiny Dancer”. He performed in numerous NYU productions and made his Off – Broadway debut in “Fools in Love” as Demetrius (Manhattan Ensemble Theatre). This is his first production with the Fringe Festival .

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I was first inspired by all of the kid’s sports movies like the Mighty Ducks, The Big Green, the Little Giants, you know…all of those. But I got to high school and loved being on stage. My high school drama teachers were a huge inspiration and my chorus teacher just the same. But I knew I wanted to do this as a career when I saw Take Me Out on Broadway. Watching Denis O’Hare on stage delivering the most riveting piece of art I had ever seen until that point in my life, and still prob to this day, sparked the love for creativity and openness that I hope I can make others feel today. I saw that you could bring my two loves, sports and theatre into one realm with that production.

2. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Not really. I’m good at sports which generally speaking surprises some people in the arts. I spend most of my time participating in some type of sporting event. Oh…And I can pogostick.

3. What has been your most embarrassing audition? I choose to block those out. There have too many to store away.

4. Favorite way to stay in shape? Work out. I love spin class. And play sports. Primarily basketball. But kickball is always a winner.

5. Boxer or Briefs? Boxer briefs.

6. Favorite website? ESPN.com. I can spend hours there. Or youtube. Lord…I spend too much time there.

7. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman…obviously. is that sexist? he can get any woman he wants. Thats awesome.

8. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Mila Kunis. Done and Done. I’ve had the biggest crush on her since “Honey I Blew Up The Kids”. She’s amazing.

9. How old were you when you had your first “real” kiss? I was 15. My sophomore Homecoming during Kci and Jojo’s “All My Life” which was the last song of the night.

10. What is the most unusual place you’ve ever had sex? Can’t answer that one. I’d get grounded.

11. Describe your worst date? Any date that I spend more than $50 and I hated every second of it but I had to pay cuz I know my mother would have yelled at me if I didnt. Thats the worst. And when the girl doesn’t even offer to pay. You have to OFFER at least, and then I’ll be happy to pay. Basics people…basics.

Photo credit: Samantha Souza

Photo credit: Samantha Souza

Nic Cory plays “Josh”

Nic recently graduated from Carnegie Mellon’s musical theatre program. Favorite roles include “Brad Majors” in “The Rocky Horror Show” (Club El Flamingo), “Philip II” in “Don Carlos” (CMU) and “Captain Lancey” in “Translations” (Stanford Summer Theatre). “The Boys Upstairs” marks Nic’s debut with the Fringe Festival.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Benjamin Emerson Lopez, my best friend.

2. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I make a man “steak n’ eggs”.

3. What has been your most embarrassing audition? Before the callback for “The Boys Upstairs,” I received an e-mail from my agents informing me that I had done well at the first round of auditions, but that the creative team wanted me to “dress hipper” and not be so “nebbish.” I’m working on those things with my life coaches.

4. Favorite way to stay in shape? Bikram Yoga.

5. Boxer or Briefs? Boxer briefs.

6. Favorite website? www.hotornot.com.

7. Superman or Wonder Woman? Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers.

8. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Kristen Alexzander-Griffith.

9. How old were you when you had your first “real” kiss? 16.

10. What is the most unusual place you’ve ever had sex? MOCKBA.

11. Describe your worst date? There was this one time when Joel Bauer roofied me and made me sing the entire score of CABARET as Sasha Fierce at Don’t Tell Mama’s. I ended up homeless and pregnant.

Photo credit: Samantha Souza

Photo credit: Samantha Souza

David A. Rudd plays Multiple roles

David A. Rudd is an Actor, writer, director, model, designer, and teacher. He moved to NYC from the Midwest 6 years ago. His major film/television credits include “Persistence” – director (SWB Films), “Whirlwind” – Drake (Jupiter Box Productions/Wolfe Films), and “Growing Up Gotti” – himself (A&E). David’s stage credits include “King Lear” – Edgar (Michigan Shakespeare Festival), “Burn This” – Pale (BoarsHead Theatre), “Designers With Dirty Faces” – Klein Deutschland (Fashion Play Festival 2005), “Alcibiades the Athenian” – Alcibiades (Samantha Tella), “Murder Uncensored” – Sam (Wings Theater), “The Other Side of Darkness”- Steven Manners (NYC Fringe ’07), and the NYC Fringe 2008 hit “The Fabulous Kane Sisters in Box Office Poison”.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? The best and most direct answer to this question is my dad.  Cecil Rudd was and is my inspiration.  When I was a young boy he talked about his love of music and performing, he encouraged me and my bros and sis to learn to play an instrument.  I, myself, learned to play the trombone and started performing with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra when I was in High School.  My early years at university were at IU studying trombone as a performance major.

My dad was so proud of my hard work and would sit and listen to me play for hours.  We worked on my performances endlessly.  He was a wonderful critic and a very caring mentor.  I remember one time, specifically, when we were at state competition in the Solo and Ensemble contest when I was a junior in High School.  We had worked for 6 months on my solo – it was well known as one of the most difficult solos on the list for Level 1 competition in Indiana, Morceau Symphonique.  Dad had a habit of ingratiating himself to the judges, so that he could sneak a peek at the judges comments early… This particular year, we were both so nervous, but I played the best I had ever played.

My dad came out of the room behind me after taking a moment to look at the judges scorecard.  He was beaming.  I had scored a perfect score of 1 in each of the 7 catagories.  It was the most thrilling moment of my young life.  My mom was there too and we laughed and cried and embraced right there outside of the room.  I think about this memory every time I go on stage.  It just cycles through my mind right before I leave the dressing room.  My dad can’t always make it to see my shows, but I know he’s there with me in spirit.  I know he’s thinking of me before I perform.  And I know he’s beaming at me from wherever he is.  He’s watching me earn my perfect 7 and it thrills me.  I know that before I go on stage on the 15th, I’ll be thinking about Papa Rudd and thinking, “This one’s for you, dad.”

2. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I’m an awesome cook – nay – chef (if I do say so myself).  My specialty is Asian-Latin (think Peruvian).  I love playing with flavors and really making something that will impress my guests.  I also make a really mean pizza – I recommend the Seared Tuna and Seaweed.

3. What has been your most embarrassing audition? Easily it was the first time I auditioned for one of NYC biggest musical theater casting directors.  I knew him socially, sort of, through an ex of mine and I was called in on my reputation – I’m an actor – a decent actor, but….not really a singer.  I don’t know what I was thinking, but I took the audition and went in for, god knows what show, but it was a serious singing show.  I didn’t know how to prepare a real “musical” audition and so I winged it.  NOT A GOOD IDEA.  I asked the pianist to start over twice after accidentally missing the start of the song I sang.  After trying to laugh it off, and muddle my way through the piece, I was shocked to learn that I wasn’t going to stay around to read excerpts from the script.  I was bummed because I knew “the read” was my forte, but I hadn’t made “the cut”.  I decided to stick around and pretend that I didn’t realize I had been released – hoping that the CD would also forget.  Right.  Instead he got the idea that I had an interest in him that wasn’t related to work, if you get my drift.  I wound up having to finish this totally embarrassing day by awkwardly talking my way out of a few casual drinks at the bar down the street.  WTF?!?  Totally not his fault, I should have stayed home to begin with…

4. Favorite way to stay in shape? …or just gone to a kickboxing class.  I love kickboxing and other MMAs.  I’ve really enjoyed learning different styles of martial art and hold it near and dear to my heart.  From Jujuitsu to Krav Maga, I think that its a great workout for your mind and body.  I haven’t mastered any of them, by far, but I like to try.  I cross train as well with dance classes, rock climbing, different forms of cardiovascular exercise, and strength training.

5. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers in the winter, but not in the summer.  😉

6. Favorite website? It’s a toss up between www.themusicninja.com and www.hypemachine.com.  I love new music and I’m constantly searching the web for new stuff that you won’t find on the radio or in the store.  Lately I’ve been a big fan of a new genre of music that blends hip-hop with a uniquely American form of music, Bluegrass.  It’s called Ghettograss and it’s f’ing hot!!!

7. Superman or Wonder Woman? For real?  I have no idea.  I never really followed the superhero thing…I guess I’d have to say Superman.?  Yeah, I guess so.  He’s, like, really a good guy and stuff…

8. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Could I dream about being somebody else?  If you say yes (the rules seem ambiguous enough that I could get away with making them up), then I would say I’d like to dream that I’m the guy that invented ice cream.  I think people must’ve been so nice to this guy.  I mean….come on.  Way better than either Ben OR Jerry, and HaagenWhoeverHisNameIs has nothing on this guy.  I’d like to imagine being in 1840-something with this cool, creamy treat as my very own – imagine all the cool stuff you could trade for a double dip of mint chip????  Got an extra wagon axle?

9. How old were you when you had your first “real” kiss? Sarah Hudson was my first real kiss.  And she made no bones about telling me that I was no good and then proceeded to give me a lesson.  That girl TAUGHT me how to kiss.  For, like, 3 hours at the playground next to her house one night.  I was a freshman, so I was, what, 14?  I never forgot, Sarah, I’m doing so good!!!

10. What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever had sex? Oh man, that is so personal!  I have to say that I’ve been pretty much a standard “Do-it-in-the-bed” kind of guy, but there have been the occassional Front seat/Back seat Adventures.  Of course, there are the Shower Situations.  I think, though, that the most unusual place I’ve experienced The Deed has to be the stairwell up to the roof of my first apartment building in NYC.  It was a great time.  I still remember it vividly…sigh.

11. Describe your worst date? My worst date?  I’ve never had a bad date.  Who are you talking to?

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