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Posts Tagged ‘“On The Town”’

With one of the most beautiful and powerful voices, Jose Llana is a performer to go see! From Broadway to regional and national tours to film and television, Jose delights and mesmerizes audiences where ever he goes. He made is Broadway debut in the 1996 revival of “The King and I” and in 2005 he created the role of “Chip Tolentino” in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” His other Broadway credits include the revival of “Flower Drum Song” (with Lea Salonga), “Rent,” and “Streetcorner Symphony.” Off-Broadway, Jose has delighted audiences in “Adam Guettel’s Saturn Returns” and “On The Town.” He’s been seen in the national tours of “Martin Guerre,” “Ballad of Little Jo,” and “Candide,” while regionally he’s performed in “Wonderland” at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and The Alley Theatre. Jose’s film and television credits include “Hitch” (Ross) and “Sex and the City” (Damian).

Jose has also released his self-titled solo album “Jose” under the VIVA Philippines label. Other recordings Jose can be heard on are “Broadway Romances Manhattan,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” and the revivals of “The King and I” and “Flower Drum Song.” Currently, Jose can be seen lighting up the stage in the York Theatre’s production of “Falling For Eve” (along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Adam Kantor, click here for my review) through August 8. For more on Jose, be sure to visit http://www.josellana.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I was obsessed with movie musicals as a kid. Gene Kelly, Julie Andrew, Fred Astaire. Then I moved onto the splashy mega-musicals of the 80’s, “Cats” and “Les Miserables.” But I’d have to say the moment that meant a great deal to me was when I watched Lea Salonga, a fellow Filipino, win the Tony when I was in high school. It was the first time I thought, “Hey, maybe I can do that.”

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I sing as low as I need to and as high as the part needs. If I’m lucky that means no higher than a high C.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Mr. Sondheim is still someone I would love to work with. I’ve sung for him a couple of times but have never done a show with him.

4. Do you have any rituals you have to do before a performance? How do you decompress after a show? No weird rituals besides the normal warm up, etc. I do get a little superstitious before callbacks, sometimes I make sure I have the same breakfast or wear the same underwear as the first audition. To decompress after a show I usually veg out in front of the television with a cold beer.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Hmmm… strange and unusual? I’m a pretty good cook, especially Filipino food. Also, I possess a slightly manic need for organization passed down from my mother. I will organize a room, desk or closet to DEATH. I’m talking labels and color coding.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Along with my normal 4 mile daily run and weight training, I’ve become hooked on P90x, but only the Plyometrics Training.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs. And usually in funny prints.

8. Books or Magazines? Both. I always try to have a good book on my nightstand and I can’t let the week go without the bibles Entertainment Weekly and New York Magazine.

9. Favorite website? Playbill.com, Huffington Post, CNN, and my sister’s Baby Blog for my Goddaughter.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Oh, easily Wonder Woman. My sister and I were hooked on the cheesy TV show from the 80’s. I actually own the DVD’s.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite play/musical? “West Side Story,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Company,” and “Violet.”

12. Favorite way to spend your day off? Gym, Food Network, movie date night, dinner with friends, couch time with my dog, Charlie.

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I had the fortunate experience of having a one on one interview with Autumn Hurlbert after seeing her in Bobby Cronin’s concert “Not The Same: The Music and Lyrics of Bobby Cronin” on Sunday, March 28. With a big beautiful voice and stage presence to go with it, Autumn not only has the talent, but she is gracious, personable, and full of energy. From starring in the first national tour of “Little Women” to regional productions of “Beauty and the Beast,” “Les Miserables,” and “Evita,” Autumn gained national attention as the runner up in MTV’s reality series “Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods.” Since then, she has continued entertaining audiences. She joined Broadway’s “Legally Blonde” until it closed in 2008, then starred in “Glimpses of the Moon” at the Algonquin Hotel, “On The Town” at Encores, “Beehive” at the Maltz Jupiter Theater in FL, and “A Contemporary American’s Guide to a Successful Marriage (c) 1959” (which also starred fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Lee Aaron Rosen) at the 2009 NYC International Fringe Festival. Autumn has a few projects in the works, so stay tuned to find out when they come about and in the meantime be sure to visit http://www.autumnhurlbert.com for more on Autumn.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My dad because he was in a band when he was in college, but his dream of becoming a musician never came to fruition. He became a banker instead. My parents never pushed anything on me and just allowed me to explore the arts and it was very obvious very quickly that this is where I belonged. Growing up I loved Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters…all the curly haired girls.

1a. Is that where you get your big beautiful belt from, from loving Bette and Bernadette? You know where I get my big beautiful belt from, I had colic when I was a baby and my mom said I screamed every single day of the first year of my life. So I think I have a big voice because I got good training, screaming, as a baby.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? The lowest note I can sing is Low E below C, highest note I can belt is a high B flat or B, highest note I can sing is High F or G.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Too many names to pick, but I would really, really, love to  work with is Lin-Manuel Miranda. He has such great energy. I’ve seen “In The Heights” a bunch of times and he’s so smart, humble, and really innovative. I think he’s really fabulous.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Oh, I’ve never been asked a question like that. That’s scandalous! I would probably dream that Henry Krieger wrote a fierce song for me.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I am able to stick objects in my nose. I can make a q-tip disappear into my nasal cavity. If I stick 2 things in my nose, I can make them hang from my nostrils. Actually, everybody can do that because if you cut your nose off your face you just have two holes and I found mine. It’s disgusting, I know, but I love freaking people out.

6. Favorite kind of sundae (ice cream flavor & toppings)? If I got a Sundae with lots of toppings it would be vanilla bean ice cream with chocolate and strawberries. If I had just plain ice cream my favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip all the way.

7. Favorite kind of shoes? All Shoes.

8. Favorite skin care product? Burt’s Bees when I’m not working and Origins when I’m employed.

9. Favorite website? Etsy.com or Apartment Therapy.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman. I was her for Halloween. Rope, cuffs, and starred undies included.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite quote? I have a lot of favorite quotes, but I will say “leap and the net will appear.”

12. Favorite play/musical? Play: “Lend Me A Tenor” or “August Osage County.” Musical: “Once on this Island.”

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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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