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Posts Tagged ‘“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”’

Andrew Keenan-Bolger is yet another one of our next generation actors on the rise! On Broadway, he has starred in “Seussical,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “A Christmas Carol,” and currently “Mary Poppins,” playing “Robertson Ay” (taking over the role from fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” Mark Price). Around the country, Andrew has been on the First National Tours of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (playing “Leaf Coneybear”) “The Grinch” (playing “Max”), “Mary Poppins” (also playing “Robertson Ay”), and “Ragtime.” His other theatrical credits include “It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Superman” (Dallas Theater Center), “High School Musical” (NAMT), and “Perez Hilton Saves The Universe” (2008 NYC Fringe). Andrew is also sought after for many theatre workshops/readings. Some of his more recent ones have been “Crutchy” in Disney’s “Newsies,” “Mike TeeVee” in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (Marc Shaiman/Scott Whittman, director Sam Mendes), “Jesse” in “Truck Everlasting,” “Omar” in Disney’s “Aladdin,” and “Hal” in “Rocket Scientist” (Playwright’s Horizon).

In addition to theatre, Andrew has shined in such films and TV shows as Nickelodeon’s “The Naked Brothers Band” (“Christophe”), “Marci X,” “One Life To Live,” weekly commentator on FNMTV on MTV, and the hit web series “The Battery’s Down.”

On Monday, February 7, you can catch Andrew along with Lindsay Mendez in Ryan Scott Oliver’s Songbook release concert at 7pm and 9:30pm at Joe’s Pub in New York City!  You can also catch Andrew 8 nights a week on Broadway in Disney’s “Mary Poppins” as “Robertson Ay” at the New Amsterdam Theatre (42nd Street & 7th Avenue) in New York City! For much more on Andrew be sure to visit http://www.andrewkeenanbolger.com

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My sisters are my biggest inspiration. My sister Maggie and I grew up watching Celia perform. When you’re a kid and your big sis is doing something she thinks is cool you’re bound to follow in her footsteps.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Oh jeez. I don’t honestly know. I just try to bark out whatever’s on the page.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I’ve always wanted to work with Michael John LaChiusa. He writes the most ingenious, challenging material in modern musical theatre. I can now cross Ryan Scott Oliver off that same list 🙂

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? To always wear blinders. It’s easy to compare yourself and your achievements to people around you. The time you spend looking side to side, other people are moving forward.

5. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? If I wasn’t an actor, I’d probably be involved in some aspect of filmmaking. Either editing or directing.

6. Favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? It’s such a cliche, but my shower. I’ve come up with some crazy shit standing under that faucet.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I try to walk to Shake Shack rather than take the subway.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

9. Favorite website? I really love flavorwire.com. It’s a totally hipster culture blog filled with lots of free music, art and news stories.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Absolutely Superman! I spent last summer working on the Strouse and Adams musical of the same name and became fascinated with America’s long obsession with the caped hero.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I make a mean grilled cheese.

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My boyfriend, Brian Letendre 🙂

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This contest is now over! Congratulations go out to Caryl_Leslie on being this week’s winner! Tune in next week for another edition of “Win It Wednesday” and who knows, the winner just might be you! On this week’s edition of “Win It Wednesday” one reader, at random, will win a mug from “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” +  a “Betty Boop Salt & Pepper Shaker” by answering the question below. The winner will be announced at 5pm!

If you could cast Betty Boop in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” who would you cast her as?

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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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Rory O’Malley is a performer on the rise…He is best known for  playing “Dave” in the motion picture “Dreamgirls,” stealing the song “Cadillac Car” from Eddie Murphy. Rory made his Broadway debut in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and just made his Off-Broadway debut in “NEWSical the Musical.” (which was produced by fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Tom D’Angora and starred fellow participant Christine Pedi as well as upcoming participants Christine Bianco & Michael West). Regionally, he created the role of “Richie Cunningham” in Garry Marshall’s “Happy Days: The Musical” at the Goodspeed Opera House, Paper Mill Playhouse and recorded the original cast album. Rory is also the co-founder of “Broadway Impact” (along with two-time Tony Award Nominee and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Gavin Creel), a coalition of the theatre community fighting for marriage equality. To keep up with Rory and all he has going on, be sure to follow him on Twitter!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My Aunt Peggy when I was eight.  She cast me as Saint Joseph in our church’s Christmas pageant. Probably my only opportunity to take advantage of nepotism in the business 🙂

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

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can make my hands look like they are made of rubber by shaking them fast. It’s on my resume. RUBBER HANDS!

4. Favorite way to stay in shape? Love to run, but fellow “NEWSical” cast member Michael West has gotten me into P90X.  So hard!

5. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

6. Favorite TV Show? “MAD MEN” on AMC and “THE UNIVERSE” on The History Channel.

7. Books or Magazines? Magazines.

8. Favorite meal? Mac and Cheese.

9. Favorite website? I read Andrew Sullivan’s blog “The Daily Dish” almost hourly. I’m a political junkie 🙂

10. “Family Ties” or “Growing Pains”? “Growing Pains.”

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Movie Marathons.

12. Summer Resort or Winter Retreat? Summer Resort even though I need sunscreen with an SPF of 100.

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From Broadway’s “Memphis” & “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Derrick Baskin along with Daniel Watts (his castmate in “Memphis“) will be performing “WORDS!!! A FUNK’D UP EVENING OF SPOKEN WORD AND SONG!!!” this Monday, February 15 at the Clark Theater (Located in the Rose Building on the 7th Floor at Lincoln Center (65th Street & Amsterdam). Showtime is 7:30pm. Tickets are $20 (only can purchased at the door).

According to press notes: “It’s really going to be a special night of slam poetry and song.  What we’ve done with this material is stripped everything way.  The only things on the stage will be two mics and us.  NO MUSIC! I think we’ve got something special here. You will not be disappointed. I hope you can make it!”

Derrick is one guy to keep your eye on. With his voice and talent, this really should be an enjoyable evening!

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Drama Desk and Broadway.com Award winning actor Derrick Baskin is an actor to keep your eye on! From his award winning turn as the original “Mitch Mahoney” in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” to starring in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” as “Jetsam,” Derrick has been shining bright! Off-Broadway, he was the co-creator “WORDS!” at The Tank while regionally he was seen in “AIDA” at the North Shore Music Theatre and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” at the Pioneer Playhouse. His television credits include the “59th Annual Tony Awards” and “The Today Show.” Currently, Derrick is dazzling audiences nightly as “Gator” in Broadway’s hottest new musical “Memphis” (along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Chad Kimball). If you haven’t seen this fantastical new musical, you should head on over to the Shubert Theatre on 44th Street in NYC.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I love, love, love music so Stevie Wonder is my all time favorite inspiration. His artistry and philanthropy inspire me to make art and give back to the community.

2. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? Best experience: Playing “Gator” in “Memphis” and knowing that the audience is watching your every move. Worst experience: I completely missed the entrance in “The Little Mermaid.” I played “Jetsam” and there’s a part where “Flotsam” and “Jetsam” are chasing “Flounder.” Well one night, only “Flotsam” chased “Flounder.” “Jetsam” was elsewhere.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I’d love to work with Jeffrey Wright. He’s brilliant.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I’m boring and don’t have anything strange or unusual going on.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? Yoga and circuit training is how I stay in shape.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers.

7. Favorite kind of shoes? There is a store called Jump that has the BEST high top sneakers. Really cool. I gotta get me a pair.

8. Favorite website? I guess my favorite website would be youtube.com. I like looking for funny clips.

9. Transformers or Gobots? Transformers all the way.

10. Favorite ride at an amusement park? Any death-defying roller coaster is my favorite.

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Prior to making his Broadway debut in the Tony Award Winning Broadway Revival of “Hair,” Andrew Kober was touring the country in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Now he gets to let more than his “Hair” hang out eight times a week. One of the many highlights of “Hair” is watching Andrew’s gift of comedic timing and hearing his rich voice night after night. In addition to “Hair,” Andrew lent his talented vocals this past summer to fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Bobby Cronin’s “Reach The Sky” concert on the song “Just Choose Right!” If you haven’t seen Andrew in “Hair” yet (along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Gavin Creel), come down to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in NYC on 45th Street (between 8th & 9th Ave) and enjoy an evening of fun. For more on Andrew visit: http://www.andrewkober.com/home.html.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I knew I wanted to do this for a living when I saw the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on my 6th Grade Class Trip to Toronto. The actor that played the Phantom was name Ciaran Sheenan, and I remember being just so taken with his performance. The idea that this is what his job was, and they actually paid him for doing this, was so shocking and exciting to me, I knew I had to be a part of this business.

2. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I know a lot (I mean a lot) about the New York City Subway System. I’m kind of a dork about that…I can also push my fingers pretty far into my eye sockets and I’m very good with electronics.

3. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Hmmm. On a good day I have a low G. The high note I sing in “My Conviction” is an A, I sing a couple of B’s in Aquarius, and I sometimes sing higher in the show…I’m gonna guess I can comfortably sing a high D if warmed up.

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I’d probably teach. I taught acting at a theater camp in Cleveland a lot of my summers growing up, and that’s something that makes me incredibly happy. To work with children and art in some capacity. I’d also like to be the guy that designs highway exits and overpasses. Nothing is quite as beautiful as a well-designed highway exit ramp.

5. What was your first fan encounter like? Bizarre…I was actually with my mom. She was visiting me here in New York and it was just after Hair had begun previews. We were walking down the street and someone passing by said “I think you’re wonderful!” My mom asked who they thought I was, and I realized, I think they know it’s me! It’s just so strange and exciting because I was such a fan of Broadway growing up, and now being here…It’s totally a corny dream come true.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs. (Did I just rock your world?)

7. Favorite comedian? Georgo Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Michael Ian Black.

8. Favorite website? I check a few every day. Playbill, HuffingtonPost, NYTimes, Facebook, Twitter, and a couple of iPhone and Mac blogs.

9. Favorite ride at an amusement park? I just rode my first roller coaster a year or so ago (I used to be too overweight to fit…). Now I love them! I’ve only had the chance to ride them at one park (Six Flags, Tampa), but I’m looking forward to more chances.

10. “Family Ties” or “Growing Pains”? Both before my time…Step by Step? Family Matters? Saved By The Bell?

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite drink?

Non-Alcoholic – Tropicana Some Pulp Orange Juice

Alcoholic – Gin and Tonic or Scotch on the rocks

12. Summer Resort or Winter Retreat? Winter! I’m not a fan of the heat. I think I’d love an Alaskan Cruise…Do you know Rosie? Maybe she can hook me up!

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