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Posts Tagged ‘“The Green Heart”’

To be able to make someone laugh can be a challenge, but to make someone laugh for an hour consistently is a talent few have. One performer who has the wit & skill to do that is four time Mac Award winner & fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” partricipant Julie Halston. On Sunday, April 11, 2010, I got to see Julie’s new one woman show “The Cocktail Hour/A Reality Show” at Birdland, one of NYC’s most famous cabaret spaces. Julie’s show was presented by Jim Caruso’s Broadway at Birdland series. From comedy to song, Julie can do it all. She can take the most simplistic task, like reading an email about cookie sharing, a phenomenon sweeping the nation where people exchange cookie recipes, and turn it into the funniest thing you’ve heard by using her gift of inflection & storytelling.  Her punchline is that the people hosting these parties are probably the ones that shouldn’t be eating all these cookies, in fact they should probably become bulimic. At times Julie can be a little dark with her humor, but it’s all in good fun. One classic Julie Halston shtick is when she talks about how she was anorexic while living in Hollywood. She says there is nothing funny about anorexia, but if you don’t die from it then it’s not such a bad thing & you are incredibly thin. Julie also did a hilarious bit about kids and that if you can’t afford a babysitter, you probably can’t afford to have kids.

After Julie entertained the audience for a while, she brought up a very special guest, two-time Tony Award nominee & fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Alison Fraser who delighted the audience with a hilarious song about how she’s never been cast in “Law & Order”, but has been on “Law & Order: SVU.” Alison then treated the audience to a very touching moment when she sang “The Green Heart,” a song written by her late husband Rusty Magee from the show of the same name written by Magee and Charles Busch. There is an effort to bring this show back to life, so let’s hope it happens. If that treat wasn’t enough, Alison & Julie then graced the audience with a duet of “Gotta Have a Gimmick” from “Gypsy” which both have starred in, Julie in the 2003 revival with Bernadette Peters & Alison in the 2008 revival with Patti LuPone.

One other touching moment came towards the end of Julie’s show when Julie talked about her dad who passed away last year on Christmas Eve and she reinacted how her mom would read the hospital dinner menu to her dad, selecting what his dinner choice would be. When Julie came to visit him and asked how dinner was, her dad would say “Great! I payed the nurse $30 to go to Applebees and get me a burger, ice cream, and soda. I love this place.” Julie delivered this bit with emotion, sincerity, and that style of delivery only Julie can give.

Most comedians can make someone laugh, but it takes a special kind to keep that going.  Julie Halston knows how to keep the laughs coming with skill, style, and most of all humor! Next time Julie Halston has a show, I would highly recommend going to see it!

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Tonight, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Alison Fraser after seeing her amazingly wonderful comedic genius of a performance in Charles Busch’s “The Divine Sister.” Alison is a two-time Tony Award nominee for her role of “Martha” in “The Secret Garden” and “Josefine” in “Romance/Romance.” Her other Broadway credits include her fantastic performance as “Tessie Tura” in the 2008 revival of “Gypsy” starring Patti LuPone, as well as “Dorine” in “Tartuffe,” and “Helena” in “Drood.” Off-Broadway, Alison has captivated audiences as “Trina” in “March of the Falsettos” and “In Trousers,” “Connie/Petula/Brenda” in “Beehive,” “Uta” in “The Green Heart,” and “Miss Drumgoole” in “Up Against It.” In television and film, Alison has lit up the screen in “Between the Lions,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Third Watch,” “The Thing About My Folks,” and “In The Blood.” You can catch Alison in “The Divine Sister,” along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Charles Busch and Julie Halston at Theater for The New City through March 7. For much more on Alison be sure to visit: http://www.alisonfraser.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Anthony Newley. I fell madly in love with him when I was fifteen and the die was cast. I got to meet him years later when I interviewed him for TimeOut and he was even better than I had imagined him. An amazing talent, and a really interesting guy.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Pink. I am totally obsessed with her and I desperately want to play her mother in a music video. Hopefully there will be aerial stuntwork involved.

3. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My late husband, Rusty Magee. A lot of other people have told me they have been visited by him in their dreams, and I haven’t been, so I am jealous.

4. What is your proudest moment? I would have to say “Sweet Appreciation.” This was the night 300 people got together at the West Bank Cafe to celebrate my husband while he was still around to enjoy it. Lew Black really helped put this evening together and there were some great performers such has Rebecca Luker and Mary Testa. But the definite high point was when Rusty performed. He was on fire.

5. Favorite quote? Jonathan Swift: “Happiness is the perpetual possession of being well deceived.”

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I used to be an acrobat. I’m very, very flexible. Are you listening Pink?

7.  Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Dunkin’ Donuts all the way. They use free trade coffee, they don’t burn it, they put the milk in for you and they are cheaper. Large coffee, whole milk. With a delicious breakfast sandwich on a biscuit if I am feeling peckish.

8. Favorite skin care product? Obagi physical sun block, Sabon “mud” soap, and almond oil. Almond oil, you ask? Our costume designer Fabio Toblini told me it’s the best remedy for dry shins. It works great, but my cats keep licking my legs.

9. Favorite website? awfulplasticsurgery.com and gawker.com are guilty pleasures. Whenever I look a hundred years old in the mirror and think, hmmmm, a little nip, a little tuck, I go to awfulplasticsurgery.com, get revolted, and save myself thousands of dollars.

10. “Mary” or “Rhoda”? Mary. Rhoda’s self-deprecation wears a bit thin. “ooh I’m so homely, ooh I’m so fat.” What are you talking about?? You’re gorgeous! Puh-leeze.

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