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Posts Tagged ‘“The Sound of Music”’

With the talent and personality, it’s no wonder Jan Maxwell is a 4-time Tony Award nominee, with her two most recent nominations this current season for “The Royal Family” and “Lend Me A Tenor.” She is also a Drama Desk Award winner (updated: Jan won her 2nd award tonight for “The Royal Family”) and 5-time nominee as well as a 2-time Outer Critics Circle Winner & 5-time nominee. Jan is one of the few performers with the most impeccable comedic timing of our times. When Jan is on stage, the audience is paying attention. She can make your theatre experience one you will never forget! Her other Broadway credits include “Coram Boy” (Tony & Drama Desk Nominee), “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Drama Desk Award Winner, Tony & Outer Critics Circle Nominee), “Sixteen Wounded” (Drama Desk Nominee), “A Doll’s House” (Outer Critics Circle Nominee), “The Sound of Music” (Outer Critics Circle Nominee), “The Dinner Party” (Outer Critics Circle Award Winner), Brian Friel’s “Dancing At Lughnasa” and “City of Angels.” Off-Broadway, Jan has delighted audiences in Howard Barker’s “Scenes From An Execution” (Drama Desk Nominee) and “Camille,” Anton Dudley’s “Substitution,” “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” (Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Nominee), Tina Howe’s translation of lonesco’s “The Bald Soprano,” Jules Feiffer’s “A Bad Friend,” Israel Horovitz’s “My Old Lady” (Lortel Award winner, Drama Desk Nominee), “Opening Doors,” Alan Ayckbourn’s “House and Garden,” and “The Seagull.”  Jan’s television credits include PBS’ “AIDS: Changing the Rules,” “Law & Order,” and “Gossip Girl.” Jan can currently be seen in the 2010 Tony Nominated revival of “Lend Me A Tenor.”

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Both my mother and father. My father is quite the ham. He did community theatre in Fargo, ND, where I was born and also wrote sketches and plays. My mother, though, did the leg work for the few opportunities there were for me to experience the arts in the area. She would find theatre and dance programs and tell me about them; then call, sign me up, and drive me back and forth.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I don’t know. Christopher Guest, Steve Buscemi, Edward Albee . . . too many to list.

3. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? If so, what career would you choose? Umm . . . I think this business quits you before you quit it.  But I’ve always wanted to be in a lot of different professions. I think that’s why I act, so I can be all those things I want to be:  marine biologist, veterinarian, junkie . . .

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Shakespeare – I like epic dreams.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve given someone, but not taken for yourself? Don’t go into acting.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can tie a cherry stem into a knot in less than 15 seconds.

7. Favorite skin care product? I wish I could find one. I keep trying different ones, which is probably the worst thing you can do.

8. Favorite play/musical? Too hard to choose.

9. Favorite website? Google.

10. “Mary” or “Rhoda”? Mary . . . Hartman, though.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Neither. Caffeine is banned after noon. Once, my stage manager, Matthew Melchiorre at Coram Boy, wouldn’t allow me to have it at all. Especially if I have a smaller part. I become a bit obnoxious start trouble backstage.

12. Favorite hobby? Staring at an empty wall (unless I have coffee, and then it’s bouncing off that wall . . . )

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Rachel Fox is another one of our next generation performers on the rise! It’s no wonder that she crosses many genres and generations with her television, film, music, theatre, and fashion talents! Rachel’s first break into television was playing the recurring character of “Buffy” on the hit Disney TV show “That’s So Raven” starring Raven Symone. Her gig on “That’s So Raven” lead to roles on Disney’s mega-hit “Hannah Montana” and the daytime Soap Opera “Passions.”  It wasn’t long after these gigs that Rachel made the leap into prime time television landing the roles of “Young Sydney” on “Alias” starring Jennifer Garner and Victor Garber and “Kayla Huntington” (the illegitimate daughter of “Tom Scavo,” played by Doug Savant) on ABC’s smash-hit “Desperate Housewives.”  In addition to television, Rachel has also starred in theatre productions of “Santa Goes Commercial,” “The Sound of Music,” “I Remember Mamma,” “Cinderella,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “The Wizard of Oz.” Currently, Rachel can be seen in the new movie “Spork” (directed by fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant J.B. Ghuman Jr.) which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and is running through May 1. Rachel is also working on her debut album and as well as hosting a Fashion Blog on her website, giving fashion advice while detailing the latest looks.  For much more on Rachel, be sure to visit: http://www.rachelgfox.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? When I was 5, I was in a play and it was love at first performance. I guess it was the act of acting that inspired me to become a performer. Each time I performed after that, whether it was for a photo shoot, a commercial, a voiceover, a tv show, or a movie, my passion for the acting grew and continues to grow. Along the way, there have been so many people who inspired me, but my first and strongest inspiration has come from performing itself.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? There are so many. I’ve gotta sneak in an a couple of extras. The actor I’d love to work with is Meryl Streep. She is pure brilliance. Every time I watch her, I forget about all her previous characters and about who she is as a person. She commands every moment, creates her characters so they’re real, and she stays in character. She was genius in “The Devil Wears Prada” and in “Julie & Julia.” The second person I’d like to work with is Garry Marshall, the director of my favorite movie, “Pretty Woman.” I’d also love to work with Rob Reiner, who directed “A Few Good Men” and  “Princess Bride,” among other amazing movies.

3. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? This is my only choice. Acting, performing, playing music, dancing, and singing. It’s my only choice. If I have to choose something, which I’m saying I don’t want to but I will to answer this good question, my choice for another career if I wasn’t me is to be a venture capitalist. I’d like to take a look at different businesses that are really cool ideas and have great people running them, and invest money in those companies that I think are going to be very successful. I am not interested in owning any one single business, but investing in other ones. The stock market is interesting to me but it feels like I have to gamble and I don’t have control over a stock’s price. I’m not comfortable with letting other people decide if my money amount goes up or down.

4. What has been the best advice you’ve received? The best advice I’ve ever received is to become whatever I passionately want to become. My mom and dad have taught me to do what I was born to do, no matter what other people say or no matter what the obstacles are. Their advice has given me strength and laser focus.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks. We don’t have many, if any, Dunkin’ Donuts here in LA. I always order sugar-free, non-fat hazelnut frappachino, without whipped cream. I love their lemon bread and their coffee cake.

6. Favorite meal? I am a food lover! I never met a meal I didn’t love, except maybe liver. I’d have to say sushi, crab cakes, Chunky soup, and Lean Cuisines are my favorite meals. My most recent best sushi experience was at an incredible Japanese restaurant named “Ki.” The sushi was the freshest and best tasting and they had different kinds. One had asparagus and shrimp in a rice paper and I could have eaten 10 of them.

7. Favorite skin care product? I have sensitive skin. I use Murad cleanser for sensitive skin, BeautiControl toner that they don’t make anymore so I buy all the still-existing bottles from ebay, St. Ives apricot scrub, and Neutrogena oil-free moisturizer.

8. Favorite TV Show? This question is impossible to answer because I love so many tv shows for different reasons and so they all tie for first because they’re all great. Here they are in no special order….That 70s Show, Desperate Housewives, Glee, George Lopez, Fresh Prince, American Idol.

9. Favorite website? My favorite website is www.ultimate-guitar.com. I go there to learn new songs on guitar. Can I give you my website in this answer?  www.rachelgfox.com. I have a Fashion Blog and I answer questions that people write to me on my Ask the Fox page.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Not my generation…I know a little about Superman and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Wonder Woman so I’ll wait to know more about them before I answer.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite store to shop in? My favorite department store is Nordstroms. Their junior department has great clothes and shoes. My favorite store for dresses is bcbg. It stands for Bon Chic Bon Genre and it means good style, good taste. My SAG Awards dresses are from bcbg and the dress I wore to the Tribeca Film Festival (yeah!) is a bcbg dress. They have very unique dresses that fit me well.

12. Favorite quote?

I have two:

“Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs

“Pick a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” – Author unknown

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Bridie Carroll is an award winning performer to be heard! She can belt the roof off a building and has the personality and stage presence to keep you captivated! Bridie has traveled the country regionally in North Shore Music Theatre’s “Disney’s High School Musical” and “Hairspray” (for which she won the Irne Award), Arundel Barn Playhouse’s “I Love A Piano,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and “42nd Street,” The Boston Conservatory’s “City of Angels” and “The Rivals,” New London Barn Playhouse’s “The Music Man,” “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” “A Chorus Line,” “Annie,” “The Sound of Music,” and “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers,” Aurora Theater’s “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” and “Godspell,” Mercyhurst College’s “The Apple Tree,” “Assassins,” and “The Fantastics,” and Conventry Conservatory’s “Anything Goes” and “Oklahoma.” Bridie has also been a soloist with the Boston Pops and currently she can been seen in the First National Tour of “Grease” as “Jan” alongside American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks through May 23. For more on Bridie, be sure to visit www.bridiecarroll.com!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Every musical I listened to as a little girl! I never really knew who anyone was I was just attracted to the music and the lyrics! I lived in Hong Kong so wasn’t around to know who and what was popular. It was just the thrill of performing! Today it’s Audra McDonald, Marin Maize, Christiane Noll, Lisa Howard, Laura Osnes, Lauren Kennedy, Christine Ebersole, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Quentin Earl Darrington, Brad Bass, Adam Armstrong, Jon Gealt, Ben Roseberry, Alice Ripley, Debra Monk, Bernadette Peters, lets be honest my list could go on and on and on.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I think a low E flat to a high E flat… but not sure it sounds good! Currently I sing to a high E flat in the show.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Just my silly Minnesotan accent, which I think everyone knows about 🙂

4. What is the best advice you’ve given, but not taken for yourself? Oh gosh…well if you ask my friends I give a lot of advice! And I should practice what I preach! We all deserve the best and to be patient because everyone has their own journey in life. Everyone’s individual path is unique and special and we should stay focused on our own journey and not wish we were on someone else’s.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Well it used to be Starbucks! But I am no longer allowed coffee or caffeine! So I am now a tea drinker, and I love TeaVana!

6. Books or Magazines? Books.

7. Favorite TV Show? Currently…..LOST and The Biggest Loser.

8. Favorite play/musical? “Follies,” “Man of LaMancha,” “Aida,” The Deaf West Theater’s production of “Big River!,” “August: Osage County.”

9. Favorite website? Facebook.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? um…..the perfect man? Whoever that is? Does that even exist….maybe just in my dreams!

12. Who do you consider to be your hero? My parents.

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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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Photo Credit: Kirsty Furg

I had the pleasure of personally interviewing Leigh Ann Larkin during the Abingdon Theatre’s “Marathon ’33” benefit back in October. In person, Leigh Ann radiates kindness and joy with an energy that shines as bright as the sun. On Broadway she has starred as “Dainty June” in the Tony Award winning revival of “Gypsy” starring Patti LuPone, Boyd Gaines, and Laura Benanti, while Off-Broadway, she starred in “The Yellow Wood.” Leigh-Ann has toured with country in Walt Disney’s “On The Record” (which also starred fellow “Adaubmelle’s Quest” participant Andy Karl) and has been seen regionally at the Pittsburgh Musical Theatre (“Belle” in “Beauty and the Beast”), Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (“Deborah Sue” in “Bye, Bye, Birdie”), West Virginia Public Theatre (as “Emma” in “Jekyll & Hyde,” “Lily” in “The Secret Garden,” and “Liesl” in “The Soud of Music”), Williamstown Theatre Festival (Featured Dancer in “Where’s Charlie”), and at the Cincinnati Conservatory (“Claudia” in “Nine” & “Jen” in “Jon & Jen”). Her TV roles include “Lipstick Jungle,” “The Flight of the Concords,” and recurring roles on “Guiding Light” & “All My Children.” Currently, Leigh Ann can been seen back on Broadway in the revival of “A Little Night Music” starring Angela Lansbury & Catherine Zeta-Jones. For more on Leigh Ann Larkin visit: http://www.leighannlarkin.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Patti LuPone and my mother who got me started and was very supportive.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Low E, high C, and high E. I’m working on high E flat.

3. What has been your most embarrassing on-stage moment? When I punched a hole through the train in “Gypsy.”

4. Out of all the people you have worked with, who did you learn the most from? Arthur Laurents.

5. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Meryl Streep and Mary Louise Parker.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I’ve got a “green” thumb–love to garden.

7. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks. one pump of soymilk in a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

8. Favorite skin care product? I’m an organic girl. I love Alba moisturizer and face wash. Actually, I love all their products.

9. Favorite website? http://www.steelers.com/ (Pittsburgh Baby!)

10. “Saved By The Bell” or “Beverly Hills 90210”? “Saved By The Bell.”

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