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Posts Tagged ‘“The Wiz”’

Joshua Henry is another one of our next generation actors on the rise! He won the Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Ensemble for “In The Heights,” which he also starred in on Broadway and he originated the role of the “Favorite Son” military hero in Broadway’s “American Idiot.” His other theatrical credits include “The Wiz” (City Center), “Godspell” (Papermill Playhouse), and “Being Alive” (Westport Country Playhouse). On television, Joshua has been seen in HBO’s “Sex and the City” as well as NBC’s “Kings.” Joshua is currently in Minneapolis making his Guthrie debut, in the pre-Broadway run of “The Scottsboro Boys” through September 25. “The Scottsboro Boys” will arrive on Broadway starting October 7. Be sure to check out this amazing talent!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? It was just one person, but I remember being twelve years old watching Michael Jackson on TV and in awe at the power he had over an audience.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Why? Is this the final callback? I fancy myself a tenor 2 range with a little extra on the bottom and a few surprises on top.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Brian McKnight. Amazing musician and song writer. Brian, if you listening, let’s jam together!

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

5. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a performance? How do you decompress after a show? After shoulder rolls forward and back I like to have a moment of silence to remind myself how blessed I am to be doing what I love. Most nights after a show, I zone out to ESPN on the couch.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? Well, I can make my voice sound computerized/audio-tuned.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I’m all about supersets at the gym. Although I’ve recently discovered Sculpt Yoga.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Recently briefs.

9. Favorite website? Facebook. Sometimes it’s annoying, but when it comes down to it, it’s perfect for the NYC lifestyle.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman because he can fly and see through walls. I haven’t done much research on Wonder Woman..I’m on it.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Always do your best.

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Beyonce. And I mean that in the most respectful, professional way.

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Be sure to catch Luciana Faulhaber as “Fabiola” & Javier E. Gomez as “Georgie” in Jose Luis Ramos-Escobar’s “The Smell of Popcorn” at Teatro IATI (59-61 East 4th Street in NYC).

Through September 19, come watch the worlds of an acting student and career theif collide in this dark comedy about human connectedness and the multiple effects of urban crime upon daily life in “The Smell of Popcorn!”

Production Photo Credit: Michael Palma

Luciana Faulhaber as “Fabiola”

A native of Brazil, Luciana is an actress on the rise! She completed a two-year Meisner training with Bill Esper adn the LABryinth Theatre Master Class. Her theatrical credits include many Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions such as John Patrick Shanley’s new musical “The Monkey Show,” a staged reading with LAB theatre, “I rise in Flame Cried the Phoenix,” at TEEN 99, “Don’t hold the Doors” at Bleecker Street Theatre, “Seascape with Sharks” and “Dancer” at The Tank, “One” at Nic’s Spoon Theatre, Joleen in B.F.F. finalist at the From the Hip: Horror festival, “The Goose is Getting Fat” finalist of Kick IT! Festival, “Romeo and Juliet Together” and “Alive at Last!” at Long Beach Playhouse, CA. Her film credits include “The Winning Season,” “Una calle Sin Salida,” “Lottery Ticket,” and “The Last Samba.” Luciana has also been featured as a model for Guy Webster, MAC Cosmetics, and has a national AT&T commercial currently running. For much more on Luciana be sure to visit http://www.lucianafaulhaber.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? That’s a tough one. I guess in a twisted way my family did. I come from a traditional one and being an artist was never on top of my mother’s list for me. She wanted me to have a “real job” and live the safe life. I played the good girl role for a while but as they pushed me in that direction the need to act and break free grew stronger, until I did. I guess you can say I am a bit of a rebel.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? There are so many people I’d like to work with that it would be impossible to pick one. But I’ve had the chance to meet wonderful people in the past year that just make me see the world in a whole different level with their art: Sandra Werneck, John P. Shanley, Jose Rivera…I would be lucky to work with them not only cause they are so incredibly talented but because they are wonderful people and that is hard to find. Now if I had to pick another actor to work with, it would be Eli Wallach. He is a legend, sweet and just so adorable!

3. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a show? How do you decompress after a show? Every show is different for me. It really depends on what the character requires. “Fabiola” for example, needs to move to loud music, own the space and grow big before each performance. The only ritual that seems consistent is putting my make up on in the dressing room before every performance. I make sure to arrive at the theatre with an extra half hour, turn on a play list on my iPhone and play with the colors forgetting the world out there. That is the beginning of becoming a new character for me. Now to decompress I go for bike rides. I turn on my favorite sing along tunes, put my doggy Spike Lee in the basket, and just ride. The evenings are my favorite since the city is quieter and cooler. It just makes me happy.

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? Unfortunately this is a one way street for me. I can say I’ve been there and done that. I have tried other careers and life times. I can say with certainty that this is it.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent the no one knows about? Nothing I would proudly say in public. But I have one peculiar childhood obsession that grew into an amazing observant talent. I’ll tell you one of these days.

6. Favorite meal? Any meal cooked by my mom at home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The smell of the black beans being cooked or the rising cakes she bakes…it’s all just sweet like childhood and I miss it so much here in NY. But I had a chance to be hosted in Lebanon last year by my beautiful friend Sarah Himadeh and she made sure I tried everything. Since then I have been a huge fan of Lebanese food.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? Dancing! That’s my meditation. But I don’t have a gym membership. I must say the reason I joined was the steam room, but I try to exercise regularly. Key word here being “try.”

8. Favorite skin care product? I am very concerned with what kind of products I use on my skin since it absorbs almost everything you put on it.  I really like “Kiss My Face” moisturizers. They are light in texture, all natural, smell great and give me an excuse to ask for some kisses. Couldn’t be better.

9. Favorite website? Imdb. I love movies and I want to do more film work from here on. So imdb helps me learn more about upcoming projects and the film industry even though it is not always up to date.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman! I am all about female empowerment. I learned a lot about my own feminine power by playing “Fabiola” and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I am not doing much sleeping these days…but I’d like to dream about people I am yet to know. Nothing like waking up looking forward to something new.

12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Whenever you don’t know what to do just smile. People will come to you. Everyone wants to talk to the happy person in the room.” This is advice I got from a girlfriend about dating but I apply it to just everything.

Javier E. Gomez as “Georgie”

Already an award-winning writer, Javier is an up and coming actor rising fast! He too is a graduate of the two-year Meisner program with Bill Esper. Recently, Javier appeared in “No Dogs Allowed” at the Atlantic Theatre Company. His other theatre credits include “My Favorite Year,” “Rock Horror Show,” Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure,” “Apathy: The Gen X Musical,” “Lorca Federico,” “Ruandi,” “Paper Boat: Hostos,” Sondheim’s “Passion,” “Threepenny Opera,” “The Wiz,” and “Man of La Mancha.” His film and TV credits include “Guiding Light, ” “Psychosis” (Padre David), a Sunday prime-time series for Telemundo directed by Sonia Valentin, “El Cantante” and “Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power.” Javier is also an award winning writer with works published by “El Diario/La Prensa” (the oldest Spanish language newspaper in the US), “El Nuevo Dia,” “Pie Derecho,” and “Reuter’s Dollars & Sense” magazine.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My main inspiration to become a performer was originally self-generated. It came from within me, at a very early age, and there was nothing I could do about it. It was just there. It was an inexplicable drive to perform, and awareness that performing was what I was meant to do. Along the way I have strengthen my inspiration through the encouragement of my family and a dear high school teacher, and the example and legacy of Eleonora Duse, the late actor Raul Juliá, Puerto Rican playwright Rene Marqués, Teatro del Sesenta Theater Collective in San Juan, and director Joseph Papp, among other artists whose work led me to aspire to the same level of commitment and excellence.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Hal Prince! LOL. Talk about a man whose vision has repeatedly changed the course of theater in this nation!

3. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a show? How do you decompress after a show? Before a show I try to be as relaxed as possible. I usually take some time alone to be in silence, and meditate, and check with myself. Then I go into a voice, movement, and body warm up routine that varies according to what show I am working on. In the case of “The Smell of Popcorn”, such an intense non-stop physical and emotional show, it involves Suzuki, Viewpoint, and military exercises, and beating a punching bag conveniently located inside the theater. After a show, my favorite way to decompress is going home to family for a quiet conversation, and a cup of cereal in cold milk. Except for “The Smell of Popcorn”. After that show I head straight to a bar near the theater for a cheeseburger and beer.

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I would be Mayor, or Director of Tourism or Cultural Affairs for my hometown in Puerto Rico. I love public service, and I believe that I would be equally content making a contribution there.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I have a remarkable ability to remember historical facts, dates, and names. I keep it to myself because the moment I express it in public, people think I am a freak.

6. Favorite meal? Tough choice. I am a huge exotic food junkie, so my favorite meal keeps changing as I discover more foods from around the world. At the moment I am obsessed with tripe soup from Wing Wong Restaurant in Chinatown. For dessert, nothing beats the Tres Leches (Triple Milk Dipped) Cake, Cuban style.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? Weight lifting and cardiovascular training, combined with eating and sleeping well.

8. Favorite skin care product? Kiehl’s entire line of moisturizers for men.

9. Favorite website? nydailynews.com and nypost.com (Oh, come on! I have the courage to admit it!)

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman, of course!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My father, my grandparents, my great-aunt Tomasa, and all those people whom I adore but sadly passed away too soon in my life.

12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Create your own circumstance. Don’t let circumstance create you” – Landmark Forum.

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Singer, dancer, actor, and visionary are just a few words that describe LaQuet Sharnell, a performer who’s light is getting brighter. Beginning at age 14, LaQuet studied dance in her hometown of Dallas, TX at the Booker T. Washington HSPVA, The Dallas Powerhouse of Dance, and The Centre for Dance learning ballet, modern, African, compositional studies, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and contemporary.  After graduation from high school, LaQuet went on to study at the North Carolina School for the Arts and has been performing ever since. Her credits include Broadway’s “The Lion King” and “Sweet Charity,” regional productions of “Candide,” (New York State Theatre), “Chicago” (Riverside Theatre), “AIDA” (St. Louis MUNY), “Ain’t Misbeahvin'” (Gateway Playhouse), “Princess-A New Musical” (Goodspeed Opera House), “A Chorus Line” (Piano Repertory Theatre), “Nights on Broadway III” (Caesars Palace: Atlantic City), and “Footloose” (Carousel Dinner Theatre). Her television and film credits include “As The World Turns” and “Step Up 3-D” (which is currently in post-production). In addition to performing, LaQuet teaches master classes around the country in jazz, theater, lyrical, modern dance, vocal technique, and acting workshops, allowing students to learn from a true working professional. As a visionary, LaQuet is the founder of STEP Theater Company, a non-profit organization set out to bridge the gap between what is commonly seen in theater and dance companies with a collaborative work environment of Musical Theater artist. Their first production was a reading of Trey Tatum, Andrew Turtletaub, David Alpert, & Bobby Cronin’s work-in-progress “Caty Bridgewater.” Currently, LaQuet can be found dancing and singing up a storm in the Broadway smash hit “Memphis” (along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Chad Kimball, Derrick Baskin, and James Monroe Iglehart). For more on LaQuet, be sure to check out www.laquetsharnell.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I would have to say that I was most inspired by the movie “A Chorus Line.” The “Bebe” character made such an impact on me. Also “The Lion King!” When I saw the show I knew that I could be on Broadway and become a concert dancer. The show made me feel like a I could do anything. Even still to this day when I see the movie and after doing “The Lion King” it makes me dream of the impossible and then it makes me want to accomplish the impossible.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Highest note F (all the time in my sleep) and a G on a super great day when the plants are aligned. Low note D.

3. What is your proudest moment? My proudest moment would have to be when we opened “Memphis The Musical” on Broadway!! Also when the first show for STEP Theater was complete! Both moments made me feel as though I could conquer the world.

4. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I would love to work with Mia Michaels! She is the the most talented woman I have ever seen. I use take her class and after every class I would want to cry with all amazing-ness that she would give the class.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can play the french horn. Most people think it’s a dorky instrument but I think its just the most amazing instrument. Also, I’m the most decorated African American cheerleader in the country.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Taking as many classes as humanly possible and Bikram Yoga.

7. Favorite skin care product? Anything Neutrogena.

8. Favorite play/musical? “A Chorus Line” and “The Wiz.”

9. Favorite website? steptheatercompany.com and facebook.com.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman, mostly cause her boobs look so freaking hot in that costume.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My Girlfriend, Lauren Pringle.

12. Who do you consider to be your hero? Adonis Thompson, Sumatra Thompson, and Doris Jean Evans.

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For the past 11 years, James Monroe Iglehart has been entertaining audiences in theatre and television. His theatre credits include: “The Cowardly Lion” in “The Wiz” (Encores!), Broadway’s “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Be,” “Porgy and Bess” (Oakland EB Symphony), “It Ain’t Nothing but the Blues” (Theatreworks, CA), and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” (AMT San Jose). James is also part of the Hip Hop Improv group “Freestyle Love Supreme” and he is the “Silent E” soloist on “The Electric Company.” Currently, James can be seen in Broadway’s smash hit “Memphis,” (along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Chad Kimball and Derrick Baskin) with his show-stopping opening Act 2 dance number! For more on James, be sure to check out http://www.jamesmonroeiglehart.webs.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My parents.  Prince and Michael Jackson.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I have a low G and high B.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Chuck Cooper.

4. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? The best experience was the opening of Memphis and the worst  was this horrible understudy I had in the Bay Area.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks. I love their Carmel Apple cider.

6. Books or Magazines? Both. I’m a nerd.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Depends on the mood.

8. Favorite musician/singer? Prince, Stevie Wonder.

9. Favorite website? WWE.com and Broadway.com.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Neither Batman all the way!

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Be sure to catch one of Broadway’s powerhouse vocalists & fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Tituss Burgess live at NYC’s famed Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street, between 5th & 6th Ave) this Sunday, January 31 & next Sunday, February 7 at 9:30pm. Tituss is offering fans a stripped down concert of new material intermixed with old favorites. If you’ve never seen Tituss  outside of a Broadway show, you are in for a real treat!

$20 cover + 2 drink minimum. For reservations call 212-206-0440.

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Tituss BurgessI had the pleasure of sitting down with Tituss Burgess tonight at the “Cutting-Edge Composers II” concert to interview him for “Adaumbelle’s Quest.” Tituss has been singing since childhood. From church to hometown establishments to the Broadway stage. Tituss’ vocals has been entertaining & wowing audiences in such shows as “The Little Mermaid,” “Jersey Boys,” “Guys & Dolls,” and “Good Vibrations.” Regionally he has been seen in “The Wiz” as the “Cowardly Lion” and “Songs For A New World” with Jason Robert Brown, Brian D’arcy James, and Alice Ripley. Tituss just released his debut solo CD entitled “Here’s To You.” To find out more on this powerhouse performer, be sure to visit: http://www.titussburgess.com/

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I’ve had many influences, but from really from the moment I was born, I had things I wanted to say and a feeling that people should listen.

2. Who is the one  person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Meryl Streep & Renee Flemming (who I will be getting to perform with on November 21 as part of “Sing For Hope Gala: Songs for Our Future).

3. Is there ever time you thought about quitting? If so, what did you consider doing? Yes there was a time and I thought I’d be a therapist–psychologist because I give great advice and have a great ears.

4. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Dunkin’ Donuts regular coffee.

5. Favorite kind of sundae (ice cream flavor and toppings)? Brownie sundae with chocolate chip cookie dough. I know that’s ghetto, but it’s good.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? The treadmill.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs. I like everything to be held in place.

8. Favorite website? The Randy Rainbow Bloggity BLAHg-BLAHg & of course “Adaumbelle’s Quest.”

9. Favorite musician/singer? Singers: Renee Flemming, India Arie, Adele. Musicians: Jamie Cullum & John Mayer.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman and would they make a live-action film version already!

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William F. BrownWilliam F. Brown wrote the libretto (book writer) for several Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. He is most known for writing the book of the Tony Award Winning show “The Wiz.” Other credits include “The Girl in the Freudian Slip”, and “How To Steal An Election”. In addition to theatre, Mr. Brown was a well known cartoonist, writing and drawing the syndicated comic strip “Boomer” from 1972-1981. He also wrote material for such comedians as Joan Rivers and Georgie Kaye.

1. Who inspired you to become a writer? The same person who inspired Jesus to walk on water. Actually no one inspired me to become a writer. But I was encouraged by Julius Monk (Plaza Nine in NYC) and Max Liebman (“Your Show of Shows” on TV). I’ve written everything since I was a kid. With practically no inspiration, except wet feet.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I got 100 on a spelling test in third grade.

3. Who do you consider to be your hero? My biggest hero is my wife, Tina.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Strange talents? I’m a cartoonist. I wrote and drew a comic strip “Boomer” from 1972-1981 for United Feature Syndicate. I also wrote and drew and sold magazine gag cartoons from the age of 18 on, until about 1970.

5. Favorite Play? Outside of “The Girl in the Freudian Slip” (which I wrote) it’s “The Odd Couple” which I wish I’d written.

6. Favorite Musical? Outside of “The Wiz”, (for which I wrote the book), it’s “Chicago”. Which I also wish I’d written, even tho I was born in Jersey City.

7. Favorite Winter Retreat? Sanibel Island, Florida.

8. Favorite Meal? Roast Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, ice cream, decaf. With a glass of chardonnay. (long before the ice cream). But I’ll settle for mac and cheese.

9. Animal Crackers or Oreos? Oreos.

10. Peanut Butter: Crunchy or Smooth? Neither. I hate peanut butter.

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