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Posts Tagged ‘“Wicked”’

On Monday, April 19, 2010, I attended the Broadway Beauty Pageant at Symphony Space in NYC which crowns one of five chorus boys “Mr. Broadway.”  Directed by Ryan J. Davis & conceived by Jeffrey Self, all proceeds support The Ali Forney Center, dedicated to providing shelter & guidence to GLBT youth who have no where to go because their families have turned their backs on them for being gay. Many of the youth who have benefited from the center’s services have now been able to thrive & succeed, from graduating college to getting an internship at CNN. The Ali Forney Center has so much to offer, but have turn hundreds away because all of their beds are occupied. If you are looking to help a truly wonderful organization, consider donating to the Ali Forney Center & help them continue to help the youth of today.

The Broadway Beauty Pageant has contestants participate in 3 categories: talent, interview, & swimsuit competition. In addition to audience votes, there is a celebrity host and judges. Tonight’s event was hosted by Tony Award Nominee Tovah Feldshuh (my post show interview with her will be going up soon), who kept the night moving along with her quick wit and humor! The celebrity judges consisted of Tony Award Winner Christine Ebersole, Tony Award Nominee Charles Busch as well as Villiage Voice Michael Musto (who was a last minute replacement for Jackie Hoffman who due to a scheduling conflict, couldn’t attend).

The contestants consisted of Eddie Pendergraft (Wicked), Rickey Tripp (In The Heights), Wes Hart (West Side Story), Charlie Williams (Memphis), & Daniel Soto (Fela). The evening started off with the talent portion & talent is what these guys have…Eddie sang his own rendition of Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anyhing For Love, But I Won’t Do That” complete with his own incredibly drawn pictures to illustrate his points. Rickey did Monique’s monologue from “Precious” which at first had people laughing, because of his shirtless physique & shiny gold shorts, but shortly after he started, the audience was captivated so much that you could hear a pin drop. Wes sang an acoustic medley of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” “Bad Romance,” and “Paparazzi.” Charlie showed off both his talent of rhythm & rhyme by first rapping about who he was and then morphing into a flashy interpretive dance, while Daniel did a moving intrpretive dance about fear. Next was the interview portion where the contestants answered various questions from the judges including how they arrived in New York. The evening ended with the hot & hunky men in a swimsuit competition. Let me tell you, those boys define sexiness!

The votes got tallied and the 2010 “Mr. Broadway” title went to Mr. Memphis himself, Charlie Williams! To see Charlie strut his stuff, treat yourself to an evening at the Broadway hit “Memphis.”

If you weren’t able to make it this year to the Broadway Beauty Pageant, I highly recommend attending next year! It’s a fun time while supporting a very worthy cause.

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Be sure to catch fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Julie Reiber at D-Lounge tonight, Thursday (April 15) at 10pm singing the songs of Carner & Gregor! With an incredible voice, this is surely going to be a fun time!

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An award winning actress, Julie Reiber has been on Broadway, Off-Broadway, as well traveling the country in National Tours and Regional productions.  She was the standby for “Elphaba” in Broadway’s “Wicked,” the understudy for “Natalie” in Broadway’s “All Shook Up” and the understudy for “Brooklyn” & “Faith” in Broadway’s “Brooklyn.” Off-Broadway she starred in “Ministry of Progress” and toured Nationally with  “Rent” and “Brooklyn” as well as the Korean Concert tour of “Jekyll & Hyde.” Regionally, Julie has been seen in productions of “Caroline or Change” at The Guthrie Theatre, “Wicked” at Pantages Theater, “Godspell” at The Paper Mill Playhouse, “Aida” at the Arvada Center where she won the 2006 Henry Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as received a 2006 Denver Ovation Nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as “Amneris.” Other regional productions include “Footloose” at the Merry Go Round, “Ragtime” at the Ogunquit Playhouse, “Carousel” at the North Shore Music Theatre, and “Sweeney Todd” at Theatre on the Hill. In addition to theatre, Julie has been in such films and television shows as “Guiding Light,” “Eclipse of the Heart,” and “Why Are We Here?” She also hosted the television show “Your LA.” Recently, Julie was featured in a reading of Bobby Cronin’sThe Beaten Path” and just finished a run of “The Full Monty” in North Carolina. To find out what’s up next for Julie, be sure to visit juliereiber.com!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Well…when I was little I was constantly singing Olivia Newton-John and Whitney Houston. I was obsessed with “Annie” as a little girl too and would act out the entire show outside my house in the street. I think it was a combination of singers and shows that got me hooked. I just knew I wanted to perform from a very young age.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Well…on a good day I’d say a high D or D# perhaps. Lowest probably low D on a low day. 😉

3. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? Best: Hmmm…I have had so many great experiences in shows. I’ve been lucky to have many great casts. I would say that “Caroline or Change” at the Guthrie was a highlight. The cast was so incredibly talented and just such lovely people. We were a real family.
Worst…do I have to say? Well…this is a combination of worst and best in one. I did an off-bdway show at The Jane St. called “Ministry of Progress.” It’s a very long story, but in short, the director was a crazy woman and we had to get her banned from the theatre. It was a wild experience…but thru it all that madness gave me some of the best friends I have in this city. I guess a crazy experience like that can bring people very close. 😉

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I wish I had some crazy unusual talent. I can touch my tongue to my nose. Sorry..that’s boring.

5. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Wow…you like to get personal eh Adam? 😉 Well…my boyfriend…of course. Johnny Depp ain’t bad either.

6. Favorite skin care product? Sugar Face Polish and Sugar lip balm by FRESH.

7. Favorite store to shop in? Anthropologie.

8. Favorite musician/singer? Only one?! I can’t. Here’s a few…Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Eva Cassidy…on and on and on.

9. Favorite website? Facebook…of course. 😉

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Dude…I had a Wonder Woman undies when I was a kid. ALL Wonder Woman!

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Fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Andy Karl has joined the cast of Broadway’s “Wicked” playing the part of “Fiyero.” If you haven’t seen this show, now would be a great time as Andy will entice and enchant you like no other “Fiyero” has with his good looks, sexy and vibrant singing voice as well as his brilliant comedic timing. Take yourself down to the Emerald City at the Gershwin Theatre in NYC (51st Street between Broadway & 8th Avenue) for a “Wicked” good time!

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Obie and Emmy Award winning actress as well as fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Rue McClanahan suffered a mild stroke. She is recovering and working hard to get back to doing what she does best–Entertaining her fans! (Thank you Del Shores for the update).

Dear Rue,

Get well soon! Thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery! Can’t wait to hear all your “Sordid” stories…

Love,

Adam 🙂

(This is a picture of Rue & I from when she starred on Broadway in 2001 in Roundabout Theatre’s production of “The Women”).

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With her powerhouse vocals, Anne Brummel has been flying high! From “Wicked” in Chicago and on the 2nd National Tour to the national tours of “Cats” and “Evita” as well as leading her vocals to fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest participant Bobby Cronin’sReach The Sky Concert,” Anne’s voice has been heard around the world filling not only theatre’s, but the hearts of many lucky audiences. You can currently catch Anne traveling the country on the 2nd National Tour of Wicked.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I grew up in theatre. Both my parents were musical theatre performers so, I guess in a way, they inspired me. I don’t think it was any one thing or person as much as it was just in my blood.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Oh jeez…..whatever that impossible low note is at the end of “I’m Not That Girl” from Wicked to an E above high C ish.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? There are lots!  I would love to work with any broadway icon…….Carolee Carmello is someone who I would love to be on stage with. She is just Amazing!

4. Who do you consider to be your hero? My mother. She is the coolest person I know.

5. Peanut Butter: Crunchy or Smooth? For sandwiches and apple dipping, smooth. But for glutinous chocolate dipping, crunchy.

6. What skin care products do you use? I’m always trying new things. My skin is not overly sensitive, so I enjoy trying new stuff. Currently I am using Origins A Perfect World cleanser. I also use a Hyurolonic Acid day and night cream and Vitamin E ointment at night.

7. Favorite play/musical? I don’t have just one….Funny Girl, Nine, Evita,Company…..Cats……just kidding…..not Cats!

8. Favorite hobby? Cooking.

9. Best holiday gift ever? My husband got me the most beautiful necklace for my birthday. I know its not recognized as a national holiday , but in my world it counts!!

10. “Saved By The Bell” or “California Dreams”? SAVED BY THE BELL!!!!!!!!!

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Rue McClanahan

Updated: Rue McClanahan passed today, June 3, 2010 at the age of 76 after suffering a stroke. The interview below is from 2009 and a special Thank You to Michael J. La Rue who sat down with Rue to answer these questions and send them on to me. I am forever grateful!

Rue McClanahan is an icon.  An OBIE and Emmy Award winning actress, not a decade has passed by without Rue being in the spotlight since making her stage debut in 1957 at the Erie Playhouse in “Inherit The Wind.” She studied with theatre legend Uta Hagen and made her Broadway debut in 1969 in “Jimmy Shine” starring Dustin Hoffman and in 1970 won the OBIE Award for her role in “Who’s Happy Now?” Rue joined the soap opera “Another World” from 1970-1971. It was her guest starring role in 1972 on  “All In The Family,” created by Norman Lear, that lead Lear to cast Rue in “Maude” (alongside Bea Arthur), where she stayed until the show ended in 1978. In the 80s, Rue was on the hit show “Mamma’s Family” starring Vicki Lawrence (and Betty White for a time) and then came “The Golden Girls” from 1985-1992, reuniting Rue with Bea Arthur and Betty White along with Estelle Getty. After the “The Golden Girls,” Rue continued on as “Blanche Devereaux” in “The Golden Palace.” The late ’90s & new millennium has brought Rue back to the stage, starring in such hits as “The Vagina Monologues,” Roundabout Theatre’s revival of “The Women” and the Broadway production of “Wicked.” She also released her autobiography, “My First Five Husbands and The Ones Who Got Away” and came back to  series TV in “Sordid Lives: The Series.” You can catch Rue September 19 at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas, TX as part of “A Sordid Comedy Affair” tour with creator Del Shores along with cast members Leslie Jordan, Jason Dottley, and Caroline Rhea. Like the characters Rue has played, she is strong, funny, and always making fans smile. So watch out, ’cause Rue is still rising!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My Mother, Rheua-Nell McClanahan.

2. When did you realize you wanted to become a performer? I realized I wanted to be a performer when I was five and cast as the Mother Cat in my Kindergarten’s performance of “Three Little Kittens.”  I realized I actually could do it as a profession when I was 12; I figured out that the people I saw in movies were not from Hollywood, they were actually from other towns, even small ones, just like me.

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

4. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? Heavens no!

5. What is the best advice a teacher ever gave you? Barney Brown, a man who directed me at The Pasadena Playhouse – and directors are often teachers, at least the good ones –  he told me: “You’ll never become great until you’re willing to go out on a limb, much further than you feel comfortable, so far out it is dangerous, and then you learn to pull it back and refine it.”

6. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? It would be me actually, but only because there is a particular dream I want to experience again. In it, I was floating in the air, conducting a symphony that I had created; and I knew I was in a dream and wouldn’t be able to bring the wonderful music from my subconscious out with me. I would love to have that dream again!

7. Favorite kind of shoes? Anything that is really comfortable.

8. Favorite holiday? Christmas.

9. Favorite color? Blue

10. Favorite kind of sundae (ice cream flavor & topping)? A classic: vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can write backwards, upside down, and even upside down AND backwards.

12. What is the weirdest thing you’ve read about yourself and where did you read it? There was an article filled with lies about the “Golden Girls” actors in the “National Enquirer.”  Someone gave it to me on the way to the airport and I read that I had narcolepsy; that condition where you just fall asleep out of the blue.  It also said that Betty White ate six cheeseburgers a day!  Whoever leaked to the press got it wrong.  I have the ability to take naps anywhere, and often did, even behind the couch on the set of “Golden Girls,” but I do not suffer from narcolepsy.  And Betty White did not eat six cheeseburgers every day, she ate one.

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