Posts Tagged ‘“Xanadu”’

If you are looking for a performer with strong vocals, good looks, and most of all talent, then Curtis Holbrook is your guy! A performer on the definite rise, Curtis has delighted Broadway audiences in “Xanadu,” “Follies,” “All Shook Up,” “The Boy From Oz,” “Taboo,” “Fosse,” and “Footloose,” and the current Broadway revival of “West Side Story.”  His Off-Broadway credits include “Saved!” at Playwrights Horizon and “Radiant Baby” at the Public Theater. Curtis has also lit up the screen in such films and television shows as “Hairspray,” “Across the Universe,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Sesame Street,” “All My Children,” and “As The World Turns.” Curtis can currently be seen in “Frog Kiss” (along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Kate Pazakis) produced by Brierpatch Productions as part of the NYMF festival from September 30-October 11 at the Theater at St. Clements (423 West 46th Street).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? First, I would have to say my mother…Because she put in me in tap class at the age of 2 🙂 But when I was old enough to know what being inspired was, I saw Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in Singin’ in the Rain. That moment was truly magical for me. I was hooked.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I don’t actually read sheet music…I do everything by ear. I try not to think about what notes I am singing because it can mess with your head, ya know?…But I think when we filmed Across the Universe I sang a high D.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Just one? There are so many!!! Well even though it isn’t possible…Bob Fosse. His way of storytelling is like no other.

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

5. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a show? Depends on the show… Usually, I listen to music that could be the soundtrack of the characters life… That helps to get me focused and fired up. How do you decompress after a show? An adult beverage.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? Hand Farting.

7. Favorite ride at an amusement park? All of them! The X Factor @ Magic Mountain might be my favorite though.

8. Favorite way to stay in shape? Really just by doing what I do…and Yoga. I don’t do gyms.

9. Boxers or Briefs? Really??? If you must know…square cut boxer briefs. So both!

10. Favorite website? YouTube.

11. Superman or Wonder Woman? Batman.


12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? My Grandfather always told me…”Think For Yourself.”

13. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My wife 🙂

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Whether he’s using his soulfully powerful voice to belt out tunes, or his fine acting skills that whisk you away, or dazzling an audience with his dance moves, Marty Thomas is a performer to go see!

Growing up in Missouri, Marty’s star has been shining from an early age. From local talent shows to regional theatre, Marty climbed the ranks, making quite a name for himself. In 1992, Marty won the title of Junior Vocalist on “Ed McMahon’s Junior Star Search.” From there, Marty was featured in many television programs and commercials which led to him to be cast as one of the leads in the Broadway musical “The Secret Garden.” After the Broadway run, Marty headed back home to pursue his singing career by joining a young country pop band called “The Young Branson Stars” who eventually became the opening act for several country stars such as The Oak Ridge Boys, Glenn Campbell, and Steve Warner.

Marty ultimately returned to New York to continue his dream of performing. From Broadway’s “Wicked” and “Xanadu” to solo concerts, Marty has worked non-stop. In 2001, Marty made his Billboard debut with “Resurrect Me (Lift Me Up)” on Westend Records which led him to receive a Billboard award for “Song of the Year” in Gospel/Contemporary Christian Category as well as several Grammy nominations. In 2004, Marty released his solo CD “Marty Thomas” which is a collection of his most popular cover songs. Marty can also be heard on The Broadway Boys CD “Lullaby of Broadway.” Come party with Marty at The Monster (80 Grove Street, NYC) on Sunday, September 12 at 8:30pm at “Glitterball 2010.” Stay to enjoy Marty perform at 10:30pm along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Katie Thompson, Kate Pazakis, and Tituss Burgess. For much more on Marty, be sure to visit http://www.martythomas.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Many people, my oldest sister Amy was a pageant gal in her day, probably the most influential in my wanting to be on the stage. I also found a video cassette at a garage sale when I was 10 of all Linda Eder’s Star Search episodes. I think that video both inspired me to want to be a belter and began my obsession with the divas. I also had a strange obsession with Jennifer Holiday at 6. Do the math.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Hmmm…I can sing down to B Flat..and can belt Ds, Es on good and hyper days. :). Or if Kate Pazakis is in the room, it’s limitless.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Jane Lynch. Love her. I have a feeling we would have very funny things to say to each other.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I don’t think I have any secret talents..I’m such a show off…lord knows if I was good I at it, I’d probably die making sure the whole world knew about it…lol.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? Roller skating! Duh.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs, my jeans are far too tight to fit anything else under them.

7. Favorite meal? All you can eat crab legs and peel and eat shrimp at the casino. Mmmmm….Nothing beats White Trash Casino night!

8. Favorite play/musical? Hmmmm…I’m totally into Memphis right now, but I’m an old school Dreamgirls fanatic.

9. Favorite website? Facebook, I have a problem.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Absolutely Wonder Woman!


11. What’s your proudest moment? When I won the Mr. Broadway Pageant…I worked really hard for it, and had a great time, all for a great cause.

12. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Do you, let everybody else figure out how fierce you are in their own time.” (Got that from Billy Porter, my hero.)

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Max von Essen is one of those performers who has it all…the voice, the talent, and most of all the personality. When Max von Essen sings, you never want it to end and when he’s on stage, he’s the focal point of the action. Starting his career off with a boom, he was a back-up singer on tour with the one and only Liza Minnelli and his star has continued to shine brightly. On Broadway, Max has starred in both the original and revival of “Les Miserables,” “Dance of The Vampires” starring Michael Crawford, and the 2000 revival of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He also starred in “Jerry Springer: The Opera” at Carnegie Hall, “Finian’s Rainbow” at the Irish Repertory Theatre, and “The Fantasticks” at the Sullivan Street Playhouse. Max has been in regional productions of “The Baker’s Wife” at the Paper Mill Playhouse and “Mame” at The Kennedy Center. Other theatre credits includes productions of “Girl Crazy,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Dorian,” “Pirates of Penzance,” “My Fair Lady,” “Hair,” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” When Max is not performing in a show, he’s dedicating his time to many charities close to his heart including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Matthew Shephard Foundation. Currently, Max is skating around the country in the national tour of “Xanadu” as Sonny Malone, so be sure to check him out when he rolls into your town. For more on Max, be sure to check out his website http://www.maxvonessen.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? All my teachers (and old movie musicals!!!)

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Haha, my range? Well, I’m a baritone so I have like a low G and then I can sing up to an A above middle C. But I have an odd falsetto and have played “Mary Sunshine” in “Chicago” and “Tremont” in “Jerry Springer The Opera,” so I’ve had to go up another octave and sing high A’s and B’s in the soprano range.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Oh god, there are so many! I’d love to work on broadway with Brian D’Arcy James in something and in a movie someday with Meryl Streep. I mean, could you imagine?

4. What’s the best advice someone ever gave you? “Follow your bliss.” An older friend told me that when I was a teenager, and it guides me constantly.

5. What is your proudest moment? That is such a difficult question. My proudest moment is simply every time I feel like I’m living my life as a decent human being. That may seem cliché but it’s true. It’s not about booking the next big job or anything for me, but at this point in my life, I just strive to be a good friend, son, brother and uncle.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Eight shows a week. Other than that, I hardly work out. I hate it!!!!

7. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs. Although now that I mostly wear skinny jeans, I usually wear briefs. 🙂

8. Favorite skin care product? Haha, good old Cetaphil cleanser, Kiehl’s Eye Alert, and Mac Studio Fix! Must haves!

9. Favorite website? None that I can tell you about. Well, other than Facebook and Twitter. (I’m slightly obsessed).

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? SUPERMAN all the way!!!!


11. Books or Magazines? I love magazines. But I really should read books more. Grrrrr.

12. Favorite TV Show Theme Song? Easy…The Nanny!!!!! Love it!

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When two-time Tony Award Nominee, Mary Testa takes the stage, the audience takes notice, whether it’s her impeccable comedic timing or beautiful singing voice including a belt that knocks the roof off. It’s no wonder she was nominated for her roles in the Broadway revivals of “42nd Street” and “On The Town.” Her other Broadway credits include “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum,” “Barnum,” “The Rink,” “Marilyn,” “Chicago,” “Marie Christine,” “Xanadu,” and the 2009 revival of “Guys and Dolls.” Mary has also delighted audiences Off-Broadway in such shows as “See What I Wanna See,” “First Lady Suite,” “String of Pearls,” “The Vagina Monologues,” “From Above,” “A New Brain”, and “In Trousers.” She was also a series regular on NBC’s “Whoopi” and guest starred on HBO’s “Sex and the City.” Mary can currently be seen in the Off-Broadway revival of “Measure for Measure” (also starring fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Jefferson Mays) playing at The Duke on 42nd Street in New York City (229 West 42nd Street between 7th & 8th Ave).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Marcel Marceau.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you sing? high c (with my arms over my head) and low a.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Luis Bunuel (unfortunately, he is dead).

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Probably God.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Actually, I order decaf coffee from both.

6. Favorite play/musical? Play: A tie between “The Ruling Class” & “Comedians.”  Musical: Anything by Michael John Lachiusa &  Floyd Collins.

7. Favorite store to shop in? Berdorf’s during the shoe sale, and Lord and Taylor.

8. Favorite way to spend your day off? Shopping.

9. Favorite website? dilsted.com and awfulplasticsurgery.com.

10. “Mary” or “Rhoda”? Rhoda.

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AveQNWS_Rosegg4-OB693Anika Larsen has a gift, besides her acting, that she bestows upon theatre audiences nightly…her  supreme voice. She has a way to hit all the right notes and when needed belt them out of this world. Most recently Anika wrote and performed in “Shafrika, The White Girl,” an autobiographical musical about growing up with nine siblings of different races. Anika’s other theatrical credits include Broadway’s “Xanadu,” “All Shook Up,” “Rent,” and Off-Broadway’s “Zanna, Don’t!” She holds a B.A. in Theatre from Yale and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity. Anika is also the Co-founder of Jaradoa Theater, which serves the community through performance-based outreach. Visit them at www.jaradoatheater.org. Currently, Anika can been seen in the Tony Award Winning Musical “Avenue Q” at The New World Stages as “Kate Monster/Lucy.”

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My 9 brothers and sisters inspired me to be a performer, because I figured out early on that singing loud was the best way for me to get attention in my house.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I don’t know. I probably should, but I think deciding where your high and low are can psych you out. If you’re too aware that you’re singing near your limits, your mind might decide you can’t sing a note your voice actually can. I just sing what they tell me to sing.

3. What is the best advice you’ve given someone, but not taken for yourself? Choose your personal life (your family, your friends, your happiness) over your career. I’m trying to do that more, but historically I’ve been bad at it. I’ll bet a lot of us in this biz are.

4. Out of all the people you’ve worked with, who did you learn the most from? My first Equity gig was Rent in L.A., and that cast taught me a tremendous amount about the logistics of the theater business, and about the kind of professional I want to be.

5. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? My friend Catherine Brunell is hugely talented, but also one of the most genuine, generous, delightful people I know in this business. She’s in Mary Poppins now. We met when we were doing different musicals up at the Goodspeed, and we bonded watching Red Sox games after our respective shows. We’ve been great friends ever since, but we’ve never actually worked together–I wanna do a show with her!

6. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I don’t drink coffee, and I try to avoid big chains. If I was meeting someone for “coffee”, I’d get green tea at an independent coffee spot like The Coffee Pot. (Hey, that rhymed at the end!)

7. Favorite skin care product? I love my Cover Girl CG Smoother Tinted Moisturizer. It’s lotion with foundation in it, and it’s cheap.

8. Favorite play/musical? Asking for one favorite is kind of a ridiculous thing to do. But I’ve seen In the Heights seven times. I’ve never seen a show seven times. So that must mean something.

9. Favorite website? www.jaradoatheater.org

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman. Better theme song.

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Olivia Newton-John is a woman who represents many things to many people. For some she is Olivia Newton-John the Grammy, Country Music, American Music, Emmy, and People’s Choice Award winning artist. For others, she’s “Sandy” from the mega hit movie musical “Grease,” and for countless millions she is an inspiration of survival and strength, winning her own fight against breast cancer. For me, she’s one of my top favorite artists who’s music, movies, and life’s battles have shown me that “No Matter What You Do,” every life experience, both happy and hard, makes us “Stronger Than Before.” Now here’s her story…

ONJPR3Olivia Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England in 1948, moving to Melbourne, Australia when she was five. By 1963, Olivia was appearing on local Australian TV and weekly music programs. She cut her first single in 1966, a cover of Jackie DeShannon’s “Till You Say You’ll Be Mine” and in 1971 she recorded a cover of “Bob Dylan’s “If Not For You,” co-produced by John Farrar, with whom she continues to collaborate with today. In 1973, Olivia released her first U.S. album, “Let Me Be There,” which earned her her first top ten single of the same name. That year, the Academy of Country Music honored her as “Most Promising Female Vocalist” and a Grammy Award as “Best Country Vocalist.” In addition to the multiple awards listed above, Olivia has had five #1 hits (including the smash hit “Physical,” which topped the charts for ten consecutive weeks), 15 top 10 singles, and has been inducted into the Australian Music Hall of Fame. Other music career highlights include: the 1994 release of  “Gaia: One Woman’s Journey”, her most personal (and my favorite) album, which reflects upon her experiences with cancer, the 1999 release of her album “Back With A Heart” earned her a Daytime Emmy Award for her song “Love Is A Gift” which was featured on “As The World Turns,” performing “Dare to Dream” at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the release of “Magic-The Very Best of Olivia Newton-John”, which celebrated 30 years of recordings as well her first holiday album in 2002, “The Christmas Collection.” She has also released a duets album titled “2,” which features many of her Australian friends as well as “Indigo: Women of Song”, a tribute album to many of Olivia’s favorite female performers.

In addition to music, Olivia has delighted fans in such movies as the mega-hit movie musical “Grease,” the cult-favorite “Xanadu” (in which she danced her away across the screen with Gene Kelly), “Two of A Kind,” “It’s My Party,”, and “Sordid Lives.” On television she has light up the screen as host of the internationally syndicated “Wild Life” television show, in the Showtime movie “The Wilde Girls” (co-starring with her real-life daughter Chole), as a guest judge on “American Idol,” a series regular on Del Shore’s “Sordid Lives: The Series” (co-starring Rue McClanahan, Leslie Jordan, and Jason Dottley), as well as the television movies “A Mom For Christmas” and “My Christmas Romance.”

In addition to her artistry, Olivia dedicates much of her time to many humanitarian & environmental causes such as “The Colette Chuda Environment Fund/CHEC (Children’s Health Environ-mental Coalition) which was founded in 1991 after the tragic death of Chole’s best friend from a rare childhood cancer. She is creating the “Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre” (ONJCWC) in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia which hopes to break ground in 2010 as they are still in the fundraising stages (but almost there). The Wellness Centre is the major passion of the centre for Olivia. It will provide a comprehensive range of services and facilities for cancer treatment, education, training and research. Olivia has also released “Liv Aid,” a breast self-examination device which helps women perform self-breast exams with more ease and confidence. Everyone needs to get away and rejuvenate, so Olivia opened the GAIA Retreat & Spa, in Bryon Bay, Australia, a retreat site that bases your stay upon your individual needs. Her outreach and dedication to these causes, always brings Olivia back to music. In 2005 she released the CD “Stronger Than Before,” featuring songs of inspiration, courage, and hope that relate to the many emotions cancer patients and their loved ones face, with a portion of the proceeds going to cancer research. In 2006, Olivia released “Grace and Gratitude”, a relaxation CD to help promote spiritual balance and physical and emotional healing. It’s release coincided with the launch of Olivia’s signature line of body, heart, and spirit wellness products for women, exclusively available at Walgreens stores.

Grace and GratitudeAlways spreading love and positive energy, whether through her artistry or personal causes, Olivia Newton-John is here to stay and I’m honored that someone I’ve admired for so many years and has helped me get through some rough times, has taken the time to participate in “Adaumbelle’s Quest.” Thank you Olivia for your love and light and showing me how to “Pass It On.” For much more on Olivia Newton-John be sure to visit: http://olivianewton-john.com/

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I have always loved to sing and have done so since I was girl, but I guess I have to credit my sister and my mother for really encouraging me to work hard and pursue a career as a young girl.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? That is a huge question! So much talent in the world and I have worked with so many-but one would be Tony Bennett.

3. Who do you consider to be your hero? I have to say my mum for sure. She was an amazing woman who had a gift of seeing the beauty in everything and she passed on this gift – and by her example I learned to deal with everything in life.

4. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? If so, what did you think about doing instead? The only time I thought of retiring was after I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. I thought I was going to take time off to just be a mum and enjoy my life in a quiet way, but during and after my treatment I kept writing songs – I couldn’t help it. Music will always be a major therapy for me!

5. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My wonderful husband, “Amazon John” Easterling. He is definitely – and excuse the pun – the man of my dreams!

6. Favorite pastime? Spending time with my daughter, my husband, and our dogs.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I love to play tennis, go for long walks on the beach, do yoga, and I now love to kayak. My husband gave me one for my birthday and I just love it! I also take his company’s herbs and drink his organic rainforest health juice ZAMU every day. It makes you feel amazing and it is extremely good for your body, mind, and spirit!

8. Favorite store to shop in? CVS!!

9. Favorite skin care product? Definitely the Amazon Herb Company’s Lluvia skin care line (AmazonHerb.net). I love their Camu C Serum – it smells delicious. It is great for your skin – packed with Vitamin C!

10. Favorite website? www.Liv.com – this is a site that I am very proud of as it helps bring valuable information to woman about breast cancer and the Liv Aid, a breast self-exam device I designed that helps woman perform monthly self-exams more easily. Early detection is key to beating breast cancer!

11. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman. (My husband is Superman!)

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Dyllun Von Ritter

Dyllun Von RitterBehind every successful boss, is their ever so faithful and brilliant assistant. Without Dyllun Von Ritter, where would Cubby Bernstein be? For more info, visit www.cubbybernstein.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a personal assistant? Mr. B. Anyway to get in the door, as they say.

2. What do you hate most about your job? Sometimes my neck hurts from looking down so much. We operate on different plains. Literally.

3. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? One time when Cubby told me the Tony’s were canceled, I thought about quitting in protest. Sometimes Cubby’s pranks are little mean spirited…

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Yes. That’s all you get though.

5. Favorite kind of sundae (ice cream flavor and toppings)? Banana Split, duh!

6. Boxers or Briefs? Dance belt. Even for just a subway ride.

7. Favorite TV Show? I do love that “Three’s Company.”

8. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Man. Mr. Daniel Evans.

9. Favorite celebrity gossip website? I don’t have time for them. But sometimes I press my ear against a cup that I hold up to the wall that separates me from Mr. B.

10. What website do you get your news from? Playbill.com, Broadwayworld.com, Broadway.com.

Favorite Play/Musical? Xanadu.

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Cubby Bernstein

Cubby BernsteinA multiple Tony Award winner, 63 Tony Awards to be exact.  Cubby Bernstein is the man about Broadway to help your show win the coveted Tony award. Go to www.cubbybernstein.com to find out more. All answers are from Cubby Bernstein.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Performer? I don’t think of myself as a performer, now legend that I’ll take.

2. What was your first professional performance? (tapping microphone of his dictaphone) Hello, Dyllun, is this fachachta thing on? They think I’m a performer.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Liz McCann says David Merrick would love me.

4. What is your best and worst experience in a show? Best — when you first hear that overture! Worst — when they play the last note of “Bows and exit”.

5. What is your favorite kind of sundae (ice cream flavor and topping)? I like the Xanadu sundae at Serendipity. I savor it and try to imagine what town they’re in on their national tour. Chicago I think.

6. Animal Crackers or Oreos? Celery — oy the carbs.

7. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Angus.

8. Favorite TV Show? Every year there’s a new series with Kristin Chenowith — I like that one.

9. Favorite Holiday? That Sunday in June when they do the Tony Awards. Gather the kiddies around the TV set, light candles, make cocoa, watch Jeffrey Seller and Kevin McCollum open their presents.

10. Favorite ride at an amusement park? Twyla Tharp.

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