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Posts Tagged ‘York Theatre’

Talented, vocal powerhouse, and booming stage presence are just some ways to describe Helen Hayes Award Winner Heidi Blickenstaff. Beautiful, kind, and personable are a few more. Heidi has brightened up the Broadway stage in “[title of show],” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Full Monty” while Off-Broadway audiences have seen her shine in “[title of show],” “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde” at NYMF 2005. Regionally, Heidi has dazzled audiences in “Meet John Doe” (Ford’s Theatre) for which she won the Helen Hayes Award for her portrayal of “Ann Mitchell,” “The Girl in the Frame” (Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre), “Bat Boy: The Musical” (Theatreworks in Palo Alto), and “Prairie” (New York Stage and Film). Heidi has also delighted audiences around on tour in “The Full Monty,” “Jekyll & Hyde,” “Steel Pier,” “The Who’s Tommy,” and “Dreamgirls.” In addition to theatre, Heidi is also part of the voiceover cast for the PBS kids series “Word World.” If you’ve never seen Heidi on stage, be sure to catch her in “I Love My Wife” from October 22-24 as part of the York Theatre’s Mufti Series.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I’m gonna give this one to Judy Garland. When I was a like 6 or 7, we had one of the first VCRs in the neighborhood because my uncle owned a video store, and I remember my mom sat me in front of old Hollywood movie musicals and I saw Judy in Meet Me In St. Louis, and thought, “Wait a minute, you can do this as a job?” It was over then and there.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I get asked this all the time and the answer is I have no idea. In either direction.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? EASY! Brian Darcy. James. End of meeting.

4. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a show? I stretch the bod a bit. I warm up the voice a little. And sometimes I drill certain parts of the show that make me nervous. (I’m trying to do better with that though, because drilling is the Devil’s work.) How do you decompress after a show? I usually eat a bowl of cereal. And it’s usually a sugar cereal disguised as a healthy cereal like Peanut Butter Puffins or Peanut Butter Pows. I like peanut butter cereal… It takes the edge off after a hard day.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts?  What do you order? Neither lately. But if I have to pick, I pick Starbucks and I’ll have a grande soy misto, please.

6. Favorite skin care product? This is a hard core indulgence for me. I use La Mer face wash, moisturizing cream, and eye concentrate. Stop judging. That shiz works.

7. Favorite store to shop in? I can loose my mind in Saks, but the customer service at Nordstom is a force to be reckoned with. I also heart Rag and Bone.

8. Favorite play/musical? I was just talking about this today. I will happily never be free from The Light In The Piazza. Oddly, I don’t listen to many musicals, with the exception of Piazza. Can’t explain it. Seeing it live wrecked me forever and listening to the cast album makes me cry every time

9. Favorite website? Lately, I’ve been addicted to the NYTimes real estate website, but I just found a new apartment, so I’m going to need a new obsession. What’s a good decorating website?

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Can I pick Wolverine? Wait, can I pick Hugh Jackman?

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I’d love to spend a little more time with my Grandma.

12. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? From my friend Andre Ward about me having a lot of performance anxiety – “Remember. You’re not saving France.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I think about it all the time when I’m taking things too seriously. It always makes me calm down and smile.

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With one of the most beautiful and powerful voices, Jose Llana is a performer to go see! From Broadway to regional and national tours to film and television, Jose delights and mesmerizes audiences where ever he goes. He made is Broadway debut in the 1996 revival of “The King and I” and in 2005 he created the role of “Chip Tolentino” in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” His other Broadway credits include the revival of “Flower Drum Song” (with Lea Salonga), “Rent,” and “Streetcorner Symphony.” Off-Broadway, Jose has delighted audiences in “Adam Guettel’s Saturn Returns” and “On The Town.” He’s been seen in the national tours of “Martin Guerre,” “Ballad of Little Jo,” and “Candide,” while regionally he’s performed in “Wonderland” at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and The Alley Theatre. Jose’s film and television credits include “Hitch” (Ross) and “Sex and the City” (Damian).

Jose has also released his self-titled solo album “Jose” under the VIVA Philippines label. Other recordings Jose can be heard on are “Broadway Romances Manhattan,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” and the revivals of “The King and I” and “Flower Drum Song.” Currently, Jose can be seen lighting up the stage in the York Theatre’s production of “Falling For Eve” (along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Adam Kantor, click here for my review) through August 8. For more on Jose, be sure to visit http://www.josellana.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I was obsessed with movie musicals as a kid. Gene Kelly, Julie Andrew, Fred Astaire. Then I moved onto the splashy mega-musicals of the 80’s, “Cats” and “Les Miserables.” But I’d have to say the moment that meant a great deal to me was when I watched Lea Salonga, a fellow Filipino, win the Tony when I was in high school. It was the first time I thought, “Hey, maybe I can do that.”

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I sing as low as I need to and as high as the part needs. If I’m lucky that means no higher than a high C.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Mr. Sondheim is still someone I would love to work with. I’ve sung for him a couple of times but have never done a show with him.

4. Do you have any rituals you have to do before a performance? How do you decompress after a show? No weird rituals besides the normal warm up, etc. I do get a little superstitious before callbacks, sometimes I make sure I have the same breakfast or wear the same underwear as the first audition. To decompress after a show I usually veg out in front of the television with a cold beer.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Hmmm… strange and unusual? I’m a pretty good cook, especially Filipino food. Also, I possess a slightly manic need for organization passed down from my mother. I will organize a room, desk or closet to DEATH. I’m talking labels and color coding.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Along with my normal 4 mile daily run and weight training, I’ve become hooked on P90x, but only the Plyometrics Training.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs. And usually in funny prints.

8. Books or Magazines? Both. I always try to have a good book on my nightstand and I can’t let the week go without the bibles Entertainment Weekly and New York Magazine.

9. Favorite website? Playbill.com, Huffington Post, CNN, and my sister’s Baby Blog for my Goddaughter.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Oh, easily Wonder Woman. My sister and I were hooked on the cheesy TV show from the 80’s. I actually own the DVD’s.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite play/musical? “West Side Story,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Company,” and “Violet.”

12. Favorite way to spend your day off? Gym, Food Network, movie date night, dinner with friends, couch time with my dog, Charlie.

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On Thursday, July 22, 2010, I saw the new Off-Broadway musical “Falling For Eve” at the York Theatre. Written by Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro with music by David Howard and lyrics by Bret Simmons, this brand new musical was entertaining, fun, and thought-provoking. Starring fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Adam Kantor and Jose Llana (posting coming soon) along with Krystal Joy Brown, Jennifer Blood, Nehal Joshi, and Sasha Sloan, “Falling For Eve” is a re-telling of Adam & Eve….what happens when Eve bites the apple and Adam doesn’t? How will the human race be created? Those questions and so many more are answered in the 90 minutes.

Adam Kantor and Sasha Sloan star as “God,” Jose Llana as “Adam,” Krystal Joy Brown as “Eve,” Jennifer Blood as “Sarah,” and Nehal Joshi as “Michael.” Overall the cast works well together. Jose and Krystal have great chemistry, stage presence, and dynamite powerhouse vocals. When they are singing, the audience is listening. Adam and Sasha also work well together, playing the same part (a very interesting idea). Both had great comedic timing. Jennifer and Nehal played well off of each other as the Angels assisting God while wanting to bring “Adam” & “Eve” together. All the characters contemplated right from wrong according to what worked best for them.  “Eve,” desperate to find out what life was like outside of Eden, took the risk and bit the apple, resulting in her being banished from the Garden of Eden. “Adam,” struggled with wanting to obey God, but also longing to be with “Eve” and knowing the only way to get there is to bite the apple, but he kept resisting. “Michael” and “Sarah” waived back and forth wanting to obey God, but also wanting to explore the romantic feelings for each other. With all this drama, the show played it out well, making one think, is it better to take the risk and get hurt, but grow stronger, or play it safe and remain inside the security of what you know?

The musical numbers had their strong points. “I Like You,” when “Adam” and “Eve” realized they were falling for each other, a beautiful love song. “Where Will I Sleep Tonight” where “Eve” doesn’t know where she is going now that she is gone from Eden. I could tell Krystal had the vocals in the earlier songs, but this was the song where she really let loose and blew the audience away! This song made me think of the many times I felt lost, but knew I’d find my footing. “Now What?” had “Michael,” “God,” “Sarah”, and “Adam” wondering what will happen now that “Eve” is gone, though it made met think of several scenarios in my life where I wondered “Now What?” is coming. “There’s A Space Next To Me” was a beautiful song about “Adam,” “Eve,” “Sarah,” and “Michael” sending the message out that they all long for each other. “Eve” sung by “Adam” has him missing “Eve” and wondering if she’s alright. Both “There’s A Space Next To Me” and “Eve” made me think of the many friends and family I long to be near again. “Once A Life Ago” has “God,” “Eve,” and “Adam” singing about the life they used to have and their life gone by which made me think of my past and life gone by. “Something Just Happened To Me” is where “Adam” realizes he has to take the step forward and bite to apple if he’s ever going to get to “Eve.” There were several songs where Jose’s voice shined, but this was the one that took the gold! The song made me think of all the steps and risks I’ve taken in my life to get to where I am. I’m happier I took the risks rather than sat on the sidelines, for if I didn’t take the risk, this blog and joy I get from it would not be.

If you’re looking for a show that is thought-provking, yet fun and enjoyable, check out “Falling For Eve” at the York Theatre (619 Lexington Avenue, NYC) through August 8. Showtimes are Tues at 7pm, Wed-Saturday at 8pm, Sat at 2:30pm, Sun at 2:30pm. Click here for tickets!

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This contest is now over…Congratulations to Mike on winning 2 tickets to “Falling For Eve.” So tune in next week because you never know, the winner just might be you…

This week’s “Free Stuff Friday” is being sponsored by the new Off-Broadway show “Falling For Eve.” One lucky reader, at random, will win a pair of tickets to see this new musical which starts July 6 at the York Theatre! To win, answer this question: If you could go back in time and change Broadway history, how would you change it? Winner will be announced at 5pm today!

“Falling For Eve” stars fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Adam Kantor (“Rent”), along with Jose Llana (“25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”), Jennifer Blood (“Susan and God”), Krystal Joy Brown (“Hair”), Nehal Joshi (“Les Miserables”), and Sasha Sloan (“Ragtime”). According to press notes, “Falling For Eve” offers a second look at the world’s first love story. Creation is going perfectly. Eve, curious about what lies beyond the Garden of Eden, and obsessed with the notion that something is forbidden, bites the infamous apple. Then Adam doesn’t. How exactly they’ll get together to create the human race is anybody’s guess. Falling for Eve is a fresh and unconventional retelling of the most famous romance of all time, filled with unexpected twists and turns as Eve and Adam realize that “paradise” may not be a place after all!

For those of you who do not win, you can take advantage of this discount ticket offer and enter code HHCEVE!

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Nancy Anderson is an Olivier, Helen Hayes, and Drama Desk nominated performer. She delights audiences with her beautiful voice as well as her brilliant acting, especially her comedic timing! She has played multiple roles in a single show and her stage presence reflects her strong skill set. On Broadway she has appeared in “A Class Act” and the revival of “Wonderful Town.” She has appeared on PBS’ Great Performances in the West End premiere of “Kiss Me Kate” as “Lois/Bianca” for which Nancy received an Olivier and Helen Hayes Award Nomination and “Annie Get Your Gun” starring Reba McEntire. Off-Broadway she received Drama Desk Award nominations for playing all the women in “Jolson & Company” and for the title role in “Fanny Hill,” both at the York Theatre. Regionally, Nancy has been seen in “Ordinary Days” (South Coast Rep), “White Noise” (New Orleans), “The Women” (Old Globe), Cape Playhouse’s “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine” and “Sylvia,” “By Jeeves” (Goodspeed, Geffin, & Kennedy Center), “The Black Monk” (Yale Rep), “Sweeney Todd” (Goodspeed), and “Crazy For You” (Pioneer Playhouse). She has also been seen in the Encores production of “No, No Nanette” starring Rosie O’ Donnell & Sandy Duncan as well as appearing with Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall in his Valentine’s tribute concert “Hooray For Love Songs.” Nancy has also performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and is a regular at Town Hall in NYC in Scott Siegel’s “Broadway By The Year” series. Her debut album “Ten Cents A Dance” is available now. Nancy can currently be seen at the York Theatre in the hit Off-Broadway premiere of “Yank: A World War II Love Story” through April 4. For more on Nancy be sure to visit: http://www.nancyanderson.name.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? That’s a tough question, because I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a performer-but my guess is it’s a combination between my grandmother, who was a concert violinist, my sister, who was probably the first person i saw perform, and Judy Garland (from the Wizard of Oz on tv, of course..)

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? High B (high C on a good day). Low E (below middle C).

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

4. What is your proudest moment? oh, that’s impossible…maybe when I conducted an 80-voice choir of kids at the Summer Stars camp in Rochester, NY.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Well, most people know I play the Ukulele, but not many know that I can tumble-in fact, for the first time in my life I was asked to tumble in an audition for Peter Pan at Papermill-just last week!

6. Favorite skin care product? Elizabeth Arden’s anti-wrinkle serum.

7. Favorite kind of shoes? Platform boots.

8. Favorite play/musical? Sunday in the Park With George.

9. Favorite website? http://www.earthwatch.org.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to spend your day off? In NYC-walking the brooklyn bridge. In San Diego-Surfing.

12. Favorite quote: I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

– John Adams

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