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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Sunday
May032009

Andy Karl

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Andy Karl has made his mark in the Broadway community. He originated the roles of "Luke" in the Off-Broadway smash hit "Altar Boyz" and "Adam" in the Off-Broadway show "Slut". He's starred on Broadway in "Saturday Night Fever","The Wedding Singer" and "Legally Blonde" and toured the country with "Disney On The Record", "Cats", and "Tommy". You can now see Andy in the hit musical "9 to 5" playing the character of "Joe", the love interest for "Violet", played by Allison Janney. For more on Andy Karl, visit: www.andykarl.com

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Well it's really a two part answer.  My very 1st inspiration (to perform) came from my chorus teacher back at Towson High.  He asked me to audition for the summer musical "Oklahoma".  I didn't expect to be offered a role in the show but was cast as the shows' villain, Judd Fry.  That same week I broke my foot skate-boarding (oops).  I staggered into rehearsal with crutches and a cast.  Though this could have stopped the average High School performer from making opening night, a unique blend of tenacity and creativity took over as I designed attachments to my cast that looked astoundingly similar to a real boot and nixed the crutches.  I went on for all 3 performances to triumphant applause from parents.

The first person to inspire me to take theatre seriously as a career was a director at my college musical.  I was majoring in music, and paving my way to teaching, but still took part in musicals.  Now there are some people you work with that have that sort of innate artistic vision that you can sense right away.  Everything they do is for the crafting of the show and its success to tell a story...Todd Pearthree back in my hometown was 'that guy'.  Everyone in the community new that he was one of the best directors to work with.  One day in tech rehearsal he was talking to me and asked what I wanted to be.  I told him I would probably teach music...he looked at me a little oddly and said "I think you may want o give the performing a go because you'd be a success at it."

That was the first time I remember knowing I had to really give it my everything.

2.  Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? I have been very fortunate to work with some people I've never dreamed I would.  Directors like Joe Mantello & Jerry Mitchell, actors like Allison Janney & Mark Kudish.  And since I've already performed in over 5 shows with my Orfeh, I will   have to tell you someone else. I guess to answer this question I must go back to the previous question of "who inspired me".  The one musical I would listen to day in and day out before I came to Broadway was 'The Who's Tommy'. That CD and production changed my idea of musical theatre all together.  I knew I had to get to NYC and fast.   Michael Cerveris filled my ears with the holiest of Rock Opera, and has since been an idol of the Broadway stage.  He is the one true person I would be honored to work with.  I've also met him in gatherings and he's just a really cool dude as well.

3.   Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Though Orfeh would say I have an unusually tremendous talent to mess up a clean apartment in record time, I personally disagree.

I do, however, have a unique ability to burp long and loud on Que.  I've actually used this ability in performances across America when I was on tour with 'The Who's Tommy' and I was Uncle Ernie’s off-stage belch.  100's of performances and I never missed a beat.

4.  Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? What, and miss all the fun?   Never!!!!!

5.  Who do you consider to be your hero? Obama, Dolly Parton, Scarlett the Cat that pulled her kittens out of burning house, and the people of NYC.

6.  Favorite way to stay in shape? Be in a profession that requires you to look good in tight brown shorts.  Legally Blonde kept me going to the gym.  Since that show ended I've decreased my gym time but still try to maintain.

7.  Boxers or briefs? Fitted boxers or briefs that don't squeeze :)

8.  Favorite kind of shoes? Casual sneakers-no laces-black. (Adidas has great ones)

9.  Favorite ride at an amusement park? "Gravitron Starship 2000"  ..."The Zipper" is a close 2nd.

10.  Favorite Actor? Phillip Seymour Hoffman is such a kicka** actor, amazing in everything he does...even 'Twister'. I also think Brendan Fraser is very underrated these days.  His work in Bedazzled is very versatile and very funny.


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Sunday
Apr192009

Billy Porter

Singer, Actor, and Belter...Billy Porter is the man you are looking for when you need a big voice. On Broadway, Billy shined and showcased for us in "Five Guys Named Moe", "Grease", and "Smokey Joe's Cafe". Off-Broadway his one-man hit show "Ghetto Superstar: The Man That I Am" ran for an unprecidented 6 weeks at Joe's Pub in New York City.  Billy has been featured in benefit performances of "Dreamgirls" and "Hair" and on the big screen, in "The Broken Hearts Club". Keep your eyes peeled because Billy is on the move...

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Jennifer Holiday singing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" on the Tony Awards in 1981.

2. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can crack my gum on rhythm!!!

3. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I don't check those things. I just sing in both directions until I can't.

4. Favorite meal? Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Macaroni & Cheese. (No racist remarks please :)

5. Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks!!! A Grande drip...

6. Animal Crackers or Oreos? Oreos

7. Favorite Musician/Singer? To many to name. At the moment however, I'm listening alot to Ledisi & Kierra Sheard.

8. Superman or Wonder Woman? BOTH!!! I think the reasons are obvious :)

9. Favorite kind of shoes? A cute PUMP!!!

10. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs

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Sunday
Apr122009

Hedda Lettuce

In addition to being awarded "Drag-Queen of the Year" six times by HX Magazine, Hedda Lettuce is the first self-proclaimed "Eco-friendly Drag Queen of the World." From Stand-Up Comedy ("The Hedda Lettuce Show" and "Lettuce Rejoyce") to TV ("Project Runway", "Sex and The City", "The Oprah Winfrey Show") to Movies ("Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar" and "The Look"), Hedda has been seen all over! Be sure to catch Hedda every Thursday at the Clearview Cinema in Chelsea, NY for her "Classic Movie Night". Check out www.heddalettuce.com for all the latest and greatest on Hedda Lettuce.

1.  Who inspired you to become a performer? A very poor upbringing.  My mother, Shredda Lynn Lettuce, was from a small town called Pigeon Tit Tennessee.  She was unwed, a drinker and a bit of a floozy.  Men were always coming and going from our trailer, and she would often ask me to perform for them while she slipped into something more comfortable.  I would do a lille dance or recite a poem I had written and the men would give me a piece of hard candy for a job well done.  And when my mama would return they would give her something hard also.

2. When did you realize you wanted to be a performer? I would have to say when I saw the looks in the eyes of my new 'uncles' as I pranced around in pinafore.  It was then that I realized I had something that men wanted and at the time, in my little mind, it sure beat working as a waitress at the local Hooters.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can balance a drink on my boob.  My mama would often say to me-"What good is a boob if you can't balance a drink on it."

4. Favorite kind of shoes? Any thing in a clear lucite heel with an open toe.

5. What skin care products do you use? I just use a little sun block.  The good lord has blessed me with good skin.

6. What's in your purse? A lipgloss, compact, mints, a gun, business cards and a picture of my granny, Bedda Lettuce.

7. Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts? What do you order? I prefer neither, as I drink only Green Tea.

8. Favorite celebrity gossip website? TMZ.com.

9. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman.

10. Books or Magazines? I am currently reading Obama's book-Audacity Of Hope.  I love Life And Style Weekly.  Perhaps because I am one of the fashion commentators in the back.

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Sunday
Apr052009

Gavin Creel

Tony Award nominee, Gavin Creel has conquered Broadway, the London stage, Music, and Television. Gavin made his Broadway debut as "Jimmy" in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (receiving the Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical). He then went on to star in the Broadway Revival of "La Cage Aux Folles", followed by the premiere of Stephen Sondheim's musical "Bounce" in Chicago and Washington DC and finally made his London debut in "Mary Poppins" as "Bert". Gavin has also starred in the TV Movies "Eloise At The Plaza" and "Eloise At Christmastime".  In 2006, Gavin released his debut record "GOODTIMENATION" and has been playing to sold out crowds at some of New York's most famous venues such as Joe's Pub, Irving Plaza, Arelene's Grocery, and The Zipper Factory. Be sure to catch Gavin in the Broadway revival of "Hair" at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and for all things Gavin Creel, visit www.gavincreel.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? my nana, my sisters, my sixth grade teacher, my show choir director, my u of m professors, my costars, my dog.

2. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? i can do that thing where you make a fart noise with your hand under your armpit. well, with MY hand under MY armpit.  not YOUR hand under-- you know.

3. Boxers or Briefs? briefs. in colors.

4. Favorite kind of sundae (ice cream flavor and toppings)? i used to kill for a pint of chubby hubby. but, i realized that i am terribly lactose intolerant (like...REALLY intolerant...like, almost lactose racist) so, now i jam on SOY DELICIOUS or SOY DREAM or SOY GOOD or SOY whatever non-dairy.

5. Animal Crackers or Oreos? every time i check out at Bed Bath and Beyond....i wanna buy those damn animal crackers. they just look so gooooood!  i'll go for them.  but if they're double stuffed, then oreos.

6. Peanut Butter: Crunchy or Smooth? smuckers creamy natural.  wally (my dog) is a skippy smooth guy.

7. Books or Magazines? magazines.  i've got a sh*t attention span.  but i think EAST OF EDEN is one of the best books ever and that insanity is like 8574 pages long.  so, go figure.

8. Superman or Wonder Woman? both.  at the same time ;)

9. Favorite ride at an amusement park? the tallest, fastest, steepest, craziest roller coaster i can get.  Nobody does it like CEDAR POINT.  america's rollercoast!  (wow, the dork police just knocked at my door).

10. Favorite kind of shoes? my new diesel boots that i just bought.  they were brand new and i wore them up onto the mountain with wally while i was at my parents for christmas and got them totally muddy and busted. now they make me feel like a poet or something way cooler than i am.

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Sunday
Mar292009

Dyllun Von Ritter

Behind 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.

BONUS QUESTION:

11. Favorite Play/Musical? Xanadu.