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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in Joanna Gleason (2)

Tuesday
Feb102015

Call Answered: Aaron David Gleason: 54 Below: Midnight at 9:30

Aaron David Gleason, Photo Credit: Prospect Photography"Call Me Adam" chats with actor, producer, and singer/songwriter Aaron David Gleason about his upcoming show at 54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue) Midnight at 9:30 on February 18 at 9:30pm! Click here for tickets!

Midnight at 9:30 is an evening of songs from every genre about "midnight." Joining Aaron in this special evening are his Tony Award winning mother Joanna Gleason, Chris Sullivan, Lucas Papaelias, Brittain Ashford, Or Matias, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Andromeda Turre, Daniel Ballen, and David Ballen.

For more on Aaron be sure to visit http://aarondavidgleason.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

1. On February 18, you are presenting Midnight at 9:30, an evening of songs about Midnight. What are you most excited for about this concert? Getting this crew together. I'm a huge fan of these other artists.

2. What made you want to produce an evening of songs about Midnight? What does this bewitching hour mean to you? My first band was called The Midnight Radio, of course I was inspired by Stephen Trask's song. That song encapsulates all of Hedwig's emotions at that time. It's heavy and exalting all in one. As for "midnight songs": Funny, that a lot of songs with that word in it end up being blues. The non-blues ones end up being epic. Once you get into that subject matter, there's no messing around. You must have something to say. When I posted that I wanted suggestions on songs with "midnight" in them, I got about 100 replies.

3. What do you love most about performing at 54 Below? Nice ambiance. Great history. The other people performing on a nightly basis there are incredible. It's been a fantasy to play there.

Joanna and Aaron Gleason performingAaron and Joanna Gleason in Aaron's music video for his song "Mastermind"4. Joining you on February 18 will be a host of Broadway performers including your mother, Tony Award winner Joanna Gleason, whom you have performed with before at 54 Below. She was also featured in your music video for your song "Mastermind." What are looking forward to most about having your mom as part of this evening? What do you like most about performing with her? My mom asked if she could make soup for everyone. I said, "I've had your soup, how about you sing one song." She agreed to that deal. All kidding aside, I'm as much a fan of hers as anyone. Her interpretations are inspired and inventive. Some people try in vain to distill her talents -- that's pretty tough because she is so nimble and electric.

5. Some of the other performers performing with you in Midnight at 9:30 are Chris Sullivan, Lucas Papaelias, Brittain Ashford, Or Matias, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Andromeda Turre, Daniel Ballen, and David Ballen. How did you decide that you wanted these particular performers to be part of this concert? This is my favorite part. These artists all have something that's impossible to pin down. Anytime I saw them perform, they changed the way I saw theater. I saw Brittain and Or in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, and it blew my mind, to be honest. Lucas and I used to play basketball, before I knew anything about the guy. Then, I see ONCE and he damn near steals the show. Nikka and I grew up together, and her mother and my mother were in I Love My Wife. Nikka has infectious charm. I'm a big fan of The Knick, and Chris Sullivan is incredible on that show.  He also happens to sing blues and folk like a mountain man. The Bailens are an up and coming great band and Drew Cooper, my MD, is literally my next door neighbor. I heard his playing coming through the wall, and thought, yeah I have to get that guy. Andromeda and I were in a reading of The Happy Hooker, and she knocked my socks off with her killer energy and voice.

Aaron David Gleason6. What do you hope audiences come away with after attending Midnight at 9:30? Their money's worth. Just having a nice night out. Excitement. Whimsy.

7. In addition to performing in Midnight at 9:30, as mentioned earlier, you are also producing the concert. What do you get from producing that you do not get from performing? Ownership, for better or for worse.

8. What's the best advice you've ever received? If someone ever tells you their way is the only way, it probably isn't.

9. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? It's what I live for, totally, completely. It CAN make you take a long look in a close mirror, which is fairly horrifying at first, but then you learn to be at peace with it. What I've learned most though, is that if I go too long between performances, I start to lose my sense of self.

Aaron David Gleason, Photo Credit: Prospect Photography10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The ability to play music at a high level.

BONUS QUESTION:

11. If you could create a signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? The Midnight Special. Ingredients: Gin, Bitters, Grand Marnier.

Friday
Dec232011

Joanna Gleason

I first had the honor of interviewing Tony, Drama Desk, and Theatre World Award Winner Joanna Gleason last year when she starred in Nora & Delia Ephron's Off-Broadway smash hit show "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" (click here for our first interview). I am thrilled to be given this honor once again.

Since our previous interview, Joanna has been working hard on her forthcoming book, "Rancho Mirage," which is slated for release in 2012, and is currently starring in Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Stephen Karam "Sons of the Prophet" through January 1, 2012 at the Laura Pels Theatre in NYC (111 West 46th Street, between 6th & 7th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

1. What attracted you to "Sons of the Prophet" and what do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? The moment I read it, I knew I had never seen characters like this...or played one so rich and layered.

2. What is the best part about performing with this cast? We are tightly knit and adore each other.

3. You have peformed at Manhattan Theatre Club and now Roundabout Theatre Company. What do you like about working with non-profit/institutional theatre companies? Their internal structure, the wonderful people who take expert and personal care of a show and everyone in it.

4. Where is your favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? I have an office upstairs at our house, and it overlooks the woods...I work there.

5. In addition to performing, you made your theatrical directorial debut in 2002 with "A Letter From Ethel Kennedy" and have directed several television series including "Love and War" and "Oh Baby." Do you feel there is a difference between directing for theatre and directing for TV? The technicalities of cameras are a world of their own, but it is all the same end--tell the story...get the actors on the same page, and tell the story in small and large ways...but the acting is the same.

6. What can you tell us about your forthcoming book, "Rancho Mirage?" What made you want to write a book? Where is your favorite place to write and what was your favorite part of writing a book? I write in that upstairs room, or in my dressing room between shows at the theatre...in the times when I wasn't working, I felt dammed up, like there were notions and tales in my brain that I wanted to get on paper...just be creative...how many dinner parties could we have (many, actually) or how many scarves to knit (also, many) but then, I sat down and it started to reveal itself.

7. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer, director, and writer? That I was always in search of a mate, children, friends, a home...the rest just got better as I found and was blessed with what grounds you in life.

8. What has kept you grounded in an industry that can lead others down a darker road? See above.

9. Looking back, what was it like/what did it mean to win a Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award for "Into The Woods" and what did you enjoy most about working with Chip Zien (who I had the pleasure of interviewing last year)? What was the best part about starring on "Bette" and what did you learn from working with Bette Midler? The awards? Extraordinary...very moving to me to have work recognized...Chip has been since that show and remains one of my best friends...we have watched each others' kids grow...grandchildren...he is amazing and such a talent...that voice...one of the most beautiful ever...Bette Midler...a force of nature-loved that she was a regular gal and an icon at the same time.

10. You have worked in theatre, film, television, and now publishing. What aspect of entertainment have you not tackled that you would like to? Professional ice skating and tango...I am actually doing one now...the other? Ahhh, that's what watching the olympics is for.