"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.