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Entries in Joe's Pub (17)

Wednesday
Aug092017

Call Redialed: Annie Golden: Sundance Institute, Joe's Pub, "Orange is the New Black," "Inner City the Musical" concert

Annie GoldenIn the two months since my last interview with BroadwayOrange is the New Black's Annie Golden, she has had her plate full! So much so, that in a reversal of roles, she called and I answered! Annie wanted to catch up on all that she has going on from her upcoming Annie Golden Friends & Family concert at Joe's Pub to singing at Feinstein's/54 Below's Inner City concert to a new film. Annie gives me the low down on everything!

Catch Annie in Feinstein's/54 Below concert of Inner City The Musical on Thursday, August 17 at 7pm & 9:30pm! An evening of music from Tom O’Horgan’s 1971 Broadway musical! With book and lyrics by Eve Merriam, and score by Helen Miller, this pop-rock-gospel musical won a Tony Award for its star Linda Hopkins, and has become a cult favorite of musical theater aficionados. Hosted by original Broadway cast member, Allan Nicholls. In additon to Annie, the Feinstein's/54 Below Inner City concert will also feature the talents of Yolanda Wyns, C.E. Smith, Ray Shell, Lauren Elder, Cheryl Pepsii Riley, Dionne Carole, Elisa Galindez, Sarah Kowalski, and Erika Xiomara Reyes. Feinstein's/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street (between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets! 

Get your tickets now for Annie Golden Friends & Family at Joe's Pub on Friday, August 25 at 7pm! It's an evening of original songs and stories that only Annie can tell! Click here for tickets!

AND, if you want to hear Annie talk up a storm, you can listen to her new podcast It Makes A Sound on iTunes starting Sunday, September 24!

For more on Annie follow her on Facebook!

1. It's so great to catch up with you Annie! First, now that Orange is the New Black Season 5 is out, is there any behind the scenes story from filming this season you can share with us? What was your favorite scene to film? Which one was your most challenging? I think being in "Freida's" bunker was my favorite: The girls getting high together and playing games and going through "Freida's" things before "Gloria" got the frightening news about her boy, "Benny." The most challenging was taking "Piscatella" down: That was real teamwork: our ensemble of castmates, the crew, the prop department, as well as our stunt doubles: Just an amazing accomplishment! We all loved being directed by our fearless leader, Laura Prepon for some of the sweetest moments underground!

Annie Golden, DJ & Boston Globe contributor Oedipus & his wife Amy at "Ripcord" at Huntington Theatre CompanyCast & Crew of "Ripcord" throwing Annie Golden a party with orange carrot cake on the night "Orange is the New Black" dropped2. Second, how did your run of Ripcord at The Huntington Theatre go? Is there a funny or crazy story that sticks out in your head? I am delighted to report that Ripcord was a huge hit for Huntington Theatre Company. I think I speak for the entire company, cast and crew, when I say we did not want it to end, but we did get extended for an additional week.

Many years ago, I participated in the CBGB's Rathskeller band exchange program (I met THE CARS there playing "The Rat" and a bleached blonde ska trio from England, THE POLICE) right behind Fenway Park in Kenmore Square. The crazy good thing that happened while I was back in Boston doing Ripcord, was reconnecting with Oedipus, the first dee jay to play THE SHIRTS on the radio on WBCN and also on his "demi-monde hour" out of Cambridge. "Are you ready for Oedi?" he was my date on the red carpet with me when Hair premiered in Boston. We hadn't seen each other in decades. He now writes for The Boston Globe and lives in Thailand and came back to Boston when he heard I was in Ripcord!

Annie Golden's favorite spot to sing & study music at SundanceAlex Brightman, Annie Golden, Kate Wetherhead at Sundance Institute's Theatre Lab3. So much has been happening since our last interview. You went to the Sundance Institute Theatre lab to work on a new musical theatre piece with Jeanine Tesori (who you worked with during Violet on Broadway) & David Lindsay-Abaire (who's play Ripcord you just finished at Huntington Theatre). What can you tell us about this new show? What was it like to work them both again so soon after just working with them? SUNDANCE was wonderful! This city slicker faced a huge learning curve being on a mountain in the woods! Singing at that altitude makes breathing a challenge and the desert climate with relentless radiant sunshine depletes any and all moisture. I had to get my PH balance back.

SUNDANCE is a "show and tell" of works in progress. I enjoyed meeting David Lindsay Abaire in his hometown of Boston doing Ripcord. His language is lovely and so, therefore, his lyrics are too and his words sung or spoken are clever and soulful and sweet. Working with Jeanine again was a joy! Her melodies raise you up as a songstress and you better rise to that opportunity! Keala Settle played my mentor. We worked to perfect ACT ONE and presented it to the other lab participants and they seemed so thrilled by it! So who knows? I loved working with Alex Brightman, too!

4. What did you relate to most about your character in this show? What was one characteristic of hers that you were glad you didn't possess? I related to my character's strength and endurance and childlike resilience. I'm glad I didn't have my character's devastating disappointment.

Annie Golden and Keala Settle at the final night of SUNDANCE Theatre Lab at a "1980s Theme Party"5. You are also about to start filming a new film in NYC. What is the film called? Who do you play? What attracted you to it? We are filming on location in Prospect Park and elsewhere around town. It is a romance between an IRS accountant (Christian Coulson) who audits the representative of a church of Vampires in the future when the bloodsuckers are accepted into society as a religious cult. It's called Bite Me!

6. What's it like to make a film in your home residence of NYC? Do you look at the city any differently while filming? Well my first film was Hair 40 years ago now. It gave me this gift of a career. I filmed once on City Island, a magical place, which I did not know existed, and I look forward to uncovering some more best kept secrets!

7. On August 17, you will be participating in Feinstein's/54 Below Inner City The Musical concert. What made you want to be part of this concert? What do you relate to most about the show's story? I have only been involved with the re-boot of it since about 2011. This piece is (tragically) timely still. This is a 1972 Broadway gem that deserves another run! It is Michael Boyd's love child and he invited me along after I loved seeing my friend, Darlene Love, in it decades ago!

Annie Golden & her bandAnnie Golden and her brother Michael Golden backstage at "Fashion Rocks" at Studio 548. On Friday, August 25 at 7pm, you have your own concert at Joe's Pub with your band. Now that it's just a few weeks away, what excites you and what makes you nervous? The concert is on the 25th of August, Friday night at 7 pm so, after the show, people can get the hell out of Dodge if they want to for the weekend.

Nothing about doing my own songs makes me nervous now since I played them on Pride Weekend after my Violet matinee. Not only was our band multi-generational but our audience was, too! The feedback from young Broadway and TV crew people, diverse acquaintances across the board, new, as well as, old fans was overwhelmingly positive and powerful! It was most encouraging that the people who came loved the songs, picked favorites among them, wanted to know when they could hear them again and hoped to have a CD to buy soon and take home with them. I needn't worry that the songs would not move and delight my listeners because thanks to that come back gig there was not one comment about the material being dated or out of time.

So what excites me about this concert? Singing my songs to a new audience of every age and demographic. Every other aspect of my career is in service to a director, a writer, a composer, a conductor. My task is always to be a tool used in the realization and creation of someone else's vision, with the exception of my cabaret act: Velvet Prison, which I hope to find the time to update and present again soon, this band is completely and totally mine: Telling the stories I want to tell, the way I wanna tell them and singing those stories with abandon!

Annie Golden and her nephew Mick Golden at "Dear Evan Hansen"Annie Golden's brother Michael Golden9. What is one reason you can give fans NOT to miss this show? Well, besides the fact that it's gonna be a love fest on Lafayette Street? I guess I would say my nephew who is 18 and my drummer kept my dream alive by taking his father's place on the kit when I lost my brother, his dad, suddenly a few months after that triumphant comeback gig and Mick Golden stepped up and will be leaving the next day to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. So who knows when we will get to do it again? How's that for a tease?

10. Bringing the interview back to Orange is the New Black. It really seems as though things are exploding for you, career wise, since being on the show. How do you handle being in such high demand? How do you stay grounded? How do you relax? Orange is the New Black has given me the gift of notoriety. Your questions always ask: What attracted you to the project and now more than ever I am OFFERED the most interesting, cutting edge, creative, cool projects. In other words, people seek me out and ask me to join them on their journey as opposed to always having to audition.

Being in high demand is a blessing not a curse so in order to enjoy my own busy-ness I take the time to be present and give each project the attention it deserves. I gotta prioritize, be on task, and organize according to deadline. I am a good juggler! I'm presently recording a most intriguing podcast for Night Vale Productions called It Makes A Sound.

How do I relax? I don't. Ha! If I see someone I'm working with or singing for, smile or take delight in what I am doing for them then I can relax. I see friends and family and catch up on their lives. I also enjoy being a couch potato and watching old movies! Other actors' work inspires me. I can't believe my luck!

Annie Golden, Photo Credit: Lee BobbeMore on Annie:

Annie Golden began her career as the lead singer of The Shirts (which headlined CBGB's in the late 70s). During the early 1990s she performed as part of the duo Golden Carillo with Frank Carillo. They released three albums; Fire in Newtown, Toxic Emotion, and Back for More. Since then she has performed solo and with a band. She performs a revue of songs from her stage career along with originals called Annie Golden's Velvet Prison. In 1984, her song "Hang Up the Phone" was featured on the soundtrack of the film Sixteen Candles.

While with The Shirts she was discovered by Miloš Forman who gave her a part in Hair. She had featured roles on Cheers and Miami Vice. On Broadway, she has appeared in the 1977 revival of Hair, Leader of the Pack, Ah, Wilderness!, On the Town and The Full Monty. She had the title role in the workshop of the short-lived adaptation of Stephen King's novel Carrie. She also played the role of "Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme" in Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's musical Assassins Off-Broadway in 1990-1991. In 2003 she joined other original Off-Broadway cast members in a Reprise! (Los Angeles) concert production of Assassins. In 2007, she was stand-by for the two comic villain roles in the musical Xanadu on Broadway.

Annie has the distinct honor of having appeared in three separate versions of Hair; a Broadway revival in 1977, the motion picture in 1979 and a special benefit performance concert in 2004. Annie was the voice of "Marina" in the Don Bluth film The Pebble and the Penguin. In recent years, she has been seen in commercials for Coinstar, in which she portrays The Tooth Fairy. She appeared in the musical film Temptation with actors Adam Pascal, Tony Award Winners Alice Ripley and Anika Noni Rose, and film actress Zoe Saldana and in 2009 had a small role in I Love You Phillip Morris, with actors Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey, playing a simple woman requiring legal assistance. In 2011, Annie starred with Peter Scolari in the world premiere of The Nutcracker and I. Comically playing the "Sugar Rush Fairy" (and three other roles) in this musical comedy featuring the music of Tchaikovsky and lyrics by Gerard Alessandrini, she and Scolari were compared in one review to the team of Imogene Coca and Sid Caesar. In 2014 Annie returned to Broadway in the Tony nominated revival of Violet, starring alongside Tony Winner Sutton Foster.

Annie continues to play solo gigs and with her own band. For the past five seasons, Annie has been starring as "Norma Romano" in Netflix's Emmy award winning show Orange is the New Black. Additionally, Orange is the New Black has won, three years in a row, The Screen Actors Guild Award for "Best Ensemble." Annie can also be seen in Season 3 premiere episode of Hulu's Difficult People, playing "Flipper." 

Wednesday
Apr122017

Call Redialed: NEW Facetime interview: Migguel Anggelo: "So Close: Love & Hate" at Joe's Pub

"Call Me Adam" and Migguel Anggelo at The Algonquin HotelLive from The Algonquin Hotel, "Call Me Adam" catches up with singer/songwriter/actor Migguel Anggelo about his return to Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette Street) with his new one-man show So Close: Love & Hate, directed by Obie Award Winner David Drake on May 23 & 24 at 7pm.

Here, we discuss love, hate, and how this country can stand united instead of divided. In So Close: Love & Hate, Migguel Anggelo addresses divisiveness, humanity and hope through a rich song cycle including an array of brand new compositions punctuated by Latin classics, American standards, Broadway, opera, and Bjork. Click here for tickets!

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

For more on Joe's Pub visit https://joespub.publictheater.org and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

"Call Me Adam's" NEW interview with Migguel Anggelo:

Sunday
Dec042016

Call Answered: New Year's with Sandra Bernhard: Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast at Joe's Pub

Sandra BernhardFrom pastrami lox to surprising her fans, I am so thrilled to have taken a trip into Sandyland with the one and only Sandra Berhard. Like Sandra sings on "Who Knew," "She trusted me, I trusted her, and now I trust you too."

My first introduction to Sandra Bernhard came in 1991 both because of Madonna's Truth or Dare and being cast on Roseanne as "Nancy Bartlett," the first openly gay character on a network sitcom. Sandra's talent, the way she spoke, her fashion style all fascinated me. But it was with the release of her album Excuses for Bad Behavior that really made me a fan. I loved that album. It made want to know more. So that lead me to finding Without You I'm Nothing, her groundbreaking one-woman show that captivated me. I loved her performance style of mixing comedy with music. I had never really seen a comedian do that before the way Sandra did. As she premiered news shows like I'm Still Here...Damnit! and Everything Bad and Beautiful, I made sure I was there watching. When I decided to give stand-up comedy a try, Sandra was one of my big influences in figuring out my own style of comedy. I made sure to always include music in my routine too. It was a thrill to meet Sandra in 2006 after a performance of her show Everything Bad and Beautiful at the DR2 Theatre in NYC. I was elated!

After years of being a fan, I'm honored to have the opportunity to interview Sandra about her annual New Year's shows at Joe's Pub, plus her illustrious career including her time on Roseanne! Sandra will be presenting Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast from December 26-31 at Joe's Pub in NYC (425 Lafayette Street). Click here for tickets!

For more on Sandra be sure to visit http://www.sandrabernhard.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. This December, you are once again returning to Joe's Pub for your annual week long New Year's Eve shows. What do you look forward to about performing these shows every year? The creativity & connection to my audience at a time of year that is rich with all kinds of emotions and needs. I am there to bring everyone up!

2. What will surprise fans most about this year's show? The fact that I will have driven all the way across country to get here.

Sandra Bernhard at Joe's Pub, Photo Credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia3. When you look back over your career, what are you most proud of? What do you wish you did differently, if anything? What do you still hope to accomplish? I am most proud of the continuity of my point of view that I care about my audience and the varying turbulent times in which we all live. Well, if I did everything differently we might not be doing this interview. I have a lot of projects in the works and have been forging new relationships in the business, so a lot is happening and I want to do my own line of oils too.

4. Excuses for Bad Behavior (Part 1) is one of my favorite albums of yours. I love "(I'm Waiting)," "Lonely Town," & "Manhattan." So, my questions are...what are you still waiting for? When are you or were you at your loneliest? What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan? I am waiting on every corner for the light to change and see things from a new perspective. I was at my loneliest before I had my daughter and met my girlfriend and adopted our dog George. My favorite thing to do in Manhattan is walk down to Russ & Daughters for the pastrami lox.

Sandra Bernhard and Morgan Fairchild on "Roseanne"5. You made history when you appeared on Roseanne as "Nancy Bartlett," the first openly gay character on a network sitcom. Looking back, how do you feel that helped open industry doors for future gay/lesbian characters/shows? What was your favorite part about being on the show & working with the cast of Roseanne? Well yes, I think "Nancy" inspired and entertained many viewers and opened them up to new ways of looking at sexuality. I loved the cast of Roseanne: Roseanne, Laurie Metcalf, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, everyone was open and brilliant and did their thing without a lot of fan fare.

6. On "Call Me Adam," I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their life by one percent better everyday. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better everyday? Meditation. I am really trying to meditate more and more and clear the confusion and chaos that only hampers my happiness and creativity.

Sandra BernhardMore on Sandra:

New improved Sandy....a compelling performer who loves to engage her audience with personal, provocative, and deeply emotional content. Sandra is a sports fanatic Detroit Lions & Tigers. Venus and Serena Williams inspire her to take it to the limit. Her dog, George, a rescue from Tennessee, is a constant source of joy. Travel abroad, Morocco, Paris, London Rome inspiring. Delicious food, free range, sustainable, farm to table is a passion. The word that best describes her lifestyle is Schawazee! On the move, a fastidious housekeeper, folder of laundry and organizer keeps her on point. Fashion comes into play but does not rule her in any way. Short car trips up the California coast clear her mind. But she keeps a New York state most of all. Up late, up early. Humming, whistling, and on the move.

Sandra Bernhard began her career at L.A.’s famed Comedy Store in the ‘70s, and since then has written and starred in numerous one-woman shows, acted in movies and on television, recorded albums and authored books.

Sandra BernhardHer first one-woman show, the groundbreaking Without You I’m Nothing, ran for 6 months off-Broadway in 1988 and served as inspiration for the film and Grammy-nominated album of the same name. The critically acclaimed I’m Still Here…Dammit! opened off-Broadway in 1997, moved to Broadway a year later, and was filmed for an HBO special. The New York Times described Bernhard as a "Living, breathing bonfire" and applauded the show, calling it "an angst driven, foul-mouthed, poison-laced joy ride that banks and careens frenetically through the worlds of fashion, celebrity, rock, and religion." In 2006, Sandra’s Everything Bad and Beautiful also opened to raves. "Give the dame her due, it’s invigorating to be in the presence of a true original." (New York Times, 6/06) Her most recent show, I Love Being Me, Don’t You? played to sold-out crowds for an extended run last summer in Los Angeles. The album version of the show was released on Rooftop Records last fall, and she has been touring it with since. "She has chutzpah to spare, but it’s her articulate intelligence that earns our attention…It’s [her] combination of glamour and accessibility that accounts for Bernhard’s enduring appeal," wrote the Los Angeles Times.

Sandra Bernhard in her dressing room at Joe's Pub, Photo Credit; Kevin Thomas GarciaFrom 1991-1996 Bernhard played "Nancy Bartlett"—the first openly gay character on a network sitcom—on Roseanne. And she has had guest starring or recurring roles on numerous other shows, among them: Good Christian Belles, Hot in Cleveland, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Crossing Jordan, Law & Order: SVU, Will & Grace, The Sopranos, The L Word, Ally McBeal, The Larry Sanders Show, and The Richard Pryor Show. She has appeared more than 30 times on Late Night with David Letterman and has been a regular guest of Howard Stern’s since the early ‘80s.

Sandra’s film credits include Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, for which she was awarded Best Supporting Actress by the National Society of Film Critics, Nicholas Roeg’s Track 29Hudson Hawk, Dinner Rush, and Dare.

Sandra’s music albums include: I’m Your Woman (Polygram, 1986), Excuses for Bad Behavior (Epic, 1994) and the world music album Whatever It Takes (Mi5). She has also sung with or opened for various musical acts, including: The Pretenders, Cyndi Lauper, and the Scissor Sisters. Other notable performances include her participation in the Stormy Weather Benefit, the Rainforest Benefit, and The Elton John Tribute for Broadway Cares. "She has musicality to die for," the L.A. Times wrote recently, "a voice that swoops from the bluesy basement to a top-floor falsetto and a campy soulfulness that can compellingly reinterpret the Isley Brothers’ "That Lady" or just go nuts with "Lady Marmalade."

Sandra has also written three books: Confessions of a Pretty Lady (Harper&Row, 1988), Love, Love and Love (HarperCollins, 1994), and May I Kiss You on the Lips, Miss Sandra? (William Morrow,1998). Her work has also been published in numerous magazines, including, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Traveler, Rolling Stone, Interview, and Spy.

Sandra Bernhard"A performer of stunning originality. Funny but foxy, super smart and slightly mad!" (WCBS) Bernhard’s live performances are a thrilling hybrid of stand-up comedy and rock ‘n roll, a raucous mix of political satire, pop culture commentary and cabaret. "The experience is like hanging out with a hip and funny friend who never fails to lift you up with her outrageous freedom." (Los Angeles Times, 8/11)

Thursday
Oct272016

Call Redialed: Tori Scott: Seeing Double at Joe's Pub 

Tori ScottI can't believe it's been two years since I've gotten a chance to talk with belter and bad decision expert, Tori Scott. Tori's talent for singing and telling stories is unparalleled! I always love interviewing Tori because I know my jaw will drop from astonishment and laughter. We may have missed each other by one day in Provincetown this summer, but back here in NYC, we have connected to talk about her brand-new show Seeing Double which is coming to Joe's Pub this November!

In Seeing Double, Tori takes us on a celebration of poor life choices mixed with a hint of lingering regret and too much tequila. It's a shameless journey of slurred autobiographical stories filled with songs written by other people. Seeing Double will be at Joe's Pub on Sunday, November 13 at 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!

For more on Tori be sure to visit http://itstoriscott.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

For more on Joe's Pub visit http://joespub.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

Tori Scott performing at Joe's Pub in NYC1. I'm so glad we are doing this new interview together. Always a pleasure to get your insightful thoughts on your shows. This November you are returning yet again to Joe's Pub with an all new show called Seeing Double. What made now the right time to present a new show? What excites you about this new show? I love working on new material. I have a wish list of songs that I want to sing and I go through that list when I work on a new show and see which ones I can make work. I also had a great summer doing shows in Provincetown and Fire Island that were very much geared towards a gay audience and I’m really looking forward to talking about that!

2. Why did you title the show Seeing Double? When have you seen double? Seeing Double has several meanings for me. There’s the obvious one of drinking too much. It’s also about my friends coupling up and getting married, or having children. Another example of Seeing Double has to do with the fact that a lot of my gay friends and the guys they introduce me to have beards and frankly, sometimes, I cannot tell them apart.

Tori Scott, Photo Credit: Johan Salvador3. This show celebrates your life's poor choices mixed with a hint of lingering regret, & too much tequila. What do you consider your life's poorest choice thus far? What is something you have a hint of lingering regret towards? When was a time you drank too much tequila? Probably going into the entertainment business instead of pursuing a career where I could actually make money would be considered a poor life choice. I don’t have huge regrets in life, but I do have those lingering moments of wishing I acted differently around someone or wishing I had left a party sooner than I did. It’s often called "shame spiraling."

When it comes to tequila, I always drink too much of it. I have been doing the paleo diet off and on for the past year and vodka (my drink of choice) is not on the diet. But silver tequila is and it’s actually delicious. Well let me tell you….a little bit of that goes a long way!

Tori Scott performing at Joe's Pub, Photo Credit: Dan Klein Photography4. What is one story of Seeing-Double that did not make it into the show that you can share with us? It’s too early to answer this. I’m still playing around with stories and figuring out what I’m including or cutting! I really get down to the wire on these things!! I will say though, all of these stories are based on real life events…it’s just a matter of if I’m ready to share them or not.

5. Since drinking is always involved in your shows, if you had to look back over your life in drinking, what are your top 3 best drinking sessions and what have been your 3 worst?

 I would say top 3 drinking moments:

  1. This past January I went to Napa for wine tastings for my birthday with my sister and best friend.  Every place we visited was an incredible drinking session. The most delicious wine!
  2. Another great moment was drinking a Hurricane at a bar in New Orleans overlooking Bourbon Street. I watched very drunk people falling and laughing and pushing beer kegs in strollers..it was chaos. It was like something mythological…like a tribute to Bacchus or something.
  3. My 30th Birthday…which was sadly several years ago, was an amazing drinking moment. My sister and brother flew into town. We took over an entire upstairs section of a bar. Everyone had way too much fun and my brother was passed out on the couch in the bar before 9pm. I love a celebration!!!

As far as the worst moments go….those are the ones I can’t really remember. That’s the thing about drinking…too much of it makes everything a tad blurry. I will say that time I was arrested for Public Intoxication ON NEW YEAR’S EVE in Texas was not probably among the worst. And my mom had to bail me out so she certainly wasn’t happy with me.

6. If you were told, today is your last day on earth. You can have 1 drink. What drink would that be? I would say "screw you Paleo diet" and have a Tito’s martini slightly dirty with 3 olives in a very large martini glass! Yummy!

Tori Scott7. You are described as a belter and bad decision expert. When did you get crowned bad decision expert? Was there one epic decision that got you this title or was it just a series of bad events and finally you were like, "Fuck it. I've made so many bad decisions in my life, I'm giving myself the title of bad decision expert."? My friend labeled me a bad decision expert after my first show at Joe’s Pub four years ago. And, I appreciate the title. It’s important to be able to acknowledge your mistakes and bad decisions and grow from them. Although, I’m not sure I’ve grown that much from them, but I definitely enjoy singing about them.

8. Based upon your own experiences, what is the worst advice you could give someone? I think the worst advice I could give someone is that they should always go to a second location with people you’ve just met….especially if they want the night to end at about 4am.

9. What is the biggest misconception about Tori Scott? Honestly, I think the biggest misconception about "Tori Scott" is that my stories in my show are made up. The stories I tell in my shows are all true! I did one of my shows in Dallas a couple years ago and the reporter from the Dallas Morning News just would not believe my stories were true!

10. We both share a passion for fitness. I'm not sure if we share the same passion for it, but I know you've been doing it a lot. So, I'm excited to ask you this question that I've been asking everybody. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better every day? I don’t know if I would call myself someone with a passion for fitness. That’s a bit of a stretch. I find it to be a necessity with growing older.  But, I am trying to find the joy in fitness. I made a commitment to myself about a year ago that I was going to find some sort of physical exercise that I enjoy. And I found Flywheel. I love it! It’s competitive and a great workout and I feel like I might die/amazing afterwards. And the music is amazing. I find that if I challenge myself to a workout like this not only do I benefit physically, but also mentally.

Tori Scott More on Tori:

Tori Scott is a New York based singer and comedian. She was named Time Out New York’s Top 10 cabaret artist and has performed her solo shows at Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, the Laurie Beechman, the Metropolitan Room,and every gay bar on the Eastern Seaboard. As an actress, she was recently seen performing alongside Alice Ripley in a concert reading of a new musical The Girl with Polka Dot Eyes and performing opposite Linda Lavin, Leslie Uggams and Stephanie J. Block in the Symphony Space tribute to Sheldon Harnick and Fiddler on the Roof. On television, she's counted to 20 as a singing garbage woman on Sesame Street and dubbed the vocals of a singing hooker on HBO's Cathouse: The Musical. She is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory.

Saturday
Sep102016

Call Answered: Michael Longoria: Broadway Brick By Brick

Michael Longoria, Photo Credit: Peter HurleyI have been a fan of Michael Longoria's since I saw him in the Tony Award winning musical Jersey Boys when he took over the role of "Frankie Valli." The sound I heard come out of Michael's mouth during that show was unbelievable! Michael hits all the right notes! After Jersey Boys, I continued to enjoy Michael's vocal talents as he, and original Jersey Boys cast members Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, and J. Robert Spencer formed "The Midtown Men," touring the country singing hits of the 60s. 

When I heard Michael was releasing his debut album, Broadway Brick By Brick, I first thought, "It's about time," followed by "I have to talk to him about this milestone." As luck would have it, Michael was more than happy to take me through each layer of brick as well as the cement that holds Broadway Brick By Brick together.

Broadway Brick By Brick is available now at iTunes, Amazon, and Broadway Records. To continue the celebration of his album's release, Michael will be returning to Joe's Pub on Sunday, September 18 at 7pm! Click here for tickets!

For more on Michael be sure to visit http://www.michaellongoria.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

1. This past spring you released your debut solo recording, Broadway Brick By Brick, which is an album of Broadway's biggest musical numbers. What made now the right time to release a solo album? It's been a project I've been wanting to do since I was playing "Frankie Valli" in Jersey Boys. An all Broadway album, orchestrated like a musical, telling my story through the Broadway songs that inspired me to pursue a life on stage. I started out as a young Mariachi singer in Los Angeles California, but once I saw West Side Story on television as a boy, I knew my calling was to be in musicals. My album arranger, John McDaniel and co-producer Jeffrey Lesser were both in the same creative mind space that I was, ready to climb the mountain that would become Broadway Brick By Brick.

2. You have really made this album your own by adding a bit of your Latin roots to some of the songs, like "Maria" and "The Sound of Music." How did you decide which songs would work better than others with a bit of Latin flavor in them? They say you can never go home once you leave, and for many, we can't physically go home, but can we go there sonically? Sometimes you can hear an old song and it takes you back to the place where you first heard it. I grew up in the Pomona Valley of Southern California, surrounded by green hills and the music of my Mother who sang in Spanish. I wanted my version of "The Sound Of Music" to be full of that time when I was a boy surrounded by Latin culture and sounds of my Mother's Mariachi music. Since the album is a chronological telling of my journey to the Broadway stage from the world of Latin culture, I wanted the sounds in the orchestrations to tell that journey of cultural development as well.

Michael Longoria, Photo Credit: Kevin Alvey3. I read in your Metrosource interview that all these songs you have recorded for Broadway Brick By Brick represent life milestones. Some of them were from times you were alone and struggling and some of them gave you strength and helped you get up and try something again. I want you to take us through what every song means, but then we wouldn't have time for any other questions. So, I'm going to choose my favorite songs and ask if you could tell us what was happening in your life at that time of the song and how the song helped you. "Being Alive," "Home," "The Impossible Dream," and "Corner of the Sky." 

Being Alive:

First of all Sondheim is a genius...this is a song I always felt connected to, but never knew why. But as I matured into an adult I understood the message more. I got some love and heartbreak under my belt and I realized what that song was saying to me: That for years I was afraid to let anyone too close. I came to New York City alone at the age of 17. I had to leave everything behind and never look back. And though being alone is safe and pushing love or people away is the easy way out, that not really living. The experience of being alive means nothing without allowing yourself to experience it with others.

Home:

I started the album with this song to represent who I was before I started the journey of recording Broadway Brick By Brick. And end the album with "Over The Rainbow" to show the completion of that journey. I also wanted to paint a connection to the character of "Dorothy" from The Wizard of Oz/The Wiz. A youth lost in a new land after a crazy storm. New York City was a lot like OZ to me when I first got here.

Michael Longoria, Photo Credit: Kevin GarciaThe Impossible Dream:

This song represents my first dream which was to go to NYU and study musical theatre. I was accepted to NYU's Tisch Scool of the Arts around the same time that I had came out to my parents. Going to college for musical theatre wasn't something they were ready to accept or understand. The thought of pursuing a life on Broadway became this dream that seemed Impossible. Most of the time our biggest achievements are the ones everyone else deems impossible.

Corner of the Sky:

This song takes me back to my time as a singing waiter in Times Square at the famous Ellen's Stardust Diner. I had just graduated NYU and my survival job was crooning Broadway showtunes and serving "Blue Suede" burgers. This song always got me nice tips and I auditioned to get the job with my rendition of the Pippin classic. I wanted the recording to capture that youth and excitement of starting your life right out of college with a world of possibilities at your fingertips.

4. I'm sure there are so many more songs than these twelve that represent your journey. How do you feel these twelve songs work together to represent this story? The album really is a story...if you read the liner notes before you listen to each tune, you almost forget where these songs come from. I was drawn primarily to the lyrics and story of each song as stand alone pieces. I chose songs that fit into the story I wanted to tell. The primary goal for me as an artist was to connect with people through song and tell my story doing it. I hope people leave with a true sense of who I am after listening to Broadway Brick By Brick.

J. Robert Spencer, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and Christian Hoff in "Jersey Boys", Photo Credit: Joan Marcus5. You moved to NYC when you were just 17 years old. What made you, at that age, say, it's time for me to go to NY? What were those first few days like? I had no other choice. I knew I had to board that plane and give it a shot. I was accepted to NYU so I had a bit of a buffer. But it was terrifying non-the-less. I grew up really quickly that year.

6. Now, when you look back on those early days, what do you think about? What are most proud of? What was the hardest part during those first few years? If could do it all again, would you move to NYC at 17 or would you wait? I'm just happy it worked out and I was able to graduate NYU. The hardest part was paying for it. Scholarship and student loans only covered so much. So I had many work study jobs that took up most of my time. It was tough balancing scene rehearsal with work study jobs.

7. It's been over 10 years that you, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, and J. Robert Spencer have been performing together. First, as the stars of Broadway's Jersey Boys, then and still as "The Midtown Men." What are the top three funniest things to happen to you while working together, whether it be on stage or off? The first one happened when I was playing "Pesci"...I had lost my Grandmother during the run of Jersey Boys and I started to lose a lot of weight. My pants started to sag...well on my first entrance I had to run on and I totally did a home run slide to Christian who couldn't keep a straight face to me sliding on my droopy pants. The guys and I are pretty funny individually so together we have a lot of laughs.

Michael Longoria performing at Joe's Pub, Photo Credit: Magda KatzOne time when I was playing "Frankie Valli"...during the big sit down mafia scene where we are supposed to be really serious...one of the mafia guys played by a musician had really loud gas...and none of us could keep from breaking character and laughing...

The best jokes came from me and Titus Burgess when we would be in the wings.

8. After a sold-out CD release concert this past May, on September 18, you are returning to Joe's Pub, to continue the celebration. What are you looking forward to most about this concert? What does your live show feature that one can not get from just listening to your CD? Well before was really scary because it was my first one man show...but now that I've done it a few times here and in Los Angeles...I know the nature of the show and the arc and I'm going to be more relaxed this time. When you come to the live show, these songs that you know and maybe grew up with (if you are a musical theatre lover), all of a sudden morph into telling my life story. You almost forget where these well known classics come from. You also get the stories behind my choosing them for this piece.

9. For this next question, I'm going to choose a few songs you've recorded and phrase the question around that song title. One song you've recorded on this album is "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." Who is somebody you can't take your eyes off of? Trying to focus my eyes these days on my career. So I'm keeping my eye out for new projects. Trying to find the right agent. Would love to work on a new musical from the ground up again. Those are the best and most memorable experiences.

Michael Longoria performing at Joe's Pub, Photo Credit: Magda Katz9a. You also recorded "Being Alive." When do you feel the most alive in your life? I feel most alive when I'm on stage giving life to a song or character. The connection that comes from the relationship you make in one night's performance with strangers in the audience is magic.

9b. Who in your life, would you dedicate "As If We Never Said Goodbye" to? "As If We Never Said Goodbye" is about my return to the stage after becoming an NYU grad and having my singing waiter survival job and booking Hairspray on Broadway. It was an amazing Broadway Debut!

9c. If you went "Over The Rainbow," what do you think you would find? "Over The Rainbow"...I think I'd find me Lucky Charms! But seriously, the song has always been inspirational. Judy Garland taught us all how to sing didn't she? So to have her song on my album makes me feel very connected to her life as a stage performer. And I wanted to have my own take on the song. 

10. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better every day? I want to be more open to new friendships and artistic collaborations. I tend to keep to myself but there are so many great and talented people out there.

Michael Longoria, Photo Credit: Peter HurleyMore on Michael:

Michael Longoria is best known for his star turn on Broadway as "Frankie Valli" in the Tony Award Winning Musical Jersey Boys. Currently starring in The Midtown Men concert tour, and Meet The Midtown Men, a documentary for public television, Michael has been crooning across the world in a 60s rock concert celebrating the era. Michael trained at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, followed by New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he was a scholarship student, earning a BFA in drama. Michael made his Broadway debut in the smash hit Tony award winning musical Hairspray, later creating the role of "Joey Pesci" in the original Broadway cast of Jersey Boys. He has appeared on television as the lead vocalist for Cirque du Soleil on America's Got Talent: Season 9 Finale, Broadway Under The Stars: A Tribute To Harold Prince, Opening Ceremonies at The U.S. Open, the documentary film One Night Stand, and as an animated character on Dora the Explorer. As a headlining solo concert artist, Michael has appeared at Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City, co-staring with SNL’s Joe Piscopo in That’s Life!. Internationally Michael appeared in West Side Story at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and A Chorus Line in Munich. As a singer-songwriter, Michael has been performing his original songs at Joe’s Pub, The Cutting Room, CB’s Gallery, and Caroline’s on Broadway.