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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in Music (154)

Friday
Jan172014

Call Answered: Facetime with Donna Vivino, Beautiful Dreamer and 54 Below Interview

Best known for her roles in Broadway's Wicked and Les Miserables, "Call Me Adam" sat down with actress and recording artist Donna Vivino to discuss her debut album Beautiful Dreamer, her new 54 Below show It's Not Easy Being Green on January 23, 2014 at 9:30pm, and many other details of her life and career!

For more on Donna be sure to visit http://www.donnavivino.com and follow her on Twitter!

Click here for tickets to Donna's 54 Below show It's Not Easy Being Green on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 9:30pm!

Click here to purchase Donna's debut CD Beautiful Dreamer!

Interview with Donna Vivino:

Donna Vivino, Photo Credit: Ismael Cruz CordovaMore on Donna:

Donna Vivino starred for two years as "Elphaba" in the First National Tour of Wicked and performed the role on Broadway. Her other Broadway credits include HairsprayMartin Short: Fame Becomes MeSaturday Night Fever and Les Misérables. Her film and television credits include A Gifted Man, The Sopranos, Everyday People, Married to It and All My Children as "Young Erica Kane." She is currently a regular on the hit web series Submissions Only.

Thursday
Jan162014

Call Answered: Mark Milano: The Lyrics Left Behind Interivew

Mark MilanoMark Milano is an actor, singer, longtime AIDS activist and showtune queen. He will be performing The Lyrics Left Behind, a cabaret show composed of "trunk songs," "dummy lyrics," and other unused lyrics from many well-known songs to benefit Health GAP, an organization that campaigns for drug access and the resources necessary to sustain access for people with HIV/AIDS across the globe.

The Lyrics Left Behind will take place Saturday, February 8 at 7:30pm at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC (407 West 42nd Street) and include such well-known songs as "The Man That Got Away," "A Star Is Born," "Tomorrow," and "You're The Top," but performed in their original arrangements and lyrics. Click here for tickets!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I've always sung - it has literally kept me alive. When I'm walking down the street, I'm singing. When I'm at work, I'm humming. On the subway, I'm silently singing.  I sing everywhere except the shower, I think. But my introduction to musicals began when I was five, and waited to watch Singin' In The Rain on TV every year (back when they only showed films once a year). I dreamed of being Gene Kelly - but unfortunately, I can't dance!

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? My dream has always been to sing with a big band, so I'd say the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

3. On February 8, you will be performing The Lyrics Left Behind at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC. What made you want to create this show? I was amazed to find the backstories to some of the most famous songs in history. Who knew that "The Man That Got Away" was not written for Judy Garland? Great performers make songs their own, so you assume they were written with them in mind - but often that's not the case at all.

4. What are you looking forward to most about performing this show? Doing some classic showtunes in arrangements that breathe new life into these chestnuts, and surprising people with what they don't know about the songs they love.

5. What do you hope audiences come away with after The Lyrics Left Behind? An appreciation of the craft of songwriting. I've done a ton of research into the stories behind songs like "Blue Moon," "Tonight," "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan," etc. and am fascinated by the creative process composers and lyricists use. Many standards have stories behind them that are completely contrary to what you would expect.

6. What does The Laurie Beechman Theatre offer you as a venue that another one might not? It's a wonderful, intimate setting that makes me think of the great nightclubs of the 30s and 40s - people sitting at tables, having a drink, and enjoying a floor show. I think I must have been a nightclub-goer in a previous life, since I so regret missing those days.

7. Tickets to The Lyrics Left Behind benefit Health GAP, an organization working to widen access to HIV/AIDS treatment. What made you want to do a fundraiser for this organization as opposed to other HIV/AIDS organizations? How did you first get involved with them? I've joined Health GAP in 1990, when I discovered that it actually was possible to get HIV treatment to people in Africa. I'm amazed by the dedication and expertise its members bring to the fight against global AIDS. These people have the smarts and the passion we need to end this crisis - I wish they were in charge of U.S. AIDS policy!

8. You have been an activist in the fight against AIDS for more than 25 years now. What has it been like to watch the progress being made in the fight against this disease? What more do you feel can be done? It's been exciting and disheartening at the same time. My work with ACRIA has been so exciting, especially teaching people that HIV can now be controlled with meds that have very few side effects.  But it's so depressing that rates of HIV infection continue to rise in gay men. And the stigma that gay men with HIV face from HIV-negative gay men ("Are you clean?") seems to be getting worse.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Think for yourself." I think it should be carved in stone over the door of every school in the world.

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I've learned about taking care of myself. I now understand why performers have "people" to take care of them. For my first cabaret show, I did everything myself, right up to showtime. That made it very difficult to get into the right space to give the best performance. So now I understand that you have to have someone else handle all the little problems that pop up before a performance, so you can calm down, focus, and be in the right space to connect with your audience.

BONUS QUESTION:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would it be? Probably the same one "Pee-Wee Herman" wanted: to fly!

More on Mark:

He has been active in ACT UP/NY, Health GAP, and the AIDS Treatment Activist Coalition for over 25 years. He sang with Cantori New York for ten years, performing at Carnegie Hall with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and at Avery Fisher Hall with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra. 

Monday
Dec302013

Call Answered: Facetime with Will and Anthony Nunziata at 54 Below

"Call Me Adam" sat down at 54 Below with Will and Anthony Nunziata, recording artists and concert performers, to discuss their show Broadway, Our Way, on January 9 at 9:30pm! Click here for tickets!

For more on Will and Anthony be sure to visit http://www.willandanthony.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

Interview with Will and Anthony Nunziata at 54 Below

More on Will and Anthony:

Recording artists, actors and concert performers Will & Anthony Nunziata have won acclaim for their performances throughout the country and around the world bringing their fresh take on classic pop standards, Broadway showstoppers, as well as contemporary and classic Italian music.

Their mission is to introduce timeless classics to younger audiences and reacquaint adults with the soundtrack of their childhood.

The brothers bring their powerful and nuanced voices along with their undeniable charm and comedic interplay to both their concerts and brand new symphony programs. A full description of all touring concerts can be seen below.

They have recently appeared as Headlining Soloists with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, and Brockton Symphony Orchestra. In New York City they have headlined Michael Feinstein's nightclub and recently performed as part of the New York Pops' Ronald McDonald Fundraising Gala at the club. They've appeared in concert as part of the Mabel Mercer Convention at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall and sang during the Finale of Stephen Sondheim's 80th Birthday Concert Celebration at Avery Fisher Hall.

On television, they have been recently featured on Good Morning America, NBC’s Columbus Day Parade, The Rachael Ray Show. Will & Anthony are classically-trained tenors and have trained extensively in improvisational comedy with the famed Upright Citizen’s Brigade in New York City. The brothers both reside in New York City (separately).

Friday
Dec202013

Call Answered: John Tartaglia: A Charlie Brown Christmas with The New York Pops and Steven Reineke

On Saturday, December 21 at 2:00PM, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute will present a special holiday family concert of A Charlie Brown Christmas featuring The New York Pops, Music Director Steven Reineke, with narration by Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia (Avenue QSesame Street) at Carnegie's Hall Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage (57th & 7th Avenue).

This staged concert version of Charles M. Schulz’s iconic television special brings the beloved Peanuts characters to life through special choreography performed by dancers from New York Theatre Ballet and child actors from TADA! Youth Theater, underscored by the music of Vince Guaraldi, and performed by The New York Pops and Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA. Click here for tickets!

For more on The New York Pops be sure to visit http://www.newyorkpops.org and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

1. On December 21, you will be joining forces with The New York Pops, New York Theatre Ballet, child actors from TADA! Youth Theater and Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA for a concert version of Charles M. Schulz’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. What excites you about this upcoming concert? Anything Christmas-y always excites me and to be sharing the stage again with the incredible New York Pops and all these amazing performers at Carnegie Hall--what could be better?

2. What are you looking forward to most about getting to work together again? The spirit of collaboration that really comes through in working with The New York Pops. They're just an amazing group and we always have a lot of fun. They're all such incredible musicians and now that we've done a handful of concerts and shows together, it feels like coming home!

Steven Reineke and The New York Pops3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the concert? Well, hopefully they'll truly be in the spirit of the season and ready to celebrate Christmas together afterwards. I love A Charlie Brown Christmas because it reminds us all what the true meaning of the holidays is and to value and cherish the simple things.

4. What do you identify most with about the story of A Charlie Brown ChristmasProbably the angst "Charlie" feels about the holidays. I think we all go through that—there's never enough time to shop, or send Christmas cards, or find the right gift, or make enough for dinner or travel far enough, etc. As beautiful a time of year as it can be, it can also be very stressful and can become very commercial. I think we can all relate to "Charlie's" sense of wanting to experience the simplicity of the holidays.

5. What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Well, I can now say performing with The New York Pops has become one of them! I love walking the streets and seeing all of the amazing holiday windows. And I just love the Radio City Christmas Show!

6. What do you love most about the holiday season in New York City? I love that there are so many wonderful events and shows and concerts and celebrations to choose from. Something for everyone.

7. What are some of your favorite holiday foods? Oh anything really! I have an unhealthy obsession with peppermint bark and peppermint hot chocolate. I love all of the side dishes: stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole...pretty much name it!

John TartagliaMore on John:

John Tartaglia has been puppeteering since age seven and has no plans to stop anytime soon! John’s dream of someday working for the Jim Henson Company came true when he was hired at age sixteen, making him one of the youngest "Muppeteers" in history. John puppeteered on Sesame Street for 12 seasons before leaving to make his Broadway debut as "Princeton" and "Rod" in Avenue Q, earning him a TONY nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

He then had the great honor of creating and starring in Disney’s Johnny and the Sprites for which he was nominated for an EMMY as Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Show (and which was nominated for several other categories including Outstanding Children’s Series).

John also performed as "Pinocchio," the live real-time motion capture Magic Mirror, and the larger than life Dragon puppet in Shrek the Musical on Broadway, having previously performed on Broadway as "Lumiere" in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Other notable television appearances include Ugly Betty, "Tingo" on Sesame English (an ESL series airing worldwide), "Bear" in the Big Blue House, "DJ2" on Discovery Channel’s Animal Jam, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Dog City, Play With Me Sesame, Blue’s Room, and several Sesame Street and Muppet home videos and commercials. He’ll make his feature film debut with the upcoming release of Hotel Arthritis.

John’s newest project, a glow in the dark musical for families called ImaginOcean, is currently being developed for television, playing an international tour, and can be seen on several Royal Caribbean cruise ships, following a successful run Off-Broadway. John recently created, hosted, and directed Jim Henson’s Musical World, which enjoyed sold out performances at Carnegie Hall. He also currently serves as Resident Director of the original production of Avenue Q, now playing at New World Stages. Next, he’ll be directing the Broadway bound production of the acclaimed children’s novel Because of Winn-Dixie and returning to Shrek the Musical, this time as director, at the St. Louis MUNY.

John began teaching workshops and master classes in 2005, and feels honored to have a part in continuing to spread the art form that changed his life and inspires him every day.

More on The New York Pops:

The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Under the leadership of dynamic Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, The New York Pops continues to re-imagine orchestral pops music. The orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall. The New York Pops is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children’s hospitals and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun.

Steven Reineke ConductingMore on Steven:

Steven Reineke is the Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Edmonton and Pittsburgh. As the creator of more than one hundred orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke’s work has been performed worldwide, and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C.L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands around the world. A native of Ohio, Mr. Reineke is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned bachelor of music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City with his partner Eric Gabbard. 

Thursday
Dec192013

Call Answered: Facetime with Travis Moser, recording artist and cabaret singer, 54 Below Debut

In my latest video interview, "Call Me Adam" chats with Travis Moser, recording artist and cabaret singer, and Steven Silverstein, Musical Director, about Travis' debut concert at 54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue) with This Can't Be Love: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7pm, with special guest Samantha Shafer. Click here for tickets!

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

For more on Steven visit http://www.steven-silverstein.com and follow him on Facebook and YouTube!

Interview with Travis Moser and Steven Silverstein about Travis' show This Can't Be Love: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart at 54 Below January 8 at 7pm.

Travis MoserMore on Travis:

As a cabaret/concert performer, Travis has dazzled audiences with his solo shows in such famed venues as Birdland, The Laurie Beechman Theatre, The Duplex, The Iguana, The Metropolitan Room and the Strand Theater. His most recent show, This Can't Be Love: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart, premiered at the Metropolitan Room over several nights to rave reviews and is making it's debut at 54 Below! His debut solo album, This Can't Be Love: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart, was recorded live at his stint at The Metropolitan Room and is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, Google Play, Spotify and other music retailers. 

Regionally, Travis has played "Action" in West Side Story, "Jack" in Into the Woods, "Master Nick Cricker" in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and "Joseph" in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, among others. He also had the opportunity to work with two time Tony Award nominee Margot Sappington in the Pittsburgh Playhouse production of Jekyll and Hyde. On Camera, Travis has been a featured soloist on The Children's Hospital Free Care Benefit Show on CBS and is currently a National Anthem soloist for the New York Roadrunners (NYRR) organization. Travis is a graduate of Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts, earning a B.A. in Theater Arts. 

Steven SilversteinMore on Steven:

Steven has worked as a music director, pianist, vocal coach, composer in the U.S. and Europe. Steven works regularly with Broadway veterans including John Treacy Egan and Neva Small; TV celebrities such as Martha Stewart, John Stamos, Dark Shadows’ Nancy Barrett and the cast of Will and Grace (Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally and Harry Connick, Jr.). He acted as pianist and/or music director/arranger/copyist for composers Charles Strouse (Annie) and Jerry Herman (Mame).

Steven has played keyboards in the pits of such Broadway shows as Blood BrothersSwinging on a Star, and most recently, Promises Promises and played rehearsal piano for Broadway’s All Shook Up. Steven was the onstage pianist for the TV show Gossip Girl. Off Broadway he has been involved with such shows as MTC’s The Green Heart, When Pigs Fly, A Child’s Garden, St. Barts’ How To Succeed In Business…That’s Life, and Eating Raoul.

Steven has been the pianist for the annual Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention for Will and Anthony Nunziata.   Steven received a MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) nomination for the songs "The Path You Choose" and "A Strong Wind" written with actress Ruth Williamson and sung by Bistro Award winner Gretchen Reinhagen. Most recently, Steven served as music director for Mamma Mia’s Annie Edgerton at the Duplex. He has played piano for the infamous After Party hosted by Brandon Cutrell. Steven has also played piano for ballet classes at Broadway Dance Center for Broadway performer (West Side Story) Liane Plane.

Steven’s music is featured on the CD’s Quel FromageCount The Stars and On Christmas Morning. Steven is the composer of the musical The Human Heart, (with lyricist Michael Colby) which debuted at Marymount Manhattan College and received a grant from The Billy Rose Foundation. His musical, (with book writer/lyricist Blake Hackler) The Boss In the Satin Kimono, was presented as part of the 2009 Fringe Festival. In 2010, Steven contributed "Capture A Queen," with lyrics by Blake Hackler to the Midtown International Theater Festival and won an award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics. Steven has written songs for Diary of A Dancer by Wade Dooley, which has been presented at the Bridge Theater in NYC.

Steven is the published composer of two holiday shows for children (One Magic Christmas and The Adventures of the First Easter Bunny), available through Encore Performance Publishing, with original orchestrations.

Steven’s songs have been sung by Broadway performers PJ Benjamin (Wicked), Carolee Carmello (Mamma Mia), and Ruth Williamson (White Christmas) among others. His songs have debuted and presented as part of the Songbook Series – Arts and Artists at Lincoln Center hosted by John Znidarsic.

Steven is the creator of Fearless Audition, an audition master class which he has presented in Washington, Arizona, The Hamptons and Florida. Steven is featured in Voice Teachers and Vocal Coaches of New York: The One and Only Guide. Steven is currently on the faculty of the Neighborhood Playhouse Junior School, as well as AMDA. He holds an MA in Music Education from NYU and BA in Theater and BS in Finance from The University of Bridgeport.