Twitter
Facebook

 

 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

    

"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in Music (166)

Wednesday
Jun182014

Call Answered: Michael Levesque: Jules

"Call Me Adam" chats with playwright Michael Levesque, who's new play Jules is about Broadway's most famous vaudeville and film star of the time: female impersonator, Julian Eltinge. With music direction and arrangements by the award-winning Tim Di Pasqua, Jules plays at Teatro Latea in NYC (107 Suffolk Street, between Rivington and Delancey) through June 28! Click here for tickets!

For more on Michael be sure to visit http://www.michaellevesque.net!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright? I was an actor for thirty years and one day I realized I was tired of saying other people's words, so I decided to start writing. As well as being an actor I was also exploring spiritually a lot, so playwriting became my marrying of those two passions, playwriting and spirituality.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? There are so many but if i had to narrow it down to one person, maybe two, between all the actors, directors, composers, I would have to say Meryl Streep and Stephen Sondheim, although working with Francis Sternhaggen, was a dream come true.

3. Jules will be presented from June 18-28 at Teatro Latea. What made you want to tell the story of Jules Eltinge? I found his story to be so fascinating and tragic as well as a great piece of history for both theater and LGTB people. He really paved the way for many. It is a love story, a self love story. Without Julian there never would have been a RuPaul.

4. How do you feel your life is similar to Julies Eltinge and how is it different? Similar in how when I was first getting an agent, and performing, people tried to make me be quiet about being gay/different. I refused to be quiet and if it meant not having the career I wanted then too bad. You know I grew up in Northern California during Harvey Milk and he just come out with the campaign he advocated. I came out when I was a senior in high school, 1977, and have fought for gay rights my entire adult life. Be it prop 6, prop 64, prop 8, and many other attempts to legislate "morality laws." It was these so called "morality laws" that helped end Julian's career. Look at where we are today, we can get married and Julian helped us with even that.

5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? To have more compassion and an open heart and to be at peace with whomever and whatever you are. You are perfect just the way you are.

6. You have presented your work at Teatro Latea before. What made you want to present your work here again? What does this venue offer that other ones around the city don't? JULES take place backstage of Billy Roses, Diamond Horseshoe. I really love the look of Latea and this show fits very well in their space. Also they have a wonderful location on the lower east side.

"Jules" creative team: Tim Di Pasqua, Sierra Ryan, Andrew Glant Linden, Cameron Hansel, David Sabella, and Michael Levesque7. One of the things I am very excited about with Jules is that the award-winning Tim Di Pasqua is the show's musical director and arranger. What made you want to work with Tim and how has his talents help shape your vision of the show? First of all Tim and I are ex lovers of ten years over twenty years ago, and still best friends, so any time I can work with Tim it is an honor and a privilege. Tim and I wrote a musical about ten years ago called Synchronicity together and it was a ball. We think a lot alike so when it came to JULES and finding someone to not only play the show, but create incredible arrangements and write additional music and lyrics, there was no question, Tim was the guy. I also produced two concerts of Tim's music to raise funds and awareness for BCEFA, and to this date it was the most money ever raised for a cabaret show for BCEFA. I am also very fortunate to be working again with my great friend and very talented long time collaborator Andrew Glant-Linden who is directing JULES.

8. I had seen a previous incarnation of Jules a few years back at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. How has the shown grown over the past few years? It has grown quite a bit on many levels. First of all there is new opening involving "Freddy," the character of the stage manager. Second, the actors are getting so much more out of the text now, finding new things, it has just become so much richer, and more nuanced.

David Sabella and Cameron Hansel in "Jules"9. What excites you about having this cast bring Jules to life? They are amazing. David Sabella, as you know plays "Julian." David did "Mary Sunshine" in the revival of Chicago, which come to find out, was loosely based on "Julian." It's great to always hear David sing, but it is more fun watching him being pushed beyond his comfort zone and go places I don't believe he has had to go to before as an actor. Cameron is just a doll. He is young, handsome, talented and always willing to try anything, he just jumps right in. They really are a fantastic team. Then you add Ed in there and I am pretty damn thrilled!

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a playwright? I've learned I have a lot things in my life that need healing. It's interesting, I am not one of those playwrights that sits every day and tries to write. It may be months before I write, but when it comes it comes, and three days later I will have a first draft of a new play. I always think, where did that come from, and then months later I realize there was a reason that came through and usually it is something within myself needing attention, needing healing. Playwriting for me is about listening.

11. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Always reach for the moon because even if you do not make it you will always be in the company of the stars." -High school drama teacher.

BONUS QUESTION:

12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? To fly.

Michael LevesqueMore on Michael:

Readings include Not in Our Town, No Man Can Serve 2 Masters and FAL$E PROFIT$, at the Genesius Guild, Restoration and Freedom Summer at the Hansberry Project, On Hold at the Houseman Theatre with seven-time Tony-nominated and two-time winner, Frances Sternhagen and Tony-nominated Douglas Sills, directed by Scott Schwartz. Who's Sorry Now? at Charles Rosin Casting and his musical Synchronicity, written with award-winning composer Tim Di Pasqua, had a reading at BMI, Seven Angels Theatre and is out on CD. Bad Connections? was produced at The Peoples Theatre in Santa Monica, San Jose City Theatre, and at the Hollywood, Orlando, Toronto and Edmonton Fringe Festivals, where it played to sold-out houses and standing ovations. Bad Connections? also had two NYC engagements, one at the Cell Theatre and the other through Third Eye Theatre Company. His Christmas show, The Christmas Present, ran for three months at La Comedia Dinner Theatre in Akron, Ohio. No Man Can Serve 2 Masters was produced as an Equity Showcase through Third Eye Theatre Company, where Michael also serves as Artistic Director. Michael's plays also include his hysterical whodunit farce, Fire Island and Fire Island, The Next Season, Transubstantiation (also in collaboration with Teatro LATEA) and his political stinger, One Nation Under___? He has written over 25 plays.

Tuesday
Jun172014

Call Answered: Conference Call with David Campbell and John Bucchino: David Campbell Sings John Bucchino

David Campbell and John Bucchino"Call Me Adam" chats with David Campbell and John Bucchino about their new CD, David Campbell sings John Bucchino. Accompanied by Bucchino on piano Campbell tackles 11 of the composer’s compositions including "Taking The Wheel" and "Grateful" which appeared on earlier Campbell albums but are recorded here anew with Bucchino for the first time. Also featured is "Better Than I" which Bucchino composed for the Dreamworks Animation film Joseph: King of Dreams in which Campbell was heard as the singing voice of Ben Affleck’s title character. Click here to purchase David Campbell sings John Bucchino!

For more on David be sure to visit http://store.socialfamilyrecords.com/artist/david-campbell and follow him on Twitter!

For more on John be sure to visit http://www.johnbucchino.com and follow him on Twitter!

David Campbell and John Bucchino at sound check1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer?

David Campbell: My Dad (Jimmy Barnes) showed me that it was possible to become a performer. My style is more directly influenced by Bobby Darin, Peter Allen, Sammy Davis Jr.

John Bucchino: Performing was a natural extension of songwriting, and part of my dream was being a piano-playing singer/songwriter like Elton John, Joni Mitchell, or Billy Joel. I never imagined that other singers would perform my songs.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to?

David: There are too many to list. Composers? Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb, Stephen Sondheim and so many more.

John: Too many to name! And not only singers – also other writers, directors, playwrights, visual artists, all kinds of creative souls. One of the joys of growing older has been learning to embrace collaboration which is not always easy since I started out wanting to do everything myself. I still have a hard time relinquishing control. The trick is to choose the right people.

3. What made now the right time to team up for your new CD "David Campbell Sings John Bucchino"?

David: The idea of touring a show with John in Australia came up and I thought we should record it. It was one of those things, if we didn’t do it now we never would!

John: I'd just completed a 4-year commission for a new Danish musical called ESAURA and we had a gorgeous production over in Denmark. I was going through artistic postpartum after that, and was wondering what the next project would be when David contacted me with this idea. Perfect timing in so many ways: I love making music with David; he's one of my best friends and one of my favorite interpreters of my songs – not only does he have a spectacular voice, he's also a terrific actor, which is essential for my material; I adore Australia and leap at any opportunity to come back (this is my 6th visit!) I would get to hang out with not only David, but with his fabulous wife Lisa and their precious son Leo; Lisa set up some master classes for me around Australia and also in New Zealand, (another place I love, and coaching students on performance of my songs is one of my favorite things to do); so, win win win win win win! 

4. What has been the best part about working together on this CD?

David: We are old friends. It was one of the most enjoyable times I have had in the studio because we were in synch. You don't always get that when under the pressure to create an album. Our friendship gave us a shorthand that was invaluable and fun!

John: You know when you see a flock of birds and they all turn together at the same exact moment and you think, "How did they know?" That's what it feels like to make music with someone with whom you're in synch. It's the most beautiful telepathy, and that's what it feels like to accompany David. We just "know," and it's a rare and miraculous feeling that, I think, comes across both to our audiences and on this CD.

David Campbell and John Bucchino in the recording studio5. What was your favorite part of the creative process in putting this CD together?

David: All the laughs. John and I have a similar and silly sense of humor.

John: I'd say the biggest gift was that, because of the level of trust I have in David, Lisa, and everyone they invited into the project, I let go more than I ever have. I let other people do their jobs and allowed the recordings to flow and I couldn't be prouder of the results. Funny thing: we'd sometimes do 4 or 5 takes of a song and, almost always, the first take was the magical one we'd use.

6. How are your processes similar and how do they differ?

David: We are both very strong in our visions. John with his music and me with how it should be represented. We were constantly challenging each other. We played with keys and various arrangements of some songs. I wanted this to feel different than other recordings we had done. For me that meant what songs to do and how to represent them in a way I felt was new for John and fans of his work.

John: David tends to be more spontaneous and value the "vibe" of the moment, and I tend to want to polish and re-work. But on this project I've adopted his approach more and can clearly see the benefits.

David Campbell and John Bucchino on "Today"7. What do admire about each other's work separate from this project?

David: John is a wonderful songwriter. His music moves me. It surprises you and envelopes you. I have always been a huge fan since the day I met him. I still am.

John: I admire David's versatility. He can sing ANYTHING, and sing it really well. I arrived here in Sydney on a Saturday morning and was invited to a benefit that night at which he was performing with his dad, rocker Jimmy Barnes. They had a kick-ass band complete with horn section, and as I watched David belting stratospheric notes I was dazzled but a little concerned about him dialing it back to sing my songs with the subtlety and intimacy they require. Well, I needn't have worried. After a couple of days of rehearsal there was a moment when he "found" exactly the right voice for this recording. I describe it as the difference between a voice that's "in your face" and one that's "whispering in your ear": tender, vulnerable, nuanced.

8. How has your workmanship together grown since the first time you worked together?

David: I am more confident as a performer and a person. Having a family has settled me emotionally. This affects my performance style. I tried to reflect that in the song choices.

John: Working together doesn't feel much different than it did in the past. The special connection has always been there. But in the past 10 years or so, through the variety of work we've done apart, we've each grown as musicians which enriches this collaboration. 

9. What's the best advice you've ever received?

David: There is no one piece of advice that stands out. I am always listening to myself and to people I trust for advice and guidance. I am constantly evolving and learning. I hope I always do.

John: From my dear friend Stephen Schwartz: "Never read reviews."

David Campbell and John Bucchino on the set of "David Campbell Sings John Bucchino" CD Photo shoot10. What have you learned about yourselves from being performers?

David: As I get older I have learned to trust my instincts more. Also your failures make you as much as your successes. Every successful career has a trail of failure along the way to success. You need to stop worrying and just do everything to the best of your ability. Then move on to the next project and give that your all.

John: I've learned an important lesson that applies not only onstage, and in writing, but in every aspect of life: that being totally, openly, honestly oneself is the most powerful, engaging, rewarding, appealing and, eventually, easiest thing to do.

BONUS QUESTION:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? 

David: Super Strength because I want to carry all the shopping bags from the car in one trip not two.

John: Flying would be nice. Or maybe the superpower to ease pain.

David CampbellMore on David:

One of Australia’s biggest selling recording artists, David Campbell has also achieved considerable success in the United States. His critically acclaimed New York show attracted major crowds and created what Time Out New York described as "…the biggest buzz since Barbra Streisand." David’s show subsequently moved to Rainbow & Stars where he became the youngest performer ever to headline the iconic venue. With this success as a launch-pad, David was soon in demand from Broadway’s most prestigious writers and directors. He was cast in the New York premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Saturday Night and played a leading role in New York City Center Encores! production of Babes In Arms. He released three highly praised recordings in the U.S. and has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning.

In recent years David has taken a break from recording while co-hosting the top-rated Mornings alongside co-host Sonia Kruger on Australia’s Nine Network.

John BucchinoMore on John:

John Bucchino is one of New York’s most beloved composers. His work has been recorded by artists such as Art Garfunkel, Liza Minnelli and Kristin Chenoweth and performed at venues across the world – from the Sydney Opera House to the White House. His work with Harvey Fierstein's A Catered Affair opened on Broadway in 2008 and won the Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Musical. Most recently, he was commissioned by Danish producer Soren Moller to compose music and lyrics for the musical Esaura.

Monday
Jun092014

Call Answered Again: Emily Bergl: Til I Get It Right at 54 Below

Emily Bergl at Broadway Belts for PFF 2013Call Me Adam once again chats with actress and singer Emily Bergl about her brand new cabaret show at 54 Below, Til I Get It Right, which exposes the lengths we go to in our search for love and what we do when we don’t find it, or even more frightening, when we do.

Til I Get It Right plays June 10, 13, and 14 at 54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

For more on Emily be sure to visit http://www.emilybergl.net and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

1. On June 10, 13, 14 you are bringing your brand new show Til I Get It Right to 54 Below. What made you want bring this show to 54 Below? It's one of the few places where I actually like the food! I've always found my experience as an audience member there so welcoming, and I'd like to give that to my fans as well. Plus their programming is so diverse. I don't have to worry about being too edgy for the crowd and they will also appreciate some of the older music that I love so much.

Emily Bergl at Broadway Belts for PFF 20132. What are you looking forward to most about making your 54 Below debut? Hopefully they will put the Oysters Rockefeller back on the menu.

3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? "I loved those songs and I never really listened to some of those lyrics before tonight."

4. What music influenced you for the creation of this show? I think like most modern music listeners, my taste is very eclectic. The foundation of my show is cabaret classics from the likes of Irving Berlin or Noel Coward, but I think that other great songs should be given the cabaret treatment too. We've got some Blondie, some Tracey Chapman, some Billy Joel, and of course some Britney.

Emily Bergl at 2013 Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention5. Since Til I Get It Right takes us on a journey of lengths we go to in our search for love, what lengths have you gone through to find love? What have you learned about yourself from this journey? This show taught me a lot. When I was developing it I was in a relationship, and I thought that I'd finally do a really happy and sweet show because I was so in love. I ended up choosing some pretty dark songs, and I kept wondering why. Turns out the song choices were prophetic, or my subconscious speaking to me. But I'll never learn and I hope I don't. Love is an act of utterly foolish bravado.

6. What was your favorite part of the photo shoot for this show? I love the picture of you on the subway. Well I love working with Michael Creagh because we went to grade school together in Chicago. My favorite part was when we were shooting outside my local deli and the garbage truck driver called out "nice dress." We ended up doing a picture of me hanging off the garbage truck in a ball gown.

Emily Bergl "NY I Love You", Photo Credit: Michael Creagh7. How do you feel you've gotten things "right" since performing your cabaret shows? The maddening but wonderful thing about cabaret is that you never get it right, it's always a work in progress.

8. How have your cabaret shows and singing grown over the past few years? What are you stronger with now than when you first started? What do you feel you still want to improve on? I had no idea WHAT I was doing in the beginning, which I think was also a strength of sorts because it allowed me to not follow some of the more predictable aspects of cabaret shows which aren't that interesting to me. I've been working a lot on my voice, which is stronger but definitely always a work in progress. I've learned that the show isn't really about you - you just have to make people think that it is.

9. If you had to give one reason as to why someone should come see Til I Get It Right, what would that reason be? You won't know what to expect and you will be thoroughly entertained.

Emily Bergl in "Comedy of Errors" 201310. In addition to cabaret, you continue to work in television and theatre. Of the current shows running in both mediums, are there any you would love to be a part of? What cabaret singer wouldn't want to play Sally Bowles?

BONUS QUESTION:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The ability to wash my face at night without having to get up and go to the sink.

Emily BerglMore on Emily:

Emily Bergl burst onto the cabaret scene in 2011 with her debut hit show "Kidding on the Square" in the historic Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel. She received rave reviews from The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News, and was crowned "A Harlow for the New Era" by Stephen Holden of the The New York Times. For her next show she headlined at the legendary Cafe Carlyle, receiving a Nightlife Award for Best Musical Comedy Performer. Ms. Bergl, who has since toured the country with her shows, is heralded for her unique "nouveau cabaret" style in which she blends classics from the Great American Songbook with rock and roll hits and pop favorites.

Mark Moses as "Paul Young" and Emily Bergl as "Beth Young" on ABC's "Desperate Housewives"Ms. Bergl currently stars as "Sammi," daughter to William H. Macy, on the Showtime dramedy Shameless. She is also well known as the tragic housewife "Beth Young" on ABC's Desperate Housewives, the eccentric cop's wife "Tammi" on TNT's Southland, and the whimsical "Annie' on ABC's Men In Trees, as well as guest appearances on numerous television shows. She most recently appeared on Broadway last year opposite Scarlett Johansson in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, and as the female lead in The Comedy of Errors at the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. She also starred in three other Broadway shows as well as numerous productions Off-Broadway and throughout the country. Ms. Bergl appeared in numerous films and was introduced to the industry in her debut starring role in The Rage: Carrie 2. She can be seen this summer in Steven Soderbergh's new series for HBO The Knick.

Her album, Emily Bergl: Live at the Algonquin, the last album to be recorded in The Oak Room, is available on Amazon and iTunes.

Til I Get It Right is Ms. Bergl's third and newest show.

Friday
May302014

Call Answered: Rory Partin Interview

Call Me Adam chats with singer Rory Partin about his the release of his second album, touring, his roots, marriage, and acting!

Rory's self-titled album is slated to release on Tuesday, August 19, with his first single, a cover of Hunter Hayes' "Everybody's Got Somebody But Me," is already climbing the charts!

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

1. Who or what inspired you to become a singer/musician? Music moves me emotionally. I grew up singing in church and all the songs moved me somewhere. Music is such an emotional vehicle that I always wanted to have the ability to move people in the same way. 

As far as who inspired me that would be Andre Krause, Mahalia Jackson, Ray Charles, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Perry Como, the list goes on and on. My mom would have everything playing on the stereo.

2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I would love to work with some of the bigger producers out there, the legends that I grew up listening to like Quincy Jones or David Foster. There are so many amazing musicians to work with out there, I hope to get to work with them all.

3. You are getting to release your second album. What excites you about this upcoming release and what can fans look forward on this album? This album is a little different from the last one I did. Just a little background, for years the conventional wisdom of the industry was you need to do this one thing musically and stick to that. If you try to do more than one thing (like sing Jazz, Big Band, and Pop all on one album) we'll have trouble marketing it because people won't know what category it belongs in. Then Michael Buble comes on the scene and he had pop hits on the jazz radio and that sort of opened up the doors for all of us. So this album I'm really getting in touch with my musical roots. It's really cool. My fans will hear everything from my big band roots they expect, but also they'll hear some of my biggest musical influences, like Ray Charles (as I mentioned earlier). A song I always loved is "Georgia On My Mind," and we put that on this album. Another song I grew up loving was "Jambalaya," so we put that on the album and I also put a country song on this album by Hunter Hayes called "Everybody's Got Somebody But Me." While I have different genres on this album, it's going to be the familiar big band I'm known for.

4. What's your favorite part of the recording process in making an album? It's so cool to be in the recording studio with a full big band. I bring everyone into the studio, about 18 musicians. It's terrific to have them all there during the recording process. On my first album we recorded all the tracks in a single day. On this album, we also recorded all the music in a day and they are amazing. I have a fantastic band. We have a great energy and synergy together. 

5. You've toured around the world entertaining your fans. What do you like most about touring and interacting with your fans? It's funny because I discovered several years ago, I need people. I really believe this slogan I got from my church in Nashville, "Together is better." I love the interaction I get with the audience during my shows. It's so fulfilling. I love languages and cultures, so as I travel around the US and the world, I try to get into as much of the culture and language as I can while I'm there. 

6. Sometimes you perform with your wife, Alexa James. What do you like about performing together and what is it like to have your two worlds intertwine being that you work together and that you are married? When we first thought about getting married, we had never seen an marriage with two artists who are successful. We went into this relationship eyes wide open and committed ourselves to be with each other through thick and thin. What we have discovered through this is that we work really well together. It's not without our bumps and struggles, but we started touring together as a co-bill, and people asked us all the time for us to do something together. So I asked Alexa if she wanted to travel with me and the band and we started doing that and it just works. It's so awesome! It makes me think of Linda and Paul McCartney because they loved traveling together. It's great that we get to experience life and these adventures with my soul mate, the one that I love.

Rory Partin on set of his music video7. What have you learned about yourself from being a singer/musician? Going from singing with different bands to having my own band, a lot comes out. I have learned that I am a very emotional person. I think that comes from the acting technique I learned which was Meisner Technique which is all about being in touch with your emotions and everything being real. Their definition of acting and I think it's a good one is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. They believe you are really feeling what your character feels and you are just acting it out. So I feel a lot of emotions with everything I do.

Rory Partin8. Since you mentioned that you studied acting, do you have any aspirations to do more professional acting or come to Broadway and do a musical? I love acting. It's such a wonderful expression of emotions to communicate with people. Just like music there are notes on a page you are communicating, in acting there are notes on a page in the form of words that you are communicating to people and you are supposed to do it in a real way and not fake it. In L.A. I've been cast in a few small films, but I definitely have plans to do both acting and music like Harry Connick Jr. or Justin Timberlake. 

It's funny you mention Broadway because when my wife and I do some acoustic shows, the guy who plays for us, Matt Caplan, was just on Broadway in Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark. He's such a great guy! While, I don't have any immediate plans to come to Broadway, I might possibly in the future.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? One of the best pieces of advice I got was from my parents, in regards to marriage. "Marriage is one of the most amazing things in the world, but it is the most difficult thing to ever do." My mom would also say to me, "I love your father, but I don't always like him." So at the time, these things didn't make much sense to me, but when I got married, I understood what she was talking about.

10. If you could have any super power, which one would it be? The first one that pops into my mind is flying because I fly in my dreams. It's wonderful!

Rory PartinMore on Rory:

Originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana, and then on to Nashville, Tennessee, Rory’s music has been influenced by some of the all time greats such as: Ray Charles, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and The Doobie Brothers. Having later swapped one ocean for the other, Rory made the move to Los Angeles, where his career has taken off in ways he never imagined. His highly entertaining live show, his superb repertoire, and his mere love and gift for music and performing, have taken Rory around the world performing for sold out concerts, Presidential Inaugural Balls, multiple casinos and exclusive hotels like the Waldorf Astoria & the Ritz Carlton, corporate & charitable events, as well as countless private parties and weddings for some of the worlds elite.

Rory Partin is bringing back genuine passion for entertaining and making great music people can enjoy and relate to. Having traveled to and performed in places such as Brussels, Paris, Prague, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Toronto, London, Helsinki, and many more, the anticipation for Rory’s new album is worldwide. Anywhere he performs, audiences beg for his swift return. "People don’t want to just sit and listen to music for music’s sake. They want to experience something. They want to laugh, sing, reminisce…they might dance or they might shed a tear. I bring my heart to my music, and I believe that’s what people are wanting." Nobody is bringing the Big Band back as hard as Rory is, and whoever is attempting to, is definitely going to be doing so in his shadow.

Friday
Mar142014

Call Answered: The New York Pops On Broadway with Steven Reineke, Andrew Rannells, and Stephanie J. Block

"Call Me Adam" went behind-the-scenes at The New York Pops On Broadway press event to speak with The New York Pops Musical Director and Conductor, Steven Reineke as well as their special guest stars Broadway Tony Award nominees Stephanie J. Block and Andrew Rannells.

The New York Pops On Broadway will take place on March 21 at 7:30pm at Carnegie Hall (57th Street & 7th Avenue) in New York City! Click here for tickets!

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

Call Me Adam and Steven ReinekeSteven Reineke:

1. The New York Pops, On Broadway, will be presented on Friday, March 21 at 7:30pm. What excites you about this upcoming concert? A lot excites me about this concert. One, it's our first concert back at Carnegie Hall since December, so it's always fun to get back to it. I am also getting to perform with two of my great friends Stephanie J. Block and Andrew Rannells. We are doing all this great Broadway repertoire. We got to pick it ourselves, so it's like making our own party playlist of what we would want to sing in my living room, except we are bringing it to life at Carnegie Hall with an 80 piece orchestra.

2. Of the songs being performed, what are some of your favorite selections? There are just so many big 11 o'clock numbers in this concert, but if I had to choose, we are featuring the orchestra in some great music from West Side Story, which I never get tired of performing and conducting. Stephanie J. Block does the best "Defying Gravity" I've ever heard in my life, and hearing Andrew and Stephanie do "Move On" from Sunday in the Park with George is another favorite of mine. Andrew is singing a song that I was just introduced to a few years ago by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who wrote the song,  called "Love Who You Love," which has become a bit of a mantra for me. It's just so powerful.

Stephanie J. Block and Andrew Rannells preview "Move On"

3. Why should the fans come see The New York Pops On Broadway? I think it's a no brainer to come hear Stephanie J. Block and Andrew Rannells sing with this amazing orchestra and we are going to do great hits that everybody loves. We do one night only, which is very special here in this city. I always try to make our concerts an event that if you weren't there, you missed out on something. You have to be there that night because something great is going to happen.

4. This is The New York Pops 31st Season. What excites you to keep going with them? Well, they are the best Pops orchestra on the planet and we get to perform at the finest concert on on the planet, in the best city on the planet. It's quite a thrill every time I get to take the stage with The New York Pops. We've planned out the next season already, which we are very excited about. We continue to grow by leaps and bounds, selling-out all of our concerts. There's a lot of excitement and everyone is just happy to come to work. So, it's a lot of fun to be part of it.

Call Me Adam and Andrew RannellsAndrew Rannells:

1. You are going to be performing once again with The New York Pops on March 21 at 7:30pm in their show On Broadway. What are you looking forward to about this evening? I'm so honored that they asked me to do it. I'm so excited to be working with Steven Reineke again and to be singing with Stephanie J. Block, and while I've known her for a long time, this is our first time singing together. She's no joke, so when you work with her, you got to bring it.

2. You've performed with The New York Pops before, so what excites about coming back to sing with the Pops and work with Steven Reineke again? I was so nervous when I sang with them at their Spring Gala in 2012 that I don't remember it. I mean, I remember that I sang, I think it sounded okay, and then I walked off-stage and I didn't remember anything. So, this time around, I'm sure I'll be petrified, but at least I'll have time to warm up before it. We are doing a whole two acts of many, many songs, so hopefully I'll remember something [laughs].

3. Which songs are you looking forward to performing most? I'm really excited about "Move On" because it's been so fun to bring it to life. I'm getting to sing "Being Alive" from Company, which for every Tenor in my opinion is a dream song to sing.

Andrew Rannells previews "The Streets Of Dublin"

4. If you could give people a reason to come see you perform with The New York Pops on March 21 at 7:30pm, what would that reason be, aside from coming to see you? Stephanie J. Block is a big reason. The New York Pops is a huge, huge orchestra which you don't really get to hear anymore, plus we are going to be singing an array of Broadway songs from classics to contemporary. There is something for everyone.

5. I know The New Normal is not part of this evening, but what is like to go from working in theatre to working in television and how do you feel your training in one helps you with the other? I feel very fortunate that while I was doing The Book of Mormon, Lena Dunham, cast me Girls on HBO. I got to do The Book of Mormon at night and work on Girls during the day, which was very exciting. Lena was so generous and so lovely that after we did the first couple of scenes, she would let me watch the playback of them, since she was directing the episodes as well, so I got to see what we did. I saw I didn't have to project as much for television as I do for theatre. I'm allowed to be as internal as I wanna be because the camera picks all of that up. That was a big adjustment for me. So, by the time I got to do The New Normal, I had done two seasons of Girls already, but The New Normal was a little different because network shows move faster, so I didn't have the luxury to check my work after we filmed, but I was more confident in myself by the time we started filming The New Normal. 

6. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I would love to be able to teleport.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs today. Not always. Sometimes it's a boxer. You have to mix it up.

Call Me Adam and Stephanie J. BlockStephanie J. Block:

1. What excites you about performing in this concert? I'm thrilled to be back with The Pops. I was lucky enough to perform at The New York Pops Gala last year and sang "Don't Rain On My Parade," and Steven Reineke said to me, "You are going to be coming back to this stage singing that song at some point, I don't know when," and that when is now.

2. Out of all the songs you are performing, which ones are you most looking forward to singing, in addition to "Don't Rain On My Parade"? I think Sondheim because I've never performed it professionally. It's challenging, touching, and so beautiful. When you get an 80 piece orchestra to play his stuff there is nothing like it. The list of composers that were chosen for this program are pretty great. In addition to Sondheim, we are also singing Stephen Schwartz, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, and so many more). A lot of big notes. A lot of 11 o'clock numbers.

Stephanie J. Block previews "Don't Rain On My Parade"

3. You've performed with The New York Pops before. What do you love about working with them and Steven Reineke? Their musicianship is remarkable, but Steven Reineke is a showman in of himself. You don't just get his back and a baton, you get a guy who is SO invested in his musicians and his performers and we can tell that he is really there with us and it's not a detached thing where the singers are not part of what they are creating and performing. I love that. You can feel his support. He breathes with you. He's the third soloist, well, he's the first soloist actually.

4. If you could give the fans one reason why they should come to On Broadway with The New York Pops on March 21 at 7:30pm, what would it be? On Broadway we are lucky enough to have incredible musicians. There are 15, sometimes 23, but when you hear musical theatre scores with 12 cellos, an entire horn section, 14 violins, there's nothing to explain that experience. The textures, the colors, the nuance, it's really exceptional and takes the music to a completely different place.

5. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Mmmm...I know a lot of people say flying, but I would be invisible. When the time is right, I would love to just disappear and become invisible. I think you would learn a lot and I think you could change the world a lot.

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 ReinekeMore on Steven Reineke:

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.

Stephanie J. BlockMore on Stephanie J. Block:

Stephanie J. Block has established herself as one of the most relevant and versatile voices in contemporary musical theatre. She most recently starred as "Sheryl Hoover" in the Off-Broadway production of Little Miss Sunshine written by James Lapine and William Finn. She received both a Drama Desk and Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of "Alice Nutting/Edwin Drood" in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Other Broadway credits include Anything Goes and 9 to 5: The Musical, for which she earned a Drama Desk nomination. She created the roles of "Grace O'Malley" in The Pirate Queen and "Liza Minnelli" in The Boy From Oz (opposite Hugh Jackman). Ms. Block is best known for her portrayal of "Elphaba" in the Broadway company of Wicked. She also originated the role in the first national tour, for which she won numerous awards, including the prestigious Helen Hayes Award. Ms. Block has sung with numerous orchestras including The New York Pops, Boston Pops, National Symphony Orchestra (under the baton of Marvin Hamlisch), Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Pops, among many others. For more on Stephanie be sure to visit: http://www.stephaniejblock.com and follow her on Twitter!

Andrew RannellsMore on Andrew Rannells:

Andrew Rannells is best known for his breakout role as "Elder Price" in Broadway’s Tony Award winning musical The Book of Mormon, which was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of "South Park" fame along with Robert Lopez of Avenue Q. The Book of Mormon received 9 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and on the 2011 Tony Awards telecast Rannells brought down the house with his performance of "I Believe." For his work in The Book of Mormon Rannells received Tony, Drama Desk and Drama League award nominations. He also won a Grammy Award for "Best Musical Theatre Album" for the cast recording of The Book of Mormon. He can currently be seen in third season of HBO’s Golden Globe-winning comedy series Girls, from producers Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow. Last year Rannells starred as "Bryan Collins" in Ryan Murphy's groundbreaking series The New Normal for NBC. Rannells is a native of Omaha, Nebraska. For more on Andrew follow him on Twitter!