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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in Music (168)

Thursday
Nov062014

Call Answered: Conference Call with John R. Waters and Stewart D'Arrietta: Lennon: Through a Glass Onion

Stewart D'Arrietta and John R. Waters, Photo Credit: Joan Marcus"Call Me Adam" chats with John R. Waters and Stewart D'Arrietta about their new show Lennon: Through a Glass Onion, part spoken word, part concert, and all heart, this show is a celebration of one of the most distinct voices of his generation: John Lennon. Lennon: Through a Glass Onion is currently playing at The Union Square Theatre (100 East 17th Street) in NYC through January 11 only! Click here for tickets!

For more on Lennon: Through a Glass Onion be sure to visit http://lennononstage.com and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. Your show Lennon: Through a Glass Onion, is currently making it's New York debut at the Union Square Theatre. First conceived in 1992, you have played to sold-out houses around the world including Sydney's Opera House and London's West End. How did you guys first come to work together?

John R. Waters: Stewart and I were put together by a mutual friend to meet and discuss another project. This was in the mid-eighties. We've worked and written songs together on and off ever since; with our main focus on the times we reconvene to do another tour of Glass Onion.

Stewart D'Arrietta: John and I first worked together on a theatre piece in 1985 for the New Moon Theatre Company. We got on well and when John was offered a 3 week season at a 85 seater Pub theatre, he contacted me asking if I would like like to be involved on a Lennon piece, I said yes.

Stewart D'Arrietta and John R. Waters in "Lennon: Through a Glass Onion", Photo Credit: Joan Marcus2. What made now the right time for Lennon: Through a Glass Onion to make it's New York City debut? 

John R. Waters: We had refined the show for a tour beginning at the Sydney Opera House, and at the same time we joined forces with Producer Harley Medcalf, who made an approach to the estate regarding rights, and it was successful. Opportunities further opened up with the assistance of Richard Frankel here in NY, and the availability of the fabulous Union Square Theatre. Now we're here!

Stewart D'Arrietta: It was the meeting of Harley Medcalf last year that brought about the production here in New York at this time and then Yoko allowing us to perform the piece.

3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show?

John R. Waters: I like what most of the audience tells me afterwards; that they were surprised and taken aback by the unique style of treatment of the material, and that they feel somehow closer to the man and his story.

Stewart D'Arrietta: We would like the audience to be moved as they leave in the sense that realizing the greatness of the man and the loss to our society with his killing.

John R. Waters in "Lennon: Through a Glass Onion", Photo Credit: Joan Marcus4. What made you want to write a show about John Lennon? How has he influenced you?

John R. Waters: I was influenced by not just Lennon, but all the Brit-rock scene of the sixties. It was my time - I was in mid-teens to early adulthood in London in that decade. I had already loved rock-n-roll from the time I heard "All shook Up" at the age of ten. When I decided to write a show that brought all the aspects of my own career together - acting; singing; playing in bands and generally telling stories - the subject matter came very quickly to mind.

Stewart D'Arrietta: It was John’s idea to do a show about Lennon. Lennon's influence has been large in my life as I grew up with his music and his philosophy of peace.

5. How did you decide which John Lennon songs you wanted to include in Lennon: Through a Glass Onion? Were there ones you wanted to include that you didn't?

John R. Waters: It goes without saying that we can't do them all without having a show longer than War and Peace, so I used the most autobiographically interesting songs which provided a 'text' of their own. Plus a few that are just bloody good songs!

Stewart D'Arrietta: The songs that reflected his life journey as a lot of Lennon’s songs were written autobiographically. "In My Life" and "Don’t Let Me Down" are used as underscore but we would have liked to use them as songs sung but it was not to be.

Stewart D'Arrietta in "Lennon: Through a Glass Onion", Photo Credit; Joan Marcus6. Since this show is about John Lennon, if you could have sang any song of his with him as a duet, which one would you have chosen?

John R. Waters: Well if I had ever got to sing a song with John Lennon, I don't think I would have cared much what we sang. "We're a Couple of Swells" in reggae, maybe?

Stewart D'Arrietta: "Come Together"

7. Has Yoko Ono come to the show or anyone from his estate? If so, what did they think of it?

John R. Waters: I am thrilled and gratified to have been licensed by the estate. Beyond that I believe is not my territory, really, but of course I'm very pleased that our treatment that has been approved.

Stewart D'Arrietta: No.

Stewart D'Arrietta and John R. Waters, Photo Credit: Joan Marcus8. What has been the best part about working together? What have you learned from each other?

John R. Waters: Stewart and I know each other well enough to work 'instinctively' off each other, and that saves a lot of time! I think that Stewie's high level of motivation to get things done has been his biggest influence on me.

Stewart D'Arrietta: You always have to have a sense of humor in this business and hang on to the positive.

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

John R. Waters: "Give up acting." It made me try harder.

Stewart D'Arrietta: What goes around, comes around.

Stewart D'Arrietta and John R. Waters, Photo Credit: Joan Marcus10. If you could have a song written about your life, what are some key elements you would want to make sure the lyricist wrote into the song? For example, I've had two theme songs written for me...one for my past radio show and one for a live interview series I used to conduct. The key elements I wanted to make sure got written into each theme song was that I did entertainment interviews and then the lyricists wrote my theme songs around that idea.

John R. Waters: I wouldn't like anyone to write a song about me. Except maybe if it was one of my children who did it. And they could write all about how I was the greatest dad in the world. The best songwriting always contains an element of invention.

Stewart D'Arrietta: Any song written about me would have to have in it that I gave life my best shot and I didn’t die wondering.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

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

John R. Waters: X-Ray vision. I sent off for those glasses advertised on the back of Superman comics. Imagine my disappointment when the girls I looked at still had all their clothes on.

Stewart D'Arrietta: To fly.

12. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be?

John R. Waters: Blackcurrant. Same goes for pastilles, gums etc etc. the black ones.

Stewart D'Arrietta: Lime.

14. How do you want to be remembered?

John R. Waters: Being remembered at all, is a good start! I think I'd be happy with that.

Stewart D'Arrietta: As a Cool Garden Gnome...now wouldn't that be cool!

John R. Waters, Photo Credit: Joan MarcusMore on John:

John R. Waters is one of Australia's most recognized, respected and critically acclaimed actors and singers. Born in Britain, he has built and retained an audience in Australia across four decades of theatre, musicals, TV, film and music. Waters has performed in over 20 stage productions, 22 films and 43 TV series/telemovies. Some of his best known works are My Fair Lady, They're Playing Our Song, Oliver!, The Graduate, Jesus Christ Superstar, Breaker Morant, Weekend of Shadows, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Rush, "All the Rivers Run," "City Homicide," "Singapore Sling," "All Saints," "Underbelly" and "Offspring."

Stewart D'Arrietta, Photo Credit: Joan MarcusMore on Stewart:

Stewart D'Arrietta recently enjoyed a nine-month New York run of his Tom Waits show, Belly of a Drunken Piano. Last January, Stewart was the musical director for The White Album Concert by the Beatles, performing on stage at the world famous Sydney Opera House with 15 other high profile artists including Jon Stevens and Jack Jones. Other musical director/performer/composer credits include Cafe Brel, Reunion and Satango. Stewart has also composed and conducted soundtracks for features, short-form drama and documentaries including Whitsunday Ash, Sugar Inc., Blood Oath, Colour in the Creek and the Emmy Award-winning documentary Faces in the Mob.

Friday
Sep052014

Call Answered: Wendy Ho: Greatest Shits CD Release and Concert at The Triad/Stage 72

Wendy Ho, Photo Credit: Dusti Cunningham at Dragonfly Trannyshack La!!! Wig styled by Curtis William Foreman and provided by RockStar Wigs"Call Me Adam" chats with "The Queen of Raunch and Soul," Wendy Ho about new CD Greatest Shits, releasing on September 25 as well as her concert in support of this release called Wendy Ho (And Friends) on September 29 at The Triad/Stage 72 in NYC (158 West 72nd Street)! Click here for tickets! 

1. On September 29 you will be having your official NYC concert/release party for your new CD Wendy Ho: Greatest Shits at The Triad/Stage 72. What made you want to have this concert/release party at the Triad/Stage 72? Yes, it’s true! I am pleased to be hosting my "Greatest Shits," album release and concert at Stage 72 on September 29. My friend Michael Doane runs the theater booking, and I actually was just going to come into town to visit friends, but he offered the date to me—and since it coincided with my album release I said, "Why not?"

2. The concert will feature some of today's biggest names in theatre including Ben Rimalower, Natalie Joy Johnson, and Daniel Reichard. I love all three of them! How did you decide who you wanted to have as a special guest? Well, we have something in common because I love them too. The name of the show is Wendy Ho and Friends, and these "names," just so happen to be people who are dear friends of mine, and they have encouraged and inspired me throughout my artistic journey.

Daniel Reichard and I actually met at a one year "Never Forget" 9/11 commemorative party on a roof top on the lower east side—3 days after I had moved to New York in 2002. We hit it off instantly and were inseparable for quite some time. He was actually at the piano playing "Get Here," in his Chelsea apartment when I started to sing what is now the opening line of "Fuck Me," as a joke.

Ben Rimalower and I became close when he directed my first one woman show at Ars Nova in December of 2007. I met him through my friend Scott Nevins, and we hit it off in that same sort of instantaneous way that Daniel and I did. Natalie Joy and I met through Ben at Posh one night when we were doing a show with Poppi Kramer. I knew we were kindred spirits when we found ourselves outside of Posh on the street belting Jill Scott songs, and someone shouted from their apartment "shut the fuck up," and we CACKLED ourselves right off the curb.

3. What made now the right time to release your Greatest Shits album? There were many songs that were not allowed on iTunes because of liberal and ignorant sampling that we used when I first started recording. I kept finding myself at shows where people would either ask one of two questions, the first being— "Is this on itunes?" To which the answer was always a sad "I’m sorry, but no." So first, we rearranged the instrumentals to make them legally sellable on iTunes. The other thing they would ask is, after looking over the 2 hard copies of albums that I had for sale was inevitably— with tears in their eyes, "Where’s poop noodle????" So supply and demand told me that I had to get all of the favorite songs onto one album, and I really needed to make them available on iTunes.

4. Your Greatest Shits Tour includes stops in Philadelphia, Boston, and Los Angeles. What are you looking forward to most about this tour? What do you like about interacting with your fans? What I am looking forward to most is what I always look forward to when I hit the road, getting to be in the middle of, and getting to co-create all the little pockets of love that I have luckily accumulated throughout my tenure as Qween Hobag! I love being with friends and fans because there’s a mirror affect, they give me encouragement and I in turn give them permission to be shameless attention whores like myself!

Wendy Ho, Photo Credit: Eileen Keenan Photography5. Let's go back to the beginning for a moment. How did you come up with Wendy Ho? How did you get the title "The Queen of Raunch and Soul?" What do you like or dislike about having this title? My real name is Wendy Jo, and when I was an acting student at Missouri State, I used to write and perform raps about my teachers and some of the students. They were all dirty and funny, so a friend of mine started calling me, "Wendy Ho," and it stuck. I never considered it a career move, nor did I ever take it seriously, but "she" followed me from place to place and job to job. I would inevitably end up performing her for other performers and cast members, and people would clamor for more. I eventually made a couple of albums of standard songs that I loved singing just to see what it was like to record, along with those albums I decided to put out a joke album of all the Wendy Ho bits I would do at parties, called Wendy Ho: Bitch Off a Leash, and this was the album that everyone wanted. Then, I was fumbling around New York, an out of work entertainstress when I met music producer, Craig Levy. Again, I tried my hand at legit singing-songwriting, and while we were working together I gave him a copy of the Wendy Ho album. He listened to it and immediately called me and asked, "Why aren’t we working on this? This is so funny, and no other artist I know is doing this…above all certainly no white woman."  It took me a while to get comfortable with being Wendy Ho on a public level. Although I had all of my friends encouraging me, I didn’t know if it would be enjoyed on a larger level. So Levy and I started to work on flushing out some snippets of songs, and then I put out an email to all of my performer friends asking if they knew where I could perform. They answered, and I found myself performing at Caroline’s on Broadway and then at just about every gay bar in the city. It was accepted and encouraged immediately. Of course there are those that don’t get it/don’t like it, but it’s really not for them. I eventually came to look at it like, if I can accept this over the top, dirty, loud, and crazy part of myself—maybe others will accept it in me and in themselves too. "The Queen of Raunch and Soul" came from my friend Roman Feeser, a writer, I met at Caroline’s on Broadway, and I love it!!! He also penned the line in "Fuck Me," "blow my coochie up like the taliban." I go back and fourth between the titles, though, in some circles I am known as "The Queen of Poop."

6. Many of your songs are "adult-themed" parodies of popular songs. For instance "Fuck Me" is set to the tune of "Get Here," "Poop Noodle" is set to "I Love The Night Life." Your songs are very fun and brilliantly written. What made you want to write this kind of music? Thank you. I have to say a lot of it, came naturally. I am merely the vessel from which all poop flows. I really was and am just playing catch with the universe a lot. I just thought and think this shit is funny, and when others did too, I was strongly encouraged. Laughter is truly my crack. I am addicted. If laughter was currency, I would be a very rich woman sitting on stacks of it, but there would still never be enough.

Wendy Ho7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I really was one of those cliched babies that sang before I could talk, I just loved music and singing. But performing was not something that came naturally. I was actually really shy, really self conscious, picked last for the team, fat and awkward, but when I was around my family and close friends I would come out of my shell. I would sing and act and always liked pretending and stories. My dad encouraged me to audition for a play, so I did, and the exhilaration of even being called back had me hooked. Then there was the amplified pretend element, and I was IN. I guess I was just one of those kids that reality just wasn’t enough, and I certainly didn’t feel like I was enough, so that lead me to the life of a theatrical misfit. I had no idea that avoiding myself and reality would in essence circle right back around to require acceptance of myself, my limitations, and strengths.

I’ve met so many entertainers with a similar story and those people REALLY inspire me. I consider myself very lucky to have found not only self acceptance, but in so doing— my tribe. OH! and when I was 11 and saw Bette Midler singing "Otto Titsling" in Beaches I just knew that was the type of performer I would be. It was a definitive moment.

8. Who would you still like to work with? Gosh, there’s so many that I haven’t worked with. I don’t even know where to begin! The orignial cast of 9 to 5 would be great!! Margaret Cho and I are working on something, and I’m super excited by her. She is a gawdess! I love Bianca Del Rio and we go way back, I’d love to do something with him. Musically I’m still waiting on Michael McDonald to call me! Ryan Murphy and Jennifer Coolidge both still owe me one for ripping off "I Stole Yo Purse." There really are too many to name. My world is so abundant with artists. I’m so lucky!

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Was from my high school theater teacher Lee Hitchler—"Always work with people that are more talented than you."

Wendy Ho10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? The main thing I’ve learned about myself is that I am a crazy contradiction of different shades of gay, maybe not sexually—but theatrically, yes.…I said GAY. I’ve learned that at my worst I can be petty, selfish and insecure, and at my best I can be forgiving, generous and confident. If you can’t deal with all that, then we’re breaking up. I also have learned that I really think poop is funnier than farting.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite skin care product? My favorite product is "City Skin" moisturizer from the all natural skin care line developed and created by Dr. Jen at Atomic Cosmetics in Seattle. Plug, plug!!!! Seriously, this woman makes everything right in her own lab, and the entire line is amazing. The moisturizer smells like an orange blossom and just glides on my skin like silk! She makes the best stuff, and I adore her.

12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Well, making some people laugh is pretty super...but if it’s gotta be SUPER, I’d have to say self multiplication, it’d be great to play 80 different shows at once!

13. If you could be an original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Cayenne Pepper! Wait, that’s not a flavor…Purple. I would be purple flavored.

14. How do you want to be remembered? As that funny, nasty, generous, forgiving, loving ho lady!

Wendy HoMore on Wendy:

Wendy Jo Smith, better known by her stage name, Wendy Ho is one part skilled singer, one part comedienne, one part rap artist, and 100% entertainer. Over a million youtube views, having drag queens around the world cover her songs, and being spoofed by Ryan Murphy are just a few of this ho's claim to fame.

Wendy got her start as a little honey boo boo child in a trailer court in Ohio. She had a dream of being a stage performer moved to New York City to pursue it. In her starving artist years, she flirted with the idea of stealing ladies’ handbags from coat rooms at parties where she catered, of course, this inspired her track "Bitch, I Stole Yo Purse!," which became the #1 Funniest Video of 2008 on the MTV/LOGO Network, and was parodied on FX’s Nip/Tuck with Jennifer Coolidge playing their version of Wendy Ho. This track came from the beloved cult classic album, The Gospel According to Ho which includes the torch song parody of Brenda Russel/ Oleta Adams' "Get Here," now known as the drag classic, "Fuck Me!" This irreverence and balls-out femininity struck a special chord with the gay community, inspiring drag queens around the world to perform her songs and celebrate Ho.

With a rainbow hurricane of gay support behind her, Wendy Ho tours non-stop nationally with her one woman show, The Wendy Ho Show playing at gay bars, comedy clubs, theaters, and cabarets. Her act is always evolving with original songs and parodies. Her YouTube Channel, "HOtube," is also always growing its web presence with regular music videos and sketches, her newest single, "Public Place," a parody of Rihanna's "We Found Love," is picking up traction.

Wendy currently resides in Los Angeles with her film-maker husband Stas Tagios (who collaborates with her on many videos), and she's a regular at The Comedy Store, Hamburger Mary's, Rage, and The Abbey. RuPaul and Victoria Beckham are two of her biggest fans, and her work has been featured on Logo, Showtime, and HereTV. She has also opened for comedy legends Sandra Bernhard and Leslie Jordan.

Ho is an artist. Ho is a state of mind. Ho redefines women in music and comedy with true liberation. She is funny and sexy, never sacrificing one for the other. A pretty bitch, a witty feminist, a self-possessed, self-assured mashup of street and trash who makes you laugh while she makes you think. The responses she evokes from audiences are as diverse as her roots, but at the core there is no question about who she is. Wendy is all woman. All Ho.

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.