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Entries in Stephen Sondheim (7)


Call Answered: Matthew Morrison: New York Pops Summer Series, Glee, Broadway

Matthew Morrison, Photo Credit: Christian RiosThe year was 2002 and a new Broadway musical was opening that summer called Hairspray, starring Harvey Fierstein, Matthew Morrison and newcomer Marissa Jaret Winokur. The moment Matthew took the stage and started singing, he definitely had a new fan. Matthew's vocals are like no other and ever since Hairspray, I have had the pleasure of seeing him in almost all his Broadway endeavors, getting to hear that golden voice raise the roof time and time again! It has been a pleasure watching Matthew's career rise and then watching the world over get to know him and his voice because of his starring turn in Fox's Glee.

Ever since I started "Call Me Adam," I have been eager to interview Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe nominee Matthew Morrison. It is a real honor to have been granted this opportunity, not only because we got to talk about Broadway, Glee, and his upcoming concert with The New York Pops, but because we got to the heart of what makes Matthew tick. Matthew's enthusiasm, excitement, and genuineness really shine through.

Matthew will be reuniting with The New York Pops and conductor/musical director Steven Reineke on Thursday, July 7 as he takes the stage with them at their summer home of Forest Hills Stadium (1 Tennis Place, Forrest Hills, NY). Matthew and The Pops' will be joined by Tony nominee Megan Hilty. Showtime is 7:30pm. Click here for tickets!

For more on Matthew be sure to visit and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

For more on The New York Pops be sure to visit and follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Matthew Morrison1. This July you are once again going to be performing with The New York Pops at their summer home of the Forest Hills Stadium. What do you love about performing with The New York Pops? The Pops have such an amazing history, and do such a great job of including all members of its community. Its involvement with public schools and children’s hospitals in particular really resonates with me and my values.  I’ve had such great experiences working with The New York Pops in the past, and I look forward to sharing the stage once again with this amazing group of professionals, led by my good friend, conductor Steven Reineke.

Steven Reineke and The New York Pops2. When performing with The New York Pops, what do you learn from The Pops' Musical Director/Conductor Steven Reineke that you don't learn from working with other musical directors? Steven and I are good friends who share a similar taste in music. He understands my brand and takes the time to work with my Music Director, Brad Ellis, and myself to really bring the best show to the audience. He’s a team player who works extremely well with the artists that share the stage with The New York Pops. It’s always a fun and exhilarating show with Conductor Reineke.

3. Since Forest Hills Stadium is an outdoor venue, do you vocally prepare yourself differently than if you were getting ready to sing at an indoor venue? If you do you prepare differently, what do you do that's different? My regimen is pretty consistent no matter the setting. Days leading up to the performance, I rest my voice as much as possible. The day of the performance, I stay away from any types of dairy. To help coat the throat, I drink plenty of warm tea with honey and lemon. The only difference between preparing for outdoor vs. indoor shows is when I’m faced with temperatures that aren’t ideal for vocal performances. However, I don’t see summer in New York posing any issues!

Matthew Morrison4. We first met when you were starring on Broadway in Hairspray and since then, I've had the pleasure of watching your career take off. What has this journey been like for you? Is the reality of the trip the same as what you envisioned or hoped for? Thank you for the kind words. Looking back at my career, it’s been an amazing journey. Through it all, I have never chased success. Instead, I have always pursued happiness, and what that meant to me personally. To me that’s the key. I never thought I’d be in the position I’m in today, working with amazing creative professionals and having the liberty to decide which projects I want to attach myself to. But when you pursue your passion and stick with it even through challenging times, it’s amazing what opportunities will present themselves.

Matthew Morrison and Call Me Adam after "The Light in the Piazza"5. I've also had the pleasure of seeing you on Broadway in The Light in the Piazza and South Pacific, both productions played at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre. When you walked back into the Beaumont for the first time during South Pacific what memories came up for you from starring in The Light in the Piazza and what new memories did you make during South Pacific? In The Light In The Piazza, I was faced with the extreme challenge of learning a foreign language in a very short window of time. Unlike television or film, you only get one shot at executing lines in theater. So memories of going through that challenge stood out. Each night on stage, the amount of emotion and energy that translated from the stage was unparalleled to any show I’ve been in. I will always cherish my tenure with that production, and once I walked back on to that stage for South Pacific, those memories came flooding back. In South Pacific, there was a different emotional connection I had with that show. "Lieutenant Cable’s" internal struggle through each performance often left me leaving the theater a bit melancholy. Playing a character who was being sent on a mission from which the likelihood of return is slim was a difficult task. I had to learn to pace myself in order to keep going with the run.

Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch on the set of Fox's "Glee"6. While many people know you from your Broadway shows, lots of people got to know your talent when you starred on Fox's Glee for six years. What songs or artists did you never get to sing on Glee that you wished you had? What were the top three funniest things that happened to you during the taping of the series? We covered a very diverse repertoire of songs throughout the series, and I recall very fond memories of performing many of them with my cast mates. "Singin’ in the Rain" with Gwyneth Paltrow was amazing, aside from being wet all day! When we performed "Proud Mary," we were all in wheelchairs, and that was one of the biggest workouts on set that I can remember. We were up and down ramps, giving it our all in camaraderie for "Artie." "Don’t Stop Believin" was the Glee anthem, although now I can’t listen to that song just because at every event we attended for the show, they would be playing it. "You’re All The World To Me" was my favorite because of the creative direction. It’s the performance where I danced on the ceiling and walls. It was choreography at its finest, and was such an exhilarating day for me. Jane Lynch was my comedic crutch – she was always there to brighten spirits and bring a smile to everyone’s face.

Matthew Morrison7. With all the interviews you do, what is one question, you are so tired of people asking and what is one question you have not been asked that you wish you would be (and please provide your answer to that question)? The one question I get a lot is "Would you ever do a Glee reunion show?" The show was extremely special to me, and had its place in pop culture. Sometimes you just need to appreciate an ending and move on without entertaining a possible comeback, especially this early on. One question I haven’t been asked is "What do I value most in life?" My answer – happiness.

8. Some actors who start in theatre and then find success in television/film, stay working in television/film. What keeps you coming back to the stage? How do you feel your theatrical training prepared you for television work? Performing on stage is my air. I will always prefer being on stage because of that live interaction with an audience. There’s no substitute for the energy I receive from an audience. Live performances, to me, are a symbiotic relationship between the talent and the audience, where we both feed off of each other’s energy. My experience in theater prepared me for the work in television and film by instilling the sense of immediacy in my performances. In live theater, you get one take to get it right. In television and film, when you’re performing to a lens, there can be a number of takes on a single scene. I learned discipline with my techniques, and I think that helped a lot when transitioning to TV/Film.

9. On your album Matthew Morrison, you recorded Sting's "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot" and on Where It All Began you recorded Stephen Sondheim's "Send In The Clowns." When in your life, have you "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot" and when was there a time you wanted someone to "Send In The Clowns" to help cheer you up? "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot" – When I made the decision to pursue the arts professionally. "Send In The Clowns" – Now that’s a bit too personal J

10. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent every day? To continue pursuing my passion and always striving to be a better person, husband and friend.

Matthew MorrisonMore on Matthew:

Matthew Morrison is a versatile actor who is recognized for his work on-stage and on-screen. He has been nominated for Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. Matthew most recently starred as "J.M. Barrie" in the Harvey Weinstein musical Finding Neverland through January 2016. The Broadway production is an adaptation of the 2004 film written by David Magee. The story follows the relationship between "Barrie" and the "Davies" family, who became the author’s inspiration for the creation of "Peter Pan." Matthew received two Drama Desk nominations for his role, and won the category of Favorite Actor in a Musical in the Audience Awards. In 2015, Morrison wrapped the final season of Fox’s musical comedy series Glee, where he starred as the director of the glee club, "Mr. Will Schuester." The show was created by Ryan Murphy and received the Golden Globe award "Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical" in 2010 and 2011. Morrison was the first artist signed to Adam Levine’s record label, 222 Records, where he released his Broadway standards album, Where it All Began, in June 2013. In 2012, Morrison starred in the Lionsgate film, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which was based on the book of the same name, directed by Kirk Jones. The film also starred Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Dennis Quaid among others. Matthew played a famous dance show star who is faced with the unexpected demands of fatherhood. The film was released on May 18, 2012.

In March 2012, Matthew hosted and narrated the PBS special entitled Oscar Hammerstein II - Out of My Dreams, which focused on the Broadway producer’s life and career. Also in March 2012, Matthew was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black’s play, 8, a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California’s Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage. The performance raised money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

Matthew studied musical theater, vocal performance and dance at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He made his debut on Broadway in Footloose but his big break came when he was cast as heartthrob "Link Larkin" in the hit Hairspray. Matthew was later nominated for a Tony Award for his role in The Light in the Piazza, and received a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for 10 Million Miles. He also starred in the Tony-winning revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theater in New York. Matthew currently resides in New York.

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, Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Pops Conductor Designate for the Houston Symphony, beginning in the 2017-2018 season. 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 FanfareLegend 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 husband Eric Gabbard.

Steven Reineke and The New York PopsMore 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. Visit for more information. Follow The New York Pops onFacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 


Call Redialed: 54 Below Facetime Interview: Tony Award winner Alice Ripley: All Sondheim

I have been a fan of Tony Award winner Alice Ripley since seeing her in The Who's Tommy on Broadway! Since then, I've seen her in The Rocky Horror Show, Next To Normal, Wild Animals You Should Know, as well in her own concerts.

I interviewed Alice a few years ago when she was performing at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, but I sure took the opportunity to interview her again, this time at 54 Below's press event, promoting her All Sondheim show coming up on Wednesday, August 12 at 7pm & 9:30pm and on Wednesday, September 23 at 9:30pm.

It was great hearing so much behind-the-scenes information about how Alice put this show together and about her interaction with the man himself, Stephen Sondheim! This show is going to be a blast! Click here for tickets!

For more on 54 Below visit and follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

For more on Alice be sure to follow her on Twitter!

Call Me Adam's Facetime interview with Tony Award winner Alice Ripley:



Call Answered: Conference Call with David Loud & Noah Racey: 92Y's Lyrics & Lyricists: A Good Thing Going: The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration

Noah RaceyDavid Loud"Call Me Adam" chats with Artistic Director David Loud and Actor/Choreographer/Director Noah Racey about putting together the opening show of the 45th Season of Lyrics & Lryicists. This year's opener is A Good Thing Going: The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration which will play at the 92nd Street Y from January 10-12 and feature a host of Broadway talent singing selections from the 1970-1981 partnership of Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince, taking the audience behind the groundbreaking musicals CompanyFolliesA Little Night MusicPacific OverturesSweeney Todd and Merrily We Roll Along.

Scheduled to appear are Broadway's Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Liz Callaway, James Clow, Jason Danieley, and Jeremy Jordan. Click here for tickets!

For more on the 92Y be sure to visit and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

1. From January 10-12, 2015, you are opening the 45th Season of the 92Y Lyrics and Lyricists series with A Good Thing Going: The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration. How did you two come to work together on this concert event?

David Loud: Noah and I have been friends since Curtains, the Kander & Ebb show that David Hyde Pierce starred in on Broadway. Noah was one of the leads and I was the Conductor, and our dressing rooms were on the same floor. You learn a lot about people when you are constantly encountering them in various stages of undressedness. We had a wonderful two years. Everything about that show was joyful and rewarding, so I try to work with people from that particular experience whenever possible. Noah has a great talent for physicalizing a song, and is just as skilled at working with singers as he is with dancers. He also seems to intuit everything I want to communicate, which saves time!

Noah Racey: I met David Loud working on the show Curtains. I was a part of the earlier work shops and readings and then we took it to Los Angeles for our out of town tryout at the Ahmanson Theatre and then through our year and a half run at the Hirschfeld theatre. He asked me a few years ago to stage a concert he was putting together and we have continued to work together in that capacity ever since.

2. How did you decide to start the 45th season off with this show?

David Loud: My previous shows at Lyrics & Lyricists were focussed on two terrific composers who are not exactly household names: Burton Lane, who had several major Broadway scores but never quite ascended into the Richard Rodgers - Irving Berlin - George Gershwin - Cole Porter pantheon, and Vernon Duke, an amazing and virtually unknown artist who had flop after disappointing flop, despite the fact that each of his scores contains a few remarkable songs. Both projects were the results of many months of research and arranging, and I loved doing them. For this season, Artistic Director Deb Winer asked me if I wanted to do something "a little less off-the-beaten-path," and I came up with the idea of a Stephen Sondheim show that was different from other Sondheim revues I’d seen or worked on: one that dealt specifically with the shows he created with Director/Producer Harold Prince. I do love the fact that for the Lyrics & Lyricists audience, a Stephen Sondheim evening is considered more "mainstream"…

Noah Racey: I think the obvious reason is that in our industry, for Lyrics & Lyricists, you can't find a more prominent, creative force than Stephen Sohdheim. Ever since his work on West Side Story in 1957, where he established himself as a leading voice in the new vanguard of Musical Theatre writers, he has been at the forefront of the art form in terms of musical sophistication and emotional depth in story telling. It makes perfect sense to have an evening that celebrates the work of the two men who brought those stories to life.

3. What excites you about being the premiere show of this special season?

David Loud: Nothing. It means I have less time to prepare and that I’ll spend all of Christmas orchestrating.

Noah Racey: It's exciting to take part in such a well established series. The audiences for Lyrics & Lyricists are extraordinarily knowledgeable about the material, they tend to know the work very intimately, so you feel at every point in rehearsal that they will recognize and appreciate the intricacies and detail you strive for in staging or interpreting the songs.

Jeremy Jordan4. How did you pick the performers for the evening: Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Liz Callaway, James Clow, Jason Danieley, and Jeremy Jordan? What excites you about working with them?

David Loud: I’ve worked with all of them before, and they are each truly extraordinary. Great voices, of course, and heavenly to work with, but they also have that essential ability to interpret a lyric in a way that’s fresh and clear. Sondheim songs often require the performer to feel contradictory emotions simultaneously, or to exist in an undecided state, or to change one’s mind in the middle of a thought. They’re complicated and particular and demanding, and I needed singing actors who could do that. How lucky am I to have assembled this astonishingly talented group of artists, each of whom said "yes" within minutes of being asked?!

Noah Racey: The beauty of working with David Loud is that the best of the best say YES! when he asks them to join us. And the man knows EVERYBODY! I have had the honor of staging quite a few concerts with him, and through that work I have learned to trust him completely when it comes to choosing which voices he wants to sing each of the pieces. So, to answer the first question, I did very little!

What excites me about working with these people? EVERYTHING. These 6 performers are supremely gifted, to pick one of their characteristics to praise is to overlook their most valuable asset...versatility. One of the wonderful things about this kind of concert is that it is an opportunity for the performers to do such a wide variety of work, in many instances much more than would be asked for in a typical show. And that is why having these particular actors is such joy. They all bring an astounding array of colors and energies to the table for us to pick from and to round it all out, their vocal chops truly can't be beat. Versatility is the definitely the ingredient that excites me most.

David Loud5. How did you decide which songs you were going to feature in the concert?

David Loud: Well first I wrote down all my favorite songs from the six shows they did together, but the 92nd St. Y, apparently, is not interested in producing a five-hour concert, so I had to cut a few. I wanted to pick songs that illuminated the essence of each of the extraordinary pieces that they collaborated on, and, of course, once the cast was set, I wanted to tailor it to them, as well. And I try to find an emotional arc for the whole evening…it becomes quite a jigsaw puzzle.

Noah Racey: Two parts popular demand, two parts personal affection. And then a healthy dose of what does Mr. Loud want to play with?

6. What do you hope audiences come away with after attending this evening?

David Loud: A deep appreciation of the six wildly different shows that comprise the Stephen Sondheim/Harold Prince collaboration. As the Artistic Director of this evening, my goal is to make you hear songs that you may think you know as if you were hearing them for the first time, and to try to explain why I think they’re so extraordinary.

Noah Racey: An appreciation not only for the talent and craft of Steven Sondheim, but for the extraordinary collaboration of these two men, because above all, Musical Theatre is a collaborative art form, it is at it's best when it is the melding of ideas between artists.

Bernadette Peters, David Loud, Parker Ease, Stephen Sondheim, and John Doyle at the closing night party of "A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair", Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter Keddy7. How have Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince influenced each of you? 

David Loud: When I was 18, I was cast in the original Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along. I was already a huge fan of Sondheim’s work, and the opportunity to be a part of a new show that he was creating with Harold Prince was, well, many things: thrilling, intimidating, challenging, heart-breaking…to watch these great craftsmen working on the show — writing, re-writing, editing, re-staging — for five weeks of previews was the greatest crash-course in Musical Theatre ever offered.

Noah Racey: Their work sets the bar for me in terms of emotional depth in lyric, Musical sophistication, and theatrical storytelling/conflict construction. Musical Theatre as an art form has been undergoing a steady transformation from simple music hall sketches and Vaudeville fun to elaborate, thought provoking, daring, exciting and substantial theatre; and it has been ushered forward through these changes and transformations by artists who asked more of it. Steven Sondheim and Harold Prince did just that, they asked more of the people who gathered together to share stories, they asked more of the music and the ears that would hear it; more of the subject matter and the minds that would digest it, more of everyone involved. We should aspire to do the same, ask more of each other.

Noah Racey performing8. If you had to pick your favorite song and show that they produced together, which ones would you choose?

David Loud: Impossible, of course, to choose an absolute favorite, but the duet at the end of the first act of Sweeney Todd, "A Little Priest" has always been on my list of major miracles. Funny, macabre, a beer hall waltz with impossibly clever lyrics that illuminates the entire British class system while playing rhyming games and furthering the story. It doesn’t really get any better than that.

Noah Racey: For over all score I have a huge affinity for Follies. I played "Buddy" in college (complete with bald-pate) and the first revival at the Belasco was my Broadway debut. I love the romance, the sense of nostalgia and desperate yearning to reclaim, the love letter to performers, all of it, it's my personal favorite of his scores. For a single song I would have to say "Weekend In The Country." The entire sequence is just breathtaking.

9. What has been the best part about working together? What have you learned from each other?

David Loud: Noah and I seem to have identical taste, which is hard to find in a collaborator. And he often will come up with an off-the-wall staging idea that would never have occurred to me — one that fulfills the song theatrically in a way that a more pedestrian choice would never have achieved.

Noah Racey: Finding people to work with where you can actually watch yourself growing is one of the most exciting aspects of working in theatre. So much of what we do is a question of taste, and you only discover that taste through an attention to detail. When you find people to collaborate with that mirror or compliment your sense of taste...well, that's everything to me. And then there's the fact that everybody is in love with him! David is one of those examples of the best of the best not bringing any kind of unnecessary "starch" or defensiveness to the creative table, his work speaks for it's self. It's no wonder he and John Kander get along so beautifully. For all the refining and searching we did in constructing Curtains it all felt like taking deep, relaxing breaths.

In working with David, I have learned so much about the art form of Musical Theatre. How inseparable all of it is; the staging, the lighting, the intro, the lyric, the melody, the tempo, the interpretation of all of it, it all must work in tandem. And for all of the pearls of wisdom he has given me (and there have been many), when someone as established and accomplished as David defers to your direction and takes constructive criticism from you, you are given the invaluable gift of learning to trust yourself.

Noah Racey tap dancing10. What's the best advice you've ever received?

David Loud: Do what you love. And if your gut tells you something, follow it.

Noah Racey: Do your homework.


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

David Loud: Time travel. Is that a super power? I want to go back to the thirties and see a Gershwin show on Broadway!

Noah Racey: The dancer in me insists that it be the ability to fly.

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

David Loud: Pep-O-Mint.

Noah Racey: Probably raspberry.

13. 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 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.

David Loud: How lucky I am that my friends are my collaborators and my inspiration.

Noah Racey: It's about rhythm and timing, and letting go into the mystery.

14. How do you want to be remembered?

David Loud: As a good musician.

Noah Racey: Fondly.

David LoudMore on David:

David Loud has frequently collaborated with Stephen Sondheim. Among his many credits, Loud was the onstage pianist of the original Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along, music director of Broadway’s Sondheim on Sondheim, and music director of A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair, a collaboration between Sondheim and Wynton Marsalis and starring Bernadette Peters at the New York City Center in 2013. For the 2011/12 Broadway season, David was both musical supervisor of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and conductor of the incidental music for Death of a Salesman, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. Among his other Broadway credits, he was music director of the original productions of Ragtime, A Class Act, Steel Pier and The Look of Love, and the revivals of She Loves Me, Company, The Boys from Syracuse and Sweeney Todd. This past November David was music supervisor for the world premiere of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Little Dancer, directed by Susan Stroman, at the Kennedy Center. He also has the distinction of simultaneously serving as a cast and artistic staff member of two Broadway shows: Terrence McNally’s Master Class, in which he played "Manny" and was musical supervisor; and Kander & Ebb’s Curtains, in which he played "Sasha" and was music director.

Noah RaceyMore on Noah:

Noah Racey, a performer, director, choreographer and educator, made his Broadway debut in the 2001 revival of Follies, and has since appeared in Thoroughly Modern Millie (for which he was also associate choreographer for Rob Ashford’s Tony Award-winning choreography), Never Gonna Dance and Curtains. Noah’s directing and choreographic work has been seen regularly in the Town Hall’s Broadway by the Year series, and for its 2007 summer Broadway Festival production of All Singin’! All Dancin’! He recently starred in Holiday Inn at the Goodspeed Opera House. Noah is founder and artistic director of the internationally acclaimed New York Song & Dance Company.


Claybourne Elder

Claybourne Elder is another one of our next generation actors who's on the rise! He's thrilled to be making his Broadway debut in "Bonnie & Clyde" as "Buck Barrow," after originating the role in La Jolla Playhouse and Asolo Rep. Claybourne's other theatrical credits include rave reviews in Moises Kaufman's adaptation of Tennessee Williams' "One Arm," at Tectonic Project/New Group and Stephen Sondheim's "Road Show" at the Public Theatre where Claybourne originated the role of "Hollis." Regionally, Claybourne starred in the US premiere of Matlby and Shire's "Take Flight" as "Charles Lindbergh" at McCarter and as "Wolf/Cinderella's Prince" in Moises Kaufman's revival of "Into The Woods" at Kansas City Rep.

Claybourne Elder and Jeremy Jordan, Photo Credit: Nathan JohnsonMelissa Van Der Schyff, Claybourne Elder, Jeremy Jordan, and Laura Osnes, Photo Credit: Nathan JohnsonYou can currently catch Claybourne in "Bonnie & Clyde" at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in NYC (236 West 45th Street). In the role of "Buck," Claybourne brings much heart and sexiness to the show as well as a terrific singing voice! Click here for tickets!

For more on Claybourne be sure to visit and follow him on Facebook and Twitter!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Well, I played the violin my whole childhood until a teacher told me that my hands were too big to really be a great violinist. I was pretty heartbroken but that was the year I did my first play.

2. Who is the one or more than one person that you have not worked with that you would like to? There are so many! Walter Bobby definitely, Neil Patrick Harris, Moises Kaufman (I've already worked with him but I always want to work with him again).

3. What attracted you to "Bonnie & Clyde" and what do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I think the best thing we can hope for as performers is that someone is changed in some way by our show. I was attracted to Bonnie and Clyde, and my character "Buck" because I felt like his story has such an amazing arch. It asks the question: What makes a seemingly moral person do bad things? 

4. What is it about your character "Buck" that you identify most with? Buck always follows his heart and wants to do what is right to take care of the people he loves. I'm not sure I always want to do what's right, haha, but I really identify with his need to care for people. I think he would have been a great father.

5. What does it mean to you to be making your Broadway debut in "Bonnie & Clyde"? It's amazing. I try to stop and take inventory on this experience as much as possible because it is the fruition of years and years of work. Opening night was an amazing celebration. My whole family came out, it was a great way to say thank you to them for all the voice lessons and driving me to play practice :)

6. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Where is your favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? Previews are by far the best part of rehearsals for me. I love getting response for the audience in the evening and then coming in to rehearse during the day based on their reaction. I also feel like its the best time for the audience to experience the show for themselves before anyone else has told them how to feel about it. When I was working on "One Arm" we did A LOT of work during the preview period on the ordering of scenes. I never left the stage so I never had the chance to go backstage and look at my script to see what would happen next. There were definitely times when I would finish a scene and think to myself 'I have no idea whats going to happen next, but I know that someone is going to come out and start talking to me and I'm going to have to talk back at them' We often joked that we would never call 'line' because we'd forgotten, but we would call for a 'scene.'

7. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? You have to really know yourself and be comfortable with yourself. To really be daring in the choices you make on stage, you have to be ready to fall on your face. I can't tell you how many terrible jokes I've made in rehearsals in my life, but if you don't weed through the really terrible ones, then you never find the gems.

8. What was it like to perform at in the "80th Birthday Celebration of Stephen Sondheim"? It was amazing! Working on "Road Show" with Sondheim was my first job in the city and so it was great to give back to him in some way. My favorite part was singing selections from "Pacific Overtures" with B.D. Wong because I don't suppose I'll get another opportunity to sing that show with a full orchestra, haha. When I came in that day for my sound check, I walked off stage when I finished and ran into someone (literally) on the stairs and I was halfway up to my dressing room when I realized it was Catherine Zeta Jones! She's remarkably glamorous. The absolute highlight of the evening was sitting backstage next to Angela Lansbury in her robe and slippies listening to Len Cariou sing "Sweeney Todd." She was incredibly sweet and got really emotional when he started singing. It was really touching.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Be well rounded. My freshman year of college I had a mentor who urged me to always explore and not just bury my head in the theatre all the time. So I got a job working for a Non-Profit that set up English schools in communities around the world and took off time from school to work in China and Russia. People questioned why I was wasting my youth as a performer, but the real life and struggles I saw while working with those people changed my life. In many ways those experiences have informed me as an artist and actor.

10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My dog Diogi (pronounced like D.O.G.). He's always happy. I wonder what he would do if he was in a dream land where he could do anything he wanted. He would probably go open the refrigerator and eat all the almond butter.


11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Favorite way to stay in shape? Going to the movies, reading, playing in the park with Diogi. I like to run outside when it's warm or do yoga with Melissa van der Schyff who plays my wife in "Bonnie & Clyde."

12. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs.

13. Favorite website? I don't know why I rely on the British for my news, but I do. I just like the format of their website.

14. "Glinda" or "Elphaba"? Well, Julia Murney, an Elphaba, lives in my building and makes the best brownies in the world, so I would say Elphaba.


Julia Murney

Julia Murney is an award winning performer who has crossed over the genres of theatre, television, and music. Julia was last seen on Broadway in "Wicked" as "Elphaba" after playing the role on the national tour where she won an Acclaim Award. Her other theatrical credits include "Lennon," Andrew Lippa's "The Wild Party" (Drama Desk Nomination), "The Vagina Monologues," "A Class Act," "Saved," "Crimes of the Heart," "First Lady Suite," and "Time and Again" (Lucille Lortel Nomination). Julia has performed at regional theatre across the country: Signature, Williamstown, Reprise! LA, Sacramento Music Circus, NCT, Lyric, Rubicon and Goodspeed and has performed in concerts at Joe’s Pub, Feinstein’s, The Kennedy Center, Caramoor, Town Hall, and Birdland as well as with the Philly, Cincinnati, and Boston Pops.

On television, Julia has been featured on such hits shows as "30 Rock," "Sex and the City," "Brothers and Sisters," "Ed," "NYPD Blue," and all three "Law & Orders." Musically, Julia can be heard on the original cast recordings of Andrew Lippa's "The Wild Party," "A Class Act," and the Grammy nominated Actor's Fund Benefit of "Hair." Julia also released her debut solo recording "I'm Not Waiting."

Now Julia can be seen in the Transport Group's production of Michael John LaChuisa's "Queen of the Mist" (click here for my review) starring Two-Time Tony Award Nominee Mary Testa along with Andrew Samonsky, Theresa McCarthy, Tally Sessions, Stanley Bahorek, and DC Anderson. "Queen of the Mist" plays at The Gym at Judson in NYC through November 20 (243 Thompson Street at Washington Square Park South)! Click here for tickets!

 For more on Julia be sure to visit!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I started singing in my junior high choir, so props to miss Morris at i.s. 44, and then my parents forced me to go to summer camp and it happened to be stagedoor manor, where I did my first show, so props to all the theatre mad campers who showed me the twisted path to musicals.

2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Don't make me choose! Stephen Sondheim. Graciella Daniele. Norbert Leo Butz. Cast members from Sesame Street. Christopher Ashley. I could go on, but those are truly the first that sprang to mind.

3. What attracted you to "Queen of the Mist" and what do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? What do you like about performing with the Transport Group? First and foremost, to get to do a new musical with Michael John LaChiusa-that's a massive draw. I hope the audiences are moved to think about life and the living of it-which sounds really heavy but not as much when you see the show.

Jack Cummings (the director) is incredibly giving and kind, and he assembles amazing groups to work with.

4. What do you love most about performing with this cast and what do you love most about your song "Break Down The Door"? It is a joy to get to be a ballast for Mary Testa, who is working her patootie off in this show. Break Down The Door is just fun and silly and I get to sing hooty, which is, well, a hoot.

5. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Where is your favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? When you're dealing with a new piece, I love the part where you watch it take its final shape...the shaping and molding is very exciting. 

I pretty much practice at home, but if I can be alone on a body of water, I'll practice there.

6. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I've learned how to find energy when I am positive that I have none. 

7. You recorded "West" for Scott Alan's "Keys" album. How did you and Scott find each other? What do you llike about Scott and his music? I think I first got to know him when I recorded demos for his musical 'Piece.' 

He seems to have his finger on the pulse of what a lot of young people want to hear-I have lost count of how many young people have told me how much they love his stuff. I sound very old when I keep saying young people.

8. What was the best part about playing "Elphaba" in "Wicked" (both on tour and Broaway)? What attracted you to that role? I suppose the best part was getting to be a part of the massive movement that has become that show. What a joy to be in a hit that constantly moves people.

I was scared to pieces of doing that role, which in a twisted masochistic way is totally attractive. And I got to be a green rock star.

9. What did it mean to you to release your debut solo recording "I'm Not Waiting"? How did you come up with the title and song selection? What do you get from performing your own music that you don't get from performing in a show? I loved making the album, which would have been impossible without the guidance of Kurt Deutsch, Joel Moss and Andrew Lippa. We did it very quickly and still i would not have done anything different.

The title came from a song Lippa wrote for me on the occasion of my first solo show-there was no question it would go on the album, and the title just seemed right.

It's simultaneously freeing and scary to just be yourself without a character to hide behind...mostly i love getting to jam with a band and sing all kinds of stuff that I wouldn't have a chance to otherwise.

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

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Don't make me choose...Stephen Sondheim, Graciella Daniele, Norbert Leo Butz...


12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Pilates, walking, spinning. Favorite way to spend your day off? In sweats, with my dog, at the lake.

13. Favorite skin care product? Estee Lauder. Favorite kind of shoes? Whatever they're rocking at DSW.

14. Favorite website? CNN. Dlisted. Yes, both.

15. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman, with her invisible airplane and her damned tiny little waist.