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Here's what I've enjoyed seeing or reading so far...hope you enjoy them as well!

      

 

Thursday
Jan192017

Adam's Call: Melinda Hughes: Cheers Darling: Right Track Baby

Call Me Adam and Melinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyFor British satirist Melinda Hughes, the trip over to NYC from England was well worth it because her new cabaret show Cheers Darling is fantastic! It's funny, timely, and full of original tunes. It also shows Melinda's excellent trait of being able to laugh at herself and everything she talks about.

Her opening number, simply titled, "This is my opening song," is a great farce about any cabaret singer's first number. It's right on the mark! The night takes off from there. She has a hilarious song entitled "Tweets in the Night," about Donald Trump tweeting, a laugh out loud diddy, "Selfie Song," about taking selfies, and "Britannia waives the rules," a great tune about the differences between the US and the UK. Just when you think you can't laugh anymore, Melinda fills the moments between songs with patter that is relateable. She has a keen outlook on the state of the world both stateside and across the pond. While the topics Melinda discusses might be ones we've heard time and time again, Melinda's fresh take on them, makes it seem like this is the first time someone has discussed them.

Melinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyMelinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyFor as funny as this show is, there is also a lot of heart, and the one tear-jerker song "We've been here before." It's a heart-wrenching song about a woman who has lived long enough to see history repeat itself. With the state of the world today, it's a song a lot of people can relate too, especially when are soon-to-be president opens his mouth and speaks.

Melinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyMelinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyWhat more can I say about Melinda's show Cheers Darling? Just go see it, she's on the "right track baby!" Melinda has one more performance, tomorrow, Friday, January 20 at 9:30pm at The Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street, between 5th & 6th Avenue). Click here for tickets (It's one purchase you won't regret (it's also the only way you'll get yourself to smile tomorrow).

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

If you missed my interview with Melinda, click here to read it!

Thursday
Jan122017

Adam's Call: Tracie Thoms: Feinstein's/54 Below: Everybody Loves a Winner!

What an incredible night seeing Tracie Thoms make her Feinstein's/54 Below debut! She was on fire! From her opening number to her numerous standing ovations & super special surprise guest, Tony Award winner Billy Porter (who was also the show's director). The evening was everything I wanted & more!

Tracie took us on a journey of love...from meeting a potential mate to dating to the struggles of a relationship to realizing it's time to move on to learning you are enough, the theme of the evening couldn't come at a more perfect time. I related to it all!

Tracie Thoms and Call Me Adam at Feinstein's/54 BelowThis was my first time seeing Tracie perform her cabaret act and I'm already excited for a new one! Tracie is a great singer, performer, and entertainer. She really gets the crowd going. From her powerhouse vocals to her patter to her energy. She engages everyone right from the get go.

Some highlights of the show were Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," John Legend's "Ordinary People," Blood, Sweat, and Tears' "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know," "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret, and the pumping "Ain't Nobody" by Rufus & Chaka Khan. With every song, Tracie hit all the right notes along with my heartstrings. She got us moving, clapping, and feeling emotional.

Tracie Thoms at Feinstein's/54 BelowMy top two favorite numbers were Tracie's cover of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," which she really made her own, singing a version I have never heard before. I hope Tracie considers releasing this as a single. I also loved the ORIGINAL song Jeremy Schonfeld wrote for Tracie called "Falling Apart." What a beautiful song about the ending of a relationship. Let me say, Tracie knows how to sing with emotion!!

As the show is going along, Tracie announces that it was time to introduce a very special guest. And all of a sudden she introduces Tony Award winner Billy Porter! I have not heard Billy sing since seeing him in Broadway's Kinky Boots. It was great getting to hear Billy perform a song from his forthcoming album, Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers (Billy puts a soulful spin on the songs of composer Richard Rodgers). Billy delighted us with a brand new interpretion of "Edelweiss," (from The Sound of Music, just as an aside, this was the last song Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote together). Billy's version was out of this world and I'm beyond excited for this new album, which is slated for release in April. If that wasn't enough, Billy stayed on stage and sang Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," getting everyone involved. Not only did Billy go out into the audience, but some other special guests joined in the fun including Altar Boyz alum, Ryan Duncan, and Tracie's Falsettos castmate, Anthony Rosenthal, who played "Jason." 

Tracie Thoms and Billy Porter at Feinstein's/54 BelowIf all of this wasn't enough the evening wrapped up with a very special encore..."Seasons of Love" from Rent. It was the perfect ending to a spectacular night of love, talent, and music! Thank you Tracie for sharing your talents with us and for reminding us that no matter what happens with love, we have to love ourselves first and remember we are enough! I can't wait to see what you do next!!

There's one more chance to catch Tracie's show, this Saturday, January 14 at 7pm! Feinstein's/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street (between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Monday
Dec192016

Adam's Call: Andy Karl & Orfeh: Legally Bound at Feinstein's/54 Below: Night of Powerful Voices

What an incredible evening I had at Feinstein's/54 Below seeing Broadway couple Andy Karl & Orfeh performing their final night of their new show Legally Bound. It was an evening full of powerful voices, fun stories, & great songs!

Andy & Orfeh's duet of One Direction's "History" was terrific as well as Prince's "Kiss!" Their voices blend so well togehter, really complimenting each other's strengths. Andy's cover of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve," truly got me into the holiday spirit, while Orfeh's version of "Baby Please Come Home" was just one of many songs that brought the house down! Her rendition of Whitney Houston's "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" raised the roof twice over! A real treat was getting to hear Andy sing "Keep on Standing" from Broadway's Rocky & "Seeing You" from the Broadway-bound new muscial Groundhog Day

Andy Karl and Orfeh at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Keith PriceIn addition to Orfeh & Andy, we were treated to their special guests Jeremy Kushnier (Broadway's Jesus Christ Superstar) & Katie Rose Clarke (from Broadway's Wicked). Katie wowed the crowd to "Margartia Christmas," a really fun, original song she co-wrote with Steven Jamail. What a great voice she has! Jeremy delighted the audience with a rockin' hit from Neil Diamond's Christmas album. Always great to hear Jeremy sing!

I could go on & on with what I devoured over each song, but instead I'll leave you with this...I hope Orfeh & Andy continue to perform together! It's an evening I'll always remember!!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Sunday
Dec182016

Adam's Call: The New York Pops' "Make The Season Bright": A Starry Night

Will Nunziata, Liz Callaway, Anthony Nunziata, and Ann Hampton Callaway at The New York Pops' "Make The Season Bright" at Carnegie Hall, Photo Credit: Mary Ann LoPintoAnthony Nunziata, Liz Callaway, Ann Hampton Callaway, Will Nunziata at The New York Pops' "Make The Season Bright" at Carnegie HallThe holiday season is in full swing! From the decorations throughout the city to Christmas music on every radio station to seasonal shows being performed, I'm loving this time of year! What makes it even more special is getting once again to attend The New York Pops annual holiday concert at Carnegie Hall. This year's concert was entitled Make The Season Bright and featured Tony nominees Liz & Ann Hampton Callaway along with recording artists Will & Anthony Nunziata, conducted by maestro Steven Reineke, and backed by The New York Pops/Essential Voices USA. This family affair was a spectacular evening!

The show brought a smile to my face as these talented singers raised the roof time and time again! From solo numbers to duets to quartet's, everyone sounded great, singing their faces off! Liz Callaway delighted the audience by singing two songs from the hit Disney film (and Broadway-bound) Anastasia. She sang "Once Upon a December" and "Journey To The Past." I love these songs so much! It was great hearing Liz's beautiful voice bring these songs to life. She definitely left a chill running down my spine with the eloquence of her vocals. Ann Hampton Callaway rendered us speechless with her solo numbers "Winter Wonderland," one of all-time favorite Christmas songs and "Yes, Virginia," (written by William Schermerhorn/Wesley Whatley, with arrangements by Steven Reineke), a beautiful song inspired by the famous Christmas folklore "Is There A Santa Claus." William and Wesley wrote a haunting song of this story, while Steven's arrangements matched Ann's voice perfectly! 

Ann Hampton & Liz Callaway at The New York Pops' "Make The Season Bright" at Carnegie HallBackstage at The New York Pops' "Make The Season Bright" with Will Nunziata, Liz Callaway, Steven Reineke, Ann Hampton Callaway, and Anthony NunziataIn 1993, Liz and Ann recorded a duet of "Silent Night/Mary Did You Know?" for Liz's Christmas album, Merry & Bright. Well, we sure were in for a treat on this magical night because they performed this song live! What a moment in time this was...two accomplished artists singing together backed by one of the world's greatest orchestras! They really transported me to another place and time...and I'm pretty sure it was right to heaven!

Rounding out the concert was one of my favorite entertainers, the Nunziata brothers, who were making their Carnegie Hall debut! Will & Anthony gave the audience what they love...their talent, humor, and glorious voices. Will enchanted us with "The Christmas Song," another personal favorite of mine, while Anthony got us excited to be with our loved ones during his rendition of "I'll Be Home For Christmas." The best part of their time on stage was getting to hear Will & Anthony sing their ORIGINAL holiday tune, "The Gift Is You." A beautifully heartfelt song about their mother's love. I don't think there was dry eye in the house after hearing this song.

Will Nunziata, Liz Callaway, Anthony Nunziata, and Ann Hampton Callaway at The New York Pops' "Make The Season Bright" at Carnegie HallWill Nunziata, Liz Callaway, Ann Hampton Callaway, and Anthony Nunziata at The New York Pops' "Make The Season Bright" at Carnegie HallThis concert had so many high notes (both literally and figuratively), but the highest one of all had to be when Liz, Ann, Will, Anthony, The New York Pops, and Essential Voices USA performed a newly arranged version (by the one and only Steven Reineke) of "Go Tell It On The Mountain." This song really brought the house down making everyone joyous and festive!

I had such a remarkable time at Make The Season Bright that I can't wait for next year's concert!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment! 

Monday
Dec052016

Adam's Call: The Bodyguard: The Musical at Paper Mill Playhouse: I Wanna Run To You

Deborah Cox, Judson Mills, and the cast of "The Bodyguard" at Paper Mill Playhouse, Photo Credit: Matthew MurphyThe Bodyguard: The Musical, featuring the music of Whitney Houston, currently playing at Paper Mill Playhouse, starts off with a bang and it keeps going until the very end! The Bodyguard: The Musical has found a way to make itself its own entity, while keeping all our favorite moments from the Oscar-nominated film that starred Whitney Houston & Kevin Costner.

Deborah Cox has found a way to fill the shoes of Whitney Houston in both acting and song. Seeing her in The Bodyguard: The Musical has easily solidified her as one of my favorite performers! Deborah Cox IS "Rachel Marron." She emodies "Rachel." She has made "Rachel" her own. Deborah belts out the hits of Whitney Houston effortlessly! She has put her own spin on these songs, making them sound new, yet mainting the thing that made them all Whitney.

Judson Mills as "Frank Farmer" and Deborah Cox as "Rachel Marron" in "The Bodyguard" at Paper Mill Playhouse, Photo Credit; Matthew MurphyDeborah Cox in "The Bodyguard" at Paper Mill Playhouse, Photo Credit; Matthew MurphyJudson Mills did a great job as "Frank Farmer," played by Kevin Costner in the film. His tough man attitude made me want to hire him as my own personal bodyguard. He had great chemistry with Deborah Cox as well as the rest of the cast.

Playing "Rachel's" sister "Nicki Marron" is actress Jasmin Richardson. When Jasmin is on stage, you are paying attention! She's a great actress and has powerhouse vocals that raise the roof like you wouldn't believe! Jasmin is also Deborah's understudy and after seeing her tonight, it makes me want to go back one night when she is on for Deborah to see how she performs the role.

Keeping us on the edge of our seats and wondering when he will strike is Jorge Paniagua as "The Stalker." He was perfectly cast in this role as he definitely instilled fear within me & the audience. Just to prove what a killer job he did, at the curtain call, he got a few boos because his character is so unliked.

Deborah Cox as "Rachel Marron" in "The Bodyguard" at Paper Mill Playhouse, Photo Credit: Matthew MurphyJudson Mills and Deborah Cox in "The Bodyguard" at Paper Mill Playhouse, Photo Credit: Matthew MurphyThe rest of the cast did a wonderful job. Charles Gray was perfectly cast as "Rachel's" manager "Bill Devaney." Douglas Baldeo, who has quite the singing voice, played "Rachel's" son "Fletcher" at this performance. Alex Corrado, who played "Tony Scibelli," "Rachel's" existing bodyguard, was practically the spitting image of Mike Star who played "Tony" in the film. From his looks to his manerismas, I kept having to do a double take. Jonathan Hadley was quite charming as "Rachel's" press rep "Sy Spector."

Deborah Cox in "The Bodyguard" at Paper Mill Playhouse, Photo Credit: Matthew MurphyDeborah Cox and the cast of "The Bodyguard" at Paper Mill Playhouse, Photo Credit: Matthew MurphyLet's hear it for this ensemble! What a talented group of dancers! From flips to dips, they kept the energy up, especially during "I'm Every Woman" and at the curtian call! I have to give a personal shout out to my Barry's Bootcamp trainer Bradford Rahmlow, who really made me want to "dance with somebody," while his chiseled physique made me want to workout harder.

The Bodyguard: The Musical gave me "One Moment In Time" I will remember forever! Like Deborah sings in Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," "So I'll go, but I know, I'll think of you, each step, of the way, I will always love you!"

The Bodygaurd: The Musical plays at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ through January 1, 2017. Click here for tickets!

If you missed my press interviews with the cast, click here to watch!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!