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

      

 

Entries in Musical Theatre (20)

Sunday
Jan292017

Adam's Call: Chicago: The Musical, featuring Mel B: Still Going Strong

Last week I was wowed by the Tony Award winning revival of Chicago: The Musical, now celebrating 20 years on Broadway! Chicago: The Musical is still going strong because it's everything a Broadway show should be: memorable songs, top-notch dancing, and a story everyone can relate to.

The current cast stars former Spice Girl and current America's Got Talent Judge Mel B as "Roxie Hart," two-time Tony nominee Christopher Sieber as the slick talking lawyer "Billy Flynn," Amra-Faye Wright as "Velma Kelly" and Natasha Yvette Williams as "Matron 'Mama' Morton."

Mel B as "Roxie Hart" in "Chicago: The Musical"Amra-Faye Wright as "Velma Kelly" in "Chicago: The Musical"Kicking things off was Amra-Faye Wright. From the moment she takes the stage and starts singing the first note of "All That Jazz," I was hooked! Her voice is amazing and her dancing is exquisite. I wish I could kick my leg just half as high as she can. I did not get to see Mel B's Broadway debut in Rent, so I was even more excited to get to see her in Chicago: The Musical. Well, Mel B, is a star! She is a fantastic actress (losing her British accent and taking on a Chicago one) whose voice I was already a fan of. Mel B is a perfect fit as "Roxie Hart." She brilliantly conveyed the highs, lows, and every emotion in between that "Roxie" experiences. I think it was Mel B's own life dreams of wanting to be famous and rise to fame with the Spice Girls that helped her identify with "Roxie's" storyline. When Mel B made her entrance, it didn't take me long to lose sight of her and just see the character of "Roxie!" Both Amra-Faye and Mel B gave a spot on portrayal of the comradery and competiton between "Velma" and "Roxie." I could see a true friendship between these two, especially during the final two songs "Nowadays" and "Hot Honey Rag." The fun they have together really came out.

Christopher Sieber as "Billy Flynn" in "Chicago: The Musical"Natasha Yvette Williams (2nd from left) as "Matron 'Mama' Morton" in "Chicago: The Musical", Photo courtesy of Donald Jones Jr.I have been a fan of Christopher Sieber for over 10 years now, so I was thrilled to finally get to see him in the role of "Billy Flynn" (I have missed his previous stints in Chicago: The Musical). What can I say that hasn't been said about Christopher already...he's a talent. That voice. The acting. I could easily listen to him sing on a loop. He has great chemistry with everyone. Natasha Yvette Williams is a dynomite "Matron 'Mama' Morton." She has the voice of an angel and the comedic chops that role requires. She got the laugh every time she was on stage. I loved Raymond Bokhour as "Amos Hart." I think I saw him the last time around too, but what a terrific character actor he his. "Amos" is a man with low self-esteem who often feels invisible. There is NOTHING invisible about Raymond Bokhour's interpretation of "Amos." The cheers and applause he got during "Mister Cellophane" is proof of just how wonderful Raymond is in this show. There is also "Mary Sunshine," played by R. Lowe. The vocals on this man are unreal! You could hear a pin drop every time he sang and sing he did...all the way up to notes I have never heard! Let's not forget the dancers. What a joy it was to see this timeless choreography! All the dancers kept me mesmerized, especially Brian Spitulnik and James T. Lane.

I can't write about Chicago: The Musical without mentioning the songs. Seeing this production reminded me just how much I LOVE this score: "All That Jazz," "Cell Block Tango" (I think this is my all-time favorite Chicago: The Musical song), "When You're Good To Mama," "Roxie," "I Can't Do It Alone," "My Own Best Friend," "Me and My Baby," "Mister Cellophane," "Razzle Dazzle," and "Nowadays." Every song helps move the story forward and resonates after the curtain comes down.

Some long-running shows go stale after years on Broadway, but Chicago: The Musical is not one of them. After 20 years on Broadway, it's still got that fresh, exciting feeling! The cast is having a great time, which allows the audience to have an even better one! Chicago: The Musical will "Razzle Dazzle" you whether it's your first time seeing the show or your hundredth time! So "Tap Dance" your way over to The Ambassador Theatre (219 West 49th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue) to take in this classic show! Click here for tickets!

Mel B and Christopher Sieber will be starring in Chicago: The Musical through February 19 only!

For more on Chicago: The Musical visit http://chicagothemusical.com and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

If you missed my video interview with Mel B, you can watch it here!

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!

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!

Saturday
Oct082016

Adam's Call: Michael Longoria's "Broadway Brick by Brick" celebration at Joe's Pub

Michael Longoria knocked me out unconscious at Joe's Pub a few weeks ago while celebrating the release of his CD Broadway Brick by Brick. I 've known of Michael's powerhouse voice for well over 10 years, especially after seeing him in Broadway's Tony Award winning musical Jersey Boys, but on this particular night, I was reminded of just how talented Michael Longoria is. Michel literally has a vocal range like no other! The sound that comes out of his mouth is unreal! He could sing the phone book and I would be mesmerized.

But it wasn't only the way Michael sang the songs off of Broadway Brick by Brick that captured my attention, it was also the stories behind the songs. Michael has had quite the ride getting to where he is. From humble beginnings in CA to coming to NYC at 17 with not much more than his suitcases to having a guardian angel help him attend NYU Tisch to finding success on Broadway and now with The Midtown Men.

Michael Longoria, Photo Credit: Kevin AlveyMichael Longoria performing at Joe's Pub, Photo Credit: Magda KatzEach song on Broadway Brick by Brick represents a time in Michael's life. While there are some songs I just love for the way Michael sings them like "Being Alive" and "The Sound of Music" or "Corner of the Sky," I now love certain songs more for the stories behind them such as "Maria," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," "The Impossible Dream," and "Thank You For The Music." "Maria," was the first song Michael heard that made him go, "I want to be an actor." It was that song that propelled him to do whatever it took to make it, even if it meant leaving his family, much to their dismay, and moving to NYC at age 17 to pursue his dream. "The Impossible Dream" was the song Michael used to describe his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning musical Hairspray and how that moment solidified all his doubts and worries about making it on Broadway. "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," which Michael performed in Jersey Boys was probably the most emotional story for me as it was the moment his dad came to see him in Jersey Boys and finally understood why Michael needed to leave home and go after his dream. It was a thrill for Michael to see his dad shouting his name from the audience. "Thank You For The Music" was the second most wonderful story because that song was dedicated to Michael's NYU teacher, who was like a guardian angel, helping him get into Tisch, studying, graduating, and encouraging him all the way to keep going after his dreams! 

Call Me Adam and Michael LongoriaMichael Longoria performing at Joe's Pub, Photo Credit: Magda KatzThere was not a moment in the show where the word "Wow" did not come out of my mouth. Each song was more impressive than the one before it. Michael has a true gift and how lucky are we that he is sharing it with the world not only through touring with The Midtown Men, but through this incredible album. He is such a dynamic performer I didn't want the concert to end!

Broadway Brick by Brick showcases Michael's talents perfectly! It capitalizes his strong vocal range, highlights his soulful voice, and captures his love for Broadway! I definitely recommend picking up a copy of Michael Longoria's Broadway Brick by Brick via Amazon or iTunes, but the next time Michael is performing live, I suggest you get your ticket sooner rather than later!

If you missed my interview with Michael about Broadway Brick by Brick you can read it here!

For more on Michael be sure to visit http://www.michaellongoria.com and follow him on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube!

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

Tuesday
Jul122016

Adam's Call: Charles Busch: The Ultimate Playlist at Feinstein's/54 Below: An Evening Filled with Laughter, Smiles, and a Walk Down Memory Lane

Charles BuschThis past June I had the pleasure of seeing Charles Busch's newest show The Ultimate Playlist at Feinstein's/54 Below. It's always a joy when Charles and his musical director Tom Judson return to Feinstein's/54 Below because I know I'm going to have an evening filled with laughter, smiles, and a walk down memory lane, well Charles' memory lane to be exact. 

Charles has a way of captivating the audience with his stories. Whenever he tells a story, it feels as though we are seated in his living room around his fire place. He has excellent story telling skills, hence why he's been such a successful playwright. My favorite story Charles told that night was about his Aunt Lillian and how when he was a little boy, she took him in, because she was the only person who truly understood him. Though Charles was a bit rebellious at first, he ended up having a very special and wonderful relationship with his Aunt Lillian. He learned a lot about himself, life, and theatre from her. He had so many fond memories of their time together. It made me think of the great relationship I had with my grandparents, whom have passed, but have left me with a lifetime of loving memories to remember.

Charles Busch performing "The Ultimate Playlist" at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Maryann LopintoI also really enjoyed Charles' re-enactment of "Miriam Passman," the character who inspired him to write his Tony-nominated play The Tale of the Allergists Wife. While I've heard him tell this story in some of his other cabaret shows, it's still enjoyable to hear how he came up with the character and then developed the play around her. But what's even more fun is getting to watch Charles become "Miriam" and do a skit he used to do back in the day. What a treat to get to see a Charles Busch classic skit!

It's always great to hear Charles sing. Until Charles started doing his cabaret shows more regularly, the only time I had ever heard Charles sing was during his annual Christmas Show Times Square Angel. The first time I attended a Charles Busch cabaret show, I remember going into it not fully knowing what to expect, but I ended up leaving with a huge smile on my face from having such a good time. Since that first cabaret show, I have been excited for every one ever since. In this particular show, I enjoyed Charles' varied set list. Charles opened the show with such energy singing "Taking A Chance on Love," a great song about new love. It was the perfect opener because it is such a positive song that it automatically put me in a mood to enjoy the evening set before us.

My favorite song of the night was Those Were The Days. I remember when Dolly Parton released her version of the song back in 2005. It was full of such energy that I was immediately hooked on it. Well, Charles' rendition of this song was just as fun! He got the whole audience singing along with him and he relished in the audience's energy and excitement over the song. He did such a great job with it, I didn't want the song to end!

Charles Busch performing "The Ultimate Playlist" at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Maryann LopintoCharles also did a beautiful mash-up of "The Summer Wind" and "That Sunday, That Summer." Two very sad songs about lost loves, but recalling happier times of each. Charles really brought such heart to these songs. I could feel his relationship to these songs and the sadness one can feel when you lose someone close to you.

Supporting Charles throughout the whole evening was his longtime musical director Tom Judson. I adore Tom! Him and Charles have terrific chemistry together. They play off of each other very well and I love whenever they do a duet together. They sound great! 

This show made me so happy and brought back some wonderful memories for me. I can't wait for Charles' next engagement at Feinstein's/54 Below and I encourage everyone to go see him the next time he's in town!

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