Marty Thomas is best known for his roles in Broadway's The Secret Garden, Xanadu, and Wicked. He is the creator of Marty Thomas Presents DIVA which takes place every Monday night at 11pm at Industry Bar in NYC (with no cover charge). The cast of Marty Thomas Presents DIVA will release their debut album, DIVA on March 4. They will perform live that evening at New World Stages. Click here for tickets!
1. You are known for your theatrical roles in Secret Garden, Xanadu, and Wicked, just to name a few. For almost two years now, you have been producing, musically arranging, promoting, and hosting the weekly cabaret-style show Marty Thomas Presents DIVA at Industry Bar in NYC's Hell's Kitchen. What made you want to start this show? What has been the best part about the success of Marty Thomas Presents DIVA? I've always had a mild obsession with great divas from Aretha to
Whitney, and Ella to Mariah. I am also a huge champion for talent. I wanted to bridge the gap between nightlife and theater so I assembled some of my very favorite voices to perform together. We found a great venue and time slot and DIVA was born! We've been performing at Industry Bar for 2 years now. The best part about our success is that we are beginning to venture out into other venues.
2. Marty Thomas Presents DIVA features Kelly King, Marissa Rosen, and Alexa Green along with a guest act from the Broadway stage, recording or dance industry. How did you decide that you wanted Kelly, Marissa, and Alexa to be your regular singers? How do you pick who will be the special guest? We started the show with Kelly, Kat Hennessey (Wicked) and Anne Fraser Thomas (How the Grinch Stole Christmas). Anne and Kat left the city for exciting gigs, leaving a space for Marissa and Alexa. The girls are all unique and bring their own flare to the show. Kelly is a pop recording artist, she's toured with Michael Bolton and Babyface. She covers the Celine and Whitney power ballads. Alexa played "Galinda" in Wicked and covers the divas of theater and opera. Marissa starred in the Off-Broadway production of My Big Gay Italian Wedding; she covers the classic soulful divas like Etta, Ella and Bette.
The special guest is such a fun part of the show. I started with an extensive wish list of tremendous women that I both wanted to feature and work with. I also find interesting and unique talents at open mic nights, referrals, in the subway, church, I'm always on the hunt! We've recently started a series
called our "diva discovery." Occasionally we'll feature an up and coming artist who isn't yet established but is truly remarkable. It's exciting and the audience loves it!
3. Now you and the girls have recorded your debut album together entitled DIVA. What does this moment mean to you? Will any guest stars appear on the album? This is our moment on our own in the
spotlight, no guest artists on the record. However, we are excited to work with producer Jamey Ray to record some of our greatest hits from the weekly DIVA series for our fans. We are grateful the show has developed quite a following! The album comes out in March and we'll be celebrating with a one night only concert with a full orchestra at New World Stages on March 4. Ticket and special guest information to be announced shortly!
4. What has been the biggest on stage mishap during Marty Thomas Presents DIVA? We've been fortunate (knock on wood) to not have any MAJOR mishaps, but once I preset the wrong costume for Marissa in a quick change, and she hit the stage in a tiny fringe dress, barely covered. She's a pro [laughs]. Once, several cast members from RuPaul's drag race charged the stage while Eden Espinosa and Shoshana Bean were performing "Proud Mary." I guess they couldn't help themselves; they needed to be in on the diva fun!
5. Where do you want to take Marty Thomas Presents DIVA to? We have plans to perform with pops orchestras and symphonies around the world. We want to play cruise ships, cabarets and concert venues EVERYWHERE. We have a lot of exciting performances scheduled for 2013. Follow our website www.martythomaspresentsdiva.com for live dates.
6. Aside from Marty Thomas Presents DIVA, what other projects do you have coming up that you can talk about? Marissa and I do a fun show every Friday night at New World Stages in the lounge, Kelly performs there with Marti Cummings on Saturday nights. Kelly can also be seen Thursday nights at XES lounge. Along with the DIVA album release, we filmed our first music video in February and we'll be performing all summer in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware at the Blue Moon. We are so excited about this new year!
7. You had a guest starring role during the first season of CBS' 2 Broke Girls in the episode entitled "And The Disappearing Bed." What did it mean to you to guest star on the hit comedy show? When I was asked to create the character of "Damon" on 2 Broke Girls it was a new show, and I loved the script. It was exciting to see the show fleshed out and see how my character fit into the storyline. I'm looking forward to more appearances from "Damon" in the new season!
8. What is something most people don't know about you? I grew up on a farm in Missouri, and I'm rather handy. Farm boys are resourceful. Also, I went to business school [laughs].
9. What was the first concert you ever attended? What music are you listening to these days? My first concerts were all church based. My church was filled with music. I grew up loving country, disco and
gospel. Broadway seeped into my veins rather young too! These days I'm listening to new music from my pals Tituss Burgess, Shoshana Bean, Daniel Kirkley, Cara Samantha Scherker, Eden Espinosa, Telly Leung,
Billy Porter, The Midtown Men....I'm surrounded by incredible talent. #blessed
10. What was the one job you took to make ends meet that you wish you didn't take? Human disco ball at a Bar Mitzvah. Excruciating.
11. Who influenced you growing up and who influences you now? Growing up, we had two radio stations, country and disco. I loved Donna Summer, Patti Labelle, and Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood. Two of my biggest
early inspirations that continue to educate me are Billy Porter and Jennifer Holliday.
12. Favorite way to spend your day off? Netflix and working out at Mark Fisher Fitness. #obsessed
13. Favorite place to hang out in NYC? Industry Bar on Monday nights with the divas!
14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Proabably super speed. There just aren't enough hours in the day. Maybe that would help?