OCTOBER 2014 Issue • 408
MAREK+RICHARD ACE CIDERS FALL FAVORITES FROM THE LITTLE HIPPIE CHEF
ariana debose jordanna james christopher rice
vincent rodriguez III and the casts of
Company XIV Bayside the Musical The Mighty Real Bedbugs!!!
TODD CAREY TALKS HIS HIT SINGLE AND VIDEO FOR ‘NINTENDO,’ HIS NEW ALBUM & WHAT’S NEXT
CHRISTINE DWYER CARLY HUGHES DARIUS HARPER TRACY MCDOWELL BLEEP 1 MATTHEW NEFF
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Fall is for cider and we talk to the best in the biz. ACE has been making cider for more than 20 years and we’ve got the recipes you need for your fall parties.
His music has been heard in films and in video games. He composes for orchestras. Sean Beeson is the real deal.
His hit single “Nintendo” has exploded and the video is one of the best of the year.
They’re bringing dancing back. This new boyband talks about making an impact and inspiring their fans.
THE STATE OF BROADWAY
We talked with Ariana DeBose (Bring It On, Motown, Pippin), Jordanna James (Sideshow), Christopher Rice (The Book of Mormon), Vincent Rodriguez III (Here Lies Love, The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and Clay Thomson (Newsies, Matilda) about diversity on stage, movies turning into stage productions, stunt casting and their hopes for the future.
He’s our go-to for Broadway info on social media. Now, Bryan Campione lets us in on who we need to be paying attention to on the world’s biggest stages.
A ‘MIGHTY’ SHOW INDEED
Sylvester made disco sweet and now, his story is coming to life in a brand new way.
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Zack, Kelly, Screech and the gang are back in this hilarious parody of a generation’s favorite afternoon show.
Austin McCormick’s Company XIV is known for creating some really incredible moments on stage. The new show “Rococo Rouge” doesn’t disappoint.
No, not the kind that are scaring people on the subway, but life-size, singing and dancing bedbugs in one of OffBroadway’s funniest shows.
MAREK + RICHARD
We love Marek+Richard and their new “Golden Boy” line will make you want to walk like an Egyptian.
BLEEP CREATIVITY. UNCENSORED.
RYAN BRINSON Editor-in-Chief SARAH ROTKER Business & Audience Development Manager PABLO SALINAS Social Media Associate BEN HUMENIUK Cartoonist RACHAEL MARIBOHO Culture Editor COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Kevin Thomas Garcia FEATURE EDITORS: Nathan Robins WRITERS: Caleb Bollenbacher Hatley Moore Laura Seitter Alex Wright FEATURE CONTRIBUTORS: Florian Hubertus WEB CONTENT: Sheena Wagaman Eric Lehman
All articles and photos are the property of the writers and artists. All rights reserved.
Letter from the Editor In the Tony-Award winning musical Spamalot, Robin says Broadway is: “a very special place, filled with very special people, people who can sing and dance, often at the same time. They are a different people, a multi-talented people. A people...who need people...and who are, in many ways, the luckiest people in the world.” What Robin left out was that Broadway is a diverse group of people…who need people, etc. No where is that more personified than on this year’s annual Broadway cover of BLEEP. These five actors are all impeccable entertainers, each trained in different mediums, with different backgrounds, experiences and training that informs their performances on stage. We had an opportunity to chat with them about the current state of Broadway, their concerns about the future and what they hope will happen in art going forward. The result was a passionate conversation with incredibly intelligent performers. This may be our most comprehensive Broadway issue we’ve ever put together. Not only do we have some of the biggest shows in the world represented but we also have some of the best new shows that are just now finding lives on the stage as well. We partnered with Broadway_Buzz, our friends we through our Tony Awards party with this year, to explore what else is going on in the New York theatre scene. There’s so much talent to be discovered and to be honest, most of it isn’t on Broadway eight times a week. Broadway is having a pop culture moment in a way it hasn’t had in possibly decades. With above-the-title names like Kristin Chenoweth, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel and Sutton Foster easily moving from the stage to screen and back again (and becoming household names in the process), the women of the stage are bringing back the idea that Broadway can create stars. On the other side of the spectrum, leading men like Hugh Jackman and Neil Patrick Harris are consistently bringing Broadway into the conversation across all forms of media. Broadway is making more money than ever (which I talk about in my editorial “The Price of Live Entertainment”) and we are honored to highlight some of the folks who are making it happen. I love Broadway. I love the connection that happens in live entertainment. Being able to spend a moment with these performers and witness their passion firsthand is something I won’t soon forget.
Ryan Brinson Editor-in-Chief BLEEP 7
BLEEPbliPs BROADWAY blip
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Rarely on Broadway is there a show that not only captivates an audience’s attention during the duration of the show, but has the power to change the audience’s attitudes and understandings of a people group. Such is the case for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, the London import that is changing the perception of autism and doing so with a powerful story, perfectly executed performances and a technologically impressive production. This is the type of show that reinvigorates people’s love for theatre. After so many shows that are simple re-stagings of films or half-baked dramas full of celebrities to pack in audiences, this production proves, much like A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder did last season, that terrific new shows can not only stand out in on the Great White Way, but can make a lasting impact. The thing that we found most impressive was the way the audience felt like they were inside the head of the main character. The way this production is constructed enables the audience to feel what the protagonist if feeling. It’s immersive theatre without being “immersive.” We could go on and on. Just go see this show. You will not regret it. -Ryan Brinson, Editor-in-Chief
DON’T MISS IT
CAST MEMBER YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO TAKE YOUR EYES OFF OF: Alexander Sharp is so brilliant as the lead, you really can’t take your eyes off of him. His dedication never waivers, and he allows the audience to experience the world as his character experiences it, which is the true wonder of this play.
MICHAEL W. SMITH DUETS WITH MUSIC’S BIGGEST NAMES Michael W. Smith is one of the biggest names in the history of Christian music, selling more than 14 million albums. Some of his most memorable music is his Christmas music and this season, he’s teamed up with an A-List slew of friends to create one of the best holiday albums in years. Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Amy Grant, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Bono and Michael McDonald all lend their voices to the project that is a healthy mix of traditional Christmas tunes and some brand new offerings. It’s an album that has crossgenre appeal and the song “All is Well” with Carrie Underwood is truly magnificent.
OUR FALL PLAYLIST Can’t Put My Finger On It
Known for their live shows, the Gunshow shine on this track. It’s big, it’s powerful, it builds, and it will keep you strutting with your pumpkin spice lattes.
Moody. Driving. Entrancing. These are just a few of the words that describe “Run Wild.” It’s a great song that has a pop sensibility about it, but with an almost epic energy surrounding it.
The title track off of Morgan’s stellar album not only sets the tone for her album, but will set the tone for your fall. Her voice? Amazing. The vibe? Swanky. You’ll want the rest of the album immediately.
The cinematic quality of Paper Lights’ music is what makes “Berlin” feel less like a song and more like an experience. When you take a long walk in the chilly fall air, this is the perfect track to keep you company.
Amy Lynn & the Gunshow
For King & Country
Carry Your Throne
Truly unique voices are difficult to find and even harder to find with a band as gifted as this one. “Just Ask” is the bluesy, gutsy song that gives you the slow jam you need as you drive home.
Jon Bellion is just cool. And he makes music that’s cool. He doesn’t sound like everyone else on the radio and he’s making music that feels bigger than the radio. This single is a big batch of cool.
Lake Street Dive
You and I
The soul this duo infuses into everything they do is intoxicating and they prove a boot-stomping anthem like “You and I” can be just as passion-filled as any pianodriven ballad.
This song reminds us of driving home from Friday night football games with the windows down and feeling like we were invincible. It’s a hopeful anthem sung by a truly great singer.
Come Home With Me Guy Sebastian
Guy hasn’t exploded in the States like he deserves, but “Come Home With Me” is a horn-driven popfilled cry for love. It will make you want to dance down the street, which is perfectly fine with us.
It’s the indie record being played in the hipster bars in Williamsburg, but that shouldn’t detour you. “Queen” is a song that will haunt you long after it’s finished and is different than anything else out there right now.
the intersection by
Silver Screen Love Letters
I lose track of the numerous things I love about movies. One of my most favorite things about movies though, something that is absolutely inescapable for me, is the way moviemakers love movies. It’s so sweet yet subtle, the way that filmmakers wear their hearts on their sleeves. And it makes it easy to see who the good ones are, the ones who really want to be there. I’ve been thinking a lot about influences of late, how artists chase certain legacies left to them, and I love the way that this looks in the world of film. Quentin Tarantino is a fantastic example of what I’m talking about. One of Hollywood’s greatest directors, Tarantino once said, “I didn’t go to film school, I went to films.” You would never guess that someone so talented hadn’t been to film school, but upon close observation the latter part of his statement makes sense. You can watch his movies not having seen a single movie before and enjoy it for what it is: the dialogue is crisp, the action is stylized, and the plots are full of fun twists. But if you’re a movie junkie his films take on a deeper beauty. The nods to older pieces of Hollywood are evident at every corner, and while his stories are his own, Tarantino’s films are littered with tribute to those who have come before. Whether it’s the framing of certain shots, bits of scenery, or use of soundtrack, there’s always some slight tip of the hat to something classic. This extra layer adds nuance and extra meaning to nearly every scene, making it clear that his chief qualification in moviemaking is his love for movies. This is what I hate (read: this is one of many things I loathe) about Michael Bay. He is giving us a product, and while it may be carefully engineered and technically pinpoint, it is nothing more. Bay gets lumped into any conversation about “big budget popcorn flick garbage”, but labels along those lines aren’t fair. Tarantino’s last film cost $100 million and cleaned up at the box office, so to say that money invalidates art is a joke. What invalidates art is the way that filmmakers like Bay choose to avoid creativity like the plague and content themselves for checking boxes. When directors go for box office formula 10 BLEEP
and start filling out rubrics we get sameness. Like a greeting card. Movies deserve better than that. They deserve directors who make them like sonnets, earnest and personal, able to be seen by many but only truly meant for a few. Something secret that is shared. I think that’s what has been missing at the box office this year, and I’m glad that critics and audiences are starting to take notice, if the depressing box office returns are to be any judge. Michael Bay garbage doesn’t have staying power. Art does. My favorite movie of the year gives me hope in this regard. Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer,” which has yet to see wide release but has made excellent money in spite of it, is just about everything I want in a movie. Though its director – who makes his English language film debut with “Snowpiercer” – did go through a film program, his film carries all the sensibilities of someone with Tarantino’s cinemaobsessed pedigree. The film’s plot is utterly fresh, but throughout the course of the journey it is full of loving glances at ghosts of Hollywood past. Though no one will confuse this movie for a relic, it felt like watching classic Hollywood. Both the style and substance was built on an older framework, striving for the same sense of spectacle present in movies I love from well before my time. There’s so many things that made “Snowpiercer” brilliant, but the eyes it made to the past was what I love most, what made me feel comfortable. There’s a good chance you haven’t seen it…but you should. The beauty of cinema is that it allows us to travel to worlds outside of our own, but the reality of familiarity is that we’ve been there before. We go back to the movies because we’re in love with that escape, so it’s only fair that the movies be made with love. We go because we feel at home where we love, and when the theater houses a movie lovingly crafted then our heart is there as well.
by Alex Wright
Lost & Found
I’m lost most of the time. Even with Waze, I get lost. When I get lost, my best bet of finding my way back is to go against my instincts. I’m feeling like I should go right? I go left. Go straight? Nope. Turn around. I understand cardinal directions in theory, but if one more person tells me to “just think about where you are in relation to the ocean” and then points off in some obscure diagonal direction like I have a salt water homing device embedded in my brain, then I’ll scream and run away…and probably get lost in the process. Recently I’ve been working on the Los Angeles premiere of Amy Herzog’s Pulitzer Prize finalist play 4000 Miles. It is the journey of Leo, a young man who suffers a tragic loss while on a cross-country bike trip, and how he ultimately finds himself by moving in with his 91 year-old grandmother in her West Village apartment. I play his girlfriend, Bec—a character who has been described as “insufferable” and “pretentious.” Playing villains is always a thrilling and deliciously evil task—the audience falls under your wicked spell, and there is a malicious exchange of energy between viewer and performer. Even though you might feel completely connected to the darkest corners of your psyche, there is still an exaggeration of character flaws that provides distance, and, in a lot of ways, permission to be “evil.” Playing a character like Bec, one that is grounded in naturalism, provides a different challenge. All of a sudden, I am finding myself rather defensive and protective of Bec, making excuses for her behavior and actions towards Leo. I believe that we should all be the strongest advocates for the characters we play, and that part of our job is to find their humanity, to dig for the root cause of all of their behavior. It has been different, though, in exploring the motivation behind Bec’s actions…that safe distance doesn’t exist, and the criticisms that other characters make about her flaws feel much more personal to me, the actor. During this process of trying to navigate through someone else’s life, I’ve realized that I’m really just navigating through my own. What I am discovering dayby -day is that I possess, in some capacity or another,
all of Bec’s “negative” attributes. By highlighting and exaggerating these aspects of my personality, I can portray the character in a truthful way, even if it means making myself face the ugly aspects of my own individuality. In retrospect, this seems rather obvious…my life is the only map of life I own, and how presumptuous to assume that spending six weeks with a play will all of a sudden lead me to understand the inner workings of another’s soul. I will never know what it’s like to spend a day in someone else’s shoes, but by exploring the world around me and researching the circumstances of the play and the character’s life, I can imagine what it might be like to navigate my way through a life other than my own. As artists, we should be driven by our thirst for life, and this curiosity should override any sense of ego we have about self-preservation. Our hidden inner landscape, this little city we have built inside us, is the backbone, the spine, of our identity; and, the infrastructure of this city is comprised of what memories we choose to give importance, and what stories we decide create our story. Acting is taking a stroll through this city and possibly discovering some new corner or hidden locked door. It is in this place where actors long to be lost. I’m learning more and more that we aren’t really as much explorers of other people as we are explorers of ourselves. It’s when I’m wandering through the alleys of my inner life that I trust my instincts. I feel like going left? I discover something shocking or disappointing. Turn right? I explore a past joy. Go straight? I might face a difficult truth about who I believe I am and who I truly am. We need to remember that we are more than what our minds can comprehend—we carry the world with us, for better or for worse, and its this universality of experiences that makes art worthwhile. No one will ever be brave for you, so embrace the fear of the unknown and head out with an open heart and a willingness to get lost. Who knows? You might just get found.
the editor’s editorial thought
The price of live entertainment A few years ago, I happened to do the lottery drawing for tickets to the revival of Godspell and won. When I sat down inside the theater, the girl in front of me asked if this was my first time seeing the show. She went on to say she had seen it nearly 30 times. I let her know that was a bit obsessive, but she said, in her defense, the young man seated a few rows away from us had seen it almost 98 times. She may have won that argument on basis of extreme comparison, but I still questioned how apparent college students could afford to spend 30 dollars a night seeing the same show over and over again. Affordability. It’s something the entertainment industry has lost sight of. Disney made news when the price of admission to Florida’s Disney World hiked for the second time in less than a year. It now costs almost $100 to spend a day in the “Happiest Place on Earth.” The message board I read was a hodge-podge of complaints mixed with defenders. “Family of 4 at 400$ a day? Plus the outrageous food prices in the park. Plus lodging. DisneyWorld is for the 1% now” - Tom B “Hey...If it were 20.00 a day you would see trash everywhere and sub par everything ...Disney World is our Gem and worth every dollar to keep it polished and growing...” - Dave “Disney wake the heck up... people are not making this kind of money...and never will... American business has out priced American citizens...that is sad.” - Miraim “I go to Disney World with my family every 3-4 years. It’s worth every penny. The parks are clean and safe, they bend over backwards to make you happy, and if you’re staying in a Disney hotel the price of admission is slashed.” - Ji M. I’ll admit, the thought of paying $100 to visit Mickey and Co. does seem outrageous. Especially when you consider the target audience are families with children. Sure, if you’re kid is under three years old, they get in for free, but I wager most families are taking their kids 12 BLEEP
by Ryan Brinson
once they are old enough to remember having been there and eaten the Mouse shaped ice cream. I haven’t been to the park since I was in eighth grade, and the price of admission basically ensures I won’t be able to visit it any time soon. That’s a hefty chunk of change to spend on admittance into just one day’s adventures. But this also got me thinking about what I have spent $100 dollars on for entertainment. In New York, it’s not that difficult. Actually, it’s as easy as buying the cheap seats for any of the big musicals on Broadway. $100 for a rear mezzanine seat for 3 hours of entertainment also seems outrageous. Actually, it seem moderately ridiculous if you compare it to an entire day at the park with roller coasters and photo ops. That $100 in the theater buys you a cramped seat with no leg room and sometimes, the need for binoculars. While the thrill of live theatre and the impact it can make on someone’s life could be called priceless, that priceless experience sure does come at a cost. A lot has been written about the escalating cost of going to see a Broadway show. The factors are numerous. From higher initial costs to the price the unions make producers pay everyone involved, Broadway has been pricing-out audiences for years. I’m no financial expert, but I can say pretty firmly that the audiences who are wanting to experience live theatre are not making 2,000 dollars a week like the actors on stage are. To capitalize on the trend of rich folks being willing to pay exorbitant amounts for special treatment, the Premium Seating options were introduced to give shows the opportunity to make hundreds of dollars more per seat. And the public scoffed at the hikes, articles were written and noses were turned upward at this obvious money grab. Yet the seats still sell. Nightly. It’s difficult to put a justifiable price tag on entertainment. It means different things to different people. And it’s fair to say that most every Broadway show offers a student rush or lottery drawing system to give a handful of seats at an affordable price for students and those willing to brave the elements in the
early morning to wait outside for them. Disney is actually on both ends of that spectrum, if you can believe it. The Lion King, clearly Disney’s biggest theatrical hit, doesn’t offer rush tickets at all. As a matter of fact, the cheapest tickets to The Lion King are 92 dollars. They’re in the top row, in the back corner. But, Disney’s hit show Newsies not only offered lottery tickets to every performance, but some nights offers up to as many as 24 tickets per performance. Lincoln Center and Roundabout also offer cheaper ticket deals to their Broadway offerings, but only if you are under 35. Still, it’s something. In other realms, tickets prices have been escalating for years. The cheapest tickets I found for Miley’s new tour were 74 dollars to sit in the back. If you want to be up front, ticket prices raise to over $1,000 to see her shake her ass, ride a giant hotdog and stick her tongue out at you. If that’s your thing and you want to spend that money, more power to you. I’d actually go to Miley’s show, I’ll admit that. Some of her songs are catchy. But I won’t pay 74 dollars for it. Someone will though. The cheapest tickets I could find for Katy Perry’s tour? $124 - at the very top of Madison Square Garden. It sold out. Are all artists pricing tickets in that way? No. You can get a ticket to Britney or Celine’s Vegas extravaganzas for less than 60 dollars. You can see country mega-star Luke Bryan all over the country for 30 dollars. How many artists have said it was at a concert of another performer where they knew that’s what they wanted to do? Beyonce credited seeing Michael Jackson in concert as the reason behind her drive to be a performer. Faith Hill credits an Elvis concert in being the epicenter of her musical aspirations. If audiences, specifically kids, can’t afford to attend the concert, will they ever have that moment of epiphany in their own lives? It’s not just live events though. The price of seeing films in movie theaters keeps rising and if you prefer the comfort of your own home and your
television, the cost of cable keeps rising as well. If you have an affinity for “Mad Men,”‘The Walking Dead,”“The Newsroom,”“Girls,” or even “Duck Dynasty,” you’re going to be paying handily for it. At what point will entertainment price-out itself? Where’s the line the public won’t cross. It’s difficult to argue that ticket prices should be lower when people continue to pay for them. The possibility of being within spitting distance of Miley or Bryan Cranston on Broadway can be incredibly enticing. So while we balk at rising prices, something tells me Disney World will be no less filled tomorrow than it is today, and that Wicked and The Book of Mormon will still have a week full of sold-out performances and standing ovations. I just fear the trend will never level out and we will soon have a generation who will never see a live performance of theatre, opera or music because they can’t afford it. YouTube videos are no substitute for actually being in the audience. Rising prices means diminishing the possibility of audiences, some of whom are already handicapped by the disappearance of arts programs in their schools, experiencing the wonder that is live artistry. When the possibility disappears, so does visibility. That lack of visibility has the power to chop down an entire generation of new artists before they even have the opportunity to know what they could grow into.
by Hatley Moore
It’s that time again everyone! Leaves turning a concerning color that ends up pretty, everything you’ve ever consumed having a pumpkin twang to it, and an influx of movies that have their eye on the little golden statue called an Academy Award in the winter of 2015. Now I know it can be an overwhelming amount of good movies coming at you at once, so I want to help you by letting you know what types of film to expect.
3. Nolan will probably get snubbed a Best Director nominee again.
The Action/Thriller True Story You Already Know the Ending To (“American Sniper,” “Kill the Messenger”) You already know how these will end, but it’s damn tense and gripping the whole time. I knew they made it out of the country in “Argo” and I was still having a panic attack in the theater.
The Movie that thinks it is going to be a Huge Success Every year there is a film that thinks it has what it takes to play with the big boys, especially when you release on a day like Christmas (“47 Ronin”), but ultimately it will fail miserably, and a tear shall be shed.
The Films You Already Know Will Be Great Solely From the Director (“Interstellar,” “Gone Girl,” “Inherent Vice”) I’m going in as cold as I can to all three of these movies. But I guarantee you this: 1. They will all be awesome. 2. At least two of them will be nominated for Best Picture.
Now I could go on and on with more categories, but thankfully for everyone I have a word limit. The point is, the fall is a time of cinematic masterpieces that prove the power of this medium. It causes a cathartic grip of laughter, anger, and sometimes tears in a special way that is unlike the others. I love this time of year, and I hope that this article will inspire you to go out and love it too.
The film that will fly under the radar but should be nominated for Best Picture, but won’t because of politics or just being too obscure. (No clue… probably because it’s flying under the radar) It happens every year, but I’m still bitter “Short Term 12” didn’t get any nominations at the Academy Awards. It was a brilliant film, and on Netflix now so The Depressing Realistic Fictional Drama (This you should check it out if you haven’t seen it. year: “Whiplash,” “Birdman,” etc.) This movie, probably distributed by The Weinstein A Movie that already came out, so you actually Company, has the sole purpose of attacking you won’t see it in the fall, but should’ve waited. straight in the feels with emotional intensity that will “Boyhood” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” were make you cry, sometimes laugh, and ultimately will both fantastic movies, and while Boyhood still has be a frontrunner in the Oscar race. a high probability of making it into the Best Picture running, it’s going to need to keep hype up for at The Depressing Non-Fiction Drama (“Foxcatcher,” least six more months, and that’s hard when you’re a “The Theory of Everything”) summer film, regardless of whether you deserve it or You’ve probably never heard of the people this not. Looking at you “Fruitvale Station.” movie is centered around, but you’ll damn sure know who they are in the end. These films show the true The Weird Art-house Movie that everyone thinks stories of how the protagonists changed politics, will suck but will be great! sports, science, and more. I don’t know what that will be, but there is usually one. “The Artist” proved that you can’t judge a weird The “Wait, this really happened?” Drama that concept and avant garde artsiness by its cover. happened before you were born (“The Imitation Game”) The Fantastic Comedy (Also Birdman) “12 Years a Slave.” You will have similar feelings It’s hard to make an excellent comedy, but some as the other Depressing Dramas, probably due to pull it off. Last year, Scorsese and Russell pulled it off Harvey Weinstein having a heavy hand in all of them. brilliantly. I think “Birdman” will be a frontrunner this But hey, these are usually important historical pieces. year that’ll be a must see when it releases publicly.
by Rachael Mariboho
While it is more common for musicals to be turned into films ideas for which film would make a great stage musical are debated all the time. We have seen some successfully make the transition from film to stage—Legally Blonde, Newsies, Once, any of the Disney cartoons— and some that have worked out fairly well, though they left us kind of scratching our heads as to why they warranted musical treatment in the first place—think of Contact or Catch Me If you Can. There are obvious films that should have been made into musicals by now—“Moulin Rouge,” “Enchanted,” etc. But there are also some less obvious choices that we at Bleep think would make for exciting musical theatre. Here are five suggestions for any Broadway producer looking to mine some new material. MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING
This film has all the markers necessary for a fun, large-scale musical: eccentric and hilarious characters, a close-knit family dynamic, a star-crossed love story that ends happily, and a wedding scene. Plus, the focus on Greek traditions and music would make for a wonderful cultural experience.
DEATH BECOMES HER
This cult classic starring Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis about the search for immortality by two self-centered, jealous frenemies would make a hilarious musical with its dark comedy overtones and stylized setting. Think Rocky Horror Picture Show for the Botox generation.
I will be honest: I did not find this film to be as funny as the rest of my friends did. Maybe it is because I don’t like girls humiliating other girls or extended scenes about bowel movement problems; however, even I can recognize that prime musical material provided by this film with its hilarious scenes centered on the female bridal experience.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
Production on a musical version of this John Hughes classic would be the simplest of all these films because most of the action is set in the library. The tale of five stereotypical teenagers finding common ground and friendship through the course of one day of detention is both complex and life affirming. Mix in an 80’s soundtrack and this is will be unforgettable.
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
Creating the world of this film for stage would be a challenge because everything in the film is done on a rather grand scale. However, the story is essentially a very personal comingof-age tale about a sensitive girl whose love for an unattainable man drove her to create a life that could include him. The potential for visionary sets and sweeping ballads is limitless with this story. 16 BLEEP
THE ENSEMBLIST The only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out.
featuring Mo Brady & Nikka Graff Lanzarone
Interviews with actors from Wicked, Chicago, The Book of Mormon, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, If/Then, Pippin and more.
We talked with Jeffrey House, founder of ACE Ciders about what sets his brand apart in a market cluttered with ciders and how he went from startup business to one of the best ranked ciders in the country. Tell us about yourself. Where are you from originally, when did you come to the States? I am originally from Surrey in England, I was in the advertising business in London working for American agencies, and I got transferred to San Francisco in 1977. I started importing beers from the UK, Fullers and Ruddles, in 1980 with a company I had established with 2 partners called Thames America. We started the first ESB, Fullers ESB, and the first widget ale, Abbot Ale, and the first organic beer, Golden Promise. In 1984, we started bringing in Grimbergen beers from Belgium and Taunton’s Dry Blackthorn cider. We caught the Irish and British Pub movement and made Blackthorn the largest cider on the West Coast, Texas and Florida.
in November and December in Boston, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, DC, and Orlando. What makes Ace Ciders different than other ciders? Our ACE Ciders are all fruit and all natural, no artificial sugars. They are fresh and clean tasting as they are cold-filtered and not pasteurized. I like all our ciders for different reasons, but I find the ACE PERRY the most refreshing when it’s hot and humid.
Fall is the season of pumpkin flavors and your pumpkin cider has been rated as one of the best ciders in the country. What sets your blend apart in a season clouded with pumpkin? Why Cider? Our ACE PUMPKIN was the very first As is unfortunately the case, we built pumpkin cider to be made. It has a fermented these brands and lost them to larger import apple base with hints of cinnamon and all companies so the California Cider Company spice. It is not too cloying and at 5%, very was started in 1993, making ACE APPLE. quaffable in the fall. I could have made beer but thought that there was too many of them back then! What is your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs who are just getting started You are in your 21st year and you’re making their dreams happen? celebrating with a new brew. Tell me about Probably the best advice that I can give it. to any entrepreneur is to choose a winning Next month, we bottle ACE BLACKJACK 21 concept and never, never give up! in a champagne bottle. It is 100% Gravenstein apple cider, the local Sebastopol apple, For more on all of the flavors of ACE and at 9%. We are aging it in wood to give it a where you can get some for your fall getsmooth finish and it will be sold in a black, togehter, check out www.acecider.com embossed bottle at $15.99. It will be available BLEEP 19
Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Pie Ingredients: 1 Can of 2lb canned sweet potato 1 Frozen 9 inch pie crust 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground cloves 4 eggs 4 tbsp brown sugar 3 tbsp white sugar 1 bag pecans (slightly chopped & toasted) 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp maple syrup Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Slightly chop and toast pecans in ovens for about 10 minutes. Then set aside. Let pie crust thaw out, then take a fork and poke the bottom layer of the pie pan to have holes for the crust to be evenly golden when pre baked. Pre bake for 9 minutes. In a separate bowl mix together the sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and vanilla extract all together. Pour into pre baked pie crust. Layer the toasted pecans on top, bake pie for about 45 minutes. Then take out to cool, Serve warm or cold & with a scoop of pumpkin ice-cream, my new favorite dessert combo! Perfect to pair with ACE Peary Hard Cider.
RECIPES BY LISANDRA CARABALLO OF THE LITTLE HIPPIE CHEF @LittleHippyChef on Twitter & if youâ€™d like to place any orders or have her come and host a dinner party, shoot her an email at LittleHippieChef@yahoo.com
Loaded Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich Ingredients: Loaf of Challah Bread 4 slices of Bacon 4 tbsp Brown Sugar Stove-Top Stuffing 3 tbsp melted butter 1 Cup Cranberries 3 tbsp chopped Sage ½ Cup of Mayo VT Sharp Cheddar 6 slices of Honey Maple Turkey cold cuts Preheat over to 350 degrees. First take your bacon lay it on a pan covered with tinfoil, sprinkle the brown sugar coating the bacon. Bake in oven for about 12 minutes. Then chop your cranberries & sage up together very finely, mix in a small bowl with the ½ cup of mayo. Slice a few pieces of the sharp cheddar, enough to be able to cover the slices of challah bread on each side. Prepare stuffing by boiling 1 ½ cup hot water on the stove, add stuffing mix and melted butter in, cover with lid for 5-8 minutes, take cover off mix stuffing with a fork, let cool, put aside. Toast two slices of challah bread, spread cranberry-sage mayo on both sides, layer with cheddar cheese, candied brown sugar bacon, slices of turkey and a spoonful of delicious crunchy stuffing. My favorite, enjoy Fall Eaters! Perfect to pair with ACE Apple Hard Cider.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf with White Chocolate Shell Ingredients: 1 Can of Pumpkin Puree (15 ounce can) 1 bag semi sweet chocolate chip morsels 1 cup vegetable oil 3 Âź cup all purpose flour 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground allspice 1 tsp grated nutmeg 2 tsp baking soda 2 cups white sugar 2 tsp salt 4 egg 2 tsp vanilla extract 2/3 cup water Vanilla Melting chocolate (1 bag) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a large bowl mix together the pumpkin puree and oil to smooth consistency. Then add the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, water whisk until all combined. Then with a spatula fold in the chocolate chip morsels. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, but be sure not to over mix the batter! Pour mix into a bundt cake pan or little bread loaf pans and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes. In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate chip morsels till smooth and in ribbon form. Cover cooled bundt cake/loaves and sprinkle with cinnamon for garnish! Serve warm, cold or toast it the next morning for a sweet treat for breakfast! Perfect to pair with ACE Hard Pumpkin Cider.
one to watch Musician Sean Beeson fell in love with music at a very young age. Even before his formal training began, he was writing music and it was “that love of ‘creating’ that made the ‘work’ seem like fun and games,” he says. “My craft and music technology made me fall in love with music.” Now, he’s writing the music that you’re hearing on film and in video games. He’s been making music for years but we still think he’s the one to watch.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST PIECE OF MUSIC YOU REMEMBER WRITING? I remember writing pieces of music (or well, little tunes based on existing songs) when I was as young as five, but I can’t remember anything about them. I would liken it to knowing you ate breakfast the first Monday of last month, but what did you eat? The specifics become foggy. When I was 15 years old I could remember those pieces from 10 years prior, and while the idea crossed my mind to record them so I don’t forget them, I reassured myself I would never forget anything I created. A dozen hours of music written and three kids later, my brain can barely remember pieces I wrote three years ago. The oldest surviving piece of music I have written, with proof of that piece, is somewhere on a cassette tape at my grandma’s house. I wrote it when I was 11, for Father’s Day. I heard it a couple of years ago, and it was bad!
and evolving outlet for our work and business. How big it will go, no one knows. But it isn’t going anywhere, it won’t get any smaller, and it won’t become any less prevalent.
YOU ARE COMMISSIONED FOR WORK ALL THE TIME. HOW DO YOU KEEP IT FROM BECOMING BUSINESS AS USUAL? By keeping it business as usual. A strange response perhaps, but allow me to explain. When I was younger and composing and had all the time in the world, I spent all of that time writing music. Whether it was playing games, and then writing music. Or hanging out with friends and then taking some time to write music. There was very little “business” to my creative process when I was young, and thus nothing was accountable for my work, lack thereof, or productivity. Fast-forward seven years, I now have a set schedule, a finite amount of time, and a definite list of things that need to be accomplished on a daily, weekly, monthly YOUR WORK HAS BEEN HEARD IN THE TRAILERS and yearly basis. It is my job to complete those goals. FOR DISNEY’S “ALICE IN WONDERLAND” AND When I am hired, I focus in, set my goals, and then set “HAIRSPRAY.” WHAT’S IT LIKE KNOWING YOUR out to create. Sure, it does sound unusual that I can just WORK IS BEING HEARD ON SUCH A GLOBAL LEVEL? flip a creative switch hop to it, and begin composing, Oh it is awesome. What makes it even more awesome, but at a certain stage your musical abilities must be is that I am a HUGE fan of “Alice in Wonderland.” I heard proactive and then reactive. my music in the trailer on TV before I even knew my I commit to composing “x minutes of music” or “x piece was in it. Talk about surreal. I think I literally amount of pieces” or “% of film” when I start the day. jumped in the air and shouted like a child. I will get to it and put something on the paper, so to speak. I then react to my initial composition, tweak it, WHAT’S BEEN SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FILMS TO evolve it, purpose it as needed, and then move on. SCORE AND WHY? My favorite films to score so far have been “40” FOR SOMEONE WHO LOOKS AT WHAT YOU’RE and a film about Blessed Fr. Alberione. Both are DOING AND CREATING AND WANTS TO FOLLOW documentaries, and are focused heavily around faith, IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS, WHAT IS SOME PRACTICAL religion, and life. Neither film possesses my most ADVICE FOR GETTING THERE? unique ideas (although I think both scores are really Seven P’s. Practice, patience, persistence, emotional and lyrical), but both stir something up perseverance, publicity, personal finances and inside of me. That emotion can be heard resonating practicality. Practice a lot, all the time. Be patient with through my score. The scores are integral parts of those your career, don’t let your decisions be made with films, and an integral part of me. haste and carelessness. Persevere when hitting a road block, it will define your abilities. Share your work, YOU ARE AT THE INTERSECTION OF MUSIC AND and let people know who you are and what you do. TECHNOLOGY. CREATING MUSIC FOR VIDEO GAMES Manage your money, and have mastery over your gear (360, WII, SONY PLAYSTATION) AND HANDHELD lust. With everything, be practical. Oh, and be willing to DEVICES (IOS AND ANDROID DEVICES). IS THAT THE do this over and over and over. FUTURE OF MUSIC? For some (like myself ) there is an eighth P, prayer. The future is already here! I have been saying this for years, but the indie and “mobile” markets will be WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? the future of gaming. Of course, I think we won’t call Good question! The sky is limit. I rarely know what I the games indie or mobile at that point, and I am not am doing about two weeks in advance. sure the major publishers and manufacturers in the industry now will allow, encourage, dampen, ignore, or For more on Sean, head over to ignite this movement. www.seanbeeson.com. For composers, this will continue to be an exciting BLEEP 27
a hit single and a new album on the way,
todd carey is having a moment.
WHAT FIRST DREW YOU TO MUSIC? I can’t pinpoint it. It came from my family though. My dad was a huge music connoisseur and my mom was a music teacher/musician. Together, they instilled it in me. My dad is tone deaf but he knows Miles Davis’ entire catalog, like a true music lover should. It’s just always been a part of my life. WHAT INSPIRES THE MUSIC YOU’RE MAKING? Fun. When I set out to make this album, I wrote 70 songs for it. Basically, it was an exercise in finally trying to capture who I was and not leave any questions about it. I’ve put out music before that I’m extremely proud of but I feel like there’s been something that wasn’t connecting. I wanted to capture the me that people connect with and put it in pop songs. There is a wide array of pop music happening right now. We are in a cool time of pop music where being diverse genre-wise is appreciated. The record is a pop record but it’s got everything without becoming a mess. It works.
great way to get it across. I’ve never worked so hard or spent so much time on something that was so much fun. It was really worth it. It was a chance for me to show who I am. THE THING ABOUT “NINTENDO” IS THAT THE VIDEO IS PACKED FULL OF INCREDIBLY NOSTALGIC IMAGERY. It really is relevant for people of all ages. Nintendo, the word, has a lot of emotional currency for all ages. It’s really interesting. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH AFA (ALZHEIMER FOUNDATION OF AMERICA) I’m playing at a benefit for AFA on October 16 at the Highline Ballroom. As soon as I decided I was going to work with this organization, people started talking to be about it because almost everyone has a story about someone who has been affected by this. It’s been gratifying to lend my hand in some way to the cause.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? More new music. This song has become a hit and is at radio. The process of the music video and everything are massive first steps for me. I’ve been WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR “NINTENDO?” performing for a while but all of this with this single It’s 3 minutes of everything I wanted in a song. I has been new. “Future Throwback” is the album for wanted an uptempo, fun, pop culture reference-filled, next year. I’ve been co-writing a lot and wrote a song irresistibly melodic, young love song. with Meghan Trainor actually. Things feel good right It was the first video I’ve ever made. I knew when I now. It’s the exciting anticipatory moment. finally got the opportunity to do one, I wanted to do it right. I think that was the other disconnect. People FOR MORE ON TODD, HEAD OVER TO weren’t getting me and I knew a video would be a WWW.TODDCAREYMUSIC.COM BLEEP 31
phas 32 BLEEP
WE CAUGHT UP WITH PHASE V, ONE OF THE NEWEST BOY BANDS ON THE SCENE ABOUT GETTING THEIR START, MAKING THEIR FIRST EP AND WHY THEY WANT TO MAKE MUSIC THAT MATTERS.
JC - In addition to the Fanatics tour, we are also performing in the Boys of Summer tour.
YOU GUYS DANCE. A LOT. IN THE VIDEO FOR “DROP IT,” YOU BASICALLY DANCE THE ENTIRE SONG. ONE DIRECTION IS KNOWN FOR NOT DANCING WHILE MEGA-BANDS LIKE N’SYNC AND THE BACKSTREET BOYS DANCED A TON. WHAT MADE YOU LEAN MORE IN THAT DIRECTION? YOU’RE BASED IN LOS ANGELES BUT ARE COMPRISED JC - We wanted to bring back the performance quality OF FIVE DIFFERENT MEN FROM ACROSS THE WORLD, of a boy band. N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys danced INCLUDING THE USA, CANADA, PUERTO RICO, AND and harmonized and we want to bring that back. BELGIUM. HOW’D YOU COME TOGETHER? Jeremiah - I had been thinking about putting a band WHAT ELSE SETS YOU APART FROM ANOTHER together since I moved to LA. I had been auditioning for BAND? shows like “X-Factor” and it had just never worked out, Joseph - What sets us apart is that we do more urban but that’s not a reason to stop chasing your dreams. pop music as opposed to what’s being played a lot A partner and I decided to hold auditions in LA and now which is dance and trance. This style of urban pop through the process, we said let’s do it, let’s take over music isn’t being done by boy bands right now. the world. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY IN THE MUSIC THAT YOU’VE ALREADY BEGUN SOME TOURING. WHAT ISN’T BEING SAID? Jeremiah - We are in the process of writing and creating HAS BEEN THE BEST PART OF TOURING? Nelson - Our first show was in Portland and it was our EP. We want to talk about issues that maybe people really interesting. We were so nervous. It was the first aren’t talking about. There are songs like “Firework” time Phase V was going to be on stage as Phase V. It’s by Katy Perry that are telling people it’s okay to be yourself. It’s also our goal to be an outlet for someone. been quite a ride.
It’s okay to be different. It’s about having a good time and being a real and genuine person. YOU’RE JUST GETTING STARTED. WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THE PROCESS OF PUTTING THE BAND TOGETHER SO FAR? Joseph - It was an interesting experience. For a few of us, we happened to randomly be there. I wasn’t there to audition for the group, I just happened to be there, and decided ‘why not?’ Nelson - Once we were in the group, for the second set of auditions, we were in the panel so it was different to see these guys try their best to be a part of the group. But it was pretty evident when we heard Alex that we wanted him right away.
that reflects in what we do. Nelson - Right now, we are focused on putting together this EP. We hope to have it released by Thanksgiving.
WHEN PEOPLE LEAVE YOUR SHOW, WHAT DO YOU WANT THEM TO TAKE AWAY? JC - I want people to come to our shows so they can let loose and be entertained. We want to provide the outlet for people to have a good time. I want them to walk away happy. Joseph - We would like for them to be inspired as well. We were inspired when we were younger and that’s part of why we are on this journey now. Now we want to inspire other people to achieve what they want to achieve. Jeremiah - I would hope that they feel compelled to WHAT WAS IT LIKE COMING INTO THE GROUP TO tell people about what we do. There hasn’t been an act REPLACE A MEMBER THAT DIDN’T WORK OUT like us for a long time and though it’s difficult to get in, ORIGINALLY? we know we can do it. Alex - At first it was weird because they knew each Nelson - I feel like every time we leave a show, the other already. I feel like this group is perfect the way it amount of support and love we get back from the fans is. We are so different but at the same time, it works out is incredible. We’re just five guys out of nowhere who the way it should. There’s something there that blends had an idea and went for it. very well. Alex - I want our fans and supporters to go back home after one of our shows with a smile on their face. I want WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE BAND? them to feel that happiness. Jeremiah - We are just five guys who love music and
ariana debose jordanna james christopher rice
broad vincent rodriguez III
dway photography by kevin thomas garcia
Each year, critics and columnists write a lot about the “current state of Broadway” and what direction they believe the artform should be heading. But we decided to go straight to the source. BLEEP Editor Ryan Brinson talked with Ariana DeBose (Bring It On, Motown, Pippin), Jordanna James (Sideshow), Christopher Rice (The Book of Mormon), Vincent Rodriguez III (Here Lies Love, The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and Clay Thomson (Newsies, Matilda) about diversity on stage, movies turning into stage productions, stunt casting and their hopes for the future. LOOKING AT THE SHOWS THAT ARE ON THE BOARDS CURRENTLY, AS PERFORMERS, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DIRECTION IT’S HEADED TODAY? Christopher - I think it’s exciting because there are some really cool shows up there that are creative and one-of-a-kind. I think it’s also a little nervewracking as a performer to see that a lot of the shows are going the more commercial route. As a performer, you want the chance to create art and you want to create something new and exciting. Ariana - It’s terrifying, that’s the truth, if we are looking at where Broadway could potentially be heading. There are certain shows that are coming in, like Fun Home, that I’m thrilled are finding a home on Broadway because those are the types of show that performers can really get behind and support; shows that are artistic and have substance and are gritty and have something to say. I think, as an artist, I get concerned that we aren’t telling stories that need to be told. That’s my concern as a human being and as an artist. There are some stories that are just on Broadway to make money and that’s fine. But Broadway used be a place of balance. A place of creating stars, not just bringing in ones that are already shining bright. But I think with the impending arrival of pieces like Fun Home, that there’s a glimmer of hope. Vincent - There are shows that are on Broadway right now because a celebrity said yes. It gets the tickets 38 BLEEP
sold. If they were only used for stronger pieces of theatre. Sometimes their skill level isn’t what the role requires so we are missing that balance. MANY OF BROADWAY’S BIGGEST HITS DIDN’T OPEN WITH STARS. WICKED, NEWSIES, PIPPIN, AND A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER DIDN’T OPEN WITH ABOVE THE TITLE STARS BUT HAVE BEEN GIANT HITS. Christopher - It’s really about the stories and telling them well. Vincent - Truth is, shows are getting harder to get into and are becoming more technical, for instance the stunts in Bring It On or the dancing in Newsies, and these things are younger people’s intro into what you have to be able to do on Broadway. So they are becoming better and more skilled and I hope that gives us more tools to tell more stories as opposed to a show that’s just based on all the of the moves they see on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Ariana - And I’m an alumni of “So You Think You Can Dance” so I agree with that completely. Another thing is that we have all of these wonderfully exciting elements we are adding to shows on Broadway and we are basically telling the public that that is what Broadway is or that is what dance is. “So You Think You Can Dance” defines to the American public what good dance and good choreography is. Thank God for Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo who constantly are fighting to be better and more creative. Andy Blankenbeuhler as well. They are the epitome of what we should be working toward. Vincent - They tell stories. Ariana - Telling stories. Yes. For a minute, we’ve gotten away from telling stories in dance. CLAY YOU’VE BEEN IN TWO VERY DANCE HEAVY SHOWS. Clay - To be able to do that sort of dance on Broadway and do the hardest things I’ve ever done dance-wise...then do them eight times a week, it was the most exhilarating and the most exhausting thing. I was on the tumble track at the end of
“Seize the Day” and to hit that button and hear the applause from the audience was the most thrilling experience. AS THE REQUIRED SKILL LEVEL OF DANCERS RISES, HOW HAS THAT AFFECTED THE AUDITION ROOM? Clay - I was at an audition once where we did a dance that had double-tours, pirouettes and tumbling in the dance combination, then we sang and then they asked who could play instruments. It’s amazing the things you have to be able to do to be in shows now. Not once on the breakdown did it say you had to be able to play an instrument, but everyone who couldn’t was cut. It’s just expected now. JORDANNA, YOU’RE ABOUT TO MAKE YOUR BROADWAY DEBUT, BUT YOU’RE NO STRANGER TO PERFORMING ON A GIANT STAGE. WHAT’S THE AUDITION ROOM BEEN LIKE FOR YOU? Jordanna - On Broadway, I am new. But for me, number one, it’s hard for me to get parts because 40 BLEEP
I am short. So when they want a certain height, I’m not going to get it. Having said that, when I was on tour with Miley Cyrus, it was completely different. I could dance and that’s what mattered. It is amazing how Broadway is evolving and changing and we are all a part of that. YOU’VE BEEN A PART OF THE RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR FOR SIX YEARS, A SHOW THAT REQUIRES NO STUNT CASTING, AND IT SELLS OUT EVERY YEAR. YOU’VE SEEN THAT SHOW EVOLVE WITH THE TIMES AS WELL. Jordanna - I remember there was a Ragdoll scene where two little boys were trying to find a present for their sister. The spirit of it was about spending time together. But the show changed that scene to be like a video game. To me, I’m old-school, and I know that’s what generations are doing now, but it lost that story of being with family and that was disappointing. TECHNOLOGY IS SOMETHING BECOMING MORE AND MORE INTEGRATED, NOT JUST WITH
SHOWS LIKE RADIO CITY, BUT DEFINITELY ON BROADWAY. SOME SHOWS DON’T EVEN HAVE SETS ANYMORE, THEY JUST HAVE PROJECTIONS. Ariana - When it’s done at its best, I think it’s really beautiful and immersive. The beauty of theatre is that people can learn by seeing. We Americans love films and love watching a movie. So when you come to a Broadway show, and you feel like you’re watching a movie, you are probably going to enjoy it. WHAT’S THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? Clay - I think if the right creative team is involved, it can soar. I look forward to seeing what people come up with from scratch. Ariana - I think there are some really great upand-coming composers and writers and with the deaths of Lauren of Bacall and Robin Williams, it’s not deaf on any of us that we are the future. Now we have to do it. It’s on us to be creative and keep pushing. We have some really great representatives in our community right now who are helping to forge the way. I think there’s also a
generation behind us who is going to take us to the next level. I hope the people in power now, i.e. producers, have the wisdom to see that there is a new voice. If they are open and willing to listen to that voice, then I think Broadway is going to go in an incredible direction. Jordanna - What I notice is that artists are sticking together and voicing the things we are passionate about and that’s a good thing. Vincent - Exactly. And I see more diversity on Broadway now, and yes there are still a lot of shows that are based on movies, but I think the creative teams are working hard to make them better. The story is becoming more central and that’s what’s important. Christopher - For every show that has been successful after the original cast has left the show, there are dozens and dozens that have failed financially. As we move ahead, I look forward to those long-running shows that provide work for actors and I look forward to new shows that are going to keep artists and audiences artistically fulfilled. BLEEP 41
vincent rodriguez III HOW DID YOU TRAIN FOR WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW? I started theatre my freshman year of high school after having been in band in grade school. I was your basic band/theatre geek. But I also had been doing martial arts since the 2nd grade so I was stocky. By the time I hit my junior year of high school, I had a black belt in both Shotokan and Tae Kwon Do and I was in the high school’s martial arts club which was visited occasionally by Grand Master Presas Sr from the Philippines. My martial arts actually was how my skills in dance came out and allowed me to pick up choreography so quickly. I learned to look at the body like pencil lines on a sketch pad. I just had to make the lines with my body and move in and out 42 BLEEP
of those lines to music. I quit martial arts my senior of high school and starting taking dance. Upon graduation I only lasted two semesters of junior college before I went to an acting conservatory to pursue my passion for acting. WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO NEW YORK? After graduation from PCPA Theaterfest in May 2003, I booked the 1st national tour of 42nd Street. I finished the last 9 months of the tour and went to New York City to audition and see if I could make it. Three months later after many an open dance/ singer call, I had two offers: 1st National tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie and the original cast of the world premiere of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
directed by Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Randy Skinner. I took the later. It’s been all downhill from there. Or, rather uphill, since for the 2 years thereafter I worked nonstop regionally. The next 9 years were pretty steady with the exception of a month or three off every year.
(we now know as Oklahoma) at that time period. I was certainly shocked to learn of the diversity that existed at that time but had never seen it depicted on stage, until now. I think we’re definitely heading in the progressive direction and that’s quite refreshing.
WHICH OF YOUR SPECIAL SKILLS WOULD SURPRISE WHAT WAS THE FIRST STAGE PRODUCTION THAT US THE MOST? HAD A REAL IMPACT ON YOU? I’m a magician. I started my freshman year in high What really had an impact on me were Gene Kelly school. I’m pretty good with a deck of cards. I can movies and the first musical I ever saw, which was also make things float, appear in random parts of my on cable at the time, and that was Disney’s Newsies. body, you know, the usual magical stuff. These skills That really peeked my interest. I started watching actually came in handy when it came to dance and whatever movie musicals I could and whatever Tony theatre. Magicians have to often work backwards Award recordings I could get my hands on. Most of when designing effects and understand the intricate what I learned about dance before college was from structure of a trick before executing it. So I enjoy watching recordings and movies. puzzles and figuring out solutions to problems whether its staging or choreography related. YOU’VE TOURED EXTENSIVELY. WHAT’S THE APPEAL OF TOUR LIFE FOR YOU? WHAT CHALLENGES YOU AS A PERFORMER? I love getting paid to do what I love and get to travel Learning a new skill or using a skill I don’t use the country on my company’s dime. It’s a win/win. I often, while prepping for a role/show. For instance, also find touring to be a challenge and I’ve gotten when I did Take Me Out, I played a Japanese baseball pretty good at it. I’m in the process of writing a book player who only spoke Japanese, except for one about it actually. If I only knew then what I know line. And that one line had to be in a Japanese now about touring, I would have saved myself a lot of dialect. Luckily, when I was offered that job, I was in money and hard times. Tokyo, doing a different show, so I found someone to help me learn my Japanese lines and say them WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NEW YORK correctly and authentically based on my character’s AUDIENCE AND THE AUDIENCE IN A TOUR HOUSE? background. More recently I was in Here Lies Love, I’d say that touring audiences are more hit or miss. the Off Broadway hit David Byrne & Fat Boy Slim Disco Some are so excited about seeing the show I’m in. Poperetta, and it required me to play a song on guitar. In this case I’m using Anything Goes as an example. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done because But depending on the city, we may be get a receptive of how much time I had to learn the song and how audience. Or, because of the size of the theatre and easy and proficient I had to look while playing. It was the hearing ability of our patrons or the age of our such an intimate, bare stage moment of the show. I patrons, we can either get crickets or thunderous had to connect, eye to eye with the audience, who applause. were only a few feet away from me. The songs words and meaning were very important. That took a lot of TALK ABOUT DIVERSITY ON BROADWAY. WHERE practice and frustration to finally get to a point where ARE WE AT? ARE WE HEADED IN A MORE DIVERSE I could perform the song with no fear of making a DIRECTION? mistake and just be in the moment. I love challenges Well, I definitely think we’re further along than we like these because I think they strengthen me as a ever have been. I’m still a believer in non-traditional performer and as a student of life. casting based purely on type and story and not so much on “let’s do this just to be different.” I like how WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? today, casting decisions are becoming more based on I’m in rehearsal right now for the US premiere of imitating current demographics. I did a production Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame at the La Jolla of Oklahoma at Arena Stage which was optioned Playhouse, then a short run at Papermill Playhouse in to transfer to Broadway and was very well received the February 2015. by the Rogers & Hammerstein foundation. A part of the show’s appeal was seeing a multi-ethnic cast (ie. CHECK OUT VINCENT AT WWW.TWITTER.COM/ black, Asian, Indian and white). It just so happens, VROD3RD AND ON HIS WEBSITE that our director cast the show based on the actual WWW.VR3RD.COM. ethnicities of the people who inhabited the territory BLEEP 43
jordanna james WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BE A PERFORMER? When I was 12 years old, I got to experience New York City for the first time. My mother and I walked the streets in awe at lights and buildings to stumble upon the theater district, where I made a promise to myself that I would someday perform in this city. In 2010, an obstacle had been placed in my way. I underwent series of leg surgeries, lengthening my tibia and adjusting other bones to correct my extremely bowed legs, a flaw that is common amongst people with my dwarfism (achondroplasia). The bowing affected my knees, hips and back and without the surgery and might have lost the ability to do what I love most, dance. The result was that I was immobile and wheelchair bound for almost 9 months. During my recovery I decided that I would not dwell on the time I lost, but instead I would use it as motivation to use my abilities to their full potential, and made the decision to move to New York City and fulfill my dreams. YOU WORKED AT RADIO CITY FOR SIX YEARS DOING THE CHRISTMAS SHOW WITH THE ROCKETTES. WHAT WAS THE MOST VALUABLE LESSON YOU LEARNED DURING THAT TIME? The most valuable lesson I learned at Radio City was that discipline, professionalism and teamwork is needed to be successful in putting together any performance. Precision for all involved in the production is a key element. This does not only apply to the performers. The backstage work is incredible as they ensure the safety of the performers while moving sets and props are moved on and off the stage seamlessly. For example, in the show a doubledecker bus is hoisted above the performers’ heads backstage. Everyone is required to do his or her job with no excuses. As a swing for three years, I had to be prepared to perform in the role of 4 different characters at any given time, a challenge that I was more than ready for. This is something that helped me grow as a performer because without these characteristics you cannot succeed. YOU’VE WORKED WITH ONE OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN MUSIC TODAY, MILEY CYRUS, AND 44 BLEEP
YOU HAVE BEEN VOCAL ABOUT THE FACT THAT SHE GAVE OPPORTUNITY FOR DIVERSITY WHERE OTHERS HAVE NOT. WHAT WAS IT LIKE STEPPING OUT ON THAT STAGE IN FRONT OF THOUSANDS? HOW WAS THAT EXPERIENCE EMPOWERING TO YOU? Wow, you want to feel energy from the audience? Go on stage with Miley Cyrus. Her fans LOVE her. So feeling that energy as a dancer was insane. Something that I will never forget for the rest of my life. YOU ARE NOW A PART OF ONE OF THE FALL’S MOST ANTICIPATED MUSICALS, SIDE SHOW. WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO BE MAKING YOUR BROADWAY DEBUT IN SUCH A BIG SHOW? Goosebumps! I’m so excited! It’s a dream come true. I feel very blessed and truly fortunate. WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT SIDE SHOW? I’m looking forward to the audience’s reaction to the show. The story, the music and the performers take you on a journey of experiences, a spectrum of raw emotions that touch your heart and soul. It is impossible not to relate and connect to the show and learn something new about yourself and humanity. As a performer in the show I have laughed, cried, and cheered watching my cast perform. I also look forward to working with the directors, producers, and choreographers who are to say the least are inspiring. They make sure to connect with every cast member as we bring our characters to life. I look forward to reconnecting with my Side Show family. BEFORE THE CURTAIN EVEN RISES ON YOUR DEBUT, WHAT HAS THE EXPERIENCE OF DOING THIS SHOW TAUGHT YOU ABOUT YOURSELF? Side Show has taught me courage. I really don’t want to say this but I’m rather shy when it comes to singing. First day of rehearsal the cast got around the piano and sang “Come look at the Freaks” and all I thought was “Holy cow what did I get myself into?” I am a dancer not a singer! Hearing everybody else sing was breath-taking and I was in such awe. I was overwhelmed and started doubting myself and asked
myself what did they see in me? Why am I here? The first couple of weeks in rehearsal were very difficult for me, but my wonderful cast mates were always full of encouragement and support. Each day I had to muster up courage to sing. No matter how nervous I was I made sure not portray it through my character. Soon I learned through courage, perseverance, and the help of my Sideshow family that I had a voice and I could play my part and put on a remarkable, inspiring, and life changing show. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I’m excited about this upcoming year, I recently moved to Brooklyn with my boyfriend, Anthony to be
closer to Broadway. What is next? I hope to grow as a performer and continue in my profession with new and challenging roles. I have a jaw-dropping cabaret and entertainment company called Sass N’ Betties that I want to continue to grow. I am excited about my journey through life. I always look at the positive am always thankful. Thanks universe! FOR MORE ON JORDANNA, FOLLOW HER AT WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/JORDANNA_JAMES, AT WWW.TWITTER.COM/JORDANNAJAMES OR AT WWW.SASSNBETTIES.TK BLEEP 45
WHEN DID YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH PERFORMING AND DECIDE IT’S WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO VOCATIONALLY? I grew up in a small town near Rochester, NY training as a competitive gymnast, and would go to see friends in local community theatre shows. My parents told me I never stopped singing the songs after I saw each show, and would ask to go back and see them again and again, and I would sing along with the shows! I’m sure I was terribly annoying to all those around me, but I was living my dream! I came to NYC for the first time when I was 11 to audition for the national tour of Oliver! After getting through the singing and the acting cuts, it was time to dance. I had never taken proper dance training prior to this and got cut after that round. I went home and took ten weeks of tap jazz and ballet and after feeling like I had some of the basics down, I came back to audition for the show again six months later. I ended up booking the show and going on tour for a year. When I got off the road, I knew musical theatre was what I really wanted to do and nothing was going to stop me. In high school I wasn’t cast as any parts in my high school shows so I devoted most of my free time after school to dance! I would go to dance right after school and be there until around 10pm every night of the week! I couldn’t get enough! After graduating high school in 2010, I attended Pennsylvania State University for Musical theater. The summer after my freshman year, I came to New York City to audition for shows and take class, etc and I ended up landing the role of A-rab in the first national tour of West Side Story. I toured with the show for one year, and after we closed the show in August 2012 (in Japan), I moved to the big bad apple. I figured I would try New York out for one year, and if I didn’t book anything, I would look into going back to school. In September, I booked the role of Spot Conlon in Newsies on Broadway and decided I would stay in New York and live my dream. I made my Broadway debut the day after my 20th birthday. WHAT WAS IT LIKE WALKING ONTO THE BROADWAY STAGE FOR THE FIRST TIME? We started the show in the huge towers on stage and I was in the third level of the towers. Before we even turned around to start singing I had tears in my eyes. I will never forget the experience I had doing the show. It was honestly a dream come true. 46 BLEEP
THE LEVEL OF FANDOM ASSOCIATED WITH NEWSIES WAS UNLIKE ANYTHING BROADWAY HAD SEEN IN A SHOW THAT WASN’T DRIVEN BY A CELEBRITY STAR. AS SOMEONE WHO EXPERIENCED THAT FIRST-HAND, WHY DO YOU THINK THAT HAPPENED? Disney did such a fantastic job with incorporating social media in to our press advertising. With how big Instagram and Twitter are right now, it would be silly not to play to the teen girls and boys who can really relate to the show. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? My friends and colleagues are what inspire me. Going to see shows, auditioning for shows and seeing the level of talent in this industry inspires me to strive for greatness. I’m always being pushed by those around me to be a better performer and a better person. It’s truly inspiring. YOU’VE BEEN IN TWO OF BROADWAY’S BIGGEST SHOWS, NEWSIES AND MATILDA. FOR SOMEONE WHO IS LOOKING AT YOU AND ASPIRING TO DO THE SAME THING, WHAT IS YOUR PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR THEM? I would say my best piece of advice would be to believe in yourself and be yourself. There’s no one out there that can be a better you than you are. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not enough in any way. And if they do, prove them wrong. Also, soak up every moment. You only live once; one example being you only make your Broadway debut once. So live life to the fullest and don’t take anything for granted! WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I’m constantly auditioning for shows and training to be a better performer. I take dance class all the time at Broadway Dance Center, and study voice with my coach Mike Ruckles. I’m teaching master classes and dance classes at dance studios, schools and universities around the country as well as throughout New York City. FOR MORE ON CLAY, HEAD OVER TO WWW.TWITTER.COM/CLAYTOMPSON AND WWW.CLAYTHOMSON.COM
christopher rice WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND HOW DID YOU TRAIN FOR WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW? I am southern boy. I grew up in Edmond Oklahoma and eventually ended up at the University of Oklahoma where I got a BFA in Musical Theatre. Growing up, I always had a strong passion for performing as well as supportive parents. They helped me stay involved with local children’s theatre throughout the school year and helped me audition so I could perform with the local Equity theatre during the summers. 48 BLEEP
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WALKING ONTO THE BROADWAY STAGE FOR THE FIRST TIME? Even the first rehearsal on the stage was a huge deal to me. You realize it is just a stage. Nothing significantly different from other stages you have been on in your past... Except it is COMPLETELY different because that space not only has so much history, but also so much meaning, both professionally and personally. When I made my Broadway debut, my track started center stage and began the first sequence.
It was unreal to look out at the packed house and to feel all the lights hit you as you realize you are fulfilling a lifelong dream. Many people say they can’t remember their debut. I couldn’t stop from soaking in every second of mine. It was life-changing.
My next dance video is underway now. It will once again feature some of Broadway’s hottest dancers dancing to a tap-tastic song! The theme is really fun and we have some exciting new elements like costumes this time. I think it is going to turn out really cute.
YOU’RE IN ONE OF THE BIGGEST HITS ON BROADWAY. WHAT’S IT LIKE KNOWING THAT YOU’RE A PART OF A NEW GENERATION OF EVERY NIGHT, THE BOOK OF MORMON WILL BE PERFORMERS ON BROADWAY WHO HAVE LEARNED PLAYING TO A SOLD-OUT AUDIENCE? HOW TO NAVIGATE SOCIAL MEDIA, CONCERT It is really special. First off, having a secure job PERFORMANCES, AND ORIGINAL VIDEOS TO on Broadway these days is rare so I am extremely BUILD A FOLLOWING FOR THEMSELVES AND thankful. It’s also encouraging to know people are DIRECT PUBLIC ATTENTION BACK TO BROADWAY excited about the story you are telling and the work LIKE IT USED TO BE DECADES AGO. IN YOUR you are doing. As an artist, it is what you look for in OPINION, WHAT ROLE WILL ALL OF THIS PLAY IN a project. In my opinion, the material and direction THE FUTURE OF THE MEDIUM? are pretty flawless. It is such a joy to perform and the In a world where everything is at our finger tips, audience really enjoy it too. It’s great. people expect instant access to information. I think it’s important to make sure you are proud of what APART FROM YOUR STAGE WORK, YOUR YOUTUBE you are putting out there for people to see. I also VIDEO OF TAP DANCING TO “CUPS” BY ANNA think Broadway is such a special thing and I’m happy KENDRICK HAS BEEN VIEWED MORE THAN 2.2 to open up people’s eyes to that however possible. MILLION TIMES. BEYOND THE ELATION OF THAT There is such a huge talent pool in the Broadway MANY PEOPLE SEEING AND ENJOYING YOUR community that I think is often overlooked. As a VIDEO, WHAT DID THAT MEAN TO YOU? performer, it is an honor and a responsibility to help It still blows my mind when I think about it! I am shine the light on the wonderful community. I try to excited that America and, well, the world really, do so by collaborating with people I am proud and thought tap dancing was cool enough to watch and excited to work with. Broadway is an art form that has share with their friends. It gives me hope for the next stood the test of time but is also shifting a lot with the generation of tap dancers. It also got me excited to times. I think the more we can reveal the excitement keep creating new dances. While I have an awesome and wonder of live/Broadway-style performances, the job with Mormon, it is fun to use my free time in a better. If someone sees a cabaret or YouTube video creative way that challenges me and hopefully brings and it inspires them to buy a ticket to see a Broadway happiness to those who see it. show, that helps keep Broadway alive and kicking. NOW YOU’RE #TAPPY! TELL ME ABOUT WHAT’S MAKING PEOPLE #TAPPY AND WHAT YOU’RE DOING NEXT? After we tapped to Pharrell Williams’ hit song, people have really been reaching out via social media. It’s been so inspiring to hear from all of the people around the world who purchased their first pair of tap shoes or signed up for their first tap class after watching the #Tappy video. We have been selling “… Because I’m #Tappy” shirts and it’s so fun to receive pictures of people wearing them all over the world! Australia, New Zealand, Germany - you name it! It is just crazy. (Shameless plug: Get your shirt today at ChristopherRiceOnline.com)
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I just signed my YouTube channel with DanceOn, a fantastic YouTube network founded by Madonna. I’m their first featured Broadway artist and we have some exciting stuff in the works there! Also my next, original dance video will be out on Veteran’s Day (November 11th) and I’m really pumped for that! In the meantime, I can be seen baptizing Ugandans at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in The Book of Mormon! CONNECT WITH CHRISTOPHER AT WWW.TWITTER.COM/CHRISRICENY AND WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/CHRISRICENY AND WWW.CHRISTOPHERRICEONLINE.COM BLEEP 49
WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO NEW YORK? I am originally from Raleigh, North Carolina. I trained in a multitude of styles at a dance studio called CC & Co. Dance Complex from age 12-18. The studio brought me the opportunity to dance with many different choreographers from NY and LA- including many of the people I would crossed paths with during my SYTYCD experience. I came to NY shortly after being on “So You Think You Can Dance” and after giving college a go. I attended Western Carolina University for a total of 3 months; long enough to do their spring musical, A Chorus Line, directed by Charlotte D’amboise. I played Cassie and on opening night I broke my ankle during the finale. So I took it as a sign I wasn’t supposed to be there and hightailed it to NYC. YOU’VE SPENT SOME TIME AS UNDERSTUDY FOR SOME OF BROADWAY’S BIGGEST FEMALE PARTS. FIRST AS DIANA ROSS IN MOTOWN THE MUSICAL AND NOW AS THE LEADING PLAYER IN THE MEGA-HIT REVIVAL OF PIPPIN, WHICH UTILIZES ALL THE SKILLS OF A TRIPLE-THREAT. WHAT’S IT LIKE STEPPING INTO THESE CHARACTERS AT A MINUTE’S NOTICE? I can tell you one thing, being a cover is a great exercise in self-discipline. As an onstage cover, I have to check out of my normal track and check into another very quickly. Sometimes with less than an hour till curtain. The first time I got the “YOU’RE ON” call as Diana (in Motown The Musical) I was terrified and thrilled at the same time. My grandparents were in town and it was the week of the TONY’s. So I knew this crowd was going to be tough because most probably wanted to see the Tony nominee, but at least I had two of my biggest fans in the audience! I’ve found that as long as I take it moment by moment and speak truthfully everything turns out alright. WHAT HAS THAT TAUGHT YOU ABOUT YOURSELF? Being a cover has taught me that I can handle anything as long as I take a deep breath. OFF THE BROADWAY STAGE, WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE PERFORMING IN CABARETS - BOTH YOURS AND AT OTHERS’? Cabaret performance is an art all on its own. Personally, I love how much more intimate one can get with their audience in a cabaret setting, which is much smaller. You’re playing to something like 5050 BLEEP
100 people as opposed to 1500-1800 people in a Broadway house. Also I think cabaret performances are most successful when they are used to show the general public a little more of who you are but when they are also used to make a point about a bigger issue. A celebration of music a fantastic thing but I’ve always been more satisfied as an audience member when I witnessed good music & vulnerability in an artist who delivered thought provoking material. YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED A LOT, BUT WHAT’S THE NEXT DREAM ON THE LIST? Of course I hope to continue to create new work because there is absolutely nothing better than creating something from the ground up. As time goes on I discover more about myself, the talents I possess and I believe I definitely have more to offer if given the right project. All in due time. I’m fortunate to have had many opportunities at such a young age. I’m 23 now, I have plenty of time. With that said, I have all intentions of moving onwards and finding new challenges. FOR A DANCER WHO PERHAPS SAW YOU ON “SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE” AND NOW SEES YOU ON BROADWAY AND WANTS TO FOLLOW IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS, WHAT IS YOUR PRACTICAL ADVICE TO MAKING IT HAPPEN? The best advice I can give is to stay be as versatile as possible and grow a thick skin fast. I wish I could tell everyone that it’s easy for dancer’s to transition and be seen as more than ‘just a dancer’ but it still has its challenges. The best advice I ever received and am happy to pass on is that “Styles will come and go, but good technique never goes out of style.” It’s something I’ve been able to apply throughout my life- and not just pertaining to dance. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I am currently in Pippin but can say my time with the show will come to a close in early November. I am attached to several very exciting projects including Lin Manuel Miranda’s new musical HAMILTON. Honestly I’m looking forward to whatever comes next. FOR MORE ON ARIANA, FOLLOW HER AT WWW.TWITTER.COM/ARIANADEBOSE AND AT WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/ARIANADEBOSE. ALSO HEAD OVER TO WWW.ARIANADEBOSE.COM
ariana debose BLEEP 51
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The inspirin “new class” Broadwayt
An exclusive with Bryan Campione Broadway_Buzz & some of Broadw
ng ”of talent.
e of way’s biggest talent.
The New Advocate
Since the early 1900’s, the style, music, theatrical staging, costuming, culture, and even electricity have drastically changed and upgraded to give us what we currently have today on and off-Broadway. In that respect, today there is a younger, more socially connected, and spontaneous portion of the theatre community that thrives on using technology and mass communication to not only make a name for themselves, but also show what they bring to the table. Buffalo native Bryan Campione seemed like an unlikely person to be running a growing Broadway enterprise, but he and his Broadway_Buzz brand is a rising voice in theatre’s new class. Campione was working in technology when he re-fell in love with theatre. He would stay in New York every weekend and began seeing shows, taking dance classes and meeting people in the industry. He eventually decided to leave the tech world and join the theatre world where he began working as a sales associate for a theater education company before becoming their Marketing Director. At the same time, he was the head Teaching Artist helping lead masterclasses and workshops on weekends for thousands of students. “I even had the opportunity to “don my acting cap” and perform in Wicked’s “For Good” Girl Scout Days on Broadway where a thousand or more Scouts from across the country would come to the Gershwin Theater for a morning of educational workshops and a performance, prior to the matinee,” he said. After almost four years at the company, Campione left and started Broadway_Buzz- a company that brings 56 BLEEP
social media strategy and events/show producing to the market. Focused on bringing the “new class” of Broadway talent to the forefront, Campione and his collaborators seek out professionals who are savvy and intuitive, both socially and personally. “Ken Davenport is a great example of the first of the ‘new class’,” Campione said. “Incorporating blogs, social media presence and producing combined has allowed he and Davenport Theatricals to be a key player in the modern theatrical community. I personally look to him as a leader and teacher for contemporary patterns of marketing and producing as his passion and work ethic are how I have learned to grow Broadway_Buzz into a small, yet competitive company. And the best part? I get to see and work with individuals in the same boat.” Over the past eight months, Broadway_Buzz has been involved with several productions that are currently in the New York City market. “Many partnerships have been created from conversations on Twitter,” Campione said. “Others have been through communicating with colleagues, friends and showing my previous work and garnered clout through a variety of products worked on. This is the “new class” mentality- get involved with as many things as you can, while maintaining product quality…and your own sanity.” We take a look at a few of the “new class” projects Broadway_Buzz has been working on. FOLLOW AT WWW.TWITTER.COM/BROADWAY_BUZZ
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia
The New Concert 54 Below has become a beacon for Broadway and theater industry professionals that want a unique space to present concerts, cabarets, cd releases and more. Sitting in the basement of the infamous Studio 54 and combining sophisticated design with a variety of performances seven days a week, 54 Below is the newest player in the “new class” of venues. Broadway_Buzz has been lucky enough to produce several concerts there this past year including “Broadway Celebrates Pride Week” and the “Party Monster The Musical In Concert”. One of the more unique projects is an upcoming show staring Broadway star Tracy McDowell (Motown, RENT, Oxygen’s “The Next Big Thing”). McDowell shared that from “Scary Au Pairs” from Germany, to mental breakdowns, family drama, sex, addiction, quitting the biz, then not quitting the biz, and everything else crazy, that has made her who she is today. WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE TO DO A CONCERT AT 54 BELOW? My friend Jennifer Ashley Tepper runs the event space. I have performed there so many times, and have seen so many shows, I just felt that it was my time! YOU ARE SHARING LOTS OF PERSONAL INFORMATION IN THIS SHOW. ARE YOU EVER CONCERNED THAT YOU MAY DIVE TOO PERSONALLY FOR THE AUDIENCE TO UNDERSTAND? I try to keep it light and full of humor. Really, I am trying to let people in so they can feel more connected to me as a performer. I it love when an actor lets me see what makes them tick. IN OUR DEFINITION OF BEING IN THE “NEW CLASS” OF BROADWAY TALENT AND INDUSTRY, HOW HAS YOUR BEING A PART OF THE COMMUNITY HELPED YOU GAIN THE CAREER YOU HAVE AND CONTINUE TO STRIVE FOR? I am constantly on social media promoting my events and the events of my peers. It is so easy to make a quick funny video on Instagram, tweet some silly thoughts on Twitter, or make a bold statement on Facebook. These get the word out to so many people and only helps you build your fan base. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THIS SHOW? Hopefully it helps to build my career in comedy and hosting. I love being myself and giving people an experience. I hope people enjoy the ride! YOU CAN CATCH TRACY MCDOWELL’S 54 BELOW SHOW, “STORY OF A GIRL” WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 29, 2014 AT 9:30PM. FOR TICKETS HEAD TO WWW.54BELOW.COM 58 BLEEP
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia
The New Rock Experience In 2013, I (Bryan) was approached to direct a one night benefit for Michele Mais (Rock of Ages) and Angel Reed’s non-for profit Studio 7 Arts. When the lights came up after a two-hour show packed with talent and a sold-out audience, we knew we had something unique, something new. Today, the team of artists involved have developed an interactive rock experience entitled “Rock N’ Roll Debauchery.” Mixing multimedia with classic and contemporary rock tunes, performed live with singers, dancers and aerialists, it has become a feast for the senses. Darius Anthony Harper (Kinky Boots and The Book of Mormon) has become an integral member of our team. Playing the “Dreamweaver”, Harper dons not only his singing and dancing talents, but hosting skills and an androgynous persona that has garnered him praise by audiences and critics. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE ROCK ’N ROLL DEBAUCHERY TO A GROUP THAT HAS NEVER HEARD ABOUT SAID PROJECT? Rock N’ Roll Debauchery (RnRD) is a complete Rock and Roll experience that showcases a new side of Broadway. The most amazing thing about the brand is its versatility. From Dreams to Nightmares and back again, you will leave RnRD full of face melting true blue Rock and Roll memories. WITH USING SUCH A DIVERSE AND UNIQUE ARRAY OF ELEMENTS IN EACH OF THE SHOWS PERFORMANCES, HOW DO YOU IN YOUR ROLE KEEP THE PRODUCT FRESH, EXCITING AND NEW? The show is always changing and morphing into something new, its very exciting. Bryan, Angel and the rest of the team are amazing at hitting us with fresh material for each show. I can honestly say I have not sung the same song twice in my time with RnRD. Bryan is also very smart at writing scripted dialogue specific to each event that we present. As the “Dreamweaver,” I find the collaboration between what is written and the team allowing me to “do my thing” very important to my show! CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR CURRENT ROLE IN THE FIRST NATIONAL TOUR OF KINKY BOOTS! DO YOU FEEL ROCK N’ ROLL DEBAUCHERY HELPED YOU IN WITH GARNERING YOUR PLACE IN THIS TOUR? When I joined the RnRD Team, I was in a difficult head space. I wasn’t sure where I fit in to this business, or if I had actually found anything that was “right” for me. I’m not sure if it helped me land the role per se, but it did change something in me. I finally felt like I belonged, and that confidence was shown through in my auditions. I love my RnRD family for that! THOUGH YOU ARE NOT IN THE UPCOMING OCTOBER SHOW, WHAT CAN NEW AUDIENCE MEMBERS EXPECT FROM A NIGHT WITH ROCK N’ ROLL DEBAUCHERY? You can expect the unexpected. From aerialists to the sickest rock vocalists Broadway has, RnRD is an experience not to miss. Get your tickets and support new theatre. 60 BLEEP
The New Musical
Many people are aware of the famed story entitled “Party Monster.” Since the 1999 awardwinning documentary and novel James St. James wrote (previously entitled “Disco Bloodbath: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland”), a 2004 full length feature film has been produced. Now, a new team of artists are working on an all-new and original EDM (Electronic Dance Music) musical based on the novel. Matthew Neff (lyrics) and Brian Morey (composer), having worked on this piece for over two years, state that the new musical, “blurs the lines between a traditional musical and a rock concert, while examining two close friends, a group of followers and the consequences of self-indulgence.” Matthew Neff shared his thoughts on developing this new musical just before the premiere this past August. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO CREATE A NEW FORM OF MUSICAL THEATER THAT HAS NEVER BEEN CREATED WITH THIS WELL-KNOWN STORY? Though not technically a new form of musical theater, I have definitely been inspired by the pivotal shows that changed preconceived notions of how a musical is supposed to be. I also have taken lots of inspiration from arena tours by pop stars. My favorite inspiration is Madonna’s The Girly Show. This musical is essentially a rock opera except we aren’t using rock music. It’s a new genre of music not traditionally used in theater. I had no desire to create something that was expected. DO YOU FEEL HAVING A BACKGROUND IN DANCE HAS HELPED YOU TO WRITE YOUR FIRST MUSICAL, OR WHAT IS IT THAT BROUGHT YOU THE VISION AND INSIGHT FOR SUCH A LARGE PROJECT? I think my background in dance has shocked people that I wrote this musical. In 2010, I premiered my original version of Petrouchka in NYMF. I wrote that as well, but since it was all dance set to an original electro pop score, no one read that script. I have been developing that script into a graphic novel for years now. I have a large background in music and music theory that most people don’t know and can play a few different instruments as well as read music. Once I was working at a theater and asked for the score to read while choreographing. They gave me the chorus members music and I told them I wanted the conductors score. It surprised many people that I could actually read it; I was able to use it to choreograph accents not being played by the rehearsal piano. When I work as a choreographer I have to consider every department on the creative staff to make the dance, direction, lyrics, music, costumes and lighting work together. and used the same approach while creating the show. How can we change makeup fast to progress the story? How many costumes do we need? Which moments need quick changes? How much time for these quick changes is needed? How do we stage this moment maximizing multimedia and lighting? The focus is always the story and how we can successfully tell it. When we have been rehearsing our cast, I keep finding myself saying, “In the full production this moment will......” It’s entirely thought out and ready to start being pieced together. This concert is the first step. YOU ARE ABOUT TO PRESENT THIS IN CONCERT AT 54 BELOW IN AN ALMOST “WORKSHOP”STYLE PERFORMANCE. WHAT DO YOU HOPE IS THE NEXT STEP IN THIS EXCITING PROJECT? More development. The concert is more of a workshop for Brian and I to work together. We created everything while living in different cities over emails and text messages. The last two months have been really productive and helpful for us to nurture our creative relationship. I am happy to say that we get along famously together. We want to work toward a real workshop and begin using all the technology that EDM requires. I also want to start developing the digital multimedia to integrate into the production.
The Old Musical, The New Talent Of course, there are the shows that have been running for some time here in New York. However, new performers, new singers, and new cast members help keep a long-running show fresh and appealing. Wicked’s Christine Dwyer (Elphaba) and Pippin’s Carly Hughes (Leading Player) are currently in long-running shows, but being the “new class” has helped them establish an identity within their show, and the community. TELL US A BIT ABOUT HOW YOU USED YOUR TALENT AND PERSONALITY TO BOOK YOUR ROLE. Christine: Elphaba has always come pretty easily to me. Not the singing of course, but the character and getting into her head. She’s strong, yet wounded from being an outcast and not receiving love from family and friends. I definitely can relate to being an outcast and always felt a little out of place wherever I was. My family is great and I found friends who accepted me, but I have always been a little self deprecating. Usually using it in a sarcastic and humorous way just like Elphaba. She doesn’t always know how to connect with people and when she does, they are strong friendships and relationships that she would give her life for. And I am very much the same way which I think came across in the audition. Carly: I just went in with the goal of being myself and bringing my own style to the material. I made sure I sang the songs with my own riffs and did the scenes with my signature sass.
Photo by Joan Marcus
WHY DO YOU FEEL IT IS IMPORTANT FOR LONGRUNNING SHOWS TO BRING IN FRESH TALENT? Christine: Well I think it’s great to move people around and bring new people in because especially with roles like Elphaba and Glinda, the die hard fans of the show always want to see what someone new will bring to the role (which keeps them coming back). And the people seeing it for the first time are seeing actors who are really working together to bring new life to the same story. 64 BLEEP
Carly: It allows for more repeat audiences. For those who’ve seen it twice, they’re likely to see it a third or fourth time with a fresh face. I also think it helps keep the cast alive on stage and off, with new energies & personalities. HAS THERE EVER BEEN A TIME WHEN YOU THOUGHT OF YOURSELF AS “TOO NEW OR FRESH-FACED” FOR YOUR ROLE? Christine: Not really only because I have been with this show for a long time and I started in the ensemble understudying on the road. While I’m positive I would not have been ready to take on the role full time right off the bat, now I feel really comfortable with it. Carly: When I first moved to the city, years ago, the first few “big” things I auditioned for, I would think “Casting doesn’t know me! How am I going to get this role?” But I learned quickly, to calm down and “do what I do.” WHAT WOULD YOU TELL FUTURE GENERATIONS OF PERFORMERS THAT WILL AUDITION AND ONE DAY PLAY THE SAME ROLE YOU CURRENTLY HAVE? Christine: Take dance classes. Most of the time in this show, they like to bring people up from the ensemble and keep moving them forward. That means you will have to dance and go to a dance call. While it may not be your strongest area, feeling comfortable in your body can always help you. Also, stretching and doing things like yoga will just help you in general to feel centered and grounded while you’re flying in the air holding a broom. Most of all, be your version of this character! They always appreciate fresh new ideas and will always just give you notes if they want you to do something differently. Carly: Go in and be yourself. Be strong, positive & confident. Know what you do as an actor/singer and do it well!
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WE TALKED WITH STAR & CO-DIRECTOR ANTHONY WAYNE ABOUT MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL AND THE JOURNEY BRINGING A DISCO LEGEND TO THE STAGE.
show is we wanted everyone to have a moment where their talent shined. Many times in Broadway shows, the members of the ensemble are more talented than the lead and never get the chance to be seen. Everyone on that stage is talented, so we wanted to showcase their best assets. We are very connected as a team and even though I’m the lead of the show and it is from Sylvester’s perspective, to have the support of everyone on stage is very important. We all matter in the scheme of the show and we structured the show to personify that.
HOW HAVE YOUR PREVIOUS BROADWAY EXPERIENCES PREPARED YOU TO BRING SYLVESTER TO LIFE? Since beginning my Broadway journey from the First National tours of The Color Purple & A Chorus Line then transitioning to the New York stages with Anything Goes, THIS HAS BEEN A LABOR OF LOVE FOR YOU. THOUGH Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and, recently, Pippin, I have YOU HAVE TO STAY IN CHARACTER DURING THE SHOW, learned and grown so much as a performer all around. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO SEE SO MANY PEOPLE IN THE Just watching all of my other leading ladies and men has AUDIENCE DANCING AND REMEMBERING WHAT groomed me to step out of the ensemble and take the bull SYLVESTER MEANT TO THEM? It’s truly a dream come true. Initially, I didn’t know so many by the horns. I feel honored to bring to life the story of this incredible man and I look forward to sharing this show people had a longing to hear this man’s story, but now I see with the world as we bring forth the passion and essence so many are ready to be taken on a journey and to have this opportunity is so exciting. Every night before I enter that is Sylvester. that stage, I remember sitting on the couch with Kendrell YOU ARE SURROUNDED ON STAGE BY ARTISTS WHO at our apartment in Harlem discussing how impactful this ARE SO SINGULARLY ASTOUNDING, AND AS A TEAM, story and how inspirational this show could be to many YOU BLOW THE ROOF OFF THE PLACE. EXPLAIN HOW people. All of the reactions after doing the show for the YOU WERE ABLE TO INFUSE SUCH A PRONOUNCED first time July, 2012 at Le Poisson Rouge as a concert let TEAM DYNAMIC INTO A “ONE MAN SHOW” FORMAT TO us know that there was something that needed to be said and to know how infectious this show and experience is CREATE MIGHTY REAL. Something that Kendrell Bowman (Co-Director/Costume that we’re bringing is truly a blessing. As I look out and Designer) and I discussed when it came to creating the see people of all ages, races and genders enjoying every 70 BLEEP
moment together by the end of the show, I know Sylvester is pleased and would be twirling right down there with them under that disco ball. WHAT DO YOU HOPE THE AUDIENCES TAKE AWAY FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING A PART OF MIGHTY REAL? We want people to walk away with a sense of self-worth and love; to know that you can create, do and be anything you want to be no matter what the struggles are in your life. You have the ability to accomplish great things if you just believe in yourself and don’t let anyone take your joy or passion. Sylvester’s story is that. He never allowed anyone to make him be less that what he was. He was a fighter all the way until the end. Our story is that as well. Many people told Kendrell and me that we didn’t know what we were doing or we were too young to be producing a Broadway show. Now, we have the reviews to prove that if you stay focused and driven, you can do great things. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? The sky’s the limit! We are planning so many great things with Mighty Real and I can’t wait to share them with everyone very soon. Until then, we urge and encourage everyone to come see “Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical” Limited Engagement Only until October 5th, 2014 in New York City at Theatre at St. Clement’s. FOR MORE ON THE SHOW, HEAD OVER TO WWW.FABULOUSSYLVESTER.COM AND FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM & TWITTER: @FABSYLVESTER
Photo by Curtis Peel
O T K L A T E W ! K C A Z & E I JESS
Photo by Curtis Peel
SAM HARVEY STEPS INTO ZACK MORRIS’ WHITE HIGHTOPS EACH NIGHT IN BAYSIDE.WE TALK ABOUT DATING KELLY IN REAL LIFE AND PLAYING AN ICONIC LEADING MAN. WERE YOU A “SAVED BY THE BELL” FAN GROWING UP? Growing up, I thought Zack Morris was just the coolest guy ever and my girlfriend, (who is actually Kelly in the show... I know!) had also told me how she loved Zack growing up as well. She had a “WWZMD? (What Would Zack Morris Do?)” ring in high school. I naturally got jealous and wanted a chance to be Zack. I really wanted that audition. I heard back from them a grueling week later, went in, and had a freak audition that I will always remember. One thing lead to another, and I got the call from Tobly McSmith that they wanted me to be there Zack Morris... I cried. I owe a lot of my SBTB fandom to my older siblings who had every episode recorded on VHS, so all we watched when we didn’t have cable at our farmhouse in Nebraska was “Saved by the Bell.” WHAT’S IT LIKE PLAYING A CHARACTER THAT, FOR SO MANY PEOPLE, IS ICONIC AND SYNONYMOUS WITH THEIR CHILDHOOD? It is amazing, humbling, and absolutely terrifying. I am responsible for being the cool, sexy, smooth talking Zack that is in every fan’s mind, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to deliver that. I strive to pay as much of a tribute to the real deal Zack Morris every time I step on stage and I can only hope that I do him justice. WHAT OTHER PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON? Along with Zack, I am also playing Peter in “The Love Note,” Off-Broadway at the Actors Temple Theatre. My girlfriend/Kelly/Katie Mebane is also in the show with me, so if you would like to watch Zack and Kelly portray 10 year olds come check it out. Tickets are available on telecharge.com.
FOR MORE ON SAM, FOLLOW HIM AT WWW.TWITTER.COM/SAMIAMHARVEY AND AT WWW.SAMJHARVEY.COM
Photo by Curtis Peel
APRIL KIDWELL IS ‘SO EXCITED.’ THAT’S RIGHT. SHE BRINGS JESSIE SPANO TO LIFE AND YES, PILLS, LEG WARMERS AND ALL.
creating a raucous and fun live theatrical experience that audiences are really receptive too.
90’S NOSTALGIA IS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH AND PARODY SHOWS LIKE BAYSIDE, SHOWGIRLS AND SILENCE! ARE MAKING AUDIENCES STAND AND CHEER. WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE LIKE TO SEE THE FILMS/SHOWS THEY LOVE SKEWERED? That’s a great question. I think people really love these films. These shows made a huge impact on television culture and people are having a great time laughing at the stories they love being pushed down the stairs and pushed to the extreme. These are shared interests amongst large communities of fans. These parodies are
WHAT OTHER PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON? I am getting ready to release my first self-produced sketch project. It’s a video parody of the Lorde song “Royals” entitled “Boils.” Sung from the perspective of Lord (Jesus Christ). I am also developing a line of custom garments for my website (and possibly Etsy) called SADDLEBAGS. I intend for them to be the new wave of Fanny Packs.
YOU ARE THE CLEAR AUDIENCE FAVORITE, AND THE YOU’VE PLAYED AN ELIZABETH BERKLEY CHARACTER AUDIENCE GOES WILD WHEN THE CAFFEINE PILLS BEFORE IN SHOWGIRLS. WHAT’S THE APPEAL OF COME OUT. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE SHOW? PARODYING THE ROLES SHE CREATED? I am proud to be a part of this balanced ensemble Part of the appeal is I get to play everything at eleven. performance however I am very aware of how lucky I am Elizabeth Berkley has so phenomenally committed to some of film history’s cheeziest material. It’s a real gift to have the bat shit crazy part. People love pill poppers to recreate these overdramatic moments that I love and apparently I’m really good at that. My favorite and participate in this wildly electric exchange with the part of the show is being surprised by the other actors. audience. In Showgirls, I get to make people laugh by There are some great improvisations and I value those using my boobs as a prop and I thank Elizabeth Berkley moments when I laugh onstage. Justin Cimino (Screech) is particularly clever with the one liners. for paving the way for me to do that.
FOR MORE ON APRIL, HEAD OVER TO WWW.APRILKIDWELL.COM.
Photo by Phillip Van Nostrand
Photo by Phillip Van Nostrand
YOU’RE FLYING AROUND, YOU’RE DANCING, YOU’RE SINGING – THIS ISN’T YOUR AVERAGE DANCE SHOW. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT COMPANY XIV? It definitely isn’t your average dance showand for that I’m very happy. XIV is one of the only places/companies I’ve found where learning new skills and adapting them to the show has been highly desired. Mostly, they either hire me or don’t hire me for a job based on what I already can bring to the table and what they need specifically from my “bag of tricks.” Austin has found a way to cultivate almost all my skillsets and get utilized in a way that shows them as strengths and versatility. And for that, I truly love the XIV family.
Photo by Phillip Van Nostrand
Gymnastics injuries led Steven Trumon Gray to take up dance when he was 17. Now, as a member of Company XIV, he’s using all of the training in his bag of tricks to wow audiences in New York.
WHAT HAS BEING A PART OF COMPANY XIV TAUGHT YOU ABOUT YOURSELF? That there is always more pleasure- between artists, for yourself, playful decision making, the specific ways we survive the moments of live theater. Pleasure is always a tool we can channel to truly listen and respond in the most honest of fashions. I mean, you can’t be interesting unless you’re interested in what you’re doing... And interest/intrigue is pleasure, yes? So, pleasurable moments it is! WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I guess there’s talk of me learning dance trapeze, pole, or some new music for Nutcracker Rouge. I’m lucky that I get to have the days somewhat free for commercial gigs and cultivating my photography work. It’s a blessing that I can get to fill my cup with such beautiful souls and creative minds in many facets of my life. For more on Steven, head over to www.Steventrumon.squarespace.com or at www.Facebook.com/stg-photography
Photo by Phillip Van Nostrand
YOUR VOICE IS DIFFERENT THAN THE CLASSICALLY TRAINED VOICES IN THE SHOW, ADDING A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LAYER TO THE SHOW. I weaseled my way into Soul Voices, a soul choir lead by Pete Malinverni at SUNY Purchase where I had been studying in the Dance Conservatory. Upon graduating in 2011, I was able to maintain my desire to participate in performance and the arts by frequenting jazz clubs and collaborating as a dancer with the solos of the trumpet, the guitar, the vocalist. I like to think found my voice through osmosis and closeness to these amazing musicians. Among them, Cyrille Aimee, Tom Larsen and Wayne Tucker who are all doing wonderful things in the Jazz world now. I am also surrounded by incredible technicians in Company XIV who are always willing to share their knowledge, not to mention a director (Austin McCormick) who has consistently prioritized my ability to tell a story over the athleticism of my instrument. IN ROCOCO ROUGE, YOU GET TO UTILIZE MORE THAN JUST YOUR VOICE, WHICH IS ONE OF THE COOL THINGS ABOUT COMPANY XIV, THE BLENDING OF ARTFORMS. HOW HAS BEING A PART OF THIS COMPANY CHALLENGED YOU AND PUSHED YOU TO BE BETTER AT YOUR ART? I am constantly challenged when it comes to the work, but never more greatly than when I am pleased. I consider myself to be an actress or a story teller, and I trust my character’s intention to carry me through every different medium I am given the opportunity to explore. The work happens backstage: harnessing my voice, how I feel that day, and the unpredictability of my six inch heels. But, once I am onstage, if I don’t take pleasure in the wildness of that animal, I cannot expect my audience to. It’s a ride, and the challenge is to remain presently, and pleasantly unbridled. YOUR PERFORMANCE OF “DRUNK IN LOVE” IS A SHOWSTOPPER. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE THE RECIPIENT OF ALL OF THAT ENERGY? Having arranged that song with Rob Mastrianni, it is more or less a debut of my work in the show. It’s a total dream to have people receive your work, and to know that the magic you see and hear in your head is infectious. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? Alongside the construction of my debut album, which will be released within the year, you can find me in our new Lafayette home getting ready for a hot winter and a slew of other delights I can’t give away quite yet! For more on Katrina, head over to www.katrinacunningham.com BLEEP 83
Photo by Phillip Van Nostrand
Katrina Cunningham has only had two formal voice lessons, but you wouldn’t know it from hearing her in Rococo Rouge. The showstopper tells us what she loves about company XIV.
Photo by Rex Bonomelli
After being a part of the workshop in 2012, Nicholas Park is back fighting the mutant BedBugs of New York City Off-Broadway. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE SHOW? I’ll be honest with you, Burt is a bit dramatic and passes out more than once in this show so I spend most of my time with my eyes closed. I feel like I miss so much! From what I do get to see though, I have some choice moments that I particularly enjoy. One of my favorites is the Act II opener, “Who is the Bug Lady.” I got to watch it during rehearsals and it gave me chills! It is exciting, sexy, and fierce. I love it! Chris Hall, Grace McLean, and their army of mutant bugs give me life! PARTS OF THE SHOW ARE SO FUNNY, HOW DO YOU STAY IN CHARACTER AND KEEP A STRAIGHT FACE? I can’t lie. I am one of the easiest actors to break. I can be 100% in a scene but if something funny happens I am one of the first people who wants to embrace it and laugh out loud. I like to laugh. My college professors would be so disappointed. I have been pretty good about it in this show, though! Oh. Except for one night. Gretchen Wylder, as the diner lady, threw a plate in her bus pan in the diner scene. She does this every show. On this night, though, that plate hit another plate and catapulted a piece of cheesecake into the air and it landed right in Gretchen’s hand. SHE CAUGHT IT! The look on her face was PRICELESS and I lost it. I shouldn’t be admitting these things to you. Terribly unprofessional. TELL ME ABOUT ROCK AND RAWHIDE. WHERE DID YOUR PASSION FOR ADVOCACY BEGIN? I have always had a soft spot for animals. Growing up, we used to have a lot of stray kittens around my house and I would try to adopt them without my mother knowing. She would find them under my bed or in the closet. I was convinced that I could hide a cat in my room and she would never find out. Moms always know. Fast forward to 2011, I met Kylie Edmond one night while we were both doing a gig in town. She is the co-founder of Rock & Rawhide and was talking about this new organization during her set. I got to chatting with her and knew that I wanted to be involved. Rock & Rawhide is all about sharing joy and love! We collect comfort items, like toys and blankets, for animals in shelters. We want to make their time there easier and less stressful. The happier the animals, the higher the adoption rate! It is an amazing feeling going to shelters we have helped and seeing the difference our efforts have made. Where there were once piercing barks and sad faces there are now wagging tails and smiles. A little kindness really does make a difference. Through my efforts with Rock & Rawhide, I also met MY baby, Lucy. She is the most amazing dog ever and brightens all of my days! To learn more about Rock & Rawhide, including ways that you can get involved, check out www.rockandrawhide.org For more info on Nicholas, head over to www.nicholasparkactor.com 86 BLEEP
Photo by Rex Bonomelli
our favorite golden boys 88 BLEEP
a look at the new collection from marek+richard
MAREK + RICHARD HAS BEEN IN THE GAME FOR A WHILE NOW. WHAT DO YOU KNOW NOW THAT YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN WHEN YOU STARTED? We’ve been in the game for a lil’ over three years now, but that’s not very long at all as far as we’re concerned. Rome wasn’t built in a day right? Come back to us in ten years and maybe we’ll be ready to answer that question. For now we’re working our asses off and learning something new every day; trying our best to keep up with those damned kids and their slang. But what’s clear to us now more than ever is that Red Bulls at 4 AM are never a good idea when there is actual work needing to get done and that late night taco runs usually leads to early morning intestinal woe. WHERE AS YOU WERE KNOWN FOR UNDERWEAR, YOU ARE NOW MAKING AN IMPACT AS A FULL-FLEDGED CLOTHING LINE WITH PIECES FOR EVERY TASTE. HOW CHALLENGING HAS IT BEEN TO DIVERSIFY YOUR LINE? Well thanks for noticin’. Our fanboys online are just goin’ crazy for the new graphic tees and sweat gear. Yeah, it’s hella hard, and developing new apparel categories takes a lot of friggin’ time and effort, but we both studied fashion design in school and I think we enjoy the challenge of adding new pieces to the line. Besides, we had always set out to use undies as a stepping stone to create a larger line of fashion pieces and we are doin’ everything we can right now to push the brand and solidify the Marek+Richard lifestyle. TELL ME ABOUT THE INSPIRATION FOR THE GOLDEN BOY COLLECTION. You know mainly Egyptian $h!t and especially King Tut; that much power in one teenager’s hands would be like having Justin Bieber as President. But yeah, the idea of an Ancient Egyptian rager was kinda the jumping off point for us. And we also saw a thread of continuity between the swagger of modern street style and the excesses of royal life in Ancient Egypt. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT’S THE STAPLE PIECE OF CLOTHING THAT EVERY MAN NEEDS? Men shouldn’t staple their clothes. It creates holes. I’m not big on staples, I love trendy $h!t. And right now I feel every guy should have an over-sized tee/tunic and a pair of BADA$$ joggers in their pile of dirty laundry. They make anyone look instantly edgier/ fashion forward. WHAT’S NEXT FOR MAREK + RICHARD? Who knows what’s around the corner, we aren’t the psychic hotline so we don’t pretend to know the future. But for now we’ll just keep sewin’ until our fingers fall off. BE SURE TO FOLLOW MAREK + RICHARD AT WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/MAREKRICHARD 92 BLEEP
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We are thrilled to announce the lineup for the annual Broadway issue of BLEEP Magazine. Each year, critics and columnists write a lot about...