One of my favorite things about tweeting @bwaynews is the amazing opportunity I have to interview some spectacular performers. Ghost: The Musical begins previews on Broadway March 15th and I’m thrilled to present an interview with cast member James Brown III! James has a great history with Broadway working on shows such as Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Memphis, The Little Mermaid and The Color Purple. James shares some insights about bringing Ghost over from London as well as his fashion line! Be sure to follow James on twitter at @jamesgeorgeiii.

What first inspired you to be an actor and dancer?

Hard Question: I started acting recreationally in middle school and basically stayed with it as an extracurricular activity through college, but it was with no intention of ever doing it professionally. I definitely didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming a performer. I was a very serious athlete on a path of going to medical school and becoming a Psychiatrist or Neurosurgeon. Fate caught up with me when psych research brought me to NYC and my intended path was laid in front of me. Something that had always been a passion of mine became my profession and I haven’t stopped since. That was a longwinded way of saying I’ve always loved TV, Movies, and of course theater and falling in love with the craft  manifested itself in a career years later.

You’ve had the privilege of being a part of a bunch of Broadway shows. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned that you apply to your work ethic today?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is to LISTEN. Sounds simple doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised at how many performers don’t listen. I use that word in the broadest sense, because it has so many applications. As an actor, listening is the key to making scenes work, it’s the key to actually sharing the stage with your fellow actors. The only way to react honestly is to have truly heard what you are responding to. Another important listening lesson is when you are in an audition and a director, choreographer or musical director gives you a correction or specific details about your audition material and applying them immediately. Listening is the key to learning, growing, and being the ultimate professional.

What show that you have been a part of/person you’ve played fits your personality the most?

“Memphis” and “Ghost” are the shows that fit my personality the most. And I would say that Harpo from “The Color Purple” and Simba from “The Lion King” are the roles I’ve played that best fit my personality.

What can you share with us about your next project, GHOST?

What can I share? Well I can tell you what I can’t share, I can’t share the magic and illusion secrets in the show. We are sworn to secrecy about those amazing moments in the show and I would hate to ruin them. I can tell you that the show is like no other on broadway right now. How can you go wrong with the incredibly smart and talented direction of Matthew Warchus (God of Carnage, The Norman Conquest, Matilda, etc.)?The music is amazing written by our legendary composers Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard. If you don’t know their song book, google them and get into it, but it might include Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On”. And of course choreographed by commercial choreographer Ashley Wallen. He’s successfully merged the worlds of music videos and musical theater by using his style of dance to enhance the tone and emotion of fast pace life in New York City. I am so proud to be a part of this production and can’t wait for the Broadway audience to experience the magic of “Ghost”.

Those that have seen the London production, can we expect some new touches to the Broadway version?

You sure can expect new touches and changes. We’ve replaced the song “Ball of Wax” with a great new song called “You Gotta Let Go Now”. The choreography has been amped up for our production, lots of new videos for the video wall, new scenes, edited scenes, broadway actors, and ME…LOL

In the future, do you see yourself still on stage or would you like to make a jump into film and tv?

I can see myself producing theater, TV and film before I would make the jump to being in front of the camera. I have enjoyed the tv and film worked I’ve done in the passed but I am having a great time in theater. I love it. To be honest I just want to continue to follow my passions.

Tell us about your fashion line. What got you started in design?

I’ve always loved fashion and styling. I pride myself of having my own sense of style and knowing what I look best in as well as having an eye for what looks good on other people. With that said, it was Associate Director/Choreographer Tara Young who got me started in design. Tara taught me how to knit 5 years while in tech for “The Little Mermaid” and my growing love for knitting led me into designing my own knit patterns which made an easy transition to sewing. My grandmother showed me how to use a sewing machine and I was off and running.

I love the pieces on your website, the dresses are absolutely gorgeous. What can we expect from you and your fashion work in 2012?

You can expect to see a few of my designs on the red carpet of the “Ghost” Opening Night. Three of the actresses from “Ghost” will be wearing couture gowns designed especially for them from my James George III label. You can also expect to see Most of the Men of “Ghost” wearing tailor made suits from my Alfa line of custom made clothing. www.worldofalfa.com. I am focusing this year on really growing my Alfa line, which is a web based company geared towards allowing the consumer to have a hand in creating their own clothing that is tailored to fit their measurments. I started this company with my dad James Brown Jr., actor Boris Kodjoe (Resident Evil, Soul Food, The Surrogates) and his Brother Patrick Kodjoe. We also plan on creating a site where a portion of the proceeds go to Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids. Check it out!!!

Do you see your love of fashion and theater merging at some point? Maybe you’ll be a future costume designer?

I could easily see the two worlds merging. Costume design is absolutely in my future, I just don’t know when.

What would be your ultimate dream role?

I have a few ultimate dream roles, I know you asked for one but I’m not following the rules. I am dying to play Tom Collins in “Rent”, Papa Ge in “Once on this Island”, and Bobby in “Company”. Also Tiger Woods in a Tiger Woods Biopic.

Tell us a fun fact not many people know about you…

I am a really good gift giver, my mutant power is surprises and surprise parties. I’m still obsessed with cartoons…Thundercats, Phineas & Ferb, Winks Club, Dragon Ball Z, X-Men, Ben 10. My favorite bands are Country Bands, Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum. I LOVE TV, DVR was the greatest invention ever (Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, Revenge, Game of Thrones, Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Spartacus, Tosh.o, American Dad, Family Guy, South Park, Futurama, Chelsea Lately, True Blood, Homeland, and various reality competition shows) List goes on and on.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

From my dad “Dress the part”. If you wanna be successful, look successful. From my mom “Follow your first instinct”, it’s usually right. And of course LISTEN

Favorite twitters you follow?

@brubendall @ghostbroadway @elliesaabworld @itgetsbetter @andyroddick @danieltosh @themine @chelseahandler and of course @bwaynews

Big thanks to James for taking the time to chat. Be sure to check out Ghost at The Lunt-Fontanne, starting previews March 15th with an opening night set for April 23rd. Follow James on twitter @jamesgeorgeiii and check out jamesgeorgeiii.com

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Matt & Karen

March 8, 2012

Not gonna lie – cute pictures, cute couple. Karen Olivo visits her husband Matt Caplan at Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.

Photos by: Bruce Glikas for Broadway.com

I’ve had @bwaynews for about a year and a half now, thanks in large part to all of my fabulous twitter followers. When I started, I didn’t want to have that plain little Twitter egg so I did something really quick on Photoshop, put it up and forgot about it. I think it’s about time for a change!

I asked if any of my lovely followers were graphic-savvy and got a few volunteers. I didn’t really have many guidelines and I have to say, I love all three designs I was presented with! I hate making decisions so I need you all to vote on your favorite design and that person’s work will be my new Twitter/blog logo! All three designs are thumbnails so click to see the detail then cast your vote.

Design One

Design Two

Design Three

 

Voting closed! Winner announced on @bwaynews March 2nd.

Giveaway!

February 10, 2012

Time for another giveaway! I love to collect show flyers and I save a bunch to share with you. I also hang on to extra Playbills after I see shows. I’ve collected so much stuff to give away as prizes and I need to clear some of it out. You’ll get what you see here plus I might throw in some other small goodies I find. This is a simple RT to win contest. The best part? There will be 2 winners!

Each day I’ll post a tweet that you can RT for an entry. It will be posted at different times each day so be on the lookout!

 

Rules:

– You must be following me at @bwaynews.

– You must live in the US/Canada. I simply can’t afford to mail things all over the world. Hopefully at some point that will change.

– One RT per person, per day.

– Contest begins today, 2/10 and will end 2/15 at 6pm.

 

Good luck!

 

 


For this interview I had the privilege of chatting with Ben from Jujamcyn Theaters and Givenik! He’s going to tell us more about what Givenik does and how buying theater tickets can be a winning situation for everyone.

What is your role within Givenik and how long have you been with them?

My name is Ben Cohen and I am a Marketing Associate at Jujamcyn Theaters. I work mainly on Givenik.com, which is the only place on the web where you can get Broadway tickets and 5% goes to your favorite charity! I started full-time in June 2011 and focus a lot on the digital marketing world.

 So tell us, how did the idea for Givenik come about?

Givenik.com was started in 2007 by Jordan Roth. He is an incredible visionary for Broadway and has always supported many charitable organizations. He realized that these two passions don’t intersect in a way that they should. From there, Givenik.com was born and we have become a year-round fundraising mechanism for some incredible organizations.

For those unaware of how Givenik works, can you explain why it’s beneficial for people to buy their theater tickets with you?

Of course. Givenik.com is redefining theatergoing, one ticket at a time. The revolutionary service offers discount, full-price & premium tickets to dozens of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, as well as group rates to all shows, and donates 5% of the ticket price to the charity of the ticket-buyer’s choice. Give money, save money, see a show-it’s a win-win-win situation.

What are some of the top charities that people choose?

This is definitely a hard questions to answer. We have national groups to local chapters, and from arts organizations to educational institutions on Givenik.com, including The Trevor Project, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, City Harvest, Broadway Green Alliance, Dress for Success Worldwide, God’s Love We Deliver, The Actors Fund, Stand Up to Cancer, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The It Gets Better Project, New York Theatre Workshop, local chapters of Susan G. Komen For the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation, the Museum for African Art and the American Foundation for Equal Rights. And of course, if your charity isn’t signed up, just visit the site and select the “add my charity” tab. It takes only a few minutes and is absolutely free.

How do you pick your Givenik ambassadors?

We’ve been blessed to have so many incredible Givenik Ambassadors, who are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to record a video discussing their favorite charity and answer questions from fans. We’ve been privileged enough to interview Sigourney Weaver, Aaron Carter, Reeve Carney, Joel Grey and many more who all have a unique connection to various non-profits. There are some people who immediately pop into your head, like Rory O’Malley from The Book of Mormon, who co-founded Broadway Impact and other times we help start that relationship.

What are some of your favorite events to be a part of throughout the year?

We love doing red carpet arrivals at Broadway openings because we get to ask questions that no one else is asking. For example, at the 2011 Tony Awards we were able to chat with Edie Falco and James Earl Jones about their favorite charity. We’ve recently begun hosting charity nights at various Broadway shows, which are honestly the most exciting events for us. Our first was with Chicago, where fans who bought a ticket on Givenik for that specific performance could attend a post-show reception with Kara DioGuardi. On Tuesday, February 21st we have our next charity night at The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess supporting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. It’s great to see an entire company support an organization.

I remember when you started up and shows were jumping on board. Now Givenik has become a huge force in the theater world. Have you ever considered conquering other areas like sports or concert ticketing?

Ha! When Givenik.com first launched, we dedicated a lot of time securing partner shows. All of our tickets are processed directly through Telecharge and Ticketmaster, so each show has to come to an agreement on the price, locations, dates etc. It’s an advantage for the consumer because we aren’t a broker, the 5% donation comes directly from the ticket price, and they can enjoy the user-friendly experience of these authorized ticketing websites. Fast forward to 2012, it’s great to see the biggest hits like Wicked and Jersey Boys join our long-running shows and off-Broadway hits. We’ve really been embraced by the theatrical community. The natural next step is to dive in to sporting events and concerts (last year was the first year we sold any MSG events, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Peter Pan), and it is definitely a 2012 goal. We love what we do and hope to spread our wings as wide as we can.

How can we be more involved with Givenik? Do you take on interns?

YES! Jujamcyn Theaters and Givenik.com has an incredible internship program, which led to me getting my first big break. Visit Jujamcyn.com to learn more and you can even watch videos from past interns discuss their experience. The Marketing/Givenik.com department is always looking for great interns who love theater and have a knack for the non-profit world.

Thank you so much for your time Ben! Be sure to check out givenik.com the next time you’re looking for your theater tickets. I really support this organization, it truly is a win-win situation for everyone involved. See great theater while supporting a great charity!

You may have noticed on my Twitter that I have so much love for the @bwaybites guys. How could I not? Gorgeous Broadway boys that blog about food? Sold. I had sent them a ton of questions and they have been kind enough to work with me to do these interviews. Stay tuned for more of their responses in the future and be sure to look into some of their culinary recommendations!

What’s your background in regards to food and family?

Adam: My parents were busy but health conscious, so family meals were usually quick and convenient but nutritional…which let’s face it, isn’t usually a winning combo.  But it inspired my brothers and I to fantasize about a life where we could eat like kings, so we would come home from school and plop down on the couch and watch food shows, cooking shows when it wasn’t yet cool to watch food television.  I need to throw my Mom a bone here; when she had the time, she would turn out a killer recipe.   Holidays were and are very tasty and boozy evenings.  Birthday’s she would cook our favorite dish.  To this day she says, ‘I love to cook, when I’ve got the time to be creative.’  I hear you, Mom.

Andy:  I grew up in a Cuban Household and it was seven of us.  My grandfather who was from Spain did all the cooking.  It was mandatory that we all sat at the table for dinner which were full course meals.  It’s one of the things that I miss most from my childhood.  I never knew how special and fortunate I was until recently.  If I could go back in time it would be to one of those evenings.

Matt:   I have brothers and sisters, but they are all much older than me, so I grew up like an only-child.  My family is Southern and stereotypically not health conscious.  Snacking was a horrible habit, but I developed an insatiable appetite.  The meals, however unhealthy, were well balanced and delicious.  My personal favorites include my mother’s tomato Alfredo pasta with Italian sausage, her cauliflower mash, her pork chops topped with a blue cheese gravy, and her blue cheese meatloaf.  Can you tell I we both like blue cheese?

We’re lucky enough to live in NYC where you can find pretty much any kind of food you could want.  So, where would you go for… your favorite meal?

Adam:  Belgian Mussels and Frites at Markt in Chelsea (not to be confused with Chelsea Market)

Andy:  My favorite meal would have to be the Pollo Mirador at Cafe Habana.  It’s a creamy garlic chicken that comes with yellow rice and red beans.  Of course I would get the Mexican Corn to start off.  It’s not the fanciest of foods in NYC, but there’s something about the dish and the ambiance that reminds me of home.  It’s soul satisfying.

Matt:   The chicken and lamb combo from The Halal Guys 53rd and 6th Food Truck.  I’ve been lucky enough to share this with the boys of Broadway Bites.  I’m sure we’ll go again and share the magic with all of y’all.

What’s… a meal that reminds you of home?

Adam:  Bagged salad.  Sorry Mom.  (Can’t get that anywhere but a grocery store.)

Andy:  For something that would take me even further home I would go to Cubana Social in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and have the Picadillo with white rice and black beans, oh and sweet plantains of course! That would be my last meal before I died!

Matt:   Amy Ruth’s in Harlem for the Mac ‘n Cheese.  It is by far and away the most similar version to my Mama’s.  So, whenever I’m craving it but I’m not cooking for a large amount of people (It can only be made in bulk.), I go there.  And no, I’m still not giving away that recipe.

…your favorite after-show bite?

Adam: Pizza, preferably homemade.

Andy:  Back in the Rent Broadway days at the Nederlander I always craved a cheeseburger, and not much has changed. My current favorite is the burger at Corner Bistro. I salivate as I think of it.

Matt:   Please accept my apologies for doubling up, but I’m gonna have to go with Halal for the win again!  I have also been known to frequent 5 Napkin Burger after many a show to satisfy my burger craving which is probably my favorite food on earth.  I think I’m craving one right now!

…your favorite snack?

Adam: The Trail Mix from Westerly Market.  Hmm…I’m beginning to notice a grocery store theme here.

Andy:  Definitely the Country Pate on Toast from Blue Ribbon Bakery around the corner from my house in the West Village. They place two beautiful slices of pate on toast with dijon mustard, sea salt, drizzled olive oil, and diced cornichons. It’s heaven.

Matt:   This might sound a bit strange, but my favorite snack is coffee.  Addict alert!  Check out the latest Coffee Talk to find out where I go for the very best in the city.

You all seem to be pretty adventurous in your dining experiences; what’s the most unique thing you’ve ever tasted?

Adam: I’m afraid of answering this question for fear of sounding forever lame. I’d have to say fried chicken gizzards from this awesome, unexpectedly authentic Japanese pub in midtown called Sake Bar Hagi on 49th St. between 6th and 7th Ave.

Andy:  Turtle Soup.  Yes, you heard correctly, Turtle Soup. I had it in Hong Kong when I was touring with the Asian Tour of RENT. It was gelatinous, black, and awful. The next day I had Snake Soup which actually wasn’t that bad. Reptiles in food however are not my thing. Oh, I also had donkey that same week. We were told what it was after we had been eating it for a while. That’s a whole other story….

Matt:   When it comes to reptiles: alligator; sushi: Uni (sea urchin); and I can safely say I’ve tasted pretty much every unique thing that Korean BBQ has to offer.  Tripe anyone?

Be sure to follow them on twitter @bwaybites (@ChandelierBeret @shishigabor @andysenorjr) and check out bwaybites.com!

CARRIE IS BACK! The show hasn’t been seen on Broadway since it’s 1988 production but MCC Theater is thrilled to present a newly re-worked and re-imagined production. The stellar cast includes Marin Mazzie, Molly Ranson, Christy Altomare and more. CARRIE is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated shows starting up in 2012! Performances begin January 31st at the Lucille Lortel Theatre and MCC Theater has joined forces with @bwaynews to give away 2 tickets to the show!

Rules:

To enter, RT my daily tweet that says “Enter to win 2 tickets to MCC’s CARRIE musical! Follow and RT for your chance to win. Rules and info at bwaynews.com”

1. You must be following me @bwaynews. Give @mcctheater a follow as well for running this great contest.

2. Only one RT per person, per day. Yes, I will keep track.

3. Contest begins Monday, January 30th and will end Wednesday February 1st at 6pm eastern.

Good luck!

The fine print:

Open to any U.S. resident except employees of MCC Theater and affiliated organizations. No purchase required. Winner must be 18 years of age or older. Prize is as described above; no cash alternatives will be given. Prize may not be sold, traded, transferred or refunded. If for any reason winners are unable to use the prize, MCC Theater is not responsible for providing any replacement prize. No make goods will be given in the event of a canceled or rescheduled event. Transportation is NOT included.

@bwaynews is proud to present the latest in our interview series – Raymond J. Lee! Ray has appeared in Mamma Mia on Broadway as well as tons of off-Broadway and regional work. Catch Ray currently starring as John in Roundabout Theatre Company’s Anything Goes!

Who or what inspired you to be an actor and dancer?

I think the first inspiration I had was to be a singer when I was a kid.  I remember listening to Mariah Carey’s “Music Box” back in the day and trying to sing like her.  She was a huge inspiration for me growing up and so was that album.  It’ll always hold a special place in my heart.  And as I kept on singing during middle school and high school, I was introduced to acting and theater and immediately fell in love.  I have been pursuing that love ever since.

What’s it like working with such masters in acting like Sutton and Joel?

I still pinch myself that I get to perform on the same stage as Sutton Foster and Joel Grey.  To me, they are both huge living theater legends, and I’m just in constant awe of them and their talents.  Plus they couldn’t be any more down-to-earth and wonderful human beings! I mean Sutton gets us bagels every Saturday since we opened and “Bagel Saturdays” have become a regular thing.  And Joel will come and hang out with all of us in our dressing rooms, checking in to make sure our days are going well.   It has really inspired me to be humble and professional in my everyday life.

I’ve noticed on your twitter that the AG cast seems like a big family. Tell us about Runway Sundays and what else you all do for fun backstage.

The AG cast is one ridiculously silly, warm-hearted family.  We really do have a great time with each other and really look forward to coming to work.  I actually tell people who come to the show that the show backstage is even zanier than the one onstage.  We constantly joke with each other and entertain one another.  Runway Sundays started back in the day and we’ve had several ridiculous themes.  And let me tell you, our cast doesn’t look like it, but we all LOVE to eat!

What are some of your favorite moments in Anything Goes?

I think one of the most memorable moments we’ve shared as a cast was The Tony Awards.  As a kid, I had always dreamed of going to one, and this past year I actually got to perform on them.  And it was so magical to be backstage when they announced that we had won BEST REVIVAL and when Sutton won for BEST LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL.  We screamed and jumped for joy, all while backstage and staring at one TV.  The energy that night was palpable.

Are there any specific moments from the past year that really stick with you?

There are so many specific moments.  Opening night was really special because it was my first time opening a show on Broadway.  We also had former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton at the show, which was really cool! And of course, when I found out that Hugh Jackman was at our show, I nearly freaked out. 

People might remember you from the tv competition for FAME. What was that experience like for you?

FAME was one huge learning curve for me. I hadn’t really performed professionally outside of Northwestern University so to be suddenly thrust out onto the TV spotlight was frightening.  The pace at which we had to learn material was so fast and I had to make sure I was constantly on my game. But I learned so much from that experience and met a lot of amazing friends.  We all still keep in touch from the show and call each other “Fame-ily.”  It has been really cool to see what everyone has done post-Fame.  For example, Shannon Bex went on to perform in Danity Kane, Allyson Arena is now a member of Mamma Mia! On Broadway, Lauren Hildebrandt and Alex Boyd are both kicking butt as recording artists.   It’s great to get updates from each other and we make sure to keep in touch.

You’ve done tv ads, film, Mamma Mia on Broadway, plus tons of off-Broadway and regional work. What else do you hope to tackle?

I would like to do a lot more in all three areas: TV, Film, and Theater.  I would like to be a series regular on a television show someday and also hope to land a principal role on Broadway where I get to sing and do my thing.  It has been such a blessing playing the role of “John” in Anything Goes, but I’m excited to show New York what I can really do!

What do you think makes you stand out as an actor? Do you have any special skills listed on your resume?

Let’s see.  My current special skills include playing the violin (Suzuki Method Books 1-8), jumping rope, and imitating Mickey Mouse!  I think being an Asian American actor who sings pop music really makes me stand out as an individual and I’m excited to see what future projects I get to work on.

Tell us something not many people know about you.

I’m an army brat!  I went to six elementary schools, 4 middle schools, and one high school.

What’s your ultimate dream role?

Wow I have so many! To name a few: Leo Bloom in The Producers, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Mark in Rent, and Elphaba in Wicked

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Stay humble and be considerate of others.

Favorite song to sing in the shower?

I am an absolutely Disney freak! My favorite shower songs include Part of Your World, A Change In Me, On My Own, and anything from Disney’s ALADDIN.

What current show have you been recommending to friends?

I was recommending Bonnie & Clyde to all my friends before it closed. I thought Laura Osnes was amazing.  The current show I’ve been recommending to friends is The Book of Mormon.  I have never laughed that hard in the theater!

Favorite twitters you follow? (theater and non-theater related)

 Well BwayNews…DUH! =)

Big thank you to Ray for taking the time to do the interview! Be sure to check him out in Anything Goes and follow him on Twitter @raymondjlee!

2011 was a phenomenal year for Nick Adams. Priscilla took off and made Broadway fabulous, performing at the Tonys, tons of promotional tv appearances. Nick talks with @bwaynews about what’s in store for 2012 and his past year at the Palace.

Priscilla has had a pretty spectacular run so far. What are some of your favorite moments and experiences?

It’s been the most exciting process of my life. Originating a starring role on Broadway, appearing in Vanity Fair, performing on The View, The Today Show, The Rosie Show, The Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Tony Awards, recording our original cast album, riding in the Pride Parade, making the first PSA for “It Gets Better”, singing at and raising $20,000 for AIDS WALK New York, seeing my face on a billboard in Times Square, winning two Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards, receiving an Astaire Award nomination, being honored by the American Theatre Hall of Fame, and having the opportunity to work with my dear friends Will Swenson and Tony Sheldon every night.

Priscilla is such a fantastic, over the top show especially when it comes to costumes. What’s your favorite costume? Which is the hardest to perform in?

I love them all! It’s hard to pick just one, but I love the Broken Hill costume. It’s so iconic from the film and I remember putting it on in one of my first fittings and really feeling like Felicia. The hardest to perform in is probably the Gumby.

The bus itself is a major character in the show. I’m sure there’s tons of little trinkets on there that the audience doesn’t get to see. What’s some of your favorite pieces on the bus?

There is so much detail inside that bus. I love all of Adam’s Bettie Page comics on the bus & a little book of men in swim suits!

There’s always a bunch of celebs coming through the Palace, any of them get you star struck?

Yes. Hugh Jackman. Patti LaBelle. Shirley Maclaine. The list goes on…

You have definitely paid your dues and earned your success in Priscilla. What have you learned from your previous experiences in Chicago, Guys & Dolls and La Cage that you have applied to your work ethic now?

Every show has been such a unique experience for me. They all have challenged me in different ways and helped me grow as an actor and performer. Each one required something specific of me and collectively taught me something new.

Thinking ahead, what would you love to see on the horizon? Another Broadway show or a jump to more tv and film work?

I’d love to do more tv and film work.  

I’m sure Hollywood will love you but is the stage always something you’ll come back to?

I feel most at home on stage and I love what I do. I don’t think I could ever leave live theatre forever.

You recently filmed a guest role on NBC’s Smash. What else can we expect from you in 2012?

Yes. I had a wonderful time on Smash. I’m excited to see the episode. I think it’s going to be an incredible new series. Ill be sticking with Priscilla for a while, I just recorded with Dee Snider for his new album, and there is a potential project on the horizon that would take me out of NY for a while…

You have such a strong twitter presence. Do you think staying involved and interacting with your fans helps contribute to your success?

Absolutely. I think social media is an incredible way to engage fans, promote the show, increase exposure and stay connected. It’s an easy way to personally thank the fans of the show and let them know what I’m up to.

Tons of your fans have expressed desire for an album from you. Is that something you see yourself taking on at some point?

I would love the opportunity.

What’s your ultimate dream role?

I’m playing it! I always wanted to originate a role in a new show. Now my next dream role is something on screen.

Tell us something not many people know about you…

I had a pet Piranha named Mark when I was a kid.

Lastly, I asked my twitter followers to submit some questions for you and I picked 3 of them for you to answer:

@clerkin001 asked: Nick Adams is one of the most real and grounded performers. How does he manage to balance success with sincerity?

Thank you! I have been dedicated to my art since I was a child. I’ve never taken anything in my career for granted. I think if you meet each success with gratitude you will stay grounded and sincere. My situation has changed, but my mindset and heart haven’t.

@ryanghisetti wants to know what was the hardest challenge preparing for Priscilla?

Not allowing myself to be intimidated by the magnitude of the opportunity. I had to focus on the work of telling a story and enjoying myself.

 @broadwaygirl99 asked: Nick is always so busy with the show. What does he do to relax in any free time that he has?

 Not do crunches. Eat. Sleep. Play with my dog. See my family. Did I mention eat?

 

Catch Nick Adams starring as Felicia in Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre. Follow him on twitter at @thenickadams

Presenting… NBC’s Smash!

January 16, 2012

Finally there’s something on TV that gets me a weekly theater fix. And that would be NBC’s SMASH.

The buzz around this show has been steadily growing since its first whisperings and to garner fans early in the season, the pilot episode was released on iTunes and Amazon for a free download today. After just one episode, people are already declaring allegiance to either #teamIvy or #teamKaren. [I’m #teamIvy in case you wanted to know. Sorry Katharine McPhee, I don’t know what it is about you, but you really annoy me.]

I admit I liked Glee when it first started but after about 5 episodes, I was beyond over it – I feel like it’s so juvenile. I was so disappointed when the HBO pilot The Miraculous Year with a stellar cast was somehow passed over. HBO’s “reason” for not picking it up? There isn’t a big enough audience that would watch the show every week. SMASH just might be the show to change that opinion.

The premise is simple. There’s a new musical in the works and these two lovely young ladies both want the lead. You don’t need to love theater or even understand the inner-workings to follow that plot. But the thing I love about SMASH is that it knows it’s core audience. And that’s us. Those of us that understood the little jokes. Those of us who know who Michael Riedel is. Thanks for putting in those little bits that make theater dorks like me smile.

The thing that Smash has in its favor is familiar all-star faces mixed in with some of our favorite Broadway stars. Who doesn’t love Debra Messing? How could you not love Jack Davenport with that dreamy accent? [Commodore Norrington, oh how I adored thee] I’m sure the younger crowd will know Katharine McPhee [okay NBC, seriously, we don’t need to be “introduced” to her, everyone knows who she is.] And Anjelica Huston? No words. Mix that star power in with brilliant stage actors and actresses like Megan Hilty, Christian Borle, Brian d’Arcy James, Savannah Wise, the list goes on… the entire cast is phenomenal. [Expect cameos and recurring roles from Nick Adams, Norbert Leo Butz, Will Chase, Wesley Taylor…]

To be perfectly honest, the only thing I’m slightly on the fence about would be the music [yes I know there’s only been one episode]. They have to keep it fresh every week and not over-do it. That baseball number, not my cup of tea. Reminded me of Catch Me If You Can and how that “Pinstripes” song was one of my least favorite numbers in that show. However, that last duet with Megan and Katharine – love. That melody will definitely be in my head for the next few days.

I had pretty high expectations for this show based on all the chatter and the previews. This pilot definitely met those expectations and I cannot wait until there’s more episodes. The writing is brilliant and it’s obvious they are taking care to make it realistic. The staging is fantastic for the musical numbers. …And I’m begging you SMASH, don’t go the Glee route and go merch crazy. No need to make t-shirts, release a new cd of “Music from…” every other month – it’s not cute. Don’t ruin this for us NBC, you’ve got something amazing on your plate.

SMASH will officially premiere on NBC on February 6th, 10pm eastern. Download the pilot episode for free via iTunes or Amazon.com.