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The Joe D Show: Daily News Theater Podcast

Updated 25 days ago

Arts
Society & Culture
Performing Arts
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Join Joe Dziemianowicz, the New York Daily News theater critic as he talks theater, interviews with the stars and the latest news from Broadway, off Broadway and off off Broadway.

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Join Joe Dziemianowicz, the New York Daily News theater critic as he talks theater, interviews with the stars and the latest news from Broadway, off Broadway and off off Broadway.

Cover image of The Joe D Show: Daily News Theater Podcast

The Joe D Show: Daily News Theater Podcast

Latest release on May 13, 2016

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Join Joe Dziemianowicz, the New York Daily News theater critic as he talks theater, interviews with the stars and the latest news from Broadway, off Broadway and off off Broadway.

Rank #1: Darron Cardosa a.k.a. 'The Bitchy Waiter' : The Joe D Show Episode 40

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Darron Cardosa a.k.a. 'The Bitchy Waiter' sits with Joe Dziemianowicz to talk about his blog and new book 'The Bitchy Waiter' based on his life as a waiter in New York City. 

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Follow Darron here: @bitchywaiter

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Mar 18 2016

33mins

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Rank #2: Adrienne Warren : The Joe D Show Episode 39

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Jazz Age star Florence Mills has been called “the Beyonce of that time.” Gertrude Saunders, her peer, was Bessie Smith’s husband’s mistress, which led to a public brawl.

Actress Adrienne Warren plays both stars in “Shuffle Along, Or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed,” which begins previews on Tuesday at the Music Box. The show re-creates that pioneering all-black Jazz Age revue. It also goes backstage to imagine what went on behind the scenes among the creators and cast.

Warren, previously on Broadway in “Bring It On,” talks about creating Saunders and Mills, a process that begins, she says, “with posture.” And listen in to hear Saunders warble the period tune, “I’m Craving for That Kind of Love.”

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Mar 11 2016

14mins

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Rank #3: Kerry Butler and Rachel York : The Joe D Show Episode 38

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Kerry Butler (“Hairspray”) and Rachel York (“City of Angels”) share a dressing room and the stage at the Nederlander Theatre, where the musical comedy “Disaster!” is now in previews and opens March 8.

The costars talk Broadway, disco, (the spoof’s jukebox score features ‘70s hits like “Hot Stuff” and “I Will Survive”), Playbill cruising and whether they land a plane like Karen Black in “Airplane II.”

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Mar 04 2016

15mins

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Rank #4: Tom Kirdahy and Devlin Elliott : The Joe D Show Episode 37

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White Rabbit Red Rabbit” is its own Off-Broadway species. For this solo play by Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour, there’s no rehearsal, director or set. The performer gets the script as he or she steps on stage. Scary? You bet. Irresistible? Yes.

Ask producers Tom Kirdahy and Devlin Elliott, of Maberry Theatricals, who tell how they discovered the show and were determined to bring it to New York. The show runs on Monday night at the Westside Theatre. Up first, Nathan Lane on March 7. He’ll be followed by Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Wilson and Brian Dennehy are on-board.

Waiting in the wings for a shot are George Takei and Donna Murphy. How often would those two go up for the same part? At a moment of #OscarsSoWhite, along comes this age-, gender-, race-defying production. Hello, #RabbitSoDiverse.

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Feb 26 2016

20mins

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Rank #5: Colman Domingo : The Joe D Show Episode 36

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New York actor and author Colman Domingo has a lot on this plate. His new play “Dot,” about family grappling with Alzheimer’s, is at the Vineyard. He’s filming his juicy role in the zombie-infested “Fear the Walking Dead” in Mexico. And he’s still marveling about “The Birth of a Nation,” a new film about slavery that led to a $17.5 million bidding war at Sundance.

“I was the first person to be cast.” He adds, “It’s all been so cool and such a gift.”  

Listen in to hear about all of the projects.

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Feb 12 2016

22mins

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Rank #6: Rebecca Fenton : The Joe D Show Episode 35

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Dominic West’s plummy voice is its own theatrical special effect.

You don’t have to trek to London to get a taste of West and Janet McTeer acting up as manipulative former lovers in “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.”

You can hear them in character as Vicomte de Valmont and Marquise de Merteuil, along with the rest of the Donmar Warehouse cast, in an audibook drawn from the epistolary novel the play is based on.

Rebecca Fenton, program editor for the U.K.-based Auible Originals, discusses its “Dangerous Liaisons” release and other theater-related projects.

Listen in to hear West and McTeer — you can hear it in its entirety at at audible.co.uk/Donmar.

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Feb 05 2016

12mins

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Rank #7: Michael Feinstein and Stephanie J. Block : The Joe D Show Episode 33

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It’s  beginning to look — and sound — a lot like Christmas.

Michael Feinstein’s show of seasonal classics and evergreen standards runs Sunday to Dec. 30 Feinstein’s/54 Below.

Stephanie J. Block joins Brian d’Arcy James and Essential Voices USA for a program of holiday favorites with Steven Reineke and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 18 and 19.

Feinstein and Block discuss their shows and share resolutions for 2016.

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Dec 18 2015

23mins

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Rank #8: Melissa Errico and Adam Gopnik : The Joe D Show Episode 31

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Don’t speak!

When actress Melissa Errico broke a small blood vessel in her throat in 2013 that became her reality — for 106 days.

“I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t whisper,” she says. “In an instant I was swept to a place where I couldn’t communicate.”

But Errico (“My Fair Lady,” “Amore”) could take inventory — of herself and her family history.

She and New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik turned the experience into “Sing the Silence,” Errico’s solo show running Nov. 18 and 19 at Joe's Pub.

The show includes original music and pop songs, like Joni Mitchell’s “People’s Parties.” Errico performs it a capella for the podcast.

Listen in to hear Errico and Gopnik to talk about their collaboration on this show and the new musical “Table” and for songs from Errico’s “What About Today? Live at 54 Below CD.”

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Nov 14 2015

34mins

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Rank #9: John Benjamin Hickey and Bruce Jordan : The Joe D Show Episode 30

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“The Joe D Show” welcomes actor John Benjamin Hickey, who’s in “Dada Papa Woof Hot,” and Bruce Jordan, director of“ Shear Madness.”

Peter Parnell’s “Woof” concerns the joys and jolts of having children, says Hickey, and “the existential ache ... of letting go of yourself before you were a parent.”

Paul Portner's “Shear Madness,” making its Off-Broadway debut 37 years after its premiere in upstate New York, is an interactive spoof murder mystery comedy.

“Ages ago,” says Jordan, “when we opened in Boston it was described as a giant sparkling game of Clue with Vidal Sassoon sitting in for Colonel Mustard.”

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Nov 06 2015

25mins

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Rank #10: Mark Strong : The Joe D Show Episode 29

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British star Mark Strong plays Brooklyn longshoreman Eddie Carbone in Ivo van Hove’s Olivier Award-winning production of “A View from the Bridge,” now in previews at the Lyceum Theatre.

Arthur Miller’s 1955 family tragedy marks the Broadway debut for Strong and van Hove, a Belgian director known for bold, stripped-back, emotionally charged takes on classics.

“Ivo is like a swan,” says Strong. “He’s very serene above the surface but under the flippers are going. He does an enormous amount of preparation.”

Strong discusses his career, being in New York and why he thinks Daniel Craig — a longtime friend and godfather of one of Strong’s sons — will make a great Iago next year Off-Broadway in “Othello.”

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Oct 23 2015

20mins

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Rank #11: Annaleigh Ashford - The Joe D Show Episode 28

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Four months after winning a Tony for “You Can’t Take It With You,” Annaleigh Ashford is back on Broadway playing the titular pooch in “Sylvia.”

Sylvia’s breed is unspecified in A.R. Gurney’s 1995 play, but Ashford has been inspired by Labradoodles (she wears a fluffy brown sweater in the play) and her own toy Australian Shepherd, Gracie.

If Sylvia were a person, Ashford says, she’d be a “sassy 24-year-old girl living life on the Upper West Side.” Ashford, meantime, divides her time between Brooklyn and Los Angeles, where she works on “Masters of Sex.” “Being bicoastal sounds disgusting,” she says, adding that living that way is a “bizarre luxury.”

Also in this week’s podcast, a new segment, Theater in a Flash.” Listen in for mini reviews of “Barbecue” and “Sisters Follies.”

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Oct 09 2015

21mins

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Rank #12: Ana Villafane : The Joe D Show Episode 27

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Broadway baby Ana Villafane begins her starring role as Gloria Estefan in the biomusical “On Your Feet!” on Oct. 5 at the Marquis Theatre.
 
Villafane, who went to the same high school in Miami as the pop superstar she’s portraying, isn’t going for an impersonation.
 
Still, the young actress acknowledges that there are key components — “Gloriaisms,” as she calls them.
 
To borrow from an Estefan hit song, here are 1-2-3 of them:
* Her voice, and the ways she phrases when she sings and speaks.
* Her moves, including one she talks about that she’s pretty sure help land her this starring role.
* Her chispa, or spark, which speaks for itself.
 
Like the rhythm, the chispa is gonna get you. 

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Oct 02 2015

24mins

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Rank #13: Conrad Ricamora from 'How to Get Away with Murder' and “The King and I' : The Joe D Show Episode 26

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On TV and Broadway, rising-star actor Conrad Ricamora faces rocky romance.

“Pat Benatar had it right, love is a battlefield,” he says. “And that’s why there are so many stories of people wanting to be together but facing obstacles.”

In the Tony-winning revival of “The King and I,” Ricamora plays Lun Tha, a lovestruck scholar who pays dearly for his romance with Tuptim, who’s marrying the monarch.

On “How to Get Away with Murder,” he plays Oliver, a gay computer geek dealing with being HIV-positive and boyfriend troubles.

Juggling roles means he keeps a suitcase packed — and red-eye flights for Ricamora, who broke through in Fatboy Slim and David Byrne’s disco-dappled Off-Broadway musical about Imelda Marcos, “Here Lies Love.”

Ricamora won a 2013 Theatre World Award for his performances as revolutionary Ninoy Aquino.

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Sep 25 2015

16mins

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Rank #14: Camryn Manheim : The Joe D Show Episode 25

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Camryn Manheim, known for her Emmy-winning role on “The Practice” and the solo show she wrote and starred in, “Wake Up, I’m Fat,” joins the podcast to talk about her Broadway debut in “Spring Awakening.”

The Deaf West revival of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s musical features hearing and non-hearing actors. Manheim is fluent in American Sign Language, a skill she’s used in her career — like “Law & Order” — and real-life — like when she helped a stranger in a car wreck.

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

Follow Joe on Twitter and get more from the Daily News on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

TRANSCRIPT FOR EPISODE:

Joe Dziemianowicz: Welcome back to the Joe D show. We’re joined today by Camryn Manheim.

Camryn Manheim: Hi Joe, thank you so much for having me on.

JD: Thanks for letting me share your dressing room! We know Camryn from her Emmy-winning work on “The Practice,” as well as other shows like “Ghost Whisperer.” And now she's making her Broadway debut in Deaf West's revival of Spring Awakening. Talk about the production, Camryn, it comes to Broadway from Los Angeles.

CM: It comes via Los Angeles. It was the “little show that could” in downtown LA about a year ago, brought to life by an amazing group of merry pranksters and incredibly talented people. It's headed up by Michael Arden, who I have been a long admirer of from “Big River” and “Hunchback [of Notre Dame].” He’s amazing. But he had a vision for the show that was so spectacular, and since the lay really is about the miscommunication and repression of what it must've been like to live in Germany in the late 1800s, and how without communication between adults and children, all hell can break loose. He added the elements of having deaf children being completely unable to get information about their own physical awakening and it really adds an amazing level. For anyone who has ever seen the show “Spring Awakening,” on its own, it is one of the most brilliant pieces of musical work and book work, and the direction… I saw it on Broadway years ago when Michael Mayer directed it with Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff, and John Gallagher Jr. who have gone onto huge stardom in part due to this amazing musical. And it’s hard to redo it again only six years after it closed on Broadway, that's really unheard of, to redo it. But I think when Ken Davenport saw this production in downtown LA, with a cast of 20 unknown kids, half of them were deaf, half of them were hearing, they came from all around the world to do the show, he said, “You know, this added layer of having deaf kids be so unaware of what was happening in the world added something.” And it got reinvented. It takes nothing away from the show that everyone saw, which was genius, but it’s another reinvention of this play, and it is spectacular. When I saw it, I was jealous that I wasn’t in it. That's always the mark of when I know, I'm like “Grr, why wasn't I in this!” And when it moved to Broadway and they invited me to come, it has been a privilege and honor to work with this cast, this crew, and come with this magical production that no one has ever seen anything like before.

JD: It also comes with your fluency in American Sign Language. I was talking to one of your castmates, Ali Stroker, who says that she's conversational in ASL, meanwhile you're very fluent. Talk to listeners about how that came about, originally it came about because your own failure at Spanish and German, and French in high school, and it's a great message to anyone who thinks that failing can't lead to something very positive.

CM: Well it actually ties in really well in the play, because in the play, one of the boys fails a class and his whole life changes. My parents are Jewish professors and being an academic was very important. My brother went to Harvard and my sister is a teacher and married a department head at Temple University. So it was very important that I went onto school. Just getting a Master's Degree wasn't even enough, you got to get PHD's in my family. But I couldn't pass a language, so I was having trouble getting into college. So I had to go to a community college to pick up language. I went to Cabrillo Community College. I always joke and say in my family that if you go to a community college, you can't be buried in a Jewish cemetery. Like that is such a big deal, it was so offensive to my parents. But truthfully, Cabrillo was an amazing college, and I took sign language. I took two semesters of sign language so that I could go onto university, study theatre, and never look back. I took those two semesters, I went on my merry way, and never signed again. It was four years before I was walking down the street and saw a man get hit by a car. I went to a nearby house and I said please call an ambulance. I waited for the ambulance to come, and when they came, they tried getting his phone number, tried getting his name. And he was looking at them but not speaking. And I don't know, it just hit me all of a sudden that maybe he was deaf. And I walked over and said to the police officer, "Could he be deaf?" And he's like, "Do you know how to ask that?" Well that's something you kind of don't forget, is "Are you deaf?" when you've taken a couple semesters of sign language. So I leaned down and said, "Are you deaf?" And he said "Yes." They're like "Get his number! Get his name!" And that was beyond me at that point, I couldn't do that. But I tried. I did my best, a little charades, a little Pictionary. And then the police officer said, "Will you come to the hospital with us, we don't know what to do." And he asked me so nicely, and I thought "Oh my god. I've never been asked that nicely to get in the back of a police car, I think I should go!" So I went to the hospital, I waited for his family, and I helped in the little way I could. And when I left Santa Cruz where went to college, came to NYU, and the first day I was on my way to NYU to start grad school, I looked up and four doors down from NYU at Waverly Place and Broadway, it said New York Society for the Deaf. I walked in and I took a class, and three years later, I was fluent, and two years later, I was in an interpreter program. I was an interpreter for many years while I was studying to be an actor. Well not studying, but trying to be an actor, working with Tony Kushner and Michael Mayer, and all these amazing artists who are now my peers and have gone on to great success. I was an interpreter, and I kind of credit it with saving my life because being a young actor in this town is not easy, and it's brutal. And I felt like if I didn't have that to feel like I had some value or worth in this community, I might have left or done something totally different. But because of Sign Language and feeling like I mattered a little bit, like what I could do mattered, I stuck it out. I knew sign language all these years, and I hadn't really used it in 10 or so years except teaching my son's kindergarten class how to sign “True Colors.” But when you're fluent in a language, it doesn't really leave you, even if you don't use it for a long time. 

JD: Right but ASL has followed you through your TV career too. You're talking about Michael Mayer, Greg Lucas plays, and work with the Atlantic Theatre. You had a working career going as you were doing interpretive. You studied at Juilliard, right?

CM: NYU

JD: Oh I thought you took a class at Julliard.

CM: Oh, I did! Oh my gosh, you are so well-versed! I did take a class in Juilliard, "How to Sign for the Theatre". So I kept it up for sure, and it was really a part of my life. And when this came about, it was a perfect storm. It was New York, my favorite city in the world; I have a love affair with this town. It was Broadway, which I have never actually been on, although I worked as a bartender on Broadway for six years. So I worked in this theatre serving alcohol to people for many years, so I'm familiar with this theatre, but I have never actually been on a Broadway stage, so it is such a thrill for me.

JD: Right. But even as Ellenor Frutt on “The Practice,” she had to use sign language at one point, didn't she? Or on “Law & Order.” It seems that either your resume has your special skills and it says ASL, and it's like "Ah, there's an opportunity". I love the fact that, certainly there are others who can do this, but it seemed like it fit like a glove for you, Camryn.

CM: You are so right, and you reminded me that my first television show was “Law & Order,” where they were looking for an actor who could sign. I didn't have an agent at the time, so they went to that New York Society for the Deaf and said, "Do you have any actors who sign?" So without an agent, I got this great little gig on “Law & Order,” and I think also “New York Undercover” needed an actor who could sign. So it really was this shining light in my life and always has been. It has only produced good for me. And to then come back around and do this incredible piece of work. I feel like I can say this play is astonishing because I saw it before I was in it. You know, it feels wrong to go, "The play is fantastic, come and see it!" But I just saw it two months ago in Los Angeles and it was stunning. And when they asked me to do it, it was like a gift to have seen it and know how much you love it and then to step into it and get to do it.

JD: If you haven't seen it, you probably know a little bit about it. It's about angst, coming-of-age, kids coming into their own sexually and all the turmoil and tumult and sometimes joy that goes with that. You and Marlee Matlin, we're sitting in your dressing room that you share with Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, you're the adult women in the show, correct? Now, are you singing in the show? Tell me how your role works, Camryn.

CM: Well, in the original production, Michael Mayer and Steven Sater decided that one actress would play all the adult women and one actor would play all the adult men because we're kind of these stereotypes, like watching Charlie Brown. We're the ones like, "You can't do it. We're not going tell you". Generally, you would have one woman playing a slew of characters, from teachers to mothers to piano instructors. But, they decided because it's really the right thing to do, was to split those characters and have a deaf woman play as many as possible, which Marlee Matlin is doing gorgeously. I lend her my voice, but it's her performance, and she and I have worked very closely together so that I match exactly her intention. And that's what interpreters do, you really have to take yourself out of the equation and match as closely as you can the intention of the speaker. So it isn't my acting choices that you see before you when Marlee is acting, it's her acting choices and me as closely as possible following her choices. And then I play separate characters that are hearing characters, schoolteachers and mothers, and I sign and speak for myself. You know, sometimes I tell my friends about the show and they're like "Well is it accessible to everyone?" And I say, "It is spectacularly accessible to everyone on many levels. It is an overload, it’s a a feast- of sensations because you're getting it visually, audibly, in every way possible. I can't recall ever being as proud of a production as I am of this. And then the throngs of young people who wait for us! When I was doing theatre, just eight years ago, I did Shakespeare in the Park.

JD: “Romeo and Juliet” opposite Lauren Ambrose, she was the nurse to Juliet. And Oscar Isaac, who has zoomed a little bit, just a little it.

CM: He was a little known Julliard actor, Oscar Isaac, and now I can't even get ahold of him. That's not true. I text him and go, "Your work is amazing!" But you know, a couple people would wait, it was no big deal. But now, we really have to add on 45 minutes to the end of our day because it feels only fair that spent a good amount of money and some people are coming back for their 25th, 30th time, it's crazy. And they come back and buy the posters and the merchandise and we all honor them by taking the time to sign it all and making them feel special, because they are to us.

JD: We were saying that the production of “Romeo and Juliet,” Michael Greif directed, that was the one with the pool, which I liked. That was 2007, and I think that you've said that Broadway was always on your wish list. You're sort of an object lesson, if at first you don't quite succeed in a language, pick this one, and also in patience. Does it feel like your Broadway debut is coming at a particular time, that it's right at the right time?

CM: Well it's funny that you should ask. My mother turned 90 two weeks ago. And for her birthday, in the program, I simply dedicated it to her and said "For my Mom ... Finally!" Because it doesn't matter how much awards I've won, Emmys, Golden Globes, Obies. For my mother who grew up in New York, in the Bronx, coming to Broadway was the biggest thrill of her life, that's all she ever wanted. I wish I could just play for you, and maybe I will play for you, just one of her messages. I get one almost every day from her, what a thrill this day for her and how proud she is. To her, it is an institution that she holds in such high regard, and she passed that along to me, and it is a dream come true. I almost can't even ask for more because I've had so much great fortune, so I feel so lucky. And here is my costar and my roommate Marlee Matlin who just walked into the room, she says hello. Honestly, I wrote her a text the other night that says, "You the best thing that ever happened to me in the show." I loved spending every second with her, she is hilarious, smart, and sassy, and I love it. And she just brought me her book, “I'll Scream Later” by Marlee Matlin because I haven't read it and she was mad at me.

JD: Can we play one of your mother's messages? Is that easy to do?

CM: Yes! There are hundreds of them so let's get a good one. She is so hilarious, I mean she's 90.

JD: I was doing a little homework on you and one of the things that I loved was a show about parents and children connecting. The one point of connection I had with my father was cribbage.

CM: Oh my gosh, mine too.

JD: When I hit that spot in your bio, I started going 15 -2; 15 4.

CM: I do that all the time, sometimes when I see just 2 cards that add up to 15, I'm like "Great cribbage hand." It's so weird how it follows me in my life. I'm a big gamer.

JD: Yea I heard that.

CM: We are going to play poker here during the shows. I just was at Kathy Najimy’s. I play to win. Sometimes I don't get invited back to people's houses because I push them out of the way, I so competitive.

JD: It was David E. Kelley that you challenged to a duel.

CM: Because you are a theater geek, I can tell you this story. I did not have an agent when I got out of NYU. So, I wrote my own one woman show “Wake Up, I'm Fat” because nobody was paying attention to me and I wanted to be heard. And it ended up at the public theatre and I didn't have an agent. My girlfriend, Marsha Gay Harden said, "Who's coming to your opening night?" And I go, "I don't know! I don't know how to invite fancy people to my opening night, I don't have those people." And she goes "Well I'm bringing my manager." And her manager came with her, and she brought a casting director. And they saw my show, and after the show, he said, "Hey do you have any tape, there's a show happening that I think you might be right for." And I had the tape from “Law & Order” and “New York Undercover” playing an interpreter lawyer and he gave that to David Kelly and David didn't think I was right for the role. He kept saying "She seems really conservative and I need someone who's sassy and streetwise." The casting director, Randy Stone said "Well I saw her one woman show and she's not conservative. She is sassy and streetwise. You got to trust me on this." So David agreed to meet me. I went to meet him, but he wasn't into me, you could tell. Can you imagine, you fly to LA to meet a writer, and you sit down and he says, "So, I hear you're an actor?" I mean it was terrible, it was the worst. We had a brief conversation, I think it was maybe four minutes long, it was not particularly positive or felt good. I was standing up to leave and I noticed he had a cribbage board, and like I said, I'm a huge gamer, we played bridge, and cribbage, and everything at our house. And I just said, "Oh, do you play cribbage?" It was the first time he showed any signs of life whatsoever in our entire meeting. He kind of sat up and her said, "I do, but I don't think you want to go there with me." And I just said, "Oh David, I feel like we could have this conversation. I could try to impress you, like I'm obviously doing unsuccessfully right now, and I could beat the sh-- out of you at cribbage at the same time." And he went "Oh no no no, I don't think you understand, I play the computer." And I went, "Oh no no no, I don't think you understand, I play for money. So why don't we screw this audition and I will play you right now for the part." It was great, he got all flustered and he said, "I can't play you right now, I don't have time!" And I said, "I don't know how long it takes you to lose a game in cribbage but I can beat you in six minutes!" It was just this great relationship we started. If you read my book, you can find the rest of the story, it's very exciting.

JD: What's your mother's name?

CM: Silvia Manheim, 90 years old, lefty, liberal, teacher, armchair intellectual, fighter. She is amazing, she is a remarkable woman.

JD: Where does she live now?

CM: Long Beach, California. Alright, let me find something here, I got to find a good one, there's so many.

Sylvia Manheim from voice message: Congratulations Camryn, mazel tov. It's a dream of everybody's lifetime. My god Camryn, you did it, you made it! Congratulations, mazel tov. I am so so proud of you. I am so proud of you. Can you believe it? You're there, on Broadway! Camryn Manheim! Camryn Manheim! If your father could see that, he would be so so proud of you. I am so proud of you. Love you, love you, love you. Bye bye, good luck, good luck, good luck. Bye bye.

JD: That's the part of the show where we start to cry.

CM: We were both sobbing! Nothing feels better than being able to give that kind of gift to your mother, who supported me - my parents- through graduate school, paid for all of my tuition. I came out debt free, always believed in the arts, brought me to plays, museums, and dance concerts. Her three children loved the arts, and it's because she loved it so much.

JD: Right. The great irony is the show is about these fractured and fractious relationships between parents and kids who don't hear. Your mother's been hearing all along.

CM: And also having lost her sight over the last 10 years, she hears better now than she ever did.

JD: Well Camryn Manheim, thanks for coming on the Joe D show, I’m looking forward to seeing the show.

CM: Thanks for tearing up with me, Joe!

End music. 

Sep 18 2015

22mins

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Rank #15: Whitney Bashor : The Joe D Show Episode 24

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Up-and-coming actress Whitney Bashor celebrates “songstresses of the 1960s and 1970s” at on Sept. 15 at 9:30 p.m. at 54 Below. Songs by Joni Mitchell anchor a set list that includes Joan Baez, Laura Nyro and Judy Collins.
 
“Joni’s lyrics take you on such a journey that is so specific you feel like you’re right there with her,” says Bashor, whose performance of
“Another Life” on Broadway in “The Bridges of Madison County” put her on the map.
 
“So many people heard Joni Mitchell in ‘Another Life’ and I love her music,” Bashor adds. “I thought it’d be a great idea to explore some of her music with my sound.”
 
Bashor shares a capella snippets of “Help Me” and “Come In from the Cold” by Mitchell, plus “Since You’ve Asked” by Baez.

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Sep 11 2015

22mins

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Rank #16: Blair Underwood : The Joe D Show Episode 19

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If you wanna bump it, bump it with a trumpet.

Blair Underwood does that — in a way — in “Paradise Blue” at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, where he makes his debut on Wednesday.

Underwood, known for “L.A. Law” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” on Broadway, plays an embattled trumpet player in the drama by Dominique Morisseau (“Detroit ’67”). The show runs July 22-Aug. 2. Details at wtfestival.org.

He talks about trumpet lessons, composers Kenny Rampton and Bill Sims Jr. who've written music for the show and running into ex-“Sex and the City” flame Cynthia Nixon, who’s working on another play at the annual fest.

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Kenny Rampton and Bill Sims Jr.

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Jul 17 2015

16mins

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Rank #17: Chilina Kennedy and Judy Kuhn talk solo albums : The Joe D Show Episode 17

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In celebration of Independence Day, the Joe D Show welcomes two Broadway actresses who’ve gone solo ... in their new albums.

Chilina Kennedy, now starring as Carole King in “Beautiful,” discusses inspirations for her folk-inflected collection of songs called “What You Find in a Bottle.”

Judy Kuhn, who plays the mother in “Fun Home,” has just released “Rodgers, Rodgers & Guettel,” a celebration of three generations of Broadway songwriters: Richard Rodgers, his daughter Mary Rodgers and her son Adam Guettel.

Woven through the conversation are selections from each album. Think of them as vocal fireworks for the fourth.

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

The Joe D Show theme by Jerome Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Jul 03 2015

29mins

Play

Rank #18: Patti LuPone, Michael Urie and the cast of 'Shows for Days' - The Joe D Show Episode 16

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Joining “The Joe D Show” this week is the cast of Douglas Carter Beane’s play about his theater roots, “Shows for Days,” opening June 29 at Lincoln Center.

The six-actor ensemble looks back at their early stage experiences and shares tales of first kisses, reformed snobbery and backyard belting.

Up first Michael Urie, then Zoe Winters (11:40), Jordan Dean (23:38), Dale Soules (33:45), Lance Coadie Williams (45:18) and Patti LuPone (51:27).

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

The Joe D Show theme by Jerome Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Jun 26 2015

1hr

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Rank #19: Jonathan Groff and Aaron Lazar - The Joe D Show Episode 15

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Guests for this week’s "The Joe D Show" podcast are Jonathan Groff and Aaron Lazar, stars of “A New Brain” at New York City Center June 24-27.
Groff (“Spring Awakening,” “Looking”) knows the 1998 autobiographical musical by William Finn like the back of his hand. He learned to play piano for it — and you can hear him tickle the keys. Lazar (“The Last Ship”) is discovering the show — and carries the rapturous song, “I’d Rather Be Sailing.” He sings a tiny snippet.
Listen to the The Joe D Show to hear more of this lively, if a little bit F-bomb-laced conversation about “A New Brain,” “Hamilton,” “Looking,” “The Prince of Egypt” joint showers (you need to hear it) and more.

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

The Joe D Show theme by Jerome Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Jun 19 2015

28mins

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Rank #20: Alex Brightman - The Joe D Show Episode 14

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Are you ready to be “hypnoticized”?
 
Alex Brightman is ready to do that in “School of Rock — the Musical,” in which he stars as Dewey Finn, a substitute teacher who turns uptight private-school kids into rockers. The show hits Broadway in November.
California-rasied Brightman, 28, is no stranger to Broadway. His credits include “Big Fish” and “Matilda.” But he calls “School of Rock” bigger than big.
 
The musical features songs from the 2003 Jack Black hit comedy and new ones by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater. Julian Fellowes handles the book, including a good one about Botox.
 
Listen to the The Joe D Show podcast to hear Alex talk about this his breakout role and perform with his castmates new songs “You’re in the Band” and “Stick to the Man,” plus “Teacher’s Pet” from the film.

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

The Joe D Show theme by Jerome Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Jun 12 2015

14mins

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Joan Lader, Cynthia Erivo, Donna Murphy, Patti LuPone : The Joe D Show

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Something to sing about: Broadway vocal coach Joan Lader receives a special Tony honor next month. She discusses how she went from performing and voiceover work (“I did one for toilet paper”) to teaching for the past 34 years. Lader helped Madonna prepare for "Evita" and worked with Hugh Jackman, who had role in the teacher's special Tony prize.  In this podcast, students Cynthia Erivo, a nominee for “The Color Purple,” and two-time Tony winners Donna Murphy and Patti LuPone tell why love and what they’ve learned from Lader.

May 13 2016

39mins

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Martha Plimpton : The Joe D Show Episode 44

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Three-time
Tony nominee Martha Plimpton discusses her role in the Broadway
Acts for Women benefit at Feinstein’s/54 Below on Sunday, “The
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” star Titus Burgess’s wine line (she
loves it), and what’s up with her ABC sitcom “The Real
O’Neals.”

Follow Joe
here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe
Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank
Posillico

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on FacebookYouTube and Tumblr

Apr 29 2016

12mins

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Drew Hodges, Advertising Broadway : The Joe D Show Episode 43

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How did the “Hamilton” poster end up being black and gold? Who came up with the tagline “spread the word” for “The Vagina Monologues” advertising campaign?

Drew Hodges, founder of the ad agency SpotCo and author of the new book “On Broadway: From ‘Rent’ to Revolution,” shares stories from the past two decades.

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Apr 15 2016

27mins

Play

Charles Busch, author and star of the play, 'Cleopatra' : The Joe D Show Episode 42

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The Queen of the Nile is having a major moment.

Ask Charles Busch, author and star of the play, "Cleopatra," now in a sold-out run at Theater for the New City though April 17.

"Cleopatra seems to be reinvented every decade or so" in pop culture, says Busch, who's famous for his stylish and hilarious takes on Hollywood icons and heroines.

Cleopatra is celebrated in a lavish number in Cirque du Soleil's Broadway production, "Paramour," launching April 16 at the Lyric.

The Egyptian empress was name-checked on "Empire" in a story thread involving a new Antony and Cleopatra clothing line.

Need more? Just asp!

A new screenwriter has reportedly been hired for the Angelina Jolie film based on Stacy Schiff's vivid bio "Cleopatra: A Life."

And, finally, the Lumineers' new album is called, what else, "Cleopatra." Following the interview with Busch, listen in to hear the  title song.

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Apr 08 2016

14mins

Play

David Tennant, Frank DiLella, Andy Karl and Orfeh : The Joe D Show Episode 41

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Is there a “Doctor” in the house?

David Tennant, of “Doctor Who” fame, stars in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Richard II,” now at Brooklyn Academy of Music. The royal drama is part of the RSC four-play “King and Country” cycle that includes “Henry IV, Parts I and II” and “Henry V.”

The series runs through May 1. It arrives fresh from London, where Tennant’s stirring performance and long locks turned heads. “Why should’t Richard have long hair? He believes he is divinely ordained to be king,” Tennant says. “He doesn’t conform. He is neither man nor woman — something else, something greater, divine.” Listen in for more from Tennant about “Richard II” and his “Jessica Jones” supervillain Kilgrave.

Also on the podcast: Show Biz After Hours, a theater talk show taped live at Birdland. Host Frank DiLella and his April 3 guests Andy Karl and Orfeh talk about show biz.

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Apr 01 2016

30mins

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Darron Cardosa a.k.a. 'The Bitchy Waiter' : The Joe D Show Episode 40

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Darron Cardosa a.k.a. 'The Bitchy Waiter' sits with Joe Dziemianowicz to talk about his blog and new book 'The Bitchy Waiter' based on his life as a waiter in New York City. 

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Follow Darron here: @bitchywaiter

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Mar 18 2016

33mins

Play

Adrienne Warren : The Joe D Show Episode 39

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Jazz Age star Florence Mills has been called “the Beyonce of that time.” Gertrude Saunders, her peer, was Bessie Smith’s husband’s mistress, which led to a public brawl.

Actress Adrienne Warren plays both stars in “Shuffle Along, Or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed,” which begins previews on Tuesday at the Music Box. The show re-creates that pioneering all-black Jazz Age revue. It also goes backstage to imagine what went on behind the scenes among the creators and cast.

Warren, previously on Broadway in “Bring It On,” talks about creating Saunders and Mills, a process that begins, she says, “with posture.” And listen in to hear Saunders warble the period tune, “I’m Craving for That Kind of Love.”

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Mar 11 2016

14mins

Play

Kerry Butler and Rachel York : The Joe D Show Episode 38

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Kerry Butler (“Hairspray”) and Rachel York (“City of Angels”) share a dressing room and the stage at the Nederlander Theatre, where the musical comedy “Disaster!” is now in previews and opens March 8.

The costars talk Broadway, disco, (the spoof’s jukebox score features ‘70s hits like “Hot Stuff” and “I Will Survive”), Playbill cruising and whether they land a plane like Karen Black in “Airplane II.”

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Mar 04 2016

15mins

Play

Tom Kirdahy and Devlin Elliott : The Joe D Show Episode 37

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White Rabbit Red Rabbit” is its own Off-Broadway species. For this solo play by Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour, there’s no rehearsal, director or set. The performer gets the script as he or she steps on stage. Scary? You bet. Irresistible? Yes.

Ask producers Tom Kirdahy and Devlin Elliott, of Maberry Theatricals, who tell how they discovered the show and were determined to bring it to New York. The show runs on Monday night at the Westside Theatre. Up first, Nathan Lane on March 7. He’ll be followed by Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Wilson and Brian Dennehy are on-board.

Waiting in the wings for a shot are George Takei and Donna Murphy. How often would those two go up for the same part? At a moment of #OscarsSoWhite, along comes this age-, gender-, race-defying production. Hello, #RabbitSoDiverse.

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Feb 26 2016

20mins

Play

Colman Domingo : The Joe D Show Episode 36

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New York actor and author Colman Domingo has a lot on this plate. His new play “Dot,” about family grappling with Alzheimer’s, is at the Vineyard. He’s filming his juicy role in the zombie-infested “Fear the Walking Dead” in Mexico. And he’s still marveling about “The Birth of a Nation,” a new film about slavery that led to a $17.5 million bidding war at Sundance.

“I was the first person to be cast.” He adds, “It’s all been so cool and such a gift.”  

Listen in to hear about all of the projects.

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Feb 12 2016

22mins

Play

Rebecca Fenton : The Joe D Show Episode 35

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Dominic West’s plummy voice is its own theatrical special effect.

You don’t have to trek to London to get a taste of West and Janet McTeer acting up as manipulative former lovers in “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.”

You can hear them in character as Vicomte de Valmont and Marquise de Merteuil, along with the rest of the Donmar Warehouse cast, in an audibook drawn from the epistolary novel the play is based on.

Rebecca Fenton, program editor for the U.K.-based Auible Originals, discusses its “Dangerous Liaisons” release and other theater-related projects.

Listen in to hear West and McTeer — you can hear it in its entirety at at audible.co.uk/Donmar.

Follow Joe here: @TheJoeDShow

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Feb 05 2016

12mins

Play

Stephen Karam : The Joe D Show Episode 34

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Stephen Karam’s family drama “The Humans” was supposed to start previews on Saturday, but got hijacked by winter storm Jonas.

“It’s an understatement to say that it was a bit of a crazy event to have your Broadway debut completely snowed out,” he says.

But the play is now in previews and he’s taking it in stride. Karam, author of “Speech & Debate,” and “Sons of the Prophet,” talks about his inspirations for “The Humans,” which follows a family through ups and downs on Thanksgiving.

Turns out that living in a basement apartment without natural light actually played a part for the show now in previews at the Helen Hayes.

Follow Joe and Stephen here: @TheJoeDShow @stephenkaram

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Jan 29 2016

24mins

Play

Michael Feinstein and Stephanie J. Block : The Joe D Show Episode 33

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It’s  beginning to look — and sound — a lot like Christmas.

Michael Feinstein’s show of seasonal classics and evergreen standards runs Sunday to Dec. 30 Feinstein’s/54 Below.

Stephanie J. Block joins Brian d’Arcy James and Essential Voices USA for a program of holiday favorites with Steven Reineke and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 18 and 19.

Feinstein and Block discuss their shows and share resolutions for 2016.

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Dec 18 2015

23mins

Play

Jonathan and Katy Goodwin & Megan McGinnis and Adam Halpin : The Joe D Show Episode 32

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What’s it like working with your spouse?

For daredevils Jonathan and Katy Goodwin of “The Illusionists: Live on Broadway,” which will be featured in an NBC special on Dec. 9, it’s about shooting sharp pointy arrows in each other’s direction.

For Megan McGinnis and Adam Halpin, married costars of the musical “Daddy Long Legs” running Off-Broadway and live-streaming for free on Dec. 10, it’s about aiming for harmony.

We talk about the perils and pluses of bringing work home and vice versa.

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Megan McGinnis

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Dec 04 2015

28mins

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Melissa Errico and Adam Gopnik : The Joe D Show Episode 31

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Don’t speak!

When actress Melissa Errico broke a small blood vessel in her throat in 2013 that became her reality — for 106 days.

“I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t whisper,” she says. “In an instant I was swept to a place where I couldn’t communicate.”

But Errico (“My Fair Lady,” “Amore”) could take inventory — of herself and her family history.

She and New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik turned the experience into “Sing the Silence,” Errico’s solo show running Nov. 18 and 19 at Joe's Pub.

The show includes original music and pop songs, like Joni Mitchell’s “People’s Parties.” Errico performs it a capella for the podcast.

Listen in to hear Errico and Gopnik to talk about their collaboration on this show and the new musical “Table” and for songs from Errico’s “What About Today? Live at 54 Below CD.”

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Nov 14 2015

34mins

Play

John Benjamin Hickey and Bruce Jordan : The Joe D Show Episode 30

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“The Joe D Show” welcomes actor John Benjamin Hickey, who’s in “Dada Papa Woof Hot,” and Bruce Jordan, director of“ Shear Madness.”

Peter Parnell’s “Woof” concerns the joys and jolts of having children, says Hickey, and “the existential ache ... of letting go of yourself before you were a parent.”

Paul Portner's “Shear Madness,” making its Off-Broadway debut 37 years after its premiere in upstate New York, is an interactive spoof murder mystery comedy.

“Ages ago,” says Jordan, “when we opened in Boston it was described as a giant sparkling game of Clue with Vidal Sassoon sitting in for Colonel Mustard.”

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Nov 06 2015

25mins

Play

Mark Strong : The Joe D Show Episode 29

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British star Mark Strong plays Brooklyn longshoreman Eddie Carbone in Ivo van Hove’s Olivier Award-winning production of “A View from the Bridge,” now in previews at the Lyceum Theatre.

Arthur Miller’s 1955 family tragedy marks the Broadway debut for Strong and van Hove, a Belgian director known for bold, stripped-back, emotionally charged takes on classics.

“Ivo is like a swan,” says Strong. “He’s very serene above the surface but under the flippers are going. He does an enormous amount of preparation.”

Strong discusses his career, being in New York and why he thinks Daniel Craig — a longtime friend and godfather of one of Strong’s sons — will make a great Iago next year Off-Broadway in “Othello.”

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Oct 23 2015

20mins

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Annaleigh Ashford - The Joe D Show Episode 28

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Four months after winning a Tony for “You Can’t Take It With You,” Annaleigh Ashford is back on Broadway playing the titular pooch in “Sylvia.”

Sylvia’s breed is unspecified in A.R. Gurney’s 1995 play, but Ashford has been inspired by Labradoodles (she wears a fluffy brown sweater in the play) and her own toy Australian Shepherd, Gracie.

If Sylvia were a person, Ashford says, she’d be a “sassy 24-year-old girl living life on the Upper West Side.” Ashford, meantime, divides her time between Brooklyn and Los Angeles, where she works on “Masters of Sex.” “Being bicoastal sounds disgusting,” she says, adding that living that way is a “bizarre luxury.”

Also in this week’s podcast, a new segment, Theater in a Flash.” Listen in for mini reviews of “Barbecue” and “Sisters Follies.”

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Oct 09 2015

21mins

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Ana Villafane : The Joe D Show Episode 27

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Broadway baby Ana Villafane begins her starring role as Gloria Estefan in the biomusical “On Your Feet!” on Oct. 5 at the Marquis Theatre.
 
Villafane, who went to the same high school in Miami as the pop superstar she’s portraying, isn’t going for an impersonation.
 
Still, the young actress acknowledges that there are key components — “Gloriaisms,” as she calls them.
 
To borrow from an Estefan hit song, here are 1-2-3 of them:
* Her voice, and the ways she phrases when she sings and speaks.
* Her moves, including one she talks about that she’s pretty sure help land her this starring role.
* Her chispa, or spark, which speaks for itself.
 
Like the rhythm, the chispa is gonna get you. 

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Oct 02 2015

24mins

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Conrad Ricamora from 'How to Get Away with Murder' and “The King and I' : The Joe D Show Episode 26

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On TV and Broadway, rising-star actor Conrad Ricamora faces rocky romance.

“Pat Benatar had it right, love is a battlefield,” he says. “And that’s why there are so many stories of people wanting to be together but facing obstacles.”

In the Tony-winning revival of “The King and I,” Ricamora plays Lun Tha, a lovestruck scholar who pays dearly for his romance with Tuptim, who’s marrying the monarch.

On “How to Get Away with Murder,” he plays Oliver, a gay computer geek dealing with being HIV-positive and boyfriend troubles.

Juggling roles means he keeps a suitcase packed — and red-eye flights for Ricamora, who broke through in Fatboy Slim and David Byrne’s disco-dappled Off-Broadway musical about Imelda Marcos, “Here Lies Love.”

Ricamora won a 2013 Theatre World Award for his performances as revolutionary Ninoy Aquino.

Produced by: Joe Dziemianowicz

Music by: Jerry Korman

Edited by: Frank Posillico

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Sep 25 2015

16mins

Play