Monday, December 7, 2009, 05:34 PM - Posted by AdministratorDear Friends,
In this season of giving and giving thanks, all of us at the Emelin are enormously grateful for the support of our friends, donors, and volunteers. Your donations make it possible for us to program a huge spectrum of music, dance, family events, theater, and film, contributing excitement and perspective as only the arts can. Through your gifts, the world of performance is available right in our own backyard, with world-renowned artists and films.
At this time of giving, as many of us choose to contribute to non-profit organizations before the end of the calendar/tax year, our Emelin end of 2009 campaign is now in full swing.
Won't you please consider making a contribution by December 31? All gifts are extremely helpful to the Emelin and are also very meaningful to institutional funders who appreciate the breadth of our support.
We hope that you will include the Emelin in your 2009 holiday time giving plans.
Your contribution by December 31 will be tax-deductible in 2009 to the extent permitted by law.
Click here to make a donation or send your check payable to the Emelin Theatre, PO Box 736, Mamaroneck, NY 10543.
Thank you in advance for helping us. Best wishes and happy holidays from everyone here at the Emelin Theatre.
Monday, November 16, 2009, 03:52 PM - Posted by AdministratorAdam James will be performing his Sinatra dedication show, Adam James: A Toast to Ol' Blue Eyes, this Saturday night at the Emelin.
Adam's thoughts on Sinatra:
"Frank Sinatra has been very good to me. He was my singing teacher. Listening to his recordings were almost all I needed to become a jazz singer. His phrasing, diction, style and love of a lyric have influenced me greatly as a musician just as he has influenced virtually every singer. Frank Sinatra was the greatest popular singer of the 20th Century. His music continues to define the 21st century and his personal life is legendary and filled with epic stories and myths. In my show "A Toast To Ol' Blue Eyes" at the Emelin on Saturday, I will explore Sinatra's music and life and his influence on my music and life. Expect to be entertained by myself and some of the best musicians in the world. We'll be performing hit songs and standards, pop tunes and even a couple originals. Having just finished the run of Sammy last week at The Old Globe Theater in San Diego where I was playing the role of Sinatra for three months, I'm very excited to perform my own show for you. Come Fly With Me and I'll see you Saturday..." -Adam
Here's a closer look at the artist, his career, new album and more.
Since his success with the Montreal group, Panache, and their three CD releases in the 90's, Adam has traveled the world while beginning work on his first solo recording, due to be released soon. "I wasn't waiting, I was listening, writing and re-writing," says Adam, referring to the gap of eight years between recordings. "I lived and experienced more of the world, and I have distilled it into a lot of songs." The new CD contains six originals works and seven covers, providing a nice balance between Adam's experience as a writer and as an accomplished interpreter of the writers he admires. "I am a singer and songwriter but not in the classic folk/pop style that is usually associated with that title. My influences are Cole Porter and Irving Berlin fused with Sting, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor. I was raised listening to my parents' folk and pop music, but in high school, I discovered my grandfather's collection of jazz. Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra's records shaped my singing style and gave me a love for the standards. When I started college in Montreal, I became a crooner and made three CDs with Panache while playing in jazz clubs and concerts all over the place. We opened for Ray Charles at the Montreal Jazz Festival which was a great career endorsement."
Adam's early success with Panache prepared him for his lifelong dream of living and performing in New York. On September 1, 2001, he moved to Manhattan where his talents quickly spread internationally. "Moving to New York made me a better writer and a more complete artist. I became more interested in the world outside my own window, and I wanted to pursue a deeper understanding of other cultures. I traveled to Brazil and recorded some of my original material with musicians in Rio. I jammed with players in Havana and discovered that language is unnecessary to communicate. Your music can speak for you."
When not traveling, Adam’s skills as an on-stage performer earned him star roles in two off-Broadway shows and numerous jazz club appearances. Through these varied experiences, his approach to music gradually began to change. "New York made me an entertainer, not just a musician. I realized that my contribution was going to be writing music by day in my teeny-tiny apartment and then performing for very savvy audiences at night. New Yorkers have seen and heard it all, so I learned from watching the best performers in the Broadway, cabaret and concert business in very intimate venues. I often saw the glitz and glamour of the business stripped down to the honest and bare art form. I learned that the great performers take the great risks. In New York, you have to face risks to be noticed."
Overtime, Adam developed a successful Pops show that has toured North America, performing with Symphony Orchestras and Big Bands as diverse as The Freese Brothers Orchestra in Concord, New Hampshire to top tier orchestras like The Detroit Symphony. "There is nothing like singing with all those strings and the power of a symphony behind you - such energy." As his touring would take him from his home in New York for long stretches of time, Adam decided to switch his home base back to Toronto, after a five-year absence from Canada.
Adam’s focus changed in 2004 at the arrival of Dave Pierce. Often referred by the media as "Canada's next David Foster," Dave recruited Adam to co-write original songs for The Calgary Stampede's Grandstand Show AKA, "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth." Adam was also tapped to sing, dance, act, and lead the cast of 300 performers in the 10-night extravaganza. "Writing with Dave became a perfect fit. I would start an idea for a lyric, and we would bend the melody around while he harmonized and recorded the song on the computer. The process was much more efficient than I had been used to when working by myself."
It was with Dave that Adam began to formulate his first solo CD. "When we started writing songs for the CD, we both brought different and varying styles to the project - ballads, funk, soul, big band swingers. We decided to just write songs that worked for me, regardless of sticking to one musical style. We wanted to see what we ended up with when it was time to put the CD together as opposed to confining it to the pop/jazz style only. The CD also includes some Motown inspired sounds and a bossa nova; these were the styles of music around which I had grown up. This new album recording essentially sums up my singing history."
The album's opening song, "Someone Like You" captures in its first line a glimpse of Adam’s lifestyle for the last five years: "Ain't got a key on my ring." "I've been traveling so much that I realized I didn’t actually carry keys anymore to any specific lock. They were always hotel key cards or I would stay with friends and family. It was at times kind of liberating, and at times accompanied by a feeling of homelessness– but in a good way. I also like the double meaning of 'Someone Like You.' It describes someone I am searching for while also communicating that I am just as you are."
A second song on Adam's new CD release, "Fly Away," was written while Adam was traveling on the road for a few months between recordings. His favorite song lyrically, Adam wrote it in reflection on the little endearing things that initially draw one person to another, and the freedom that must be shared between the two to truly be in love. "I wanted to show that a loving relationship is a two-sided conversation. In it, no one person is dominate over the other. "Fly Away" proposes the simple and yet complex goal of having freedom in a relationship. The line, 'This cage has no bars, just my arms to hold you, this cage has no lock no key' represents a boundary in a relationship that is up for discussion or subject to interpretation. It signifies an individual's freedom in the relationship to be his or her own unique person."
When asked how Adam gets the inspiration for his songs, he describes that most are inspired by his daily conversations, and interpretations of his surroundings, namely his observance of relationships and how people communicate. "The key to writing a song is keeping it simple for the audience to understand and feel. This can be a challenge when attempting to communicate a complex issue or subject," Adam explains. Being a drummer, Adam also hears music through rhythms and writes his songs and melodies based on the rhythm of words. "I will use classic devices like forms and rhyming schemes, but I am always looking to make interesting sounds or invented words."
In the midst of Adam's day-to-day, he is often seen writing a line or two on post-it notes, mini notebooks, or even through audio recording on his cell phone. "Thousands of ideas will be turned into a few thousand songs of which a few hundred will be finished, and only the best will be recorded by myself and sometimes by other artists."
When on stage in front of an audience, Adam has learned that being comfortable with himself as a performer is key to having an audience feel comfortable enough with him to entertain them. "When I sing to an audience, we are having a conversation, both energetic and emotional. I respond to the energy coming from a crowd, share in it, then give the energy right back. This requires more than just musical talent, but an emotional vulnerability from both the performer and the listener. Here the performance becomes a conversation, and the audience’s response can be overwhelming. It's a great feeling," says Adam.
With the world at Adam's fingertips at the new release of his latest CD, Adam's goal is to continue to share his original music with audiences everywhere through live performances and recordings. He defines success not merely in his role as a performer, but in the positive recognition of peers and colleagues through their appreciation of his songs.
Monday, November 9, 2009, 10:11 AM - Posted by AdministratorIf you aren't familiar with The Insights & Revelations Performance Series, you might look at our fall season and say "hmmm....an inside look at taking Shakespeare's Measure for Measure from the page to the stage, Andy Christie's The Liar Show, and an experimental play based on Tennessee Williams' Camino Real: Where on earth is the artistic vision here? What the heck do these three presentations have in common?"
And the answer is nothing...and everything.
The Insights & Revelations Performance Series explores the creative process of all kinds of works for the stage - in all stages of development - while introducing you to the creative lifeblood of the American theatre, New York City's off-Broadway theatres. These hidden gems create the lion's share of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning work that lands on Broadway and in major regional houses throughout the country. Previous Series presentations have included sneak peeks of I Got Sick Then I Got Better (currently playing an extended run at New York Theatre Workshop), Port Authority (The Atlantic Theater's critically-acclaimed production with Brian d'Arcy James and John Gallagher, Jr.), Inside Shakespeare With Michael Cumpsty ( in advance of his star turn in Classic Stage Company's Richard III), Symphony Space's Thalia Follies with the inimitable Isaiah Sheffer, Marriage & Other Odd Occurrences with John Shea and Dennis Boutsikaris, and Life In A Marital Institution before its critically-acclaimed, extended run off-Broadway...and more. And now we invite you to join us on this adventure of discovering everything performance can be...and what it takes to make it so.
So when you come to The Liar Show on November 19th, you will see four of New York's most accomplished storytellers (think Spalding Gray, not The Three Little Pigs) telling artfully crafted personal stories (and one craftily told story that you will have to smoke out!), and on December 3rd, you will see a sneak preview of one of New York's most esteemed experimental companies in an ensemble-created play based upon the famous collaboration between Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan on the Broadway production of Camino Real (while Kazan was under investigation by HUAC). After each performance, we'll have chance to talk with the artists about their creative process and then mingle with them in the lobby for a dessert reception.
Perhaps the Series' tag line says it all: "world-class artists...up close and personal." We want you to feel like you're in your living room witnessing the next great thing, and conversing with some of the most inventive and important artists of our time.
And it's worth mentioning how much we love our new 'living room,' The Emelin Theatre! After four successful, award-winning years in Pleasantville, we are delighted to be a part of such an exciting season and honored to be associated with The Emelin Theatre.
So Shakespeare, Williams, and Christie...yes. I invite you to come on these theatrical adventures with us, get an inside look at the making of great performances, mingle with the artists, and enjoy some tasty desserts too.
Looking forward to seeing you at the theatre!
Producer, The Insights & Revelations Performance Series
P.S. The Series has a blog too! Visit www.TheDeepEndProductions.org for detailed show information, artist interviews, recommendations for shows to see in the city, and more.
Friday, October 30, 2009, 01:35 PM - Posted by AdministratorThe Vincent Dowling Theatre Company is delighted to come to the wonderful Emelin Theatre to perform The Rivalry, a riveting drama about the momentous Lincoln-Douglas debates. Recently playing off-Broadway to packed houses, we are just beginning a Fall tour. Audiences love this play; the critics wrote superb reviews of the run in New York City; and we are excited to bring it to Westchester audiences.
Vincent Dowling, founding producer and director, decided to revive The Rivalry last fall. Vincent Dowling is a Lifetime Associate Director of the Abbey Theatre Dublin and an Emmy award-winning producer. His passionate belief is that every American needs to see this play as soon as possible. He has said that "...from the moment I laid the play down, I knew I had to do it. I had to do everything in my power to give everyone who understand English and who cares about democracy, from age 12 to 112, a chance to see it." The themes in the play resonate deeply today: human rights, integrity, passionate conviction, the idea that politics matters.
Here is insight into how the actors' see their roles.
For Christian Kauffmann, playing Lincoln in The Rivalry is the role of his career. He feels that The Rivalry resonates today because of the enduring questions it asks: Is it right or wrong to trample on the rights of others? As a people, do we have a right to do this? Christian hopes this play continues to have life for a long time. He feels that it is a great opportunity, an important piece of writing and a meaningful contribution to American thought.
What the critics have to say about Christian Kauffmann's performance: "So why not just stay home and read the transcripts?" asks Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal in his recent review of this production. "Because, among other things, you'll be depriving yourself of the chance to see Mr. Kauffmann impersonate Lincoln...Unlike the secular saint portrayed by Henry Fonda in John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Kauffmann's Lincoln is recognizably human, and even when he's flinging great shafts of rhetoric across the platform he still seems like a small-town lawyer who has been ennobled by fate." Diana Barth of the Epoch Times simply says in her review: "In fact, the Lincoln of Christian Kauffmann is spellbinding. His resemblance to the late president is uncanny, while his presentation of what we know of Lincoln appears to be dead-on accurate."
Peter Cormican plays the role of Stephen A. Douglas. He says that over the course of the last twenty years he has played quite a number of roles large and small - nevertheless, so far in his career, he says no role has been more satisfying than playing Douglas. To Peter, what made Douglas so outstanding was his mastery of the English language, his vast ability to learn from a young age, a gift for oratory, and a keen sense of human understanding, his racism and race baiting notwithstanding.
As she prepared for her role in The Rivalry as Adele Douglas, Mary Linda Rapelye was greatly impressed by Adele's wisdom at such a young age. Mary Linda has continued to research the history of Rose Adele Cutts Douglas in order to speak her experiences in as truthful and heartfelt a manner as possible. About the play Mary Linda says that The Rivalry reminds us of the values on which our country was founded and that those values still need perfecting. She points out that Norman Corwin, the playwright, has intricately woven all of the salient points of the debates into a find dramatic piece. To tie these points together, he uses the wonderful narration of Adele who witnessed the debates first hand.
By Nancy J. Phillips
Co-Producer The Rivalry
The Vincent Dowling Theatre Company
October 27, 2009
More information and reference material:
Guelzo, Allen G. (2008). Lincoln and Douglas - The Debate That Defined America. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Terms from The Rivalry
The New York Times
Wall Street Journal
New York Post
Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 10:51 AM - Posted by AdministratorDo you remember the first time you saw, and heard, The Sound of Music? I do. My grandmother had the soundtrack on vinyl, and I used to put it on the turntable in the big old stereo cabinet and dance around her living room to "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and "My Favorite Things." Then when I finally saw the movie and glimpsed Julie Andrews – who, I was sure, was really Mary Poppins – I fell hopelessly in love with the whole idea of it.
I don't know if that's what Doug Elkins was thinking when he created the superlatively wonderful Fräulein Maria, but it couldn't have been far off. Elkins is at turns reverent and irreverent in this incredible dance send-up of the original soundtrack, complete with Julie Andrews' belting out "The Sound of Music." The day I saw Elkins' show at Joe's Pub, the athletic and beautiful cast was called out for three curtain calls, the entire multi-generational audience cheering and clapping and smiling. You don't have to know anything about dance to love the vibrant, good-natured energy of Fraulein Maria, and perhaps you'll even remember the first time that you fell in love with the Von Trapp family.
More info and ticket, click here!
"Mr. Elkins’s ceaselessly brilliant and often hilarious take on The Sound of Music is a fount of unending movement ideas and about as much visceral pleasure as it’s possible to have in a theater." -The New York Times
"Fräulein Maria lovingly deconstructs The Sound of Music through dance. It transcends parody to become a giddy, wondrous celebration." -Heather J. Violanti, nytheatre.com