Stories & Cast Interviews

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I'm The Greatest Star!

Posted by: wbtpress on Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 2:48:00 pm Comments (0)


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Heartbreaker!

Posted by: wbtpress on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 4:02:00 pm Comments (0)


GRANT  NORMAN plays gambler, Nicky Arnstein, in Funny Girl.


I was born in Two Harbors, MN, and grew up in the Midwest, around Minneapolis. I was the only one in our family to enter the performing arts...and when I say family, I mean the entire family tree! I started singing at a very young age, and remember being in my first choir in the 5th grade.  I definitely got the bug, and continued to sing throughout high school and into college, where I auditioned for a dance company, and got in!  From there it was on to theater as a dancer, and eventually...leading roles.  I never had in my mind that I wanted to be an actor when I was young, it just happened.  I was aware how difficult the industry was, so I just played it by ear.  As long as I enjoyed it, and could make a living from it...I continued.  Fortunately, that led me all the way to New York City and Broadway.
I learned from so many people along the way but didn't really have any mentors for the business.  Kathy and Eddie Gasper were my mentors for dance.  I was in their dance company for 4 years (13 shows).  I learned an awful lot from them.  Eddie was a one time Bob Fosse dance asst. on Broadway and the movies.  He had many stories to tell.
I don't have a dream role. My favorite show is still "West Side Story".  The combination of story, music & dance makes it uniquely stand out for me as a masterwork of theater.       I've never seen the film of Funny Girl.  I try not to watch a movie version of a show I will be working on. 

Jill Abramovitz (Fanny Brice) is wonderful to work with.  I have found so many moments in the show that are moving with her.
When not on stage, I enjoy spending time with my wife and soon to be little girl.

My iPod holds a wide variety.  The song that is currently on it is "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden.  A hit from the 90's.  I love pop and rock songs from the 60's all the way to the present.  I LOVE classical music!  There's some Country Music, Jazz, R&B, Show Tunes (of course), New Age... Music is very important to me.  I try to appreciate and expose myself to all kinds of music.



Monday, March 23, 2009

She's A Funny Girl!!

Posted by: wbtpress on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 9:49:00 am Comments (0)

  JILL ABRAMOVITZ stars as Fanny Brice in FUNNY GIRL.

I grew up in Morristown, New Jersey.  A lovely place.  (My sister will mock me when she reads this because I overuse the word "lovely.") Went to Morristown High and had a great time.  Did all the school shows and played field hockey - at which I stunk.  I'm not one of those people who hated high school.  I actually loved it.  Then I went to the University of Pennsylvania for college, which I also loved.  I Majored in French literature and Psychology.  I wanted a liberal arts education.  

I'm emotional, I'm expressive, and I have a big mouth and large opinions.  But I did have some of those incredible experiences in the theatre that steered me more strongly in the actor direction.  I remember when Peter Pan flew out over the audience and I lost my mind.  Or when I sat in one of the first few rows of Song and Dance and fell in love with Bernadette Peters.  She was so alive and passionate and beautiful and it was a transformative experience going through that journey with her.   I cried like a little girl.  Well, I was a little girl, but still.  I suppose, like most people, I'm still having those experiences, so they continue to make me want to be an actor. Except when I have to audition, then I don't want to be an actor.  That's when I dream of being an accountant or a fish.  I tell my husband that all the time.  I get jealous of fish because they don't have to audition.  


Mentors are everywhere.  I hate to sound corny, but you get so much from watching people perform.  Movies, TV, theatre, everywhere.   I saw an actress in a show a few years ago and I remember the power of her stillness - how much command she had when she stood in one place and sang.  The entire cast of  Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me  on Broadway taught me about bringing in fresh ideas every single day to rehearsal.  Always throwing a new batch of spaghetti on the wall and seeing what stuck.   My high school director, Jane Wintz, taught me about discipline - being on time, shutting up backstage, and not missing rehearsal.  A guy I did one day on a film with said to me, "You don't have to look at me just because you're yelling at me."  I loved that.  Jason Bateman on “Arrested Development” - he is the all-knowing guru of deadpan and perfect timing.  So, yeah, I think mentors are everywhere.   

I would love to play Cordelia in Falsettos.  I would love to do a Christopher Durang play.  ANY Christopher Durang play.   I would love to pay the Baker's Wife in Into The Woods.  

How could I not be a fan of the film?  Barbra Streisand is perfection.  Brazen and beautiful and on fire - and so impossibly young!  I learned of the real Fanny Brice through the show - which I don't necessarily think is a bad thing.  I appreciate how theatre can immortalize historical events and characters, and introduce them to a wider audience.  Art is a vehicle for history.  It electrifies the past.  

My favorite moment in this show?   “Don't Rain on my Parade”.  I love how it sounds like a big LOOK AT ME moment - but it's not. She's on a mission.  It's almost a DON'T look at me moment.  Like - just leave me alone and let me live my life, make my own mistakes.  

I have a lot of writing going on right now - so that takes up a lot of time.  Other than that - I like to hang out with babies - there are a lot of them in my life suddenly, including my one-year-old niece.  I love hanging out with my brilliant and funny friends - but I haven't done enough of that lately.  I love walking in Central Park and going to this killer class called Core Fusion.  And I enjoy my fair share of reality television.  (Watched The Real Housewives of NYC tonight. Yes I did.)   

What music I listen to the most:  Tied for first place are Ben Folds and Jonathan Brooke, followed by Shawn Colvin and Stevie Wonder. There are obviously musicals on there - I'd say "The Last Five Years" is in first place this week.  I also listen to my husband's (Brad Alexander's) music a lot.  And I'm not biased - he's amazing.  I listen to my own stuff, too - I'm a lyricist and I'm usually obsessing about something that needs rewriting.  I have a lot of genius writer friends who are not famous yet, but will be.  So I listen to their music.  I seriously listen to my friend Adam Overett's demo on the treadmill.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Last Chance To SeeThe NUNS!

Posted by: wbtpress on Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 4:43:00 pm Comments (0)

Meshuggah-Nuns! is coming to a close! Last four Performances ... 3/19,  3/20 and a Matinee and Evening performance on 3/21........What's even better..order online tickets and get 20% off!!    Don't miss the fun! Oy Vay!!

David Edwards & Sister Mary Annette!