Dancer

  • Interview with Harry Bryce

    Audio Interview April 22, 2014

    Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, and Director Harry Bryce says that he came out of the womb dancing. And when you talk to him you can well believe it. Precocious and wise beyond his years Harry began writing poetry (although he didn’t know it was poetry) when he was a young boy in order to “stay sane.” Curious and observant as few are, Harry began to notice everything. It became important to him to be “precise,” so he recognized the variation in the hues of different colors – and wondered about what happened to a seed. He couldn’t take ballet lessons like his older sister because ”boys didn’t do that;” but when she came home from her lesson his sister would take him into the back yard and do the lesson again for him. By the time they were ten years old Harry and his sister were a popular dance act appearing at local weddings and events. Harry went on to have a varied and productive career as the artistic director of Memphis Black Repertory Theater and creator of the Harry Bryce Dance Company, Choreographer in Residence for the prestigious Vinnette Carroll’s theater company and as professor of dance and theater at Atlanta’s Morehouse and Spellman colleges. Currently Harry is directing the West Coast Black Theater Troupe of Sarasota’s production of Bubbling Brown Sugar. Listen to this charming, delightful and reflective man talk about his career and the importance of helping young people who have been discouraged to find and nurture their particular talents. And come to see his direction of the scintillating Bubbling Brown Sugar.

     

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  • Interview with Patrick Noonan

    12-24-13 – Audio Interview

    Patrick Noonan didn’t come from an artistic family but he and his siblings all went into the arts. Following in his older sister and brother’s footsteps baby brother Patrick auditioned for school shows. A seemingly casual comment made, by of all people his gym teacher, after he’d seen Patrick in a production of West Side Story, changed Patrick’s life and set him on the path he wasn’t aware he wanted and which he has he’s followed ever since. Listen to him tell this remarkable story. Currently Patrick is cutting it on stage at Florida Studio Theater, with a bunch of of talented and hilarious actors in a side=splitting production of Spamalot. If you’ve never seen it – or even if you have – you owe it to yourself to go out and have a great time. Listen to Patrick talk about his life and this production and also hear some of the outrageously funny songs from the show.

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  • Interview with Rob Ruggiero

    11-26-13 – Audio Interview

    When he was eight years old Rob Ruggiero would make up stories, corral his cousins, costume and rehearse them and put on performances for his large Italian family. He instinctively knew who he was and what he wanted to do with his life – but like so many of us, he forgot. Luckily in his high school senior year Rob, already a disco dancer, was asked to dance in a production of Oklahoma and he says that it was there that he “found his place, his people, his family.” Still, while he knew that the theater was his path, he didn’t discover his role in it until he took his first directing class in his senior year in college and remembered his eight year passion for creating theater by directing. In addition to a prodigious free lancing career as one of the few directors to earn national recognition for his work in both straight plays and musicals, Rob is the producing artistic director of TheaterWorks in Hartford CT. The only director to have received four Kevin Kline Awards (2 for Best Direction of a Musical (Urinetown and Ella) and two for Best Direction of a play (Take Me Out and The Little Dog Laughed), he is in Sarasota FL to direct his version of Show Boat, which he created for the Goodspeed Opera House, and which garnered him his fifth Connecticut Critics Circle award, to open the 2014 season at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Listen to this charming, ebullient, delightful man discover his deeper connection to Show Boat and talk about his circuitous path tp the place he calls home.

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  • Interview with Annie Morrison

    8-27-13—Audio Interview

    Actor, writer, singer, dancer, storyteller, philanthropist and Druid Goddess, Annie Morrison is impossible to categorize. Like the Celtic Spirit she embodies Annie is a force for artistic creation. Raised in an artistic hothouse with a family dedicated to artistic collaboration Annie was trained to create, but not to compete. Listen to this charming, ebullient, creativity machine tell the story of how she became who she is and come to New York to see just some of her prodigious artistic expression; on Labor Day (Sept 2nd), at 54 Below where she will be performing NOW YOU KNOW An evening Steve, Lenny –and Annie (the work of Sondheim and Bernstein) and on Nov 14th at 4:00 PM at theUnited Solo of Theatre Row in New York to see her new one woman show Word Painting: Soliloquies around an Easel.

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  • Interview with Mary Testa

    Mary Testa, Tony Award Winning Actress7-9-13 – Audio Interview

    Mary Testa is a working actress, singer, dancer, Jill of all trades in the theatre, and winner of a Drama Desk Award for “3 decades of excellent work.” Most recently she starred as the intrepid Annie Edson Taylor in the musical Queen of the Mist, which was written for her by composer, lyricist and librettist Michael John Lachiusa, who has himself been nominated for several Tony and Drama Desk Awards. Like the character she plays in Queen of the Mist, Mary Testa “has greatness in her.” She found a way to survive a childhood which didn’t celebrate her. In Catholic school she was treated very badly because she “everything she wasn’t supposed to be;” Italian, when the nuns were Irish, curly haired and breasted, when the norm was straight hair and a flat-chest, out-spoken and defiant, when good girls were quiet and obedient. Refusing to go to Catholic High School Mary attended the public high school where she was the new kid in town and therefore, once more, odd man out. But Mary would not be suppressed and developed a full out – in your face – “I will say what everyone is thinking but no one else will say,” personality. Accompanying this outgoing personal style is Mary’s prodigious talent and that is what has kept her working in theater. Listen to this guile-less, passionate, funny, thoughtful woman talk about her life and her work, and come see her remarkable performance in the one woman tour de force in My Brilliant Divorce at the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

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  • Interview with Jeff Coulhoun

    5-28-13 Audio Interview

    Jeff Calhoun knew what he wanted to do by the time he was eight: he wanted to be Dick Van Dyke, he wanted to be Fred Astaire, he wanted to dance with the Ernie Flat dancers on the Carol Burnett show; he wanted to be a dancer! It was “in his DNA.” And, as if it was meant to be, a series of surprising circumstances propelled him on the path to becoming a dancer, choreographer and director of musicals. Listen to unexpected way he became the protégé of the amazing Tommy Tune and the remarkable series of happenstance’s that led to his directing Newsies, Bonnie and Clyde The Musical, Jekyll and Hyde, Grease and many more. And hear him talk why he decided to collaborate with Noah Racey who he thinks is the best dancer he has ever seen.

    Anything Goes featuring Jeff CalhounDolly Parton and Jeff Calhoun

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  • Interview with Noah Racey

    5-21-13 Audio Interview

    When he was just three years old Noah Racey’s Dad gave him a snare drum and was stunned to hear, within the first week, his infant drummer playing an entire John Phillip Souza album. Discovering a place to put his excessive energy and deriving a feeling of belonging and pride at being allowed – by age six – to play with his father’s drum circle, Noah put his foot on the path that would define his life; a life that has grown to include dancing, singing, acting, writing and the creation of his own extraordinary company of triple threat performers. Come see Noah and his troupe perform the premier production of his very own creation; Noah Racey’s Pulse, at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota Fl, and listen to the thoroughly delightful, spontaneous, joy-filled man talk about his love of the work to which he is giving his life.

    Noah has danced in or choreographed for Fine and Dandy, Curtains with David Hyde Pierce, Busker Alley, Where’s Charley?, Babes in Arms, Do Re Mi, Never Gonna Dance, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Baby and Johnny Project, and Look Ma, I’m Dancin’!

    Noah Racey Dancing
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  • Interview with Robert Fowler and Rita Rhen

    Audio Interview

    Although always surrounded by music in his childhood, Robert H Fowler followed his parent’s advice and became an electrical engineer. He was working as an engineer and studying gymnastics as a hobby when his coach suggested he take a dance class. Someone in his class offered him a job dancing in Las Vegas and he never looked back. Although that job fell through it freed him from his previous life and set him on the path to a career as a dancer, a singer, and an actor. Rita Rhen was not only a working professional by the time she was 11 but an entrepreneur as well. She and her sister created The Entertainers – a group of young girls who put on plays and became so successful that they were in demand in their community. Listen to these two talented people talk about the interesting and very different paths they took to becoming professional performers. And come see the result of all their hard work in By Gershwin and The Book Of at Florida Studio Theater.

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  • Interview with Rick Kerby

    3-12 13 – Audio Interview

    Actor, dancer, singer, director choreographer Rick Kerby says “my life has been one big wave, which I’ve ridden wherever it took me.” Opportunities did seem to pop up in front of him but Rick was always ready – listen to the charming and funny story of how he learned to dance for his college audition. While on a trip to NY with his college to see shows Rick courageously placed himself in front of the wave by walking into Actors Equity and, as a non equity actor, auditioning for the tour of Oklahoma. He got the job and never looked back. He was continually working; touring and touring and touring in Oklahoma, The Best Little Whore House in Texas, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers he worked in Las Vegas and he taught. Today he brings that wealth of skill, experience and expertise to his position as producing artistic director of the Manatee Players Theater in Bradenton Florida, which is opening their brand new space with a production of Miss Saigon.

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  • Interview with Kevin Morrow

    1-15-13 – Audio Interview

    Kevyn Morrow is an actor, dancer, singer, director and choreographer, who hit the ground running. Seen performing as an all American College Band Dancer at Disneyland, he got an audition and his first professional a job at 19 in the National Touring Company of A Chorus Line, where he worked with the legendary Michael Bennett, and again in Dreamgirls. He made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award nominated musical Leader of the Pack. And from there he has done everything, including music videos with Stevie Nicks and a background dancer for Ann-Margret and Cher. As a boy Kevin was interested in everything; and he was lucky enough to have had parents who supported whatever it was their son wanted to do – even when that was acting – something they didn’t understand and were concerned would not support him. He excelled in sports, played the violin and drums, and trained in ballet, and minored in architectural design. But it was the image of his older brother, saying his one line in a local production of Peter Pan, which captured his 6 year old heart and stayed with him. And it was singing, dancing and acting that became his abiding passion. Currently you can see Kevyn’s directing and choreographing skills on stage in the Florida Studio Theater (FST) production of Smokey Joe’s Café and his acting chops in the FST production of Best of Enemies. Listen to this charming, funny man tell his own story and hear him sing a song from a show he was in.

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  • Interview with Jeff Parker

    12-11-12 – Audio Interview

    Jeff Parker as John DickinsonJeff Parker began appearing in musicals as a youngster and although he did four years of actor training at California’s USC. But knowing that he could always fall back on ‘the family business,’ Jeff says that he “kind of coasted.” Then a friend set up a surprise audition for him at the theater at which she was working. He was hired and literally never looked back. Last year Jeff starred as the charming, erudite, if arrogant Henry Higgins in Asolo Repertory Theatre production of My Fair Lady at directed by 2 time Tony winner Frank Galati. This year he is back as – the passionate, erudite John Dickinson, who was the only member of the Continental Congress to refuse to sign the Declaration of Independence – in The Asolo’s production of 1776 which is also directed by Frank Galati and he is so convincing you almost want him to prevail. Come see this multitalented actor, singer, dancer, in this extraordinary production.

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  • Interview with Berry Ayers

    11/27/12 – Audio Interview

    Everyone in Berry Ayers family sang; his preacher grandfather sang to the congregation, his mother was a soloist in several professional gospel groups and aunt had a record deal. When Berry was 2 Mom and Aunt taught him and his six year old brother a song to sing in church and Berry performed 3 or 4 times a month from then on, learning along the way how to “work an audience;” how the little smile or wink would cause the audience to “go crazy.” To correct a foot deformity he was born with the doctor prescribed ballet or braces, Berry’s mother chose ballet (even though their Baptist religion frowned on it) and Berry has been singing, dancing, writing, acting, choreographing and directing ever since.

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  • Interview with Sheilah Rae

    10/9/12 –Interview with Sheilah Rae

    Like Austin Sheilah Rae also found her life path very young, when at 5 she saw her first musical. During the performance of “South Pacific” Sheilah told her mother that she was “going to do that.” Sheilah’s parents believed that “if you were going to do something you had to have the best teacher,” so when 5 year old Sheilah wanted dance lessons they arranged for her to study with the renowned Edna McRae. Ms McRae also required that her students know music, so 6 year old Sheilah began piano lessons and was soon studying dance, piano, music theory at the Chicago Conservatory of Music and violin. Continuing to benefit from family support, inherent talent and luck Sheilah also got her first role on Broadway in “Fiddler on the Roof” right out of college. Listen to this effervescent woman talk about a career in which she has done everything including write musicals like “Funny You Don’t look like a Grandmother!” and “I Married Wyatt Earp.” And listen to songs from “Earp” with lyrics by Sheilah and music by composer Michele Brourman.

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  • Interview with Rick Kerby

    7-31-12 – Interview

    Actor, dancer, singer, director choreographer Rick Kerby says “his life has been one big wave, which he’s ridden wherever it took him.” Opportunities did seem to pop up in front of him but Rick was always ready – listen to the charming and funny story of how he learned to dance for his college audition. While on a trip to NY with his college to see shows Rick courageously placed himself in front of the wave by walking into Actors Equity and, as a non equity actor, auditioning for the tour of Oklahoma. He got the job and never looked back. He was continually working. He toured and toured and toured in Oklahoma and The Best Little Whore House in Texas, he worked in Las Vegas and he taught. Today he brings that wealth of skill, experience and expertise to his position as producing artistic director of the Manatee Players Theater in Bradenton Florida, where on August 2nd and 3rd they will be presenting the premier of a play by Robin Givens.

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  • Tony Award month on the Lynne Show begins with Jeff Calhoun

    6-5-12 – Interview

    Nominated for the Tony for his direction of the Broadway Musical Newies (which has 8 nominations including Best Musical), Jeff Calhoun knew what he wanted to do by the time he was 8 years old: he wanted to be Dick Van Dyke, he wanted to be Fred Astaire, he wanted to dance on the Carol Burnett show; he wanted to be a dancer! It was “in his DNA.” And, as if it was meant to be, a series of circumstances propelled him on the path to becoming not only a dancer but a choreographer and a director of musicals like Jekyll and Hyde, Grease, Big River, Bonnie and Clyde – The Musical, 9-5 The Musical and many more. Listen to unexpected way he became the protege of the amazing Tommy Tune. And the remarkable series of happenstance’s that led to his working with such luminaries as Bob Hope, and Dolly Parton. Then hear one of the songs from Newsies wonderful score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman.

    Anything Goes featuring Jeff CalhounDolly Parton and Jeff Calhoun

     

     

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  • Interview with Noah Racey

    4-10-12 –Interview

    When he was just three years old Noah Racey’s Dad gave him a snare drum and was stunned to hear, within the first week, his infant drummer playing an entire John Phillip Souza album. Discovering a place to put his excessive energy and deriving a feeling of belonging and pride at being allowed – by age six – to play with his father’s drum circle, Noah put his foot on the path that would define his life; a life that has grown to include tap dancing, acting, and the creation of his own company of triple threat performers, all in the service of storytelling.

    Noah has danced in or choreographed for Fine and Dandy, Curtains with David Hyde Pierce, Busker Alley, Where’s Charley?, Babes in Arms, Do Re Mi, Never Gonna Dance, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Baby and Johnny Project, and Look Ma, I’m Dancin’!, among others. In 2012 he will appear in 1776 at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota as well as debuting his original dance creation “Pulse” which will directed by Jeff Calhoun.

    But perhaps the thing that most defines Noah Racey is his love of his life, his passion for his work, his spontaneity and his exuberance. Listen to the roller coaster ride of joy and fun that is Noah Racey, and watch his tap dancing magic.

    [youtube vaK_qcY66g4 604 364 autoplay=0 ]

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  • Interview with Katherine Michelle Tanner

    3-13-12-Interview

    Katherine Michelle Tanner is one of the lucky ones; with an actress mother, artist father and concert pianist grandmother, she grew up surrounded by, and encouraged to, experience the all of the arts. As a result she’s played with and mastered virtually all of them; a dancer, who convinced her ballet master to take her on before she reached the mandatory age, a pianist, violinist, artist, singer and actor, Katherine is currently part of the ensemble cast of Next Fall at Florida Studio Theater. Listen to Katherine talk about the intricacies of this play – it will make you want to run out and see it and her.

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  • Interview with Peter Amster

    2-21-12 – Interview

    Four year old Peter Amster decided that if Peter Pan could fly so could he and he had to be restrained from jumping out of the window. From then on he never stopped pushing his limits. Although he was to discover that his body was not designed to dance, he became a passionate dancer and choreographer. Although he says he wasn’t a very good actor – he nonetheless got work, and finally although already a working director – he questioned his technique and expanded his skill. Peter is not only a triple threat; he is a charming, delightful and funny man. Listen to his remarkable journey and go see his direction of Noel Coward’s Fallen Angel at the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

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  • Interview with Jeffrey Kin

    2-14-12 – Interview

    Jeffrey Kin is a sextuple threat! He sings, he dances, he acts, he writes, he directs, he produces and all this while guiding the fate of Sarasota’s community theater – The Players. A farm boy who discovered as a small child that he was a performer, Jeffrey pursued his chosen field with a vengeance and now brings all of the knowledge and skill he’s garnered to The Players production of A Chorus Line, which opens on Feb 16th and which he not only directs acts in as well. Listen to this charming, dedicated, funny man talk about his life and work and hear a special song from A Chorus Line.

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  • Jeff Calhoun and Bonnie and Clyde – The Musical

    Bonnie and Clyde, the Musical will open on Broadway December 1, 2011. In the weeks before the opening I will be re broadcasting interviews I did with the stars and the creative team when they worked on the show at the Asolo Theater in Sarasota FL., and adding new interviews. First up is my interview with the multi-talented, wonderfully engaging and generous director of Bonnie and Clyde The Musical, Jeff Calhoun.

    Interview with Jeff Calhoun 10-18-11 – By the time he was 8 years old Jeff Calhoun knew what he wanted to do: he wanted to be Dick Van Dyke, he wanted to be Fred Astaire, he wanted to dance with the Ernie Flat dancers on the Carol Burnett show; he wanted to be a dancer! It was “in his DNA.” And, as if it was meant to be, a series of circumstances propelled him on the path to becoming a dancer, choreographer and director of musicals. Listen to unexpected way he became the protégé of the amazing Tommy Tune and the remarkable series of happenstance’s that led to his directing such musicals as Jekyll and Hyde, Grease, Big River and most recently Bonnie and Clyde – The Musical, which will open on Broadway this December. Then hear one of the songs from Don Black and Frank Wildhorn’s wonderful score.

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