Interview with the Artist

An Arts, Performing Arts and TV podcast
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Maybe because it was hard to get her on the phone I expected someone different, someone more high maintenance. But Sally Struthers was warm, wacky and wonderful to be with. There were two things I was told not to bring up during the interview: Rob Reiner, and her much much-publicized salary dispute on All in the Family, but she ended up bringing up both subjects herself. She called me while on Long Island starring in 9 to 5: the musical (she jumped at the chance to do this, having starred in the ABC TV series in 1982), and talked about getting older, why she hates Los Angeles but can't leave, what happened when her mother saw her nude scene with Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces, and how she feels about being the object of so much ridicule. You might be surprised by what she has to say.  
Sheldon and Margery Harnick aren't just an ordinary couple, they're a legendary Broadway couple. She: a former Broadway actress and now, an accomplished painter and photographer; and he: the Tony Award winning lyricist of the hit musicals Fiddler on the Roof and Fiorello, among others. I sat down with them a few years ago after the publication of their book of photography and verse, An Outdoor Museum: Not Your Usual Images of New York. Tune in to hear them talk about art, New York City, collaboration and the secret to a long and happy marriage.
This week, we're revisiting our very first episode of Interview with the Artist, with comedian and actor Mario Cantone. If the show sounds a little different than usual that's because it was our very first show and we didn't know what the hell we were doing. Enjoy.
Comedian Colin Quinn is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, (where he worked as a writer, cast member and host of Weekend Update from 1995 until 2000), and for his presence on Twitter, where he posts self-deprecating, abrasive and intentionally provoking statements about fame and life. His show Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn ran on Comedy Central from 2002-2004, and he's been seen in both Grown Ups films with Adam Sandler, on Caroline's Comedy Hour, and on HBO's Girls. More recently Colin has been writing and performing two one-man shows: Long Story Short, which offers a comedic take on world history, and Unconstitutional, which is based on the US Constitution. Currently, Colin is writing and starring in the online web series Cop Show- a parody of popular New York City crime dramas. He's been listed as No. 56 on Comedy Central's 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all-time. In this conversation, Colin talks about the SNL days, his take on evolution, his penchant for the politically incorrect, why NOT joking about someone is often an indication of bias and why it sucks to be more famous than you are rich.
Jeff Allegue plays Romance on Interview with the Artist.
Conviction, a new play by Carey Crim is making its world premiere at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. It tell story of Tom Hodges, a beloved teacher and husband and father. But when he's convicted of sexual misconduct with a student, his image of perfection shatters and his whole family's world is changed forever. Conviction is directed by Scott Schwartz and stars Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story, 12 Years a Slave), Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope, No Country for Old Men), Elizabeth Reaser (Grey's Anatomy, the Twilight movies), Brian Huchison and Daniel Burns. Tune in to hear my conversations with Scott Schwartz, Garret Dillahunt and Daniel Burns. "Hands down, the best thing you will have seen at Bay Street in years. Conviction, by Carey Crim is smart and accessible, and every cast member shines brightly under Scott Schwartz's simply orchestrated, masterful direction.Completely absorbing and thought-provoking, the play pulls you into one family's living room as they struggle to move past (and live with) conviction. Your heart will break for all of these people, even the one whose innocence is in question." -Walker Vreeland, 102.5 WBAZ-FM  
Van Hansis is a three-time Emmy Award nominated actor, best known for playing Luke Snyder on As the World Turns and Thom in the dark comedy web series Eastsiders. Currently Van is crowd funding on Kickstarter for his latest project: Ms. Guidance, a dark irreverent comedy which he is producing, directing and starring in. Ms. Guidance tells the story of Jenny Bump, a talented but self-absorbed actress who, after having a mental breakdown on the New York stage, decides to give up her dream of stardom and return to her alma mater, Loch Hill School for the Arts where she becomes a guidance counselor. But listening to her students' dreams only makes her long to act even more, and soon she is scheming for fame and ruining lives, including her own. It's a show about theater kids and the life that waits for them in the real world. It's a show about unrealized dreams, the disconnect between what we hope we will become and the reality that we end up with. It's a show about trying to let go of a dream that won't let go of you. In this conversation Van and Walker reminisce about their days at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, the inspiration (and location) for Ms. Guidance. They talk about who they were then and who they are now. They talk about how unique a place Walnut Hill is, and how the school changed their lives. Also- Van remembers his time on As the World Turns and sheds light on how to stay sane as an actor: never compare yourself with others, define success for yourself and create your own work whenever you can. Plus, tune in to hear Van explain how the character of Walker Pate in Ms. Guidance is different from Walker Pate Vreeland. And there is a difference. :-)
Seth Sikes is a performer and director. His directing credits include BUNKED! (Outstanding Musical at the New York Fringe Festival) and The 7th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant.  He was the Assistant Director of The Nance (Broadway), Tribes (Off-Broadway), Pageant (Off-Broadway), and Sondheim: The Birthday Concert (at Lincoln Center).  As a performer he appeared in Fame on 42ND Street (Off-Broadway). He made his Feinstein’s/54 Below debut with his acclaimed show Seth Sikes Sings Judy Garland enjoyed a sold-out run and was named  Broadway World’s Best Tribute Show. His new show: Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli will continue at Feinstein’s/54 Below on May 2 at 9:30 and June 8th at 7:00PM. For tickets, visit 54below.com
Artist Andrea Kowch has been described as “a powerful voice emerging, demonstrating a highly sensitive consciousness that informs a culturally-laced symbolism.” Her paintings are rich in mood, allegory, and precision of medium, reflecting a wealth of influences from Northern Renaissance and American art to the rural landscapes and vernacular architecture of her native Michigan. Andrea has receive numerous Best of Show awards in various juried exhibitions, and her work has been showcased at the Muskegon Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, ArtPrize, Art Basel Miami, the Los Angeles Art Show, ArtHamptons, SCOPE NYC, and Sag Harbor’s RJD Gallery.  Kowch resides and works in Michigan where she paints full-time, and serves as an adjunct professor at the College for Creative Studies. She is represented exclusively by RJD Gallery in Sag Harbor, New York.
Ballroom dancer Val Chmerkovskiy is a 2-time World Latin Dance Champion and a 14-time U.S. national Latin Dance champion. The younger brother of Maksim Chmerkovskiy, he's best known for his work on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Val shares a DWTS record, originally set by his longtime rival Mark Ballas, of having the most celebrity partners to never individually score less than 8 from any judge. He is also the only professional dancer to go three consecutive seasons (16, 17, 18) without ever scoring less that an eight. In this conversation, Val talks about the biggest misconceptions about ballroom dance, the importance of chemistry and storytelling, the mentality required for competition dancing, whether he and Kelly Monaco were together during season 15 of Dancing with the Stars, and why being a male ballroom dancer is one of the most masculine things you can be.
Betty Buckley is a Tony award winning singer and actress. Best known to theatergoers for playing Grizabella in the original Broadway cast of Cats (for which she won the Tony in 1983) and for starring as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard both in London and New York, she's also appeared on Broadway in 1776, Pippin, Carrie, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Triumph of Love. She made her big screen debut in the Brian de Palma film Carrie before going to star in Eight is Enough for four seasons on ABC. Other film and TV roles include: Tender Mercies, Roman Polanski's Frantic, Woody Allen's Another Woman and a reoccurring role in the HBO series Oz. To date, Betty has recorded 16 solo albums. Her most recent Ghostlight was produced by T. Bone Burnett. In 2012, she was inducted in to the American Theater Hall of Fame. In this conversation, Betty looks back at her film and theater career, revealing the moment she knew she could act, the nights she felt most embraced by an audience, and how she always knew she would do her best work in her later years. She talks about what she learned from the late Dick Van Patten while shooting Eight is Enough, dealing with the shock of his death and how the challenges and losses we endure in life prove to be profound lessons in disguise that are designed to help us grow. Plus-- what was like working on her most recent album Ghostlight with T. Bone Burnett, how she's preparing for the Hamptons' first production of Grey Gardens: The Musical at Bay Street Theater, and why a recent riding accident means she won't have to act when she plays Big Edie.
Kate Mueth is an actress, director, choreographer and producer. In 2008, she founded Neo-Political Cowgirls, a women’s dance theatre company committed to making exciting and provocative theatrical work for and about women. In the fall of 2015, her show EVE will be opening both Off-Broadway and in Berlin. She is also founder of the Mulford Repertory Theatre Company, a summer Equity company in East Hampton, NY. In this second half of our conversation, Kate talks about the future of experimental theater; why an immersive theater experience is important to a world disconnected by technology; how the language of mythology can lead to a deeper understanding of human motivation, and the universal forces that make up the whole self; and why her intention is never to make a social or political statement but always to raise questions. #godeep
Polly Draper is an award-winning actress, writer, producer, and director. Best known for her work on the ABC television drama thirtysomething, she also wrote and directed The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, and The Naked Brothers Band TV series on Nickelodeon, both of which starred her two sons Nat and Alex Wolff. More recently, Polly has appeared in the Showtime dramedy The Big C, the CBS drama Golden Boy and the film Side Effects, directed by Steven Soderbergh. Tune in to hear Polly Draper talk about marriage and divorce, Yale Drama School, the theater, meeting her husband on the Arsenio Hall show, the casualties of riding mechanical bull, and what it's like having a dog on anti-depressants.
The beauty of the land cannot mask the brutality of a farm town. As harvest draws near, Betty confronts a terrifying new reality. She will go to desperate lengths to save her family and must coldly decide whom to sacrifice. That is the description of the new film Runoff which debuted at the LA Film Festival and was featured at this year's Hamptons International Film Festival. In this conversation, Writer-Director Kimberly Levin and Producer Kurt Pitzer talk about what inspired the film, its universal theme of survival vs. integrity, why family farms are struggling to survive, and how our personal decisions can have global consequences for the earth.
Roberta Flack is one of the greatest songstresses of our time. Known for her classic #1 singles "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", "Killing Me Softly With His Song", "Where Is The Love" and "The Closer I Get to You", she remains the only solo artist to have won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year two consecutive times. Tune in to hear Roberta Flack talk about how her classical music training influenced her as a songwriter and performer, how she discovered Killing me Softly (and what she thinks of the Fugees' version), and what she thinks about the state of pop music today.
"[Wildlike is] the story of Mackenzie, a troubled but daring teenage girl sent by her struggling mother to live with her uncle in Juneau, Alaska. At first he is a supportive caretaker and friend, but the relationship is not what it seems and Mackenzie must run away. Trying to make her way back to Seattle to find her absent mother, Mackenzie only winds up deeper in the Alaskan interior. With no one else to turn to, she shadows a loner backpacker, Bartlett, an unlikely father figure with scars of his own." -Production Weekly  Wildlike makes its world premiere this weekend at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Tune in to hear the film's writer and director Frank Hall Green talk about what prompted him to tell this story, and the healing power of nature. Plus, Frank talks about one of his earlier films, Shooting Script, a documentary about his experience getting shot in the stomach in New York City.
Betty Buckley is a Tony Award winning actress and singer. Considered the quintessential musical theatre actress, in 1982 she originated the role of Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, which won her a Tony Award and established her reputation as one of Broadway's leading ladies. She went on to play Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, both on Broadway and the West End, and Hesione in Broadway's Triumph of Love. In 2012 she was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. TV viewers know her from the HBO series Oz, Law & Order SVU, and Eight is Enough, for which she was nominated for an Emmy. Her film credits includes M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, Brian De Palma's Carrie, Roman Polanski's Frantic, Woody Allen's Another Woman, and Tender Mercies which won 2 Academy Awards in 1983. Betty Buckley has also had a prolific career as a recording artist. To date, she's released 16 albums including the Grammy nominated Stars and the Moon: Live at the Donmar. Her new solo album Ghostlight, produced by her childhood friend T. Bone Burnett has been hailed by fans and critics alike. In this 2008 conversation, Betty talks about some of her most formative teachers, the impact Bob Fosse had on her as an artist, what it takes to sing one eleven o'clock number after another in concert, and how being an actress is like being a portrait painter. Also- what does Betty think about being dubbed "the quintessential Broadway leading lady"? Tune in to find out.
Guitarist Jeff Allegue was born in Amityville, NY and began his classical training at the age of 10. A founding members of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, he played bass with the group for 12 years and appeared on their multi-platinum selling albums “Christmas Trilogy” and “The Lost Christmas Eve", as well as their newest release "Night Castle". He was awarded 2 platinum and 4 gold records from the RIAA for his work with them. Early in his career, his band “The Tallboys” appeared on MTV which led to their appearance on “Star Search,” where they won three consecutive shows and placed in the finals. He went onto work with Jive recording artist Amie Miriello and Taylor Dayne, with whom Jeff toured for many years throughout the country. His latest instrumental guitar album "The Lovely Savages" is available on iTunes or anywhere digital music is sold. Currently, Jeff is a member of the hugely popular Long Island-based band New Life Crisis along with singer/songwriter Paul Mahos, and drummer Steve O'Brien. Jeff has been profiled in Guitar Player Magazine, Bass Player Magazine and Guitar for the Practicing Musician. He plays Spector basses, Martin, Gretsch, Fender and Alvarez-Yairi guitars. All instruments are strung with D'Addario strings. Find out more at http://www.myspace.com/jeffallegue
Part 2 of my conversation with actor/comedian/songwriter Rick Crom! Perhaps best known as Louis CK's gay poker buddy on the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award winning show Louie on FX, he's also been seen on Chappelle's Show, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and Caroline's Comedy Hour. As a comedian, he's a regular at The Comedy Cellar in New York and has performed in clubs throughout the country. As an actor, Rick has appeared on Broadway in The Goodbye Girl (with Martin Short and Bernadette Peters), Footloose, and Urinetown. As a songwriter, Rick wrote the book, music and lyrics for Newsicle, a musical that lampoons current events, celebrities and trends which has been running Off-Broadway since 2009, and has earned him several Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Lyrics. Newsicle is currently enjoying an open-ended run at The Kirk at Theatre Row. In Part 2 of our conversation, Rick continues to makes me laugh A LOT. Plus, he talks about his television work, including the origin of his famous poker scene on Louie, the effect that scene continues to have; the reason he waited so long to come out publicly, and why being a comedian is so therapeutic.
Part II of our conversation with Grammy and Emmy Award winning producer and recording engineer Cynthia Daniels. She’s a two-time Grammy Award winner, (The Producers, [2001 Original Broadway Cast] and The Julie Andrews Collection CD), and has worked with everyone from Beyonce to Paul McCartney to Jennifer Lopez. Specializing in orchestral pop, she has recorded and produced countless broadway cast albums and large-scale productions in New York and London. She’s also produced solo and live records for some of the world’s most renowned vocalists and performers, such as Barbara Cook, Patti Lupone, Eartha Kitt, Sandra Bernhard and Elaine Stritch (Elaine Stritch: At Liberty). Ms. Daniels has also worked extensively in television and film and in 2007, she won an Emmy Award for composition and music supervision on the longest running daytime series Guiding Light. In 2011, she built a world-class recording studio in the Hamptons, (designed by architect John Storyk) and launched her own music label: MonkMusic Records, which focuses on young, emerging artists and producing audiophile quality, high-energy rock.
It's FUN to get the scoop, and Joan Jedell has it. The founder and creator of Hampton Sheet Magazine and hamptonsheet.com, Joan Jedell has been chronicling the lives of the rich and famous in Manhattan and the Hamptons for over 20 years. Tune in for a full celebrity-recap of Summer 2014 in the Hamptons, including: the Kardashian-invasion, the "Housewives", the Clintons, Alec Baldwin, Bruce Willis, Jerry Seinfeld, the hottest party of the summer, and what NOT to do if you get pulled over this Labor Day weekend.
Jane Krakowski is a star of stage and screen. She first became known to TV audiences as office assistant Elaine Vassal on Alley McBeal, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. More recently she starred as Jenna Maroney for 7 seasons on NBC's 30 Rock, for which she was nominated for 4 Emmy Awards. Tune in to hear Jane talk about her start in the theater, why 30 Rock was a match made in heaven and how playing the character of Jenna helped her not take herself too seriously as an actress.
Rainbow Connectionby Paul Williams and Kenneth AscherArrangement by Jeff AllegueGuitar and Banjo- Jeff AllegueVocals- Walker Vreeland
Dianne Reeves is a 4-time Grammy Award winning jazz singer, known for her improvisational prowess and unique jazz and R&B stylings. She is the only singer to have won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance three consecutive times. Her most recent album Beautiful Life was released in February 2014. The album showcases Reeves’ sublime gifts by melding elements of R&B, Latin and pop within the framework of 21st Century jazz. “At its essence,” says Reeves, “Life is beautiful, and I wanted to celebrate that which is too often overlooked.”In this conversation, Dianne talks about her earliest influences, discovering her own style and what her mother taught her about living her best life.
Jeff Leblanc is a singer/songwriter who has twice broken into the Top 10 of the iTunes Top 200 Singer/Songwriter Chart.  Born and raised in Center Moriches, New York, he  began his career as a street busker in Westhampton Beach.  Jeff tours regularly and has opened for headliners such as Gavin DeGraw, Colbie Caillat, Lifehouse, Chris Isaak, Andy Grammer, Third Eye Blind and Goo Goo Dolls among many others. His music had been featured on Teen Mom, The Real World, The Challenge Rivals, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, FriendZone and Jersey Shore. In 2011, Jeff was nominated by SiriusXM's Coffee House Channel as Singer/Songwriter Discovery of the Year. In this conversation Jeff talks about his new album Vision, why he worries and what he worries about, how facing his fears helped him grow and evolve as a songwriter, and why he finds it hard to write when everything is going great. Plus- several acoustic studio performances!
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Podcast Details

Started
May 27th, 2013
Latest Episode
Jul 21st, 2016
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
67
Avg. Episode Length
28 minutes
Explicit
Yes
Order
Episodic

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