In this episode of The Randy Report podcast, I’m chatting with the fabulous TV and stage actor Jamison Stern.
As a cast member of the Amazon Video series After Forever, he was a part of the team that was honored with 8 Daytime Emmy nominations in 2019 and took home five – including Best Digital Series, Best Writing Team for Digital Series, Best Actor in a digital series and more.
Last week, the 2020 Daytime Emmy nominations were announced and it was more good news for the After Forever crew – six nominations this year including – again – Best Digital Series and Best Writing Team for a Digital Series.
So, it’s terrific timing to sit down and chat with Jamison about the journey and success of the show.
One of the busiest actors in New York City, Jamison has appeared on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in just about every leading regional theater across the country.
He recently won rave reviews for his tour de force turn in Fully Committed at TheaterWorks in Hartford playing 33 characters – onstage alone. One critic wrote, “The production showcases an awesome star in Jamison Stern, who lights up the stage and fills the play with dozens of characters, even though he is completely—and gloriously—on his own.”
He also brings that creative output to his Instagram account. During the run of a show, he’ll become obsessed with new ways to include his followers in his theatrical journey.
Jamison is one of the actors who bring theatre to life for so many across the country starring in top-notch productions in cities like Hartford CT, Atlanta GA, Houston TX, and Seattle WA.
Hit play and you’ll see why this is one of my favorite interviews to date on The Randy Report.
• Broadway veteran Ed Dixon’s latest play, Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose, recently opened in New York City to rave reviews (The Huffington Post – “Georgie is a masterpiece!”). Ed joins me to talk about the background of the show and it’s genesis to becoming the toast of the town.
• The Utah state legislature has advanced a bill that would make life more difficult for HIV+ people.
• The Trump administration says bathroom rights for transgender students is a “state’s rights issue.”
• British race car driver Danny Watts becomes the highest-profile European driver to come out so far.
• Professional provocateur and former “alt-right” darling, Milo Yiannopolous, had a very bad week.
I’m in rehearsals for Hello, Dolly! at The Wick Theater in Boca Raton, Florida, so I figure it’s time for a little #TBT.
The above pic was from the 1995 Broadway revival of Dolly with Carol Channing (who else?) at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on West 46th Street, taken during the “Hello Dolly” number. I’m far right in the pic closest to Carol (there in the shadows, but happy to be there).
Below is the end of the very athletic “Waiter’s Gallop.” I’m second from the left with the shish kabob in my hand. Please note my pulled up feet 🙂
Staging the show now, and passing on what I learned with such a beautiful, wonderful company on Broadway always makes me smile.
Just to underscore that, I always share that in 22 months, no one left the company. We were all so happy to be there. That sounds so pollyanna, but it’s true. Trust me – that isn’t always the atmosphere backstage on Broadway.
Earlier this week, Broadway icon Patti LuPone made headlines when she snatched a cell phone out of the hands of an audience member who was texting during the performance of her current show Shows For Days at Lincoln Center.
“This woman — a very pretty young woman — was sitting with her boyfriend or husband. We could see her text. She was so uninterested. She showed her husband what she was texting. We talked about it at intermission. When we went out for the second act I was very close to her, and she was still texting. I watched her and thought, “What am I going to do?” At the very end of that scene, we all exit. What I normally do is shake the hand of the people in the front row. I just walked over to her, shook her hand and took her phone. I walked offstage and handed it to the stage manager, who gave it to the house manager.
“I don’t know why they buy the ticket or come to the theater if they can’t let go of the phone. It’s controlling them. They can’t turn it off and can’t stop looking at it. They are truly inconsiderate, self-absorbed people who have no public manners whatsoever. I don’t know what to do anymore. I was hired as an actor, not a policeman of the audience.
It’s getting worse. I’m hired to tell a story, and it takes a lot of effort and work to do that convincingly. It’s a handful of people who destroy that experience for everyone. It’s heartbreaking. Theater is not a social event.”
She issued this public statement about her actions and why she feels so strongly about the issue:
“We work hard on stage to create a world that is being totally destroyed by a few, rude, self-absorbed and inconsiderate audience members who are controlled by their phones. They cannot put them down. When a phone goes off or when a LED screen can be seen in the dark it ruins the experience for everyone else – the majority of the audience at that performance and the actors on stage. I am so defeated by this issue that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage anymore. Now I’m putting battle gear on over my costume to marshall the audience as well as perform.”
Chaz Bono in Proof for the Noisy Nest Theatre Company
(photo: Amanda Bird)
Showing no fear of new hills to climb, Chaz Bono appears in his first major dramatic stage role as “Robert” in the David Auburn play Proof for the Noisy Nest Theatre Company in Los Angeles through April 12th.
David Auburn’s Tony Award-winning play Proof tells the story of Catherine, who has spent the past years of her life caring for her father, Robert. Robert has not only passed down his aptitude for mathematics, but may have also passed down a form of mental instability.
Upon her Robert’s death, Catherine faces a journey beyond grief. She, alongside her estranged sister Claire and her father’s former pupil, Hal, aim to find value and answers in the mathematician’s 103 notebooks.
Bono has spent years studying acting, telling People Magazine, “People don’t think of me as a trained actor. This is really all I’ve been doing lately, trying to get out there and get seen by people – one person at a time.”
The play runs from March 20th to April 12th at the Lounge Theatres at 6201 Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles. Performances are 8PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2PM on Sundays.
Purchase tickets online here.
$25 General Admission
It looks like the Kennedy Center may have one of it’s biggest successes with the reworking of the Broadway cult hit “Side Show.”
Capped by two climactic, heartbreaking songs and two tender, epic performances, the “Side Show” that has been given a new life by the Kennedy Center is an intoxicating experience — a poignant statement about the brutal rite of achieving self-acceptance and a glorious comeback for an important American musical.
Erin Davie and Emily Padgett portray Violet and Daisy Hilton, Siamese twins who go from being a tawdry carnival act to celebrated vaudeville stars but never what they truly desire: people seen as separate from their abnormal condition.
In this new version of the 1997 musical, reworked by composer Henry Krieger, book writer and lyricist Bill Russell and director Bill Condon, the distance the sisters travel from a cruel childhood of exploitation has been clarified. The mystical nature of their connection has been deepened, too, via a more concerted consideration of loneliness and freedom, themes that envelop them and many of the other hauntingly conceived “freaks” who fill the Eisenhower Theater stage.