I know it’s really supposed to be “what’s in a name” but you try coming up with hooks for these weekly blogs! So let’s talk about the number 52. It’s a pretty cool number. There are 52 cards in a deck. There are almost 52 ways to leave your lover. I mean Paul Simon says, “There must be fifty” which suggests lots more ways… although he can only seem to come up with five...hmmm? And of course, there are 52 weeks in a year. So if you were born in 1959 then this year on your birthday, you would be 2,704 weeks old or the more natural sounding 52 years old…I’m talking to you; Val Kilmer, Kevin Spacey, Allison Janney, Hugh Laurie, Rebecca De Mornay, David Hyde Pierce, Marcia Gay Harden, Judd Nelson, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Blair, Jason Alexander. Now according to Wikipedia the number 52 is also considered an “untouchable” number. We all know that Wikipedia has been known to have its fair share of bad information but this is a mathematical fact. At least it was until yesterday (September 4th)! That’s because I not only personally touched it yesterday (the number, the number!!!) but am also are excited to report…(drum roll) that “Hereafter Musical” has not only touched $52,000 but also PASSED it!!!! That’s right, we have now sold $52,475 worth of tickets (the difference between the online Kick Starter number and the actual number is in checks that we haven't posted yet)! That leaves us having to sell just $7,525 worth of tickets in 19 more days. Can’t have a better birthday that that!!!!!!
Roll Call Tease For Week Five
One of them runs her fingers through Howard Stern’s hair every morning (and they are NOT married)…One of them actually pays women to spend a day with me, one of them makes a real bet with me every year as to whether I live or die (true!!!) and one of them slept with me when he was a young boy (think about it before you jump to conclusions).
Meet The Cast - Meet The Characters [Part 3]
Meet Alma Cuervo [Christina] – First, let’s state the obvious…Alma has one of the coolest names we have ever heard. We once got drunk on a bottle of Alma Cuervo. And she certainly lives up to the coolness of her name. She’s a true Broadway veteran and is way too young to have been in FOURTEEN Broadway shows!!!! She played fellow “Hereafter Musical” cast mate Pierce Cravens’ mother in “Beauty And The Beast”! She was in “Titanic”, “Cabaret” and “The Heidi Chronicles” (among many others). She starred in Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's, “Road Show”. She most recently appeared on Broadway in “Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown” and just finished a sold out off-Broadway run in “The Shoemaker” with Danny Aiello.
Alma On Working With Vinnie & Frankie:
“Vinnie and Frankie are two of the most generous and passionate musicians I've ever met, and I've loved every moment in their presence.”
Here’s Alma with the rest of the cast performing “How Will She Remember Me”.
"How Will She Remember Me" - Company [Rehearsal Space 111410]
Meet Ilene Grossman[Ana] – I think of all the actors in our show, Ilene is probably the furthest away in personality from her character. She is one of the most upbeat, sunny people we know…perfect casting to play a dark and moody suicide girl! At Skidmore College, she decided to pursue both business and theater, playing Lucy in “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” her freshman year and joining the tribe of “Hair” her sophomore year. Her business degree landed her a job at Sirius XM Radio as an accountant, where she has the opportunity to use her math skills while listening to “Hereafter Musical” updates on The Howard Stern Show. She’s been with the show for five years and she might be playing Eddie’s mother by the time we get to Broadway!
Ilene On Working With Vinnie, Frankie & Bill:
“I have had the pleasure to be a part of this amazing creation from the beginning. It all started out with lyrics on a page and even at that point I had a feeling Hereafter was going to be something big. Vinnie put his heart and soul into this show and his talent and passion continue to amaze me. With the addition of Bill Hindin, the lyrics on the page turned into beautiful music. Then came Frankie- this wonderful woman's talent and heart took Hereafter to another level that I couldn't even imagine. I feel so lucky to be a part of the Hereafter family and can't wait to see what's ahead!”
Here’s both the studio and live version of Ilene’s show stopping number “Take My Life”.
"Take My Life" - Ilene Grossman
"Take My Life" - Ilene [Rehearsal Space 111410]
Meet Christina and Ana. Christina is a forty something, deeply religious woman whose daughter Ana committed suicide three years ago. She is now having a crisis of faith. She is very skeptical of psychics, but the tragic circumstance of her daughter’s death has taken her down this road. She has come to the session without her family’s knowledge because “they would never understand”. She has mixed feelings at what she hopes to get out of the reading. As she puts it, “Part of me wants to hold her in my arms and the other part just wants to berate her for the cruel and selfish thing she did.” But most of all,Christina is hoping to make contact so that her faith in God will be restored. We first meet Ana when Christina flashes back to the evening her daughter took her life from an overdose of anti depressants. We witness a rare touching moment between a mother and daughter who have been at odds over the years due to the daughter’s depression. But what Christina thought “was a beautiful moment, was in fact Ana’s way of saying goodbye. Ana deeply regrets what she did and the pain that she has caused her mother.
Ana and Christina
ROLL CALL OF THANKS FOR WEEK #5
Chris and Nanci Ross-Weaver – For those of you who are anal-retentive readers of this blog (most likely Virgos) you’ll notice that this is the SECOND time that Nanci and Chris have made the list. That’s because they must have suffered a small concussion and upgraded their original pledge amount. They not only upgraded but the DOUBLED it. Either that or the credit card company screwed up (gosh I hope they don’t see this).
Dana Diver – We don’t know Dana Diver. I know we’ve said that before and we’ve been wrong before (embarrassingly so!!!). Dana, prove us wrong (or right!).
Robert Bruzio – Robert is a talented writer and producer. We just met him but since he bought tickets we now consider him an old dear friend (we are easily bought!).
Patrick Woodward – Pat is the coolest life insurance agent out there. I’m working very closely with him on an “after life” policy. You never know what the price of things will be in the Hereafter and if Pat ever returns my call we’ll get that policy done!
Sheila Rogers – They don’t come much cooler than Sheila. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her for 15 of my 52 years!!!! She is responsible for turning most of you folks on to the music that you have listened to for the past 20 years as Letterman’s head talent booker (and at SNL before that). But I really love her because she laughs at MOST of my jokes!
Matt Simpson – Matt is awesome (we use that word a lot when people give us money). But in his case it happens to be true. He’s one of the driving forces behind the scenes at the Live On Letterman webcasts. Thanks Matt.
Lauren Flick – Loved her within minutes of meeting her. She’s an Odd Couple fanatic, has corresponded with Woody Allen and has had what I think is one of the best “strange but true” stories involving messages from “the other side” (and I don’t mean Europe!). She also wrote AND directed a great film starring Rita Moreno called “Play It By Ear”
Toni Coburn – Yes, Toni is the mystery woman who runs her fingers through Howard Stern’s hair every morning. Love her…one of the nicest people in this thing called show business!
Ginny de Liagre – We never met but we know her by phone. And just based on her voice we love her. Can you imagine how insane it will be when we actually meet! I smell restraining order...
Teja Van Wicklen – We know Teja. A very very cool person with a name that I have a sneaking suspicion is made up. I’m just putting it out there! Thanks Teja!
Linda Rene – I’ve also worked with Linda for 15 years! Nobody seems to leave CBS, which is pretty damn cool. Thanks Linda, we can’t wait for you to see the show!
Dana & Joe Noon – Dana was our friend then she married Joe earlier this year so now he is our friend-in-law. Thanks for getting tickets to our show! And Joe, thanks for giving Dana such a cool last name!
Dorothy Hess – How much do we love Dorothy? There must be 52 ways! One of them is for giving us her beautiful grand daughter Shea Hess. Here’s an awesome photo of Dorothy, Shea and I from a few years back. I’m about fifty pounds heavier AND I have worst sweat stain ever (but it was really, really hot and I was so nervous meeting Shea’s family for the very first time!!).
Dion Georges – Mystery solved. Dion Georges is responsible for hiring an endless stream of woman to spend the day with me because she runs the temp agency we use…gotcha! And she’s pretty, pretty great at what she does because we’ve met an impressive group of people over the years. Some of them even ended up working on our show!
Marty & Sherry – I’ve worked with Marty for fifteen years (I told you nobody ever leaves CBS…it’s like the Firm!). He’s offered wise council many, many times over those 15 years! Thanks guys!
Fred Nigro – Fred can buy and sell me. In fact he did sell me one time on EBay but I was returned because I didn’t live up to the product description! Thanks for taking me back and for supporting the show!
Edie Ciccione – Edie is part of what we call the Ciccione dynasty. This family keeps on supporting our show through three generations. We have grandma, mom and daughter and we’re not saying who’s who (they all look the same age anyway...just like the Bonanza family)!
Ray Lynn – Ray is a patient man! He saw a spark of genius in my songwriting with “Restless, Restless” eight years ago and said; (and I paraphrase) “when you have something good you should join ASCAP”. I think we’re ready Ray
Gina Hess – Gina is also part of another dynasty…the Hess family. I had the pleasure of meeting Gina at Shea’s wedding. We’re thinking of writing an entire show about them called; “CHess
Steve Bartlow – Talk about lifesavers! The first time we did a concert of music from the show, we had trouble finding an actor for the Jason part (which sucked because that character sings one of the best songs in the show). We we’re weeks away from the show and we still didn’t have a Jason…until Steve showed up. He jumped right into it with little preparation and he nailed it! Here’s a great video of Steve from that concert.
Cathy Tankosic – I worked with Cathy ages ago and don’t see her nearly as much as I would like to. Thanks for the support Cathy!
Joe & Christine Breglia – Joe & Christine are related (to me, not to each other…that would be weird)! Now it’s been explained to me many many times just how we’re related and I still get confused…but that’s just me! Thanks so much for you generous support
Mwolff – We don’t know “Mwolf”. Hell we don’t even know what a “Mwolf” is. In fact we’re scared even writing the name. BUT he/she/whatever did pledge for tickets so we’re pretty sure we will get to love “Mwolf”!
Anthony, Stephanie, Stephen, John & Alec Favale – Yes, Anthony is the little boy I slept with, but we were just kids (I even think we took a bath or two together but that was a few weeks ago). Because I am his older brother, I was able to get him to do just about anything. But now that he’s a proud member of the NYPD and carries a gun, it’s the opposite! Here’s an example of when I was in control. It’s a thirty five year old recording of a song that we wrote together called “Rock & Roller Child”…dig his lead guitar work! I think we won the amplifier at the St Finbar Bazar! Check out how it dies out in the middle of the song and then comes back on when he gives it a whack! Also check this GREAT performance by my nephew Alec on this cover of “Heartbeat”…who says talent skips a generation!
Don & Any Hunt – They have been to our concert and to our showcase…now they have tickets to see us off-Broadway! With friends like that you get to do cool stuff like this! Thanks guys.
Susan Miller – Here’s another person I’ve worked with for 15 years!!! In fact she was there when I had my first interview at Letterman show. She couldn’t say it at the time but I knew she was rooting for me. I could swear she blinked “good luck” in code!
Maria Pope – Yep ANOTHER 15-year co-worker…WTF!! Wait a minute, what if we really don’t work together but just think we do. Maybe it’s like that Twilight Zone episode “Five Characters In Search of an Exit” where they don’t realize they are just dolls…now I’m scared, thanks a lot Maria!
Mary & Vincent Cole – Ok. This one is a doozy. Mary has been my left and right hand for the past ten years (just for the work stuff…I swear). She’s the Late Night gatekeeper and is the only thing that separates me sometimes from High Pitch Eric and Jeff The Drunk (Stern references…Google it!). She is truly an amazing woman (and her husband and two beautiful daughters ain’t too shabby either). Everyone that I’ve worked with in the last ten years that has met her loves her more than they love me (and that includes my wife!!!). We have been through so much together. She knows she can never leave me (g-d knows she’s tried). This marriage is forever!!! But she will be rewarded one fine day (just not next week ok Mary…we still need you…desperately!!!).