Actress/painter Mary Woronov. She was part of Andy Warhol's "Factory" in the 1960s. She was discovered while still a college student and was in Warhol's film, "Chelsea Girls," about New York bohemian life. She has a new memoir about those years, Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory (Journey Editions).
Choreographer Elizabeth Streb. Her troupe, "The Ringside Company" is currently on national tour, with "PopAction." Streb's works combine dance, athletics, daring and precision. Her dancers work on and around such props as scaffolding towers, trampolines, and walls. One reviewer described it as "dazzling speed, wit and daring." (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Monologist, actor and writer Spalding Gray. He's written and performed several monologues including, "Monster in a Box" about all the distractions that prevented him from completing his novel, Impossible Vacation, and Swimming to Cambodia about filming a movie in Cambodia. Now Gray has a new monologue and book about his eye problems, and his adventures in the mainstream and alternative health care industries. It's called Gray's Anatomy. (Vintage Books).
Actor Sir Ian McKellan. Tomorrow Ian McKellen takes his one-man show, "Ian McKellen: A Knight Out" to Broadway's Lyceum Theatre. Since coming out in 1988, Britain's highly acclaimed Shakespearean actor has become an international voice for the gay and lesbian community. His role in Peter Schafer's "Amadeus" earned him a Tony Award in 1981. He has appeared in the recent popular films, "Last Action Hero" and "Six Degrees of Separation," and has plans for a film version of "Richard III."
Actor and playwright David Drake. In 1985, Drake saw the play "The Normal Heart" by playwright Larry Kramer. It was a turning point for Drake. Kramer went on to become a founder of ACT UP--the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. Drake a gay man, started on a path of self discovery and activism that has led to his writing a series of vignettes called "The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me" (Anchor Books). (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Actress and Stanford Theater Professor, Anna Deavere Smith. She performs solo, multi-casted pieces, the scripts of which are transcripts of interviews with real participants of events. "Fires in the Mirrors" (aired on PBS) gave voice to the many facets of the Crown Heights riots.
Pierce won the "Songwriter of the Year" award at the 1993 Austin Music Awards. A tribute album of her songs performed by other singers, "Across the Great Divide," won the Album of the Year Award. She's originally from Lubbock, Texas, and little known outside the state. Her songs are quirky, and spiritual. Pierce also wrote and performed the one-woman show, ""Bad Girls Upset About the Truth," told in story and song about her problems with men and Jesus.
Handler has played leading roles in seven Broadway productions including, "Six Degrees of Separation," "Brighton Beach Memoirs," and "Master Harold. . . and the boys." He's 32 now; seven years ago he was diagnosed with leukemia. He had a bone marrow transplant, and he's now considered free of the disease. He has a new monologue, "Time on Fire," about his four year struggle with leukemia.
Gomez is based in San Francisco. Her new show, "Memory Tricks," is running at the Public Theater in New York. Gomez talks about her mother, who worked as an exotic dancer, and who now suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
The L.A. based musician and performance artist fronted the punk-rock group, Black Flag. He's also the current leader of the Henry Rollins Band. His spoken word performances go back and forth between comedy and serious commentary. He has a new album of these performances, "Boxed Life," and a video, "Talking from the Box."
After nine years of stand-up comedy, Reynolds wrote a one-man show based on his life, called "Only the Truth is Funny." After ten months of sold-out shows, he was discovered by the agents to Woody Allen and David Letterman. He then moved his show to New York City. His new book is based on his solo show.
Performance artist Rhodessa Jones. She wrote and performs "Big Butt Girls, Hard Headed Women," a theatre piece that grew out of her work as an aerobic instructor in the San Francisco City Jail. Her work has been seen in international festivals in Amsterdam, Munich, and Boston. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Monologuist, actor and writer Spalding Gray. His latest monologue "Monster in a Box" is about all the distractions that prevented him from completing his novel, "Impossible Vacation." Now the monologue has been made into a film of the same name. It's also out in book form, and on top of that, "Impossible Vacation" has just been published. (The book "Monster in a Box" is published by Vintage Press, the book "Impossible Vacation" is published by Knopf, and the film "Monster in a Box" is distributed by Fine Line Features.)
B.D. Wong won a Tony award for his performance in the title role of "M. Butterfly." He played a man posing as a woman. Now, he's taking on another challenge: in the new one-man musical "Herringbone," which opened last week at the American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia, he plays eleven characters, including a eight-year-old boy, his parents, his grandmother, his dance teacher, and a tap-dancing midget nicknamed Lou the Frog. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Actor John Leguizamo (pronounced "Leh-gwee-zamo"). Leguizamo created and stars in the hit one-man show "Mambo Mouth," based on his experiences as a Latino growing up in Jackson Heights, Queens. "Mambo Mouth" premieres on television this Saturday, on HBO's Comedy Hour.
Actress Claire Bloom. After a long and illustrious career playing opposite the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Richard Burton, and Sir John Gielgud, Bloom is now performing a one woman show, called "Women Observed." In it, she reads roles from Anna Karenina, Jane Eyre, The Turn of the Screw, and A Room of One's Own. (The performance runs Thursday through Sunday at New York's Symphony Space). (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Actor and writer Eric Bogosian. Bogosian's one man, multi-character performances highlight the pressures of modern life and explore the underside of the American Dream. Bogosian's latest show, "Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll" has been released in book form (by Harper Collins) and as a movie. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a recent album by singer Shelly Hirsch and keyboardist David Weinstein. Their music draws from a diverse array of styles and traditions. Kevin says Hirsch is one of the most amazing singers in any genre.