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Nick D’ and The Believers Exclusive 614NOW Playlist & Interview

“…there’s this electricity — this wide open kind of energy, where it feels like anything is possible.”

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This week we have a very awesome and special guest curating our Columbus weekly playlist series, Nick D’ and The Believers.

They recently collaborated with Gateway to create their newest music video, which was filmed on High St.

They’re set to screen the premiere of their new video to Room Starts Shaking, off their new EP Crown, this Friday, August 26th, along with a free concert. Proceeds from the raffles and donations will benefit the OSU student org brand of Love Your Melon, to fight pediatric cancer.

We had the lovely opportunity to ask Nick D’ and The Believers some questions ahead of their video premiere.

Two years ago you were part of 614’s class of 2014, how have things changed since then?

We’re all two years older! Haha. We’ve added a few new members to the band: bass player Seth Bain and drummer Cory Webb. The additions have really enhanced our live show and filled out our sound a little more. In the studio, we’ve progressed toward a bigger sound with a wider sonic range, and we’ve added new instruments to the mix, like horns and more guitars. For our upcoming EP, we got the chance to work in a studio with a massive live room. It helped give this batch of songs a more expansive, anthemic feeling.

Sadly, it’s been way too long since we’ve played at Brothers Drake, but we’d still describe it as our second home for sure.

How did you get involved with Gateway for your video release?

As a band we really thrive on collaboration. It’s a big part of our group’s DNA, so we are always looking for other artists and/or organizations to collaborate with. Our experience has always been that when you keep the creative process open and fluid and invite talented, creative people to participate, the end result is always better.

With the video for ‘Room Starts Shaking,’ we’d been playing around with the concept for a little while and as we were getting closer to releasing the song, we started thinking about who we could collaborate with to make this video a reality. We approached the Gateway because of their focus on supporting the local arts community. Just this last summer, they started partnering with CD102.5 for the Local ‘n Live summer music series, so it felt like good timing to approach them about a music video. We were floored when they told us they were on board not just to sponsor the video but also to host the filming and a premiere and concert event. We can’t say enough how amazing it has been to partner with Gateway!

Plaza Starts Shaking Preview at Gateway from Gateway – University District on Vimeo.

Explain the picks on your playlist! 

For this playlist, we did an even split between new discoveries and old favorites. It’s kind of our soundtrack for the last month or so. Mostly summer vibes, but with fall creeping in from the corners.

Favorite thing about Columbus?

Since Columbus is a relatively young city and it’s going through such an incredible growth spurt, there’s this electricity — this wide open kind of energy, where it feels like anything is possible. In some bigger cities, history and tradition can feel a little more stifling. There are harder barriers and heavier burdens to break through to bring your dream to life. That’s much less the case in Columbus. It’s almost like a frontier town in some ways; it’s still in the process of inventing itself. It’s awesome to be part of all of this.

Nick D' and The Believers - Crown - Press Photo 02

What’s the next upcoming thing for you guys, what are you looking forward too?

The Plaza Starts Shaking concert event this Friday is going to be awesome. We can’t wait to share our video in the place where we filmed it with the people who made it possible!

We’re definitely excited about our new EP Crown, that we’re putting out September 2nd. We put so much into this one and there’s a feeling of relief in letting it go and letting people finally hear what we’ve been working so hard to make. We’ve following up the release with a really fun tour, looking forward to bringing these songs to the stage.

We’re so excited to share what we have, but we’re also already working on the next batch of songs. We’ve started mapping out a concept for a series of songs woven together into one cohesive narrative, accompanied by an extended video. We’re already getting the wheels turning on that, talking about who we want to collaborate with, and getting pumped up to start all over again.  

Plaza_Starts_Shaking_Social-IG-2

 

For more information on their Gateway event visit Nick D’ and the Believers facebook page

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Arts & Music

Serenity now! 614 interviews Jason Alexander ahead of Cbus performance

Mike Thomas

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If you’re expecting a stand-up comedy routine from a frumpily-dressed Jason Alexander full of jokes about soup and shrinkage and Festivus, move on.

Alexander’s still getting laughs. But, they’re a different kind as he returns to his roots as a Broadway show performer, taking his singing, dancing, piano-playing, storytelling routine across the country with a pops-style show that will arrive in Columbus this month. Alexander will join the Columbus Symphony Orchestra to tell the story of his life on the screen and stage.

(614) recently had the delightful opportunity to speak with the Tony Award-winning actor about the show, his love of poker, and the influence of George Costanza on our culture in 2019.  

(614): “An Evening With Jason Alexander” comes to the Ohio Theatre on April 27. What can our readers expect from
the performance?

JA: (Chuckling.) I’m only laughing because I’ve been doing this for about three years, and that’s always the first question! So “An Evening With” is a pop show that I’ve been doing for about three years all around the country. I know most people may not immediately think of me as a singer if they know me from my roles on television, but it is a more-or-less autobiographical journey through my love affair with music from the Broadway stage.

Some of it is things that I’ve performed on Broadway, some of it is not. A lot of it is very funny. A lot of it is just great music. It’s a slightly different show in that, although there’s a symphony orchestra up there, it does feel like an intimate evening. There’s lots of storytelling, and at one point in the show I bring about seven people up on the stage—and they are truly not plants, I pick them at random—and they wind up performing a number with me.

How does preparing for a role like this where you’re appearing as yourself differ from a performance where you’re appearing in character?

The preparation is all emotional. I went into performing because I was a really shy kid, so I was able to hide in plain sight. I could be with people, be out in front of people, and I was always more or less hiding behind some character. I’ve always said the five worst words for me in the English language are, “Ladies and gentlemen—Jason Alexander.” That usually scares the hell out of me! That means I have to go out there and be myself. 

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The beautiful thing about this show is the preparation was all in creating the show. If you’re going to go in front of people and take their time and present yourself as an entertainer, what story or stories do you want to share, and how do you want to play with an audience so they have a
very full and very rewarding time? That was all the hard part. In the actually getting up and doing it, I’ve been pretty lucky that I’ve been playing with some of the best orchestras in the country, so when I’m up there I’m generally having a pretty good time. If I’m not, something’s gone terribly wrong. 

You’ve made a name for yourself in the competitive poker world, even appearing in the main event at the World Series of Poker. How did your interest in poker begin?

Almost everybody in my business bumps into poker at some point, because if you do theater and movies, there’s a lot of down time. More often than not, somebody will say, “Hey, let’s play some poker.” But it was around the time that the celebrity poker shows started in the early 2000’s that I remember being invited to be a player on a televised poker thing, and my publicist represented [professional Poker player] Phil Hellmuth at the time, and he said “Hey, I represent this professional poker player, would you like a lesson?” And I said, “What the hell. The guy calls himself a professional poker player. Let me go see who he is.” After about ten minutes my head was spinning. I realized there was so much about this game I did not understand, never knew, would never understand. But I became fascinated with it. 

It is such a rich game in that there are so many ways you can play it. You can play it as a mathematical player, you can play it as an instinctual player. It is an actor’s game because you are always making impressions about yourself at the table, always trying to understand the impression other players are making. I’m so fascinated by the game, but my fascination does not, unfortunately, mean that I am good at it. I am entertaining at the table, I generally know right from wrong, but sometimes right doesn’t work, and even knowing wrong I have proceeded to do the wrong thing time and time again. It’s kind of like life, you never stop being surprised and learning more about it. 

I also meet amazing people at the poker table, fascinating people that I would never otherwise meet. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 30 years and I work in the entertainment business, so I don’t often meet guys who are driving buses in Cleveland, Ohio, or work in accounting firms in Wyoming, but at the poker table you meet people from every walk of life.

For nine seasons in the 90s, you played the iconic role of George Costanza on the classic sitcom Seinfeld. What lessons can George teach us in 2019, or where in our modern culture do you see the character’s influence?

Well, if I am to believe social media, the president is making a lot of George-isms. The one that keeps being tweeted at me is, people believe the president may be subscribing to the Costanza philosophy of “it’s not a lie if you believe it.” I am afraid, unfortunately if you want to be serious, that the sort of selfishness and short-sightedness and narcissism that George Costanza was certainly guilty of may have infected a lot of our modern culture right now, and to nobody’s good, I’m afraid.

Jason Alexander will perform at the Ohio Theater on April 27th at 8 p.m. For tickets information, visit columbussymphony.com/events.

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You can sit with us: 6 fan favorites coming to Broadway in Columbus stage

Laura Dachenbach

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Six incredible shows including Columbus premieres, revivals, and long-running favorites, make up the 2019-2020 Broadway in Columbus series season.

In an exciting reveal last night, coupled with performances from local and Broadway performers, CAPA announced its 2019-2020 PNC Broadway in Columbus series in what looks to be an especially exciting lineup of shows.

The series will kick off with two shows that deal with the difficulties of adolescence. The critically-acclaimed Dear Evan Hansen (Sept. 17-22) tells the story of a private letter that shouldn’t have been read publicly, its tragic results, and the complexities of fitting in, while Mean Girls, (Oct. 22-27) written by former high school theater nerd and SNL writer Tina Fey and her husband Jeff Richmond, is a musical adaptation of the film of the same name that looks at cliques and Queen bees. Mean Girls comes to Columbus straight from its Broadway run.

In November, Les Misérables (Nov. 19-24) continues its “One Day More” in its almost 35 years of existence. This touring version will be freshly staged and its updated look is inspired by the little-known paintings of Victor Hugo that have been converted into backdrop projections.

Les Misérables

The New Year will kick off with another film adaptation, Anastasia (Jan. 29-Feb. 2). The stage version maintains your favorites tunes such as “Journey to the Past” and “Once Upon a December” while adding 16 new songs. This version of the last Romanov daughter, written by Terrence McNally, happily says “do svidanya” (goodbye) to Bartok the Bat and the zombie version of Rasputin and replaces them with a conniving secret police officer.

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Anastasia

My Fair Lady (Mar. 11-15), the musical that launched Julie Andrews into Broadway prominence, is sometimes called “the most perfect musical of all time.” A social commentary about language and society, My Fair Lady features a lineup of perennial Broadway favorites such as “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” And “On The Street Where You Live.”

My Fair Lady

Wrapping up the subscriber season is Miss Saigon (June 9-14), the love story of an American GI and a young Vietnamese woman who bears his child, is written by the same creative team as Les Misérables. This revival contains additional Vietnamese lyrics and exceptionally spectacular stage effects.

Miss Saigon

Jersey Boys (Jan. 10-11) and the ever-“Popular” Wicked (Apr. 22-May 17) are optional subscriber package add-ons to the season. CAPA also announced that Come From Away, a musical about true events during the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks will be included in the 2020-2021 season.

To renew your season subscription or to become a subscriber, visit broadwayincolumbus.com.  You can also call (800-294-1892) or just stop in at the CAPA Ticket Center at 39 E State St. It’s a season you really won’t want to miss!

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Arts & Music

You won’t have to go “On the Road Again” for this Willie Nelson music Festival

Mike Thomas

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Look out all you Highwaymen, the Red Headed Stranger is coming to town – and he’s bringing a few friends with him.

American music legend, activist, and all-around badass Willie Nelson will bring his “Outlaw Musical Festival” tour to Columbus’ Nationwide arena on June 23. The festival will make stops in 10 cities this summer, with the Columbus leg featuring support from The Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dawes, and an opener TBD.

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Each stop on the tour will feature an “Outlaw Village,” showcasing crafts from local artisans as well as festival attractions and local food and drink offerings.

Tickets for the festival’s Columbus show go on sale Friday, March 8th. Presale will begin Wednesday, March 6 at 10am and go through Thursday, March 7 at 10pm or while supplies last. Enter offer Code ARENA.

For more information, visit the tour website.

In the meantime, please enjoy this fantastically weird tune from the pre-Shotgun Willie days.

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