BWW Interview: Seth Bisen-Hersh, Allie Trimm & Kimberly Faye Greenberg Talk BROADWAY MEOWS
The 7th Annual Broadway Meows Concert for the Humane Society of New York will be presented at Don't Tell Mama, one night only, Monday, July 13th at 7pm. The evening will be comprised of songs by composer/ lyricist Seth Bisen-Hersh. Bisen-Hersh will be joined on stage by a phenomenal cast of Broadway stars. All the proceeds for the evening will go to the Humane Society of New York, which has cared for animals in need when illness, injury or homelessness strikes for over 100 years.
Today, Seth Bisen-Hersh and two of the event's headlining performers, Allie Trimm (Broadway's 13, BYE BYE BIRDIE) and Kimberly Faye Greenberg (ONE NIGHT ONLY WITH FANNY BRICE) speak exclusively to BroadwayWorld about this year's exciting show and their love of animals.
"I would say we're pretty close," says Bisen-Hersh of his cat Smee, whose life was saved by the Humane Society back in 2009 and who serves as the inspiration behind the event. "We don't have many secrets from each other, mostly because cats don't have secrets, and I have a really big mouth. Usually we're copacetic, but sometimes Smee can get on my nerves. One time, I came home and found one of the cabinets opened and most of its items spread across the floor including an empty bag of cat treats. So, then I duct taped the cabinet, and the next day I found the same scene including chewed through duct tape and another empty bag of treats. So, finally I put all the treats in plastic containers and still to this day I will find them on the floor, but at least he hasn't been able to open those! Additionally, he can open the fridge, and I bought a lock for that, but he broke it by yanking so hard (the video of that happening is on youtube.com/everydayalittleseth), but since then I have reinforced the lock with duct tape and there have been no more incidents!"
Shares Trimm, "I grew up in a pet-free family due to allergies but as soon as I moved out of the house my family bought a cat. Every visit home began with me wanting to dislike the cat that took over my place in the family and caused me to sneeze uncontrollably but I just could not help myself. Our little kitten was so sweet and cuddly and adventurous... I was smitten. So I may have joined the pet party a little late but I finally understand unconditional love and sass from pet cats." She says of the event, "I just love the idea of blending people who love musical theater and people who love animals. What a positive group of people!"
Kimberly Faye Greenberg commented on her special relationship with her pets. "I have 2 cats, Mickey and Minnie. Before them I had another cat, Nellie, who passed," she explains. "They are truly the loves of my life. My babies. I talk to them; they sleep with me at night. They know my moods and comfort me when I need it. And funny enough in practicing for my auditions they are my audience. I know it seems crazy, but they become a part of you. They completely understand me, and the unconditional love is so great! Also, their individual quirks are so cute. Minnie tries to open every drawer in my house so she can crawl in. And Mickey will just talk with me to no-end."She goes on to share, "Funny story: I met a great friend of mine, Alison Holman, because she found Mickey. He had been dumped on the street in the middle of winter in need of a home and through a mutual friend of ours we connected. It took her two weeks to catch this cat who was so loving but so afraid to trust another human. Since the universe brought that cat to us, Alison and I became fast friends over our love for animals. We have collaborated on so many different levels as well, as she is a writer, composer and musical director. Mickey was truly an angel in disguise in this instance."
Asked what people can expect at Monday night's event, Seth promises, "A fantastic evening filled with pet stories and 20 of my songs - 14 of them are comedy songs, so it should be a very funny time. We're premiering 3 songs
that haven't been performed in the Broadway concerts before, and a new arrangement turning one of the Love Quirks duets into a quartet featuring the entire cast from last September's run. The performers are exquisite, and I'm really blessed to have them involved."
All three performers agree that the Broadway community is unique in its willingness to come together for worthy causes. "Most of us have struggled to get where we are in the industry and still struggle with the incessant rollercoaster nature of the biz, so we have empathy for other people and animals in need," says Bisen Hersh. "Few of us have picked this field for monetary gain, so we are happy to donate our time and talent, especially when it's a fun time for a great cause!"
Agrees Trimm, "I think that a lot of people join this business because they want to give back. Whether they are giving back by entertaining an audience, providing an escape or emotional outlet, or helping to raise money for the well-being of any group. Live performance can be a very special thing particularly when you know that you are making a positive impact."
Adds Greenberg, "There is camaraderie between the members of the Broadway community to help those that can't always help themselves. And, as artists we don't necessarily make a heck of a lot of money, but using our god-given talents (singing/dancing/acting/performing) can entertain but also help to institute change through new ideas while helping to bring people together to support a cause. Consequently, by using what is innately in us, we can come together to bring entertainment and new ways of thinking to those who can affect people by giving money, which we do not have ourselves."
Being feline-fans, BWW asked the trio which musical they "purr"-ferred, CATS or THE LION KING. "The Lion King," says Seth, explaining, "I fell asleep during Cats... though, that's partly because I slept over a friend's house the night before.""Lion King!" exclaims Trimm. "Although I do love my kitten now. But still gotta go with Simba. I might name a future pet Simba... that would be so cool!"
Laughs Greenberg, "Lion King" hands down... But I'm a little bit partial because I worked on the show for over 3 years backstage as a swing wardrobe dresser and onstage in all the benefits for BCEFA. So my "Lion King" family gets my support!"
The talented performers also shared what's ahead in their busy showbiz careers. "We hope to do a reading of a revised version of my show Love Quirks (lovequirks.com) in the fall and move the show Off-Broadway in 2016," says Seth. "It's not technically theatre, but it's theatrical in nature... my web series Every Day a Little Seth is in the middle of its 5th season right now. (youtube.com/EveryDayaLittleSeth) Other than that, I am booked with weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, showcases at Don't Tell Mama through the end of 2015."
Shares Trimm, "I'll be singing at 54 Below on July 26th in Uncharted- a night of Sara Bareilles music. Following that on August 9th my dear friend Brynn Williams (13, Bye Bye Birdie) and I are headlining our own show at 54 Below! We both couldn't be more excited to share the stage again."
"I will be singing in Tim Realbuto's show at NYMF this month," explains Greenberg. "I have a performance of my touring solo show "Fabulous Fanny: The Songs and Stories Of Fanny Brice" in November at the Goodwill Theatre in Johnson City, NY. I am also continuing to workshop and do industry readings with the Broadway/Off-Broadway bound shows "Freedom's Song", "Rocket Boys" and "Ghostlight". All of them are so different and great! It's very exciting to be part of such new and smart musical theatre with very very talented performers and creative teams and I can't wait to see where those lead. It also looks like I will be playing Fanny Brice again... this time in a play and hopefully in the near future! It's being written by the brilliant Steven Carl McCasland, and I'm excited to start to work on that as well when the time comes! Feel free to keep up with me and/or check me out at www.kimberlyfayegreenberg.com
About BROADWAY MEOWS:
The cast of Broadway Meows will include Allie Trimm (13), Amanda Castano (Spring Awakening), Brian Shaw (Love Quirks), Elyse Beyer (Judy and Me), Gabrielle Ruiz (If/ Then), Kimberly Faye Greenberg(One Night with Fanny Brice), Laurel Harris (Evita), Lauren Testerman (Love Quirks), Miriam Kushel (More to Love), Nina Hennessey (Bye, Bye Birdie), Rebecca Larkin (South Pacific),Rob Richardson (Jekyll & Hyde), Robert McCaffrey (Love Quirks), Russell Fischer (Jersey Boys), Shelley Thomas (Brooklyn) and Teresa Hui (Love Quirks). The concert will be produced by Noah W. Sprock.
The audience can expect to hear 20 songs from Bisen-Hersh's catalog featuring a few new tunes and also popular songs from Love Quirks, More to Love, Stanley's Party, If Adele Can Do It, So Can I and more. Songs will include "I'm Not Interested in You", "Dear Facebook", "Can You Believe I Was Ever Sad We Broke Up?" and "Why Do I Always Fall for Straight Boys?".
All the proceeds for the evening will go to the Humane Society of New York, which has "cared for animals in need when illness, injury or homelessness strikes" for over 100 years. The Humane Society saved Bisen-Hersh's cat, Smee's, life in 2009, and this annual benefit is his way of saying thanks. 5. Is there a way people can help the Humane Society if they are not able to attend Monday night's event?To donate to The Humane Society of New York, visit: http://humanesocietyny.org/ and click on the donations tab!