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BWW Interview: Anthony Nunziata On His Solo Broadway Relief Benefit Concert August 27

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Anthony Nunziata steps back in front of the mic on August 27th... and the camera, too.

BWW Interview: Anthony Nunziata On His Solo Broadway Relief Benefit Concert August 27

Award-winning singer, songwriter and recording artist Anthony Nunziata will help kick off the live, in-person Broadway Relief Benefit Concert Series with a solo concert on Thursday, August 27th at 8PM at The Open Jar Studios in midtown Manhattan. Open Jar Studios is transforming a 4,000 square foot space into a socially distant cabaret space, allowing audiences to enjoy an in-person live event of Broadway stars in solo concert.

Tickets are $45-$60 with the proceeds benefiting The Actor's Fund with limited seating. Open Jar Studios is located at 1601 Broadway on the 11th Floor (Broadway & 48th Street - Enter on 48th St.) Eugene Gwozdz will be the musical director at the piano. Click HERE for tickets and more.

As the days count down to his concert Anthony spoke with Broadway World Cabaret about what fans can expect on Thursday, what the last six months have been like, and the point of view that guides him in life.

This interview was conducted digitally and is reproduced in its entirety.

Anthony Nunziata! Welcome back to the concert stage! How long has it been since you got to sing live?

Stephen Mosher! It's been about 6 months since the last time I performed live on stage. I am overjoyed to get back to the stage!

On Thursday night you will be performing your new show for a socially distanced crowd at the Open Jar Studios. Put a picture in my head of the process of creating a show in the times of coronavirus - not just the artistic aspect, but the technical specs of the playing area as well.

Jeff Whiting and his team at Open Jar Studios have created a world-class venue for these times. Wait 'til you see it! I had a rehearsal yesterday at the studios and walked the performance space. It is stunning! It's safe and patrons will be at a social-distance, separated by transparent dividers. The set, lights and sound have all been designed by Broadway's elite. It gives me so much hope thanks to the ingenuity and passion by Jeff and his colleagues!

From the moment New York City went into lockdown, you've been working. It was like a reverse vacation for you - you were one of the first people to do online concerts, and then you kicked it into high gear with your songwriting. How were you able to do it all, during such emotional and stress-filled times?

After doing a few online concerts, I needed to take a break and recalibrate. I took about a week off and did nothing except exercise, meditate, binge on Breaking Bad and The West Wing, and connect with loved ones. During the week the idea of writing new songs kept coming back to me. To capture what I was feeling right now. What the world was feeling. So I began the journey of writing songs inspired by the times we are living in. At the same time, I wanted to go to a place creatively that sparked unbridled joy. That place for me is Christmas. I have a baby fake Christmas tree in my apartment that I light up from time to time. Because why not! (Insert Christmas tree and Santa emoji!) Writing songs under these two thematic umbrellas has been inspiring, challenging, fun and therapeutic. The time off from traveling and the typical day-to-day grind has given me the time to hone my craft and I feel more inspired because of it.

How is the songwriting going? Did you write enough for a new album?

My team and I have written close to thirty songs and counting. About a song a week, give or take. It's been helpful to have some semblance of a schedule in having multiple writing sessions a week. I'm excited and proud of these songs and can't wait to share some of them during the concert on Thursday. We have about a dozen songs currently being pitched to some major pop, country, and classical crossover artists. What started out as writing songs for me as an artist turned to branching out to other artists as well. It's been a blast connecting with publishers and producers in LA, Nashville, NYC and London in a way that organically came to be. My hope is to record two albums in the next year.

You are a popular concert performer who spends much of the year traveling for gigs. What was the visceral reaction to an abrupt mandated hiatus from that work?

I miss performing live and connecting with people in that special way that only music can facilitate. What Open Jar Studios has been able to create is a great model. I'm hopeful. Amidst everything, I am most of all grateful to be healthy and I'm excited to continue to write during this time.

As you prepare to go back to live performing, what are your main concerns and excitements about Thursday night's show? One of each will do.

I am thrilled to be in front of people, to feed off that energy. Seeing the faces of a crowd is something that is so special to live performing, whether it be in a nightclub or large concert hall. This time around I will be looking only into eyes. I think this will create an even more intense, personal, intimate connection. All we have are our eyes to see and receive. I anticipate that this concert will have an elevated spiritual feeling to it.

You have a charity tie in for this show - tell us something about the Broadway Relief Project and your involvement with them.

The proceeds from the concert will be benefiting The Actors Fund which helps meet the needs of everyone in the entertainment community. I first became aware of The Actors Fund when I was asked to participate in and sing at a tennis outing benefiting the Fund. That's when I got to know Joe Benincasa and Brian Stokes Mitchell and their amazing team. People will have an opportunity to donate during the concert -- in person and during the livestream -- directly to the organization. The money goes a long way in providing financial assistance, housing, counseling and more to those in need, especially during these times. Learn more about The Actors Fund HERE

When we all go to see your concerts we get to enjoy your wonderful music director, but when you guys did your online shows it brought him into many peoples' homes for the first time. Tell us some reasons why Eugene Gwozdz is the perfect MD for you.

Eugene Gwozdz is one of the great musicians. He can play anything and make it his own. He collaborates so well. He is like a brother to me. We've traveled the world together and it is always a blast and boy does he make me laugh! I love a good laugh but I don't laugh easily. Eugene has that gift!

Anthony, will this concert be recorded for possible online release at some point for your fans around the world?

The concert will be livestreamed HERE !

Both of the Nunziata men spent portions of the last six months using their social media to spread positivity. Is that a mindset that comes from your parents, or is it a Nunziata twin thing?

Haha! I don't know what it is. My brother and I do both come from the same place -- shout out to Mama Nunz! -- but also from that place of looking beyond oneself. I grew up watching how kind and patient my parents were with other people. And still are. Giving me permission to be my whole self. To try new things. To fail and succeed on my own.

What is the Anthony Nunziata philosophy on life and getting through difficult times like these?

Be kind to yourself. Truly. Give yourself time in the day to mediate, relax, unwind, whatever it is that puts you at ease. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to others. We all are -- in our quiet ways -- struggling with something. I've been helped so many times in my life when I needed a helping hand, words of encouragement -- I think we all can strive to try to bring a little light to someone everyday. Life is too short to be anything but kind. To yourself and to others. We are all in this crazy beautiful life together. Let's be kind and be there for one another. <3

Anthony, thanks for the chat, have a wonderful time Thursday night!

Photo by Michael Kushner Photography

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