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BWW Interview: Ann Hampton Callaway in BROADWAY WITH THE CALLAWAYS at NJPAC on 1/30

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) will present Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway in From West Side Story to Wicked: Broadway with the Callaways this Saturday, January 30th. The Tony-Award nominated Callaway sisters will perform in The Chase Room for two shows, one at 6:00 pm and one at 8:30 pm. Show stopping songs will include numbers from Chicago, Funny Girl, Cats, Carousel and more. Broadwayworld.com had an opportunity to chat with the charming and talented Ann Hampton Callaway in advance of the show.

Ann grew up in both Chicago and New York in a musically talented family. Her father, John Callaway, was Chicago's legendary TV and radio journalist; her mother, Shirley Callaway, was a superb singer, pianist and vocal coach. Anne said they were once considered the "Von Trapp family of Chicago."

Ann shared three of her early memories of performing. The first was in a play done by her Brownie Troop. She remembers thinking how thrilling it was to be entertaining others. As a 5th Grader at Manor Plains Grade School in Huntington, Long Island, her school performed the book part of "Help, Help the Globolinks" and she starred in the production. Ann attended the New Trier High School, a top performing arts school. A highlight of her high school career was performing the lead in Mame. She said the production was very professional and she had no less than 14 costume changes. Each time she performed felt like a confirmation of her goal to be a performer.

With these theatrical beginnings in her youth, Ann has gone on to become a champion of the Great American Songbook and a world- renowned entertainer who has achieved fame as a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer.

While audiences love her work, we were curious about what Ann enjoys listening to. "I listen to a wide variety, Brazilian Jazz, Vocal Jazz and Instrumental Jazz. I always get the CD's of new music as so many of my good friends are performers. When I am driving, I listen to Coffee House, Real Jazz and the Broadway Station.

With her busy performance schedule, Ann spends a lot of time on the road. She told us that she does travel more than she is home. "Any place I hang my hat is home."

We asked Ann to tell us a little bit about performing with her sister, Liz Callaway. "It is a profound experience. Liz is a phenomenal artist. She's the person I know best and because we are so connected, there's an emotional intimacy in our performances. We're so different and when we come together, exciting things happen. We have been through a lot as sisters and singing is healing, joyful fun." And the upcoming show at NJPAC is a real family affair as Dan Foster, Liz's husband, helped them to hone the production to be a great event.

Ann talked about From West Side Story to Wicked: Broadway With the Callaways at NJPAC. "This show is full of some of the greatest songs on Broadway. The arrangements are beautiful and exciting. It represents an era of music that has a wonderful array of solos and duets. Liz and I also get to tell about how we fell in love with Broadway. We also do a big Broadway medley. Guests will leave the theatre singing and dancing."

To purchase tickets for From West Side Story to Wicked: Broadway With the Callaways at NJPAC on the evening of Saturday, January 30th, visit http://www.njpac.org/events/detail/west-side-story-to-wicked-broadway-with-the-callaways or call 1.888.GO.NJPAC. NJPAC is located at 1 Center Street, in the heart of Newark's vibrant performing arts district. It is easily accesses by mass transit and there is plenty of parking available nearby. For more information on upcoming events at NJPAC, visit http://www.njpac.org/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NJPAC


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