Mark Nadler Interview
New York’s preeminent LGBTQ Arts Festival returns for another season of exciting work on stage – on film – and on the air. The Fresh Fruit Festival’s 2023 Main-Stage will premiere a dozen new works exploring the LGBTQ experience. For the 13th year in a row, the festival will take place at The Wild Project, 195 E 3rd St, New York City, APRIL 24 – MAY 7.
A Featured event of the festival this year is the premiere of Donald Steven Olsen’s new musical play, TRANSFORMATION: THE Christine Jorgensen Show. This special event will have three showings in NYC: Thursday, April 27 @ 6:15 pm; Friday, April 28 @ 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 29 @ 1:00 p.m.
Mark Nadler is an internationally acclaimed singer, pianist, tap-dancer and comedian. In Transformation, he brings to life the role of Myles Bell, the hard-boiled song-and-dance man whose life was transformed by his association with the history-making first transsexual. Mr. Nadler has graced the stages of Broadway, Off-Broadway, Carnegie Hall and just about every major venue from New York to Los Angeles to Australia. He’s been the recipient of multiple awards for his artistic accomplishments. Not only does he have a caricature hanging up at Sardi’s but he also had the distinction of being drawn by Broadway’s King of Caricature, Al Hirschfeld. Need I say more? We’ll let Mr. Nadler take over. It was an honor to get to chat with him to learn more about his prolific career.
“I’ve spent most of my career as a cabaret and concert artist. I’ve performed in major concert halls all over the word including Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Rose Hall (at Jazz at Lincoln Center) here in New York. That said, I’ve also worked quite a bit as an actor off-Broadway and I’ve also appeared on Broadway and, of course, regionally. My favorite role I’ve ever played until this one was Cosme McMoon in Souvenir. Like this play, Souvenir is a two character play in which my character has a relationship with an unusual woman that starts with and is based on music.”
This piece deals with a historical figure and a controversial topic. Mr. Nadler did his due diligence in the research department. The rest of his creative process was business as usual. He approached playing the character as if he would any other. “The only ways that playing a historical character alters my process as an actor is in the research. When playing someone who actually existed there’s a wealth of information that will inform the final product. For me, there will certainly be no attempt to impersonate Myles Bell (as there isn’t any footage of him performing that I’m aware of) but grounding the mannerisms and especially the attitudes of the character in the time in which he was living and operating creates a specificity.”
Some artists feel an extra sense of responsibility when portraying a character that once lived. The writer, Donald Steven Olsen did such a wonderful job with the details of the character’s life, Mr. Nadler was able to concentrate on providing the audience with an authentic experience. “I personally don’t feel that kind of responsibility and I don’t have to. Donald did a lot of research to get the characters to appropriately represent the realities of the two people in the play, so all I have to do is play the part with honesty.”
Mr. Nadler has worked hard to ensure that he connects with the audience. “My mission in this project is the same as my mission in any project I do: tell a good story with honesty and in a way that the audience is thoroughly entertained and hopefully moved.”
After Transformation Mr. Nadler will continue to do what he does best which is to step onto a stage and bring the joy of entertainment to the masses. “After these performances of “Transformation” I’ll be back in the cabarets, clubs and concert halls of the world. I’ll be playing the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Adelaide, Australia and in the fall I’ll be bringing a new show to The Laurie Beechman Theater in NYC. And, of course, I hope I’ll be doing MANY future performances of “Transformation”!!”