It's been almost two years since "Call Me Adam" chatted with recording artists' Will and Anthony Nunziata. As they prepare to debut their new concert Showstoppers! at the Highline Ballroom on Monday, January 18 at 8pm, now seemed like the perfect time to catch up with these talented guys!
Will & Anthony’s Showstoppers! concert delivers an innovative take on the greatest songs ever written for Pop Music, 60’s Hits, American Songbook, Motown, Italy and Broadway. A 90-minute tour-de-force concert that transcends generations. With their soaring tenor voices and acting & improv comedy chops, Will & Anthony sing fresh arrangements of classic and contemporary songs including "You’re All I Need to Get By," "Feeling Good," "O Sole Mio," "The Impossible Dream," "Unchained Melody," "Someone Like You," "God Only Knows," "What Kind of Fool Am I," and "The Prayer." The Highline Ballroom is located at 431 West 16th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenue) Click here for tickets!
1. On January 18, you are debuting your new concert Showstoppers! at The Highline Ballroom. In this show, you are performing some of the greatest songs ever written for Pop Music, 60’s Hits, American Songbook, Motown, Italy and Broadway. What made now the right time to premiere this show?
Will: We are always striving to give our audiences the best. For the past year we've been developing brand new arrangements with our musical director and arranger Tedd Firth. In our concert Showstoppers!, he'll be leading a 7-piece band in the 400-seat Highline Ballroom. New arrangements of songs from Billy Joel to The Bee Gees to Motown...
Anthony: ...to the Beach Boys to Adele and of course Broadway and Classic Standards. This will be the show the country will see in all our upcoming performing arts center and symphony pops orchestra concerts.
2. Why did you choose The Highline Ballroom to debut this show?
Anthony: When we tour the country we are primarily performing in concert halls. So we thought why not bring a "larger feel" to NYC and after looking at the Highline Ballroom, we knew we found a special place....we're setting up the room so it feels like a Vegas showroom....
Will: Yes! And after speaking with the wonderful team there, and consulting with our lighting and sound designer Matt Berman, we thought this would be the perfect venue for what we want our audiences to experience.
Will: I think the array of songs in this show represent a lot of the songs I grew up listening to. Because they run the gamut in terms of musical sensibilities, I think audiences will enjoy the plethora of stylings in the concert.
Anthony: I try not to be too influenced with how artists sing a song in as much as I focus on the lyrics and how I connect with them. That allows me to find my own truth within these songs which in turn allows me to sing the songs, live in the songs and present my unique spin.
4. Since this show is entitled Showstoppers!, what makes you guys a "Showstopper" that people should come see?
Will: Being truthful with everything we do. From living and "being" while singing our songs to our crowd work in between songs...
Anthony: Our goal is to make people feel, make them laugh, feel inspired in some way...and enjoy this shared experience.
Anthony: Recently, it's Cynthia Erivo singing "I'm Here" in The Color Purple on Broadway. Cynthia is giving one of the most heartfelt and authentic performances I've ever seen on any stage. As for specific concert performers...since I was a kid I've been transfixed on performers who are actors first...Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Better Midler, Barbra Streisand...I've studied how they bring their truth to the table, and construct moving and entertaining live "experiences."
Will: There aren't any particular numbers that come to mind, but anytime a performer is willing to sing with 100% unapologetic, raw emotion and have the ability to show the audiences their "scars" and be as vulnerable as possible - that's a "Showstopper" to me.
6. If you could sing any "Showstopper" from a Broadway show, what song would you each like to perform?
Will: "Being Alive." It's a true three-act-play of a song. It's a brilliantly constructed song, both lyrically and melodically, and it scares me - which is probably why I like it so much.
Anthony: "Somewhere" from West Side Story. Tedd Firth has arranged a haunting/hopeful version of this song that makes me explore the depths of Sondheim's brilliant lyrics and Bernstein's gorgeous music. Premiering a new version of this song on the 18th of January.
Anthony: No regrets.
8. You are also performing "What Kind of Fool Am I." What's the most foolish thing you've done?
Anthony: Last week, after seeing a show, I forgot to stop by Schmackary's for a cookie. How foolish of me.
Will: You'll have to ask my therapist.
9. In your concerts, you often play off of each other when it comes to your patter. What is the craziest unrehearsed thing that has happened to you?
Anthony: Will forgot his lyrics to the song "Everybody Says Don't", when he did I told the audience an impromptu story of Will being born with an umbilical chord around his neck and how the effects are clearly still with us today. We started the song again, he forgot the lyrics again, we started it again, he got the lyrics correct, and at the end of the applause I turned to Will and said something like, "We were all rooting for you there, brother. And we are all proud of you for getting through the entire song. Eventually. (beat) It's my solo time now and there's an oxygen tank backstage. (beat) Thank you."
Will: What Anthony just said.
10. You always speak of the importance of family. If you had a family of your own, what is one family tradition you would make sure you kept?
Will: To remind one another as often as possible that we are always there for one another, no matter what.
Anthony: For everyone to speak of something or someone they are grateful for today, and to speak of one thing they are most looking forward to the next day. I try my best to live in a constant state of peace and gratitude and to actively express that gratitude to those around me.
Singers, actors, funny-men and advocates of arts in education - Will & Anthony sing fresh takes on timeless songs from pop standards, Broadway, and Italian music to Billy Joel, Motown, and beyond. Hailed as "a nearly impossible pairing of talent, stage presence and charisma," Will & Anthony continue to win critical and popular acclaim for their concert performances throughout the United States and around the world.
The brothers have brought their distinct take on classic songs from performing arts centers, theaters and symphony concert halls, including The Kravis Center’s Dreyfoos Hall in West Palm Beach, FL, to headlining their symphony concerts with The Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Firelands Symphony Orchestra, and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra with New York Pops musical director and conductor Steven Reineke. From Singapore to San Francisco, Will & Anthony have created and performed tailored private concerts for countless corporate, private and Gala events all around the world. They have been featured recently on NPR, The Entertainment Weekly Sirius Radio show, The Rachael Ray Show, NBC’s The Columbus Day Parade and on ABC’s Good Morning America. In the fashion world, the brothers have modeled and been styled by Carmen Marc Valvo, Hermes U.S. and Hermes Toronto, Elie Tahari, b Michael America, and Nick Graham. Will & Anthony trained in improv comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City.
Their proudest accomplishment is the creation of their Arts in Education Outreach Initiative and Master Class Workshops where they visit schools and students providing education and inspiration in supporting the arts as a significant component of young peoples’ lives. Through their workshops, Will & Anthony provide acting and vocal technique, life lessons of building a strong work ethic and personal brand, and the confidence to never give up on your passions.
Born in Brooklyn, the brothers, along with their younger sister Annie, were raised just north of New York City in Pelham Manor, NY. Music continues to constantly play in the home of their parents, Fran & Joe. Sinatra, Ella, Sammy Davis, Jr., Streisand, Dean Martin, Pavarotti, Billy Joel, Gospel - this was the soundtrack of Will & Anthony’s childhood. Today, their musical mission is to keep "America’s classical music" feeling fresh and new.