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Interview for the "Jewish Independent" Canada, May 6, 2007.


> I know that you studied voice, but tell me how you came to be
involved in musical theatre.

As a child I was fascinated by music and appreciated the great voices
from a very early age. The first memory I have from my childhood is
connected to Israeli singer Ofra Haza. I was just 4 years old but I
remember forcing my parents to wake me up in the middle of the night
so that I could see her perform the song "Chai" (Alive) at the
Eurovision Song Contest in 1982.

However , the first time I performed on stage as a singer was much
later. As a child I was very shy and I never got to participate in
any school shows or special events. It was only at the last year
of my military service that I was asked to host the annual memorial
service for Yizhak Rabin at my base. One of the singers got sick
and I found myself replacing him and singing for the very first
time in front of an audience of 2000 people. I still remember the
excitement and the thrill of that performance. This is when I first
realized that singing and performing live in front of an audience
is what I am really passionate about. After that performance I started
studying voice training and I joined a Tel Aviv municipality musical
ensemble which included a few singers. A couple of years later I
started working on my own show. Since I didn't have any original
songs, I decided to go with the Broadway theme as a concept and create
a show that is Broadway based.
I started out small, just me and a pianist.
Today, I perform with a band and my show "Broadway & All That Jazz" is
part of the repertoire of the Cameri Theater in Israel.

> Did you grow up attending shows a lot?

I was very fortunate to visit NYC many times since I have relatives
there and my family used to spend holidays in the US. Every time I
visit NYC , I try to catch as many shows as I can. After all , NYC
is the capital of musicals.

The first memory I have from Broadway is when I was 13 years old and
I flew with my family to NYC (It was my Bar Mitzvah trip...) and we
went to see the musical "Cats". I can't say it blew me away. All I
remembered was a bunch of actors dressed up as cats and running
around the stage. I couldn't understand how this musical became
the most successful musical of all time. It was only recently that
I realized that sometimes what a musical needs is just one hit
song - "Memory" by Andrew Loyd Webber. This is one of the songs
I am planning to sing in Vancouver.

> Is your family musical?

My family appreciates great music. As a child , my mother used to take
me to classical concerts of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra whenever
my dad was abroad for work. At first I didn't like it very much but I
grew to love it.

As far as singing is concerned , my parents never sang and cannot really
carry a tune... It came to them as a very big surprise to find out their
son can actually SING...

> What is it you love so much about Broadway?

First of all , as a singer, Broadway has given us such great songs.
The test of a great song in my opinion is not whether the song went
to number 1 on the charts, but if it touched people's lives and stood
the test of time. And where Broadway is concerned, we're talking
about such standards and classics that will stay with us forever.
In addition, I have always loved theater songs because they come from
a character and they tell a story.

From a performer point of view, what I love about Broadway Theater
is having the opportunity to create a character and for a short while
live in its world.

> You took an MBA - have you ever worked in anything but
performing?

I began studying for my first degree in Business & Economics at Tel
Aviv University right after I finished my military service (3 years
in the Intelligence Corps). I continued immediately afterwards with
my MBA studies.
I started performing on stages with my show at the last year of the
MBA. That was a turning point and so I didn't get a chance to work
in the Business field (yet!). For now , it's all Showbiz...
Like Steven Sondheim's song from the musical "Follies" says :"I'm
just a Broadway Baby" !

> Do you have a favorite show/song/role?

I absolutely love the musical "Chicago". I think it is the perfect
combination of Broadway and Jazz. All songs from that show are such
show-toppers , you simply cannot get tired of it. I have seen the
London Production , the NYC production and the Israeli one. On
Passover eve , after the Seder Dinner , my family & I watched the
movie version which was broadcasted on TV and I realized I pretty
much know the text by heart.

In my show, "Broadway & All That Jazz", I sing two numbers from that
musical. One is "When you're good to Mama" which tells the story of
Mama Morton. The other song "All I Care About Is Love" introduces
Mr. Billy Flinn, the silky lawyer of Chicago.

> What can we expect to see in your Vancouver show?

At the Vancouver concert, I will be performing highlights from my
Israeli show "Broadway & All That Jazz". I will perform songs from
"Cabaret", "Chicago", "Cats", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat", "Annie Get Your Gun" and more.

I am also hoping to sing a French chanson by Jacques Brel , a
Napolitan song and some Israeli classics as well. As far as I am
concerned, I am ready to sing all night long!

At the end of the show we are planning to do a meet & greet, along
with a CD signing.

> I read that you perform in English, Hebrew, French and
Italian. Are these all languages you speak?

I try to combine all these languages in my shows.

Hebrew is my mother language. I was born and raised in Tel Aviv,
Israel.

I speak English & French fluently as well. It's really funny when
people don't believe me when I say I'm Israeli because I don't have
the "typical Israeli accent".

As for my French, I went to Alliance High School where studying
French was mandatory, so I ended up studying 7 years French and I
am very happy and thankful for that!

I do not speak Italian but I enjoy singing in that language very
much. In my opinion it is the most beautiful language.

> What is it like being a celebrity in Israel - and do
audiences respond differently when you are in countries other than
Israel?

I don't consider myself a celebrity. I am very fortunate to do what
I love and what I am passionate about which is singing and
performing on stages. It is always very gratifying to see full house
audiences at my shows and to get great feedback afterwards.
If you had told me a few years ago I would be singing in front of
hundreds of people on a regular basis, I would have probably laughed
and said it's a good joke. At times
nowadays I still can't believe this is all happening to me. It's
really a dream come true...

> What are the TV shows you starred in?

My TV appearances in Israel included the shows "Made in Israel",
"Singing on Air" as well as other theater talk shows.

> Who are some of your favorite artists?

I was very much influenced by Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand.
Even though they are not the singers of my generation, I think they
are the greatest singers of our time.
A few months ago I attended Streisand's concerts at Madison Square
Garden in NYC and it was an unforgettable experience.

> Finally, tell me about your every day life in Israel -
where you live, what you do when you're not performing, etc.

I currently live in Ramat Aviv , Israel.

Nowadays I am in rehearsals for two brand new musical productions.
The first one is "Las Vegas - Tel Aviv" which will premier at the
Cameri Theater in Israel at the end of June 2007. I am very
excited about this new project. This show is a journey to the Capital
of Show business and Entertainment - Las Vegas, and I will be
singing the great standards of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin , Nat King
Cole and others - songs that I have always wanted to sing myself.
I can't wait!

The second project is "Isaac Sutton sings Charlie Parker" which is
a tribute show to the legendary Jazz saxophonist. This is a unique
concept since many of Parker's instrumental musical pieces will be
sung for the very first time, with lyrics written especially for
the project in English and Hebrew.

In addition, I am currently collecting new songs for my first
original debut album in Hebrew which I hope will be released
next year.


   
        
              
                  
                           
                  

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