Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nelson Aspen Previews His "Full Circle" Return to Don't Tell Mama

Nelson Aspen returns to Don't Tell Mama in October.
Photo Credit: Ryan Brown
Last October, international entertainment reporter Nelson Aspen performed at Don't Tell Mama in New York City for the first time in nearly 30 years, and created a fantastic night of music, comedy and showbiz scoops. He returns to the venue for a new series of shows starting October 7.

We Love Soaps spoke with the Search for Tomorrow alum about his new show, "Full Circle." Read our exclusive interview below to find out what he has planned.

WE LOVE SOAPS: We're just over a week away from the first of your three October shows at Don't Tell Mama. Last year's shows were so much fun. What can fans expect this time around?
NELSON ASPEN: ...even MORE fun! This show started as an afternoon at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival before moving on to be a concert performance at the Sydney Opera House and, then, a cabaret show here in New York City. It has evolved into a being a very tight variety show in the vein of Merv Griffin or Mike Douglas (for those of us old enough to remember them!). It's called "Full Circle" because, thematically, I bring the audience along for my journey from NYC in the 1980s, to Hollywood for more than 2 decades, and back again. All in about 70 minutes! Songs, stand-up, audience interaction and guest stars...there's something for everyone.

WE LOVE SOAPS: What special guests will be making appearances?
NELSON ASPEN: Two Broadway goddesses! Anita Gillette will be joining me October 7 and 14, Shelly Burch on Oct 21. Of course, don't be surprised to see some famous faces in the audience...who might just get pulled up on stage for an impromptu moment in the spotlight. There could be some "Where Are They Now" moments, too. Daytime TV has been such a huge part of my life for so long that its influence is well represented onstage and off. (I have a secret, subtle SFT tribute planned that only die-hard aficionados will notice...ha ha!)

Anita started out umpteen years ago in the original Broadway production of "Gypsy" with Ethel Merman! She's Musical Theater royalty and starred in the first musical I ever saw in Broadway in the late 1970s, "They're Playing Our Song." She made an indelible impression and I become besotted with the genre as a result. We wound up working together in 1986 on Search for Tomorrow before she went on to film fame in Moonstruck then we reconnected a few years ago on, of all places, a red carpet for 30 Rock (She played Tina Fey's mom), It's beyond a "pinch-me" opportunity to get to sing onstage with her.

Shelly and I met in the late 1980s on the set of One Life to Live while she was playing Delilah Buchanan. She was a big Broadway star at the time, after dazzling audiences in 9 with Raul Julia. When I moved back to NYC, we ran into each other at a theatrical fundraiser, where she was performing with her husband Martin Charnin, the acclaimed theatrical lyricist ("Annie"!). He's actually brewed up a duet for us that I'm thrilled to be able to debut.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I know you've been hard at work rehearsing, and you're such a natural on stage. Might we see more live performances from you after this? I don't want to wait another year!
NELSON ASPEN: You're very kind. I'd be doing 8 shows a week if I had the opportunity! If these shows end up being as popular as last year's, I will definitely start pushing for more live appearances around town. My unofficial New Year's Resolution for 2017 is to do more theatrical work in New York City. 20 + years of doing TV has made for a wonderful career, but nothing compares to being on stage. I'm for hire...book me!

WE LOVE SOAPS: I've heard Don't Tell Mama is filling up fast. Are there any seats left? How can fans be a part of these special shows?
NELSON ASPEN: Reservations are indeed coming in quickly...Very exciting! Since there are only 3 shows, I don't want anyone to miss out...so by all means go online or call to save your seats asap. Each performance will be unique...and I promise I will sing my heart out for you. The venue also has a great restaurant adjacent, so we can make a make an entire night of it! I used to throw a lot of star-studded dinner parties when I lived in Hollywood...so this is kind of like the Manhattan version. Come eat, drink and be merry with us!

Fridays October 7, 14 and 21 at 7 p.m.

Don't Tell Mama
343 West 46 Street, NYC

$15 Cover, 2 Drink Minimum
(Cash Only)
Reservations: 212-757-0788
(after 4 p.m.)

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