Everything Music and Theatre makes good on its promise to bring you exclusive interviews with stand-up comedy stars and actors, like Amadeo Fusca. He spoke to Blasting News from his New York home about his appearances nationwide with the one-man show “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus—LIVE!” But his latest project occupied most of his attention. Taking on a new role, Amadeo Fusca is now a producer. Thursday, July 13, he presents various colleagues in “The Comedy Blender,” a variety show, at New York City’s Triad Theater. The multitasking actor explains just how an actor goes from stage to payroll master, becoming a producer of his own show.

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Actor to producer

So just how does he do it? In part, with a little help from friends. First, you need friends willing for said actor to pay their appearance. Amadeo Fusca explains, “Various colleagues have come from Upright Citizens Brigade,” which is “a New York acting institution that offers lots of classes” and has produced some of the country’s greatest comedians.

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Then you need a friend willing to loan you a venue. “Rick Newman … he’s a great guy,” says the actor/producer. “He was with ‘Catch a Rising Star,’ back in the ’80s, and discovered comedians all the time: Drew Carey, Jerry Seinfeld, all of them. Rick owns Triad Theater, and he wants ‘The Comedy Blender’ to be a monthly show there.”

The venue

Triad Theater is an intimate performing space,” says Amadeo Fusca. “It’s a cabaret with tables below seating just 100, and above, on a small balcony, 30 more.” It’s so small that all acts enter from the audience.

There’s no way to the backstage except through the audience. “So all who are backstage when the performance begins are kind of stuck there till their act goes on.” Audience members pay a minimal entry fee and have a three-drink minimum. That requirement will surely put any members of the press in the best possible mood when it comes time to write their reviews.

The lineup

Amadeo Fusca says, “Standup comics do lifestyle sketches and original sketch character monologs.

Everyone in the show is tried-and-true.” These include, according to Amadeo Fusca:

    • Mark Normand, a standup comic who just did a one-hour Comedy Central special.

    • Sarah Tollemache, who just appeared on the Stephen Colbert show and went to Montreal’s huge Just for Laughs comedy festival.
    • Black Men Can’t Jump, a three-man troupe who are big on improv.
    • The rest: Bronson Gilmore, Other Sketch For Uplifting Gormandizers, David Ebert, Mark Evans and Samantha Strelitz.

The variety show someday may include musical acts.

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‘Mars/Venus’ everywhere

“I’ve performed ‘Mars/Venus,’ I wanna say, 165 times,” says Amadeo Fusca. “It’s taken me everywhere: Anchorage, Alaska; Mesa, Arizona; Texas; Florida; North Carolina; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Indianapolis; Chicago. I’m going to Denver for three weeks in August.” Thanks to Rick Newman, Amadeo Fusca will have the opportunity to perform “Mars/Venus” at the Triad Theater also, July 28.

All in the family

The youngest of three boys, Amadeo Fusca, now age 31, grew up in a lively Pittsburgh household.

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“My whole family background is Italian, Italian, Italian. I have all these Italian cousins everywhere, but I really don’t speak the language very well.” Family connections came in handy when the actor recently traveled to the Old Country with long-term girlfriend Samantha, from Los Angeles, who resides in Greenwich Village. But language wasn’t really a problem, “because,” says Amadeo Fusca, “everywhere you go it seems everyone speaks English.”

Actors have mothers

To say she’s a fan would be to sell her short. Cathy Costa Fusca, a Pittsburgh resident, traveled to Miami to see Amadeo Fusca in ‘Mars/Venus,’ then to San Antonio, where she attended five performances. In her own exclusive interview, she confided to Blasting News, “I cried at two standing ovations.” She says her son is “a natural comic, a fierce and loyal friend and family member who believes in over-preparing and over-practicing.” Stay tuned for future coverage, as she recommends asking him about an early embarrassment—his first kissing scene, as Albert Peterson in “Bye Bye Birdie.” Ought to be interesting.

What to expect

“Laughter guaranteed,” promises Amadeo Fusca regarding “The Comedy Blender.” How can he be so sure? “I collaborate with some of the best comedic minds around New York. I’m also going to perform a couple bits that are proven, but I tell my girlfriend that I’m probably the worst part of the show.” If you miss the inaugural show, you can try again when the monthly show continues either Sept. 1 or Sept. 8 (to be determined).

The Comedy Blender,” produced by Amadeo Fusca, Thursday, July 13, 2017, at Triad Theater, 158 W. 72nd St., New York, N.Y.

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