Cutting Edge Composers Concert, The Skivvies, Sondheim Unplugged & More Set for 54 Below this Week
Coming up this week, 54 BELOW, the performance venue located just below the legendary Studio 54 at 254 West 54th Street, presents some of the brightest stars from Broadway, cabaret, jazz and beyond:
RANDY GRAFF, February 17 at 7PM:
George Gershwin. Carole King. Betty Comden. Harry Nilsson. Barry Manilow. Barbra Whatsername... What do these great writers and artists have in common? They were all born in Brooklyn! Also from the fourth largest city in America is Tony Award winner Randy Graff (City of Angels, Les Miserables), who will sing the music of artists from her hometown, backed up by a slammin' trio of musicians. Made in Brooklyn is the personal and musical story of Randy herself - one more great performer from Canarsie! $35-45 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
CUTTING-EDGE COMPOSERS: 5TH EDITION WITH JULIA MURNEY, DONNA VIVINO & MORE, February 17 at 9:30PM:
Cutting-Edge Composers is a concert series that strives to create greater exposure for up-and-coming songwriters by providing them with venues, publicity, Broadway performers and musicians to best showcase their material. After sold-out shows at the Canal Room, NYMF, and Joe's Pub, Cutting-Edge Composers is thrilled to be presenting their fifth concert as their debut at 54 Below! The concert, featuring brand new songs from new musicals in the works, is directed and produced by Laura Pietropinto with musical direction by Julie McBride and Benjamin Rauhala. Cutting-Edge Composers has an exclusive video spotlight series on BroadwayWorld.com. Susan Blackwell will be hosting. Composers: Carmel Dean (A Girl Called Vincent), Benjamin Velez & Katie Hathaway (Afterland), Drew Gasparini (The Wreck), Paul Loesel & Scott Burkell (LMNOP), Eli Bolin & Sam Forman & Hunter Bell (Volleygirls and Found), Jeff Thomson & Jeremy Desmon (Pump Up the Volume), Lyons & Pakchar (79), Landon Braverman & Derek Hassler (Queen of the West), Joe Iconis, Jason Sweet Tooth Williams & Lance Rubin (Annie Golden: Bounty Hunter, Yo!), Charles Sohne & Tim Rosser (Run Away Home), Aaron Jones & Sung Rno (Galois) and Daniel Zaitchik. Performers include: Lilli Cooper (Spring Awakening), Nick Blaemire (Godspell), Jen Johnson (Volleygirls), Van Hughes (American Idiot), Tracy McDowell (Motown), Eric LaJuan Summers (Motown), Julia Murney (Wicked), Annie Golden (Hair, TV's Orange is the New Black), Nic Rouleu (Book of Mormon), Donna Vivino (Wicked), Conrad Ricamora (Here Lies Love) and Amber Gray (...Comet of 1812). $25-35 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
DAVID ALAN THORNTON WITH NATALIE WEISS & MORE, February 17 at 11:30PM:
David Alan Thornton has escaped and he's at it again! He returns to 54 Below for David Alan Thornton Vs. the Bunny Suicides- an evening of fun, feelings, fruity love stories, robots with identity crises, determined hippopotamuses (yes, it's the correct plural), and BUNNY SUICIDES! Featuring an all-star cast and a terrific band, the night and the music are sure to make you laugh, sigh, snort, cry, and feel darn good. Featuring: Tituss Burgess, Natalie Weiss, Zachary Prince, Leo Ash Evens, Jeremy Morse, Lauren Marcus, Eric William Morris, Michael Deleget, Jonathan Reid Gealt, Mark Sanderlin, Rachel Lee, Dustin Sullivan, Starr Busby, Lorinda Lisitza, Ashley Travis and Jared Marcel Weiss. $10 cover charge. Two drink minimum or $20 food & beverage minimum.
EDDIE BRUCE, February 18 at 7PM:
Acclaimed concert performer Eddie Bruce makes his 54 Below debut with a brand new show... featuring more songs than anyone could imagine in one performance! Last year, Eddie was a guest artist with the Philly Pops. He has brought audiences to their feet singing with the Hershey Symphony Pops and Ocean City Pops as well, and his show, "Bruce on Bennett", featuring the work of Tony Bennett, is the #1 best selling cabaret in the history of the Prince Music Theater. In the premiere of The Medley Show, Eddie Bruce creates fascinating and fun medleys by our greatest composers and lyricists- including Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb, Sammy Cahn, Johnny Mercer, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and more. One surprise after the other - great fun! "Eddie Bruce has great talent for entertaining his audience. He's funny and has a beautiful voice. You'll leave with a smile on your face- guaranteed!" -Cabaret Scenes. $25-35 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
JASON BROCK, February 18 at 9:30PM:
You may know Jason Brock as a finalist on FOX TV's "The X-Factor" where his big song was Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind." Jason loves New York, and although he is a San Francisco resident and a well known cabaret performer there, he's thrilled to be making his New York City debut with this show. Steve Murray, in Cabaret Scenes magazine, said about Jason: "He has wit, humor, intelligence and personality to match his huge voice." L.A. Reid, CEO of Epic/Sony Records, said "[Jason's] voice is a songwriter's best friend." Jason is ready to share his soulful, genuine and candid music with you. His songs will range from R&B to jazz to musicals to pop. There will be selections from Billy Joel ("New York State of Mind"), Whitney Houston, Hedwig, Anita Baker, Sade, Rocky Horror and more. Don't miss Jason Brock's one of a kind talent and stellar voice while he's in town! $30-40 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
LINDA EDER, February 20 at 7PM, February 21 & 22 at 8PM:
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! One of the world's most beloved and versatile voices, Linda Eder is forever linked to Broadway history via her Theatre World Award-winning performance in Jekyll & Hyde. After her previously sold out run, 54 Below is delighted to welcome back this celebrated songstress to our stage for three very special performances only. She's a best-selling recording artist with fourteen solo albums to her credit, but this February, get up close and personal with Linda in Broadway's living room. $65-75 cover charge for 2/20 & 2/21. $75-85 cover charge for 2/22. $25 food & beverage minimum.
ONE WOMAN SHOW: SHAKINA NAYFACK'S KICKSTARTHER, February 20 at 9:30PM:
ONE WOMAN SHOW is a benefit for Shakina Nayfack's "KickStartHer" campaign to raise funds for her gender confirmation surgery. Following a sold-out premiere last December, join Shakina in her 54 Below debut as she recounts the exploits and (mis)adventures that led to her gender transition. A story of surviving the 90s and creating a new life in a new millennium, the OC Weekly calls Shakina "a bona fide standout," and VICE magazine says, "nothing will stop her in becoming who she is." As seen in the Daily News, Gothamist, Logo's New Now Next blog, UK Daily Mail, and her in-depth interview with Huffington Post Live, Shakina's public approach to her gender confirmation is living performance art with a dark, funny, and powerful cabaret edge. The show features gender-bending show tune standards, a few classic covers, and new songs by Sam Salmond, Julianne Wick Davis, and Nikko Benson. Music Direction by Jeremy Robin Lyons, with Mike Rosengarten (guitar), Joseph Wallace (bass), and Jeff Roberts (drums). Featuring performances from Mary Kate Morrissey, Kate Loprest, Leslie McDonel, Rachel Lee, Amanda Savan, and Natalie Wachen. Stay for the "Kickstarther" after party after the show! $35-45 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
KICKSTARTHER AFTER PARTY, February 20 at 11:30PM:
Round out your night with Shakina and some of her favorite 90'2 rocker chicks celebrating female empowerment. Featuring performances by Kate Loprest (First Date), Leslie McDonel (American Idiot, Hairspray), Natalie Wachen (Rent Off-Broadway), Mary Kate Morrissey (Hair Nat'l Tour), Rachel Lee (Joe Iconis and Family), Amanda Savan (On The Record), Anastacia McCleskey (The Book of Mormon, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert), and more, this after-party benefits the KickStartHer gender confirmation campaign, as seen in The Daily News, Gothamist, Logo's New Now Next Blog, and VICE magazine. $15 cover charge. Two drink or $20 food & beverage minimum.
THE SKIVVIES WITH ANDREW KEENAN-BOLGER & MORE, February 21 at 11PM:
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! This "musically thrilling" undie-rock, comedy-pop duo don't just strip down their musical arrangements, they literally strip down to their underwear to perform their distinctive mashups and eccentric originals for cello and ukulele, with touches of glockenspiel, melodica, and a surprising array of under-used instruments. Award-winning singer-actors Lauren Molina (Marry Me a Little, Sweeney Todd, Rock of Ages) and Nick Cearley (All Shook Up) became YouTube sensations as The Skivvies, with living room videos that displayed their powerful harmonies as well as their powerful abs. Those clips led to live shows that The Wall Street Journal called "smart, sophisticated...ingenious," and Out Magazine, "The Skivvies have managed to carve out a niche that we never knew needed to exist: part Weird Al- parody and part sexy burlesque...and unusual explosion of satire and sultry." They also have a single and music video directed by Augusten Burroughs, bestselling author of Running With Scissors. They will be joined by special guest stars who will strip down and rock out. Expect a hilarious evening of genre-hopping pop perfection. www.theskivviesnyc.com. Featuring: Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Heath Calvert, Lauren Zakrin, Lauren Worsham, Jason Tam, and Jason Michael Snow. $25-35 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
SONDHEIM UNPLUGGED, February 23 at 7PM:
A celebrated New York event since 2010, the Bistro Award-winning series Sondheim Unplugged features some of Broadway and cabaret's most dynamic voices, accompanied by piano only. Expect tunes from A Little Night Music, Company, Into the Woods, Follies, Passion, Dick Tracy and more. Past special guests have included original Sondheim cast members such as Len Cariou, Victoria Mallory, Donna McKechnie & Chip Zien - so you never know who might drop in. Sondheim Unplugged is hosted by series creator Phil Geoffrey Bond, who will fill the audience in on Sondheimien facts, history & assorted tidbits of theatrical lore! Come join the party! Special Guests: Teri Ralston (Company's original Jenny, A Little Night Music's original Mrs. Nordstrom), and Sarah Rice (Sweeney Todd's original Johanna). Featuring: Jim Brochu, Harris Doran, Trent Armand Kendall, Jeannie Lehman, Julie Reiber, Brian Charles Rooney, Lisa Sabin, Lucia Spina, Gabrielle Stravelli and Jessica Vosk. $25-35 cover charge. Two drink or $20 food & beverage minimum.
NEW SUNDAYS February 23 at 9:30PM:
This month, 54 Below is delighted to welcome special guest Charles Strouse (Applause, Annie, Bye, Bye Birdie) to our celebrated songwriter's series! Charles will be presenting some of his most cherished work from behind the piano, as will two other brilliant composers - Amanda Green (High Fidelity, Hands on a Hardbody), and Steve Marzullo (Somedays, Show Some Beauty). With New Sundays, 54 salutes some of the most exciting artists writing for the musical theatre today. Look for performances from Annie Golden, Van Hughes, Terri Klausner, Kenita Miller, Ric Ryder & Sally Wilfert. $25-35 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.