The Skivvies, Daisy Eagan, Lillias White & 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:
LINDSAY MENDEZ AND MARCO PAGUIA, April 28 at 7PM:
Coming off an acclaimed run as Elphaba in Broadway's Wicked, the star of last season's award-winning Dogfight, the charming and super-voiced Lindsay Mendez takes 54 Below by storm for one night only. Joined by pianist Marco Paguia and the hottest band this side of Oz, expect jazzed-up versions of pop tunes from the likes of Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Feist, John Legend, Andrew Bird and more - including a few selections from their album, This Time. $25-35 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
NAMT SONGWRITER SPOTLIGHT: WITH PATTI MURIN, KATE ROCKWELL & MORE, April 28 at 9:30PM:
The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) will highlight three songwriting teams who have been part of NAMT's Festival of New Musicals: Paul Gordon (Broadway-bound Emma and Analog and Vinyl, which will premiere this summer at the Weston Playhouse), Barbara Anselmi & Brian Hargrove (Broadway-bound It Shoulda Been You, which was recently seen at The Village Theatre and George Street Playhouse) and Ben Clark (The Circus in Winter, which will premiere at Goodspeed Musicals this fall). The writers will sing songs from their Festival shows and upcoming projects, perhaps sharing a behind-the-scenes story or two along the way. Performers will include Lisa Howard, Corey Mach, Adam Halpin, Mamie Parris, Patti Murin, Kate Rockwell, Andrew Samonsky, Sarah Stiles, Lisa Howard and more! $25-35 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
TAL YARDENI SINGS FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE, April 28 AT 11:30PM:
Bringing her powerhouse voice and completely new arrangements to the eclectic music of the internationally renowned band Florence and the Machine, Tal Yardeni makes her 54 Below debut in an evening that promises to be a rockin' good time. Touted as both "a voice on the rise" and "one to watch," Yardeni, backed by LaDonna Burns, Shira Elias, and Jeremy Zoma premieres her thrilling new show under the musical direction of Jeremy Robin Lyons and featuring such guests as Jenny Ashman, Darius Anthony Harper, Molly Hager, and Sheri Sanders. $10 cover charge. $20 food & beverage minimum or two drinks.
THE SONGS OF WILL BUCK, April 29 at 7PM:
Up-and-coming songwriter Will Buck makes his 54 Below debut with an evening of original songs new and old. The Chicago-born writer will present pieces from his various projects, from his college days writing for Northwestern University's illustrious Waa-Mu show to his upcoming show, Powerless. Spanning settings as far-ranging as ancient Greece, 1920's England and contemporary North Carolina, Will's music absorbs a variety of styles and influences, from Brahms to Ben Folds, pushed through his own quirky melodic filter. The evening will feature collaborations with lyricists John Dietrich, Jason Purdy, Teresa Lotz, and others, as well as lyrics by the composer himself. Will is joined by Patricia Noonan (Death Takes A Holiday, Merrily We Roll Along at Encores!), John Riddle (Evita National Tour), Amanda Savan (Fancy Nancy, On the Record), Brandon Andrus, Jonathan Rayson and more stellar performers to be announced! Directed by Michael Holtzman. $25 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
THE SKIVVIES, April 29 at 9:30PM:
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. Featuring Laura Benanti, Mark Price, Daisy Eagan, and Randy Harrison. $30-40 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
KITCHEN OPERA COMPANY WITH SPECIAL GUEST CADY HUFFMAN, April 30 at 7PM:
Kitchen Opera Company will make its debut with the new show, A Cappella Cookbook - Music Inspired by the World's Greatest Chefs. Featuring Grammy-nominated countertenor Ryland Angel, along with special guest singer Tony Award winner Cady Huffman. A Cappella Cookbook is a satisfyingly, savory musical tribute to the culinary wizards who have helped to change the world one teaspoon at a time. Singing the praises of hot and spicy, southern soul or grandma's Gamberoni, whether carnivore or vegetarian, anyone with an appetite for fine wine and good song will enjoy this deliciously saucy mix of original operetta. From Broadway to Bach, Batali to Boulud, it's cheesy good fun for anyone! $25-35 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
MARK NADLER, April 30 at 9:30PM:
Award-winning entertainer Mark Nadler takes you on a tour of the sex, booze, drugs & even murder from the wildest decade of the 20th century. Says Clive Davis of The London Times, "The nearest most of us get to the music of the Roaring Twenties is a late-night rerun of Some Like It Hot or two tickets for Chicago. With Mark Nadler as your guide, you get an even richer sense of what it was like to live, or rather party, through the Jazz Age. By the time he has sung his last song & thundered through his final piano solo, you may want to text your local bootlegger & order a fresh supply of illicit gin." $35-45 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
LILLIAS WHITE, May 1 at 7PM & May 2 & 3 at 8:30PM:
Tony Award & Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, Dreamgirls, Fela, "Hercules") makes her 54 Below solo concert debut! In this brand new concert, audiences can expect to hear the music of Jerry Herman, Frank Loesser, Stephen Sondheim, Cy Coleman and more. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Lillias pulls back the show curtain to tell humorous, poignant and inspiring stories from both her personal and show business life that she has never shared before, onstage or off. The concert will interweave songs that are career milestones for Lillias and also songs from the soundtrack of her life. Bound to be a "you had to be there" three-night event, Lillias' once-in-a-generation talent will be on display in full force, reminding everyone that she is a force of nature and here to stay. $40-50 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
EDIE BEALE: LIVE AT RENO SWEENEY, May 1 at 9:30PM
"PURE PERFECTION!" Albert Maysles (Director of Grey Gardens). "SKILLFUL, UNSENTIMENTAL, yet with COMPASSIONATE INSIGHT!" Charles Busch. "Jeffrey CHANNELS Edie as if he knew her.!" Jerry Torre (Marble Faun). "FLAWLESS!" Sandra Bernhard. "Little Edie" Beale, of GREY GARDENS fame, performed a now legendary cabaret act at Reno Sweeney Nightclub in New York City over the New Years week of 1978. THIS IS THAT ACT... With Jeffrey Johnson as Edie Beale, Jefferson Farber as Gerald and Zack Ford as David. Gerald Duval, Edie's producer during the time of her appearance at Reno Sweeney has re-created the essence of those magical nights using dialogue, songs, and text from the historic event resulting in a not-to-be-missed, intimate evening of theatre. Enjoy, experience, and witness what happened when Edie Beale was LIVE at Reno Sweeney. $25-35 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
JULIA MATTISON IS RUBY MANGER, May 1 at 11:30PM:
Featuring: Andrew Kober (Les Miserables) as Jean Dijon, Taylor Trensch (Matilda) as Allen Quiche Lorraine, Noel Carey as Randy Newman and Julia Murney (Falling, Wicked) as Julia Murney. Join fictional Broadway diva Ruby Manger as she makes her long-awaited return to the New York stage! Julia Mattison stars as Ms. Manger, an enigmatic Broadway icon, famous for such roles as Trudy the Blind Ghost in I See You, Not Really, But You Know What I Mean (Tony Award winner, Best Musical and Best Actress) and as The Coroner in Whoa Nelly, That's a Lot of Blood (Drama Desk Award winner, Best Set Design). Through a whirlwind of songs, stories and Broadway's special guests, Ruby will revisit her greatest career highlights and lowlights, from winning her first Tony Award, to her not-so-secret love affairs, to her recent recovery from a terrifying addiction to bagels. Ms. Manger is back from rehab, better than ever, and ready to reclaim her place as Broadway's shining Ruby with a thrilling and revealing evening at Broadway's Supper Club! Julia Mattison made her Broadway debut in the 2011 revival of Godspell, and since then has carved a place in the New York scene as an actor, singer, writer and comedian. She can usually be found at 54 Below, either singing the work of people she admires, or wandering the halls because she doesn't know where else to go. Outside of New York, Mattison has performed with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the Royal National Theatre in London, among others. As a comedian, Mattison has earned awards for her work in sketch and standup comedy, and was featured in EW, The AV Club, New York Magazine and more for her spoof creation, Human Centipede: The Musical. Recently, she has been featured on the MTV show Hey Girl!, directed by Michael Showalter, the Fox comedy Us & Them, starring Alexis Biedel and Jason Ritter, Jake & Amir for College Humor, and on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where she filmed a music video with Guillermo to pair with her recent ad campaign for Holiday Inn. Most recently, Mattison and her friend/writing partner Sydney Nikols were offered a development deal with MTV for their television pilot, How to Live Like a Lady. Mattison is represented by Soffer/Namoff Entertainment. $10 cover charge. $20 food & beverage minimum or two drinks.
DUETS WITH THE WRITE TEACHER(S) FEATURING NATALIE WEISS & MORE, May 2 at 11PM:
DUETS with The Write Teacher(s) highlights duets from composers Joe Iconis, Ryan Scott Oliver, Rob Rokicki, and Zoe Sarnak. Each duet will feature one Broadway/professional singer and one future Broadway hopeful. Created and produced by Megan Minutillo, with musical direction by Will Buck, DUETS is a concert that bridges the gap between aspiring and working performers in New York City. The evening will be hosted by Lauren Marcus, and performers will include Loni Ackerman (Evita), Alex Brightman (Big Fish), Amanda Flynn, Ellyn Marie Marsh (Kinky Boots), Jessica Mortellaro, Krista Pioppi (Spring Awakening national tour), Andrea Ross, Preston Sadleir (Next to Normal tour), Jacob Samuels, Bret Shuford (The Little Mermaid), Betsy Struxness (Matilda), Stephanie Turci, Jason "SweetTooth" Williams (The Disappearing Man), Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture), Alan Wiggins (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Remy Zaken (Spring Awakening), and more special guests to be announced. The Write Teacher(s) is an interactive website featuring the latest and greatest in theater, music, film, television, visual arts, books, and arts education. The motto of the website is to promote cultural substance, creativity, and positivity in within all communities. $25-35 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
DREW GASPARINI FEATURING LOLO, ALEX BRIGHTMAN & MORE, May 3 at 11PM:
After his debut concert at 54 Below sold out in record time, Drew Gasparini has quickly become a club regular (you can't deny the people what they want: more Drew!). True to form, the set list for May will showcase material from all over Drew's catalog... some songs from here... some songs from there... including a collection of brand new work. You'll laugh, you'll cry, we'll all get tipsy and have a party. It will be an evening of entertainment delivered as only this talented goofball can. Overheard following Volume 2 of From Here & There (that's correct, this excited fan wrote a haiku): "I once dreamt of Drew / He sang to me in my dreams / Now I need new sheets." And from Drew's long-time supporter (and mother), Kele Gasparini: "Wait, they invited you back?" The evening will feature performances by Lolo (Spring Awakening), Julia Mattison (Godspell), Ben Crawford (Big Fish), Rozi Baker (Bonnie & Clyde), Brandon J. Ellis (Once), Molly Hager (Heathers), Gilbert L. Bailey II (The Book of Mormon), Jed Resnick (Avenue Q), Preston Sadlier (Next to Normal), Monet Julia Sabel, Emily Kay Shrader, Carolyn Miller, Peter Klein, Natalie Ortega, Justin Luciano, and of course, Drew's fellow (M)orons: Alex Brightman (Big Fish), Andrew Kober (Les Miserables), and F. Michael Haynie (Wicked), accompanied by Drew, Charlie Rosen, Adrien Godat, and Marques Walls. Additional performers to be announced. The concert is produced by Erica Rotstein. Drew Gasparini won the John Lennon Songwriting Award, and his music has been heard on NBC's Smash as well as in venues all over the country, including the Kennedy Center. His musical Make Me Bad (book by Alex Brightman) was awarded by PACE New Musicals and was presented in an industry workshop in February. Crazy, Just Like Me received a NYC workshop this past November (Best of Fest, NYMF 2011), and his musical adaptation of Turn of the Screw (book by Michael Kimmel) was presented at Lincoln Center in 2012. $25-35 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.
DAISY EAGAN, May 4 at 9:30PM:
What happens when a brash, cynical, inappropriate former child star finds out she's pregnant with a kid she never planned on? She becomes a brash, cynical, inappropriate mother. Making her 54 Below debut, Tony Award winner Daisy Eagan (The Secret Garden, James Joyce's The Dead), uses edgy humor and some of her favorite music to tell the story of going from Broadway Baby to Hollywood Mama. (Adult content. May not be appropriate for children or the faint of heart!) $30-40 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.