BWW Interviews: Tyler Conroy Discusses his 'Very Broadway Bae Christmas' at Feinstein's/54 Below
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in New York City, and Tyler Conroy is prepping to kick off the holiday season on 54th Street with a Christmas edition of his cabaret show, Broadway Baes.
On December 2nd, Tyler Conroy will return to the Feinstein's/54 Below stage with his Broadway Baes for Tyler Conroy's Very Broadway Bae Christmas. The singer/songwriter, vlogger, and author of the ultimate Taylor Swift fan book recently chatted with us about getting to perform at dream venues, his broadway baes, and his love for the holiday season.
BWW: Congrats on your return to 54 below! How excited are you to come back and perform here for the second time?
So excited. The first time was pretty surreal and dreamlike, and this time I feel like I wake up with a different stress zit on my chin everyday from it. I've just never been so excited and equally terrified for something, because I also want to make it better, which is putting a lot of pressure on me. But you know everybody puts pressure on themselves, that's how we get better. I'm just excited that I get to do it again, this time Christmas themed, and with some of my favorite Broadway actors.
How did your first run at 54 Below come about, and what was your inspiration to assemble this "Broadway Bae" squad?
I've been watching 54 below videos religiously since I was 19 and in college, I've just always loved that venue and loved the people that have performed there. When I released my Taylor Swift book, I did a release show in New York City, and one of the programming directors at 54 Below was at the show. A couple weeks after, I got an email from her, and originally they kind of wanted it to be Taylor Swift themed, but I was just like "I have this idea." I love 54 below, I love watching these videos, I love the kings and queens that perform there, and I had this crazy idea to invite my "Broadway baes" to kind of share my debut with me, and to ask them on the internet and just see what they said.
What is it that you particularly love about 54 Below as a venue?
I just love 54 Below because a lot of the people that perform there are coming from shows that they're doing 8 times a week, where they're doing the same thing, every night. Not a lot of times do they get to have a platform or a chance to do the thing that they're really passionate about, that they love, so when they do performances here, they are usually so amazing because they're so excited to share something that nobody's seen from them
I love how you propositioned Christy Altomare and got her to join by serenading her on social media! I think it's amazing that you're able to create this platform for yourself, and your own presence in the industry, and end up performing at venues amongst Broadway stars. What has your success been like?
It's pretty mind blowing, and it's interesting because a lot of my friends tell me I'm just so lucky, and part of it is luck, but I've also been working for this since I was 17 years old. Christy was one of the first people I wanted to ask, but I didn't want to pressure her to say yes because I know how intense of a show Anastasia is for her. When I got the notification that she agreed to do it, and retweeted the tweet, I had been rushing to get somewhere. I picked up my phone and was like "why is it blowing up right now?" I couldn't even see because the notifications were coming in so fast. I saw it and like immediately started sweating, and was like "okay this is a real thing that's really going to happen!" She's so sweet and I'm so excited to sing with her.
Where do you hope to go in the future?
I really want to focus on some of my own music, and start to showcase more of that, and perform it at venues in the city. One of my dream venues to play at is Rockwood Music Hall, I've seen Kathryn Gallagher and others perform there. At these shows I know that like 75 percent of the people here are probably coming to hear their favorite person sing, or see this moment happen IRL, so what would be fun to do next, and what's hopefully ahead is to be able to have people come maybe just to see me, singing original songs, and telling my own original stories.
What can audiences expect on December 2nd?
Christmas sweaters. I'm going to be having a lot of different Christmas sweaters that I'm going to wear throughout the show, because I absolutely love Christmas sweaters. I don't call them ugly because I don't feel like they're ugly, I feel like they're funny and unique and beautiful. I have a Taylor Swift one, I have a buddy the elf one, me and Chris Rice are doing this little frozen number, so I might convince him to wear this Olaf costume I have. Really it's just going to be a fun night of singing Christmas songs that you know like the back of your hand, putting my own little spin on some classics, and recreating the Mean Girls North Shore Talent Show.
Is there a moment during the show that you're looking forward to the most?
I'm really excited to sing with Kathryn Gallagher, she's a giant swiftie and I'm a giant swiftie, and we're doing a Taylor Swift Christmas song, so that will be really fun. Me and my dad are also going to duet once, he's in my band with me. We've been kind of preparing for this since forever, every Christmas eve we host a giant family show called the Conroy Christmas Carols, and ten years ago when my grandpa passed away, we started singing this song Christmas Shoes, just to kind of remind everybody what the holidays are like for others, and to really cherish the people in your life. We're gonna sing that song at the show together, so that will be really fun and really sweet.
What is your favorite aspect of the holiday season?
I mean...food! I just love how happy the holidays make people, and how excited people get about them, so that's why I wanted to make this set list. There's the Christmas Shoes which is a down moment, but then there's Jingle Bells, there's N' Sync and Britney Spears Christmas, Mariah Carey Christmas, all songs that will get people smiling. I'm excited to bring that energetic atmosphere to 54 Below, especially with the dark times we're in now, it will be nice to fill a room with holiday cheer. And to quote elf, the best way to spread Christmas cheer really is singing loud for all to hear.
Why do you think people should come spend their Saturday night with you, and what do you hope they will walk away with after your show?
I just think its going to set the mood for the rest of the season for you, and you'll get to sit there and be constantly saying "oh my god I love this song!" Also, thanksgiving just ended, so maybe if they've had a bad thanksgiving or whatnot, now they can just come in and kick off Christmas in the best way possible, with Christmas songs that they love. This is like my tree lighting; I'm kind of lighting the tree at 54 Below! And we will actually decorate the stage if it's approved, and have a Christmas tree. I'm bringing presents for the baes, and for others in attendance, so everybody will leave with like a little gift. This show isn't a snoozer, its high energy, and it's just going to be fun the entire time. I'm so excited!
For tickets and more information, visit https://54below.com/events/tyler-conroys-broadway-bae-christmas/ .