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Joanna Gleason & 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:

PRINCESSES THE MUSICAL: A CLASS REUNION, October 21 at 7PM:
What do Broadway's Lindsay Mendez (Broadway's Elphaba), Sierra Boggess (Broadway'sLittle Mermaid), Patti Murin (Broadway's Lysistrata Jones), Marissa Perry (Broadway's Tracy Turnblad), and Jenny Fellner (Broadway's Sophie in Mamma Mia) have in common? Ten years ago this October, they all began their New York careers as Princesses. On October 14, all these ladies plus Brent Barrett, Donna English, Anne Letscher and more TBA reunite at 54 Below to celebrate in song and story the beloved show that brought them all together: Princesses - The Musical. Written by Tony winner David Zippel (City of Angels, Disney's Hercules), Oscar and Grammy nominee Matthew Wilder (Disney's Mulan) and Emmy and Golden Globe winners Cheri & Bill Steinkellner (Cheers, Sister Act - The Musical), Princesses follows a group of jaded private-school girls forced by their teacher to put on a show. They'd rather die, until one girl's movie-star dad, the former Sexiest Man Alive, shows up to direct the beleaguered production. Cover charge $35-45. $25 food and beverage minimum.

Marilyn Maye, October 21 at 9:30PM, October 23 & 24 at 7PM, October 25 & 26 at 8PM:
New York's darling Marilyn Maye makes her triumphant return to 54 Below! This time, it's all show tunes, all the time! You can expect an evening of purely sublime music interpreted by the incomparable Lady Maye. Performing signature tunes from classic musicals such as Hello, Dolly! and Mame, cabaret's favorite diva also embraces work from tunesmiths such as Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb and Frank Loesser. Johnny Carson called her "Super Singer" and presented her on his The Tonight Show a record-breaking 76 times. Stephen Holden of The New York Times calls her "the embodiment and summation of a sock-it-to-'em nightclub tradition. Her voice is full and rich and perfectly in tune, displaying a voluptuous enjoyment of singing." Rex Reed of The New York Observer calls her "the real deal, the surviving artist of the American popular singer." 54 Below is thrilled to have Marilyn "back where she belongs!" Cover charge $35-60. $25 food & beverage minimum.

THE CALLBACK, October 21 at 11:30PM:
If selected to participate in the prelimary round, contestants will perform one 2-4 minute song on the 54 Below stage. Each performance will be filmed, and one winner will be deemed "Audience Favorite" by audience vote to progress to the semi-finals. Contestants who do not win in the preliminary round will have one chance at redemption; videos of all preliminary performances will be published on the 54 Below Facebook page within 24 hours of each event and the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite contestant. The contestant with the most "likes" on their Youtube video will be deemed the "Wildcard Semi-Finalist" and will also progress to semi-finals. No cover charge. Two drink minimum.

WBGO JAZZ SERIES: IAN SHAW & FRIENDS, October 22 at 7PM:
Ian Shaw is "praised far and wide as the greatest male jazz singer Britain has to offer" (Jazz Times), and this October he graces the stage of 54 Below for a rare New York performance! Born in Wales, Shaw has toured the UK and US and performed with Cedar Walton, Lew Soloff, Claire Martin, and has been honored as Best Jazz Vocalist twice at the BBC Jazz Awards. Shaw's many recordings include the tribute "Drawn To All Things-The Songs of Joni Mitchell," and this year, Ian celebrates the 70th birthday year of Joni Mitchell with his most unique jazz interpretations of her music. Cover charge $25-35. $15 food & beverage minimum.

HIS ROYALY HIPNESS LORD BUCKLEY, October 22 at 9PM:
After a decade of sold-out runs in London, off-Broadway and Los Angeles, creator and star Jake Broder brings his critically acclaimed international success to 54 Below. Jake Broder ("Mozart" in Sir Peter Hall's Broadway and West End productions of Amadeus) exquisitely re-incarnates Lord Buckley, the largely forgotten counter-culture icon of the 1940's and 50's and granddaddy of American comedy. Lord Buckley did for comedy what Elvis did for music. His work inspired Robin Williams, Johnny Depp, Whoopi Goldberg, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, Bob Dylan and Ken Kesey. As the New York Times review said, Buckley "may have been the hippest man who ever lived...a Californian ex-lumberjack who invented an unlikely persona that was part English royalty, part Dizzy Gillespie. Video of Buckley's act is scarce, but Jake Broder offers the next best thing with his faithful performance." A Time Out Critics Pick in London, the show has been a hit all over the world. In His Royal Hipness: Lord Buckley, Jake Broder and his Be-Bop Jazz trio transport the audience back to an exciting reimagining of Buckley performance, a swirling mix of comedy, be-bop and cabaret. $35-45 cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.

LATE NIGHT: BACKSTAGE, October 22 at 10:45PM:
Each week, Broadway cast members and audiences alike gather to mix and mingle at 54 Below, Broadway's most intimate haunt, located in the heart of the theatre district. Musical Director Brad Simmons keeps the house jumping from the piano, while host Susie Mosher (the love child of Joanne Worley & Paul Lynde) guides the crowd through an evening of music, mayhem and full throttle belting, with special guests from Broadway and beyond dropping in to perform. NPR had this to say: "The best thing happening right now might just be the weekly Backstage. Hosted by the ridiculously funny Susie Mosher and pianist Brad Simmons who clearly is the man, it's two feel-good hours among New York's theater people, who seem like they're having a really fine time. Can't recommend it highly enough!" At this week's Backstage is Rashida Scott (Sister Act, Beautiful), Christina Bianco (YouTube sensation, NEWSical), Jeff Breithaupt (The Breithaupt Brothers), Bobby Cronin (composer), and Ann Brummel (Wicked). No cover charge. $25 food & beverage minimum.

Joanna Gleason, October 23 at 9:30PM:
54 Below is delighted to welcome Tony Award winner Joanna Gleason as she makes her NYC cabaret debut! Accompanied by Well Strung, the dazzling modern-day string quartet, her fantasy and real lives intersect underscored by tunes ranging from Billy Joel to Dave Frishberg to Johnny Mathis, with maybe even a little walk through the woods. Revered by Broadway audiences for her unforgettable (& award-winning) portrayal of The Baker's Wife in the original company of Into the Woods, New York has also embraced Joanna in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Nick and Nora and Sons of The Prophet among others, racking up all of the major theatre awards along the way. This is to say nothing of her film and TV work, which includes Boogie Nights, Crimes & Misdemeanors, The Wedding Planner, the upcoming Las Vegas and a whole host of other projects. It's the cabaret event of the fall when this eloquent, witty and thoroughly delightful star graces our stage. Be there!Cover charge $35-45. $25 food & beverage minimum.

Ryan Scott Oliver & Lindsay Mendez'S ACTOR THERAPY, October 23 at 11:30PM:
ACTOR THERAPY goes 54 Below! Presented by award-winning composer-lyricist Ryan Scott Oliver (35mm, Darling) and Broadway actress Lindsay Mendez (Wicked, Dogfight, Godspell), ACTOR THERAPY, is a series of masterclasses for performers looking to improve their auditions, build a better book, and expand their understanding of what it means to be an actor and song interpreter in New York today. Join us as we celebrate the alumni of this awesome program! Cover charge $15. Two drink minimum.

Charles Busch, October 24 at 9:30PM:
The acclaimed actor/ Tony-nominated playwright and drag legend returns with a brand new show, chock full of outrageous personal stories, original characters and classic songs; all perfumed with his own unique form of glamour. Charles Busch continues to delight and re-define his craft as a master humorist, illusionist and camp icon. The author of dozens of hit plays (Tale of the Allergists Wife, Red Scare on Sunset, Flipping My Wig, Times Square Angel, Our Leading Lady, The Third Story, Die! Mommie! Die!, Psycho Beach Party, The Divine Sister & Vampire Lesbians of Sodom to name but a few), Busch returns to 54 Below, joined by Musical Director Tom Judson. Expect laughter, music, tears and sequins. But no boas. Cover charge $35-45. $25 food and beverage minimum.

Joan Ryan, October 26 at 11PM:
From The Today Show to the Hollywood Bowl and the recent west coast premiere of her all-new, self-titled show, Ms. Ryan's debut at 54 Below promises an unrivaled evening of fiercely rich vocals laced with an innate sense of humor and the frank wisdom of a consummate performer. "A compelling evening of musical excellence rendered with exquisite understanding, musical theatre and concert star Joan Ryan is a mesmerizing performer who moves smoothly from larger-than-life drama to small, captivating emotional moments," says The Los Angeles Times. Rex Reed concurs by saying, "She can explore the nuances of a piercing ballad with the investigative talent of a forensic expert, then ignite a show stopping Broadway melody with the combustion of a freight locomotive on the Philadelphia Railroad." Cover charge $25-35. $25 food and beverage minimum.

Jarrod Spector, October 27 at 7PM:
Broadway's Jarrod Spector, who is starring in the forthcoming Broadway musical Beautiful:The Carole King Musical, premieres his brand new show at 54 Below! This new musical outing traces the legacy of the great male singers whose vocal prowess made them the rock stars of their generations, even before rock was born. After starring as Frankie Valli for six years in Broadway's smash hit musical, Jersey Boys, Jarrod wraps his critically-praised voice around the songs that have made superstars out of more than a century of tenor legends from Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson to the great Enrico Caruso himself. Cover charge $25-35. $25 food & beverage minimum.

NEW SUNDAYS, October 27 at 9:30PM:
54 Below salutes some of the most exciting artists writing for the musical theatre today with our new, original series, New Sundays! Each month, we'll feature three composers or composing teams who will present some of their latest and greatest work. This month, we're delighted to welcome special guest Craig Carnelia (Sweet Smell of Success, Working, Is There Life After High School?). Also on the bill are the brilliant Adam Gwon (Ordinary Days, The Boy Detective Fails), and the captivating writing team of Kait Kerrigan & Brian Lowdermilk (Henry & Mudge, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samanth Brown). Expect electrifying guest vocalists! Cover charge $25-35. $25 food & beverage minimum.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.54Below.com or call (866) 468-7619.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski


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