Laura Benanti's 54 Below Gigs Will Entertain You and Your Grandmother Television and Broadway star Laura Benanti is doing what she describes as her "favorite thing" — singing on stage in an environment that allows for audience interaction. The set list for her upcoming 54 Below gigs (May 20-25) is a virtual "mix-tape" of songs that promises to entertain audiences of all ages. Expect tunes from shows like The Boy Friend and from artists like Harry Chapin, Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding, as well as original tunes penned by Benanti and her pianist-arranger-musical director Todd Almond. The 54 Below engagement will be recorded for an upcoming CD release. For tickets and info visit 54Below.com.
George Salazar Bangs the Drum for F#%king Up Everything George Salazar is known as a performer with roles Off-Broadway and in the hit Broadway revival of Godspell. What many fans might not know is that Salazar's first love was not musical theatre, but drumming. From his earliest days, Salazar was inspired by his father's playing and naturally developed percussion skills of his own. In this exclusive profile, Playbill caught up with Salazar at the Elektra Theatre where he is currently a cast member of F#%king Up Everything. This new comic musical not only displays his chops as a musical theatre performer but also as a drummer — Salazar sits behind the skins for the shows 23 songs. Check out a Playbill Playlist with the show's Salazar, Max Crumm, and Jason Gotay.
Steve Kazee Rested and Ready for 54 Below Shows Fans of Once will feel right at home when Steve Kazee performs at 54 Below on May 10, 11 and 13. His acoustic tunes rife with heartbreak and longing — written while he was on a recent vocal rest — mine the emotional landscape that made Once such a hit on Broadway. Here, Kazee runs through "Another Me" and "On Your Way" and chats with Playbill about revealing his inner life in such personal and hearfelt songs. For details, visit 54Below.com.
Motown: The Musical Tony Nominees Talk Gordy, Ross, Robinson Valisia LeKae (Best Actress in a Musical) and Charl Brown (Best Featured Actor in a Musical) received 2013 Tony nominations for their work in Berry Gordy's Motown: The Musical, a true-to-life account of the early days of the famous record label. The two stars met with Playbill to chat about the unforgettable music, working with Gordy and meeting Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson, the real-life icons they portrayed in the show. Watch interviews with the Tony-nominated stars of Pippin.