The 9:30 PM concert will feature performances from Robert Hager (Spring Awakening, Bye Bye Birdie), Lauren Zakrin (Rock of Ages, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Austin Colby (Smokey Joe's Café), Chris Dwan (Harmony, Oklahoma!), Isabelle ("This Is Me," "American Idol"), Tony Award nominee Jonathan C. Kaplan (Falsettos), Aashley Morgan (Rent), Jennifer Noble (Ghost), Thom Sesma (The Times They Are A Changin', Man of La Mancha), Mack Shirilla (Big River, Children of Eden), Michael Tacconi (A Little More Alive, Bare), Josh Tolle (Next to Normal) and Tashiana Washington ("Gimme The Loot").
Former "American Idol" contestant Anthony Fedorov (Rent, Les Misérables) will appear in a special on-screen video performance.
Benjamin Rauhala will produce and music direct the concert, which promises tunes by the Backstreet Boys, *NSync, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, O-Town and more.
54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street. There is a $25-35 cover charge plus a $25 food and beverage minimum. For more information and tickets, call (646) 476-3551 or visit 54Below.com.
Anthony Fedorov: "This Is Promise You" (*N Sync). My favorite boy band song is "This I Promise You" by *N Sync. I love this song because it was written by one of my favorite writers Richard Marx, and the guys sang their faces off on this track. Plus you can't beat the turtle necks in the video.
Isabelle: "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" (Christina Aguilera). This song was my jam! I knew every run and every beat of this song growing up. I even learned it in Spanish. This takes me back to middle school when I used to want to emulate Christina. She was the best.
Austin Colby: "Bye Bye Bye" (*N Sync). Thanks to "Darrin's Dance Grooves" (remember those), I learned the dance for a high school talent show.
Chris Dwan: "Back Here" (BB Mak). I sang a very serious cover of this song to audition for choir when I was 10 years old — landed me a seat with the first sopranos. BB Mak made me pretty popular with the girls, so I'd like them for that and for their tender falsetto descants but mostly just for reaching suburban Michigan despite a career that lasted only three years. #90s
Jennifer Noble: "Oops!…I Did It Again" (Britney Spears). One of my favorite videos of all time! I mean, the storytelling (bonus points for "dialogue"), the production value, the costumes, the dancing, the "Titanic" reference!! It's set in space! What could you not love?! My sixth-grade self would watch this on repeat to learn the choreography…then tried demonstrating it at a school dance… True story.
Aashley Morgan: "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" (Christina Aguilera). I was obsessed with this video on "TRL." The video version of the song was different than the version released on her album, so I begged my mom to buy me the single version that was released to match the video. Ironically, I also think that "Come On Over" is the perfect bridge of early Christina to what "Back to Basics" became. This song/video made me a massive fan…and I have been ever since! I wanted to be her and would come home from school every day and wait for this video to come on "TRL." I learned the dance, all of the rap bits, and REALLY wanted red highlights!! To this day, I still think it's a fab video and song!
Mack Shirilla: "Space Cowboy" (*N Sync). My knowledge of boy bands is limited to what I heard through my sister's bedroom wall. But this song would make me wanna dance.
Benjamin Rauhala: "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" (Britney Spears). In November of 2001, Britney Spears understood perfectly my early-teenage angst. I can imagine I wasn't the only gay boy in America who felt that Britney Spears really "got it" as she sang about searching for time and space to find her own identity. Also, this song was the theme song to the 2002 film "Crossroads," where she, at one point, read the lyrics as poetry. Effortlessly iconic.
This one of only two songs I know by memory at the piano, and you bet I played it for band camp auditions when I was a teenager. Unsurprisingly, the other song I know by heart is her 2003 ballad "Everytime." I know. I'm shocked that I have a career too.
Josh Tolle: "I Want it That Way" (Backstreet Boys). When I was growing up, we took a yearly family vacation to the Outer Banks. At the time, my cousin and I were both only children. He was a spoiled little brat and I was…well, an angel of course. He showed up one year with the first Spice Girls album and rubbed it in my face. But the next year, when he threw down Britney, I matched it and upped the ante with "Millennium." "I Want it That Way" was the soundtrack to my preteen North Carolina daydreams.