The 11:30 PM concert, hosted by Playbill.com staff writer Michael Gioia — who also hosted The Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know: LIVE! at 54 Below in January — will feature music direction by Charlie Rosen.
Performers include Gioia, two-time Tony Award nominee Robin De Jesus (In the Heights, La Cage aux Folles), Bonnie Milligan (Jasper in Deadland), Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture, national tour of Les Miz), Jenna Leigh Green (Wicked, Bare), Ariana DeBose (Bring It On, Motown), Ariana Groover (Holler If Ya Hear Me), Janet Krupin (If/Then), Tommy McDowell (American Idiot national tour), Joey Nelan, Lauren Renahan and Carolyn Caton.
Here's how the night is billed: "Pre-game with your favorite whiskey, throw on your best red, white and blue and head to 54 Below to ring in July 4 with some of the best belters on Broadway. Bitching and Belting: An Evening with Michael Gioia and Friends promises to be an unforgettable night where no complaint is too small and no note is too high. Join Michael Gioia (who hosted Playbill's Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know LIVE! in January) and his Broadway faves for a set list of the sassiest songs, most dangerous duets and, of course, some bad-ass bitching. There will be (vocal) fireworks — we promise!"
Yvette Kojic co-produces and co-directs alongside Gioia, and Rochel Saks will be the evening's stage manager.
54 Below is located at 254 W. 54th Street. There is a $20 cover charge plus a two-drink minimum. For more information and tickets, call (646) 476-3551 or visit 54Below.com.
Jenna Leigh Green: "Complicated" (Avril Lavigne). Well, back in the day, my favorite "bitch" song was Avril Lavigne's "Complicated." I felt like it was talking about every guy I met, so it was a great drunk-karaoke-bitch-fest favorite!
Ariana DeBose: "Ironic" (Alanis Morissette). "Ironic" by Alanis is my go to Bitch and Belt song because it states all the reasons I'd want to bitch about something.
Michael Gioia: "Fighter" (Christina Aguilera). I have SO many bitchy and belty faves — which is obviously why we decided to have a concert about it at 54 Below — and since we don't have Christina Aguilera represented in the show, I figured I'd go with an Xtina tune. "Fighter" is a great "f*ck you" power ballad: "After all that you put me through, You think I'd despise you, But in the end I wanna thank you, 'Cause you've made me that much stronger…" Plus, just skip to about three minutes in, where you start to get the classic Xtina riffs. Screaming about how you're better than your ex? Yes, please!
Joey Contreras: "Never Again" (Kelly Clarkson). No one can bitch and belt and capture all my angst and emotion like Kelly Clarkson. The first song that came to my mind was the wonderfully blunt single "Never Again." With lyrics like, "I hope when you're in bed with her... you think of me" and "I would never wish bad things, but I don't wish you well" — those are feelings definitely worth belting about. This video is also a strange and sorta awkwardly delicious watch.
Tommy McDowell: "Creep" (Radiohead). It's my go-to belty song. I also love that it really doesn't matter what you do prior to the "belty" part of the song. I once sang it at karaoke, and a guy at the bar said, "Nice job...you kinda half-assed it in the beginning, but you really nailed that last part." I told him to go f*ck himself.
Natalie Weiss: "You Oughtta Know" (Alanis Morissette). This is the ultimate anthem for every girl who has ever been f*cked over by a man.
David Maglione and Tomas Ruiz: "Last Love Song" (ZZ Ward). Is it ever really the last love song? For us, that's what bitching and belting is all about — there are so many love songs to be discovered and so many love songs left to write and so many notes left to belt. Find someone who is worth belting for. If they turn out to not be worth it, throw their stuff out the window and go for the high note. Plus, this song gives us dictionless-rasp-belt-realness.
Yvette Kojic: "Ain't It Fun" (Paramore). I'm having fun bitching with Paramore's "Ain't It Fun" right now! #OMGLOVEOBSESSED
Bonnie Milligan: "Don't Rain on My Parade" (Barbra Streisand). Hands down, this is the best belting and bitching song there ever was! Sometimes I just belt this out if I'm having a rough day, and sometimes I belt it out when my day is going well. It's just the best. And, Barbra? I mean, you're welcome, world.
Janet Krupin: "I Don't Wanna Lie" (Alexander Sage Oyen). A) Singing it is how I met Alex, and now he's one of my besties. B) That song has such a relatable sentiment… Modern romance, yo.
Joey Nelan: "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)" (Blu Cantrell). What's better than belting and riffing your face off about wiping out all of your ex's money?! So satisfying. Plus, she kills it vocally, and the beat is infectious and fun although the lyrics are bitching. And, the backup vocals keep saying, "Oops!" in the pre-chorus. Even though she ain't makin' no mistake! It makes me happy.
Lauren Renahan: "Feel the Love" (Rudimental ft. John Newman). … Because why not feel love? … And dance! That trumpet solo, though…