Playbill Playlist: Josh Young, Ben Platt, Ben Fankhauser, Natalie Weiss and More Pick Favorites by Sam Smith

Playlist   Playbill Playlist: Josh Young, Ben Platt, Ben Fankhauser, Natalie Weiss and More Pick Favorites by Sam Smith
 
Broadway stars will celebrate the music of Sam Smith, the U.K. singer-songwriter who won big at this year's Grammy Awards, April 5 at 54 Below. In anticipation of the evening, members from the cast pick their favorite Smith songs as part of this week's Playbill Playlist
Josh Young
Josh Young

Concerts, offered at 7 PM and 9:30 PM, will feature Tony Award nominee Jeremy Jordan ("The Last Five Years," Newsies), Ben Platt ("Pitch Perfect," The Book of Mormon), Carrie Manolakos (Wicked, Mamma Mia!), Ben Fankhauser (Newsies), Zak Resnick (Mamma Mia!, Piece of My Heart), Meghann Fahy (Next to Normal), Adrienne Warren (Bring It On), Janet Krupin (If/Then, Bring It On), Tony Award nominee Josh Young (Jesus Christ Superstar), Daniel Quadrino (Newsies, Wicked), "American Idol" contestant Isabelle and Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture, Les Misérables).

At the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, Smith took home trophies for Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year (for his breakthrough single "Stay With Me") and Best Pop Vocal Album (for his platinum-selling debut "In The Lonely Hour").

According to press notes, "The 22-year-old British songwriter describes his album as his 'way of defining 'what is love,' and how unrequited love is just as painful, just as powerful, as what we call 'normal' love.' The star-studded cast of Broadway Loves Sam Smith will bring this emotional truth to the stage with the hit singles 'Stay With Me,' 'Latch,' 'I'm Not The Only One,' 'Lay Me Down,' and more fan favorites in an unforgettable evening of song."

The band will feature Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf on the cello, Justin Goldner on the bass, David Cinquegrana on the guitar, Shannon Ford on the drums and music director Benjamin Rauhala on the piano. The evening will be produced and directed by Rauhala.

This is the fifth concert in the Broadway Loves series, which previously celebrated Celine Dion, the Spice Girls, Britney Spears and the music of the 90s. Ticket prices start at $35 with a $25 food and beverage minimum and are now available to 54 Below's insider e-mail list. Tickets go on sale to the general public Feb. 11.

54 Below is located at 254 W. 54th Street. For more information and tickets, call (646) 476-3551 or visit 54Below.com.

Josh Young: "Leave Your Lover." My favorite Sam Smith song is "Leave Your Lover" because, I mean, it's a f**king great song. The lyrics match the tone and melody perfectly. It's such a universal sentiment: "You love him, not me. I love you and deserve you. I'd love you better than him, but you will never know. I can't say 'leave your lover' so I'll write a song about this heartache to make the situation easier to live with." It just reminds me of a beautiful, poetic private journal entry.

Natalie Weiss: "Lay Me Down." I usually pick favorite songs based on my connection to lyrics. However, in this instance, the two magical chords that occur on the lyrics "Told me not to cry when you were gone" tug at my insides. HEART WRENCHING!

Daniel Quadrino: "Lay Me Down." I don't know if I could pick a favorite Sam Smith song — the first song that I heard and I fell in love with was "Lay Me Down." It's just so emotionally raw and perfect. I could listen to it all day everyday.

Janet Krupin: "How Will I Know." My fav Sam Smith song is his version of Whitney's "How Will I Know." It was live on SiriusXM, and I was like, "WHO IS THIS KID!?!" Cut to me Googling and downloading his album immediately.

Ben Platt: "Stay With Me." My favorite Sam Smith song is "Stay With Me," because everybody has stayed in something they knew wasn't right because it's comfortable and easy and less scary than being alone!

Ben Fankhauser: "Good Thing." I'll say "Good Thing" because I love the idea of having the cathartic realization that it's time to give up on someone/something. It's painful and interesting and so human. It's something we all go through time and time again, and I love Sam Smith for writing about those difficult feelings.

Zak Resnick: "Latch (Acoustic)." Well, "Latch" (acoustic, obvi) is mine and Carleigh's [Bettiol] song… so that one! I'm trying to think of more story for this song… But I don't have much. We just kind of listened to it and said that song is amazing and romantic. We are naming it ours.

Isabelle: "Latch (Acoustic)." My favorite Sam Smith song is the acoustic version of "Latch." It's just so beautiful — the lyrics and melody are perfectly simple. It was the first song of his that I was like, "Whoa, this guy is amazing!" I learned it right away and put a cover [video] up because I was falling in love at the time, and it was just exactly the song for what I was feeling. So good!

Benjamin Rauhala: "Not In That Way." Possibly the most earnest and heartbreaking of all of Sam Smith's tunes is "Not In That Way," which makes it my favorite. The production track is clean and simple — just Sam's impeccable vocals accompanied by a simple, solo electric guitar, which allows for the full emotional breadth of the lyric to come to the forefront.

In the lyric, Sam begins to grapple with the truth about his failing relationship and grows frustrated with his own flaws as he examines why he hates to say, "I love you" to the person he's dating. As the song progresses, he begins to understand that their relationship is doomed to fail because this person — presumably the ex-boyfriend he thanked in his famed Grammy speech — will never love him the way that he loves them. That he'll never be able to understand the joy Sam feels in loving him because, deep down, Sam knows that he doesn't love him in that way.

The first time I heard this song, a few tears fell down my face, as I began to realize he was singing the truth of my current situation to me. And that is the beauty of art, pop music, and theatre, isn't it? So, thank you to Sam for sharing his truth so boldly with us, and letting us learn about ourselves from his human experience. That is why Broadway Loves Sam Smith.

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