The 9:30 PM concert will include Lindsay's husband, Kevin Massey (Memphis); Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan and his wife, Ashley Spencer (Rock of Ages); Kirsten Scott (Big Fish); Santino Fontana (Cinderella) and his girlfriend, Jessica Hershberg (Cinderella); Drew Gehling (On a Clear Day…) and his wife, Sara Jean Ford (The Phantom of the Opera); Patrick Cummings (Happiness) and his girlfriend, Alessa Neeck (Cinderella); Thea Brooks (Dirty Dancing); Aaron Albano (Newsies); Antwayn Hopper (Hair); Joseph Anthony Byrd (The Lion King); Devin Ilaw (Les Misérables); Stephen Joshua Thompson; and musical director Benjamin Rauhala.
A Very Broadway Valentine's Day, which will celebrate Broadway romance — both on and off stage — will also feature the bluegrass trio Shubert Alley, composed of Massey (Memphis) and his brother, Patrick Massey, as well as Jamison Scott (Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark).
Performers will be accompanied by Rauhala on the keys and Charlie Rosen (One Man, Two Guvnors), who will alternate on bass, acoustic guitar and drums.
In celebration of Valentine's Day, members from the Broadway Valentine's Day cast pick their favorite love songs and tell us why they made the list.
Proceeds from the evening will be donated to Hope4Gavin to support two-year-old Gavin Strand in his battle with cancer. Strand is the son of musical director Rauhala's cousins, Katie and Dan Strand, and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia the day after his first birthday. He is in remission, but continues to receive chemotherapy and takes over 100 oral medications a month. He will finish treatment in July. 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, visit 54Below.com or click here.
Kara Lindsay: "I Will Always Love You" (performed by Whitney Houston). My favorite love song is Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"… for the obvious reasons: it's epic, and she is a legend. Also, I used to blast my Whitney cassette tape in my bedroom, and lip sync this song to my mirror with my hairbrush — on many occasions. I used to picture any and all boy-crushes I had and lip sync my heart out to them… Sorry, Kev!
Kevin Massey: "Make You Feel My Love" (by Bob Dylan). I got to sing it to my fiancée (now wife) in front my whole family and so many of my closest friends last time I was at 54 Below. I love sharing these kinds of embarrassing and ooey-gooey-lovey moments with Kara.
Jeremy Jordan: "The Luckiest" (Ben Folds). Simple, sweet, beautiful lyrics that never have to overtly state the fact that it's a love song. First time I heard the song, years ago, I instantly connected with it and knew that's what I wanted in my life. And now I have it! Gets me every time.
Benjamin Rauhala: "If You're Not The One" (Daniel Bedingfield). Daniel Bedingfield's 2002 power ballad "If You're Not The One" is unquestionably my favorite love song. The entire verse is only two chords, never quite resolving, which leaves the listener uncertain as to whether the singer is pleading to hold onto a love that is slipping away, or simply seeking to affirm a love they hold in their grasp. The melody and lyrics of the chorus are so simple and universal, and yet filled with longing — "If I'm not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am?" Daniel Bedingfield's falsetto is gorgeous, and the melancholy chord progression really helps this tune pull at my heartstrings. When he hits a high E-flat as he asks, "Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?" My goodness. Hopefully, I'll be lucky enough to have someone sing something like this to me one day.
Devin Ilaw: "Feels Like Home" (Randy Newman). Everything about this song is beautiful. It's true — location and life's circumstances don't matter because as long as I'm with my love, I'm home.
Joseph Anthony Byrd: "Love Song" (from Pippin). My favorite love song is "Love Song" from Pippin because it's pretty sweet, and I love a good "la"!
Kirsten Scott: "Feels Like Home" (Randy Newman). I would have to say my favorite love song is "Feels Like Home" by Randy Newman. I first heard the song on the "Dawson's Creek" soundtrack in high school… Yep, don't laugh, it's actually a really great soundtrack… Then, when I got married years later, I asked my high school best friend, Anisha Nagarajan, to sing it at our ceremony, and she sang a beautiful arrangement while accompanying herself on her ukulele. It was so magical. So, I am going to sing "Feels Like Home" at our Very Broadway Valentine's Day show at 54 Below as my love song to my husband, Matthew Scott, cause as you can see, me and this song have a bit of a history.
Jessica Hershberg: "Somebody Loved" (The Weepies). Yes, there's one line about "running away" that kind of complicates what the song is probably ACTUALLY about… But it's still my favorite!
Patrick Massey: "Surfer Girl" (The Beach Boys). In middle school, I used to fall asleep listening to the same Beach Boys cassette tape every night. All through middle school, I was in love with a girl named Katie Watley, and I would sub her name into the lyrics whenever I could, so it became "Katie Girl" when I sang it.
Antwayn Hopper: "After the Love Has Lost Its Shine" (Regina Belle). My favorite love song for this season is Regina Belle's "After the Love Has Lost Its Shine" off of her "Love Songs" album. This beautiful song, with rich text, is about true love: Yes, in the beginning, it's all good and dandy, but the love shared will still be there, after the shine, so to speak. [If it] has tarnished, we will still be inseparable — sticking together in the worst conditions. Love shall endure, through all the times — ups and downs. It's a beautiful message shared with me by my godmother, Nicole Watkins-Boubal!!
Patrick Cummings: "Leather and Lace" (Stevie Nicks and Don Henley). My favorite love song is "Leather and Lace" by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley because you can hear the history in their voices via their slightly weathered rock quality. I'm not one to go for the perfectly pure and angelic sound. There's something that gives you the sense that these people have been down and out but have found solace in each other, or maybe I'm reading too much into it.
Alessa Neeck: "Isn't It Romantic?" (by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart). It completely encompasses the magic and mystery of two people falling in love in the most haunting melody. I think it perfectly represents that indefinable "spark" that exists in a new romance.
Sara Jean Ford: "New Words" (Maury Yeston). I'm gonna go rogue here and give you "New Words" by Maury Yeston. I used to sing it in college, and it's just lovely, and it always used to make me well up. But now?! Now that I have a child?! Sheesh! Kill me. …A child with one of my best friends from college, no less!
Seriously though, let's get real: "Turn your eyes from the skies now. Turn around and look at me. There's a light in my eyes now and a word for what you see. We call it love, my son. Say 'love.' So hard to say, my son. It gets harder." Death. I'm dead. I can't sing that song anymore! It's not fair to the people watching me because I will just sob in their faces and be a snotty, sobby mess. Nobody wants to see me sing my fave love song. No one. Not even my child. She would rather I sing the "Poop Monster" song that I made up. That one to her is awesome.
Thea Brooks: I simply cannot choose, but I think, for now, I'll say it's a toss up between Elvis Costello's cover of "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys and, unconventionally, "Every Day a Little Death" from A Little Night Music. The first reminds my of my college boyfriend, who I was in love with. And, the second is just brilliant in every way and exactly how I feel about love most of the time. It's painful and you give something up of yourself, but you do it anyway, out of some sort of compulsion. I also love anything written by Sara Bareilles, her lyrics speak to me greatly.
Stephen Joshua Thompson: Three-way tie: "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (Roberta Flack), "The Promise" (Tracy Chapman), "Annie's Song" (John Denver). They all appeal to me in different ways and remind me of different times. Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" reminds me of my current relationship and just that butterfly feeling we get when we first meet someone we love. Tracy Chapman's "The Promise" reminds me of the actor's life — when we chose to go away for a project (maybe just a short while or maybe a long time) and have to say goodbye to our significant other. It also has found memories attached to it because it was on a mixed tape (I know, I am dating myself) that I received from a good friend before I left for college. Finally, John Denver's "Annie's Song" is the first love song I remember learning… other than maybe Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" (done as a full production number on my fireplace at the age of five). My mom sang it as my uncle's wedding, in which I was the ring bearer. I remember sing my rendition of it when the photos were being taken for the wedding party's utter enjoyment.