PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Broadway Big Band's Caissie Levy, Ariana DeBose, Hannah Elless, Alysha Umphress Pick Female Standards

By Michael Gioia
18 Sep 2013

Ariana DeBose
Ariana DeBose

Charlie Rosen's Broadway Big Band will return to 54 Below Sept. 21 and include a special tribute to late Broadway and swing legend Eydie Gorme. In celebration of Gorme and the female artists of the swing and jazz era, the ladies of Big Band pick their favorite standards, performed by females, as part of Playbill.com's Playbill Playlist series.

The 11 PM concert, dedicated to the memory of Gorme, is co-produced by Charlie Rosen and Max Friedman. Broadway Big Band was previously seen at 54 Below in March and May 2013.

Directed by Friedman, Big Band will feature guest vocalists Nick Blaemire (Godspell, Dogfight), Tony Award nominee Daniel Breaker (Passing Strange, Shrek, Love's Labour's Lost), Ariana DeBose (Bring It On, Motown), Hannah Elless (Godspell, Somewhere In Time), Jason Gotay (Bring It On, F#%king Up Everything), Caissie Levy (Ghost, Hair, Murder Ballad), Alysha Umphress (On A Clear Day..., American Idiot) and the band's resident vocalist, Monet Julia Sabel.

Returning vocalists Blaemire, DeBose, Elless, Umphress and Sabel will sing songs they have never previously performed with Rosen's Broadway Big Band.



In anticipation of the 54 Below Big Band return — and in celebration of the ladies of swing — DeBose, Elless, Levy, Umphress and Sabel pick their favorite standards (performed by some of their favorite females) and tell us why they made the list.

Here's how the evening is billed: "Join Broadway bandleader Charlie Rosen (One Man, Two Guvnors) for an evening that puts both modern and classic showtunes on display, sung by the best and brightest of Broadway's young generation of leading performers, in the timeless tradition of Big Band. A full sized Jazz orchestra composed of 17 musicians play Rosen's re-imagined arrangements of an eclectic mix of tunes from Broadway's past, present, and beyond!"

Friedman and Rosen most recently teamed up to present the world premiere of their multimedia revue of the works of Stephen Sondheim, The Bluest Ink, which was staged in concert at (le) poisson rouge and is aiming for a New York return in the coming months.

Rosen previously composed the score for the Roundabout Theater Company's Cyrano de Bergerac and served as musical director and bassist for the onstage band in One Man, Two Guvnors. His other Broadway credits also include Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and 13.

54 Below is located at 254 W. 54th Street. Tickets are $20-$30 plus a $25 food/beverage minimum. For more information and tickets, visit 54Below.com.

 Continued...