Tony Winner Patti LuPone Sings of Faraway Places Starting June 5 at 54 Below
By Andrew Gans
Olivier and two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone begins performances at 54 Below, the brand-new nightclub and restaurant at 254 West 54th Street, one floor below Studio 54, June 5 at 8 PM for a two-week engagement that continues through June 19.
The new club is the brainchild of Tony Award-winning producers Tom Viertel, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel and Steven Baruch.
LuPone's program, which is entitled Faraway Places, features "a little bit of Gypsy in My Soul, which has never been done in New York, and one song from Patti LuPone on Broadway, 'Come to the Supermarket in Old Peking,' and the rest is brand-new," the award-winning actress recently told Playbill.com. Among the new songs are "Pirate Jenny," "Traveling Light," "Black Market" and the title tune.
LuPone's act was created with Tony winner Scott Wittman and musical director Joseph Thalken. "I can't move without [them]," LuPone explained. "Joe [has found] musicians who can double. So the violinist plays reeds, and the accordionist will play keyboards, and the guitarist will play a banjo, and the drummer will play percussion, which is fabulous."
Those musicians include Thalken on piano, Andy Stein on violin and saxophone, Larry Saltzman on guitar and banjo, Antony Geralis on accordion and keyboards and Paul Pizzuti on drums.
54 Below was designed by Tony Award winner John Lee Beatty and architect Richard Lewis, lit by Tony Award winner Ken Billington with sound by Tony Award nominee Peter Hylenski. Tony Award winner Wittman serves as creative consultant, and MAC Award winner Phil Geoffrey Bond is director of programming.
The venue features up to three shows nightly with a capacity of 160. The cover charges range from $30-$70.
Other talent scheduled for the month of June includes Jackie Hoffman (now through July 29), Justin Vivian Bond (now through July 9), Andrea Martin (June 20-23) and Brian d'Arcy James (June 26-30).
54 Below is located at 254 W. 54th Street. Tickets and information are available at 54Below.com.
Backstage, a weekly Sunday evening event, will kick off June 17 when Ann Harada will host special guest stars from the cast of the NBC musical series "Smash." Backstage, which will be held from 5-7 PM, is "where the theatre community can convene to relax and unwind — have a cocktail, enjoy the food of Chef Andre Marrero, and maybe get up and sing," according to press notes. Backstage is hosted by Brooks Ashmankas (The Producers, The Ritz, Gypsy), Harada (Avenue Q, Seussical, 9 to 5) and Susie Mosher (Hairspray). There will be no cover charge or drink minimum for Backstage.
54 Below's new series for composers, New Mondays, celebrates the work of New York's new songwriters for musical theatre. The series also salutes some of Broadway's most legendary talents. There will be an $18 cover and a two-drink minimum for New Mondays. Upcoming events in the series follow:
June 11: Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Addams Family), Katie Thompson (Giant) and Sam Willmott (Scarlet Takes a Tumble).
June 18: Henry Krieger (Sideshow, Dreamgirls, The Tap Dance Kid), John McDaniel ("The Rosie O'Donnell Show," Grease, Annie Get Your Gun), Farah Alvin (The Marvelous Wonderettes, Nine) and Lance Horne (First Things Last).
June 25: Laurence O'Keefe (Bat Boy, Legally Blonde), Jeff Blumenkrantz (Urban Cowboy, A Class Act) and Amanda Green (Bring It On: The Musical, High Fidelity).
July 9: Maury Yeston (Nine, Grand Hotel, Titanic, Death Takes a Holiday), Joe Iconis (The Black Suits), Brett Kristofferson (Insanities) and Adam Gwon (Ordinary Days).
The Green Room series will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays after 10 PM and feature live music, creative cocktails and small food plates. There will be no cover charge or drink minimum for Green Room. Musicians scheduled to appear include Sean Harkness & Steve Doyle (June 5, 12, 19, 26), John Miller Quartet (June 6, 20, 27) and The Barry Levitt Trio (June 7, 14, 21, 28).
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