PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Twenty-Somethings' Robin De Jesus, Emma Hunton, Lauren Pritchard, Richard H. Blake Pick Songs Defining Their 20s
By Michael Gioia
Twenty-Somethings, a concert featuring the work of musical theatre composers Blake Pfeil, Zoe Sarnak and Drew Overcash, will be held Aug. 12 at The Highline Ballroom. In anticipation of the evening, singers Robin De Jesus, Emma Hunton, Lauren Pritchard and Richard H. Blake pick songs that define their 20s as part of Playbill.com's Playbill Playlist series.
The 8 PM concert will feature Tony nominee De Jesus (In the Heights), Hunton (Spring Awakening), Pritchard (Spring Awakening), Blake (Legally Blonde), Tony winner Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), Krystal Joy Brown (Leap of Faith), Corey Mach (Godspell), Coleen Sexton (Jekyll & Hyde), Preston Sadleir (Next to Normal), Nick Cartell (Scandalous), Rebecca Faulkenberry (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Jason Gotay (Bring It On), Taylor Noble, Kacie Sheik (Hair), Adrienne Warren (Bring It On), Ryann Redmond (Bring It On), Laura Dreyfuss (Once), recording artist Grace Weber and NYC a cappella group BLACKOUT.
Backing the singers will be Bobbie L. Crow III on cello, Rick Ippolito on bass, Simon Kafka on guitar and Cody Rahn on percussion.
In anticipation of the evenings celebrating "twenty-somethings," Playbill.com asked de Jesus, Hunton, Pritchard and Blake to pick songs representing their 20s and tell us why they made their list.
Pfeil's music has been featured at Joe's Pub, New World Stages, 54 Below and (le) Poisson Rouge as well as NYC's The Bitter End, where he is a member of the Singer/Songwriter Sessions. His debut EP "Crossing Connecticut" will be released in September.
Sarnak wrote the book, music and lyrics for The Quad, developed and performed at Harvard's Loeb Experimental Theatre. She also has four full-length musicals in development, including Mixtape, featured in Silent Street Productions' 2012 season, PainLess (with book by Michael Kimmel) and A Lasting Impression, winner of Pace New Musicals 2012 and performed Off-Broadway at the 4th Street Theatre at NYTW in August 2012, winner of 2013 NJ Playwright's contest and recently produced by Cutting Edge Composers at Joe's Pub.
Overcash's music has been performed at venues such as Joe's Pub, Birdland, 54 Below, D-Lounge, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center and (le) Poisson Rouge. Overcash's musical Boys Vs. Girls was recently optioned, and his other projects — Joe, To You With Love and Rhapsody — are under development. He is the creator of the Exposed series at Time Out Lounge.
The Highline Ballroom is located at 431 W. 16th Street. For more information and tickets, visit HighlineBallroom.com.
Emma Hunton: "This Modern Love" (Bloc Party) I had the pleasure of seeing this band play earlier this year in New Jersey after being a long-time fan. It was a really special night, and when they played this song I felt totally complete.
Emma Hunton: "Sign on the Window" (Bob Dylan) I grew up listening to Bob Dylan, and it wasn't until I was in my 20s that I fully understood the sexiness in such an incredibly lonely song. It reminds me of relationships come and gone in my 20s. It goes best with a nice Merlot.
Emma Hunton: "The Good That Won't Come Out" (Rilo Kiley) I have such a great relationship with Rilo Kiley. I discovered them in high school, and I feel I've grown up with their music. These lyrics kill me, and Jenny Lewis' voice is perfection. I like listening to this song when I'm feeling positively negative.
Emma Hunton: "Gold On the Ceiling" (The Black Keys) It's impossible for me to not dance to this song. This is my most favorite current song, and it already is a defining moment for me in my 20s. There's a rather extravagant jumpy sort of dance that goes with it, but you'll have to buy yourself a couple drinks before you subject yourself to that.
Lauren Pritchard: "You Oughta Know" (Alanis Morissette) …Because I get to sing the word f*ck at the top of my lungs when I sing along, and it always makes me feel better.
Lauren Pritchard: "Take Me With You" (Prince) …Because it's my favorite love song.
Lauren Pritchard: "We Are The People" (Empire Of The Sun) …Because it was really popular in the U.K. when I moved there, and it brings back all my memories of living in London.
Lauren Pritchard: "Don't Let It Bring You Down" (Neil Young) …Because it is my favorite song ever, and the lyrics constantly remind me to get over it and get on with it.
Richard H. Blake: "One Sweet Day" (Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey) It was a song that I heard every day because it was part of the opening of this rock tour I did.
Richard H. Blake: "Nobody Knows" (The Tony Rich Project) It was a song that I loved to sing and that I connected to. I was a romantic. What can I say?
Richard H. Blake: "Amazed" (Lonestar) It was my wife's favorite song when we were dating. So whenever it comes on it makes me think of her.
Richard H. Blake: "I Believe" (Blessid Union Of Souls) It was a song that I always felt an emotional connection to… Also a song that I just loved to sing a lot!!
Robin de Jesus: "Sexual Confusion" from Taboo. Needs no explanation.
Robin de Jesus: "First Love" (Adele) In case you don't know, your first experience with love sucks.
Robin de Jesus: "The Road You Didn't Take" from Follies. This song represents everything I've tried to avoid happening in my 20s — meltdowns, screw ups, regrets… AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!
Robin de Jesus: "Our Time" from Merrily We Roll Along THIS SONG… THIS SONG… IT KILLS ME! It is the 20s to the tee. That feeling of it being the first time you can show the world who you are and what it is you have to give ("Our turn coming through…"). You constantly feel like you could be/are on the verge of greatness. You have nothing but endless possibilities in front of you and it's nerve wracking but it is also exciting and empowering… "We're the movers and we're the shapers, we're the names in tomorrow's papers, up to us man to show 'em…"
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