Samantha Massell, who recently starred as Hodel in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, begins her solo engagement January 12 at Feinstein’s/54 Below, where she’ll be joined by a handful of inspirational females in her life.
“I thought long and hard about what I wanted to thematically focus on for my solo show,” Massell explains. “As the only child of a single mom, female relationships have always been a core part of what makes me the person I am, so it seemed natural to sing about female friendships, sisterhood, mentorship, and, of course, mother-daughter relationships. I’ve always thought that it was important for women to stand up for and support other women, so I’m very excited to sing a set of songs that I feel defines so many of the important female relationships in my life.”
Massell’s first guest, Tony Award nominee Callaway, has been particularly important to the Fiddler star’s career trajectory. Massell’s mother, a four-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, was introduced to the Chicago journalism community by Callaway’s father, John Callaway, a recipient of 16 Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.
“This is corny but true—the chain of mentorship that was passed down from my mom and John Callaway to me and Liz is so unique,” says Massell. “It speaks volumes to me about how people should treat their peers, their friends, and even strangers… In the arts, competition is just part of the game, so when you meet other women who help to raise you up instead of tear you down, it’s very special. I think overall, it’s taught me to always choose to be supportive and to empower and enable anyone I can, in the way that Liz has supported me, and John supported my mom. It’s a good lesson, both on the stage and off.”
Throughout the evening, which promises a “strong dose of girl power, and an intimate, musical evening of laughs [and] tears,” Massell will share stories about her other special guests and the songs that shaped her. Plus, there will be one tune from the 1980s musical Starmites. “Yes, you read that correctly,” says Massell.
She adds, “When you find good girlfriends who are also actors, you know you’ve hit the jackpot.”
Feinstein’s/54 Below is located at 254 W. 54th Street. For more information and tickets, visit 54Below.com.
(Updated January 12, 2017)