Performers include Jennifer Damiano (Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, Next to Normal), Adrienne Warren (Bring It On), Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Avenue Q), Kevin Del Aguila (Peter and the Starcatcher), Drew Gasparini (composer of Make Me Bad), Jed Resnick (Avenue Q), Jeremy Morse (Bloodsong of Love), Allison Posner (Volleygirls), Larry Hamilton (Captain Louie), Nicholas Barnes (Skippyjon Jones), L.R. Davidson, Annemarie Rosano, and Jackie Washam.
According to 54 Below, "The songs of Eli Bolin - like the man himself - are sincere and direct, while possessing a ramshackle, goofy quality. His tuneful (always), heart-sick (occasionally), potty-mouth (when he just can’t help it) jams make for a perfect party playlist. On May 1 take a star-studded journey through Eli Bolin's songbook, including fan favorites from last Fall's hit off-Broadway musical Found and NYMF's 'Most Promising New Musical' Volleygirls, as well as works in progress and new material that's never been performed live. Don't be fooled by those sweet cheeks and floppy curls: this man and his work are to be taken seriously. Veeeerrrrrrryyyyy seriously. #BolinSchmolin"
The band includes Mike Pettry on piano, Shannon Ford on drums, Brendan O’Grady on bass and Freddy Hall on guitar. The evening is directed by Laura Pietropinto, produced by Erica Rotstein and will feature music direction by Pettry.
54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street. Tickets start at $25, and there is a $25 food and beverage minimum. For more information and tickets, call (646) 476-3551 or visit 54Below.com.
Adrienne Warren: "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" from Avenue Q. The first time I heard this song, the content made my jaw drop, and I began laughing immediately. It only seemed right that it is performed by puppets… I mean, C'MON!! Genius!
Drew Gasparini: "Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist" from Avenue Q. I remember hearing the Avenue Q song "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist" from the OBC album in 2003. I was driving with my friend Jaimie, and she showed me the song, and I was laughing so hard I was crying. I knew nothing about the show at that point. It was the first thing I ever heard from the show. I remember saying, "I feel bad for laughing, but it's true! This song is so true!" I kept thinking there was no way this was an actual show that they'd allow on a stage in front of people, then she explained that it was all done with puppets à la "Sesame Street," and I thought that was the most genius thing I'd ever heard. Puppets make it even more okay to laugh at this type of thing. I had a very, "If this is the way of the world now, then I think I want to be a writer" kind of moment. And now, here I am doing just that.
Stephanie D'Abruzzo: "The Butler's Song" from Enter Laughing. My choice has to be "The Butler's Song" from Enter Laughing, performed by the great George S. Irving. My husband has the CD release of the original recording, from way back when the show was still called So Long, 174th Street, and I remember the first time he played it for me many moons ago… No other musical theatre song has ever made me laugh out loud so consistently. Part of it is the song itself (clever and coarse), but a great deal of its comedy comes from George S. Irving's brilliantly masterful dry and droll performance. I was fortunate enough to see Mister Irving do it live at the 100 Musicals in Mufti concert in March, and it was as if no time had passed — he sounded exactly the same. Just hearing his "Helloooo?" at the very top of the piece is enough to start me giggling.
Larry Hamilton: "Turn It Off" from The Book of Mormon. Quite frankly the whole show had me LOL-ing more than I ever have in a musical, but watching Grey Henson and the guys from the first national tour in San Francisco, then again in New Orleans had me on the floor. The verses just kept getting more and more tragic, and yet I was crying laughing... Just comic gold.
Jed Resnick: "Summer In Ohio" from The Last Five Years. Jason Robert Brown's lyrics about the struggling actress' depressing summer stock gig are witty and snarky, and Sherie Rene Scott's rendition is comedic perfection. This past fall, I did the show with Autumn Hurlbert as Cathy, and she brought the song to new levels of genius — determining that Cathy had actually been hired at this theatre in Ohio to play Fruma Sarah in Fiddler on the Roof, and was getting into costume accordingly. Brilliant.
Allison Posner: "Therapy" from tick…tick…BOOM!. This song is so funny because it perfectly captures a fight between a couple who clearly love each other but who are also very frustrated at the same time. The wordiness of the fight's lyrics combined with the upbeat, almost twang-y music makes it a hilarious break for both the performers and the audience.
Eli Bolin: "A Marriage Proposal" from Falsettos. I was lucky enough to see an incredible production of Falsettos at the beginning of my freshman year at Northwestern, starring Kate Baldwin as Trina. It knocked me out from the first bars of "Four Jews In A Room Bitching," the title alone of which made me laugh out loud. But "A Marriage Proposal" is my favorite, both heartfelt and hilarious. "There's not a guy/There's not a horse or zebra/There's not a giant man who could love you the same as I." It doesn't get any better than that.
Eli Bolin: "Bring Me My Bride" from A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Sondheim often talked about how the book to …Forum was hilarious while his songs were merely cute or clever, but he really sold himself short, particularly with this incredible song, which is filled with smartly stupid humor, particularly my favorite laugh-out-loud moment when Pseudolus sings of Miles Gloriosus: "Those are the mightiest thighs that I ever have theen! I mean..."