The Theater District's swanky new nightclub 54 Below is hosting a slew of Broadway's hottest stars this summer, from two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone to downtown diva Justin Vivian Bond. Broadway.com is asking these talented vocalists to share a few musical memories and tell fans about the music that molded them into the performers they are today. Next up is powerhouse Broadway singer Tituss Burgess. Burgess, whose credits include Broadway’s The Little Mermaid and Guys & Dolls as well as TV’s 30 Rock, will perform a one-night-only solo show Just Me at 54 Below on August 26. Below, the talented songbird recalls his musical obsessions with The Wiz, a male rendition of “Stars and the Moon” and the Janet Jackson song that sends him to places.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
Janet Jackson's Control.
What concert most influenced you as a performer?
India.Arie opened for Sade. That combo nearly sent me over the edge. The arena in Atlanta was flooded with passion...I loved it!
What is your go-to audition song?
Don’t hate me but I don’t have one. I sing what I feel like singing when I feel like singing it.
What song are you most excited to perform in your show?
This is a hard question but I love them all. I guess if I had to choose, I'd say I’m attracted to the story telling aspects of “Stars and the Moon.” I sang for it Broadway Backwards two years ago, and I just love the perspective from a male. So that journey will be exciting to take.
What musical theater track is the most played on your iPod?
Again this is so hard. I have entire playlists dedicated to moods...but I will put it this way. Yesterday Rufus Wainwright’s “Want One” was on repeat!
If you can invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
I tend to duet often with Nikki Renee Daniels [star of Broadway’s Porgy and Bess]. She's a dear friend, and I’m also partial to my best friend Randy Rainbow. Any excuse we can think of to be bad is always fun.
What musical theater performer from the past do you wish you can collaborate with?
Madeline Kahn would have been absolutely yummy. What a comedian!
What album was the soundtrack to your 20s?
John Mayer's Room for Squares.
What’s your favorite love song?
“I Got Love on My Mind” by Natalie Cole.
What song makes you feel sexy?
“Anytime, Anyplace” by Janet Jackson (that song sends me to places).
What is your favorite workout track?
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
Harolyn Blackwell's “Green Finch and Linnet Bird."
Favorite break-up song?
“How Could An Angel Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton.
What song most makes you smile?
“Everybody Rejoice” from the movie soundtrack of The Wiz.
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
“Lose Control” by Missy Elliott.
Check out Tituss Burgess' Just Me at 54 Below on August 26!