Christiane Noll has won acclaim for her performance as Emma in the original production of Jekyll & Hyde, her Tony-nominated turn as Mother in the revival of Ragtime and, currently, as Charlie Chaplin’s mother in Broadway’s Chaplin. Noll will bring her soaring soprano to 54 Below on October 14 for a one-night-only concert, Broadway & More: An Evening of Heartfelt Songs, Stories and Gifts From My Father. Below, Noll recounts getting the cast of Mambo Kings pumped up with Patti LaBelle, finding workout inspiration from the cast of Anything Goes and more.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
I wore out my A Chorus Line recording when I was growing up. Then, I listened to a lot of Manhattan Transfer and this great mix tape someone made for me with folks like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Diane Schuur, and Carol Fredette. And I went through a heavy Sandi Patty phase--mixy belt with a few ridiculous high notes thrown in!
What concert most influenced you as a performer?
I remember seeing Cleo Laine at the Blue Note for my birthday, and I requested a song from her Wordsongs album, the Duke Ellington-Billy Strayhorn setting of the Shakespearean sonnet “Take All My Loves.” It's got a four-octave range, and she did it! Effortlessly! She was gracious and easy, so inviting and comfortable. Impeccable musician. That was a lovely, intimate evening.
What is your go-to audition song?
It used to be “Gifts of Love” from Baker's Wife by Stephen Schwartz or “A Quiet Thing” by Kander and Ebb.
What song are you most excited to perform in your show?
I sing “I Want It All” from Baby by Maltby and Shire—all three parts. After just doing their Closer than Ever, it's even more fun to sing!
If you could invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
I always loved singing with Linda Eder!
What song makes you feel sexy?
The soundtrack to How Stella Got Her Groove Back—and isn't that the point? Or “If You Love Me” by Brownstone from the Living Out Loud soundtrack.
What is your favorite workout track?
Recently One Direction's “What Makes You Beautiful” makes me smile and move—thank you cast of Anything Goes! It's good on an elliptical!
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
Dar Williams' live album—folky songwriter. Incredible lyrics. Dakota Moon, both their albums—I went to school with Ty Taylor and I love their sound!
Favorite break-up song?
I remember listening to “I'm Outta Love” by Anastacia off her Not That Kind album a lot. I guess that's more of a recovery song. Screaming and tears!
What song most makes you smile?
During tech of Mambo Kings, I went around to the entire cast and made everyone listen to a few seconds of the Patti LaBelle's “Lady Marmalade.” We all perked up!
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
“Ain't No Other Man” by Christina Aguilera.
Check out Christiane Noll in Broadway & More at 54 Below on October 14.