Mary Testa has had a long and successful stage career, including Tony nominations for her performances in On the Town and 42nd Street. On October 21, Testa will perform an original cabaret act at 54 Below, accompanied by musical director Michael Starobin. Below, Testa discusses what song on her iPod has hundreds of plays and the meditation tracks that are not played nearly often enough.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen.
What concert most influenced you as a performer?
What is your go-to audition song?
I have five of them, and I desperately need to update. I am not naming names.
What song are you most excited to perform in your show?
The entire show is fabulous and deep, but I think right now our version of "Thank You" by Alanis Morisette and "Sometimes It Snows in April" by Prince. Both given sensational arrangements by Michael Starobin. He is a genius.
What musical theater track is the most played on your iPod?
I rarely play musical theater, but I once played "Daybreak" from Adam Guettel's Flloyd Collins about 600 times in a row.
If you can invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
There are so many fabulous performers, and they are all friends, so it is hard to nail down just one person. I plead the fifth.
What musical theater performer from the past do you wish you can collaborate with?
I know she mostly did movies, but she also sang, and I adored her, so I will say Irene Dunne.
What album was the soundtrack to your 20s?
Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Repeating myself.
What’s your favorite love song?
"The Beautiful Ones" by Prince.
What song makes you feel sexy?
"Oh Honey, Please."
What is your favorite workout track?
I do not work out to music. Isn't that weird?
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
I have many tracks of meditations, and I need to do them more often.
Favorite break-up song?
"I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt.
What song most makes you smile?
"Jump" by the Pointer Sisters.
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
"Hey Ya!" by OutKast.