Liz Callaway has starred in some of the most famous musicals of the last 30 years, including Merrily We Roll Along, Miss Saigon, Evita, Cats, Sunday in the Park with George and Baby, for which she received a Tony nomination. She also provided the vocals to the animated film Anastasia and the theme song of The Nanny, written by her sister, Ann Hampton Callaway. Now, Ms. Liz is bringing her one-of-a-kind voice to 54 Below with a new solo show that will play November 7-11. Below, Callaway discusses the time she almost worked with Michael Bennett, her audition history with The Wiz and how Tootsie makes her feel sexy.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
Pop album was Carole King’s Tapestry; Broadway cast album was Company.
What is your go-to audition song?
These days I can't say I have one particular go-to song. Usually I am asked to sing something from the show I am auditioning for. When I first moved to NYC, my big audition song was “Be a Lion” from The Wiz. I sang it all the time regardless of whether it was appropriate or not! It seemed to work.
What song are you most excited to perform in your show?
Hard to choose; I'm doing a lot of new songs. Maybe “99 Miles from LA.”
If you can invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
My sister Ann. Too bad I can't afford her.
What musical theater performer from the past do you wish you could collaborate with?
That's really hard. I have been able to work with so many great performers, including Angela Lansbury, Bobby Morse and John Raitt. The person I really wish I could have worked with is Michael Bennett. He was supposed to direct Follies in Concert, and I did get to talk with him about it on the phone, but then he became too ill to do it. He was such an original.
What’s your favorite love song?
The theme from Tootsie, "It Might Be You."
What song makes you feel sexy?
Theme from Tootsie. (:
What is your favorite workout track?
Michael Jackson's “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.”
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
My son singing "Some Enchanted Evening."
What song most makes you smile?
“Viva la Vida” by Coldplay.
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
“Celebrate” by Kool and the Gang.
Check out Liz Callaway at 54 Below November 7-11. Click below to watch a video of the actress performing the Sondheim classic “Losing My Mind” from Follies.