Big-eyed Broadway sweetheart Elizabeth Stanley burst onto the scene as flighty flight attendant April opposite Raul Esparza in the 2006 revival of Company. Stanley has gone on to featured roles in Cry-Baby, Million Dollar Quartet, Hello, Again and Encores! Merrily We Roll Along. Now she makes her 54 Below debut with a one-night-only show on November 18. Below, Stanley discusses the new show, the music she grew up with and why dating in the '90s wasn’t really worth it.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
My first favorite was Whitesnake's Saints & Sinners. This was my favorite because it my only album—I inherited it from my big brother. Once I was old enough to buy my own CDs, it was all about emo chick rock: Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes. I remember playing this awesome album for a guy I was dating. He told me it was "artistic" and proceeded to play me his favorite song: “I Wanna F**k You Like An Animal” by Nine Inch Nails. Ah, romance in the '90s. I just googled those lyrics again…wow...WOW.
What musical theater track is the most played on your iPod?
“Muddy Water” from Big River. I can't even tell you why, except maybe because I grew up along the Mississippi, but I LOVE this song. I get emotional and inspired every time I hear it. [Check out a video of the revival cast below!]
If you could invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
Joni Mitchell. But I would be speechless in her presence, so it would just be a Joni solo. :)
What album was the soundtrack to your 20s?
My early 20s was Lenny Kravitz’s 5. My boyfriend (at the time) and I were in love with it, and fell in love to it. In my mid-20s it was Eva Cassidy's Songbird.
What’s your favorite love song?
“Heavenly Day” by Patty Griffin. Is this a love song? I don't know. I heard she wrote it about her dog, but it seems pretty right on to me. :)
What song makes you feel sexy?
“Purple Rain” by Prince.
What is your favorite workout track?
“Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)“ by Kelly Clarkson, or when I'm in the theatrical mood, Hairspray! You should feel my heartbeat after “You Can't Stop the Beat.”
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
Hmmmmm…“I Love Your Smile” by Shanice. I definitely got this cassette single for free by sending in multiple UPCs from boxes of Chex back in the 90s. I LOVED it. I downloaded it a few years ago while making a mix for one of my best friends, and I may or may not listen to it often.
Favorite break-up song?
“The Last Goodbye” by Mississippi Steamboat. Look it up and cry your effing eyeballs out! Whoa; I just got depressed typing this!
What song most makes you smile?
“Chocolate High” by India.Arie. I love this girl. Her music always puts me in the right mood.
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
“I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5.
Check out Elizabeth Stanley's one-night-only show at 54 Below on November 18.