Broadway vet Darius de Haas has starred in many a musical, including Rent, Kiss of the Spiderwoman and Carousel. He has also become renowned as a solo artist for his critically acclaimed concerts, which he performs around the world. De Haas' next stop is the swanky 54 Below, where he performs his solo act If Only for One Night on December 16 and 18. Below, the headliner discusses getting into the holiday spirit with Whitney Houston, his dream duet partners and what Michael Jackson song makes him want to dance.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
So many, but my first LP was Ray Charles' Of The People, By The People, For the People.
What concert most influenced you as a performer?
Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music and Luther Vandross at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago. (I was an usher and I saw him very night.)
What is your go-to audition song?
Now it's whatever they want to hear. It used to be "Heaven On Their Minds," and then a little later it was " Mr. Paganini."
What song are you most excited to perform in your show?
All of them! OK, I know this is the sneaky way of people finding out what I'm singing for the show, so a few songs are "Flying Easy" (Donny Hathaway), "Something's Coming" (West Side Story), "Cold" (Annie Lennox), "Mood Indigo" (Duke Ellington), and the title song of my show "If Only For One Night" (Luther Vandross) and many more!
What song gets you in the holiday spirit?
"Joy to the World" by Whitney Houston and the Georgia Mass Choir (Preacher's Wife soundtrack). Anything Nat King Cole or Johnny Mathis.
What musical theater track is the most played on your iPod?
"No Good Deed."
If you can invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
Stevie Wonder, Sting, Itzhak Perlman, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Yo Yo Ma.
What musical theater performer from the past do you wish you can collaborate with?
What album was the soundtrack to your 20s?
Bonnie Raitt's Nick of Time, Peter Gabriel's So, Brian McNight's debut CD, lots of Prince and Sting.
What’s your favorite love song?
One of my favorites is "On My Way To You" Michel Legrand, Alan and Marilyn Bergman.
What song makes you feel sexy?
"I Want You" by Marvin Gaye and "Untitled: How Does It Feel" by D'Angelo.
What is your favorite workout track?
"Moves Like Jagger."
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
The re-mastered recordings of my mother (Geraldine de Haas), aunt (Salome Bey) and uncle (Andy Bey); they were a trio called Andy and The Bey Sisters, and they performed together in the late '50s and early '60s. Their first LP they recorded on RCA Victor was finally issued on CD as well as on iTunes. I'm very excited!
Favorite break-up song?
"Taking Away Your Space" by Martha Wash (when she sang as Two Tons of Fun, pre-Weather Girls). Also "Lately" by Stevie Wonder.
What song most makes you smile?
"Move" from Dreamgirls (Jennifer [Holliday], Sheryl Lee [Ralph], and Loretta [Devine]!).
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
"Workin Day and Night" by Michael Jackson.
Check out Darius de Haas' If Only For One Night at 54 Below on December 16 and 18. Click below to see de Haas performing Jason Robert Brown's "King of the World" live.