Gregg Edelman has the crowd in stitches at Studio 54 as Reverend Crisparkle in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and now he heads downstairs to wow a cabaret audience at 54 Below. On January 21, Edelman will perform his acclaimed solo show Broadway State of Mind, in which the four-time Tony nominee takes on some of Broadway’s most thrilling tunes. Below, Edelman talks about how rocker Bruce Springsteen influenced his performance style, the songs and artists that move him, and why, despite starring in 14 Broadway musicals, he feels he should never dance.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
When I was very young, my mother would often play the Ethel Merman recording of Gypsy. I have a lot of sweet memories of sitting and singing with my mom to that recording.
What concert most influenced you as a performer?
Although he's not a musical theater guy, I have loved every Bruce Springsteen concert I have ever seen. He gives his all, and the stories he tells through song are as powerful as any theater song.
What is your go-to audition song?
“Guido's Song” from Nine.
What song are you most excited to perform in your show?
I'm excited to share some new material. There's a song that was written for me by Kander and Ebb called "Don't Go." I'm looking forward to singing that. There's other stuff, too. Hey, it wouldn't be in the act if I didn't love to sing it.
What musical theater track is the most played on your iPod?
“All The Wasted Time” from Parade.
If you could invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
Although we've had our share of stage time together [in City of Angels], I would love to be onstage with Jim Naughton again. It's always a sweet time to perform with him.
What musical theater performer from the past do you wish you could collaborate with?
Boy, this is hard. I have a few: Alfred Drake (the original Curly), Mako (just one of the coolest guys ever), and I guess Barbara Harris (even these many years later, people speak of her with great awe and respect).
What album was the soundtrack to your 20s?
In the suburbs of Chicago, Billy Joel's Piano Man was the big album for us guys to like.
What’s your favorite love song?
Maybe not the obvious choice, but I LOVE Pavarotti singing “Nessun Dorma.” So beautiful.
What song makes you feel sexy?
I do love the Miles Davis’ recording of “My Funny Valentine.” Have a listen with your loved one and see what happens.
What is your favorite workout track?
Actually, I'm a podcast guy during my workouts. Most of the time, I like something from NPR. (Like Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.)
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
I love Etta James. There's a track titled "Got My Mojo Working." Just fierce.
Favorite break-up song?
Gee, another hard one. I'm thinking right now of Jimmy Webb's “The Moon's a Harsh Mistress.”
What song most makes you smile?
I love the music of the singer/bandleader Louis Jordan. There's a recording called "Beware" that makes me smile, especially, the band members in the background.
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
I don't, if you know my ability to dance. I've found it best to not inflict my moves on anyone, no matter what song is playing.
Don't miss Gregg Edelman's Broadway State of Mind at 54 Below on January 21. Get a preview of the show in the video below.