Andrea Burns currently stars as Carmen in the Broadway burlesque drama The Nance. This standout singer, known to fans for her roles in In the Heights, Songs for a New World and The Full Monty, will debut a new show, Andrea Burns: True Beauty, at 54 Below on April 28 and 29. Weaving Broadway and pop songs, the set includes tunes by Sarah Bareilles, Stephen Sondheim, Celia Cruz, Peter Gabriel and more. Below, Burns opens up about her favorite songs and divas and the current Broadway star who sang at her wedding.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
It's a tie: Donna Summer's On the Radio and the original cast recording of Evita. Disco Diva, Dictator...what can I say? I like a woman who can rule with a song!
What concert most influenced you as a performer?
Besides Patti LuPone on Broadway, where I sat sobbing in the first row? When I first moved to New York, I waited on a long line and paid $100 (so much more than I could afford in those days!) to see Bette Midler at Radio City Music Hall. I sat by myself and was totally enraptured. She dazzled and was worth every penny!
What is your go-to audition song?
I used to use "What More Do I Need?" a lot. I still love that song.
What song are you most excited to perform in your show?
I stood by for Rosie Perez in The Ritz and am so excited to bring back Seth Rudetsky's hilariously crafted Googie Gomez medley from that production.
What musical theater track is the most played on your iPod?
Currently "Gotta Have a Gimmick" from Gypsy. You know, Nance research...
If you could invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
Billy Porter, who sang at my wedding and is my favorite voice in the world.
What musical theater performer from the past do you wish you could collaborate with?
My hero, Rita Moreno, who is not only from the past, but still killing it in the present.
What album was the soundtrack to your 20s?
Anything by Jonatha Brooke.
What’s your favorite love song?
"I Remember You."
What song makes you feel sexy?
Beyonce's "Freakum Dress"!
What is your favorite workout track?
When I am running out of steam, I bust out Ricky Martin's "Pegate" from his MTV Unplugged concert and those congas push me right through.
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
A recording of my son singing "Piragua" from In the Heights when he was three years old!
Favorite break-up song?
I've been married for 16 years, but in seventh grade, I cried a lot to Chicago's "Hard Habit to Break."
What song most makes you smile?
"Everybody" by Ingrid Michaelson.
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
"Girls (Run the World)" by Beyonce. I rest my case.
Don’t miss Andrea Burns: True Beauty at 54 Below. To hear her one-of-a-kind voice, check out the clip below from In the Heights.