Mary Testa Returns to 54 Below

BY JP Baptista

First of all, congratulations on your Drama Desk Award. It is well deserved! How did it feel when you were told you where getting a DDA?

I was thrilled! I had actually been nominated four times prior to this, so it was nice to actually win!

What show currently on Broadway would you like to be in?
I like new things, so something new.

If you could sing a duet with anybody who would it be, and why?
I have so many friends that are brilliant in the theatre that I wouldn’t know who to name.  And if I had a fantasy duet, it would probably be with Prince, because I think he is genius. And maybe Bruno Mars.

What advice could you give a younger person just getting into show business?
Never give up, and don’t plan too much. Let inspiration be your guide. And don’t be afraid to fall on your face, because that is where the lesson lies.  

Most fans know you from stage, but we know you also do TV. Which do you prefer?
I like doing everything! I like TV, stage, concert and film. I like it all!

Now let’s talk about March 20 and your show. What is the name of this show?
Well, I like calling it “Have Faith,” but it is not a formal title.

When choosing a song for a show like this, which comes first: music or lyrics?
I need to have music that inspires me, but I would say both because there is a theme to this show.

Speaking of putting a show together, who is your creative team?
Michael Starobin and myself. And now John Paolillo who has come on board.
The last show at 54 Below was a great success. How was that put together, and is this the same show?
Michael and I culled from our last three shows to put this together. This will be the same show, with perhaps a couple of new surprises.

What is your favorite moment in this show?
I like any time I can connect with the audience, but I especially like singing this Jill Sobule song, “Soldiers of Christ.”

What is next for you?
Lots of stuff. Some readings, Caucasian Chalk Circle at CSC, a solo show at the Asolo Theatre in Florida called My Brilliant Divorce and an opera at BAM called Anna Nicole.  Also putting together a band with the intention of touring Europe.

It’s no surprise that your fans miss seeing you on Broadway. Any chance we’ll be seeing you back on stage any time soon?
Who knows? Would be great to be back on Broadway, but I guess the right show has not come along yet.

Anything you want to say to your Testays (gay fans of Mary Testa)? After all, this is a gay magazine interview!
HAHAHAHAHA! That is funny shit! I love it! And I love each and every one of my Testays.

We are looking forward to another wonderful evening hearing you sing, tell stories and taking us to that place that only you can.
That is the nicest thing I have heard all week! Thank you so much.

Where: 54 Below
254 West 54th Street, Cellar
New York, NY 10019
When: March 20, 9:30 p.m. showtime
(646) 476-3551


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