Broadway hoofer Tony Yazbeck has the unique position of having been in two revivals of Gypsy, opposite two dynamically different leading ladies. At age 11, he was a newsboy in the Tyne Daly-led revival; in his twenties, he played Tulsa in Patti LuPone's production. His long list of Broadway credits also include A Chorus Line (as Al), Chicago (as Billy Flynn), and the upcoming revival of On the Town (as Gabey).
Before On the Town sails to Broadway, the song-and-dance man will heat up 54 Below with his new concert, The Floor Above Me, an evening of stories, tunes, and taps he'll share on August 11, 14, and 19 with his performing pals Curtis Holbrook and Melinda Sullivan.
To prepare for the show, TheaterMania asked Yazbeck to share a quintet of selections from his set list and his reasons for choosing those particular tunes. And they're not all showtunes, either.
1. "Cheek to Cheek" by Irving Berlin
This is one of my all-time favorite songs. It just makes me happy. I was first introduced to it watching Fred Astaire sing and dance to it on my TV set as a child. It will be performed alongside some tap dance in my show with the brilliant Melinda Sullivan.
2. "All I Need is the Girl" by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim
This number has been instilled in me from a very young age and I was lucky to perform it on Broadway with Patti LuPone. It will always have a special place in my heart. I decided to perform it from a slightly older Tulsa's perspective now and use some tap in this one as well.
3. "Til' Kingdom Come" by Coldplay
This song has always represented my own faith and patience to wait for that special someone who I would spend the rest of my life with.
4. "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell
For me, there is no greater song that fully reaches into my heart and turns it inside out. It has helped me through a lot in my life and continues to be great music therapy.
5. "Lucky to Be Me" by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green
Besides the fact that I will be singing it in the new Broadway production of On the Town, this song represents pure joy and weightlessness as you fall in love. What better feeling can there be?