Call Redialed: NEW Seth Sikes Interview: "The Songs That Got Away" at Feinstein's/54 Below
"Come on get happy!" Seth Sikes is returning to Feinstein's/54 Below with an ALL NEW Judy Garland tribute show. This time around Seth sings The Songs That Got Away! Seth will be singing Judy songs he hasn’t yet performed in his previous tributes as well as some that Judy herself never got the chance to sing.
The Songs That Got Away will be presented at Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on Wednesday, May 16 at 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!
1. This May you are returning to Feinstein's/54 Below with a brand-new Judy Garland tribute show called The Songs That Got Away, performing songs of hers you haven't yet performed plus some that Judy herself never got the chance to sing. What made now the right time to do another Judy Garland tribute songs? When is it not the right time to do a Judy Garland tribute? Ha! I made my cabaret debut four years ago singing Judy songs, then I moved on to other material. But when I asked myself what to do next, I kept coming back to these Judy songs that I hadn't done before. The catalogue is vast! Almost every time I looked at a new song, I wondered, "How would Judy have done this?" Then I realized that a lot new friends and fans had never seen one of my Judy shows.
2. What song are you most excited to perform? "What Now My Love." It's a French song that was later sung by Elvis. And then Judy. And now me. Now that you've asked, I realize that it sort of epitomizes the spirit of this entire show. It's an unexpected Judy song in that it was a contemporary pop song. Had she lived longer she would have certainly sung several more contemporary songs. Think of all the songs she never got to hear! "What Now My Love" is also a wonderfully typical Judy song in its power and desperation.
3. Of the songs you are performing, why do you think you hadn't put these songs in to your previous shows? In the beginning I felt more inclined to do the songs that people expected to hear. The more famous ones that satisfied people immediately. Now we're doing a deeper cut.
4. What song of Judy's would you like to duet with her on? Since this is a fantastical question, I shall give a fantastical answer. I cannot dance, but I wish I could sing and dance the Gene Kelly "Ballin' The Jack" duo number with her which is in From Me & My Gal, because it's just beyond fabulous.
5. In all the tribute shows you've done about Judy Garland, what is something you've discovered about Judy that you did not know before creating these concerts? She must have had incredible stamina. Some of these songs are staggeringly hard to sing and I can't imagine how she performed them in concert night after night. It brought my already lofty view of her to even a higher level.
6. If you were to write a song about Judy Garland, what would you call it? COME BACK, BABY!
7. One of my favorite Judy Garland songs is "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows." What is something you feel like you are always chasing? Not to be too on the nose, but I feel like I'm always chasing the kind of emotional high from truly great art that I felt when I was discovering Judy. I felt it in Sondheim songs, I felt it in Philip Roth novels and certain plays and certain movies. It's exceedingly rare, but somehow I don't seem to give up on it.
8. I also enjoy her song "Get Happy." In this day and age of doom & gloom, what do you feel is something we can all "Get Happy" about? I get very happy about Halo Top ice cream which has only 280 calories a pint and tastes delicious! We can also be very happy that the midterm election is coming very soon, and we're halfway through this nightmare of what will hopefully be a first and only term.
9. If you could have dinner with Judy Garland, what would you want to talk with her about? Weirdly I got to sit at a dinner with Bill Clinton last night, and out of all the infinite questions to ask him I couldn't think of hardly anything in the moment. His star power was immense. He just gleamed and talked with a magnetism I have never in my life witnessed before. That's what they say Judy was like. If she walked into a room the room shifted toward her. So I think I'd like to just be near her, listen to her talk, try to get her to laugh, and let her take the lead. God knows where she would take us!
10. Since the show is called The Songs That Got Away, what is something you've gotten away from that you would like to get back to? I am an avid reader of fiction. It consumes me. The only time I can't read is when I'm putting together a new solo show. Because the show consumes me then. So I am looking forward to finishing it, presenting it, and getting back to fiction!
More on Seth:
Seth Sikes’s directing credits include BUNKED! (Outstanding Musical at the New York Fringe Festival) and The 7th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant. He was the Assistant Director of The Band’s Visit (Broadway), The Nance (Broadway), Tribes (Off-Broadway), Pageant (Off-Broadway), and Sondheim: The Birthday Concert (at Lincoln Center). As a performer he appeared in Fame on 42ND Street (Off-Broadway). He made his Feinstein’s/54 Below debut with his acclaimed show Seth Sikes Sings Judy Garland which was named as Broadway World’s Best Tribute Show.