I hear that 54 Below, the Theater District nightclub that recently signed a multi-year pact with Broadway diva Patti LuPone, has struck a deal with Marc Shaiman, the musical polymath (composer, lyricist, arranger, producer, entertainer) to introduce a late-night variety show at the popular venue on October 17. The 54 Below Show promises to recall the days of variety shows like The Ed Sulivan Show, though undoubtedly with a heavy dose of A Party With Comden & Green, given the c.v. that the man brings to the project.
Shaiman and personal and professional partner Scott Wittman are well known for their work in film (When Harry Met Sally, Hairspray, In & Out, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, etc.) and TV (Smash, SNL, the Oscars, the Tony Awards, etc.) as well as the musical theater (Hairspray, the current West End musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory). Shaiman will host from the piano, introducing guest stars and surprise visitors. “I’ve gone through my phone book — from legendary performers to my mother,” he said, “and who knows who will show up? But I assure you it will be entertaining.”
A spokesman for the club said that the show’s frequency had not yet been set, nor had any of the entertainers expected to join Shaiman on opening night. It’s all a mystery.