Meet the cast members of 92Y’s upcoming Lyrics & Lyricists™ show, “Taking a Chance on Love: The Music of Vernon Duke.”
Our first Q&A in this series is with Heidi Blickenstaff. This is her second appearance on L&L after 2011’s show on Burton Lane. She’s part of creative team of Tony-nominated Now. Hear. This. Most recently, Heidi played Alice Beineke in The Addams Family on Broadway, alongside Brooke Shields and Roger Rees.
What’s your favorite song from the American Songbook? That’s an impossible question to answer definitively, but I love Cole Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” I’m a sucker for the gut-punchers.
What other artists would you like to perform with whom you haven’t yet? Every time I’m lucky enough to share the stage with Rebecca Luker, I feel like I won the life-lottery, but as long as I’m being greedy, I’d love to work with her husband, Danny Burstein, someday.
What is your favorite “guilty pleasure” song beyond the American Songbook—rock, country, hiphop, etc? I’m currently obsessed with a song called “Brokenhearted” by Karmin. It’s kind of like immediately mood-altering. It’s super happy and funky and colorful and has an awesome beat. It’s a great walk-around-New-York kind of song. It’s a little bit of pop and a little bit of rap and a whole lot of awesome.
What was your first professional gig? I was about 7, and I did a radio ad that aired in Las Vegas for Circus Circus Hotel and Casino. I sang, “Circus, Circus! Breakfast, lunch and dinner! Circus, Circus! You go in hungry, come out a winner!” I was convinced I was a really big deal.
If you weren’t a performer, what would you do? I keep threatening to open a bakery… I also love fashion and dogs. Maybe I’ll have a store where you can rescue a dog while eating a scone as you browse through high–end garments. It’s high concept. Just go with me…
What’s your favorite restaurant? Another Sophie’s Choice question. Ridiculous… How about this, the best meal I’ve had in a long time would have to go to Blue Ribbon Bakery downtown (35 Downing St.). Their fried chicken is easily the best I’ve ever had. Great wine list too and gorgeous atmosphere.
Who’s your favorite Beatle, and why? Paul. He’s still vibrant and curious and creating amazing music after all this time. He could just sit back and count his money, but he can’t help but still be the artist he is.
Stay tuned for Q&A’s with Rebecca Luker, Erin Mackey, and Matthew Scott.
Lyrics & Lyricists “Taking a Chance on Love: The Music of Vernon Duke” starts on Apr 6.