PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Kinky Boots' Annaleigh Ashford and Will Van Dyke Pick Their Favorite Disco Songs

By Michael Gioia
January 30, 2014

Annaleigh Ashford, Tony-nominated for her performance as Lauren in Kinky Boots, and songwriter (and Kinky Boots associate conductor) Will Van Dyke will offer Lost In The Stars Feb. 3 at 54 Below. In anticipation of the upcoming concert, the duo pick their favorite disco songs as part of this week's Playbill Playlist.

The two also released a new single entitled "Another Time," in which Van Dyke is featured on piano. The track also features Michael Aarons (guitar), Steve Gilewski (bass), Sammy Merendino (drums), Philip Payton (violin/viola), and Allison Seidner (cello). It was recorded at Harlem Parlour Recording, NYC by Derik Lee, who also mixed and mastered the recording.

The song will be featured in Ashford's Lost In The Stars, which will play 54 Below at 7 PM and 9:30 PM.

"From the haunting melodies of Kurt Weill and Stephen Sondheim to the heyday of disco melodies, Ashford's Lost in the Stars," according to press notes, "will pay tribute to the rich history of Studio 54. With story and song, this classic evening of cabaret will have a touch of fun with a whole lot of heart."

In anticipation of the disco-filled evening, Van Dyke and Ashford pick their favorite disco songs and tell us why they made the list.

Ashford, whose credits also include Wicked, Legally Blonde and the Off-Broadway revival of Rent, has been stopping the show nightly at Kinky Boots with her stand-out song "The History of Wrong Guys."

Van Dyke's albums include "Chasing the Day: The Music of Will Van Dyke" and "Writing Kevin Taylor." He also served as musical director for the Off-Broadway revival of Rent and in the orchestra for The Addams Family. For more on the composer and his work, read's Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know.

The cover ranges $25-$45. There is a $25 minimum. 54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street. For more information and tickets, call (866) 468-7619 or visit

"One Night Only" (from Dreamgirls). We love this because it is a "pseudo" disco song from a musical… One of our favorites: Dreamgirls!

"Disco Inferno" (The Trammps). It's called "Disco Inferno," do we need to elaborate?

"Grease Is the Word" (from "Grease"). We love this because it sure isn't a 50s rock 'n' roll song, but it sure did open the movie of "Grease."

"Love to Love You Baby" (Donna Summer). This song is on our list because of its groundbreaking nature. As far as we know, it is the first song with a sex moan in it, and it was on the radio. (And, it was sung by Donna Summer…)

"I Feel Love" (Donna Summer). The structure is just brilliant. It has no verse, it has no bridge, it's all chorus all the time, baby. Ahhhhh, Disco. (And, it was sung by Donna Summer…)

"Hot Stuff" (Donna Summer). Any song about looking for love on the streets is our kind of song. (And, it was sung by Donna Summer…)

"Bad Girls" (Donna Summer). This song is really about hookers. Annaleigh has played so many of them, and Will loves them so much (Annaleigh's character hookers that is). (And, it was sung by Donna Summer…)

"She Works Hard for the Money" (Donna Summer). Also about hookers, but we like to apply it to our mothers. They worked really hard for us growing up. (And, it was sung by Donna Summer…)

"Everything's Coming Up Roses" (Disco Merman Version). Wouldn't it have been magical to be a fly on the wall the day they recorded this hit single? If we could turn back time…

"Don't Cry For Me Argentina!" (Disco Version). Can you imagine if they had done this to the whole score of Evita. Ricky Martin would have really been shaking his bon-bon.