PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Skivvies' Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley, Wesley Taylor and Adam Kantor Pick Songs to Strip to
By Michael Gioia
The Skivvies, the popular acoustic group that strips down to perform in nothing but their underwear, will play 54 Below June 10. In anticipation of their 54 Below concert, the Skivvies' Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley as well as frequent guests Wesley Taylor and Adam Kantor pick "Songs to Strip to" as part of Playbill.com's Playbill Playlist series.
Featuring actor-musicians Molina (Sweeney Todd, Marry Me a Little) and Cearley (All Shook Up), the Skivvies are known for their pop covers and play instruments ranging from the cello, ukulele, guitar and glockenspiel to the melodica.
Aside from special guests Taylor and Kantor at the 9:30 PM concert, the Skivvies will be joined by Tony winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy), Rory O'Malley (The Book of Mormon), Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Newsies), Morgan James (Motown), Alison Fraser (The Secret Garden) and Leslie McDonel (American Idiot).
Shannon Ford (Next to Normal) will be featured on drums with Katrina Yaukey (War Horse, Billy Elliott) on saxophone/accordion.
Since the Skivvies are known for stripping down to their undies, Playbill.com asked Molina, Cearley, Taylor and Kantor to pick their favorite "Songs to Strip to" and tell us why they made the list.
For tickets, visit 54Below.com.
Lauren Molina: "Howlin' For You" by The Black Keys. I love this beat. It is hot, gritty and certainly evokes a striptease.
Lauren Molina: "Sexy Boy" by Air. There's just something steamy and dreamy about this song.
Lauren Molina: "Diamond Dave" by The Bird and The Bee. This quirky song about one girl's obsession with David Lee Roth of Van Halen makes me smile and dance with my clothes off.
Lauren Molina: The entire album of "A Night At the Playboy Mansion" by Dimitri from Paris. This French, sexy dance-party music, infused with funk, soul, 70s quotations, will make anyone want to take off their clothes and boogie down.
Lauren Molina: "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" by Jermaine Stuart. This 80s hit has the sexy cheese factor kicking to the max. Stripping to a lyric saying, "I'm not a piece of meat, stimulate my brain" is ironic comedy gold.
Nick Cearley: "Get Lucky," Daft Punk. I am currently obsessed with the new single off of Daft Punk's new album. I love the throwback to the disco vibe, which is SO Studio 54. Lauren and I always try to stay up on the most current of pop songs, and this is definitely the song of the summer for me. I love the lyrics, "She's up all night 'til the sun/I'm up all night to get some/She's up all night for good fun/I'm up all night to get lucky," which is MORE than appropriate for stripping it down.
Nick Cearley: "Thank You For Being a Friend," Bernadette Peters. This is the best version of this song you will ever hear. Long before it was a television theme song, Bernadette was living for her life with this arrangement, which also transports me to the Studio 54 days of disco gone by. The Skivvies concept was born from two best friends who liked to make people happy through eccentric musical choices. This song is all of that personified musically.
Nick Cearley: "I Want Candy," The Strangeloves. This song has always made me want to go to the beach. What do I do when I go to the beach? Take off my clothes! This song is the soundtrack for that activity. Plus, with the double entendre of the lyrics and the playful summer energy of the song, this is exactly what I would be game for stripping down [to] — literally.
Nick Cearley: "Billy-A-Dick," Bette Midler. I have always fancied this song ever since my mom bought the "For The Boys" soundtrack in 1992. I remember not really "getting" it then, but it has a sexier "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" feeling with hilarious lyrics and a theatrical story that would be so much fun to act out as a man/woman striptease. Plus, who doesn't love Bette Midler doing what Bette Midler does best? What a dreamy Skivvies guest SHE would be!
Nick Cearley: "One Night in Bangkok," Murray Head (also Chess). I am obsessed with the idea of stripping to this song. I always feel, when this song comes on anywhere, it is always so surprising and sneaky and supplies an instant game-changer for my mood. It is total cheese, and you can't NOT smile ear to ear at the ridiculous lyrics combined with the very dated sound of the music. I love it.
Adam Kantor: "Sexual Healing" and "Let's Get It On" (Marvin Gaye) Milk is to dairy what Marvin Gaye is to stripping-music — inextricably linked. You cannot, and may not, listen to these two songs without taking your clothes off. It's almost offensive if you listen and remain fully clothed. In my house it is a capital offense. So put your Lactaid pills away and DRINK UP.
Adam Kantor: "Temporary Night" (Maxwell) Put your stank face on, and swivel those hips. You are going back to 2001 and revisiting the sexy smooth vocals of the royal highness of Neo-Soul, Maxwell. Any song that starts, "Earthquake in the makin, I'm gonna love you" will at least make you loosen a button or two. Do it.
Adam Kantor: "Let The Love In" (Sam Sparro) Delighting fans of Marvin Gaye and Maxwell, Sam Sparro is proving that funk is alive and well in 2013. Who said white boys couldn't get down? "Let it in, let it out." 'Nuff said.
Wesley Taylor: "S&M" by Rihanna. It may be on the nose, but it's undeniably sexy. And, I relate to it.
Wesley Taylor: "Keep Your Shoes On" by The Scissor Sisters. Off their new album… Every time this song comes on, even if I'm at the gym, my body starts gyrating to the beat. But "Something Like This" off the "Night Work" album is also salacious and perfect.
Wesley Taylor: "Dancing On My Own," "Indestructible" (Robyn). Anything Robyn sings makes me wanna take off all my clothes and dance in a naked sweaty mosh pit. Instead I will sit calmly in my underwear and sing "Call Your Girlfriend" at 54 Below.
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