Two-time Tony Award-winning actor Norbert Leo Butz is promising “new and updated” Memories & Mayhem in his September encore cabaret gig at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York.
He’ll perform the mix of songs and stories September 8, 10, 12, 13, 14 at 9:30 PM and September 13 at 7 PM. Memories & Mayhem features pop, folk, rock, blues, and musical theatre songs of various vintages linked by the subject of memory.
Butz told Playbill, “I'm rebooting and reworking a set list I did four years ago called Memory & Mayhem. It was my first show at 54 Below and we had a great time. All the songs are germane to this very broad idea of memory. I just put together a bunch of tunes I like to play, not realizing until after the fact that all of the songs took place in some version of the narrator's past. All of the songs are recollections. That's interesting to me. For this go-round I'm doing a few songs I wrote as well: personal memories from my own backlog of experience.”
He said, “I'm doing a few I wrote and recorded last year for a record I'll be releasing in the next few weeks. I’m singing a couple tunes from shows I did: The Last 5 Years and Big Fish. But it's mostly writers I love and always try to cover: Tom Waits, Van Morrison, Elton John, Jimmy Webb, Ray Charles.... I love American music. Country, soul, gospel and blues.”
Among the new material, Butz said, “I do two songs for my kids; songs that take me back to a very specific time and place when they were babies. ‘Georgia’ by Ray Charles and ‘No One’ by Alicia Keys. Those are fun to do because we've rearranged them and sort of turned them around on themselves.”
So what does Butz find special about 54 Below? “My wife hates this word, but it's all about the vibe. She hates musician lingo like ‘vibe,’ ‘gig,’ ‘groove’ and ‘jam.’ But there it is: It’s a Very Vibey Gig that's long on Grooves and Jams. Sorry honey. ”
As for the future, Butz has a recurring role on the new FX series Trust, which he said is due sometime in winter 2018. “I got to shoot in London this summer and, poor, poor me, get to go to Rome in October to finish up.”
He supplied a voice for an animated feature called Amusement Park, scheduled for 2018 as well.
He also revealed that he has his eye on a new Broadway project. “I can't say what yet, but it's likely I'll be doing a musical in the near future. It's been a while for me!”
Butz’ 2012 performance of the show was recorded and released by Broadway Records in 2013 as Memory & Mayhem: Live at 54 Below. Butz sold out the club in August 2016 with an encore of his other cabaret show, Girls, Girls, Girls.
Tickets for Memories & Mayhem cost $65–$125 plus a $25 food/beverage minimum. They can be ordered at 54below.comor by calling (646) 476-3551. Feinstein’s/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street in Manhattan.