One of today’s brightest lights in cabaret, Seth Sikes, performed last week in New Hope at the Rrazz Room, in his critically acclaimed show Seth Sikes Sings Judy Garland.
“The best male singer of his generation on the cabaret scene, touts Theater Scene in New York. He is a recipient of last year’s Broadway World’s best Tribute Show and has made his mark with his tribute to Judy Garland.
Seth Sikes loved Judy Garland his whole life, he recalled watching her 1950 movie Summer Stock and listening to “Get Happy” as a young child. Seth’s aunt was a fan of old MGM musicals and he was influenced by Judy, Stephen Sondheim, and Gene Kelly.
Growing up in Paris, Texas, he sang in the church choir and discovered theater in High School. Seth moved to New York City at 18, wanting to be a part of New York’s “gay” life. He said New York gave him access to artistic people and he could meet “heroes and other artists.” His passion for acting led him to study at Circle in the Square.
He spent time as an Assistant Director in many musicals, and learned sometimes it’s hard to get everyone on board when dealing with “big” personalities.
Seth’s love for Judy Garland led him to do his show, which he calls a loving tribute to her music, not an impersonation. He said Garland’s songs have taken him through life after heartbreaks and love affairs. He has certainly has put his own personal feelings into his show with a contemporary spin. He said honesty on stage is important and he’ll even talk about his ex’s. The one song he doesn’t perform is “Over the Rainbow,” because he believes “that song has been done perfectly.”
Seth sat next to Liza Minelli once in New York but he didn’t realize she was Judy’s daughter. Since then he has done a Liza tribute.
Seth said he also is doing a Bernadette Peters tribute, but he doesn’t want to be known only for doing diva tributes. He loves performing the American Songbook classics, which is his favorite musical genre.
Seth would like the gay community to know who he is and associate with him. He said he doesn’t feel famous enough yet to consider himself a role model. But he voiced his concern over the future of gay marriage, saying, “we can’t be complacent about it, it was only three years ago.” Seth spends his time helping charities for LGBT homeless youth.
He will be bringing his show to New York and London, where the UK has a different take on Judy Garland. He loves performing in intimate spaces, where, he said, “It’s like sitting down to dinner with the audience.” Soon he will be on his way to New York City Pride and Provincetown in the summer. When he’s not busy at work, Seth can be found hanging out at piano bars. He hopes to make an album and “continue the momentum,” he says of his career.
Seth said if Judy Garland was alive and he could ask her something, “I wouldn’t ask her a thing. I’d try to find a way to convey my thanks to her, and to make sure she knows how profoundly enduring her work has been for so many … or maybe I’d just ask if I could touch her.”
Find out more on the upcoming show in New York City on June 24 during NY City Pride week.