Every day is opening night.

Andrew Lippa

Whether he is throwing wild parties, leading cultural movements, or making fantasy worlds a reality, Andrew Lippa always manages to thrill, inspire, and move his audience. In 1999, he wrote the book, music and lyrics for the Off-Broadway hit, The Wild Party, garnering himself a rabidly devoted fan base and spawning one of the true “must-have” cast recordings for musical theater lovers the world over. Last week 54 Below gave fans the chance to revisit this material with the wildly successful, star-studded, one-night-only affair, “The Wild Party Swings: Andrew Lippa Meet Charlie Rosen's Big Band.” He was represented this season on Broadway with the ingenious stage adaptation of Big Fish. That show's lush and heartfelt score (which left at least one member of this publication's editorial staff sobbing so hard he had to hide in the bathroom after the show to pull himself together) just garnered Lippa a 2014 Drama Desk Nomination. Choruses around the
country have been performing his soaring and passionate new oratorio, I Am Harvey Milk, since its sold-out world premiere in San Francisco last year. Visit iamharveymilk.com for more information on future presentations. He is without question one of the greatest theater artists of our time, and we are thrilled to have him On the Couch!

What do you consider to be your best asset?

I'm good in the kitchen without a recipe.

What was your proudest moment?

Performing my oratorio “I Am Harvey Milk” in San Francisco with 300 singers on the very day the US Supreme Court struck down DOMA and Proposition 8.

What is your favorite drink?

Diet coke on ice with a wedge – not a slice – of lemon.

What is your favorite food?

My mother makes, for Passover, this jam made of beets (stay with me), hazelnuts, lemons, sugar, and this English stuff called Lyle's Golden Syrup. It's essentially beet jam but it tastes nothing like beets. How does she do that?

What is your favorite condiment?

Brown spicy mustard.

What is your current obsession?
I'm opposed to obsessions of any kind…OUCH…stop twisting my arm! OK, my current obsession is Bouchon Bakery. I KNOW, I KNOW, it's EVIL

If you could give up one of your vices, what would it be?


What is the one professional accomplishment you long for most?

To win the Daytona 500.

What is the one thing you waste too much money on?

Prepared foods at West Side Market.

What is the one activity you waste too much time doing?

Watching GSN (the Game Show Network). But I do love “Match Game '75”. And “Card Sharks”. And “Whammy!”.

What do you consider to be the single greatest threat to your health?


What is the single best trait you inherited or learned from your parents?


What is the single worst trait you inherited or learned from your parents?

Narcissism. This interview is still about me, right?

What in the world most thrills you?


What current trend in popular culture most irritates you?

Do we really need that many magazines?

What was the single most embarrassing moment you've ever experienced on the job?

When I was 15 I was a busboy at Green-10 Diner in Southfield, Michigan.They caught me eating corned beef in the kitchen. Well, not eating, HOARDING.

What is your favorite place in the world?

My bed. And Madrid. It's a tie. I love being in bed in Madrid.

What is the most important trait you seek in a romantic partner?


Do you prefer the company of dogs or cats?


What would have to happen to make today the best day of your life?

I'd get that call. You know. That call…

What is your personal motto?

From Hafiz: Habits are human nature – Why not create some that will mint gold?