Tonys Red Carpet: What Music Gets You Ready for the Stage?

Posted June 10, 2018 9:10 p.m. EDT

NEW YORK — Broadway is getting a dose of pop music with this year’s edition of the Tony Awards. The hosts are Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban — who, to be fair, have recently dipped their toes in musical theater — and the ceremony included an appearance by Bruce Springsteen. Not one, but two actresses who play Donna Summer in a bio-musical about the disco superstar are up for an award.

With this in mind, at the Tonys red carpet on Sunday I asked Broadway’s stars what pop music they listen to when getting ready for a performance. Here is what some of them said:

— Chita Rivera, a winner of the Tony for lifetime achievement this year, picked an entire genre.

Latin music “has rhythm, it has life. And excitement!” Rivera said.

— Brandon Victor Dixon, a Tonys veteran and the breakout star of “Jesus Christ Superstar” live on NBC, owes much to Michael Jackson.

“He’s always been my artistic inspiration,” Dixon said. “Give me some ‘Thriller.’ Put that on the speaker, and everyone gets jumping.”

— Cynthia Erivo, a Tony winner for “The Color Purple,” has a few singers on rotation.

“I do listen to Beyoncé, it has to be said. But also Childish Gambino and Aretha Franklin,” Erivo said. “This morning it was Brandy, ‘Never Say Never.’ It’s perfect.”

— Joshua Henry, nominated for “Carousel,” gave a shout-out to Anderson Paak.

“He’s an irresistible guy in funk,” Henry said. “He gets me hyped up for a workout, a cool down or rev up.”

— Lindsay Mendez, nominated for “Carousel,” likes a retro feel.

“I’m super into his retro feel. He’ll always get me pumped,” Mendez said of Bruno Mars.

— Renée Fleming, nominated for “Carousel,” sticks to her roots.

“I started as a jazz singer, and it’s always been important to me,” Fleming said. “And science says improvisation is good for your brain!”

— Susan Brown, nominated for “Angels in America,” likes to keep a lot on shuffle.

“I just love it,” Brown said of Florence and the Machine. “But I also listen Leonard Cohen and a lot of others. I like to keep a lot around on shuffle.”