Carmen Cusack's New York: Why She Loves The City

A Tony nominee for the musical Bright Star, Carmen Cusack makes her solo concert debut at Feinstein's/54 Below (August 9th through 16th), where she shares stories and songs that brought her to Broadway. She even sings a beloved Steve Martin/Edie Brickell song that was cut from Bright Star. Cusack shared what she loves about New York City with NewYork.com.

The first time I came to New York, it was 1993 and I had my first job ever working on the QE2. We had ported here. I was like a child and hadn't even finished college. Even though I had an opera scholarship, I couldn't afford to finish college. My friend said, "Let's just audition for this Jean Ann Ryan Production going on cruise liners." They offered me a job on the spot. And I thought, well, I can't finish out my semester.

So I ended up singing on the QE2. We did transatlantic crossings from Southampton to New York. So my first time landing in New York was from a ship. It was the most incredible thing. When we passed the Statue of Liberty, they always made a point to play "New York, New York" so you'd hear "Start spreading the news...."

What do you love about New York City?

1. I love to walk around and people-watch. My grandmother looked after me for a certain amount of time. We lived out in the woods in a place called Fountain, Florida. And some Saturdays, we'd go to the mall, sit on a bench and watch people. It became a form of entertainment for me. I love walking around and getting the gist of the vibe of the city.