New York felt like the Emerald City to musical theater actor Susie Mosher — and it worked its magic for this Broadway performer, who can be seen in her own show each week at Birdland. This is Susie’s West Side Story.
So, what’s your New York story? Born here, or just arrived?
I dreamed of coming to New York City ever since I discovered musical theater and Broadway. It was the Emerald City in my mind, and represented success, sophistication and a world I longed to be accepted in. I was from San Diego, a place where I felt unseen, where a great body and athletic prowess were the keys to fitting in. But I knew once I made it to New York City my light would truly shine. I was first here in the early 1990s with a show called SUDS, the rocking ’60s musical soap opera, and then came back to do Hairspray for the last two and a half years of its six-year run. My wife and I decided to stay — and then a miracle occurred and we got into Manhattan Plaza, which as any artist knows is a game-changer.
What was your first job? What do you do now?
Hairspray on Broadway. I host a weekly show at Birdland called The Lineup with Susie Mosher every Tuesday.
What’s your favorite New York minute (or moment) so far?
Lord, so many wonderful moments living here. I love walking outside and being immediately swept into the river of humanity. My wife and I have a son growing up here and I love that his first memories will be of diversity and the arts.
Share with us why you love Hell’s Kitchen
It’s where people come to strive. Dreams are made here, and music and theater are performed at the highest level in the world.
What’s your superpower or hidden talent?
I’m a conduit. I’m pretty good at bringing people together. I seem to know loads of folks, and I love putting them together and watch new friendships blossom.
What else should we know about you?
I feel so fortunate to be living in the best city in the world, doing what I’ve always dreamed of doing, having my wife and son with me, I mean, what more is there?
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Susie’s Favorite Hell’s Kitchen Places
West Bank Cafe — 407 W42nd Street (bw 9th/10th Ave)
I always feel at home there. Steve Olsen is a great host and the food is always on point.
Birdland — 315 W44th Street (bw 8th/9th Ave)
I’ve known about Birdland forever, thanks to an obsession with The Manhattan Transfer’s song about it when I was in junior high. The fact that I ended up performing weekly at the “Jazz Corner of the World” is truly a thrill, and I am so grateful to the universe for granting me my wish.
International Grocery — 543 9th Avenue (bw W40/41st St)
The minute I come in I’m hit with the aroma of spices from around the world. I run to the back case to see if they have any of my quinoa olive salad. And I love the homemade almond cake!
The juice bar at Smilers — 637 9th Avenue (bw W44/45th St)
They have fresh and interesting combos of juice that are at least a buck less than other juice places.
Brooklyn Fare — 431 W37th Street (bw 9th/10th Ave)
They have great produce and a great deli counter!
Ideal Farm Farmer’s Market — W43rd Street (bw 9th/10th Ave)
They have it on Thursdays. I love their fresh fruit and produce. And around this time of the year, they have gourds, pumpkins and Indian corn.
Ristorante Il Melograno — 501 W51st Street (corner of 10th Ave)
They’re on 10th Avenue and the food is yummy. The atmosphere is cozy and a little romantic…
Delphinium Home — 353 W47th Street (bw 8th/9th Ave)
My wife Hope shops here constantly for birthdays and holidays and always finds the perfect gift!
You can follow Susie on Instagram @susiemosher. If you know someone who would make a great West Side Story (or you would like to nominate yourself), please fill in this form — w42st.info/WSSnominations
You can check out more West Side Stories and reader recommendations on W42ST’s Hell’s Kitchen Local App.