Suffs Star Ally Bonino Channels “Big Bad B-tch Energy” Before Every Show

The new Broadway musical Suffs tells the story of the women’s suffrage movement, leading up to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Written by star Shaina Taub, the show is filled with powerhouse performances by powerful women portraying trailblazing figures who fought for women’s right to vote like Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt and Ida B. Wells.

As such, it makes sense that the music star Ally Bonino bumps in her dressing room before each show is filled with empowering tracks by pioneering female artists including Beyoncé, Joni Mitchell, and Idina Menzel.

“It’s bringing the big bad b-tch energy that is excellent fuel for Suffs,” the actress — who portrays regularly jailed women’s rights advocate Lucy Burns — says of “YA YA,” a highlight off Queen Bey’s COWBOY CARTER, before also listing off other favorites by Fleetwood Mac, Coldplay and rising star Grace McLean.

You can grab tickets for Suffs on Ticketmaster, and listen to the Original Broadway Cast Recording (out today, June 6 via Atlantic Records) now.

Below, check out the entirety of Bonino’s pre-show playlist — including a Bo Burnham album that’s been a “dressing room tradition” since the show’s earliest days at The Public Theater.

1. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

This is my song with my dad, and I listen to it almost every day. There is something about the simplicity of the drums and the glockenspiel at the top that gets me right in my heart and always puts me in a good mood.

2. Beyoncé – “YA YA”

It’s bringing the Big Bad B-tch Energy that is excellent fuel for Suffs. I’m not one to spontaneously dance to a song, but this one has me MOVING my body, why? ‘Cause I’m a clever girl. 😏

3. Beyoncé & Post Malone – “LEVII’s JEANS”

I just love the vibe of this one. It reminds me of driving with the windows down in the summer.

4. Fleetwood Mac – “Rhiannon”

There is something deliciously hypnotic about this banger that gets me in the zone. It really helps to center me and my concentration.

5. Joni Mitchell – “Cactus Tree”

I have several different Joni playlists in my library, but this song has found its way onto each one. Her voice is a balm to the soul, and even after decades of listening to her, there will still be moments that surprise me and take my breath away.

suffs broadway company
L-R: Nadia Dandashi, Shaina Taub, Kim Blanck, Ally Bonino and Hannah Cruz in Suffs, photo by Joan Marcus

6. Bo Burnham – “That Funny Feeling”

Playing the entire Inside album became a dressing room tradition that started when Suffs was at The Public. Other highlights for me include “Content,” “Comedy,” “How The World Works,” “Bezos I & II,” “Don’t Wanna Know,” “Welcome to The Internet,” “All Eyes On Me,” “Goodbye,” and “Any Day Now,” though if I’m being honest, I devour this album in its entirety without skipping. Bo, you’re a mad genius, come see our show. Hannah Cruz and I would LOVE to talk with you about this album.

7. Grace McLean – “Haven’t You Noticed”

Get 👏 into 👏 Grace 👏 Mc 👏 Lean’s 👏 music. The worlds that Grace created on her debut breakout album My Lovely Enemy with her looper and her voice are incredible and so special and, dare I say, celestial. Highlights from the album include “Reckless” and “Albertine.” Also, do yourself a favor and YouTube her song “Jesse and Zach,” you will not regret it.

8. Coldplay – “Mylo Xyloto”

I’m a big Coldplay fan, and I don’t care who knows it #reclaimingcoldplay #noshamenoshade. There is something beautifully trance-like about the opening song on MX, and I usually let it play through the whole album. I am also a huge fan of their album Viva La Vida, and love getting taken along for the ride that is the story of that album.

9. Idina Menzel & Evan Rachel Wood – “Show Yourself” from Frozen 2

Listen. Sometimes, you just have to blast Disney, and for me, it’ll likely be “Zero to Hero” or “The Bells Of Notre Dame” or all of the Frozen 2 soundtrack, and that has to be respected. It’s a vibe, it’s a moment, it’s a sonic-sometimes-snack, but it hits 100% of the time, every time.

10. The Beatles – “Hey Jude”

I gotta end this with my dad and bring in my mom as well. Some of my first musical memories are of listening to The Beatles, and this song, in particular, will undoubtedly pump me up. I live for the times my dad, mom, and I would scream the “better, better, better, better, better, AHHHHH” during our drives. Take a sad song and make it better, you know?


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