Though she listens to today's pop tunes religiously, the cabaret dynamo Sharron Matthews has a decided taste for 1980s radio fare. Her one-woman show, Girl Crush, playing at the High Park Amphitheatre on Monday, is plush with the melodic nostalgia of Kim Carnes, the Police, Rick Springfield and Cyndi Lauper, along with the other-era music of Blondie and Beyoncé. The Globe asked the performer what else she's crushing on lately.
What she's listening to: "Because of my cabaret work, I spend a lot of time listening to new popular music. I download the top 20 songs every week and listen to them a couple of times to happen upon something that is inspiring to put into a new piece. But lately I have been wrapped up in a musical theatre cast album. I have listened to Dear Evan Hansen at least 100 times. It has a wonderful score – composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul not only won the Tony Award for this show but also won the Oscar this year for their work on La La Land – as well as hot-button content and wonderful performers. I dare you not to love it."
What she just read: "So, I travel a lot and I love listening to books on tape. Last year, I was travelling to Sudbury to shoot a horror movie – bucket list item, people, and I played a cop, too, which was magical – and I thought, 'Ya know, I am going to download a scary book that I love, to get me in the mood.' I bought Stephen King's The Stand, my favourite of his novels. (Judge at will, but that dude knows how to tell a story, and I love him.) I have to say, driving the roads of Northern Ontario in the dark and listening to this post-apocalyptic tale scared the bejesus out of me. The story is epic and enthralling."
What she's looking forward to: "Okay, I know it is far off, but I really am looking forward to the arrival of Come From Away to Toronto. I have been trying and trying to see it (both here and in New York) and it just has not panned out. But in February, 2018, it is coming back to the Royal Alex. It's one of my favourite theatres; I did Les Miserables there when I was 21 years old. And now my husband, George Masswohl, will be in it! So, I am kind of glad that I have not seen it yet, because the first time I see it will be with him on the stage. Life works out sometimes."
Sharron Matthews' Girl Crush plays July 24, 8 p.m. $20 to $30. High Park Amphitheatre, 1873 Bloor St. W., 416-368-3110 or canadianstage.com.