Jeremy Jordan Creates a Smashing LA Cabaret Debut
For his Los Angeles cabaret debut at Catalina Jazz Club, astonishing Broadway actor/singer Jeremy Jordan chose quite a variety of entertaining music ranging from Broadway standards to newer Broadway melodies to songs from TV's Smash to three of his own original compositions. Under the banner Chris Isaacson Presents, Jordan's Breaking Character was a chance for the handsome 29 year-old to leave the actor behind and just be himself. Why hasn't he done cabaret before? Because, by his own admission, the thought of it has terrified him. Hopefully, this stunning positively received engagement is helping to change his mind. The sold-out crowd, many fans of Jordan from his appearances on Smash, greeted him with gleefully screaming ovations, which continued throughout the 80-minute set.
Jordan did indeed use his acting skill up top. As he hit the stage, he pretended to be 18 again and reenacted his audition for college, "Anthem" from Chess. Nervous and telling his mother to leave the room, he spewed out an infectiously humorous presentation as he somewhat carelessly made his way through the song. Afterwards, he assured his audience in a relaxed manner that this is how it was, but that he did get accepted... and that the entire program would present a closer look at the real Jeremy Jordan than ever before. Backed by excellent musical director Ben Rauhala at the piano, Jordan displayed brilliant musical prowess without ever losing his boyish self-deprecating wit.
This man, referred to as a bass/baritone has an enormous vocal range which he put to great use with Jason Robert Brown's "Moving Too Fast" from The Last 5 Years, the film of which he just recently completed. There followed a jubilant "Maybe I'm Amazed" from the movie Joyful Noise, an unusually joyful, jazzy yet convincingly solid version of "Losing My Mind" from Sondheim's Follies and a delectably alluring "Santa Fe" from Newsies. Joining Jordan onstage was his wife the incredibly beautiful Ashley Spencer who proceeded to do a duet with him, a dynamic medley from Rock of Ages. Later he was also joined by his Smash costar Krysta Rodriguez who sang "Heart-Shaped Wreckage" from the show. Also on tap was a deliciously humorous "Chipotle", a parody of "Purpose" from Avenue Q, which he had put together, "Bonnie" from Bonnie and Clyde sung to an adoring fan whom he brought onstage, and a very memorable encore "Home" from The Wiz, finely interwoven with "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz. Of his 3 originals, I especially liked "Underwater" which beautifully takes you back to a younger time when all dreams seemed possible. Jordan is vocally up to just about any musical composition put in front of him. I would love to have heard more classic Broadway such as "Soliloquy" from Carousel. He would truly do it justice.
Jeremy Jordan's show Breaking Character was exceedingly enjoyable, meriting the 2 standing ovations he received. His magnificent vocal talent and easy-going charisma are two assets that put him right at the top, in a clique of very special, enduring Broadway performers. In spite of his busy film, TV and stage work, I hope he will make more time for cabaret appearances. What an amazing talent!
Remember: one more night tonight Tuesday May 6 at 8:00 pm at Catalina Jazz Club. A few seats remaining!
tel. 323 - 466-2210 Catalina Bar and Grill is located at 6725 West Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA
Chris Isaacson Presents...
(performance photo credit: Aimee Curameng for BWW)