VIDEOS: CHICAGO's Jason Danieley Holds A Note For Longer Than It Takes Danny Kaye To Sing Tchaikovsky
Since making his Broadway debut playing the demanding title role in the 1997 revival of CANDIDE, Jason Danieley has been enrapturing audiences with his strong acting skills and beautiful tenor. He went on to introduce two of musical theatre's most emotional songs of this century, David Yazbek's "You Walk with Me" in THE FULL MONTY and John Kander's "I Miss The Music" in CURTAINS, before starring with his wife Marin Mazzie as replacement stars in NEXT TO NORMAL.
Mazzie will soon be taking over the leading role of Anna in THE KING AND I while Danieley is enjoying a stint as Chicago's silver-tongued prince of the court room, Billy Flynn.
In the flashy ventriloquism number, "We Both Reached For The Gun," Danieley is granted the indulgence of holding his penultimate money note for as long as he desires. In fact, he holds the official Billy Flynn record of 35.5 seconds.
How long is 35.5 seconds? Well, consider that in 1941 a young unknown performer named Danny Kaye stopped the show in LADY IN THE DARK singing Kurt Weill an Ira Gershwin's "Tschaikovsky," a patter song with a lyric consisting of the names of fifty Russian composers, in about that amount of time.
While it's doubtful that Danieley has any thoughts of Danny Kaye during his mini-marathon, it's fun to watch him holding that razzle dazzle tone in the video below, and then watch Kaye, in a 1981 PBS telecast of 'Musical Comedy Tonight," cram a full song into even less time.
CHICAGO is now playing on Broadway at the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St.; New York, NY). With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb,Chicago is directed by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Tony Award winnerAnn Reinking. The production features set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony Award winner Ken Billington and sound design by Scott Lehrer. Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, Chicago is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.
Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago's slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids.