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Review: All Bets Were Off When Jeremy Jordan Stole BETSY WOLFE's Diary at Feinstein's/54 Below

Review: All Bets Were Off When Jeremy Jordan Stole BETSY WOLFE's Diary at Feinstein's/54 Below Besty Wolfe's solo concert series at Feinstein's/54 Below was as much of a story as it was a performance. In huge Broadway shows, (which Besty is no stranger to), you don't get to see as much of the individuality that cabaret and solo shows provide. For performers who can dominate a theater with over 500 seats, witnessing them belt those same songs in such a small venue is tantamount to a religious experience for theater nerds.

"Waitress was one of the best gifts. Playing a badass female character and working with someone I idolized... little Miss Sara Bareilles... she's okay."

Betsy Wolfe is all sass, hair, flair, and quirkiness when you put her on a stage and let her do her thing. I'm used to going to the campy and satirical shows at 54 Below, and the lighting for this particular show was closer to Broadway-caliber than cabaret. The light sparkled stunningly on the pantsuit she claimed was more well-traveled than she was as she posed for fans to take photos.

Before Betsy Wolfe was catching hearts on Broadway, she was snagging them in school from the age of eight. She whipped out some handwritten letters she'd gotten as a kid and started reading them in-between the verses of her song, "Dear Betsy."

"I got to connect with the most incredible fans... hundreds of sweet letters."

Alright, raise your hand if you're guilty of sending Besty Wolfe a love letter.

"As for the girlfriend thing, I don't see anything happening here, but you're smart, funny, and beautiful."

Clearly, nothing has changed.

"I've loved you since third grade. The reason I love you is because you sing good."

These kids' love proclamations are honestly a mood. Hopefully, a mood with better grammar, but a mood nonetheless.

"Hey, what'sup? I'm glad you're going with Mike to prom. Everyone is privileged to have you at our school. You're just overall the perfect girl."

Alright, where were these people fighting to date me when I was in school?

"I love you to death. I have no rose, but you have the key to my heart."

People at my school just slipped into AOL Instant messenger with a "hey." I guess the art of letter writing is lost on my generation.

Betsy cheekily concluded her dramatic reenactment of childhood letters with "I know what you're thinking. They could have said more."

"It's not like I was putting out a 'come at me boi' vibe... In fact, I was putting out that 'I am a boy.'"

To get a further glimpse of Betsy's childhood, she whipped out some photos and her diary. During a particularly scandalous period during middle school, two boys were interested in her and she had to suss out with her diary what she should do.

"A. Forget them all. B. Tell them we're just friends. C. Have an affair."

Betsy really connected to Into the Woods as a kid where she "found her home." When she did The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Stephen Sondheim thanked the cast, giving her a long-awaited opportunity to thank him for Into the Woods.

"I watched Into the Woods every day for an entire summer and he said, 'didn't you get it the first time?' And that's on a phone somewhere."

Jeremy Jordan (JJ) announced on Twitter that he would be crashing this show. He was coming in from his Florida shows with no sleep and still managed to drag himself on stage for a fun performance of "Suddenly Seymour" from Little Shop of Horrors.

I have to say that I was expecting something from The Last Five Years, as she was in the Broadway show and JJ was in the movie. Betsy quipped that she was invited to do the movie, but she needed to be comfortable wearing a snake in a bra.

"So I said, 'what kind of bra?'"

As JJ walked onto the stage, Betsy met him with an "I'm so glad you didn't bring your sparkle pantsuit." In his ever-sassy way, he quipped back with: "I didn't bring my sparkle pantsuit, but you don't know what I'm wearing under here."

While I was missing a Last Five Years duet, (to be fair, there are very few that equally feature both characters), I probably should have expected it since they've done it before. As always, their mixed vocals brought down the house - two of the biggest powerhouse belters I've ever heard live. As he left the stage, he snatched Betsy's diary from her, reading it as he ran away.

"Don't say you left with nothing! Oh my gosh... this is so embarrassing."

It's always fun to see the dynamic of two Broadway superstars interacting as themselves onstage instead of a character. This show ranks pretty high for me. The setlist had a high number of songs from two of my favorite musicals - Waitress and The Last Five Years, and included a number of hits from her career along with the compellingly interesting and original numbers she brought to the stage. I'm just glad JJ stole her diary and not mine because yikes.

Photo Credit: Melinda Ward


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