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Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42

The list of great singing married couples just picked up an entry.

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42

The music industry has a rich history of couples who have made music together - couples like The Captain and Tennille, Jaime Lozano and Florencia Cuenca, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., and possibly the most famous husband and wife musical duo of all time, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Recently, Broadway actors Josh Young (he of Jesus Christ Superstar fame) and Emily Padgett (a one-time Hilton twin on The Broadway) tested the waters as a married couple concert duo and their out-of-town venture went so well that last week, on a trip to Manhattan with some special young friends, Mr. and Mrs. Young brought that show to The Green Room 42, and if this is what the Josh and Emily Show looks like on only the second performance, the world of live entertainment is in for a great ride with the twosome.

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET is a show made up of music from what Emily Padgett and Josh Young declare to be the greatest decade in musical theater history. Whether or not that is, personally, true for any person, seeing this show will make you believe that the Eighties was, in fact, the greatest decade in musical theater history. Josh and Emily (who would excel at singing any song from any musical in any decade) just seem to have a knack for this material, an innate sense of understanding of how to get into these songs, how to, instantaneously, turn on the characters from whence cometh the journey, and how to deliver the whole story in each three to four minute composition, and they both do it with voices that, at times, make a person shake their head in wonder. Padgett and Young are two world-class singers with unbelievable vocal instruments and more: they can act, too. You don't really appreciate the effort of a true singing actor until you really see it, before your very eyes, and get the sneaking notion that much of the time what we are looking at is people singing songs and sounding pretty. Then, along comes a moment like Josh Young's "Finishing the Hat" or Emily Padgett's "The Story Goes On" and you find yourself thinking, "So that's what that looks like." The ability that Young and Padgett have at dropping into character and into the moment within the confines of a concert structure is admirable, and it informed much of their program.

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Naturally, it isn't possible to do all the heavy emoting for eighty minutes - actors need to decompress - so there is a fair amount of levity and general companionship in between numbers; after all, Broadway of the Eighties isn't widely remembered for the musical comedy genre, as much as it is the barricades, chandeliers, dictators, and depressed pointillists. That's heady material, so, by way of breaking from the heartbreak, the adorable couple makes sure to ham it up, get silly with one another, and to put on display their palpable devotion to one another. There is an element of the cheesy to the dialogue (which is fine because cheese is great) and there is an element of blithering about the show patter (Young's exuberance is infectious but loquacious) but it all works because of two things, the first being the incredible charm of the lovebirds, and the second being the off-the-charts high quality of the music. Young's "Bring Him Home" is enough to get people either sobbing at their tables or swooning onto the floor, and on each of her numbers, Padgett's crystalline, clarion, spectacularly performed vocals are breathtaking, especially the spot-on perfect high notes on songs like "All I Ask of You" and "A Heart Full of Love" - high notes that can be a bit of a surprise when they occur in the same program replete with powerful belting on songs like "On My Own" and "Memory"; Ms. Padgett's versatility and vocal range is absolutely thrilling. But then, to hear the voice of Josh Young is to see the face of god. With these two exciting voices and impressive actors sharing the performance duties, the evening is the kind of entertainment that theater-hungry youths once trolled PBS looking for, hoping just to get some Broadway and culture in their lives. It should, though, not go unsaid that the String Quartet portion of Valjean, Cosette And A String Quartet did their own fair share of the heavy lifting on Sunday night. The four women performing for the program were consummate artists of the musical persuasion, each one skilled in the most satisfying ways, and Padgett & Young made sure to give them ample opportunities to display their talent, by way of a wonderful overture and sections of the show dedicated only to their musicianship; all of the music, in the hands of Musical Director Nate Patten, was of the finest quality, making Valjean, Cosette a real treat, from start to finish.

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 The Youngs made sure to share of themselves, personally, by discussing the humorous topics of Emily's "felinity" lessons while playing in CATS and Josh's disappointment at being too slight-of-stature to be considered for the role of The Phantom but they also shared, with open vulnerability, their decision to relocate out of state, in order to raise their family, and although the power ballads and eleven o'clock numbers anchored the program, there was something intimately special about their closing number, a duet treatment of Lizzie's iconic ballad from BABY, that grabbed the heart, making tangible the delicate balancing act that is being a performer and being a parent. It was the equivalent to, musically, saving the best for last because it sent the audience out into the night with a sense that they knew Emily Padgett-Young and Josh Young, which is a lovely thing because they seem like nice people. But the truth is that if Young and Padgett wanted to do the musical portion of their show, saying no more than "Good evening" and "Good night" to their audience, they could: the music is just that good. So the personal touch is a whimsical cherry on the cake that is the show, making the evening so much the better.

So it looks like there's a swell new boy-girl act in the cabaret and concert industry. A good one. One to watch.

The Valjean, Cosette string quartet members were Sarah Hewitt-roth, Alissa Smith, Hiroko Taguchi and Rachel Handman.

The Valjean, Cosette orchestrators are Eugene Gwozdz, Alissa Hetzner, Andrew Toering, and Josh Young.

Find great shows to see at the Green Room 42 website HERE.

Josh Young can be found online HERE.

Emily Padgett has an online presence HERE and HERE.

Josh Young and Emily Padgett get a five out of five microphones rating for performing their entire show without the use of a lyric sheet, tablet, or music stand.

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42

Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42 Review: Josh Young and Emily Padgett Invigorate VALJEAN, COSETTE AND A STRING QUARTET at The Green Room 42

Photos by Stephen Mosher


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From This Author - Stephen Mosher