Review: Jason Robert Brown Hits the High Notes at The 92nd Street Y, New York

The triple Tony winner thrilled audience with hIs music at the May edition of Lyrics & Lyricists

By: May. 12, 2024
Review: Jason Robert Brown Hits the High Notes at The 92nd Street Y, New York
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The musical genius that is composer / lyricist Jason Robert Brown took center stage for his one night only performance of An Evening with Jason Robert Brown, part of the Lyrics & Lyricists event at The 92nd Street Y, New York on May 9, 2024. The triple Tony Award winner, clad in an understated navy suit, jumped straight into the evening. He made his Steinway grand piano sing with pleasure as he played his high energy and toe-tapping song, “Step it Up.”  Such set the mood of the night for the evening’s show featuring his own version of theatrical pop / rock stylized tunes. 

This reviewer was overwhelmed by the awe-inspiring compilation of melodies, which came fully armed with pithy and verbose verbiage and absolutely thrilled the filled to capacity crowd.  Combine the musical prowess of Billy Joel with the intensely brilliant, succinct and lightning fast vocabulary of the late Robin Williams while adding a dash of  self-deprecating humor and you have this phenomenal maestro. It is no wonder that the audience was enraptured this evening. Yes, folks, unbelievably it is Jason Robert Brown who remarkably used the actual 16th century vocabulary of the immortal William Shakespeare’s Hamlet as the lyrics for his song creation “Advice to Playaz” which was written for a special event at The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis.   I am absolutely sure that the Bard himself would have been thrilled to be able to rock out to his lines, “To Be Or Not To Be.”

Review: Jason Robert Brown Hits the High Notes at The 92nd Street Y, New York
Mykal Kilgore. Photo credit: Richard Termine

When his powerhouse guest performers joined the composer in the spotlight, the singing heard in the famed venue truly hit new heights! These two heavy hitting vocal giants, award-winning actor and Grammy-nominated singer / songwriter Mykal Kilgore and Broadway veteran Heidi Blickenstaff  had patrons bursting into applause.  The room exploded with reverie as each one took turns in “hitting the back of the room” with their impressive renditions of several of Jason Robert Brown’s classics. 

 Attired in a silver jacket over a black ensemble, Mykal Kilgore brought theatergoers to their feet with his renditions of “You Don’t Know This Man” from Parade as well as “Flying Home” from Songs for a New World.  While, Heidi Blickenstaff, robed in a sleek black wrap minidress with killer heels, brought down the house with her belting performance of “I Can Do Better Than That” from Brown’s semi-autobiographical musical The Last Five Years as well as “Another Life” from The Bridges Of Madison County. Other standout performances included the haunting piece “The Western Wall” from Brown’s recent show, The Connector and the moving song “Sanctuary” from his 2020 concert, Coming from Inside the House. Finally, theatergoers were treated to a sneak peek of Brown’s  upcoming theatrical production of In the Garden of Good and Evil with the hot, sultry and sexy song, “The Shed Shack.”  What an evening!  So much talent on one stage at one time was truly a memorable present to theatergoers.

An Evening with Jason Robert Brown featured the incomparable Jason Robert Brown accompanied by vocalists Tasha Michelle and Danielle Lee Greaves.  The onstage band included: Ben Kono (saxophone), Alison Shearer (saxophone and flute), Tony Kadleck (trumpet), Clint Sharman (trombone), Todd Reynolds (violin), Randy Landau (bass), Gary Sieger (guitar), Jamie Eblen (drums) and Lisette Santiago (percussion), with phenomenal guest performances by Mykal Kilgore and Heidi Blickenstaff.

Find great shows to see at 92NY on their website here

Header photo credit: Richard Termine


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