BWW Review: MAGICAL EVENING WITH JEREMY STOLLE at Straz Center
"I hope he does the song."
The 14-year-old at our table in Jaeb Theatre was a huge fan of Jeremy Stolle's interpretation of Panic at the Disco's "This Is Gospel."
In black suit and red tie, Jeremy came up to the mic with no introduction and launched into "This is the Moment," setting the stage for the incredible musical performance that would happen during the course of his intimate cabaret show at the Straz Center with his piano accompanist and equally accomplished singer/composer Arri Simon.
Jeremy encouraged his audience to join in. "If you want to sing, sing. If you want to dance," he waited a beat for comedic effect, "Don't." His adoring fans responded with laughter and applause.
Besides music and fun storytelling, Jeremy played an acoustic electric guitar, a ukulele, and the piano and the evening was filled with audience participation. Patron Melinda read lines as Belle to Jeremy's Gaston in "Me." The Patel Conservatory joined in for Jeremy's beautiful rendition of "This is Me." Patel's Logan Franke joined Jeremy on the mic for the closing of the empowering song. After intermission, audience member Natalie shook a tambourine in perfect timing to Jeremy's vocals and guitar strumming.
During the two-hour production, he regaled his audience with tales of how he moved from football jock to Broadway star, and how a freak and inexplicable one-and-a-million chance of bad luck happened during a particular performance of "Music of the Night" in Phantom of the Opera.
The evening's set list represented all the music Jeremy had been exposed to up until he made his album, In The Moment. From goosebump-causing vocals of "Hallelujah" to my favorite childhood song "Rainbow Connection," a piano/ukulele duet to a brand-new interpretation of "That's All I Ask of You," this was an evening to sit back and enjoy the energy in the room and outstanding voices.
Arri briefly took the spotlight for an original piano and vocal production "Side By Side," a gorgeous song about being more alike than different.
If Jeremy's goal was "to make magic and moments," you need only look at the awestruck expression of the teenager at our table as Jeremy sat down behind the piano and nailed "This Is Gospel," which my Alexa has now been playing on repeated on Spotify.
Magical is the perfect description of this one-man cabaret show, and the lanky, funny, charming, and talented man with a voice that could easily melt butter - who helmed it.