Regional Reviews: Phoenix
Jeremy Jordan with Seth Rudetsky
Jordan's concert was part of the Seth Rudetsky concert series, which featured Rudetsky not only accompanying Jordan on the piano but also asking him a series of in-depth questions between songs in an informal interview format.
Jeremy rose to fame when he appeared in the leading male roles in two Broadway musicals in the same season. His performance as Clyde in Bonnie and Clyde earned him a Theatre World Award and he also received a Tony nomination for Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance as Jack in Newsies. That same year he also played a supporting role in the TV series "Smash."
In addition to his gorgeous singing voice, Jordan has a warm and charismatic personality that was on full display throughout the concert. Jordan starred with Anna Kendrick in the 2014 film adaptation of The Last Five Years, and the fast-paced "Moving Too Fast" from that musical got the evening off on a high note.
Rudetsky asked him about his audition for the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story and Jordan said that he had auditioned for the initial run of that revival but didn't get cast but he then auditioned again when they were looking for replacements. Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book for that musical and also directed that revival, came up to Jeremy after his audition and asked him why he didn't audition for them originally and Jordan replied, "I did." Jordan also said that Laurents was sometimes difficult to work with, as he was very demanding, but that he also told him after his callback, which he couldn't remember if he'd sung "Maria" or "Something's Coming," that Laurents had a tear in his eye and said no one had moved him the way that Jordan had. He then sang one of the best performances of "Maria" that I've ever heard.
Jordan delivered a beautiful pairing of "Smile" and "I'll Be Seeing You," that he said he usually sang as an encore in his concerts and that he thought of as a lullaby for his wife. Other songs he sang included a medley of songs from Bonnie and Clyde (Jordan said he was just in London to film a semi-staged concert version of that show) and a phenomenal performance of "Broadway Here I Come," which Jordan sang in "Smash."
Rudetsky and Jordan had a playful repartee in the interview segments which had Rudetsky asking Jordan about any onstage mishaps he'd had. Jordan talked about how he managed to slice his finger and leg open in two different shows and how he fell into an opening in the stage in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat but managed to jump right back up onto the stage as if nothing happened.
Other songs in the concert included a moving performance of "Santa Fe" from Newsies and two songs from Little Shop of Horrors, which Jordan recently starred in Off-Broadway. Those two numbers were a fun take on "Grow for Me," and a humorous but soaring duet between the two men of "Suddenly Seymour," which got a huge response from the audience. Jordan recently was a replacement as Dr. Pomatter on Broadway in Waitress and his performance of that song's big ballad "She Used to be Mine," which is sung by the main character Jenna in the show, was exceptional.
He ended the concert with a pair of songs he called the "Dorothy medley," featuring "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz and "Home" from The Wiz. It was a moving pairing of those two songs. For an encore, Jordan delivered an un-mic'd performance of "Bring Him Home" from Les Misérables that was superb.
Jeremy Jordan with Seth Rudetsky performed on February 19, 2022, at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E 2nd St, Scottsdale AZ. Information for upcoming concerts at the SCPA can be found at www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org.