Jason Robert Brown at Birdland

Jason Robert Brown, 3/15 - 3/19, Photo by Stephen Sorokoff by castpartynycI returned to Birdland last night to see Jason Robert Brown in concert, as part of the club’s terrific Broadway at Birdland series.  Even though I’ve admired him as a songwriter (especially when Lonny Smith sings Someone to Fall Back On or I Could Be in Love with Someone Like You), and I’ve liked his CD, I’ve never seen him live.  It was quite an experience !

Brown has matinee idol looks and is a completely controlling, compelling presence at the piano.  He balances a beguiling mix of intelligence, passion, and humor during his show.  As it was St. Patrick’s Day, it was really a treat that he did his tribute to Irish girls, I Could Be in Love….  A slick version of a song tributing Vegas showed off a sly humor and his 7-piece backing ensemble.  And guest Anika Noni Rose contributed stunning vocals, especially notable on I Can Do Better Than That and Stars & Moon.

One of the more charming moments in the show came as Brown and Rose were discussing the song The Rainbow Connection, and Brown teased Rose (lately of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog), “What, being one Disney character isn’t enough for you?”  Rose made it clear that she would welcome more in the future.  Introducing the song A Caravan of Angels*, Brown gave the audience an insight into his songwriting style: “Someone tells me ‘you have to write this;’ so I sit on Facebook for three hours.” Jason Robert Brown, 3/15 - 3/19, Photo by Stephen Sorokoff by castpartynyc

Somthing that Brown did that I thought was really, really nice for the band and the audience was not only to introduce each band member by name, but also provide an anecdote about how he came to work with each.  (And it really makes me feel old to wqatch someone so youthful discuss his “twenty years int he business.”)

  • Low Morals and High Places
  • There Ain’t No Way*
  • I Could Be In Love With Someone Like You
  • One More Thing*
  • King of the World*
  • Stars & the Moon
  • When You Say Vegas*
  • I Can Do Better Than That
  • All Things in Time*
  • A Caravan of Angels*
  • A Brand New You*
  • Someone to Fall Back On

*Guessing at the title

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2 Responses to Jason Robert Brown at Birdland

  1. Michael! These first hand accounts are first rate and so crazy FUN to read. Thank you for giving us a window into these wonderful events!! xo Em

  2. Jill Leger says:

    I really liked this Michael. Thanks so much. JRB is just astounding.

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