It was small. It was intimate. It was smoky. It was the epitome of Jazz.
Leslie Odom Jr. kicked off his New York Residency at the McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea last night and what a night it was. Shall I give you the play by play? Yes, I will. Read along for all the fun.
10:30 PM – The tickets said doors open at 11, so we figured if we get there a little early we can have good seats. We were right. We were behind about 20 other people all waiting to be in “The Room Where It Happens.”
10:50 ish – Leslie, with his gorgeous wife Nicolette Robinson makes their way into the venue and they walk right by us in line. My best friend almost fainted.
11:00 PM– Doors open. They let us in, we tell them our name and we are led through the darkest, most fun maze to get to the venue. It was like a game, but I didn’t come to play- I came to hear good music!
11:20 PM– My best friend and I see someone with dreads, I think to myself that can’t be Ledisi can it? IT WAS LEDISI. More about that later. Then a few more people made their way into the reserved section Billy Porter and Spike Lee, to name a few.
11:30 ish – The band comes out and warms up a little bit, shortly after Leslie makes his way to the stage dressed to the nines, there’s some applause then he wastes no time getting into the first song, “Autumn Leaves.”
11:30 PM-12:45 AM Leslie sings song from his self-titled album including; “Look For The Silver Lining”, “Joey Joey Joey”, “Cheer Up Charlie”, the most beautiful rendition of Bessie Smith’s “Nobody Knows You” and a jazzed up arrangement of Spring Awakening’s “The Guilty Ones”. His voice was as smooth as ever as he crooned and swayed the night away. The small setting added to the overall intimate feel of the concert, sometimes you felt like he was singing right at you. Between songs he offered a few anecdotes and provided context. Other than that he let his singing do the talking. The best part- halfway through the concert he told the audience he had a special guest. This special guest was none other than LEDISI. You heard me correctly! First, she sang the most beautiful arrangement of “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” from Pal Joey. And yes, scatting was included! Then she and Leslie did the unthinkable, THEY DID A DUET OF LEDISI’S “ALRIGHT”. Let me tell you, thats one of my favorite Ledisi songs, so to hear her and Leslie sing together was the epitome of “melodies from heaven.” He also couldn’t end the night without singing Hamilton, so he did a lovely rendition of “The Room Where It Happens”. He ended the night with the beautiful “The Party’s Over”, and just when you thought he was done he sent us on our way with a beautiful prayer.
Safe to say, Leslie Odom Jr. is making a name for himself in the music world and we can’t wait to be there for the ride. This is the first of his three Thursday night residencies at the McKittrick Hotel. All shows are, sadly, already sold out. But fear not! Let these videos hold you over, and keep checking his Twitter for when he announces more concert dates. This is a show you DON’T want to miss.
— Broadway Black (@BroadwayBlack) July 15, 2016
— Broadway Black (@BroadwayBlack) July 15, 2016
Once On This Island’s Hailey Kilgore Will Make Her Solo Concert Debut!
Tony & Grammy Nominee Hailey Kilgore will make her solo concert debut at Feinstein’s/54 Below this month! The Once On This Island star makes her debut following the closing of the Tony-winning revival, and she’s clearly got more stories to tell!
The concert entitled Mirrors is a night of celebration including the music that has influenced her meteoric rise. On January 30th 9:30 pm she shares her personal life story as a young girl to a young woman on the Broadway stage.
The 19-year-old vocalist has a set list that ranges from Jason Robert Brown to Alicia Keys. One thing we can say is that this show will sell out! So, stop waiting for life to begin and mark your calendars.
About Last Night: Montego Glover, Nicholas Christopher, Brandon Victor Dixon & More!
Broadway may go dark on Mondays, but Broadway Black stars were still shining all over New York City last night.
First up was the New York POPS Underground performance. Formerly known as “Cabaret Evening,” Underground is the intimate offering of New York Pops orchestra. Hosted at the infamous Feinstein’s/54 Below the benefit supports NY Pops music education program, PopsEd. Last night’s special guests were Tony Yazbeck and Tony Award nominee Montego Glover. The ever joyful Glover performed a few musical favorites including “I Loves You Porgy,” “I Dreamed a Dream,” and a jazzy rendition of the Memphis delight, “Someday.”
Before recognizing Queens P.S. 175 Principal Patricia Cooper as the first honoree of the NY PopsEd initiative, Glover shared, ” I know from experience that music has the power to save, to guide, to inspire. I am standing as living proof that music has done exactly that.”
Glover and Yazbeck closed the show with an exciting duet of “Feelin’ Good” featuring Tony’s incredible tapping skills and Montego effortlessly belting notes that only dogs can hear. Hate that we couldn’t share it with you, but we were just too busy being entertained to capture it on film!
Next, it was down to the West Village to see Darling, a developmental piece by Ryan Scott Oliver. Following the smooth Nicholas Christopher (Hamilton) as Peter and the vocally stunning Kerstin Anderson as Wendy “Darling,” this abstract musical is a contemporary telling of Peter Pan like you’ve never imagined it before.
Producers, Motown Choreographer Warren Adams and Hamilton star Brandon Victor Dixon, were on hand to introduce the show to an enthusiastic audience at the hip Le Poisson Rouge. The brilliant musical arrangement told a captivating story while highlighting the young cast’s musical aptitude and artistry. Vocal standouts included leads Christopher and Anderson, singing for the GODS for the duration of the show, the Lost Boys, with their soulful, sassy musical quips, and Les Miserables vet Brennyn Lark, taking sexy to a WHOLE other level. The recorded event concluded with a thunderous standing ovation from the audience, confirming this show is exactly what young theater lovers want. Keep an eye out for this one. It’s gonna be big!