Gregg Edelman: “Broadway State of Mind”

Gregg Edelman

Romantic lead of Broadway Gregg Edelman opens his London cabaret “Broadway State of Mind” at The Crazy Coqs. Read review here:

Gregg Edelman

Gregg Edelman

Gregg Edelman, star of many a Broadway production (he has just done his 15th show there) and four times a Tony nominee has just started his season of “Broadway State of Mind” at The Crazy Coqs.

Opening appropriately with a medley of ‘Tonight’ and ‘Something’s Coming’, we are immediately aware of his gentle but charismatic stage presence. Unlike some musical theatre performers, Edelman is comfortable in cabaret and enjoys the intimacy of the space and close relationship with the audience.  This is his London debut and it took him a little while to get a feel for the different way we respond to shows to New York audiences, but his experience held him in good stead and soon our different energies were able to meet in the middle.

Singing a programme of Broadway songs from a number of different composers, ranging from Cy Coleman and Barry Kleinbort to Sondheim and Kander and Ebb, many of whom he has worked with closely, this was a well-paced and well-judged show sprinkled with anecdote only someone with real insider knowledge could have.

He worked on several shows and songs as they were being conceived by the creators and his patter gave us insights into their working methods. Two particularly effective numbers were “Don’t Go” by Gabriel Hubbard and “Why Should I Wake Up?” from the 1987 re-working of Kander and Ebb’s “Cabaret” where the relationship between Clifford Bradshaw and Sally Bowles was re-written.

It was his romantic lead in the Best Musical of 1989 “City of Angels” that brought him his first Tony nomination and he sang Cy Coleman’s “Double Talk” from it, which was re-written on the spot for Edelman in rehearsal.

Edelman is charming and restrained as a performer, with excellent singing technique and beautiful phrasing. Some standout songs were his renditions of Lerner and Lowe’s “If Ever I Would Leave You”, “Bring Him Home” from “Les Misérables” (a show he initially turned down, but was eventually persuaded to play Javert) and Kleinbort’s beautiful ballad “Time”.  Wisely, he left the big voice numbers to the end when he sang a well arranged medley of Johnny Mercer’s “I Thought About You” seguéing into Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”.

Sensitively and ably accompanied by James Church on piano, this is a very enjoyable show from a delightful performer – well worth seeing.

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About Fiona Jane Weston

I am Fiona-Jane Weston and as well as being a performer myself (see website), I write reviews of and features on shows, mainly on the London cabaret and theatre scene. I have worked in theatre for many years, but decided to embark on a new direction in cabaret in 2009, when I produced 20th Century Woman: The Compact Cabaret. Not wanting to neglect my love of spoken word, particularly drama and verse, I made the conscious decision to include these elements in the programme, as well as wonderful songs, to tell the story of women's changing status and preoccupations throughout the 20th Century and up to now. I was invited to audition for the renowned Cabaret Conference at Yale, run by the late legendary Erv Raible, and that was thrilled to be one of only 26 accepted that year, where I was taught by the masters of the genre. Amanda McBroom (composer of the Bette Middler hit "The Rose" and the poignant "Errol Flynn"), Laurel Massé, original member of Manhattan Transfer, Sally Mayes, Tony Award nominees Sharon McNight and Tovah Feldshuh, and New York cabaret veteran Julie Wilson were all on the faculty. We were also treated to the musical direction of Alex Rybeck, Hubert Tex Arnold and the now late Paul Trueblood. With the benefit of their insightful teaching and great encouragement, I took my show to The Duplex in New York, where I was delighted with the response. Since then, I have produced Loving London: The Capital Cabaret, using the same format of songs, poetry and drama, in various London venues, including Leicester Square Theatre and The Crazy Coqs. 2014, the centenary of World War 1, saw the launch of Wartime Women: the Khaki Cabaret to a sellout house at St. James Theatre, London, garnering great notices, including from The Times and Musical Theatre Review. I have since been touring the show to Belgium and throughout the UK. I hope these reviews and interviews entertain and educate at the same time, and if please do leave comments in the box. It's great to engage in a conversation about the Arts. Fiona-Jane Weston
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2 Responses to Gregg Edelman: “Broadway State of Mind”

  1. Jackie B says:

    Love Gregg! London is lucky to finally have him! 🙂

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