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