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John Lloyd Young at Crazy Coqs - Review


John Lloyd Young at Cafe Carlyle
John Lloyd Young at Cafe Carlyle. Image by Heart Spade PR

Having been a huge Jersey Boys fan, I was excited to see John Lloyd Young live in an intimate concert at cabaret venue Crazy Coqs. Oh what a night it was! After descending into the cavernous underground venue, I was ushered into a cosy room filled with small tables, soft lighting and pleasant cocktail waiters serving sumptuous drinks to a group of sophisticated people.

Shortly after, the ambience changed as the lights went down. Bursting onto stage, to rapturous applause, was John Lloyd Young who delivered a delicious cabaret version of So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard from The Wiz. At this early point in the evening, I was certain that this would be a wonderful performance and a night to remember.

           

John Lloyd Young
John Lloyd Young Image by Alex Horner

For those of you who are unaware of who John Lloyd Young is, then where have you been? As he states himself, he was raised as a New Yorker, with Italian and Welsh heritage. He caught the theatre bug extremely young, thanks to his grandparents. Originating the role of Frankie Valli in the original Broadway cast of Jersey Boys, it propelled him to musical theatre icon status. He was showered with awards: a Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theatre World and Grammy Award all for his debut role! Eventually playing the role in the movie version, directed by Clint Eastwood.

Young humbly talks throughs his origins and inspirations in delightful, self-deprecating humour between songs, and couldn’t be more at ease than on the stage. Singing a catalogue of Broadway classics, from The Music Man to Rodgers and Hart, he demonstrates the sheer talent he has with every song; he seamlessly switched from tender bass operatic notes during Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, to an impeccable falsetto version of I Only Have Eyes For You.  

He came even more alive in a playful rendition of Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss me from his album of 60s classics My Turn. Whilst mingling through the audience serenading us, he received innumerable kisses from fawning women and men in the audience, sufficient that his cheek had a wonderful red lipstick mark on it for the rest of the evening.

John Lloyd Young at Cafe Carlyle. Image by Heart Spade PR
John Lloyd Young at Cafe Carlyle. Image by Heart Spade PR

He admits that his Broadway career started with a dream, but tackles the harder questions: What happens once you have achieved this and is being known for one iconic role enough? After giving us pause for thought, he shows us exactly why he has this status, with the highlights from the Jersey Boys show. He answers these question by telling us of his passion for cabaret performance and singing the songs of great gentleman singers, all whilst connecting with audiences in more intimate venues. You could see that this is where he truly belongs.  

Overall, it was a night of joyous music, delightful stories of Broadway, the West End and Hollywood and I got to watch a once in a generation talent display his beautiful vocals. I would encourage everyone to see John Lloyd Young perform, it was a night to remember!

You can see him at The Crazy Coqs until 4th July and find his upcoming dates throughout the US and in Germany on www.johnlloydyoung.com

John Lloyd Young
Image by David Showery

               

 

 

 

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