Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Farewell to two stars!

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On sunday night, myself and the rest of the Spring Awakening company experienced something incredible. The Eugene O'Neill shook with screaming and cheering. I stopped counting the standing ovations. It honestly sounded like that small 1100 seat theatre was a stadium. Each of us realized that no matter how successful any of us continue to be or become...we will never again experience an audience or a night like that on Broadway. It was truly magical. A rock concert to the highest degree. It's always an honor to stand on that stage...but being surrounded only by die-hard fans who have devoted so much to our show meant the world to all of us.

It also deeply moved me to see how much love and support was given to the spectacular Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff. They were the heart of our show and company. I have learned so much from the both of them. Being the cover for Jonathan Groff was such an honor. It was always a pleasure. He's one of my heros. No matter how wonderful change can be, they will be sorely missed. I cannot believe how fast time flies. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the audience at Radio City while our show won 8 Tony Awards. Seeing everyone moving on is exciting and heartbreaking.

I wish I could slow down all of the special moments.

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It's really crazy to think about what my past year has been like with Spring Awakening. I was shocked to learn only the other night from a fellow cast member that I had been nominated for a award.......I gotta admit, I'm flattered. It's been an incredible year getting to where I am in the company and I was so honored that I was recognized in that category. I never thought I'd ever be up against Bob Saget, Clay Aiken, or Mario Lopez for anything...period. Hahah. But it's really awesome to know that the Spring Awakening fans would support both Blake Bashoff and myself in the big world of broadway replacements. So, kudos guys.

Okay so I already have some new music. If you like lyric driven bad ass folk sung by a sexy female voice...check out Laura Marling.

I love her music. She's a brit and thankfully doesn't hide that. Her accent and inflections really add to her already sultry voice. Her lyrics are spectacular and tell rich stories. Right now she has an EP out called "My Manic and I" that you can purchase on iTunes. Her album drops June 3rd. I'm very excited. She has already had a lot of success in the UK.

I would check out her myspace first.

Listen to "My Manic and I".

Sunday, May 18, 2008

When I was 19...

When I was 19...I was just joining the cast of Spring Awakening. I thought that was a pretty big accomplishment for 19...

What's with record deals at 19?!?

Paolo Nutini released is incredible album "These Streets" at 19. I love every bit of flaw and perfection on that album.

I've just discovered another artist who is also 19 and charms on the same level. He is Canadian, Justin Nozuka. I'm surprised I didn't come across his album sooner. As you all know, I love soul...and this kid has a LOT of soul.

His album "Holly" dropped April 15th. It's awesome. In the same juvenile-spirit as Paolo Nutini, his talent outshines whatever poor lyrics or music choices he makes on the album. I'm thrilled to have discovered his music. It's rare that I get really excited about a new voice...and I've only listened through the album once...but I don't need any more convincing...

This is perfect Sunday morning listening. Buy it. Go to his myspace

Listen to "After Tonight"...The second you get to the chorus, you'll be hooked as well.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hanschen and Jim

Keeping a blog can be very difficult at times. When things get a bit hectic it's almost harder to write than when things are slow and you have nothing deep to write about!

As many of you know, last Tuesday was my first official day as Hanschen. It was crazy. Actually, it was a very emotional day for me. Playing a role full time on Broadway is thrilling. To play a full time role in a show like Spring Awakening is an honor. So even though I had already been on for the role of Hanschen over 45 times, going out there tuesday night as the official, full-time Hanschen was quite nerve racking. It was a lot of dreams and aspirations materializing in front of me for 2 hours at the Eugene O'Neill.

But It's been fantastic so far. Some of you, to my surprise, suggested disappointment that I was no longer going to be in good 'ole AA12 (my onstage chair) swinging all of the other roles. Let me just lightly an actor...and as a year long swing...when your producers and director approach you and ask you to move up to a full time featured role from a swing position, it is nothing to scoff at. There is no 'career choice'. It was an honor and a privilege to move up to such a fantastic role. I am very passionate about the character. Am I still very passionate about Melchior? Absolutely, and I promise I will still be understudying this role.

It's also an immense privilege to be onstage with Lea Michelle and Jonathan Groff in their final month. I have an endless respect and love for the both of them and am thrilled to be sharing the stage with them as Hanschen. Catch the show before May 18th.

Okay...onto music.

When Jamie Lidell released his album 'Multiply' a little while surprised a lot of people. No one knew the guy had that kind of voice in him. Mixing his voice with his already known electronica skills created, in my opinion, magic. 'Multiply' was a fantastic album.

Jamie already dropped a new album this Tuesday. So before you all run out an spend you hard earned cash on Madonna's 'Hard Candy' this week...let me tell you this: Buy this album.

With his new album 'Jim,' Jamie did something interesting this time, that may even put off older fans. He dropped a lot of his experimental edge. I have to admit, I was thrown at first. Maybe even a bit disappointed. I loved Multiply. I knew that it was hardly easy listening at times but it was innovative and always threw you a curve ball. However, what really attracted me to that album at first was the song 'Multiply.' Which was upbeat, classic, and soulful.

Jamie gives us a whole lot more of that title track in his new album. Most of the album seems to tap less into his contemporary-experimental-Jamiroquai side...and taps more into his Jackie Wilson 'Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher' easy listening side. Here he almost seems braver and more comfortable to unabashedly sing full-out, 1970s soul/R&B inspired music. Having grown up listening to that genre of music, a very big smile grew across my face listening to 'Jim.'

The album is nostalgic, full of sweet pop tunes, and has the occasional old-Jamie kick to keep things good and interesting. His lyrics and music still have the odd sense that even when things sound sweet, there is a darker message underneath. There is a nice balance between calculation and free spirit in his songs. For an album so clearly inspired by a particular era and genre, very rarely do things feel affected or crudely recycled. I'm charmed and hooked.

Until next time!