Jarrod Spector: Jukebox Life

 

This charmer put on a terrific show showing off a winning personality, great acting and a big voice.

 

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By Joel Benjamin

 

 

Jarrod Spector, a charming combination of grace, talent and experience, performed Jarrod Spector: Jukebox Life at Feinstein’s/54 Below taking his totally sold-out house on a journey down his professional and personal life.

 

His career began in childhood, as evidenced by several delightful videos of him performing at various ages on television and on stage, finding inspiration in his parents’ large collection of pop recordings which allowed him to copy the various musical stylings of such artists as Bobby Darin, Perry Como, Foreigner, the Skyliners, Bruno Mars, the Righteous Brothers and Bruce Springsteen whose “Born to Run” emphasized just how much the two have in common physically!

 

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He is best known for performing in two major “jukebox musicals,” Jersey Boys and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, inspiring the title of his act. Although he has not let these turns in jukebox shows define him—as some colleagues of his have—he had to sing a song or two from them.

 

After opening with a four-part “Jukebox Medley,” he sang a winning “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Fields/McHugh) and then entered “jukebox land.”

 

His audition song form Jersey Boys was “Since I Don’t Have You” (Taylor, Beaumont, Vogel, Rock, VanScharmen, Martin & Lester) which included the requisite falsetto high notes. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (Gaudio/Crewe), probably the most famous number from that show, displayed not only his incredible high notes, but a sense of humor which permeated the entire show.

 

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From Beautiful, he sang “On Broadway” (Mann, Weil, Stoller & Lieber), “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” (Mann/Weil) and a soaring “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ ” (Mann/Weil/Spector). Before doing “You’ve Got a Friend” (King), he told a moving story of how Carole King, herself, volunteered to sing this song during a curtain call, raising thirty thousand dollars for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids!

 

From his turn in Les Misérables, he sang the doomed Gavroche’s “Little People” in the original key (!) and an incredibly moving “Bring Him Home” (both by Schoenberg, Boublil & Kretzmer).

 

This is a young man who isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and give his all to every song.

 

He was backed by a sensational large band led by Adam Ben-David (music director/piano) which included Mat Fieldes (bass), Aurelian Budynek (guitar), David Mann (saxophone), Trevor Neumann (trumpet), Mike Davis (trombone) and David Rozenblatt (who nearly threw himself off the stage with his enthusiastic drum turns).

 

 

 

Jarrod Spector: Jukebox Life (remaining performance – November 13, 2016)

Feinstein’s/54 Below

254 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue

New York, NY

For reservations, call 646-476-3551 or visit www.54Below.com

 

Photos: Maryann Lopinto

 

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