Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Broadway Talks with Jordan Roth: Harry Connick, Jr.

Broadway Talks with Jordan Roth: Harry Connick Jr.
NY Post theater gossip columnist Micheal Riedel had a field day with Broadway's On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. In one article, Riedel called the show a $12 million fiasco, the biggest flop of the fall, and wrote that "He [Connick] can barely contain his misery when he's onstage playing the the role of a psychiatrist... Connick is so unhappy, his dressing room's called the 'dark zone'...Connick...will have a hard time shaking off the perception that he can no longer carry a big musical...He demanded a star salary...but didn't deliver..."

During last Tuesday's Broadway Talks with Jordan Roth, Connick early in the evening addressed the "elephant in the room" - meaning all the rumors written by Riedel. He spoke about how he was profoundly moved when he did On A Clear Day You Can See Forever. He clarified that he never wanted out of the production and how fond he was of the cast.

Putting that behind him, Connick went on to regale a full auditorium at 92Y (where he once held his only job outside acting/singing - at the ticket office for two weeks) with tales and thoughts on family (including his daughters, father - a former DA in New Orleans, and mother - who died when he was just a teen), his love of strong women (his wife and business manager), learning Jazz in New Orleans, how he became a patent holder, and his illustrious career as an actor-musician.

After seeing On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, I do not think that the smooth crooner was the right person for the role of Dr. Bruckner. Also, the book especially as adapted was just out there commercially. However, I admired the way that Connick addressed the rumors. To me, he came off as a genuine and passionate artist. 

What's next for him? Be the first to write, compose and star in his own show. He is in talks with "hype-creative" George C. Wolfe about a potential project.  Could be interesting and after Tuesday's conversation, I wouldn't mind checking out what he comes up with.

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