“I keep talking about last year,” Jeremy Jordan muses in his inimitable style – his London gigs at Cadogan Hall were hugely enjoyable. I wasn’t originally intending to go but the dates kept changing because of Jordan’s other commitments. When the dates were finally confirmed as final, it transpired I could make it after all, so took advantage of one of the returned tickets. The party atmosphere of the previous gig was somewhat subdued this time around, and not because of politics, either in Britain or in the United States.
This was a revealing concert – in the first half, ‘JJ’ spoke candidly about his time on Supergirl, an American superhero television series. While the first series was shot in Los Angeles, subsequent ones were filmed in Vancouver, which lowered the production costs for the show but, more pertinently for Jordan, took him away from friends and family for an extended period. One could have heard a pin drop as he poignantly explained how he struggled to readjust to being around his peers and relatives again after having learned to cope with being alone. It was definitely on point with the increasing amount of mental health awareness in the world at large.
Then there’s parenthood: Jordan and his wife, Ashley Spencer, have a daughter, Clara Eloise Jordan, born in April 2019. “Everything they say is true,” he beams, with reference to the amount of ‘diapers’ and other baby related consumables that get used in large quantities so quickly. The second half, which kicked off with an alternative version of ‘Oh What A Beautiful Morning’ from Oklahoma!, included a number of tunes from the motion picture The Greatest Showman, which Jordan provided demo vocals for. There’s a whole story spun out, the most salient point being that he was under the impression, with some justification, that he was in contention for the part of Phillip Carlyle, which eventually went to Zac Efron.
Versatility is the name of the game with Jordan, who decided against during the usual standards from the Jason Robert Brown musical The Last Five Years – a musical motion picture in which he did star in – ditching the likes of ‘The Schmuel Song’ and ‘Moving Too Fast’ for a medley of numbers usually sung by ‘Cathy’ rather than ‘Jamie’. When the crowd wouldn’t leave at the end of the concert, a quick on-stage conference between Jordan and his musical director, Benjamin Rauhala, resulted in a rendering of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, and a deserved third standing ovation in response.
There was a fair amount crammed into a show that sent the crowd home well before 10pm on a Friday evening, including a Sam Smith number (ticking a box marked ‘include something from the country you’re visiting’) and what has become a standard for his shows, ‘Santa Fe’ from Disney’s Newsies. A remarkable talent, always welcome in London should he ever wish to cross the Atlantic again at some point in the future.
London lad, loving life and all that it has to offer.