Posted on May 27, 2015 at 5:06 pm

I am profoundly grateful for the music-making I’ve been able to do in the past six months: the SubCulture concerts, the Parade concert at Avery Fisher Hall in Feburary, the Trumpet of the Swan performances in Germany in March, and of course the run of Honeymoon In Vegas on Broadway earlier this year. Last night at the Royal Festival Hall felt like a wonderful culmination of this amazing period of time.

I haven’t been back to London since the NYMT production of 13 in the West End in 2012. In the years since, I’ve had two shows open on Broadway, so it seemed like it was high time to get back to the UK and show them what I’ve been up to. The Royal Festival Hall is probably the biggest venue I’ve ever played as a solo artist, and so I figured I needed a lot of support – cast members of both the Donmar Warehouse and the Southwark Playhouse productions of Parade, star singers from all over the West End, TV stars, a cracking nineteen-piece orchestra, and that entire cast of 13, most of whom are now monstrously tall.

1700 people showed up to cheer us on, and we gave them quite a show. The orchestra played the hell out of the Honeymoon In Vegas overture (driven by our Broadway drummer, Jamie Eblen), Amy Booth-Steel brought “Anywhere But Here” to sparkling life, Ollie Tompsett and Matt Henry blazed through “The River Won’t Flow,” young Eleanor Worthington-Cox sang a simple and astonishing “What It Means To Be A Friend,” Bertie Carvel and Laura Pitt-Pulford soared in a suite of songs from Parade, Caroline Sheen delivered a powerhouse British premiere of the opening The Bridges of Madison County, the always-thrilling Willemijn Verkaik tore the stage apart with a shattering “And I Will Follow” and then a gorgeous “Another Life,” and I think you had to be there to truly experience Cynthia Erivo’s definitive “I Can Do Better Than That,” which brought the entire crowd to its feet in the middle of the show. I am so fortunate to have had so many magnificent performers bring my songs to life – that was a fantastic way to come back to London! What a night!

Ollie Rosenblatt and his team did a splendid job producing the event, and I’m infinitely indebted to my agent Alastair Lindsey-Renton, who tied up every loose end and helped make the night such a smashing success.

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(Photo by Darren Bell)

From Honeymoon In Vegas:
Overture from Honeymoon In Vegas
I Love Betsy
(JRB)
Anywhere But Here (Amy Booth-Steel)
From Songs for a New World:
The River Won’t Flow (Matt Henry, Oliver Tompsett, Jennifer Saayeng & Claudia Kariuki)
Stars and the Moon (Cynthia Erivo)
King of the World (Matt Henry)
From 13:
Being A Geek (JRB & the NYMT Boys)
What It Means To Be A Friend (Eleanor Worthington-Cox)
From Songs of Jason Robert Brown:
And I Will Follow (Willemijn Verkaik)
From Parade:
The Old Red Hills of Home (Oliver Tompsett)
You Don’t Know This Man (Laura Pitt-Pulford)
It’s Hard to Speak My Heart (Bertie Carvel)
This Is Not Over Yet (Bertie Carvel & Laura Pitt-Pulford)

From The Bridges of Madison County:
To Build A Home (Caroline Sheen)
Another Life (Willemijn Verkaik)
It All Fades Away (Matt Henry)
Before and After You/One Second and a Million Miles (Caroline Sheen & Sean Palmer)
British premiere:
Melinda (JRB)
From The Last Five Years:
Still Hurting (Amy Booth-Steel)
I Can Do Better Than That (Cynthia Erivo)
Moving Too Fast (Oliver Tompsett)
From 13:
Brand New You (Amara Okereke, Lauren Ellington, Lindsay Jane Kearns and the original 2012 NYMT cast of 13)
From Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes:
Someone To Fall Back On (JRB)
Encore:
From Jason Robert Brown In Concert with Anika Noni Rose:
Caravan of Angels (JRB)

JRB: Piano & conductor
Musical director: Torquil Munro
Drums: Jamie Eblen
Percussion: Julian Poole
Guitars: Adam Martin, Ian Laws
Bass: Frazer Snell
Woodwinds: Jeff Daly, Paul Nathaniel, Martin Williams, Bob MacKay
Horn: Rebecca Hill
Trumpets: Nathan Bray, Toby Coles
Trombone: Callum Au
Violins: Thomas Gould (concertmaster), Rebecca Dinning, Helen Paterson
Celli: Chris Fish, Francois Rive

Credits: