New Jason Robert Brown CD To Be Launched With Concerts at El Portal Theatre
Hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as the "smartest and most sophisticated Broadway songwriter since Stephen Sondheim," Brown -- who currently has the musicals 13 and Honeymoon in Vegas in development -- returns to El Portal after performing an impromptu, late-night concert there on March 12 to standing ovations.
"When we were doing The Last 5 Years in New York," says Brown, "I had the greatest band in the entire world; I loved playing with them so much that I would show up at the theater an hour early and just jam with them. When the show was closing, I was depressed for a number of reasons, but one of the major ones was that I wouldn't get to play with the band again, so I asked the guitarist and the bass player if we could maybe go and do a show together. It sort of fulfilled a long-held, long-deferred dream of mine to be Billy Joel or Elton John or whoever. We started by doing a couple of shows in New York at what was then the Sh-K-Boom Room at The Cutting Room; over the past three years, we've developed a real repertoire of songs that aren't quite theatrical but aren't not theatrical. There's a tradition of songwriters whose music I grew up with, people like Billy Joel and Randy Newman. They tell stories through their songs, and the songs on our new album are in that tradition."