SEATTLE POPS CONCERT
WITH BETSY WOLFE
& JEREMY JORDAN
Hard to believe it was a year ago when I had the opportunity to meet Megan Hilty backstage at Benaroya Hall after her ‘Luck Be a Lady’ concert with the Seattle Symphony as part of their Seattle Pops concert series.
Next week (1/12-14) Seattle Symphony presents another Seattle Pops concert as Steven Reineke leads the Seattle Symphony and Broadway stars Betsy Wolfe and Jeremy Jordan in a concert of today’s greatest Broadway hits.
Hits will include selections from The Phantom of the Opera and Cats as well as showtune modern classics ‘Falling Slowly’ from Once, ‘You and Me (But Mostly Me)’ from Book of Mormon and ‘Suddenly Seymour’ from Little Shop of Horrors.
I have been following Jeremy Jordan’s career since 2011 when he was cast in the lead role of Jack Kelly for the Broadway production of Disney’s Newsies. He then hit TV in the second season of NBC’s Smash and is now appearing as office geek turned government techie, Winn, in The CW’s hit series ‘Supergirl.’
I had to chance to chat with Jordan by phone last month (December 14th) and following is our conversation.
MK Scott: Jeremy, I heard that you are coming to Seattle for the weekend of January 12th to perform at Seattle Pops for a Broadway-themed concert with Waitress star Betsy Wolfe.
Now that the concert with the Seattle Pops will be called ‘Broadway Today’ and will be conducted by Steven Reineke, who also, about a year ago, actually, I saw him at the Seattle Pops with your former ‘Smash’ co-star, Megan Hilty.
Jeremy Jordan: Yes, they’re awesome together. Those two rascals!
MK: Actually, Seattle is Megan’s hometown.
Jeremy: Oh? Cool.
MK: Yep. Just right across the way there in Bellevue. (Chuckle) Okay, well, what can we expect with this show?
Jeremy: Oh, you know, so it’s probably basically a bunch of famous Broadway songs from the last, you know, I don’t know, thirty some odd years, some from the dawn of modern Broadway to, you know, up until last season. And, kind of, everything between, you know? We showcase, you know, like the top running shows on Broadway as well as take on as many kind of modern composers as we can; anywhere from, you know, starting at Kander and Ebb, all the way up to, you know, the Lopez’s and Pasik and Paul.
MK: And you are most known for being Broadway’s Jack Kelly in Disney’s Newsies. And just about a year ago you returned and it was recorded for Netflix. What was it like to be back after four years?
Jeremy: It was great, you know, I mean, we got, what’s great, the networks, they picked it up, but we kind of just recorded, you know, for digital media. And now it’s on Netflix, so we’re super happy about that. But, you know, it was just kind of this crazy idea of doing the actual show for somebody that liked the movie. So we spent about a week doing it, it was about four years after I had left the show. But it was like, you know, slipping on a pair of old shoes, which I feel like I might’ve been doing more. (Chuckle) But, yeah, it was uh, yeah, no, it was pretty incredible. And we got to reunite with some of the original cast members, and then the tour kids kind of joined us and completed the cast, and it was definitely a great sort of ending for that story for me, because I never thought I was going to get to play that role again. And, you know, you might hear a little bit of that in the show in Seattle.
MK: Excellent. Would you ever return to Broadway?
Jeremy: Yeah. What kind of question is that? Yeah, I mean, in a heartbeat. It’s just a matter of having time. Up in Vancouver, of course, I’m shooting a TV show like nine and a half months out of the year. So it’s just, you know, there hasn’t been any time in the past few years to get back in, but first opportunity I have I’ll be up there.
MK: What would be your dream role?
Jeremy: Oh, don’t ask me that. I don’t know, you know, I & you know, I already was Tony in West Side Story. That was one of my favorite roles, but I’ve already done that. You know, I’m a little bit more of a fan of trading roles, but you know, I wouldn’t mind doing Sondheim. I’ve never really done Sondheim, you know, West Side Story.
MK: (Chuckle) And I have been following you also on ‘Supergirl’ as Winn from office geek to government techie. I am always wowed by the epic crossover events. And they just recently had one with ‘Earth X’ where you got to work with characters from a total of four shows. What were those experiences like? And what are the production schedules like for that?
Jeremy: Oh, you know, I was on there for like a day. So like I just showed up and played for a minute and went back home. They have crazy schedules, but you know, for the most part I’m just through the door and doing , and having fun just doing my weekly geek out on that show. Every once in a while they’ll cross over and let me play my character and do something different. It’s fine. You kind of break it up and surprise the staff. But honestly, for me, they’re just funny and quick takes.
MK: Yeah, it’s like usually you guys do one show a week, but here we’re doing like four episodes in – how long did that? Did that take more than a week?
Jeremy: I’d say a month.
MK: It literally took a month. Wow.
Jeremy: Like maybe three and a half weeks to a month, almost. Yeah. We were doing other things as they were finishing, but yeah. It took them about a month to do that.
MK: Wow. Okay. So you guys were like on other episodes while they were also doing that? And actually for this one, this last one, you actually got to play a little bit more of a meatier role in regards to – you got to be like on the opposite side.
Jeremy: Yeah. Yeah. I got to be kind of a bad ass, sort of anti-Winn, basically, like what would happen if you had lost everything and didn’t have like this sense of humor to get through the day? It was fun.
MK: Also, in 2017 you were on a mission to help your queer cousin from an ex-gay camp. How is she doing?
Jeremy: Yeah. She’s good. She’s in college. She’s, I guess, you know, she could be a freshman still. I lose track of how it works. But yeah, she’s in college and, you know, loving life and being a teenager and, you know, growing. The point is like she’s allowed to grow and allowed to, you know, do all the things that normal kids should be able to do, regardless of, you know, whatever her preferences are, and you know, whoever she is, she’s allowed to do that, so. We were lucky to be able to kind of rescue her from that situation and, you know, nothing’s perfect, and nothing’s easy, but she’s out and we’re all happy about that. It wasn’t easy on the family, but in the end, all you can really do is allow people to live their lives honestly and truthfully. That’s what we tried to offer her.
MK: In this current political climate how can there be more support for gay youth?
Jeremy: You know, it’s hard to explain, I do feel like there is ground support in the world – outreach feels like it’s growing. You know, I tend to veer on the side of hope, you know, more political figures are speaking up for gay rights equality. And yeah, I mean, I have hope, especially given that there’s a lot of rejection from the current administration, and yet we have these incredible rallies and online campaigns and peaceful resistance movements sort of counter rejecting them. And then, you also have amazing programs like the Trevor Project sprouting up and growing, you know, and really being able to help people. Online communities are starting to take charge of the situation, especially helping kids in rural areas that don’t feel they can speak out in their actual communities. And I love that people in power are able to use their platforms online as well to help empower these kids. And it’s a tricky situation sometimes, there is a learning curve of what the right language to use in these situations is, but you figure it out as you go and hope people will be understanding. I think the main thing is just to be positive, and spread that positivity, regardless if you are famous or popular or just have a few good friends who follow you online. Everyone now has the ability to empower, and I think it’s a responsibility we have to take on in order for the world to become more accepting of everyone, including LGBT individuals.
MK: Okay. Well, I’ve got one more question for you. This is my burning question. When it was announced that ‘Supergirl’ would have a gay character, the honor went to Chyler Leigh’s Alex, but I really thought, I really suspected with Winn’s sense of style that it would probably be Winn.
MK: Especially && the first season.
Jeremy: Yeah, well, I mean, we kind of teased a little bit in a couple of interviews and events just to, like, stir some red herrings out there. Because, you know, he’s – but what I kind of love about it is that there’s, you know, it’s not black and white. It’s not ever cut and dry. Like you don’t have to be like the, the, the macho kind of, you don’t have to be authentic and whatever happens, you know. And then when it ends up like for an alien, like &
MK: Well, that’s true. When you do finally get a love interest you just happen to be an alien. (Chuckle)
Jeremy: Yeah. So like, you know, I don’t think, I don’t, you know, I hope that on our show we kind of, yeah, I do, so anyway. And I also think on our show we try to paint a broader spectrum, you know, what it could be, leaving the door open, you know, as well for possibilities, you know? And the story, I don’t know, it starts from, right now, with Alex, and with her journey, and we were just really excited to get to tell some kind of a gay story. You know, we talk about it in all the diversities and about how the show was missing that. And I’m really glad that they amended it as quickly as they did.
The Seattle Symphony’s ‘Broadway Today’ Seattle Pops concerts with guest conductor Steven Reineke and Broadway stars Jeremy Jordan and Betsy Wolfe will be held on January 12-14. Don’t miss this star-studded evening that will take you on a journey through America’s musical theater. For more information and tickets, visit seattlesymphony.org.