We’re feeling a little sentimental today. That is to say, sad. Or devastated. Or like life will simply not go on as it should.
Because… wait for it… Jeremy Jordan departs Newsies tonight. He’s leaving for something cool, granted. But he’s still leaving, and we reserve the right, in light of that, to have a day of uncontrollable tears hedged by bouts of sullen malaise.
Because damn, Jeremy’s Jack Kelly — strike leader with a heart of gold and a pretty blue shirt that brings out his eyes — was our favorite thing of the 2011-2012 theater season. Like, our single favorite thing. Even slightly more favorite than Steve Kazee in a henley singing sad songs with an Irish accent — no small accomplishment.
But as Jeremy departs on his metaphorical train to Santa Fe, we just wanted to take a minute to remember how much we loved — loved — his fiery, broad-voweled Jack. We loved, too, how he talked about the role as though it was his fate from childhood, the fulfillment of something that was set in motion when he was eight years old. Of course, as Jeremy Jordan dreamed of being Jack Kelly, we simultaneously dreamed of marrying Jack Kelly, so it’s no surprise how hard we swooned when Newsies finally made it to the stage.
There’s other stuff, too, that’s tugging at our heartstrings today: Jeremy’s whirlwind transition from one of the season’s biggest flops to one of its biggest hits, and his insane work ethic in handling both; his tendency to F-bomb on Twitter; his vast collection of filthy baseball caps (that we sincerely hope a Hollywood stylist tears from his clutches before they do permanent follicular damage); that adorable/hot scar on his chin — a look that Ben Brantley described as “baby-gangster.” We’re going to miss it all. Oh yeah, and that high note at the end of “Santa Fe.” It would be impossible not to miss that — the zenith of all of Jack’s soaring, fair-trade, better-world hope… ARE YOU CRYING? We’re crying. OK, maybe just a little.
But there’s good news. You get to see Jeremy Jordan on TV now in Smash, which is a lot cheaper than seeing Broadway shows all the time. And you know he’s going to be somebody’s love interest — what would be the point otherwise? — so you’ll probably see him shirtless and smooching somebody or other. And it’s on TV, which means you can turn every frame of his performance into an internet meme. So it’s not all bad. And in the meantime, in this difficult period before Smash starts, there’s always the DVD of Joyful Noise…