Playing a real person in a Broadway musical is hard. You have to do somewhat contradictory things — convince an audience that you really are this person, but also make the role your own, and steer clear of cartoony caricature and that dreaded word… “impression.”
You succeed without a lot of fuss, and we’re eternally grateful for that. Fuss is a killer on Broadway, and we’re sure it was tempting to fuss, given your show’s dogged emphasis on your character’s hypochondria. Instead, we’re able to see beyond Barry Mann’s quirks to his songwriterly soul — and to his devotion to his pretty partner, Cynthia Weil. And let’s be real. Your performance of “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” kinda stole the show there for a minute – no small feat when you’re competing for stage time with better-known legends of rock.
Jarrod, your performance in Beautiful wins the Tony of our hearts. And you, personally, win our hearts, period – Tony nomination or no – because you’re sexy and you can rock some vintage flat-front khakis like no one else on a Broadway stage this season. Not that we were looking…