“Jersey Boys” actor John Lloyd Young is returning to the music of Broadway for a special live-stream event. Lloyd Young, who originated the role of Frankie Valli in the hit show, will be commanding The Space in Las Vegas for an intimate concert featuring a night of Broadway favorites and classic show tunes.
Lloyd Young will bring the Great White Way into people’s homes for the second time; his first was in July when he performed his first remote concert.
He spoke with Variety about returning to the scene with this special and performing under new safety protocols and the measures he will be taking while performing alongside his music director Tommy Faragher.
How have you been coping in the pandemic as a musical performer?
It’s been tough for everybody. Not just here at home here in L.A.’ so many people work below the line, it’s been so unexpected and drastic.The troubling part is not knowing when it’s going to end.
There’s a sort of a strange comfort that live performers or Broadway performers often face — periods of uncertainty or unemployment, anyway. You can easily feel that when your friends are walking the red carpet at the Tonys, there’s a party that you’re not invited to.
At this point right now, every actor, entertainer and performer, whoever felt those feelings, knows that we are all in the same boat at the same time right now. No one’s missing the party.
The Sondheim concert was one of the few musical productions that showed you can do this and you can entertain. What was your trigger to start doing live-streams and start virtual performances?
My first instinct when this all happened was to hunker down. It’s a big step down to go from a Broadway stage or a major concert venue. I’m a very private entertainer, and I don’t want necessarily to project my talent out through my kitchen.
I did one live-stream and a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to do a live-stream from Las Vegas. The idea of doing it in a theater that had a lighting and sound package, so that I wouldn’t have to sacrifice production values, was more appealing to me. It was important to me to have that mystique of the theatrical lighting and the sound.
What are some safety protocols that are being taken into account for the show?
I have a dedicated music director and collaborator, Tommy Faragher, who I work with, and before this, we’d be playing small jazz venues, sitting on the piano and doing vocals. For what we’re doing now, is the two of us are going to Vegas.
We are going to drive ourselves. The place where we are doing the live-stream is not attached to a casino. We’re going to a place that is a soundstage environment.
There will be a skeleton crew of six technicians; everyone will be wearing masks, and everyone will be safely distanced. Tommy is on the piano and there will be 12 feet between us at all times. We have separate dressing rooms and we’re staying in separate apartments, not hotel rooms.
What songs will you be performing and what can people look forward to?
The songs I’m preparing are songs that were influential for me such as “The Wiz,” “Chicago” and “Hair.” I’ll be singing selections from the shows that were spine-tinglers for me.
John Lloyd Young’s show will stream live from The Space in Las Vegas on October 3.