Broadway star Jeremy Stolle, who currently plays the lead in the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera, opened Le Moyne’s W. Carroll Coyne Center for the Performing Arts Spring season with an afternoon concert on Sunday, Jan. 28. Stolle performed with accompanist and composer Arri Simon to a sold-out audience for an intimate performance at the center.
Stolle and Simon performed a repertoire of hits, such as “Almost Like Being in Love” from Brigadoon, “Dear Theodosia” from the recent hit musical Hamilton, and some non-Broadway songs including the popular Chinese song “The Moon Represents My Heart.” Stolle also featured some of his ukulele mashups of Phantom of the Opera songs, originally made famous on his Instagram account.
“It feels like we are in somebody’s living room,” said Stolle about the stage at the PAC, which was located in the center of the theater surrounded by his listeners. Audience members ranged from excited young theatre students to more mature fans, all of whom came to a short ‘meet and greet’ in the lobby after the performance, where they also could buy Stolle’s album, In the Moment.
“Fantastic,” Stolle exclaimed when asked about his experience performing at Le Moyne. “The people were warm, which means everything. If the audience is cold, we feel insecure and everybody participated, which was wonderful.”
To see Stolle in Phantom on Broadway would cost a minimum of $45 for a back row seat. Tickets for his show at Le Moyne cost students $5. When asked for advice to give to theatre students who aspire to work in the business, Stolle was adamant on one thing.
“Be overqualified. That’s always my advice,” he said. “And use the internet – it’s free publicity and a platform to be expressive.” (Stolle’s own website is jeremystolle.com.)
Accompanist and composer Arie Simons also pushed this view. “Do as many things as possible,” Simons said. “Know all the sides of the business. If you do plan on anything, take a business class. This industry is hard and requires a lot of luck!”
Le Moyne student Nick Netto was in attendance and praised Stolle’s performance. “Having played Phantom of the Opera in high school, this concert was truly memorable because I was able to reminisce and also see the best Phantom that there currently is in the world!” he said.
Stolle is not the first Broadway star to grace the stage at the W. Carroll Coyne Center. Other such performers include Carrie Manolakos (of Mamma Mia and Wicked fame), who performed a solo concert, and Gina Lamparella (from Phantom of the Opera and A Little Night Music), who sang as part of our Broadway Cabaret, which featured two of Le Moyne’s vocal ensembles (the Jazzuits and Singers).
Greg Giovanini, Assistant Musical Director of the PAC, spoke about getting Stolle to perform at Le Moyne. “The tricky thing about getting Broadway actors or singers to come is that they have such busy schedules,” he said. “If they are in a production or waiting to hear back from one, they’re going to bail out on the performance. They don’t like to make commitments far in advance.”
Giovanini asked a friend in New York City who would be a good contender for performing at Le Moyne, and Stolle was one performer mentioned to him.
“We wanted someone current in Broadway that people would recognize, but not super A-list that we couldn’t probably afford,” said Giovanini.
If you missed this concert, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for some others productions coming your way this semester:
Le Moyne Music Faculty Recital @ Panesci Chapel, Tuesday February 27th 2018
Sense and Sensibility @ Jesuit Theatre, Friday March 16th 2018
Macbeth in Concert @ Jesuit Theatre, Monday April 30th – Wednesday 2nd May 2018
If you are not keen on paying the reduced fee of $5 to see these performances, you can find another way attend the shows. The PAC is currently looking up for students to volunteer to usher for performances.
“Ushering is a great way to come see the show for free – especially for sold-out concerts,” Giovanini said. “Come into the office here and just ask! Even if you just want to get involved in general, we have students who paint and build sets, get involved with costumes and music.”
For more information about getting involved at the Le Moyne Performing Arts Center, call 315-445-4523 or drop into the office on the second floor of the PAC.