November 20, 2007

The Strike? Fuggetaboutit. Daniel Reichard Wows Brooklyn!

November 20th, 2007

By Charles Alexander

WHO KNEW that Jersey Boys Blog had a Brooklyn correspondent? Well, at least a part-timer. On Monday night my wife Cathy and I walked an immense distance–half a block actually–from our house in “lovely Park Slope, Brooklyn” (thanks for that description, Susie; I can feel the value of our house rising) over to the Night and Day Room of Biscuit BBQ to see a delightful performance by Daniel Reichard.

Daniel was the special guest of “Debra and Mary’s Night on the Town,” an always enjoyable evening of music and comedy from Debra Barsha and Mary Cleere Haran. While Daniel is good friends with both performers, he has special connections to Debra Barsha. She wrote the music for the Public Theater production of Radiant Baby, which gave Daniel his first star turn in New York. That play caught the eye of Des McAnuff and undoubtedly helped convince Des that Daniel would be great in Jersey Boys. Now Debra often fills in as the on-stage pianist in JB.

The format included both music and conversation and the intimate setting was a perfect showcase for Daniel’s shy wit and expressive singing voice. I didn’t catch all the song titles, but he performed Gershwin’s “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” “Tea For Two” from 1925, a beautiful ballad from Radiant Baby and a song from Boys From Syracuse by Rodgers and Hart. Daniel said he was inspired to get into theater by seeing his older brother in a high school production of Boys From Syracuse. His mother was in the audience and got an ovation from the impressed crowd when Daniel revealed that he was the eighth of nine children. I suppose having to compete for attention is excellent training for the theater.

Daniel talked about how cool his more than three years (counting La Jolla) in Jersey Boys had been and how he was sad to leave but excited to land the title role in the New York City Opera’s upcoming production of Candide. He’s not expected to be a full-fledged opera singer in that role, but he’ll have to adjust his style quite a bit from the rock and roll singing in Jersey Boys, and Daniel sees it as a challenge. (It’s a challenge we’re sure he’ll meet.)

One tangible reward from the Jersey Boys years: Daniel said he just bought his own apartment in Greenwich Village.

And another thing I learned: Daniel must be a big Billy Joel fan. A tradition at Debra and Mary’s show is that the guest selects songs for Debra and Mary to sing. The song Daniel picked for Debra was Joel’s “She’s Got a Way.” That in itself didn’t prove much until Daniel sang what he revealed was the song he sang in his initial audition for Jersey Boys: Joel’s “The Longest Time.”

The evening proved once again that Daniel Reichard’s charm and talent are not the creations of McAnuff, Brickman, Elice and Gaudio. He was a star before Jersey Boys in Radiant Baby, and he will be a star after Jersey Boys in Candide. With the strike going on, Daniel must be missing his nightly standing ovation. So we gladly gave him one in Brooklyn. He earned it without singing one song by the Four Seasons.


  1. Who is this new kid on the block, Susie? Actually, not bad for the first time out of the box, Charles. (LOL-I know you were a managing editor for Time Magazine.)

    Sounds like a great set. One of my mom’s favorite movies that didn’t star Bette Davis was “Tea for Two” and I had to endure Doris, Gordon and Gene many times before VCR’s were even a thought. And I never realized until I saw Ruby Keeler in the early 1970′s that the song was written for “No, No, Nanette”. I know Daniel did it justice, as he does with any song.

    Billy Joel–never knew that! Bet he would do a marvelous “Piano Man” and a rollicking “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

    When is the housewarming for the new apartment, Daniel? Should I alert Crate & Barrel to adjust its 2008 projected revenues upward because of all the bric-a-brac you’ll need?? Good luck; Daniel really earned it.

    Wonderful job, Charles. Will you become a regular now, or is this just a ploy by Susie in anticipation of Audrey and I beginning our contract negotiations??

    Comment by Howard Tucker — November 20, 2007 @ 3:46 am

  2. Charles, it sounds like a wonderful evening. I would love to see Daniel perform in such a setting, he is so down to earth, friendly and funny. Oh, and he has a pretty good voice, too ;) I hope that the jbblog correspondents will follow him into the next phase of his career, as he will always be in our hearts.

    Comment by Catherine — November 20, 2007 @ 8:10 am

  3. Great article, Charles. What a wonderful welcome Cathy and you gave to Daniel in your “Neighborhood” and what a wonderful evening it must have been. IE

    Comment by irene eizen — November 20, 2007 @ 8:33 am

  4. Oh I love Daniel’s voice, sorry I couldn’t go. And Daniel always has a smile for you, makes you feel happy just to be around him..Great article! Jody

    Comment by Jody Cardillo — November 20, 2007 @ 10:01 am

  5. Okay, now I am jealous. Did anybody Youtube any of this? Daniel is one heck of a performer with a sweet sweet vocals. He really lights up the stage whether it’s the August Wilson or Joe’s Pub. Best wishes for a great future continuing career after Jersey Boys, Daniel. You deserve it. We’ll all be watching you.

    Comment by LindaL — November 20, 2007 @ 10:15 am

  6. A great piece, Charles! I wish I could’ve heard him sing, “The Longest Time.” I feel like he can do that song so well! Sounds like he’s doing great. Congrats on the new apartment, Daniel. Your final paragraph was perfect, Charles.

    Comment by Lauren — November 20, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

  7. Thanks to all for the nice comments. Drive a hard bargain, Howard and Audrey. Susie would never dump you for me. Your enthusiasm, energy and natural brilliance and wit more than make up for any lack of formal journalistic training. Regards, Charles

    Comment by Charles Alexander — November 20, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

  8. Charles,
    Thanks so much for coming last night!!! We loved having you there and hope you come back to Debra and Mary’s Night on the Town again soon!!!
    Debra Barsha

    Comment by Debra Barsha — November 20, 2007 @ 7:09 pm

  9. Yay Danny! Can’t wait to see him in Candide!! What a sweetheart that boy is. He deserves everything he’s been given. He just has a way to put a smile on people’s faces…I love it.
    I hope to one day be able to see one of his cabaret shows to experience a lighter side of Daniel Reichard.

    Comment by Lucy — November 20, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

  10. Charles,
    Even though I thanked you via email, I wanted to say an official “Thank You” again on JB Blog for this terrific review of Daniel’s latest show!

    We’re thrilled to have a JBB Special Correspondent from Brooklyn!

    Comment by Susie — November 21, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

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