Jonathan Groff Tests Wings in a Cabaret Setting, Singing Sheik & Sater, Adam Guettel, Andrew Lippa and More

By Kenneth Jones
October 16, 2012

Tony Award nominee Jonathan Groff revealed a new side of himself in the midwest on Oct. 13 when he sang two sold-out cabaret performances that featured pop music, show tunes and specialty numbers.



The 7 PM and 9:30 PM shows at The Cabaret at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis represented a kind of out-of-town test of the stage and screen actor's wish to complement his career by performing songs in more intimate venues.

Groff, who splits his time between Los Angeles and New York City, was a Best Actor (Musical) Tony Award nominee in 2007 for playing Melchior in Spring Awakening. His TV roles include Jesse St. James on "Glee" and Ian Todd, the mayor's aide, on "Boss." His Off-Broadway appearances include The Submission, Prayer for My Enemy and The Singing Forest. This past summer he starred opposite Alfred Molina in the Los Angeles premiere of John Logan's Tony-winning Red, directed by Michael Grandage.

Groff's music director was Drama Desk Award winner Mary-Mitchell Campbell, the busy New York City conductor, arranger and orchestrator known for The Addams Family, Company, Carrie and founding ASTEP/Artists Striving to End Poverty. Larry Lelli was on drums and Matt Hinkley was on guitar.

The evening's song list included:

"The Life of the Party" by Andrew Lippa from The Wild Party
"Moving Too Fast" by Jason Robert Brown from The Last 5 Years
"Everybody's Talkin'" by Harry Nilsson
The Sound of Music Medley
"Dividing Day" by Adam Guettel from The Light in the Piazza
"Ain't That Good News" by Sam Cooke
"Moon River" by Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer
"Left Behind" by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater from Spring Awakening
"Amish Paradise" by Weird Al Yankovic (by way of Coolio)
"Thank You For the Music" by ABBA
"I Got Lost in His Arms" by Irving Berlin from Annie Get Your Gun

Read Playbill.com's August interview with Groff, who talked about his work in Red and TV's "Boss." 

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Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Jonathan Groff
Photo by Mark A. Lee of Great Exposures