Jelani Remy is full of holiday cheer, and he'll be sharing it tonight at Bloomingdale's Studio 59 Best Holiday Ever cabaret series. The Lion King and Ain't Too Proud crooner is performing a few Broadway classics along with some holiday music for the December 22 concert.
Partnering with Broadway Cares, Bloomingdale's American Express exclusive series runs through December at the famous east side flagship department store. Remy's cabaret wraps up the series of five concerts, following previous artists Jenn Colella, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Telly Leung, and Jarrod Spector and Kelli Barrett.
Playbill asked Remy about what audiences can expect from his Bloomingdale's Best Holiday Ever show.
How do you approach building a cabaret show? Do you start with story/songs/themes?
Jelani Remy: I absolutely love building my cabarets. It’s like a blank canvas I can color with, using music custom to myself and my audience! I start with a vision or theme to the show and then put in songs I absolutely love and feel perfectly fit in the lineup. Then, I connect each song with a story or memory giving it some backstory for the audience to connect with and enjoy.
What can audiences expect from this show?
Two words: Holiday cheer! It’s the most wonderful time of the year and this special show is just that. I’ll be singing some Broadway classics but definitely also giving you the great music of the holidays!
What will audiences learn about you that they didn’t know before?
I enjoy performing a wide variety of music.
Is there a number in this show that is particularly special to you? Why?
Any songs from past shows I’ve gotten to perform on Broadway are always very special to perform.
How do you get over the nervousness of telling your personal stories onstage?
Eggnog. [laughs] No, my nerves mean I care—but the audience has my back and it’s like we’re in the living room having a fun chat.
Tell us about your first memory performing.
I remember my first time playing a real role in my high school production of Grease. I was so nervous to finally perform what I’ve been working so hard on. After my big solo, the audience clapped! It was such a rush of joy and an instant grasp of passion and purpose!