|photo credit: Nathan Johnson|
Leslie made his Broadway debut in RENT at the age of 17, but it would take another 17 years for the role that made him famous and for which he won the Tony. He left Hamilton after a year (as is common), and when asked what he wanted to do next, he said he wanted to perform with the Minnesota Orchestra. Or at least that's what he said to charm the crowd last weekend; and it worked, we were completely under his spell. But what he really wanted to do after his Hamilton success was make music, so that's what he did. He's recorded two albums in a style he describes as music that Nat King Cole would make today, and both went to the top of the Billboard Jazz charts. He's been performing with an awesome jazz quintet that he brought to Minneapolis for two shows, rescheduled from last fall's cancelled concert (he was asked to fill in for Katy Perry at the Victoria's Secret concert/fashion show, which he joked about). Leslie and his quintet would have been a great performance (with plenty of opportunities for the five talented musicians to show their stuff), but the cherry on the sundae was the inclusion of the gorgeous Minneosta Orchestra under the direction of Sarah Hicks.
|as Aaron Burr (photo credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)|
Listening to the Minnesota Orchestra perform is always a good choice, but for those more musical theater minded (like myself), there are a couple more opportunities for the mix of Broadway and orchestra, including six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald this summer, and Glinda herself, Kristin Chenowith, next January. See the Minnesota Orchestra website for details on all of their concerts and events.