All Things Entertaining and Cultural
Although I’d heard oodles of favorable comments about “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” and knew Jefferson Mays played numerous roles in it, I hadn’t read much about the musical before seeing it. That led to my pleasant surprise when Bryce Pinkham uttered the first words of Robert L. Freedman’s book, and I realized the show was based on the wonderfully droll 1949 movie, “King Hearts and Coronets,” in which Alec Guinness famously played Mays’s roles, and Dennis Price suavely played Pinkham’s.
Knowing the source material only added to the enthusiasm for the show that was to come. One doesn’t have to be prepared beyond the desire to have a good time to enjoy Darko Tresnjak’s romp of a production that incorporates the spirit of British music hall and the whimsy of Edwardian comedy with Freedman’s free adaptation of Roy Horniman’s devilishly amoral story and Steven Lutvak’s tuneful locomotive of a score. Freeman also contributes frothy lyrics that accentuate the period, mood, and conspiratorial comic tone of the piece.
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” is light comedy with a bite. It puts you in league with a villain, a poor and distant relative of a noble British family in which seven people stand between him and an earldom. The somewhat accidental death of one of the seven gives the ambitious and nervy lad an idea. If he could manage to lead others ahead of him among the D’Ysquith heirs to sudden and early dooms, he, Monty Navarro, would be able to claim the title and the wealth that comes with it while attaining the social status he covets and the woman he loves that would never marry him in his current reduced financial condition.
Talk about a plan! Monty goes about his business with gleeful alacrity, much to the delight of the audience that roots for the murderous parvenu while getting lots of laughs from the various D’Ysquiths Mays portrays with assured hammish abandon.
Tresnjak, who I first encountered manipulating marionettes when he worked with Robert Smythe at the sadly bygone Mum Puppettheatre, keeps “Gentleman’s Guide” going at a speedy but rollicking clip. He pauses action only for romance and to give Monty some time to reflect on how to foil his next victim, and only then by allowing three beats for a bit instead of his more customary one.
Tresnjak’s pace adds to the mirth. Pinkham’s Monty can make quick dispatch of six of the nobles who stand in his way while Mays has an actor’s field day in endowing each of Monty’s casualties among the toothy, haughty, pompous, self-deluding, horsey-set D’Ysquiths with a collection of humorous stereotypes associated with the British upper class in the comedies of Wilde, Boucicault, and Pinero. Mays is Terry-Thomas, Hugh Griffith, Margaret Rutherford, Billy DeWolfe, Edward Everett Horton, Maggie Smith, Robert Morley, Joan Greenwood, and yes, Alec Guinness, all in one. He moves deftly but rapidly from being everything from an historian priest (Anglican, of course) to an operatic diva, always finding a voice, facial expression, and individuating nuance to mark one D’Ysquith from another. He can go from flinty, cold, and harsh to sensitive and effete. He portrays characters you don’t mind seeing die with the same zest, and care, as he presents D’Ysquiths for whom you may summon a tinge of sympathy or regret.
The first act of “Gentleman’s Guide” is devoted to quick dispatch in comic fashion of most of the heirs to the D’Ysquith title. It also spells out Monty’s dubious yet solid connection to the family — He is legitimately eighth in line for its seat. — and the romances Monty has with a society belle, think Gwendolyn Fairfax, and a sweet flower of the D’Ysquith line, one who takes to Monty as much as he is attracted to her. The second act deals with the hardiest and hardest to kill of the heirs, a country squire who has “tally ho” in his veins, and with Monty’s feelings for the two women who have touched his heart and expect his hand in marriage. It also includes Monty’s comeuppance and date with justice.
“Gentleman’s Guide” obviously covers a lot of ground. Tresnjak has little choice than to move it along briskly. He is lucky to have such able farceurs and musical talents as Pinkham and Mays. They are not only up to playing their characters, even Mays’s multiple characters, but of handling the many musical numbers Freedman and Lutvak have provided them. The music hall tone of the Tresnjak’s production, combined with the Wildean nature of Freedman’s script and Sullivanesque traces in Lutvak’s music, makes the show a lot of fun, a nice but naughty confection that never fails to entertain and plants a smile on your face for its duration.
Jefferson Mays is equally at home in hunting garb complete with black-lapelled red jacket and breaches or dowager’s gown and golden wig. He goes about his work with gusto and does not attempt to suppress the delight he is taking in sharing all of his creations with the audience. Mays doesn’t quite mug, but he does wink a bit as if to say, “Take a look at me now. Isn’t this clever, and am I not a rascal to pull all of this off with such élan?” He gives each character enough definition to make him or her register as human, and a tad silly, before Monty finishes them off. At the same time, he maintains a D’Ysquith manner, a stamp that shows these people are related.
Bryce Pinkham is just as sprightly as the conniving and dangerous Monty. To Pinkham’s credit, he gives Monty charm to spare, genuine charisma that wins the audience as well as Sibella and Phoebe, the women he serially and simultaneously adores.
Pinkham makes the audience his accomplice of sorts by being so bad, boyish, and bold, he entices us to hope Monty is successful in his quest to be the holder of the D’Ysquith title and lord of the family’s domain. You see the way Monty’s affections are going, and you want the desired ending in that department as well.
Pinkham is a scoundrel who wins your support and affection. He is also a good teammate to Mays by giving him room to parade his panoply of personalities and display his inventive comic gifts while Pinkham calmly waits his turn to shine and triumph.
Pinkham has his share of funny sequences, including one in which he must hold both Sibella, his socialite girlfriend, and Phoebe, his D’Ysquith love, at bay while they occupy separate rooms of his lodgings and realize another woman is on the premises.
“Gentleman’s Guide” has the virtue of being bright and diverting every minute while adding up to a constantly delightful show in total. Tresnjak never lets the action or the comedy flag. Alexander Dodge’s sets are both purposeful and witty and the Edwardian proscenium music hall-style proscenium that frames various scenes creates a gay, as in cheerful and jovial, note from the moment one enters New York’s Walter Kerr Theatre. Philip S. Rosenberg’s bright lighting on the candy apple red curtain on that proscenium adds to the feeling of imminent merriment.
The wit that is so copious in the individual and combined work of Tresnjak, Freedman, Lutvak, Mays, Pinkham, Dodge, and Rosenberg is compounded in the shrewd, and sometimes hilarious, costumes designed by Linda Cho and hairstyles and wigs devised by Charles LaPointe. “Gentleman’s Guide” is a happy experience. It’s its lightness, not its weight, that carries it. It wafts by and comes to its conclusion before you know it, but it leaves memories of a good time and an ebullient use of theater.
Mays and Pinkham are abetted by many talented people. Lauren Worsham, who I wish would come to Broadway reprising her lovely turn as Lili in Goodspeed Opera House’s marvelous 2010 production of “Carnival,” is a winsome Phoebe, easily a Cecily Cardew to Lisa O’Hare’s Gwendolyn-like Sibella.
Worsham exudes sweetness that acts in tandem with strategic cleverness and innocence that masks Phoebe’s knowledge and perception. She is the perfect Edwardian flower, easygoing and a tad bashful on the outside while being as clever as an Austen heroine and as strong as a Shavian woman underneath.
Lisa O’Hare, as Sibella, is a woman of the world. He has no time for shilly-shallying or being sentimentally romantic when being forthrightly sexual, with pretense at Edwardian restraint, will do. Sibella is a woman of standards that Monty must meet and is his motivation, his muse, for setting about his murderous path to high social position.
Fine work is also done by the perennially reliable Eddie Korbich and Joanna Glushak.
Peggy Hickey is another who adds to the party with her period-appropriate choreography that is as brisk and pointed as Tresnjak’s overall production.
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” runs open-ended at the Walter Kerr Theatre, 48th St. west of Broadway, in New York City.
NATASHA, PIERRE, AND THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 — Kazino, New York
“Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812” takes on the daunting task of presenting a large segment of Leo Tolstoy’s “epic novel, “War and Peace” in the form of a rock opera that is presented in a cabaret setting with scenes taking place in every open space the large Kazino theater has available. It even spills into the crowd, as people at stage-adjacent tables are asked to participate in benign but clever ways. I was enlisted to shake an egg filled with bee-bees in rhythm during a number that takes on a decidedly Russian beat.
The show, by Dave Malloy and directed by Rachel Chavkin, succeeds sporadically but takes on true power and romantic grandeur whenever Lucas Steele, as the duplicitous but ardent Anatole, and Phillipa Soo, and the sincere, confused, but smitten Natasha, are engaged in a tryst, embrace, squabble, or any activity that denotes impulsive, obsessive love and deep, inevitable relationship.
Musically and dramatically, Malloy’s musical makes a great leap during scenes where Steele takes charge and Soo responds with swooning, almost involuntary, genuine passion. The sound, designed by Matt Hubbs, in the Kazino becomes lush during these passages. The lighting, by Bradley King, strikes in perfect harmony with the action and emotion onstage. All of sudden, “Natasha and Pierre, etc.” goes from being a curious novelty piece to fully inhabiting Mimi Lien’s venue-surrounding set and providing stirring insight into Tolstoy’s story and uncontrollable romance in general.
In these scenes, Soo’s Natasha is lost to Steele’s Anatole. Natasha’s love for and engagement to Andrey, off fighting against Napoleon in the Battle of Russia, is forgotten, a piffle next to the palpable, exciting, and feverish passion at hand.
Steele is quite the swaggering lover. Although not tall in stature, he walks with a confident strut, almost dancing as he proceeds along to the curving runway with which Lien encompasses the theater, to make a conquest of a reluctant Natasha, hiding in her bedroom hoping to be protected by her cousin, Sonya, and godmother, Marya, both of whom endorse and are proud of Natasha’s betrothal to Andrey.
With his blond, silky hair in a pompadour that has astounding height and sweep, Steele is every inch the swain that can carry off a romantic coup, one that is a lark at first but takes on as much seriousness for Anatole as it does for Natasha. Steele’s Anatole is man of confidence, a man of experience who, though married as payment of a debt to his bride’s father, is known for his debauchery and talent for enchanting women who he ravishes then abandons. He is a classic scoundrel, someone who will borrow 50 rubles from a man to dine surreptitiously with his wife, fallen into his own trap when he turns his attention to the equally enticing Natasha.
The galvanizing of “Natasha, Pierre, and etc.” comes as a bit of a surprise. Until Anatole appears and inquires about Natasha, who he first sees sitting in her godmother’s box at the Moscow Opera, Malloy’s show is a bit of a self-conscious mess that relies on how different it is from most entertainments to earn it any attention at all.
The show begins with each character introducing him- or herself and announcing some dominant trait, such as “I’m Sonya, I’m good, I’m truly and thoroughly good,” or “I’m Marya D., I’m loving but strict, both liberal and apt to scold.” The lyrics tend to be prosaic doggerel, and the music is basic rock that does not yet have Russian overtone or the ability to provide atmosphere. It registers instead as noise. Even David Abeles, as Pierre, jumping from the stage into the area where most of the orchestra is, and taking charge of the keyboard does not offer enough amusement to make it seem as though “Natasha, Pierre, and etc.” will be any more than an indulgence that attracts its audience on the coattails of Leo Tolstoy and a thick scrapbook of enthusiastic reviews and citations on end-of-year “Best” lists.
Tolstoy’s story is always clear, but it has no majesty. Malloy and Chavkin are more given to strangeness, but not in a way that gives mystique to early 19th century Russia or that involves the audience. Everything seems matter-of-fact and geared to impress rather than to engross.
Early scenes with Natasha, Sonya, and Marya D., or with Natasha and her in-laws to be, Andrey’s rich but eccentric and hermit-like father, the Prince Bolkonsky, and his moody, spoiled sister, Mary, relate the rudiments of “War and Peace” but have no impact. Malloy’s idea of drama is too self-conscious, the sentiments all express too direct and unpoetic. Even Blake DeLong’s obvious warming to Natasha as Bolkonsky, seems more contrived than real. Malloy is going through motions, and his cast is helpless to infuse Chavkin’s production with any action or emotion that seems real, innate, or from nature. I, for one, felt rooked after walking into the Kazino believing I was going to see something original and exhilarating. I began to arm myself for disappointment and fight the wish that I’d made another choice about what to see. Debate about whether I’d return to my seat after intermission was taking place between the devils on my shoulders.
Enter Steele as Anatole, and texture and intensity arrived with him. He had dash. He was a man to be reckoned with. The swagger I mentioned earlier brought the musical to a new point, one that worth witnessing and experiencing. “Natasha, Pierre, and etc.” stopped feeling unusual for the sake of being unusual. Bland storytelling, garish music, simplistic costumes, and gaudy lighting gave way to involvement and interest that would carry for most of the musical’s duration.
Substance replaced expediency, craft took over from facility, and sincerity overrode false, underwritten, transparently acted and stridently sung pretense of depth or emotion. Moscow, as visited at the Kazino, was alive, brimming with expectation, rife with danger for our heroine, Natasha, and awash in the heady masculinity and desire to vanquish represented by Anatole, whether others defined him as a lecherous, cadging scoundrel or not.
The audience sees Anatole as Natasha does, even with the foreshadowing we receive that she doesn’t. He is romance and sexuality personified. He is formal and mannerly, yet not as reticent or distant as the other men in the show, even the ones who enjoy a rowdy night at a tavern and claim to be randy. Anatole is obviously a man who goes in for the kill, and while we cringe to know his prey is the relatively innocent and contentedly engaged Natasha, we want to see him spring into action, set his traps, and even win the day. The new mood in the Kazino demands it. The overall quality of “Natasha, Pierre, and etc.” depends on it.
Malloy becomes musically cannier at this point in the show. He displays more humor with parodies of opera, sung with humor but with good tone and in good voice by Ashkon Davaran and Katrina Yaukey. His score also moves from shrill or toneless rock to a more lyrical, melodic, and gentle rhapsody.
The transition is abrupt but welcome. We have arrived at the sequences in Malloy’s show that earned it its acclaim. We are about to be not only entertained, but enraptured by the wooing, winning, and capitulation of Natasha, who is not able to do anything else but succumb to the entreaties of Anatole, who opens as brave a new world to her as the performance of Lucas Steele does to us.
Not only does Natasha respond, but Phillipa Soo takes on new depth. You see every bit of the her dilemma, knowing how much she loves Andrey and longs to be the perfect Penelope waiting for him at home to return from the war, and knowing her real, irresistible, and unavoidable her attraction is for Anatole.
All of the elements of Chavkin’s production, including Sam Pinkleton’s choreography coalesce at this time. Intensity and enchantment are found. Drama, honest and moving, permeates every corner of the Kazino. The music catches and matches the mood. The power of theater, its finest properties, are unleashed. We are entranced.
As long as Anatole and Natasha remain the primary focus of Malloy’s play and Chavkin’s production, all is well. Even peripheral scenes with Anatole carousing with cronies, including Pierre, and conspiring with others to fool Natasha into giving herself to him before he realizes the genuineness of his ardor, become interesting. Intrigue with Pierre’s wife and Anatole’s sister, Helene, has merit it previously lacked. Roles played by Sonya, Marya D., and even Mary have more heft, more importance. A story is afoot, and it is Tolstoyan in scope and wonderful to behold.
Alas, “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812” will fall apart a bit before it ends, but it will never seem as random, as disjointed, or as perfunctory as it did before Steele swaggered along Lien’s ramp. In the end, the show will be a satisfactory experience, not only because Steele as Anatole and Soo as Natasha will rise to the occasion, but because Abeles will give Pierre tremendous dignity and convey compassion for his fellow beings no one else, not even Sonya, seems able to muster. Pierre is the second character mentioned in the title. It takes a while before Malloy gives Pierre the to assert himself, but when he does, Abeles endows him with a rational scholar’s softness that contrast with retributive anger we’ve seen earlier. Abeles is able to carry “Natasha, Pierre, and etc.” when Steele and Soo fade into the distance or become more benign as a character. Chavkin keeps the production watchable and textured beyond the denouement. King’s lighting provides thrilling moments. Malloy’s music stays more in keeping with the tenor and emotion of a given sequence and seems more pointed, less random or self-consciously flashy. As the lights fade on “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812,” I am happy I stayed and that by intermission, there was no question but that I would.
In terms of costumes, Paloma Young’s clothing was a mixed bag. Sometimes it seemed too ragtag, but Natasha always looked wonderful, and Steele’s Anatole owes something to his crisp uniform and stark white old-school collarless tuxedo shirt with tiny triangles of cloth folded down at the top of the placket. Young also did a fine job dressing Sonya and the plain, introspective Mary.
Brittain Ashford is touching as Sonya. Her introductory song tells of her purity and genuine goodness. Ashford bears out that description is all ways. She is reasonable even when Natasha insults her or when her hopes about her cousin’s future in Moscow are dashed.
Amber Gray is properly devious and mischievous as Helene. Although not on stage for very long, Helene becomes the villainess of Malloy’s piece, and Gray handles the role well and with sexual aplomb.
Grace McLean is best when Marya D. is at her calmest. Though she rails about what Marya will allow “in my house,” McLean doesn’t register beyond the text. Katrina Yaukey fits well into Mary’s plainness and simplicity. She is also adept at playing Mary’s ambivalence towards Natasha. Blake DeLong is effective as Bolkonsky and does a fine job, although not as riveting a one, as Andrey. Ken Clark brought a special spark of corruptness and mischief to Anatole’s companion, Dolokhov. Ashkon Davaran played three roles with spirit, especially the carriage driver, Balaga.
“Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812” runs through March 2 at the Kazino, 45th St. east of 8th Avenue, in New York. The production is constantly being extended, so it is likely Malloy’s piece will run longer. Check listings to see if it is playing past early March.
NOTES ON PLEASURES PAST
For proof, all one has to do is look at the variety of roles Langella has played in this century alone and the quality with which he’s played them. Then, there’s the marvels from “Seascape” and “Dracula” to “Present Laughter” and beyond Langella worked in the 20th century, and we mustn’t forget his comic turn in Mel Brooks’s 1969 movie, “The Twelve Chairs.”
Langella’s lasest role was in “King Lear,” which he brought from England’s Chichester Festival Theatre to the Brooklyn Academy of Music for four weeks earlier this winter.
Listening to the control and variety in Langella’s voice is enough to captivate. His reading are a virtual symphony. He can bellow or coo with equal effect, and his choice to barely be able to express his “Howl” as he carries the lifeless Cordelia into view was the brilliant touch of a confident, consummate artist. The choice was especially effective when contrasted with another “Howl” Langella issued earlier in the production when he had cause for rage instead of profound sadness that led to near speechlessness.
Langella is a generous actor. He excelled, but he also led a marvelous company in a strong, affecting production that brought out the tension is filial and parental relationship as well as commenting intelligently on the politics it takes to be a worthy and just monarch.
In addition to the majestic and versatile turn by Mr. Langella, who could be regal and humble as called for by Shakespeare’s glorious script, the Chichester/BAM “King Lear” was graced by excellent performances by Max Bennett as Edmund, Lauren O’Neil as Regan, Sebastian Armesto as Edgar, Harry Melling as The Fool, Steven Pacey as Kent, Tim Treloar as Cornwall, Chu Omambala as Albany, and Tom Mothersdale as Oswald.
Shakespeare is also well-served in the current Donmar Warehouse production of “Coriolanus,” now available to American audiences by National Theatre Live transmissions at local movie theaters.
Shakespeare is the original psychologist. He knew everything about people as individuals and mankind in general by observation long before science provided statistics to postulate how often behaviors occur and possible reasons for them.
“Coriolanus” comments extensively on a matter that plagues United States politics today, the partisanship that puts oneupmanship and ideology over principle and common sense. Caius Martius may lack social skills and the common touch, although in private, unprovoked, he can be as calm and diplomatic as might be necessary to coddle and impress masses. Yet he beset by an opposing party that wants to win more than it thinks about what victory will yield if they throw away key elements that insure the democracy they claim they want to preserve.
The patricians and the military looks more competent than the democrats who represent the people in Josie Rourke’s Donmar production. The tribunes played by Helen Schlesinger and Elliot Levey are so doctrinaire and vindictive, they are odious. They think in small and short terms and do not consider the full consequences of the acts they say they promote in the people’s name for the good of the people.
The shallowness of their thinking and the dismissive snobbery of Coriolanus’s sum up a lot of what plagues America as it prepares to vote in the 2014 mid-term elections. (No incumbents, please! They deserve tomatoes, not votes.)
Beyond what Shakespeare knew and put on stage 400 years ago, Rourke is canny about how to present the Bard and this unfortunately rarely done play.
Tom Hiddleston was masterful as Caius Martius who becomes Coriolanus after conquering an enemy to Rome. He shows both the warlike and gentle sides of the character. He conveys Coriolanus’s ability to be mild and humble while demonstrating how the soldier loses his cool when confronted with prejudice and idiocy for the sake of politics.
Hiddleston’s is a deep, complete Coriolanus, one whose faults show but who elicits sympathy for his service to his empire and for speaking at all times with candor, even if what he has to say is unpopular.
Although Virgilia, Coriolanus’s wife, does not have much important to do in the play, I loved listening to the rich contralto speaking voice of native Dane, Birgitte Hjort Sorenson. Deborah Findlay has some brilliant moments as the woman who dominates “Coriolanus,” the play and the man, his mother, Volumnia. Findlay was at times too strong, but her performance fit Rourke’s production which emphasized Shakespeare always having Caius Martius defer to his mother.
Other fine work is turned in by Mark Gatiss as the raisonnuer, Menenius, Hadley Fraser as Aufidius, Peter DeJersey as Cominius, and Alfred Enoch as Titus Lartius.
The weekend before the seminal television sketch comedian Sid Caesar died, Encores, in New York, produced the primary Broadway show for which Mr. Caesar was known, “Little Me.” It was a triumph.
I am grateful to Encores for using the 1962 score that features songs that are cut or replaced in later versions of “Little Me.” I was especially gratified to hear the great Judy Kaye and laudable David Garrison sing “The Truth” which contains some marvelous Carolyn Leigh lyrics. Leigh is one of the great comic composers, and “Little Me” is chock-a-block with her wit and cleverness with rhyme.
Christian Borle was excellent in assaying the seven roles Neil Simon wrote for Mr. Caesar. Rachel York was luminous as Belle Poitrine, the lead and subject of “Little Me.”
This season, Encores will also produce Frank Loesser’s “The Most Happy Fella” with Shuler Hensley in the lead, and “Irma La Douce,” the casting for which has not been announced.
Justin Guarini is known by most people for his runner-up finish during the first season of Fox’s “American Idol.”
How the lad has grown since those nascent days!
Guarini is about to begin a stint as Fiyero in “Wicked” on Broadway. It will be his fourth time on Broadway.
I’ve seen him in three different shows, shows that bore no resemblance to one another, and Guarini excelled in all of them.
The first was “Chicago,” directed by Jennie Eisenhower at Media Theatre. Justin was commanding as Billy Flynn, a part he played just as he was turning age 30. You could see his work ethic and the quality of his acting. He was not just a pretty face with a facile voice. He was a lead actor who could dominate in a demanding role.
The next I saw him was in September is David Leveaux’s sorry production of “Romeo and Juliet” on Broadway. Check the NealsPaper review. Justin was the one of the few actors who escaped that production unscathed. His readings as Paris were clear, and he was natural on stage.
Last week, I saw Guarini in a cabaret show of his own making, “Lovesick,” at Bucks County Playhouse.
He was exciting. Songs were done after long introductions of engaging patter. Guarini is as natural as a raconteur and storyteller as he is as an actor and singer. His tales were personal and funny. He didn’t mind making himself the butt of a joke. He talked about his experience with love, and everything he said was amusing, well-phrased, and accompanied by great gestures and sound effects.
Justin Guarini is a complete performer. He can excel in a musical, he can survive in underdone Shakespeare, and he puts on a fantastic show, as directed by Gordon Greenberg.
Backed by a nine-piece band and two singers, Guarini delivered a baker’s dozen of songs that commented on love and his bouts with it. The songs ranged from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Where or When” and Bacharach and David’s “The Look of Love” to Beck’s “Loser” and Mika’s “Lollipop.” Each was done with aplomb. I especially enjoyed Justin’s rendition of the song he originated in David Yazbeck’s “A Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” “Lovesick.” This is the fourth song I’ve heard from this show, and I adored all four. The show ran as I was taking care of my dying parents. I hope there’s a tape of it. I can’t imagine from what I’ve heard from Guarini, Patti LuPone, and Laura Benanti that this show would not get a favorable welcome.
Most of all, I enjoyed Justin’s ease as a human being. You can see he is real and realistic, totally without airs. His grace as a person came across as poignantly and pointedly as his talent. I can’t wait to see Justin in concert, on in any kind of entertainment, again.