Who Knew He can Sing! Excellent Jason Alexander aka George Castanza with the San Diego Symphony
"I did not know he can sing!"
I do not even know how many times I heard this sentence when I said I would be going to see Jason Alexander (aka George from the Seinfeld show) who will be singing with the San Diego Symphony.
As he says from the stage, one of his friends insisted "But Jason, I did not know you can sing", "Yes, I do, ever since high school", "But I did not know you can sing!", "Yes, I do sing, I was in many Broadway shows", "But I did not know you can even sing!", "I really do, I even won one Tony Award", "But I did not know you sing, Jason1" "Damn it, Rona, I sing!"
Of course, the way he interprets this exchange, makes you laugh very hard and you do laugh through the entire excellent, entertaining, funny, impressive, touching and superbly sung and talked show.
Everyone sees Jason Alexander (born as Jason Scott Greenspan in September of 1959, in Newark, New Jersey) as George: that funny, esteem-deprived, cheap, clumsy but fun and charismatic man whom Mr. Alexander was portraying so well for nine years on the Seinfeld show. His character seems absolutely believable and one of the kind, becoming a household name. Thus it is next to impossible to imagine Jason Alexander in any other form but as George.
I admire actors who get the "stigma" of a certain popular role and successfully (without disappointing the audience) overcome the public desire to see them only in their notable character. Jason Alexander proves to us that he is perfectly able to offer on the stage something unexpected and mind blowing. He makes us realize that this "George" we see on the stage is charming, versatile, and accomplished with a rich professional successful life going way beyond George. This "George" anew is actually a musical buff since his teens and an accomplished Broadway singer and able dancer with a Tony Award under his belt (for a leading actor in Jerome Robbins' Broadway). Yet at the same time he does deliver what we yearn to see: his "georgian" humor of self-deprecation, fun-poking of his physiques, of his "George" label, of his professional desires to play, e.g. Jesus Christ in the Jesus Christ Superstar, Tangled, Annie or Hamlet. (Just hilarious!)
His singing was superb, his dancing excellent; but what makes him such an effective and enjoyable musical actor is his ability to tell a story with each of his songs, a story that is important to him, a story he understands, a story he has fun with and an urge to share it with us. His love for the musicals seeps through the show and his acting goes beautifully hand in hand with his great singing. His closing medley of musical roles he would die for to play but was never cast for (Phantom of Opera, Tangled, Annie, etc.) was excellent: hilarious, beautifully arranged, and greatly sung and acted.
The show was a parade of a tremendous versatile talent, of intelligent humor, charisma, love for humanity and tenderness toward his life peopled with those he loves.
Diligent people with talent and a generous dose of humility go the highest. It is always wonderful to have an opportunity to see the result of their hardworking plight. The show inspired and made us laugh, appreciate and admire. It was a perfect showcase of one actor incredible ability.
And one thing is for sure: I will never see George, next to Elaine and Seinfeld, the same.