JRB and Eden: Bridges and 13, Maureen (and Green!)

JRBTony award winner Jason Robert Brown is playing THREE shows at the Temple for Performing Arts Nov. 14 and 15, performing songs from his Broadway shows and his own recordings. And his guest, for the first time with him in concert, is Broadway star Eden Espinosa! From Bridges of Madison County to Parade to 13, and from Wicked to Rent, this is a powerful show!

Jason Robert Brown won the Tony award for the musical Parade, and is the composer responsible for many other Broadway shows, including The Bridges of Madison County and Honeymoon in Vegas. He also wrote the score for Songs for a New World (recently performed locally as a benefit for Des Moines Young Artists' Theatre) and 13 - the Musical, which was presented last year by Hoover High School.

In addition, many musical theatre lovers know him from his show The Last Five Years, which has been performed and revived off-Broadway, and recently made into a movie starring Oscar-nominee Anna Kendrick and Newsies lead Jeremy Jordan. He's currently at the St. James Theatre in London to mount a British production of The Last Five Years, but he's jetting back to Des Moines to perform for us here.

Brown is no stranger to Des Moines, as his Bridges of Madison County began its nationwide tour here in Des Moines, with JRB himself conducting the orchestra. The Civic Center convinced him to return with his cabaret-style show, which he will be performing at the Temple for Performing Arts. His show will be filled with songs from many of his shows, plus some of his own individual compositions from his solo albums and other places. But he also always brings along another surprise....

Eden EspinosaThis time, and for the first time in concert with JRB, his guest will be Broadway star Eden Espinosa.  Eden has performed on the Great White Way in multiple roles, most notably a "green" one, as she was the second Elphaba to grace the stages of Wicked.  She also starred in Brooklyn: the Musical, and was the final person to play the role of Maureen in the company of Rent.  (You can catch that performance on DVD, by the way, and I highly recommend it.) So, along with a few surprise songs, there should be plenty of soaring vocals, talented piano, and musical theatre galore in store for anyone making it to the Temple this weekend.

The Cabaret series is a new one for the Civic Center and the Temple, and it is tailor-made for theatre lovers. Later this season, Broadway favorite Stephanie J. Block will be making her way to Des Moines to perform in the intimate setting of the Temple.  It isn't often we in Des Moines get the chance to see this style of performance by nationally-known award-winning composers and singers, so if you can, get to the Temple and see these magnificent talents.  We're a great theatre town, and it shows in the levels of talent we grow and attract all the time.  Let's keep celebrating it, in all its forms.