Derek Klena Debuts Solo Show at Cafe Carlyle with TodayTix Presents
Broadway leading man Derek Klena made his solo cabaret debut on Tuesday night at Cafe Carlyle with TodayTix Presents. Klena has appeared on Broadway in “Anastasia,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” and “Wicked” and off Broadway in “Dogfight” and “Carrie,” and his lineup included a mix of songs from those shows and pop hits.
Klena opened the evening with “Some Kinda Time” from “Dogfight,” before singing a mashup of “Go the Distance” and “Out There” from “Hercules.” The songs were a tribute to his childhood growing up on Disney films.
Over the course of the evening, Klena chronicled his career highlights starting with the time he auditioned for “American Idol.” At the time, he was playing on the baseball team at UCLA, and he had to ask his coach for time off. He ended up making it to Hollywood Week, and he sang his audition song “Come Home” by One Republic.
Klena got married to his wife Elycia in September, and he sang a mash up of Elton John’s “Your Song” and “She’s Got a Way” to her. Then he performed songs from some of his past shows, including “Dreamer in Disguise” from “Carrie,” “Come Back” from “Dogfight,” and “Dancing Through Life” from “Wicked.” He also sang “Goodbye” from “Catch Me If You Can” because he auditioned for the show a few times.
The crowd favorite from the evening was a medley of Justin Bieber songs. When Klena got cast in “Wicked,” he was asked to cut his hair, so he called director Joe Mantello, who also directed “Dogfight,” to see how to cut it. But Mantello said, “Keep the Bieber.”
Klena closed the show by singing some songs from his latest shows: “My Petersburg” from “Anastasia” and Alanis Morissette’s “You Learn” from “Jagged Little Pill,” which he was in at American Repertory Theatre.
For his encore, Klena sang “Always Remember Us This Way” from “A Star Is Born” and “You’ll Be Back” from “Hamilton.” Maybe those will be his next shows.