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INTERVIEW: Broadway Star John Lloyd Young On Meeting President Barack Obama, His First Live Bay Street Appearance, And More

T.J. Clemente

John Lloyd Young is coming to Bay Street. (Courtesy Photo)

Interviewing the talented John Lloyd Young is an opportunity to talk to someone President Barack Obama admired enough to meet with him more than once. It is reported that John Lloyd Young is about Broadway. With his signature passionate and thrilling style, John Lloyd Young is the Tony and Grammy award-winning star from the original Broadway cast of Jersey Boys, as well as Clint Eastwood's Warner Bros. movie adaptation. Lloyd Young is the only American actor to date to have received all four major Lead Actor honors in a Broadway musical: the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Theatre World Award.

Born in Sacramento, California to an Air Force dad, Lloyd Young said, "We moved around a lot." However it was when he was three-years-old that he knew of his gift for music. As he recalls, "I was at a wedding, and at three-years-old I sang with the band in a cappella and in perfect pitch!"

However, John Lloyd Young's talents were also in academics, as he attended and studied at the Ivy League Brown University. I asked him why a native Californian would pick an East Coast Ivy League school in Rhode Island and his answer surprised me when he revealed, "My dad's family are direct descendants of Roger Williams who founded Providence, Rhode Island. So I felt compelled to study there."

When asked whom he admired in show business, again, even he admitted his answer would be surprising. He relayed, "This may surprise you; it isn't going to be what you expect, but I admire and have been inspired by Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Cher and Bette Midler, and you want to know why? Because besides being great singers, they also went on to be good actors. I am very proud of my career choice, it is my correct path."

When asked about perhaps a future on the big screen, he was a touch coy. He paused and said, "I am not aggressively pursuing that avenue because I love what I am doing now with my concerts, but if the right script and circumstances come along, then yes."

I had to ask him about the first time he met and saw Barack Obama and his first impression. Lloyd Young shared, "I couldn't believe I was standing in front of the President of the United States. He is what they say in the south, a tall glass of water. He is tall, but his hands were soft, his intellectual capabilities so obvious, and he was just so amazingly gentle and special with young children. I was privileged to meet with him a few times and do some work for him, too."

He also said how excited he is for his "first live Bay Street" appearance scheduled for Monday, August 19, at 8 p.m. In his show, he interprets the spine-tingling, soul-bearing showstoppers that shaped his earliest Broadway aspirations. With Tommy Faragher on piano, Lloyd Young sings from Jersey Boys, The Wiz, Chicago, Hair, and Dreamgirls, and more, along with classics by legendary Broadway writers including Rodgers, Hart, Hammerstein, and Loesser.

He is charming, smart, good looking and can sing like an angel. Get to Bay Street and see his talent up close and personal.

Tickets begin at $69.

Bay Street is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit www.baystreet.org.

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