John Lloyd Young at the Café Carlyle: Here For You
Some men just don’t get old: Dark glasses do not hide JohnLloyd Young’sprom date good looks. He may be hiding from his girly fans’ swoons, but on the night we attended his Café Carlyle run, the audience was passionate about another side of this Jersey Boys’ career, his efforts to lobby for arts education. So when this dimple chinned crooner who hearkens back to your coming of age tells you he has serenaded Karen Pence, Lynne Cheney, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden,his bipartisan activism has meaning, as he launches into “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”
The dark glasses come on and off as he covers Jim Morrison’s “The Spy,” “Jerry Fuller’s “Show and Tell,” and Randy Newman’s “Just One Smile,” inviting the crowd to sing along for Pete Moore and Smokey Robinson’s “OOO Baby Baby.” He warbles “Stardust,” and channels Roy Orbison for “Say No More.” Singing what I will call the theme from The Godfather, he quips, Italian is a good language for songs. He might even alert the Metropolitan Opera House, he says, and then leaves the stage allowing his great band: Tommy Faragher on piano, along with John Putnam on guitar, Paul Socolaw on bass and Eric Kalb on drums to perform an instrumental, “La Perdita.” Faragher is not only a sideman, but also a writing partner. The ensemble performed his “Almost There,” and their tunes “Alone Together,” and “Slow Dawn Calling,” before closing the swoon-worthy set with Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” and Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love.”
John Lloyd Young has become a Valentine’s Day tradition at the Carlyle. His dreamy tenor conjures romance better than a bouquet of roses.