Jason Brock: Mr. Entertainment Returns
Simon Cowell's scorching tongue has probably scarred enough aspiring singers to warrant a dedicated burn unit. But the talent-show judge's excoriating words, often preceding by the disclaimer "I don't mean to be rude," can actually help energize a performer if the spirit is strong and the talent is there. So it is with Jason Brock, an SF performer whose underground renown has been climbing into higher altitudes since his splashy run as a finalist on "The X Factor." That run came to a sudden halt based on a veto by Cowell, who seemed revolted by the performer's unabashedly, flamboyantly gay stylings.
The coming weeks will see Brock return in both pre- and post-"X Factor" modes, as he rejoins the cast of Boxcar Theatre's "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" in a run that has been extended for his return, and who also gets a headliner gig at the prestigious Live at the Rrazz nightclub. His X Factor "mentor," record producer L.A. Reid, branded Brock as "Mr. Entertainment" as he surrounded the performer in Vegas-like spectacles, but Brock also displayed talents as a serious song stylist in several stripped-down "sing for your life" elimination heats.
Brock was part of the cast of Boxcar Theatre's original 2012 production "Hedwig" that retooled the musical (with permission from creator John Cameron Mitchell) by dividing up the title character's role among multiple actors. The summer production was such a success for the small theater that it was back in December (though sans Brock). Brock's run is set for Feb. 20-March 2, and he will offer a cabaret turn immediately following the 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday performances. More info at www.boxcartheatre.org.
But first, Brock will be at the cabaret for his Feb. 16 debut at Live at the Rrazz. The act is titled "So Much Soul," with songs by Anita Baker, Beyonce, Tina Turner, and Adele in the set list, along with new material and past favorites. More info at www.liveattherrazz.com.