Tony Award Winner Leslie Odom, Jr. in Knoxville this week – and he’s a nice guy, too

Leslie Odom. Jr. is a “Triple Threat” (singer, dancer, actor) and he’s done everything from the TV screen to Broadway, and he’s coming to Knoxville for one night only. “The world will never be the same…” (Yes, that’s a lyric from Hamilton…)

If you’re not familiar with the Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” it’s a spellbinding work, weaving music, poetry and choreography into an amazing true story. Feel free to check out the soundtrack here. The very first voice in the show is Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr asking how Alexander Hamilton, a man from “a forgotten spot in the Caribbean” could grow up to do “a million things.” He’s also been the commercial singing voice of Nationwide Insurance, written a book called “Failing Up” and released two solo albums. He’s a terrific performer, who is comfortable in a bunch of different styles. I’ve been looking forward to this performance since the concert was announced, and you’re likely to see new people at the concert, including younger fans of “Hamilton.”

How do I know that Mr. Odom is a nice guy? One afternoon in 2016, when the original cast of “Hamilton” was still on Broadway, my family and I walked by the theater with “Puppy-in-the-Pet-Store-Window” looks, knowing that there was no way we’d be seeing the show any time soon. Mr. Odom was hanging around outside the stage door, and was nice enough to pose for a picture with my son, even though it was pretty obvious we hadn’t seen the show.  Since then, my son, who lives in Manhattan, has won two front row lottery tickets for the show and the rest of us got to see the show in 2017. It’s a terrific show, but if you can’t make it to NYC, come see Leslie Odom, Jr. with the KSO.

Saturday, May 11, 8 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium. Tickets here. Odom will join the KSO for an evening of Broadway favorites, jazz standards and a few originals. “Wait for it” and “Do not throw away your shot!”

Leslie Odom, Jr. and Eric Adamcik, son of KSO percussionist Bob Adamcik

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