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Christmas in the Lab at the Lucille Lortel Theater
Saturday, December 11 at 7pm – one performance only!
Lortel’s 12-show TINSEL, A Global Holiday Festival runs through December 29, 2021
https://www.lortel.org/tinsel

 

“I took the time off when the world shut down to get back in the lab. I told myself, ‘This is not going to be lost time. This is an opportunity to evolve in so many ways.’ ” ~ Jared Grimes

Put on your masks, bring your vax cards and IDs, and come out to The Lucille Lortel Theater this Saturday, December 11, to experience Jared Grimes’ new holiday show, Christmas in the Lab. It features Jared and his talented colleagues playing horns, piano, bass and drums interpreting classic songs including “Once Upon a December,” “My Favorite Things” and “A Christmas Song.” Their new arrangements, tailored to Jared’s intricate and rhythmic steps, will be a sensory joy for both eyes and ears.

Also known for his work as Adrian Shannon in the Netflix supernatural drama hit, Manifest, Jared is a virtuoso tap dancer and living example of dedication and dream-achieving. Yet he remains humble, hard-working and idealistic. I snuck in an interview with him between his work on set for Manifest—season four is shooting as you read this.

Jared has taken his experience during COVID-19 in stride. “You are always going to face obstacles in life,” he said. He was able to work on Zoom, teach workshops and classes under the new protocols and he spent many hours “in the lab,” i.e., on his own at home or at a studio, unflinchingly creating new work.

Born in Jamaica Queens, he grew up in High Point, North Carolina where he learned to tap dance and became an actor with the help of his mentors, Sheryl Patton, Gene Medler, Debbie Allen and Kenny Leon. He started taking classes when he was three years old and stuck to it with love and focus.

“I grew up watching Sammy Davis Jr., Gregory Hines and Fred Astaire and I wanted to be that type of person — one that could make his bread and butter doing everything in the arts. I would stay up until 2 or 4 in the morning, watching The Disney Channel where I learned by example from those luminaries.”

He came to NYC after high school, studying Communication Arts at Marymount Manhattan College while he was auditioning and working as an artist throughout his years there. Hired to perform for regional theater for shows including Babes in Arms, back-up dancing jobs in Los Angeles with Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes and a Sammy Davis Jr. project with Debbie Allen, he also worked in the school cafeteria, the IT office and at a little cafe called Java City. This helped with his tuition and expenses as his family supported him. For at least two years he worked many jobs to achieve his goals as an artist.

Cumulative victories and hard work led him to the Broadway stage. He won the Fred Astaire Award for Best Performer on Broadway for After Midnight among other honors. He also met and spoke at length with Gregory Hines in person which was life-changing for him. In these ways, he’s in good company with the artists who inspired him when he was a child.

In January 2022, you can see Jared’s work on Broadway in Funny Girl as Eddie Ryan and as choreographer for The Tap Dance Kid at City Center Encores where he will also teach at City Center Tap Dance Outreach. He started teaching dance when he was 11 years old and has intermittently worked at both Broadway Dance and Steps in NYC.

But don’t miss Christmas in the Lab! This is a rare chance to see a very personal creation, Jared’s brightness and magic that sprang from dark pandemic times. His optimistic demeanor offers us all a moment to reflect as we pause and recalibrate for the new year. He offered some words of encouragement.

“No matter what, unapologetically, keep searching for all the things you dream for and that you dream of. There’s a pandemic now –  when times get tough, you can either fold and make an excuse or you can use it. Keep going!” Jared Grimes has done that, for sure.

Jared Grimes with Wynton Marsalis

 

Christmas in the Lab Band Line up
Mark Meadows, Piano & Musical Director
Brent Burkhead, Baritone Sax
Endea Owens, Bass Guitar
Alfonso Horn, Trumpet
Norman Paul Edwards, Drums

 

Lucille Ortel Theater
https://www.lortel.org/

121 Christopher Street
Near Hudson Street & Bedford Street

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