Just so you know...John Gallagher Jr. is Awesome.

John Gallagher Jr., time to re-meet the NRNW crowd.

It has been a while since I have praised his talents on this blog; I think the last time I gave him a shout out was last spring, when I saw him in Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem. One of my all-time favorite performers deserves better, amiright? Besides, a lot of you have told me that you are also fans of his…alright then, I do not need any more convincing.

First off, the back-story…born in Delaware, Gallagher Jr. had a relatively young entrance into acting. While he amassed guest appearances on several television series and independent films (including Pieces of April, opposite an amazing Patricia Clarkson), his biggest splash seemed to be on the Broadway/Off-Broadway stages.

After starring in David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole (his Broadway debut) and several other productions, he gained the respect and adoration of theater fans and critics everywhere with his Tony-winning turn as Moritz Steifel in Spring AwakeningThe show took home eight Tonys of the eleven it was nominated for and would run on Broadway for over three years before spawning tours in embassies all over the world.

It was the widespread popularity of Spring Awakening that made pseudo-stars of its three leads: Gallagher and these two people you might have heard of – Lea Michele and Jonathon Groff (hence the Spring Awakening Trinity of Ultimate Power was born). Michele and Groff would go on to do this little show called Glee, which turned them into world-renown superstars, while Gallagher Jr. pursued more theater opportunities that came his way.

Fear their power. Don't stare directly at...
So. Much. Awesome
Here is where I stand on the whole Spring Awakening bit; it really was a near flawless show and its popularity (and huge amount of publicity) was every bit deserved. It was one of the few shows out there at the time that was geared towards a younger audience (and not in a Fame sort a way), but can still entertain an older, mature audience. The music is across the board amazing and mostly staged impeccably (less a few numbers) and the ensemble was full of undiscovered, raw talent. I saw it several times – before and after its Tony glory – and it was an enthralling experience (and thusly, one of my all-time favorite shows).

With a huge audience student-rushing the show (the line for rush was as long as 4 hours on some occasions) and stagedooring, Gallagher’s popularity continued to rise as people saw what a nice, genuine and social dude he is. Feel free to YouTube his kindness; who doesn’t love a guy so interactive with fans?

Oh, not to mention, saying he is talented is an understatement. Do yourself a favor and fast-forward to 1:05:09…

After numerous hilarious and scene-stealing moments, he secured his Tony award with his performance of “Don’t Do Sadness/Blue Wind” and the ensuing monologue. Hands down, my favorite number ever performed on stage and one of the most heart-breaking and passionate scenes I will probably witness in my lifetime. The first time I saw the show, I was on stage too; that is something I will never forget…

In short, Gallagher is awesome in every regard, as a performer and a person. He followed up Spring Awakening with a strong lead turn as the Jesus of Suburbia in Green Day’s American Idiot, which solidified his status as a talented performer and the epitome of disaffected youth. Even thought the show would last about a year on Broadway, the show found a passionate fan base of Green Day and Broadway fans. Seeing it multiple times myself, I enjoyed the heck out of the show for being an energetic, lively, rock opera-esque show with an impressive direction, a really great cast recording and a talented ensemble.

In, out and during Gallagher’s performing career, he pursued music and song-writing, going as far back as his old band, Old Springs Pike. I guess you can say his talent cannot be contained to just performing…anyways, he has taken to many clubs, benefits and music halls in the last few years all over New York to show off more of his musicality.

As of late, he has been performing 45-60 minute sets at Rockwood Music Hall on the lower east side. This cool little hot spot has two stages and features countless music acts, most of them free of charge. Gallagher’s sets are free (well, a one-drink minimum technically), so Courtney and I try to go whenever we can. Think about it; it is only a matter of time before his puts out his first album, goes on a nation-wide tour and begins playing at bigger, more costly venues…so why not see him for free?

And I have to say, he really can make a career out of his song-writing and singing, right? His unique voice, killer guitar skills and folk sensibilities are major points in his favor (which is fitting considering he comes from a folk background). Since Rockwood is a 21+ venue, I record and post a lot of videos on my YouTube channel for my out-of-state friends and social media young-uns. My channel could be the official YouTube of the FuckYeahJohnGallagherJr Tumblr…awesome!

Some favorite numbers:

I apologize; this number will be stuck in your head for weeks. It is so darn catchy….

Probably my favorite of his songs; that “Johnny Schitzo” bridge is amazing…

Another stunner of a number.

This was a fairly recent debut and my Tumblr is already exploding with praise. To which I can only agree…

Be on the lookout for Johnny Gallagher because his exposure will continue to grow in the next year or so. He has a role in the upcoming Aaron Sorkin HBO-drama, which…you know, Aaron Sorkin. It will probably be a worldwide sensation in a matter of hours, just like The Social Network. John is always welcome on Broadway and to perform around New York; his star will continue to rise in those departments as well.

But if he has to go all world-famous beyond the walls of New York theater…hey, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Did I mention that he is insanely talented…

Oh, right.

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