NiteLife Person of the Week— Cheyenne Jackson

By ROB LESTER**** He IS where Broadway meets cabaret! Cheyenne Jackson, born this week in 1975, started his Broadway career as an understudy.  He’d been doing theatre work just on the side back in Seattle, while working a day job.  The tragedy of 9/11 made life seem more precious and motivated him to go for his dreams of big time show biz success and they have come true in these intervening years.  After understudying in Thoroughly Modern Millie and being an Aida standby, he detoured to off-Broadway where he was one of the guys in the parody of boy bands (with a religious bent), Altar Boyz.  

Then, more pop fun came when he created his first starring role on Broadway as an Elvis type in All Shook Up, with the campy Xanadu soon to follow, and, later, such shows as the revival of Finian’s Rainbow, some non-musical stage successes, a flurry of movies, TV work in everything from the hit show Glee to 30 Rock and American Horror Story (opposite Lady Gaga).

Cabaret and concerts have benefited from his talents, with his solo acts in such venues as Cafe Carlyle, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the clubs bearing Michael Feinstein‘s name on the East and West sides of Manhattan and San Francisco.  And he did a double act with Feinstein himself called The Power of Two, which was recorded live as a CD release.  His latest release, Renaissance, appeared on the scene last year.

Cheyenne’s latest activities include appearance on TV’s gay LOGO channel on a game show, with RuPaul, and starring with such performers as Audra McDonald in the new film version of Michael John LaChiusa’s stage musical Hello Againcurrently making the rounds of film festivals.  

The performer has worked regularly for AIDS charities and research, for LGBT youth, and is a proud out gay man and, with his husband, Jason Landau, proudly parenting adorable twin tots.

In fall, he’ll appear in cabaret in Pittsburgh at Theatre Square. The date is October 16.

And, in case you were wondering, his middle name is David, he is six feet and three inches, and did a TV pilot not picked up that was a revamp of the 1960s TV series The Munsters– you might have seen it when it was recycled as a Halloween special.  And, yes, he was named after the old TV series Cheyenne.

And we wish him a happy birthday!