Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

JON PETERSON: Some Reviews

george m. cohan tonight!

Most theatergoers will probably think of either James Cagney or Joel Grey as the Man Who Owns Broadway, but Mr. Peterson, lanky and tall, easily erases memories of both early on as he strides across the seemingly small Irish Rep stage as if it were Radio City Music Hall. And the man can dance: you won't see a buck-and-wing like this on too many stages any more.
Peterson, a true theatrical fusion reactor, is a consummate choice for singing and dancing through Chip Deffaa's delectable early history of the Broadway musical. A ferocious tapper, a nimble singer, and a ceaselessly ingratiating presence onstage, Peterson so energetically mimics - in body and voice - the thoroughly American Cohan that you might find yourself forgetting James Cagney's classic turn as Cohan in the 1942 biopic, Yankee Doodle Dandy...What is crystal clear is that Peterson's embodiment of Cohan-level stardom transcends Deffaa's earthbound showcase to suggest that the irresistible, irreplaceable personalities on which musical theatre once depended are not extinct creatures after all.
“Peterson is a consummate showman and our attention is riveted from beginning to end.”
NY Theatre.com (Mar 21, 2006)
“Peterson’s work is, perhaps, a towering testament to to the sheer joy of performing…Jon Peterson’s galvanic performance in the title role is spectacular to the point of being nearly unforgettable.”
Joseph Hurley - Irish Echo (Mar 15, 2006)
“From the minute he shows up on stage Jon Peterson unleashes a storm of show business energy…adding up to a stunningly memorable performance…one of the season’s best solo performances.”
William Wolfe - NY Calling (Mar 23, 2006)
"...Chip's script gives Jon the chance to act his heart out by playing the many other people Cohan met during his life and Jon uses many different voices for them and executes them fabulously. Jon's fantastic tenor voice sells all the numbers whether they are upbeat or ballads while his dancing skills are magnificent, too. His tap dancing takes your breath away. Jon not only captivates the audience with the Irish charm of George M. but also tugs at your heartstrings when his beloved sister Josie dies and in a lovely ballad "Life's a Funny Proposition After All'' where Jon sits on the edge of the stage and sings directly to the audience, leaving them in tears. His transitions and emotional impact of the material are topnotch. Jon is a triple threat performer who gives a tour-de-force performance in this role....the audience rises to its feet at the curtain call rewarding Jon Peterson for his brilliant show stopping performance. Bravo."
"Jon Peterson, who stars in the one-man show "George M. Cohan Tonight!" at Seven Angels Theatre deserves a bona fida, all out rave.
He captures the spirit of Cohan so completely that watching him perform is like watching Cohan's spirit...Not surprisingly Peterson choreographed the show and has enough Cohan brilliance in him not only to light up Seven Angels parking lot but Times Square as well."
Joanne Greco Rochman - Waterbury Republican-American (Feb 8, 2007)