Broadway power couple to perform at the Wharton Center
Broadway stars Jarrod Spector and Kelli Barrett can be considered an ultimate love story: their on-stage chemistry resulted in an off-stage romance. The couple has been married for two years and will express their love for each other to an audience just in time for Valentine's Day.
The two will perform at the Wharton Center on Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. as part of their show "This is Dedicated: Music’s Greatest Marriage."
The show will follow famous musical married couples in performance and collaboration. The two will feature songs from the 1940s leading up to the songs of today. Some featured artists include Paul McCartney, Beyonce, Jay Z and Carole King.
“There is a little bit of something musically and dramatically for everyone, and so no matter where you are everyone can sort of relate to what we are talking about,” Spector said. “Which is essentially a show about relationships, and no matter what your relationship status is there is something to know and something to hear about.”
The two met after playing a husband and wife in a past show. After working together for a couple of years, the two tied the knot in 2014. Barrett said they use the show to reflect on their own marriage and the competitive Broadway industry.
“You have to be able to hear ‘no’ a lot," Barrett said. “You’re going to hear ‘no’ 20 times more than you are going to hear ‘yes.' Heartbreak for us is monthly, but you kind of get used to it. It gives you a great sense of perspective. I think about what’s really important.”
Spector, who was nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his role in "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," agreed. He said they continue in show business because it is their passion.
“If there is anything else in the whole world you can imagine doing, do it because the chance of you finding success and happiness in that particular field is infinitely and immeasurably higher than the one that we are in,” Spector said. “Competitive art is such a bizarre thing to be apart of, and unfortunately that is just the way that it is because there are so many people who want to do it and there are more people than there are jobs. With that said, if you can’t imagine doing anything else and you insist doing this ... then do everything you can and stop at nothing.”
The couple uses support from each other to keep going despite the challenges Broadway can bring.
“If you have the heart of an artist you should pursue that heart, but part of pursuing that heart is figuring out what you could uniquely add to the world and that’s through your own creativity,” Barrett said. “The business will always let you down, but your art won’t.”
Barrett encouraged students to come to the show. She said she hopes students walk away from the show with whatever it is they need.
“We are in a world right now that is very disconnected and there is not a lot of warm and fuzzy,” Barrett said. “We do like to give that feeling and get more connected to each other.”
Wharton Center public relations manager Bob Hoffman said he is looking forward to the show.
“I think it will be a fun show on Valentine’s Day,” Hoffman said. “It is perfect for students maybe looking for that alternative Valentine’s Day gift. If you’re with somebody it will be great, if you’re not it will be fun to go out with maybe your friends.”