A Performer's Biography
Eric Jordan Young began performing as a child in Buffalo, New York. Singing in church and elementary school choirs, Eric discovered his talent and honed that talent by watching those he admired, most especially Michael Jackson, Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder and, above all, Sammy Davis, Jr.
“I was drawn to their energy and dynamism. I remember watching all of them, along with the Jackson 5, Carol Burnett and Benny Hill. I was always happy when I saw them and wanted to give other people the same feeling.”
Eric was a member of the Buffalo Arts & Music Youth Chorale under the direction of Donald L Hilliard and appeared in many local television, stage and film projects. His professional career started in high school when he performed with the Upstage New York Theatre Co., appearing in George M! (Artpark), Damn Yankees (Artpark), and Olympus On My Mind. He filmed his first Public Service Announcement for PBS at 13 and was suddenly hooked on show business.
He earned a BFA with honors in Musical Theater, graduating from Ithaca College in 1993. Among the 12 productions in which he appeared at Ithaca are Oedipus at Colonus, The Bacchae, A Chorus Line, Hair, Eastern Standard, John Brown’s Body and The Colored Museum. Eric is the proud recipient of Ithaca’s 2003 Outstanding Young Alumni Award, presented to graduates who have been recognized as emerging leaders in their fields.
In 2001-02 Eric appeared on Broadway as Billy Flynn in Chicago. He returned to Chicago between 2005 and ’08, appearing as Billy Flynn, the Judge, Aaron and Amos Hart. In Chicago, Eric had the opportunity to perform with notable figures, including Chita Rivera, Bebe Neuwirth, George Hamilton, Rita Wilson, Brooke Shields, Usher, Vincent Pastore, Marilu Henner, Caroline O’Connor, Billy Zane, Brian McKnight, Robin Givens, Chris McDonald, Michael C. Hall, and many others
Eric’s additional Broadway credits include the original production of Ragtime (1998/’99); the workshop and, then, the original cast of Seussical The Musical (a Wickersham Brother) and The Look of Love, the Roundabout Theatre Company’s limited-engagement celebration of the music of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
Keeping busy off-Broadway and in touring companies, Eric Jordan Young, in 2001, received the prestigious Helen Hayes Award as Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Resident Musical for his work in Side Show (Signature Theatre), presented by theatre Washington, the unified organization of theaters in Washington, D.C.
He was in the workshop and, then, Lincoln Center Theater’s world premiere of Dessa Rose, directed by Graciela Daniele, and world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa’s Little Fish at Second Stage. In 2010, Eric played the controversial character Zip Coon Crow in the NYSF Public Theatre production of Neighbors. Other shows include Gerard Alessandrini’s 2001 production of Mr. President; Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Smokey Joe’s Café (Sacramento Music Circus); first national tours of Chicago, Ragtime, and a national tour of Dreamgirls.
Eric came to Las Vegas for the 1993 production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s all-roller skating show, Starlight Express. He originated the role of King Herod in the World premiere of Jesus Christ Superstar Gospel at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, played Tom Collins in Rent at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY; and Booker T. Washington in the Kennedy Center’s production of Ragtime.
Eric Jordan Young’s work in concerts and tributes includes the world premiere of Altovise Davis’ Mr. Bojangles: The Ultimate Entertainer as Sammy Davis, Jr.; Lyrics and Lyricists, one of a 92nd Street Y series honoring EY (“Yip”) Harburg, directed by Ted Sperling; 60th Anniversary Encores! Bash at City Center; the Ahrens and Flaherty 20th Anniversary Concert at Lincoln Center; the Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall; Wall to Wall Sondheim (Symphony Space) and The Rat Pack Is Back! with David Cassidy at The Supper Club, NYC.
He made his Carnegie Hall debut in Opening Doors, Stephen Sondheim’s 2004 production and says he “was honored” to host Skitch Henderson and the NY Pops Orchestra’s 2009 Young People’s Guide To the Orchestra. He returned to Carnegie Hall for Once Upon A Time and Tomorrow, a NY Pops Concert honoring the music of Charles Strouse.
Young has been guest performer with the Arkansas, Atlanta, Louisiana, Sioux City, Ocean City, Reno, Fresno, Evansville and Tucson Symphony Orchestras.
On television, his credits include the pilot of Ugly Betty, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Today Show, CBS’ Morning Show, the Rosie O’Donnell Show, Rachel Ray Show and several others. He entertained Oprah Winfrey and guests on the Trip of a Lifetime cruise which served as a company retreat for her Harpo production staff.
Workshops and readings include Never Gonna Dance (Greif/Mitchell), Pamela’s First Musica (Daniele/Colman), Dirty Rotten Scoundrel (O’Brien/Mitchell), Soapdish, Disney’s On the Record, Little Fish, Tin Pan Alley Rag, King of Bombay, Dillinger, Dorian, Sacrifice to Eros and more.
Eric Jordan Young has taught jazz dance, musical theater, Audition techniques and vocal classes. He was a faculty member of Ann Reinking’s Broadway Theatre Project, along with Culver Academy, Ridgefield Dance Academy, Peridance in NYC and other schools. His skating talents were put to use as the skate coach for the Broadway and National Touring productions of the Tony Award winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone.
In 2004 Eric conceived and authored Sammy & Me, a one-man musical where he portrays over 30 characters and sings famous songs from the Sammy Davis, Jr. catalogue. Sammy & Me received its World premiere at MusicalFare in his hometown Buffalo, NY and was co-produced with the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY. The show found success at the National Black Theatre Festival in 2007 and was well received in 2010 at the Tony Award winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Sammy & Me has been honored with the Katharine Cornell (Artie) Award and the Syracuse Area Live Theater Award.
This is the tribute that, even if he wasn’t aware of it, Eric Jordan Young has been creating since he was a child, when he first saw Sammy Davis, Jr. perform. It follows Davis’ career from the chitlin’ circuit to the very top of show business. “This project is more than a show about Sammy Davis, Jr. and myself. It is about the heroes we choose to follow throughout our lives. How we honor ourselves by honoring them,” says Eric.
Critics have lauded his performances over the years. In Sammy & Me, one said he “dazzles.” Another said, “Eric Jordan Young...will leave you hoping for a sequel.” A third called him “an impressive talent with an irresistibly likable personality.”
In 2010, Eric Jordan Young produced his first solo CD Once In A Lifetime. A debut for his production company EnJoY! Productions. The collection celebrates the music of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Eric is accompanied by some of the greatest talent in the recording industry.
In the summer of 2010, Eric Jordan Young began performing nightly in Vegas! The Show at the Saxe Theater in Las Vegas. He is currently appearing in the long running prodcution of ROCK OF AGES playing at the Rio Resort and Casino. He is also producing a brand new dream project that will debut soon.
“I love Vegas,” he says, “because it gives me the opportunity to act, sing, dance and entertain. The audience response is immediate and very gratifying. I couldn’t ask for a better profession. I love doing what I do.”