Derek Klena’s Debut Sold Out Solo Show at Café Carlyle

One of Broadway’s favorite leading men, Derek Klena, made his solo show debut at the beloved Café Carlyle to a sold-out crowd on January 15th, 2019. I was lucky enough to be able to see his show and can easily say it was one of the most special events I have attended.

Klena took the audience on a journey through his life in the arts and how he got to where he is now. He opened the show with “Some Kinda Time“ from Dogfight, his 2012 off-Broadway show written by Tony-award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. This opener foreshadowed the time the audience would encounter for the next 75 minutes as Klena sang through his musical career, singing everything from Disney favorites to Broadway showtunes to pop medleys.

Each song represented a milestone in his life. His medley of Disney songs such as “I Can Go The Distance” from Hercules and “Out There” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame represented his early childhood, singing to Disney movies on the television with his siblings. He sang audition songs from his experiences in small scale contests in California to his winning golden ticket song for American Idol. Klena sang his signature audition song and eleven o’clock number: “Goodbye” from Catch Me If You Can. This song not only opened the door for him to Carrie and Dogfight, his off-Broadway debuts, but gave him his first big time New York audition. He went into songs from the shows that have built his resume such as Carrie, Dogfight, Wicked, Bridges of Madison County, Anastasia, and his new upcoming show Jagged Little Pill. He even threw in a Justin Bieber song medley to mark the time he had a haircut similar to the iconic pop star for his role as Fiyero in Wicked. Klena noted his recent wedding to his wife Elycia Klena by singing songs dedicated to her such as “Your Song” by Elton John and “She’s Got A Way” by Billy Joel. Klena did a two song encore, one of which being “You’ll Be Back” from Hamilton, involving the audience in a sing-a-long and showing off his comedic side.

One of the highlights of the night was Klena’s acoustic version of “You Learn” from his upcoming show Jagged Little Pill, where he gave a speech about how you need to stumble in order to grow and how life is a constant learning experience. He shared his love of teaching masterclasses and workshops to aspiring actors and being able to watch them grow and succeed. This show was extremely personal and intimate as Klena gave the audience insight to his life and his career. Derek Klena is a performer for the ages and one of the kindest people I know. I’m so grateful I was able to see his sold out solo show debut and I can’t wait to see where his career and journey takes him next.

If you want to stay up to date with Derek make sure to follow his social media:

Instagram: @Derek_Klena

Twitter: @DerekKlena

Make sure to watch out for his upcoming Broadway show Jagged Little Pill!

Sending love and light,


JuJu Jaworski