Idols on Broadway: How does Jordin Sparks do in 'In the Heights'?

in_the_heights_sparksImage Credit: Joan MarcusDiana DeGarmo did Hairspray, Ace Young starred in Grease, and Fantasia Barrino carried The Color Purple. It’s official: American Idol alums love Broadway! And the latest former Idol to join a company on the Great White Way is Jordin Sparks, the season 6 winner who enjoyed her opening night Tuesday as barrio brainiac/Stanford student Nina Rosario in In the Heights, the musical that EW described as an “irresistible valentine to Latino life in upper Manhattan.” The big question is, of course: How is she in the show? Pretty darn good, it seems, especially considering it’s her Broadway debut. When Melissa Rose Bernardo reviewed the Tony-winning musical originally, she graded it an A– and said that “its virtues…are abundant.” Jordin’s addition, however, garnered a solid B+ from Bernardo, who was high on Sparks’ musicality (“when she’s singing she’s completely home”) but apprehensive about her acting and stage presence (“she looks…like an inexperienced stage actress”). Translation: Great singing, and lots of potential!

PopWatchers, have you seen In the Heights since Jordin joined the cast? Are you tempted go see it now that she’s in the show? Lemme know below.

Comments (21 total) Add your comment
  • Christina

    She was so great in In The Heights!! The show is the best one on Broadway to boot.

  • Jersey Jeff

    I have not seen it, but she is great in it.

    • Mole


    • Robyn

      I second that …?

      • Chris

        I don’t know who Jordin Sparks is but I think she’s great.

  • allie

    I saw her first performance a couple of weeks ago. What a star! I just loved her…and loved the show for that matter. So New york!

  • JumpingJackie

    Haven’t seen it since the original cast left, but now I’m kind of tempted to.

  • rt

    She is fine with the singing but stiff and stunted as an actress.

  • DZ

    I wonder how much American Idol alums would “love Broadway” if they had hit albums. Funny, I don’t see Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood loving Broadway.

    • Jackie

      Ok, I don’t watch American Idol, but I do try to keep up with the theatre scene. Didn’t Clay Aiken (sp?) do pretty well for himself money-wise after he finished Idol? I know he went to Broadway as well in Spamalot.

      • DZ

        Yes, he did. Exception to the rule.

      • Daniel

        Tamyra Gray had a hit R&B album, scored a Grammy nod, and wrote the song that one of the idol winners sang (may have been Fantasia’s year). She has appeared on Broadway several times. Diana D. has been in a few musicals (most recently “Hair” with Ace) and Constantine Maroulis got a Tony nod as best actor in a musical last year. Taylor Hicks has been touring with “Grease” for a while now and another finalist (can’t think of her name) toured with “Joseph…Dreamcoat” recently. Not bad for a bunch of people nobody heard of before they were on AI.

    • idrag

      funny do you know how much jordin sparks makes a year??? even though her album didnt do as well as the last!!! dont forget battlefield was a worldwide smash! and sos didnt do badly in europe..she has said she alway wanted to do theatre and now she has been given the opportunity so stop ready into it as if she has had a failed pop career

    • Kiki

      That’s because they have real careers.

    • Nicole

      DZ: I guess you have forgotten that Kelly Clarkson made a movie with her runner up, and Carry Underwood just finished a movie. So, your logic just isn’t true. I believe if a Broadway deal came to either of the two ladies they would do the job. Jordin is still very young and I don’t blame her for spreading her winds and this young lady has the vocal ability and talent to do so! I love Jordin Sparks!

  • idrag

    shes ammmmaaaaaazing in should definitely go see it!!

  • Sam

    Jordin is a somebody. 6 hits under her belt (No Air, Tattoo, SOS, One Step at a Time, Battlefield, This is my Now.. Anyone?) She didn’t NEED Broadway to revive her career. It’s just something she wanted to do and she is GREAT in it. Just another chapter in her young life. After Kelly and Carrie, it’s safe to say Jordin is probably the only other Idol winner to have chart success (Minus Daughtry and other nonwinners). Haters need to get their facts straight!
    Turn on your Top 40 station right now, I bet one of her songs are spinning..

  • tatar69x

    Some of the Idol Performers have had significant success on Broadway and in film that eclipses the entertainment revenue they provided pushing song product.

    Jennifer Hudson, clearly, at the top of the list. High demand, multiple awards inc. the Oscar. Almost as much as Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, and Kelly Clarkson becoming top acts – that Oscar was a huge affirmation to Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe.
    And Taylor Hicks has been huge.
    Fantasia Barrio – more noted now for her singing in stage productions.

    Lambert will hit stage.

    Clay might be the best all-round – stage, concert, albums. Much more successful than Lambert so far.

    I think the next big one to make a mark on stage, maybe films in a few years is Siobhan Magnus. All the basics are there, now the teen contestant turned 20 just needs to mature a bit and work on a few weak points. You see her interviews – she captivates the host and audience, is naturally wierd and funny, and the camera loves her.

    I’d say Clay

  • germaine oshiro

    first time visitor to new york & very disappointed. worst show – all about nothing – don’t recommend.

  • Ken Ray

    And syesha Mercado has a leading role in the road company of Dreamgirls! (In the Diana Ross role). Quite good too.

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