From ‘Baz’ to ‘Renegades,’ Vegas stage veteran Eric Jordan Young never presses pause

Eric Jordan Young, caught on camera between gigs.
Illustration: Photo by: Brian Steffy / AP Photo

Eric Jordan Young adopted a new mantra for 2018, and it’s working quite well: No chores.

“Sometimes when we do a lot of work and busy ourselves, we can start to think of everything as an obligation,” explains the Broadway veteran who has recently performed in Las Vegas productions Rock of Ages, Shakin’ and Vegas! The Show. “But I love what I do and I love being involved in a lot of different projects at the same time, so the idea is no chores this year, all great stuff.”

Young is doing so much great stuff on the Strip right now, it’s tough to figure out how he fits it all in. He’s the resident director of Baz: A Musical Mash-up, which plays Tuesday through Sunday at the Palazzo Theatre. “I oversee the creative aspects of the show, anything that deals with performance and casting and staging and structure and costumes and lighting and sound design,” he says. “I’m the eyes and ears on the creative level for the production team, and I offer assistance and guidance to the performers and give them to the opportunity to feel safe onstage.”

Sounds like a full-time gig. Except that he’s also one of four stars of the fun, new Wednesday-through-Saturday 5 p.m. show The Cocktail Cabaret at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace. It’s a powerhouse, throwback musical extravaganza created by composer Keith Thompson and piano phenom Philip Fortenberry. Young is the singing-dancing host of the show, anchoring the performances of standout vocalists Niki Scalera, Daniel Emmet and Maren Wade.

“Cleopatra’s Barge is one of those famous rooms any entertainer would be thrilled to perform in if only for one night,” he says. “So many incredible people have been in that room, from the Rat Pack to Harry Belafonte. It’s such an iconic place—to be on that stage is really cool.”

So cool, in fact, that Young’s third current show, the unorthodox Renegades, plays there, too, Thursdays through Sundays at 8 p.m.. Young is writer and creative director for the interactive sports-focused show, which features storytelling and conversation with infamous athletes including Jose Canseco, Jim McMahon and Terrell Owens.

“I’m a storyteller, so that was the main focus of how to make this work,” Young says. “It’s a matter of how to shape those stories and make them relevant to everyone, regardless if they’re a sports fan or if they understand these athletes’ history. And Renegades definitely has some stories you haven’t heard.”

Working with big names is a breeze for someone who collaborated with tons of celebs during the first national company tour of Chicago, when Young teamed with Brooke Shields, George Hamilton, Lou Gossett Jr., Melanie Griffith and many more.

Somehow, Young also finds time to perform in Brunch to Broadway Sundays at Red Rock Resort, a show expanding to Santa Fe Station, too. “It feels like somebody is looking out for me, the way that everything has lined up,” he says. “My day can be really quite amazing, but I just love what I do. I love to see the changes and influence, and I love to pull stuff out of people and make them feel they can do better.”

Just talking to Young can do that, or at least make you feel you can do more.

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Brock is an award-winning writer and reporter who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for 20 years. He currently ...

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