The Star of Napa Valley: Broadway and Vine


(Image courtesy of Broadway and Vine)


Every year, Broadway and Vine concerts take center stage across the verdant vineyards of Napa Valley. At first glance, Broadway and winemaking seem an unlikely pair. Broadway is the personification of East Coast ambition, while California's Napa Valley embodies the West Coast's je ne sais quoi. Upon further reflection, both places are home to the increasingly rare meritocracy.



(Image courtesy of Broadway and Vine)


To succeed, winemakers and actors must prove they can differentiate themselves from competitors and be rememberable. I spoke with Jacob Langfelder, founder of Broadway and Vine, and learned why you should see the nexus of the "Performing Arts, Culinary Arts, and Viticulture."



(Image courtesy of Broadway and Vine)



1. How did you find you combine your love of musical theater and hospitality?

After getting a master's in musical theater, I moved to New York to follow my dream of being on Broadway in 2001. Like many performers, I got a job at my first restaurant, Craft, owned by Tom Colicchio. Craft was also Colicchio's first restaurant. While working for Colicchio, I fell in love with hospitality. After working at Craft, I got a show. Once the show wrapped, I vacationed to Napa Valley and based my wine tasting menu on Craft's wine list. These wines were from smaller producers, who welcomed me with open arms.



(Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Image depicts Row of vintage wine bottles in a wine cellar (shallow DOF; color toned image)


Following various shows and restaurant stints at Daniel and Jean Georges, I transition from working as captain or head waiter to management. Working in management, I had to decide to prioritize either Broadway or hospitality. I stumbled across 54 Below, a Broadway supper club; as a manager, I had the chance to work in fields I love. 54 Below taught me that Broadway and Hospitality could work together. I continued to work in both realms. I moved up the ranks in hospitality at high-class dining institutions. On Broadway, I produced a show with Jake Gyllenhaal.




(Image courtesy of Bob McClenehan)


2. How did Broadway and Vine come to be?

Almost twenty years after beginning my journey, I came up with the idea for Broadway and Vine in 2020. Broadway and Vine had one concert before the COVID-19 pandemic. After staying in New York for the lockdown, I returned to Napa. The Broadway and Vine program allowed wineries to maximize Napa's outdoor space and Broadway actors to get work. Once in California, the Broadway artists held master classes for the community and performed with local high school students



(Image courtesy of Bob McClenehan)



3. What does Broadway music mean to you?

Broadway and Vine helps expand the definition of Broadway music. I want to capture how Broadway can encompass different genres, areas, and disciplines. A Broadway show can include opera, hip-hop, or country music to tell the story.



(Video courtesy of Broadway and Vine)




Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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