Watch Jordan E. Cooper’s Miscast Performance of ‘The Ladies Who Lunch’

If you’re going to do “The Ladies Who Lunch,” it’s always useful to bring along a glass of stiff liquor and a fur coat. So when Jordan E. Cooper was working on his performance for this year’s Miscast Gala (the full set of performances will stream April 10), he was thrilled to walk past a store in Brooklyn and discover a giant coat on sale for just $50. “It was in this random store, and I saw the coat and was like, That’s it!” he says. “It put me right into character too. It did so much work.”

Cooper made his Broadway debut last fall as the playwright and star of the satire Ain’t No Mo’, and he leapt at the chance to prove he’s a musical-theater nerd, too, by performing in MCC Theater’s eternally viral annual event, in which performers take on a role they wouldn’t usually be cast in. Cooper, a big fan of Sondheim, elected to go for Company’s Joanne. “It’s a three-act song,” he says. “This woman who’s at first being sarcastic and an asshole, and at a certain point in the song, she remembers that she’s one of the women who gave up her life.” Cooper first encountered Company at a local production in Fort Worth, Texas where he’s from, before going on to see the New York Philharmonic’s concert version and finally the most recent Broadway revival. His personal favorite take on “The Ladies Who Lunch,” he notes, changes constantly, though he’s currently a fan of Patti LuPone’s final version in that revival: “She sang like she was leaving her Equity Card on the stage!” All that said, it’s pretty clear Cooper is angling to do more in the genre both as a performer and as a writer. “Musical theater is one of my deepest loves,” Cooper gushes. “I can’t wait to do more of it, and I can’t wait to create it.”

Watch Jordan E. Cooper’s Miscast ‘Ladies Who Lunch’