“My musical tastes run all over the place,” said Erich Bergen, who will be performing in concert at Lynn University next week. “I listen to everything from Frank Sinatra to Helen Reddy to Jay-Z.”
As an only child growing up in New York City, he turned to albums and music videos for companionship. That’s where he first became fascinated with Michael Jackson and “all things MTV.”
But, he quickly qualified his statement: “I don’t turn myself into a playlist, but everything that I sing still goes through my filter, which is basically the Great American Songbook, plus a few years.”
The 32-year-old actor may be best known for his role as Blake Moran on the hit CBS series “Madam Secretary,” but he’s equally comfortable on the stage. He toured with “Jersey Boys” as keyboardist and composer Bob Gaudio and was later cast in the role for Clint Eastwood’s big screen adaptation.
He’ll be singing selections from “Jersey Boys,” backed up by a seven-piece band led by “American Idol” music supervisor Michael Orland, as well as songs by Peter Allen, Elton John, Billy Joel, Barry Manilow and others who inspired his career.
“I have a great show planned with stories and songs from my career, all with fabulous arrangements,” Bergen said. “I’ve been doing concerts for the longest time and I have yet to make it down to Florida, which is odd considering how many friends and family I have there.”
It’s difficult to squeeze in these gigs given his hectic filming schedule.
“I don’t know if there is a way to balance it out fully, that’s the weird thing on a TV show,” Bergen said. “When you’re a lead, you know that each weekday—no matter what—you’re going to be working some crazy hours. You set up your life to live with that. When you’re not the lead, as I am, it’s different each week depending how much I’m in the episode.”
Fortunately, Bergen has a challenging role as the personal assistant to Tea Leoni’s Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord. Last season, Blake revealed that he was bisexual.
“When I first took on the role, I was under the impression that Blake was gay. Blake plays his entire life very close to the vest and even before the bisexual outing, he just didn’t discuss his personal life at work,” Bergen said.
He noted that Hollywood more commonly portrays women as bisexual.
“We never see that on television with men…we don’t think about bisexuality in women as a threat or as anything substantial—at least men don’t—which is its own bag of issues. There was something interesting to me about being about to do this,” he elaborated.
In the meantime, he’s content to be in the cast of the critically-acclaimed show and keeping his eyes open for the next opportunity to squeeze in more performances on stage.
Erich Bergen performs on the Lynn University Live at Lynn Series, Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 25 at 4 p.m. in Boca Raton. Tickets start at $50 at Lynn.edu/events.