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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 1, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 35
Adam Pascal is up to Something Rotten
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Adam Pascal is up to Something Rotten

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

SOMETHING ROTTEN
5TH AVENUE THEATRE
Sept. 12 - Oct. 1


Adam Pascal came to the world's attention when he first started performing in RENT, Off-Broadway. Since the Pulitzer Prize winning musical has left Broadway, Mr. Pascal has performed in several other musicals, as well as solo concerts around the country. Continuing his Broadway role as 'The Bard' in Something Rotten, the Seattle Gay News caught up with this gregarious performer. Eric

Andrews-Katz: Who were your earliest influences in becoming a musical performer? Adam

Pascal: I don't have any direct ones. I grew up playing in a rock band and never considered musical theatre as a career path. At least, not until I started doing it. RENT (Off-Broadway) was my first experience. It was then I realized that this was closest to the track I wanted to be on, and I seemed to be good at it. Rock bands always felt a little off, at least the way I approached it. Musicals felt so right, and natural, and it seemed to be what I should be doing.

Andrews-Katz: You started singing in bands at the age of 12. At what age did you (and whichever bandmates) do your first recording, and is it still available?

Pascal: The only CD I have with any bands from those days, would be the group MUTE. We have a CD with eight, maybe ten, songs on it depending on which version you get. They are out there. I think I may have a copy somewhere, but it's not readily available. The first CD I did that was generally available was Modern Prisoner in 2000.

Andrews-Katz: How did you first hear about the auditions for RENT?

Pascal: Idina Menzel and myself grew up around the corner from each other. I've known her forever, way before we started working together on RENT. She had been cast first, and was aware they were having a hard time finding the right 'Roger.' When they opened the casting to people that didn't have prior acting experience, she called me and suggested that I audition. It was the right timing in my life, my band had just broken up, and I was at a crossroads. Lo and behold, I was their Roger.

Andrews-Katz: What was it like to audition for Sir Elton John for his musical version of Aida?

Pascal: I didn't audition for him; I auditioned for Tim Rice and several other Disney producers. Elton was not part of the process, but I have had lots of social interactions with him since. He was always very nice to us during the run of the show. He is not someone that puts you at ease. Some famous people have an aura of being 'just an average person.' He's not like that. You always know he is ELTON JOHN. There is a crazy energy about him. That was my experience of him. He's always been, and continues to be, one of my idols for my entire life.

Andrews-Katz: Since RENT premiered (1996) you've worked with several of the original cast members in various performances and projects. Why do you think that cast seems so closely knitted?

Pascal: We went through such an amazing experience with each other as a group. It galvanized us in a way nothing else could, because no one else [and no other shows] had that same kind of experience. It was unique to the 15 of us; everything about it, the success, Jonathan's [Larson] death, and the life the show has had since then. Everything. We all genuinely love each other, and got along very well. We've all remained close as a group, some closer than others, but still close. We became a family and formed an unspoken bond between us.

Andrews-Katz: You've done several musicals now, RENT, Aida, Cabaret, Chess, and now Something Rotten. How would you describe the fan base differences between musical theatre fans and those of your rock band or solo concert performances?

Pascal: It's become a lot of the same crowd at this point. All of my fans that come to see me in solo shows know me from musical theatre. If they have not seen me, they are fans of my shows, and then come to see my gigs. That's great because the audience becomes very receptive to what is offered. The audience seems to appreciate the different styles, and types of music I play; rock, my earlier influences, or acoustic stuff, or if I play with a band, they seem to appreciate it.

Andrews-Katz: As The Bard in Something Rotten, I imagine there are plenty of opportunities to steal a scene or two. Is there a particular moment of the show, or a number performed, that you look forward to each night?

Pascal: There is a number towards the end of the show called 'Make an Omelette.' It's a big production number and, to me, it's the most fun number of the show. It has everything, including crazy costumes, good music, lots of dancing etc.& I love everything about it.

Andrews-Katz: Cybele's is an allergen/gluten free packaged food company that you and your wife started. How did it get started and can these items be found in groceries or do they need to be ordered on line?

Pascal: We are in grocery stores across the country. We are in Kroger Foods and most local supermarkets in the country. We just released a line of super food, high protein, gluten free pasta that should be hitting the stores shortly, if it isn't already there. Our cookies are going into Wal-Mart. The business got started by my wife Cybele, with writing a gluten free cookbook. She runs the business and it is doing great.

Andrews-Katz: If you could play any role - regardless of any kind limitations such as gender/race etc.& - what role would it be and why?

Pascal: There are a few that I'd love to play. Max [Bialystock] in The Producers. I love doing comedy, playing something fun. I'm really into high-energy, wacky comedy ideas. That being said, I would like to play Jean Val Jean in Les Miz. That would be a great role to sing.

Adam Pascal made his Broadway debut playing Roger in the smash musical RENT. Since then he's performed in Chicago, Cabaret, Aida (Original Cast), Memphis, Something Rotten, and the musical parody, Disaster! (Original Cast) among others stage appearances. He has three solo CDs available.

Something Rotten tells the story of the Bottom brothers, playwrights trying to compete with their contemporary William Shakespeare. It plays at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre September 11 through October 1. https://www.5thavenue.org/ 206-625-1900; 888-584-4849.

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