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The Seth Concert Series – Adam Pascal | Review

Adam Pascal was very much the poster boy for the Broadway production of Rent and reprised the role of Roger Davis when the show came to the West End. He was so new to the musical theatre industry that during the audition process he initially refused to return for yet another callback, believing that if the production team hasn’t decided after several rounds already who they wanted, they can let someone else keep coming back for repeated auditions until the cows come home and then some. But it was Idina Menzel (of Wicked fame) who talked him into pushing on. One thing led to another, and Pascal even secured a Tony Award nomination.

Adam Pascal
Adam Pascal
But that experience and the pressures that come with originating a role on stage are challenges that he would rather not reprise if he can help it. Coming in to take over a role originated by another actor is likelier, he says, to result in stability: that is, an already successful show that is in demand is less likely to close early than one still finding its feet and trying to gain recognition. It’s this level of frank openness that made this episode of The Seth Concert Series so fascinating. That, and the incredible vocal range in Pascal’s singing voice. At 50 years young, his singing is better than ever, mostly if not entirely down to – even if he says so himself – eating the sorts of foods that will help keep his voice in good form, as well as getting a good night’s sleep every night.

In amongst the anecdotes of stage mishaps and possible explanations as to why certain productions didn’t quite do as well as they could have done, Pascal offered a highly refreshing honesty, which seemed to flow naturally. He has fewer insecurities than he gives himself credit for, telling the online audience he is not a trained singer, for instance, without launching into a robust defence. He was also at ease with not having any audible applause in an online concert, which he puts down to being in a band for some years which he eventually left because it never was particularly successful, and some nights they would perform to very small audiences indeed.

The selection of musical numbers for the concert was sufficiently broad, closing with what has become his signature tune, ‘One Song Glory’ from Rent, a song I’ve heard Pascal sing on at least two separate occasions at the Royal Albert Hall in London. We were also treated to some actor-musicianship for a couple of guitar solos, and an overall display of a wide range of emotions, from the exuberance of ‘I Got Life’ from Hair to the reflective poignancy of ‘Pity the Child’ from Chess. A thoroughly engaging concert, with plenty of laughs and insight.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Adam Pascal, (performing December 20) a Tony-nominee and Obie and Theatre World Award-winning star, has created some of the most memorable roles in recent Broadway history. He shot to stardom for originating the role of Roger in the Broadway blockbuster Rent, as well as the London production, and starred in the film version. He also originated the role of Radames in Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, and was featured as the Emcee in the critically acclaimed revival of Cabaret directed by Sam Mendes. He has recently starred on Broadway in Memphis, Chicago and the original cast of Disaster! (co-written by Seth Rudetsky!) Other of his recent performances include the role of Freddie in Chess at the Royal Albert Hall in London, alongside both Idina Menzel and Josh Groban. This performance was recorded for PBS’ Great Performances series and has been released on DVD. He also reprised his starring role in the 2009 Broadway Tour of Rent. His film work, in addition to the screen version of Rent, includes SLC Punk!, School of Rock and the movie musical Temptation. He has also released two solo rock albums, “Model Prisoner” and “Civilian” for Sh-K-Boom Records. Adam was seen recently as William Shakespeare in the 2017 National Tour of the Tony Award-winning musical comedy Something Rotten! and starred most recently as Edward in the new musical Pretty Woman on Broadway.

LISTING INFORMATION:
(for current shows)
Mark Cortale Presents
THE SETH CONCERT SERIES
ADAM PASCAL with SETH RUDETSKY
Sunday, December 20th at 8PM EST
Monday, December 21st at 3PM EST

KERRY BUTLER
Sunday, December 27th at 8PM EST
Monday, December 28th at 3PM EST
All tickets available at thesethconcertseries.com

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