Adam Pascal is best known for playing Roger in the original Broadway production of Rent. He had never done a show before, as a matter of fact, theatre was not even in his scope of thinking. He wanted to be the next rock singer. It was Idina Menzel his next door neighbor, who called him up and thought he’d be right for the show. She had already been cast. He had never auditioned before and after his first audition, he was given the song “One Song Glory,” and from there, fame, a Tony nomination, winning the Drama League and Obie Awards. He also became as he puts it an asshole.
Now with eight Broadway shows to his credit, Pascal, is touring his new cabaret show “So Far,” around the country starting with The Green Room 42. During the show Pascal walks his audience through his career, giving personalized stories connected with each role. With just an acoustic guitar, a string of Christmas lights that change color and a stool Pascal gets personal.
Next up was “Elaborate Lives” from Aida and the story of how Elton John gave opening night gift of a cross when he is Jewish and an Armani suit.
Pascal joined Idina Menzel and Josh Groban for Chess at London’s Royal Albert Hall. We were treated to a rock tenor “Pity the Child” sung with heart.
Pascal has a fabulous high rock timber, but it his lower register that I find so moving. Playing the final Master of Ceremonies in the 1998 production of Cabaret, was a role he fought for. “Everything I did in Cabaret was a new skill. The German accent, the choreography…I probably worked eighteen hours each day to perfect that. It changed my perspective on performing and acting, and it gave me a newfound respect for it. ”Singing “Maybe This Time,” it was clear Pascal finally stared to really embrace the world of musical theatre.
During the night Pascal let the audience ask questions, which was interesting to see what motivated this fan base to stay so loyal.
Taking over for Chad Kimball in Memphis, Pascale gave us the showstopper “Memphis Lives in Me.” Pascal’s timber for country music is soothing.
Playing the 52nd Billy Flynn in Chicago, we were treated to a stripped down version of Roxie Hart’s “Funny Honey.” Pascal, made this an intimate moment in the show.
On of my favorite songs is “It’s Hard To Be The Bard” from Something Rotten!. Complete with that fabulous beat Pascal did a winning version on guitar.
Pascal loved working on Seth Rudetsky’s Disaster. He thinks toilet flushing is hysterical as he sang Harry Nilsson’s “Without You.”
Pascal recently took over for Edward Lewis, in Pretty Woman and made “You’re Beautiful” a heartfelt ballad.
Rent recently celebrated its 23rd anniversary and surprisingly that was what Pascal did not talk about. He did stay Rent was the best and the worst thing that ever happened to him.
Finishing off the evening was “Memory” from Cats. After seeing the horrible trailer for the movie earlier that day, hearing Pascal do a fabulous rendition acoustically was calming and much needed.
Pascal strips himself bare, revealing not only his talent, but a person who has grown up, taken stock of his misdoings and is making restitution. It is refreshing and exciting to watch.
You can catch Adam Pascal in “So Far” at The Purple Room in Palm Springs (September 7), Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood (September 11), and Martinis Above Fourth in San Diego (September 12).