Nick Adams nearly didn’t play Felicia in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, the role that has made him a fan favorite on Broadway. Casting directors originally planned to make Adams an understudy for the role of the young, mischievous drag queen. But then Facebook lent a hand.
Fans of Adams created a Facebook group, lobbying for his casting in the role, a la the social media campaign to get Betty White to host Saturday Night Live last year. “The producers actually noticed that people were pushing for me and they paid attention to it,” Adams said. “It’s amazing that the people who have been supportive are able to come celebrate this triumph with me.” It seems the celebration has turned into a never-ending party. Adams has over five thousand followers on Twitter and Priscilla enjoys repeat ticket buyers who have seen the show dozens of times since it opened in March.
Since making his Broadway debut in Chicago in 2006, Adams, 27, has hit the Great White Way running. His second role as Larry in the revival of A Chorus Line in 2008 got him massive attention, although unintended. Michael Riedel of The New York Post reported that TV star Mario Lopez felt upstaged by Adams’ muscular physique, so producers put him in a less revealing costume and moved him to the back of the dance line. The story was harped on in the gossip columns and tabloids for weeks, but soon all Broadway enthusiasts knew Adams’ name. (Adams and Lopez have since laughed off the incident and are reportedly friends.) A brief stint in the ensemble of the critically acclaimed La Cage aux Folles last spring followed, and then Priscilla’s stiletto heels were ready to be filled.
Video: Nick Adams on his emotional connection to Priscilla and award season nerves
- Douglas Hodge opens cabaret act at Cafe Carlyle
- Stephanie J. Block fans—Douglas Hodge has some news for you
- American Idiot sets closing date; will have accomplished a year on Broadway
- Will a four-day Memphis theatrical release accomplish much?
- Broadway Grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Do you want to see Douglas Hodge’s Meantime come to a New York stage with Stephanie J. Block? Do you think Memphis‘s brief movie release will make an impact on audiences? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Blues and broken bones: Douglas Hodge says Café Carlyle show is “quintessential New York experience”
Douglas Hodge has just finished his first Café Carlyle concert and all he wants is a beer. “Stella, a Pilsner—it doesn’t matter,” he says. After burning through 17 songs in an hour, a guy deserves a cold one. If the number of songs isn’t enough to impress, consider that Hodge accompanied himself on piano and guitar—all with a broken wrist, which he acquired while playing with his 11-year-old son. “It’s hard,” Hodge said of the injury. “It’ll hurt in about 10 minutes time.” After departing La Cage aux Folles in February, for which he won a Tony Award, Hodge is making his cabaret debut at Café Carlyle, appearing through March 26. Following his opening-night performance on Tuesday, Hodge sat down with Stage Rush to talk about his music style, his most memorable live concerts, and missing La Cage.
What do you think about the musician side of Douglas Hodge, Rushers? Will you catch him in his Café Carlyle engagement? Do you miss him in La Cage? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and remember to tune into Stage Rush TV this week for more of our interview with Hodge.
Douglas Hodge can’t get enough of New York. And why shouldn’t he? Last April, the Brit made his Broadway debut as Albin in La Cage aux Folles and ran away with a Tony for the role two months later. Last month, Hodge played his final performance in the show, and after a short return to the UK, he’s back in New York and making his cabaret debut at Café Carlyle. In his opening performance Tuesday night, Hodge burned his way through 17 songs in an hour of blues, folk, and musical theater.
Hodge’s English accent melted away during his opening number of Frank Sinatra’s “The Best Is Yet To Come,” sounding surprisingly like Ol’ Blue Eyes. He excellently merged the Sinatra standard with “The Best of Times” from La Cage, the two songs sounding as if they were meant to be together. Hodge then jubilantly welcomed the audience and introduced his band saying, “Tonight, we’re going to play as we’ve never played before… together.”
Before beginning his next song, Hodge spoke about his last gig—La Cage—and returning home for a short vacation. “I just returned from England, where some people still remember me as a man,” Hodge quipped. He then took to the piano and sang Stevie Wonder’s “All In Love Is Fair” with great soul. Read more
The latest installment of the At This Performance concert series brought big laughs Sunday night. The concert that gives Broadway understudies and standbys the spotlight saw performers choosing hilarious song selections and telling stories of their careers that had the audience in stitches. Producing artistic director and host of the concert series Stephen DeAngelis noted the importance of understudies in theater, acknowledging their future star power. Speaking of what Broadway would be like without these actors, DeAngelis said, “They’d be dying Snooki green and putting a broom in her hand.”
The night kicked off with At This Performance’s youngest performer ever—11-year-old Logan Rowland from The Addams Family. He sang Pugsley’s solo “What If” with polish and confidence while his parents video taped and took pictures from the audience. Rowland told the story of his first time going on in the role—co-star Nathan Lane made an announcement to the audience during the show’s curtain call that they had just witnessed his Broadway debut. Rowland’s Addams co-stars Mo Brady and Lisa M. Karlin duetted with “Crazier Than You,” but didn’t live up to the chemistry displayed by Colin Cunliffe and Jessica Lea Patty when they sang the song last October.
Brady’s solo follow-up song was a song called “I Won’t Have To Anymore.” Easily the night’s most emotional performance, Brady sang the story of a young man preparing to flee the home of his verbally and physically abusive father. Showing great emotional depth and vocal range, Brady’s performance was among the night’s most memorable.
Video: The Addams Family‘s Mo Brady sings “I Won’t Have To Anymore”
(Using an iPhone or iPad? Watch on YouTube)
The new Broadway season swoops in with quite a homecoming when it takes over the area it inhabits. During the annual Broadway on Broadway concert, Broadway the art takes full control of Broadway the district. In its nineteenth year, the free outdoor concert in Times Square offered strong performances, many of theater’s biggest stars, and a lack of new offerings.
Sponsored by The Broadway League and billed as a kick-off to the new theater season, Broadway on Broadway should (and usually does) feature the new musical productions that will be bowing in the coming months. It’s an exciting sneak peak of shows that are opening in a few weeks, and some much further into the year. Last year, new productions like Finian’s Rainbow and Memphis were among those that debuted their songs and cast to the Times Square audience. This year, just two new musicals performed, out of the 10+ productions slated for Broadway this year.
Only one of those two productions, Elf, features original music. Beth Leavel was on hand to perform “There Is A Santa Claus,” which was pretty paint-by-numbers in melody, but embodied a strong seasonal flavor. Will Swenson (with newly cropped hair, much to the female audience’s audible disdain) performed “I Say A Little Prayer” from Priscilla Queen of the Desert—a jukebox musical. Not two of the strongest numbers of the day, but still exciting, being they were new.
Where was the cast of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, who is clearly ready to go? The Scottsboro Boys are still performing at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, so they get a pass on this event. But why couldn’t Reeve Carney represent Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark like he did on Good Morning America on Friday? Were the A-list stars of Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown above the free concert? Being that all these shows are set to open in the next two months, a one-song performance couldn’t have been too far out of their reach. Instead of performances, Sutton Foster, from the upcoming revival of Anything Goes (another production that didn’t perform—like she doesn’t know how to sing “Blow, Gabriel, Blow?) appeared on stage to read from the list of all these shows that are coming to Broadway and wouldn’t be performing. Some tease. Read more
- Duncan Sheik plays second show at City Winery
- It’s official: Jennifer Damiano will play Mary Jane in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
- Broadway in Bryant Park ends with American Idiot and La Cage aux Folles
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Are you prac-ti-ca-lly per-fect? Did you catch Duncan Sheik’s concert at City Winery? Do you think he should continue with the covers or return fully to performing his solo work? Are you on board for Jennifer Damiano joining Spider-Man? Did you see the finale of Broadway in Bryant Park? Which week was your favorite this summer? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below!
The weather didn’t get the memo that Broadway in Bryant Park still had one more week left in the season. It drizzled on the massive crowd that gathered for the free lunchtime concert’s final show of the summer. But judging from the crowd’s reactions to the buzzy shows that performed, they didn’t seem to mind the rain.
The Cagelles of La Cage aux Folles, this year’s Tony winner for Best Revival of a Musical, took the stage first. I wasn’t surprised that Kelsey Grammer didn’t participate in the event, but Douglass Hodge, the Tony winner for Best Actor, could have showed up to belt out “I Am What I Am.” Instead, their merry mass of transvestites entertained the crowd to exuberant applause. Not donning any feminine garb for “We Are What We Are” did come off a bit strange (“Look under our frocks,” what frocks?!), but their energy was through the roof, especially as they spiked extra large beach balls into the audience. The song began strangely though, as the announcer introduced the song as “What Are We Here For,” and then interrupted the already-in-progress number to give it the correct title. Dale Hensely and Chris Hoch went on as Albin and Georges, respectively, for “With You On My Arm,” which came off dull. The duo then joined the Cagelles for their closing act, “The Best of Times,” in which they paled in comparison to the effusive ensemble.
Video: “We Are What We Are”
- Brian d’Arcy James to return to Next to Normal
- The four shows I saw this week… in 30 seconds: Million Dollar Quartet, Next to Normal, La Cage aux Folles, and Everyday Rapture
- The At This Performance concert inspires with stellar understudy talent
- Broadway grosses