Stage Rush TV: Episode 80
- Adam Jacobs of The Lion King and Aladdin—the guy who’s played both Simba and Aladdin
- Simba’s workout tips
- Marathon week of theater, including The Mountaintop and The Lyons
- Win tickets to the off-Broadway comedy The Judy Show
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Is Adam Jacobs living out your childhood dreams? Do you think you’ll adopt any of Simba’s workout tips? Have you seen either The Mountaintop or The Lyons? What did you think? Thank you so much for making 80 episodes of Stage Rush TV, your continued support, and for being the best readers a guy could ask for. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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Adam Jacobs: A Disney prince, twice over
If you were a young boy in the early 90s, chances are you wanted to be Aladdin and Simba. Heck, if you were a girl, you may have wanted to be them too, or at least marry them. Only one person on this earth has been both Aladdin and Simba; his name is Adam Jacobs.
Although Jacobs is the only person who can carry the honor of being the first to do this, he is an example that the rest of our childhood dreams still can come true. Naturally, Jacobs was one of these children who wanted to grow up and be the street rat turned Sultan and lion cub turned king. He admits that his 10-year-old self would never have believed that by the time he would enter his late 20s, he would have played Simba in The Lion King’s national tour, the title character in Aladdin’s first theatrical production, and then Simba once again on Broadway, where he can currently be seen eight times a week. Disney really is the stuff dreams are made of.
Jacobs grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and earned his BFA in theater at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He did some regional theater work and performed on cruise ships (where he was made to pull double-duty as a security guard, poking a metal-detecting wand through old ladies’ purses), but those gigs didn’t last long. In 2006, Jacobs made his Broadway debut as Marius in the revival of Les Miserables, which opened the door for leading-man roles.
Aside from feeling ecstatic when receiving the offer to play Simba on Broadway, Jacobs noted that his other main emotion was relief. “I had been touring in various shows for almost five years,” Jacobs said, referencing his runs in Cinderella, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia!, The Lion King, and Aladdin’s Seattle run. “The whole goal from the beginning was to come home to New York.” But before Jacobs could make roots in his new hometown, he would get to tackle his second Disney prince—Aladdin in the buzzed-about world premiere musical in Seattle.
For the production, which ran at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater in July, Disney need only look at its current pool of princes for the right candidate. Adams was plucked from his Simba duties in The Lion King’s national tour to mount the flying carpet. Read more
Broadway in Bryant Park recap: ‘Rent’ and ‘Wicked’
The big boys came out to play in Bryant Park Thursday. This week’s outdoor concert featured some of Broadway’s biggest box-office hitters: Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Rent, and Wicked. Death Takes A Holiday came by to chill too. This group made for one of the strongest sets this summer, without having any particular wow moment. Here are the highlights.
Roundabout Theatre Company’s new off-Broadway musical Death Takes A Holiday served as the opening act. Kevin Earley, the newly crowned lead who has replaced the laryngitis-stricken Julian Ovenden, was there to toe tap with Mara Davi in “Shimmy Like They Do In Gay Paris.” Spring Awakening alum Alexandra Socha was clear-voiced and charming during “What Do You Do” with Max Von Essen. Overall, the new score by Maury Yeston sounded elegant and romantic.
The boys from Jersey set the mic stands in a line and plowed through a medley of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons classics. Even though I’ve heard this set so many times, the foursome of Miles Aubrey, Erik Bates, Russell Fischer, and Ryan Jesse sounded spot on as the famous crooners. Also, I’m a sucker for that mic-stand choreography. Read more
Stage Rush TV: Episode 33
- Attending the NYMF opening night party with Baz Luhrmann and Claire Danes
- Rediscovering The Lion King
- A second go at Time Stands Still
- Win a free pair of tickets to Time Stands Still
- Broadway grosses
Are you seeing any plays at the NYMF, Rushers? What Broadway staples have you rediscovered? Have you caught Time Stands Still? Leave your thoughts, questions, and suggestions in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to follow Stage Rush on Twitter and Facebook for on-the-go updates, news, and sightings.
Concert recap: Broadway on Broadway
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