Star of the Week: Adam Pascal of ‘Rent’ fame rocks it in ‘Chicago’

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Adam Pascal takes a bow with the cast of Chicago.

Adam Pascal can do pretty much anything. At least, that’s what his career has led me to believe. From raw rocker in Rent to charming leading man in Aida to southern gentleman in Memphis, Adam has brought a whole array of personalities to the stage. Just when it seemed he had played every variety of character possible, Adam showed us that he had another surprise up his sleeve.

On April 8 he made the Ambassador Theatre his new home as he took on the role of Billy Flynn in Chicago. As Billy, a flashy criminal lawyer with questionable morals, Adam shows the Great White Way his smooth-talking side.

It seems that Adam has carved out one of those dream careers defined by a multitude of fulfilling and diverse roles. His path to Broadway success is enough to make anyone believe in fate. His first foray into theatre was when he joined the New York Theatre Workshop cast of Rent with no previous training in acting.

He was pursuing a rock career, and when the Rent casting team held an open call for rock singers, he auditioned out of the blue. Clearly a spark was seen in him in the audition room that day, and fans still see that spark on stage night after night all these years later. The rest is history.

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Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal onstage in Rent.

Rent led Adam to what was practically overnight success as an actor. Instead of fading out of the limelight when his Rent experience came to an end he turned his happenstance adventure on Broadway into a lifelong vocation. He went on to play the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret on Broadway, a far cry from his role in Rent as the rugged Roger Davis. Shortly after Cabaret, Adam starred in Elton John’s Disney musical Aida as Radames. His run in Memphis on Broadway as Huey continued to prove that each role he chose was vastly different from the last.

Even as he stars on Broadway, Adam continues his solo music career with several albums under his belt. He’s also dabbled in film acting and even appeared in the Jack Black film School of Rock. It’s exciting to imagine what new dimensions this Tony nominee will bring to the revered role of Billy Flynn, a character firmly cemented in collective theatre culture. With versatility like Adam’s, Chicago fans can pretty much be guaranteed they’re in for a wild ride.

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About Claire H.

Writer, performer, picture-taker, New Yorker. Find me on Twitter at @Claire_Hannum.

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