Past Articles

What's New on the Rialto

Interview with Adam Pascal

Adam Pascal
Adam Pascal made his Broadway debut in 1996 as the HIV-positive rock guitarist Roger Davis in the groundbreaking musical Rent. His unforgettable performance earned him Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations, and he won the Theater World Award and Obie Award for his role. Pascal went on to reprise the character in the 2005 film adaptation of Rent, and then toured the US, Japan and South Korea with Rent The Broadway Tour in 2009. His other Broadway credits include Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret and Radames in Aida. This January, Pascal is joining his Rent co-star Anthony Rapp for a special one-night only event at New York's The Town Hall, which will feature the two stars sharing stories and music from Rent in addition to pop, rock and original songs.

Nick Orlando spoke with Pascal about the upcoming show.

Nick Orlando:  This is your first concert together. How did this come about?

Adam Pascal:  We have played a few shows already, but this is our first in New York City. When we get to New York in January, we will have just wrapped up two weeks in Japan. I have been out and about doing this for several years now. After the Rent tour, we saw that we had fans who would love to see us around the country. I asked Anthony if he would be interested in doing shows with me. We would be able to book bigger houses. Right after that, we booked a few dates in Japan. It is very organic and came out of a simple idea of "hey, this would be fun."

Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp
NO:  You are each doing your own set?

AP:   Yes, we will each do a set and then we will also be performing together.

NO:  Which songs from Rent will you be singing?

AP:   I will sing a rearranged version of "One Song Glory" and Anthony will sing "Without You" and "Halloween." We will sing "What You Own" and "Seasons of Love" together.

NO:  At this point, you have been part of Rent for a third of your life. Describe the experience of being part of a show that has had such an impact on Broadway.

AP:  It was surreal at the time and hard to absorb. All these years later, it has had such an impact. You look at other musicals and you see that Rent had an influence on them—Next to Normal, Spring Awakening, American Idiot. I'm immensely proud that I was part of something that had such an impact on musical theatre; to play these songs, it's like I have my own hit songs. It's had a positive impact. I am very lucky that the show I was part of was such an intelligent, thoughtful, heartfelt show.

NO:  Will we see you back on Broadway anytime soon?

AP:   Sure, the only thing keeping me away from Broadway is a good show! I'm a good show away from Broadway. I have something which I am producing based on the band Queensrÿche. The name of the album is "Operation: Mindcrime." I'm hoping it will make it to Broadway. People are always creating shows, but with a finite audience. The Mamma Mia!, Wicked, The Lion King audiences are the ones that matter. They keep the shows running. Shows like American Idiot have a finite audience. People that want to see that show are probably under 25 years old, and they don't have a lot of money. They will not come back over and over again. You don't have the time, and you run out of steam. You need the tourists and most don't want to see American Idiot.

NO:  Who would you want to see cast in the show that you're producing?

AP:   I'm in it; I am one of the leads. A major character in the piece, I always pictured for Patti LuPone. She would play this brilliant doctor. There are four main lead characters.

NO:  What are your thoughts on some of the shows you have seen this season?

AP:   When you get a team of super talented people and they put something together which is bad, then I'm annoyed.

NO:  There is talk that Rent is headed back to New York in June, this time Off-Broadway.

AP:   I was as surprised as anyone. It's great, if it works. I hope there is enough of an audience. If they get talented people in it, it will work. They want to cast young. If you cast it well, it will be a great show. I know Michael Greif is directing and looking for a new production team. He is looking for new ideas. I would want my sons to play Mark and Roger in 10 or 15 years.

NO:  If they made you an offer, would you return to the production?

AP:   They want a whole new, fresh look. I had such a great time on tour. It was such a wonderful way for me to end that chapter of my life.

NO:  What else are you working on?

AP:   I will be doing a new record of Broadway material. I'm really excited about it. It will be for the Broadway community and the rock and roll community. I will be working with some idols of mine. That's all I can say for now.

Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp will appear at The Town Hall (123 West 43rd Street, between 6th Avenue and Broadway) on Monday, January 10th at 8pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or

Photo: Keenen Brown

About the author: Nick Orlando, a top performing sales and marketing representative, has more than nine years experience in the healthcare and media industries. Within the media industry, Nick has worked for WE TV, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, WCBS-TV, Cox Radio, "Saturday Night Live," and "Live with Regis and Kelly." Drawing on his diversified experience in radio and television, which ranges from programming to production to reporting, Nick formed NICO Productions in 2006, providing news and reviewer content on various entertainment, Broadway, music, film, and television topics.

Nick was born in Brooklyn and raised in Staten Island, NY, where he completed his studies. He received his B.S. in communications and marketing from St. John's University in 2005, where he was also inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society and Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Nick considers traveling, theater, music and working out his favorite leisure activities. Nick currently devotes some of his personal time to volunteering with One Brick and God's Love We Deliver.

Past Rialto Columns

Search What's New on the Rialto

Privacy Policy