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Pascal rocks out - Love is Wicked Distraction

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October 25th, 2006

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03:18 am - Pascal rocks out

Hahaha. Adam Pascal and Idina were "friendly" in high school!! article under cut.

During those tender teenage years, Pascal was a heavy metal fan ("Judas Priest, that was my band") and had his own band, which went through many names. The band's final name was Mute.

"I was outvoted three-to-one on that name," Pascal says. And what was his choice? "Anything but Mute."

Pascal's rock'n' roll career didn't quite took off, but thanks to his "nerdy" friend Menzel, he got his big break

She had already been cast in a raucous little off-Broadway musical about drag queens, artists and people with AIDS. It was called "Rent," and her boyfriend at the time mentioned to Pascal that the creative team was having trouble casting a rocker-type in the role of Roger.

If you saw "Rent" on Broadway or caught last year's movie version, you know Pascal got the part and soared to fame largely on the power of his electrifying ballad "One Song, Glory."

Though Broadway fame beckoned — Pascal would go on to play the Emcee in "Cabaret" during its long run and originate the role of Radames in Disney's "Aida" — Pascal still yearned for rock stardom.
"When 'Rent' exploded, I thought for sure this was my springboard to a major label record deal," he says. "But it didn't happen for a lot of reasons. Frankly, I don't think I had the chops to do it back then. I didn't really know who I was as a singer or a songwriter."

He has a better idea now.

On Wednesday, Pascal turned 36, and tonight he plays the first of two solo concert gigs at San Francisco's Post Street Theatre.

The concert is just him on bass and guitar and a pianist. His repertoire comes from his two solo albums, "Model Prisoner" and "Civilian " (both on the Sh-K-Boom label), and from Broadway shows.

Of course he sings "One Song, Glory," but he has re-imagined it as what he describes as a "haunting piano ballad with a different time signature." He also throws in "What I Did for Love" from "A Chorus Line," "Maria" from "West Side Story" and "Maybe This Time" from "Cabaret."

"I wanted to experiment with taking Broadway tunes and drastically re-arranging them without changing their intent," Pascal says. "A lot of times, taken out of context, musical theater material doesn't work. I wanted to make the songs more palatable."

Assuming the movie of "Rent" would be a big hit and offers would pour in, Pascal and his wife, Cybele, and their two sons, Lennon Jay, 5, and Montgomery Lovell, 3, moved to Los Angeles.

The offers didn't pour in.

"If I didn't have music in my life ..." Pascal says, then pauses for thought. "If I was out here just trying to be an actor, I'd kill myself. It's brutal. I feel like every audition I go to I'm at an International Male catalog call with all these super-buffed-up, super-handsome male model-looking guys. You want to be taken seriously as an actor and be judged on your talent, but that's not what it's about."

But Pascal does have his music — and his family — and he's doing all right.

Reflecting on his birthday, Pascal says: "I'm much, sort of, smarter and more adept at what I do than I was 10 years ago. Music is a young person's business, but it didn't happen for me as a young person. It's happening to me now. It took whatever my life experiences have been for the last 10 years to acquire the skills I need to do this well. I feel I have more of those skills to be a better musician, lyricist, player, whatever. I'm finally coming into my own."

Pascal's concerts are at 8 p.m. today and Saturday at the Post Street Theatre, 450 Post St., San Francisco. Tickets are $35 to $85. Call (415) 771-6900 or visit http://www.poststreettheatre.com.


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