Adam Jacobs is a Broadway actor currently starring in the title role of Disney’s Aladdin, the hit Broadway musical which opens at SHN’s Orpheum Theatre today, Nov. 1, 2017, and runs through Jan. 7, 2018. Read more about Adam’s background as a Bay Area native who is now the lead in the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle.
Also, be sure to save your seats for our Excellence in Business Awards, which will feature exclusive performances from cast members of Disney’s Aladdin!
What inspired you to pursue theater?
I had been performing in piano recitals at the SF Conservatory, as well as in local community theater shows, and also with a small song and dance troupe called “Razzle Dazzle” all through elementary and middle school. Once in high school, I had a great theater instructor who noticed my potential and gave me the idea to consider a career in the arts. Up until then it was just a fun creative outlet but once he said that I really could do it for a living, I thought it over and then decided to go for it. I went on to get my BFA in theater from NYU and the rest is history!
What was it like growing up with the San Francisco theater scene?
The SF community theaters really gave me the early experience I needed to make the jump to professional theater later on. Growing up in Half Moon Bay, I was fortunate to have supportive parents that would drive me 40 minutes either up to the city or over the hill to San Mateo or down to Palo Alto to participate in shows.
Even before that, my folks brought me to see the big touring shows that would come through downtown. I vaguely remember seeing Yul Brynner star in The King and I when I was 5 years old and being enraptured by the music, sets and costumes. My mom says now that because I sat through that show and didn’t cry or fuss that I was destined to become an actor.
What is one of the most powerful performances of your career?
My first large professional production was with the SF Opera at the SHN Orpheum Theatre where I played “Young Harvey” in the documentary opera of Harvey Milk by Stewart Wallace and Michael Korie. I was 17 and I remember we performed one of the shows on the anniversary of his assassination.
To honor Harvey, the actors as well as many of the audience members all reenacted the historic candlelight march down Market Street just prior to the show. Once we reached the theater, the actors and ticket holders filed in and we began the performance shortly thereafter. The energy was visceral and to this day, it is the most powerful theater experience I can remember.
How did you feel when you learned you landed the role of Aladdin in the Broadway company?
I was thrilled of course. Aladdin is a character I’ve loved since I was a kid. I’d grown up watching the animated film many times over so I was more than a little awestruck to hear the news. Probably one of the most surreal moments of my career when the realization truly hit me.
What do you love most about being a part of the national tour for Aladdin?
I love sharing this joyful show with audiences all across the country and meeting with people from all walks of life. This show speaks to such a wide and diverse audience and I’ve been doing the show a while but it still amazes me how many different kinds of folks all come together and share the same wide smiles that I see every night at the stage door. For many people, it’s their first time seeing a touring Broadway show, and it makes me happy to know that we get to inspire young and old alike to come see more shows and support the arts in their communities.