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Adam Jacobs talks about starring in ‘The Who’s Tommy’ musical on Broadway

Actor and singer Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin” and “The Lion King”) chatted about starring in thew new musical “The Who’s Tommy” on Broadway.

Alison Luff, Adam Jacobs, and Ali Louis Bourzgui in 'The Who's Tommy' on Broadway
Alison Luff, Adam Jacobs, and Ali Louis Bourzgui in 'The Who's Tommy' on Broadway. Photo Credit: Liz Lauren.
Alison Luff, Adam Jacobs, and Ali Louis Bourzgui in 'The Who's Tommy' on Broadway. Photo Credit: Liz Lauren.

Actor and singer Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin” and “The Lion King”) chatted about starring in thew new musical “The Who’s Tommy” on Broadway.

“The Who’s Tommy” directed by Des McAnuff, opened on March 28th, and it is being performed at the Nederlander Theatre in Manhattan.

‘The Who’s Tommy’ musical

On being a part of this production, Jacobs said, “It has been going great. The audiences are really taken to it. At the end of the show, they are on their feet, and they are just feeling moved by this production. So, that has been really awesome to see.”

“We don’t invite the audience to applaud until the end of the first act, so the whole time they are out there watching and experiencing, and kind of forget that they are out there,” he noted.

“The way that it is staged and directed, we are not pandering to them at all. We are completely in it for ourselves, and you don’t have to show the emotion. You just feel it and it gets translated and picked up by the audience. It’s anti-musical theatre storytelling in a way,” he said with a sweet laugh.

“We have a moment at the end, where we line up like they do in ‘Rent,’ and we line up as an ensemble and sing out that last number, and it works, and it just resonates with people,” he added.

On playing his character Captain Walker, Jacobs said, “He is a complicated character; Captain Walker is a father, and I actually am a father in real life, so that works out.”

“Actually having 10-year-old twin boys, which is the same age as our 10-year-old Tommy in the show, is an added element there,” he said.

“I like this role because there is so much meat and potatoes to it. I can really bite into it, delve into the role and explore. It’s a darker story and it just gives me a chance to really do something different as an actor, especially since I haven’t had many opportunities to work on material like this, so it has been really fulfilling,” he elaborated.

Working with Ali Louis Bourzgui

Jacobs had great words about working with Ali Louis Bourzgui, who stars as Tommy. “Ali is our star, and this is his Broadway debut. He is just shouldering this piece with great skill,” he said. “I love his acting and his vocal tonality. It all just works. He is really killing it.”

The digital age

On being a theatre actor in the digital age, Jacobs remarked, “I think one of the reasons why Tommy is so successful is we’ve updated the show, and they’ve reimagined it in a way that is appropriate, and it just makes sense in the current digital age.”

“Technology has really exploded during the last decade to the point where it is very easy to get lost,” he said. “Our show is about discovery and connection because we need to break ourselves away and find that human connection once again.”

“Our story is like a parable… It’s a fable and it’s pretty relevant,” he acknowledged. “It talks about connection and blindly following our leaders. There is a lot of relevance to it.”

Pete Townshend of The Who

He also enjoyed working with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Pete Townshend of The Who.

“That was pretty cool,” he admitted. “Even before the New York show, we had a chance to go down to Miami to promote the show for Broadway Across America and we got to be with him there too. We got to share the stage with him, so that was very cool to have that experience.”

“Pete had that British humor, which is fun to be around,” he said. “Pete has been very supportive, and he loves the show. He seems really proud of it, so that feels good.”

‘Last Call in the Dog House’ film

Jacobs recalled being a part of the movie “Last Call in the Dog House,” which was written and directed by Bruce Reisman. “Bruce is great,” he said. “Bruce has such vision for this project.”

Jacobs stars alongside David Chokachi (“Baywatch”), Yancy Butler, and Aaron Fors. “Aaron is very talented, and he has so many things that he is great at, and I hope we get a chance to do something again,” Jacobs said.

The synopsis is: The Dog House is a New York dive bar owned by an extraordinary family. This watering hole serves as a sanctuary for those who are running from themselves.

Three people, from different backgrounds, enter at closing time on separate nights, carrying the world on their shoulders, but by the time each of them leaves after “last call,” their souls are saved, with a new understanding of how connected they all are.

“That was great,” he admitted. “I don’t get many opportunities to do material like that, especially since it had a darker storyline to it.”

“David Chokachi was great,” he said. “David had his daughter on the set too, so that was really wonderful. It was great to see them together and working on a project together That was really special too.”

“I relish these opportunities, which really allow me to explore as an actor,” he said. “It’s funny because doing ‘The Who’s Tommy’ feels very cinematic, where it feels like you are in a movie.”

Stage of his life

On the title of the current chapter of his life, Jacobs said, “Broadway 3.0 or Adam Jacobs 3.0.”

Superpowers of choice

If he were to have any superpowers, it would be telekinesis and teleportation. “I’ve always been fascinated by telekinesis because you can move things with your mind, and teleportation is great too,” he said.

“I could really use teleportation right now, especially to be able to go home to Chicago, be with my kids, and then, return to work in a split second. That would be really great,” he admitted.

Success

On his definition of the word success, Jacobs said, “Success means doing good work and being respected for it, that has always been my goal. I just feel fulfilled working with talented people and people that have vision, as well as people that I respect and admire in the industry.”

Closing thoughts on ‘The Who’s Tommy’ musical

Jacobs stated about the show, “I want people to come and rock out, and have a great time. It’s not just for people that know the music of The Who. There are not that many rock operas currently on Broadway, and it’s a very unique theatrical experience. People will be taken for a ride.”

For more information on actor Adam Jacobs, follow him on Instagram.

To learn more about “The Who’s Tommy,” check out its official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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