Adam Pascal Is The Full Package In 'Something Rotten' At Bushnell

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Think of Adam Pascal, and thoughts spring to mind of the romantic roles he’s played in such musicals as Rent or Aida or his more dramatic turns in Cabaret and Memphis or his sensitive rock persona as a solo rock artist.

But in a bust-a-gut comedy?

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In the touring Broadway musical Something Rotten — which plays The Bushnell in Hartford Jan. 30-Feb. 4, Pascal plays an egocentric, codpiece-strutting William Shakespeare as if he were a rock superstar of London, circa 1490.

Is he channeling any one of his own rock heroes for this wild and crazy interpretation?

“Freddie Mercury, definitely,” Pascal tells me on the phone from his home in Los Angeles where the tour had landed for the holiday season. “And David Lee Roth and David Bowie, too; those peacocky, flamboyant front men whom I wanted to be like when I was growing up and wanting to be a rock star myself. 

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“And, ironically, when I started actually playing [in a rock band], I wasn’t like them at all. It wasn’t in my personality. So now I get to pretend and work through these fantasies I’ve had since childhood by playing this character in that way.”

Comedy is an untapped area of his career, which has been going on for 21 years since he made his theater bow with Rent and became the face for a new generation of leading men.

“I love to laugh,” says Pascal, now 47 and the father of two teenage sons. “And I love to make people laugh. People who know me know me as a comedian at heart, so this is my opportunity to express that. Having done so many dramatic roles in my career, right now I’m really having fun doing comedy and I would like to continue to do it for as long as I can.”


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