Adam Pascal Makes His Unplugged Feinstein’s Debut

July 3, 2023

Photo by Robbin Wilson

One the best things about covering acts at Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael is that I am given the opportunity to see performers I have seen in Broadway shows up close. Such was the case when I saw Adam Pascal at Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael Saturday, at the second show of his two-day run at the intimate venue in Carmel.

The previous times I saw actor-singer-musician Pascal was in 1996 when he starred as Roger Davis in in the groundbreaking rock musical “Rent” on Broadway, and later, I saw his performance as wealthy businessman Edward Lewis in 2022 in the national touring production of “Pretty Woman: The Musical” at Clowes Hall. What both productions had in common was a display of tenor Pascal’s astonishing vocal power, range, and control, plus his dramatic skills.

What made this performance unique was the fact that Pascal, 53, who began his career as a rock musician, accompanied himself on an electrified acoustic guitar. Searching my memory, I do not recall ever having seen a cabaret act in which pianos and other musical instruments are not also utilized. But no matter. The powerful connection he made to the sold-out audience through his music and self-deprecating stage personality was undeniable.

Adam Pascal – Photo by Tom Alvaez

Pascal’s program consisted of songs associated with his 30-year career performing mostly in Broadway musicals. Sprinkled throughout his 75-minute act were anecdotes associated with his various roles, along with stories about famous people he has worked with or performed for.  His remembrances included Idina Menzel, his “Rent” co-star, first informing him about the audition for the show; falling from a set piece, along with his co-star, and injuring themselves in “Aida” during an out-of-town preview; performing in front of Sir Elton John, who walked out of the theatre; and a hilarious story about bombing in a nursing facility show in Florida. Delivering banter in a low-key manner and showing a wry sense of humor, Pascal, dressed casually, came off as being non-pretentious and authentic, qualities that clearly endeared him to me and a transfixed audience.

I am hard pressed to name those songs that moved or touched me the most, but suffice to say, those the deeply affected me, due to Pascal’s passionate, heartfelt delivery, were “One Song Glory,” Pascal’s signature song in “Rent”; “I Don’t Care” and “Maybe This Time” from “Cabaret” in which, as a member of the show’s closing cast, he played the Emcee — his dream role; Sir Elton John’s “Rocket Man”; “Funny Honey” from “Chicago,” and “Without You” from “Rent.”

Following the show, I had the opportunity to meet Pascal after he came out into the house to greet attendees. Personable and approachable, he was the same genuine and sincere person I had just seen on stage. It was a satisfying conclusion to an evening of entertainment from a modern-day troubadour, carrying a message of love and positivity. Nothing flashy and refreshingly straightforward.




photo: Josh Humble

About Tom

Journalist, producer, director, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, arts administrator, TV contributor, actor, model, writer and lyricist, Tom Alvarez has had an extensive career in media and the fine arts and continues to be an enthusiastic and devoted fan of both. His passion and unique background grant him insight, access and perspective to cover, promote and review the arts in Indianapolis, Central Indiana and beyond. Follow him on social media @tomalvarezartswriter and @tomalvarez1.

Alvarez has been writing about theatre, dance, music, cinema and visual arts for 40 years. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, NOTE Magazine, and, among many other print and online platforms. A former contributor to Across Indiana on WFYI-TV, he currently has a regular performing arts segment on WISH-TV’s Life. Style. Live!

A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, Alvarez co-created “Calder, The Musical” and is the managing director of Magic Thread Cabaret. As an actor-model, he has appeared in numerous TV and print ads and is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

On the Aisle Team

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