BWW Interview: 6 Questions with FALSETTOS' Nick Adams
Saint Paul's Ordway main stage production of Falsettos opens Feb. 19, and it's not a show many MSP area people are likely familiar with unless they made it to the 2016 revival at Lincoln Center or the 1992 Broadway debut. It toured in 1993 nationally but I cannot confirm if it was in this area. The 2016 revival was filmed and aired on PBS's Live From Lincoln Center in fall 2017.
The Broadway show consists of the latter two of a trio of Off-Broadway one-acts, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, book written by William Finn and James Lapine, with music and lyrics by Finn. Lapine directs. Falsettos revolves around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin (Max von Essen), his wife, Trina (Eden Espinoza), his lover (the focus of this interview), his about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and the lesbians next door. It's said to be a hilarious and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family.
Nick Adams, who originated the role of Adam/Felicia in PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT on Broadway in 2011, stars as Whizzer Brown, Marvin's lover in this story. A graduate of Boston Conservatory of Music, Adams began in a production of CHICAGO, the OBC of THE PIRATE QUEEN, and Broadway revivals of A CHORUS LINE, GUYS AND DOLLS, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES and was the final actor to play Fiyero in the first national tour of WICKED. Adams took a moment to provide some insight into his latest role and career in this 6 Questions (and a plug, but not a plug this time).
Can you tell our readers more about your character of Whizzer in Falsettos - not just the basic storyline, but what is the most important thing you have learned about him in playing this role?
There is real humanity under his veneer. The arch of his trajectory is vast and I love the ability to show his vulnerabilities. It's been an incredible character to explore and mine.
FALSETTOS is a musical that I don't think many people have had the opportunity to see in Minneapolis/St. Paul... what about this show should people come to see and expect when the curtain rises?
This musical is a singular experience. It's so real. It's charming, funny, clever and heart wrenching. It's a realistic slice of life expressed through song. And the score is one of the best in the musical theatre catalogue.
The show takes place in the early 1980s; is the revival updated at all or is it treated as a period piece?
Although it does take place in the late 70s and early 80s, it's as timely as ever. At its core, the show is about love. It's about humanity. Those fundamentals haven't changed. It still feels relevant and topical now.
I probably saw you in the first national tour of WICKED as Fiyero -- the show has celebrated its 15th anniversary, and is still going strong on Broadway -- do you have any memories from that production you can share? What was it like joining WICKED?
It was an incredible time in my career. I loved that show and that group of people. It was a dream of mine to be in that show since college. I first auditioned as a dancer. It's wild how life works out sometimes.
You've had a lot of amazing roles - what's been your favorite to date, and why?
I am changed by them all in some way, but Felicia in PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT was a huge turning point in my life and career. It was two years of joy. I think Whizzer is one that I will never forget. I've never felt so connected to a project as I do right now.
How did you get your start in acting, and what is on the top of your actor bucket list for future parts you hope to play?
I started doing community theatre in Erie, PA, at the age of 9. I was hooked.
I'd like to originate another role in New York. I'm working on a new musical called MARY AND MAX and I'm excited to see where that show takes us.
Finally - after this tour concludes, do you have future plans for what projects you'll do next? If it's too soon for that, maybe instead tell me what you're most looking forward to on this relatively new tour?
I'm excited to share this story across America. I'm living in every moment with gratitude.
More information: FALSETTOS plays the Ordway's Saint Paul main stage Feb. 19-24. Tickets and more details: https://ordway.org/event/falsettos/
Photo: Nick Adams (Whizzer), courtesy of The Ordway.