BWW Interview: Adam Epstein of A CONVERSATION WITH>> at The Jewish Museum Of Florida

BWW Interview: Adam Epstein of A CONVERSATION WITH>> at The Jewish Museum Of Florida

BWW Interviews Broadway Producer Adam Epstein

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU premiers this season with their acclaimed series "A Conversation With . . . " featuring the Tony Award-winning Broadway producer and political activist Adam Epstein, in conversation with acclaimed journalist Steve Rothaus of The Miami Herald. On Tuesday, October 9th at 7:00 p.m. Broadway World had the chance to interview Mr. Epstein-producer of Hairspray, Cry-Baby and the revival of Amadeus just to name a few.

I see you are from Miami. Is that where your love of theatre began?

yes, my late godfather, Charlie Cinnamon took me to see Sandy Duncan in "Peter Pan," and I was smitten. As it happens, Charlie's exceptional life, as press agent extraordinaire, was recently on display at the Jewish Museum as well.

Tell me about your journey to NY and producing.

I thought I wanted to be an actor so after years of performing in plays at school and camp, I enrolled at NYU as a musical theatre major. But I deviated, and earned my BA with honors in political science. I was always academic, and I was blessed with intellectual mentors at NYU who helped me further cultivate a love for politics and higher learning, in general, especially, history, literature and culture. This all may sound incongruent, but it's not. My education and passion for the theatre helped lead me to producing.

You produced several productions of Hairspray. What about the show resonates with you?

It's hard to summarize the experience of Hairspray in any one particular way. It was such a blessed opportunity and pivotal moment in my life. I loved the American musical for its innate optimism- the idea that song and dance could be the greatest escape from the real world. The only other thing I loved as much was Motown. Those timeless melodies, longing, soulful and all about love, have been the soundtrack of my life. Hairspray seemed to be the realization of all of this made theatrical flesh, and it seems to have struck an enduring chord- that the best cure for angst is hope. And what better cure for despair is there, in the end, than musical comedy? And in the case of "Hairspray," it was musical comedy that shimmers as much with Broadway razzmatazz as much as it does with the inimitable sounds of pop-flavored R&B. For me, this was blissful alchemy.

What is your favorite production you've been in involved in and why?

"Hairspray," for sure. For all for all of the reasons I stated above. But I'm also immensely proud of the revival of "Amadeus," of which I had the great good fortune to co-produce at only 24 years old. The privilege of working alongside the legendary Sir Peter Hall and the great actor David Suchet (Salieri) are indelible moments of my young, professional life. I am forever grateful to the amazing Kim Poster, who as lead producer of the London and Broadway productions, provided a roadmap of class, decency and creative vision, and taught me not only how to be a good producer, but reminded me that in the end, all that matters is being a good person. Kim remains a dear friend, and I never forget how lucky I am to have had her, and still very much have her in my life.

Tell me about your interest in politics.

I've always loved politics. My grandfather was a delegate to Adlai Stevenson in 1956 and Hubert Humphrey's Dads County Campaign Manager in 1968. In the summer between my junior and senior year of college, I interned for Senator Bob Graham of Florida on Capitol Hill. Other than theatre, my only other goal was to be in the political arena. It's

why I ended up going to graduate school at Brown recently to obtain my MA in American Studies. And it's why I now plan to make my voice heard, in a variety of forms, including media, journalism, and maybe even elective office.

Finally, do you have any words of advice for someone looking to produce?

Have chutzpah, courage, but in the end, grace. The defeats sting, and you won't like them, but if you're lucky to end up being the toast of Broadway, savor it. While such a gift may be no doubt fleeting, there's still nothing quite like it.

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is located in the heart of Miami Beach's historic Art Deco District, at 301 Washington Avenue. Tickets are $12 for adults, seniors/students $8, family $24 (free for museum members, FIU staff/faculty).

our Article Text Here!

Related Articles View More Miami Stories   Shows

From This Author Tracey Barrow-Schoenblatt

Tracey Barrow-Schoenblatt is the Theatre Teacher and Fine Arts Departmant chair at Coral Gables High School. She has been teaching there for 16 years. Tracey (read more...)

  • BWW Interview: Adam Epstein of A CONVERSATION WITH>> at The Jewish Museum Of Florida
  • Before you go...

    Like Us On Facebook
    Follow Us On Twitter
    Follow Us On Instagram