You may chase them down at stage doors or listen to them obsessively on a cast album, but Broadway stars have families just like you. In fact, many of them are parents. In Playbill’s new video series, Broadway Babies, Juli Wesley, daughter of Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, interviews the kids of your favorite Main Stem actors to find out what it’s like to be the kid of a Broadway actor.
Three-time Tony nominee Brian d’Arcy James’ daughter, Grace, popped into the studio to share some family secrets, and to talk about what it has been like to grow up backstage at multiple Broadway theatres. James made his Broadway debut in the ensemble of Blood Brothers in 1993 and moved up through the ranks of Broadway—with credits like Carousel and Titanic—to starring roles in Sweet Smell of Success (for which he earned his first Tony nomination), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Apple Tree, Shrek The Musical (his second Tony nomination), Next to Normal, Time Stands Still, Macbeth, Something Rotten! (his third Tony nomination), and Hamilton.
But what is he like as a dad? “Like most dads, he likes to embarrass me,” says Grace. “He’s really funny, so it comes naturally I guess.”
But when Juli asked Grace to share an embarrassing story about him, we learned a great story:
“When he was doing Carousel, he’s not really a dancer, he was put in a dance scene,” she says in the video above. “There was a part of the dance where they all had to do a barrel turn, and my dad wasn’t able to do the barrel turn, so he would be in the back of the group so you couldn’t see him—there were people who could dance in the front. On his last show, they all decided when it was time for the move he couldn’t do, they would squat so it was just my dad in the back who could barely do this thing.”
Watch the first episdoe of Broadway Babies with LaChanze’s daughter below: