PLAYBILL ON-LINE'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER with Susan Egan and Adam Pascal

Brief Encounter   PLAYBILL ON-LINE'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER with Susan Egan and Adam Pascal
Following a roster of singers, celebrities and screen stars in its over 5-year run on Broadway, the revival of Cabaret returned to stage stars to end the run.
Top: Susan Egan, Bottom: Adam Pascal
Top: Susan Egan, Bottom: Adam Pascal

Broadway veterans Tony Roberts and Blair Brown were joined by Susan Egan and Adam Pascal for the final lineup to bid "Willkommen."

The Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway revival of the John Kander and Fred Ebb musical will close its doors at Studio 54 (the new non-profit's musical home) Jan. 4, 2004, which also means shuttering the show's Kit Kat Klub of 1929 Berlin.

Egan's bio will now count her as Broadway's first Belle in Beauty and the Beast and last Sally Bowles in Cabaret (and likely the next Thoroughly Modern Millie). Her co-star Pascal is known to Broadway as the original Roger and Radames in Rent and Aida, respectively.

Both stage performers — who are also recording artists and film actors — spoke with Playbill On-Line about their current roles as the final Sally Bowles and the Emcee, and their plans for the new year.

Playbill On-Line: Is it a daunting task to be called upon to be the final Sally Bowles and Emcee for this long-running, Tony Award-winning staging?
Susan Egan: It wasn't really put that way, it was 'Are you available? Can you come do it?' I'm sort of screensaver Sally, but happily. I'm so glad it worked out, it was just fortuitous that I was available. I took last year off and I was looking to come back to New York when I came back to performing. They had asked for me to come in fill in a couple of times in the last three years, but I've just never been available to do it. I'm glad to had a chance to come back and it just happened to be at the end of the run. Adam Pascal: I actually pursued this role as soon as I left Aida. I contacted the Roundabout and said that I would love to do it. I didn't know what the situation was: when they were planning on closing, if they were going to recast at that point. I hadn't heard from them in a few months and I'd periodically go back and remind them I was still in interested. At the last minute, I was all set to do a film, and they called and said 'If you're still interested, we'd like you to close the show.' And I said 'Absolutely' and backed out of the film immediately. This was on a Friday, I was in rehearsals on a Monday and I was performing two and a half weeks later.

PBOL: What about the role drew you to it?
AP: I think it's the best male role on Broadway by far. There's so much to do with it and it's taught me more, in these two and a half months, than I've learned since I started in the business in 1996.

SE: It's got such depth. Really, I never get tired of mining new things out of it. The cast right now is a real legit Broadway troupe... to have Adam [Pascal] and Tony [Roberts] and Blair [Brown].

PBOL: You've played the role of Sally before...
SE: I've done it the longest by about three times the amount of time as anybody else. I did it for 13 months, three and a half years ago and now another four months. So, of the five and a half years, I've done a year and a half. So, I've done it a lot! [Laughs.]

PBOL: The Emcee role is a departure — as it is for many — from previous acting gigs...
AP: It's so different from anything that anyone's ever seen me do and that aspect in itself was appealing to me. I wanted to challenge myself, I didn't know if I could do it. I felt that I could and I really thought that I could, but I really didn't know and Roundabout really took a chance, because they didn't know either. [Laughs.] I think it's been a pleasant surprise for everyone involved including me. I also think that people sort of think of me as the Broadway rock guy and I'm getting a little tired of that, it's a little limiting. I wanted to really do something to show people that I've got a little bit more range than that.

PBOL: Now that you'll soon be out of a job, what's on the theatre horizon for you? I hear you may be joining Millie, Susan...
SE: It looks like it'll all work out. I'm really excited. I love the show and I'm excited to get to do a happy 1920's musical. It's like the carbon copy of Cabaret — it's the polar opposite. The same time period basically, a little earlier. Same haircut, different story. [Laughs.] A happy ending.

AP: There's a Disney Tarzan workshop which I'll be doing at the end of January. I'm playing the storyteller, so basically I'm the voice of Tarzan. So I get to sing all these really wonderful Phil Collins songs, which is a lot of fun. I love the people at Disney and I look forward to working with them again.

PBOL: You both have released solo albums and been in movies, can we expect more in the near future?
SE: I'm going into the studio and recording my third album. It's going to be something else — and that might even be the title. A few Broadway tunes, but more of the music I listened to growing up [Cat Stevens, Kate Bush]. And I have a new [movie] coming out ["Porco Rosso"]. Disney will release it on DVD in April. It's another translation of one of ["Spirited Away" director Hayao Miyazaki's] established movies. I get to play opposite Michael Keaton and Cary Elwes. And I sing a song in French in it...

PBOL: That'll be a change from the German we've been hearing you do in Cabaret...
SE: Well, this one is really funny because it's a movie that takes place in Italy, but it was done in Japanese, we're translating it into English, but I sing in French. [Laughs.]

AP: I've been working on my second record. I'm going to finish that and hopefully it'll be out in the spring. It's definitely rock, a big loud, produced rock record. I'm real excited to finish it up. Everything that I've done so far has come out of nowhere, so I try not to plan too much about what's going to come next because generally whatever I plan never works out and something else comes along. So, I'll probably be doing a lot of auditioning for film and television stuff — which I'm not looking forward to, but unfortunately, it's part of the business and we all gotta do it.

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