Adam Jacobs first decided to pursue a life in the theatre after performing at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre at the age of 17 in the opera Harvey Milk.
“I played Young Harvey and we performed on the anniversary of their assassination—I'm saying their because it was Mayor [George] Moscone as well as Harvey Milk. We re-did the candlelight march down Market Street with the cast and some audience members and filed in and did the show,” he recalls. “It was one of the most powerful moments, very formative for me, in terms of making me want to do it for a career.”
Now, Jacobs will once again file into the backstage at the Orpheum, this time as Disney’s Aladdin, a role he originated on Broadway. “It’s really special to be coming back, for sure,” says Jacobs of returning to his home turf. “I have a lot of people from my high school and from my old neighborhood who I haven't spoken to in many many years all coming out.”
There’s one visitor, in particular, Jacobs is excited to welcome. “My old high school teacher, my mentor, he's coming and he's bringing 30 kids from school,” he says. “We're doing a talkback after one of the shows and it's going to be great.” The leading man feels like it’s all coming full circle with this stop on Aladdin’s national tour. Not only is the Orpheum where Jacobs made his professional debut and decided to become an actor, it’s also the place where he saw his first show: Cats.
Being back in the Bay, Jacobs feels the joy of bringing theatre to many families for the first time. “We're creating new fans not just of Aladdin but of theatre,” he says. And though he’s 3,000 miles away, he’s still working with the Broadway community and is helping bridge the gap between audiences on both coasts. “We just started Broadway Cares—we raised over $80,000 in three weeks. It's incredible. I think that's a testament to the show, too. The fact that people are grateful and enjoying their night and their time at the theatre and they feel like they want to contribute to such a great organization.”
As Jacobs wanders the streets of his childhood—with his own kids in tow—he’s excited to share the experience with family, friends, and the community that raised him and hope he can make them proud of their boy.