Originally from Half Moon Bay, CA, Adam Jacobs began his early performing career as a pianist studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. After playing for 8 years (ages 5-13), he decided to forgo the concert pianist route and try something new. He found his artistic outlet through art classes and musical theater. After playing “Oliver” in Oliver! and “Curly” in Oklahoma! in 7th and 8th grade respectively, he auditioned for a role in the local community theater–Peninsula Center Stage’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Even though the show had been fully cast by the time of his audition, the creative team decided to foster his young talent and create a role of a “13th apostle” or “apostle wanna-be” just so he could be in the show.
While attending St. Ignatius College Preparatory, Adam was fortunate enough to be cast in the leading roles of “Billy Bigelow” in Carousel, “Drummond” in Inherit the Wind, “Marius” in Fanny (1961), and “Che” in Evita. With the help of his high-school mentor, Peter Devine, Adam discovered his love for the theater and made his decision to pursue a career in the arts. It was also during this time that he attended the summer programs of the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) in downtown SF and the California Institute of the Arts (CSSSA) in Valencia, CA.
One night after a high-school performance of Evita, a representative from the SF Opera who happened to see the show invited Adam to audition for the new upcoming documentary opera based on the life of Harvey Milk, the country’s first openly gay city council member who was assassinated along with the mayor of SF in 1978. As a result of this invited audition, he was cast as “Young Harvey” and participated not only in a powerful show performed on the anniversary of Milk’s assassination, but also in a re-enactment of the historic candlelit march down Market Street just prior to the show.
At New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Adam studied with the Collaborative Arts Project Musical Theater program (CAP21) as well as the Stonestreet Film and Television Studios program. After graduating with a BFA in Theater, he worked the regional theaters, performed on cruise ships, and toured the country as Cinderella’s Prince before landing his first Equity (Actor’s Union) production as Nanki-poo in Marriott Theater’s Hot Mikado.
Around this time, he met his future wife while doing a Christmas show in Hershey, PA. She was a rag-doll/ballerina and he was a well-padded, white-bearded Santa Claus (with black eyebrows). While being paired as waltz partners might have helped the relationship blossom, it’s possible the chocolate may have had something to do with it…
Adam’s big break came with the opportunity to play “Marius” in the national tour of Les Miserables. This job led to him being cast in the Broadway revival and his subsequent Broadway debut. Within the short 14 months that the show played the Broadhurst Theater, he had the benefit of working with many Broadway veterans including Lea Salonga, Judy Kuhn, Gary Beach, Daphne-Rubin Vega, Norm Lewis, Ann Harada, Aaron Lazar, among many others.
Since Les Miserables, he has journeyed from the islands of Mamma Mia! to the African pridelands of The Lion King. He’s gone from the tropics of Once On This Island to the Arabian deserts of Aladdin. He credits his Filipino mother and Jewish father not just for his mixed ethnicity which has allowed him to play such varied roles, but more importantly for their whole-hearted encouragement to pursue a life in the arts.
Adam, his wife Kelly, and their sons Jack and Alex now make their home in NYC. After touring for two years with the first national tour of Disney’s Mary Poppins as a dance captain and swing, Kelly happily joined the Broadway company and stayed with it until its closing in 2013.
Adam’s younger sister, Arielle Jacobs, is also a well-known actress who has had success in theater. After playing “Gabriella” in the national tour of Disney’s High School Musical, she starred as “Nina” in the Broadway production and first national tour of In The Heights and is currently playing “Nessarose” in the Broadway company of Wicked. You can learn more about her at www.ArielleJacobs.com.