There’s something about performing on Broadway that seems to attract families. Dating back to the early days with the Barrymores, Astaires, and Redgraves, siblings especially have starred on the Great White Way together for ages, and it’s no different now.
For Adam and Arielle Jacobs, performing on Broadway at the same time is a dream come true.
Adam originated the title role in ALADDIN on Broadway, and IN THE HEIGHTS alumna Arielle recently joined the cast of Wicked as Nessarose, making this the first time these sweet siblings have been on Broadway simultaneously. The pair recently sat down with BroadwayWorld to chat about growing up in theatre in San Fransisco together, future roles, and more. Check out our conversation below!
Now that Arielle is in Wicked, you’re both on Broadway at the same time in different shows! How fun is that?
Adam: It’s pretty awesome. Our parents are very proud, for sure. They shelled out a lot of cash to put us through NYU. And they definitely feel like that money was well-spent, because we’re both doing the jobs that we love. They’ve supported us the whole way.
Arielle: And even when we were little, they drove us all around the Bay Area [to perform].
Adam: Yeah, we were commuting- North, South, East, and I would say West, but that would go directly into the water [both laugh] so we didn’t go West.
Arielle: And they were both working full-time jobs. I don’t know how they did it actually!
That’s amazing! So what’s your favorite thing about being on Broadway at the same time?
Adam: Just the fact that we’re both doing it together. That’s something that we’ve always dreamed would happen. It almost happened when Arielle was doing IN THE HEIGHTS, but I was out on the road, so it didn’t line up. But now we’re finally here together, and the best part is that we can meet in between shows! On Wednesdays and Saturdays, when we have matinees, we like to try to meet between shows and catch up. It’s fun just being part of the community together. It feels like we’re part of another family.
Arielle: And the first time Adam and I had dinner between shows after I opened in Wicked, it was fun, because when we said goodbye, I remember I was like, “Have a good show!” and he said, “You too!” [Adam laughs] It was such a fun moment, and I felt like I was Elphaba the first time she goes to the Emerald City, and she’s like, “I want to remember this moment.” [Adam laughs] It was cool.
Have you each been able to see each other in your shows by now?
Adam: I haven’t gotten to see Arielle yet. I’m waiting for my schedule to switch over, which will be in the fall, and then I should be able to have Wednesday matinees free. Actually, I think her schedule changes before mine, so I might be able to see it before that, towards the end of the summer.
Arielle: And I’ve seen ALADDIN… Actually, I’ve seen it everywhere. I saw the original out in Seattle, then I saw it in Toronto; I was there for the opening night in Toronto. And then in New York, I’ve seen it a couple times.
Adam: So she’s been through the whole journey of ALADDIN.
Arielle: All the changes!
And how much theatre did you do together growing up?
Adam: Our first professional show when we actually got paid, was through Theatre Works in Palo Alto. It was the Mountain View Center Performing Arts. We were both cast as Native Americans in a show called, HONOR SONG FOR CRAZY HORSE. I played the lead, Crazy Horse’s younger brother in the show, named “Little Hawk,” and Arielle was- what was your character name, do you remember?
Arielle: Yeah, I remember, ’cause I got to pick it! They said, “You can pick your own Native American name, just pick any color and any animal.” [Adam laughs] So my name was “Blue Swan.”
Adam: Blue Swan! Yes, that’s right.
Arielle: And then after that, Adam, I don’t think you and I have done a show together since we were kids, because so many shows we’ve done, we can’t play opposite each other, because that would just be weird.
Adam: That’s true. We’ve had stories where Arielle was going to go in and audition for a role, and then she was like, “Well, my brother’s cast as the lead,” and they’re like, “Oh…” So that’s happened. [both laugh]
Arielle: I was thinking of shows we can do together. The only ones that I came up with were EVITA, if you were Che, and I was Evita, or if I stayed in Wicked as Nessarose, and you came in as Fiyero.
Adam: That could work too, yeah. But you can never come play Jasmine while I’m there, unfortunately.
When you were little, what were your highlights of doing theatre together?
Arielle: We did a lot of talent shows, remember we did one talent show where we sang a duet, and we sang, “Anything You Can do, I Can do Better.”
Adam: Yeah, I think every brother and sister in theatre has sung that song at some point.
Arielle: But we were in different grades in school, so we were never in the same school productions.
Adam: Right, we’re four years apart.
Arielle: But I saw you do OLIVER!, and I saw you do OKLAHOMA! And I saw you do Billy Bigelow in CAROUSEL, and you actually did EVITA, you were Che in EVITA.
Adam: I did, that was in high school as well. And then I saw you when you were Cassie in A CHORUS LINE, in college.
So what factors influenced your decision to switch from doing theatre for fun to doing it professionally?
Adam: I had some great teachers and mentors there who inspired me and encouraged me to pursue a career in the arts. But I can’t say that my sister had a small influence. She definitely encouraged me. She likes to take credit for my entire career.
Arielle: Yeah, I do.
Adam: She does say that, because she started with The Razzle Dazzle Kids first, and then I joined after.
Arielle: I did it first, and then I said, “Adam, you should take voice lessons too, because they’re fun.”
Do you have any special projects coming up?
Adam: Together? Not officially. We’re talking about possibly putting together a show. We each have our individual projects we’re working on, but I would love to team up to do a show with Arielle and sing some songs, and right now it’s just great where we are. I can’t think of anything more that could make this better than it is right now.
Arielle: Yeah, the dynamic of us both being in two different Broadway shows at the same time is still relatively new.
Adam: So we can just enjoy that for a little while.
Arielle: We are enjoying it, and I’ve got a lot of things in my brain! We’re putting together a show, and Adam’s working on potentially creating an album, and I’m thinking about it as well.
Adam: And singing on each other’s albums, possibly.
Arielle: Yeah, and help push each other along with the motivation of getting it done.
Adam: Right! It does help having the other person in the business sort of motivate you to keep going.