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Pascal was born to a Jewish family in The Bronx, New York, but raised in Syosset, New York. Before his interest in music, he was a personal trainer. Although he began as a rock musician playing in a number of bands (such as Mute) formed with his schoolmates, Pascal became drawn to the musical theater. A friend of his former high school, who at the time was dating fellow Syosset graduate Idina Menzel, mentioned Rent to him. On a whim, he auditioned and was cast as the HIV positive rock guitarist Roger Davis. His powerful tenor voice and his performance in Rent earned him a Tony nomination, a Theater World award, and an Obie Award. He left the show on November 2, 1997, but went on to reprise Roger when Rent opened in London.
The role helped Pascal gain fame on Broadway, and he was cast in the Elton John and Tim Rice musical Aida as the Egyptian general Radames with the original and final casts (former Rent castmate Idina Menzel would co-star as Amneris in 2001), and Kander and Ebb's Cabaret, closing the show as the Emcee (closing cast). He also participated in several charity performances, including Hair (singing "I Got Life"), Chess (playing the American, Freddie Trumper), and the 24 Hour Plays in 2005. He returned to Aida in 2004 to close the run of the show as Radames. However, Pascal felt that he was looked upon solely as a Broadway singer, so he returned to his rock and roll roots with a solo recording contract on Sh-K-Boom Records, which was founded by his Aida costar, Sherie Rene Scott and her husband Kurt Deutsch. He has released two solo rock albums, Model Prisoner (2000), Civilian (2004). He also contributed a cover of Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" to the CD Broadway Cares: Home for the Holidays.
Pascal made his film debut in SLC Punk! (1999), and also appeared in School of Rock (2003) and Temptation (2004). The audio for Temptation, a musical, was recorded live on set during filming. In late 2005, he, along with five others of the principal cast, reprised their roles in the film version of Rent, directed by Chris Columbus. Pop idol Justin Timberlake campaigned heavily to Columbus and the producers for the role of Roger, but Columbus insisted that only the original cast members could convey the true meaning of Rent. The film was released on November 23, 2005.
Pascal had a guest role as "Dennis Hofferman", a murder victim, on an episode of Cold Case, which co-starred Tracie Thoms, his co-star from the film version of Rent. The episode, called "Willkommen", originally aired on April 2, 2006, and revolved around an amateur production of Cabaret. On July 4 that year, Adam took part in the Macy's Fourth of July Celebration. He sang during the traditional fireworks display. He also took part in both the fifth and tenth anniversary celebrations of Rent on Broadway in 2000 and 2005, respectively.
In the independent movie Goyband, Pascal stars as a former boy-band icon who is booked to play a show at a Kosher hotel, but ends up shocking the guests with his sexy show. Fans were invited to participate in the movie as extras for the concert scenes. His co-stars in Goyband are Amy Davidson, Cris Judd, Tovah Feldshuh, Dean Edwards,Tibor Feldman and Natasha Lyonne. Goyband originally premiered at the Jerusalem Films Festival in December 2008. Its North America premiere is July 2009, on Long Island.
Pascal has also completed filming for another independent movie, American Primitive, about a gay couple who try to hide their relationship from family and neighbors in 1973, a few years following the Stonewall Riots.
Along with original Broadway Rent cast member Anthony Rapp (Mark Cohen), Pascal returned to Broadway to star as Roger in Rent from July 30 to October 7, 2007.
He reprised the role of Frederick Trumper, aka "Freddie, The American" in the London concert version of Chess at the Royal Albert Hall on the 12 and 13 May 2008. His Rent and Aida co-star Idina Menzel played the role of Florence. This performance was recorded; it has been televised, first on American and British television on June 17, 2009, and repeatedly in America on PBS stations as part of that network's "Great Performances" series; and has been released on DVD. Chess in Concert CD & DVD release dates
Pascal formed the band "Me and Larry (Edoff)" in 2006. The two musicians began composing and performing original material and reworked Broadway songs in small venues throughout the US. Pascal won the 2007-2008 Golden Icon Award for Best Small Venue Concert. The band's first CD, Blinding Light, was released in May 2008 on Pascal's own label. The CD is available at concerts and through the band's website (where a direct digital download is available).
In 2008, Pascal recorded a ballad entitled "Eva Wanted" with Broadway veteran and recording artist Maya Days. Pascal and Days co-starred in Aida on Broadway in 2000. Days is also a veteran of Rent on Broadway and in the UK, as well as the first National Tour (playing Mimi.)
In the fall of 2008, production began on Pascal's first music video for his song "Single Drop of You" along with singer/songwriter Larry Edoff. "Single Drop of You" is available now on "Me and Larry"'s "Blinding Light" Album. The video, directed by Jarek Zabczynski, is now out on Jester Picture's website.
On January 2009, he and friend Anthony Rapp reprised their originating (and film) roles as Roger and Mark in another Rent tour titled: "Rent: The Broadway Tour", which is scheduled for many cities in the US, as well as stops in Japan and Korea. At the tour's Detroit, Michigan stop in February, Pascal suffered two herniated discs in his neck and was on medical leave for a week. Cary Shields, an understudy and also a Broadway Rent veteran, filled in. Pascal has since made a full recovery and is back performing. During the Rochester, New York stop on the tour, various cast members stated that they are in negotiations for an extension of the tour into 2010 and Toronto was one of the stops mentioned .
Disney is planning a major motion picture adaptation release of Aida in 2010. According to Jim Hill Media, Beyonc? Knowles is in talks with Walt Disney Studios to star in the title role alongside Christina Aguilera as Amneris. It is unknown if Pascal will be asked to play his familiar role of Radames in this adaptation.
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