It was the kind of news story that you e-mail to friends for a chuckle: "Sebastian Bach Does Broadway."
Yes, the very same Sebastian Bach whose multi-platinum success was exceeded only by his bad-boy hijinks as the lead singer of Skid Row was headed to the somewhat tamer world of musical theater. But after garnering nothing but standing ovations since assuming the lead in "Jekyll & Hyde" earlier this month, Bach is the one doing most of the chuckling.
"In rock and roll, you get limos, beautiful girls, booze... I miss it," Bach joked as he relaxed in his limo after a recent show with a cold beer in one hand and his wife in the other. The singer, his wife, and some select friends were being whisked off to a cast party at New York's Harley-Davidson Café last week which was staged to welcome Bach to the fold.
While he seems to be easing into the role of Broadway star, Bach never really saw the move to theater as an easy one. The frontman and his lanky, tattooed
frame and long, party-ready locks were on the road touring behind Bach's solo album "Bring 'Em Bach Alive" when the call came to audition for "Jekyll & Hyde." After playing the House Of Blues in Hollywood, Bach flew to Manhattan to try out for the role.
"I just walked in, and if you're going to try out five guys and you're going to have a scream-off, I will win," [RealVideo] Bach recalled. The singer notes that he "screamed [his] gonads off" and returned to the road unsure of his Broadway fate.
"We were in New Orleans, and my agent called me and said, 'Can I ask you a question? How does it feel to wake up today and be a Broadway leading man?'" Bach recalled. "I go, 'Get the heck out of here. Are you kidding me?' and I started crying. All of my friends were there, my road crew, my band, and we had a party
But when the party was over, Bach worried that perhaps his golden pipes had written a check that his acting chops couldn't cash. "To be honest with you, I didn't think I could memorize that many words."
He buckled down, rehearsed scenes with his bandmates and crew members while touring, and eventually settled into the dual role, though he notes that he feels more at home in the role of the murderous rogue Hyde than his prim and proper alter ego Dr. Henry Jekyll.
"I realized that if you set your mind to something, dreams can come true... and a couple of nightmares as well," Bach said.
So far, the singer-turned-thespian is garnering rave reviews from his theater-trained castmates, as well as the fans who turn up outside the stage door of the Plymouth Theater each night looking for autographs and snapshots.
"I was a fan of his before this, but oh my God, he was incredible," Lisa Margaroli said after catching Bach's act. Margaroli
(who lists "I Remember You" as her favorite Skid Row song, for the record) remembered getting the news that Bach would be hitting Broadway, and said, "I was like, 'I'm going no matter what. Whether it's great, whether it's bad, I'm going,' but he's fabulous."
Bach's unlikely Broadway success is even more impressive given the fact that just across the street, three-time Emmy winner and "Frasier" star Kelsey Grammer could not keep a production of "Macbeth" afloat for more than a few weeks.
"Maybe he should start a band, go out on the road for a couple months, and try it again," Bach said.
As for Sebastian, he'll be hitting the boards in "Jekyll & Hyde" though October.