He’s the dazzling stage vet whose great looks and even greater pipes served him well leading the Broadway blockbusters Les Miserables, The Lion King and now Aladdin. She’s the charming little sister who followed him from California to Broadway, debuting as a touching Nina in the final In the Heights company and now rolling around Oz as Nessarose in Wicked. Together, they’re a stunning sibling act that has an entire New Jersey retirement community cheering. Get to know Adam and Arielle Jacobs!
Q: Are mom and dad freaking out that you’re both on Broadway?
ADAM: Kinda, yeah.
ARIELLE: Our parents live in New Jersey in this 55 and over community and they brought the whole place to see Adam in Aladdin. Like 50 people. And now coming to see my show.
ADAM: I can almost picture my mom with one of those group leader signs, walking through Times Square.
ARIELLE: “This way! To see the Jacobs kids!”
Q: I know people are always trying to figure out your ethnicity but your first onstage roles were actually Native American, right?
ARIELLE: Yes! That was my first professional show when I was ten.
ADAM: It was called Honor Song For Crazy Horse at TheatreWorks in Mountain View, California. I played Little Hawk and I had a loincloth and a long wig.
Q: You started out in a loincloth?
ADAM: I started in a loincloth.
ARIELLE: You had a big feather headdress, too! It was awesome.
ADAM: And big feather hawk wings. Then I got killed. It was very sad.
ARIELLE: Everyone died in the show. We had these big red ribbons balled up in our hand.
ADAM: Like in The Lion King.
Q: So when you died, you would throw the ribbon?
ARIELLE: We would throw them or pull them out of our mouths…
Q: So dramatic.
ADAM: It’s dramatic. We’re dramatic.
Q: What’s it like to see each other on stage in these big shows. Didn’t you see Wicked recently, Adam?
ADAM: I finally got to see her and she was fantastic. I was so proud.
ARIELLE: Did you think I was scary?
ADAM: I had forgotten that Nessarose really is “wicked” and that she gets the house dumped on her and sort of deserves it and so when I saw her interpretation, it all sort of clicked and made sense. I didn’t see that the first time, I guess. I’m glad I got to see her. She’s just she’s such a presence up there.
ARIELLE: Thanks, brother!
Q: What about seeing him jump around and playing Aladdin?
ARIELLE: He’s so acrobatic! I don’t know how you do it everyday.
ADAM: I never took gymnastics class growing up.
ARIELLE: I knew he had a good voice. Every time he sings it’s like, “Well, nobody can do what you can do.” But seeing all the other stuff like his comedy, the acrobats, everything… You always blow me away.
ADAM: Thanks, sis.
Q: OK, who’s more talented?
ADAM: Uh oh.
ARIELLE: I think we both have different strengths.
Q: I know as kids you famously dueted on “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better).”
Q: California’s still talking about it. What can you do better than the other?
ADAM: I guess I can play the piano better than she can.
ARIELLE: Yeah, you can. And guitar. And harmonica. And languages. He’s like fluent.
ADAM: You speak Spanish better than I do.
ARIELLE: No, I don’t!
ADAM: I think you do.
Q: Which great school performances did I miss?
ARIELLE: My favorite one was seeing him play Billy Bigelow. I loved when you did that.
ADAM: I loved seeing her play Cassie in A Chorus Line. She nailed it.
Q: She nailed “Music and the Mirror”?
ADAM: Yeah, she did the whole dance and everything.
ARIELLE: Oh my god, it was a ten-minute long dance solo. I was freaking out I was so nervous. Every night I couldn’t have dinner, except for a Clif bar before every show. That’s all I ate. I was a twig cuz I lost so much weight.
Q: Is there video? Can I see?
ADAM: Heck yeah. It exists.
ARIELLE: It’s at mom and dad’s.
ADAM: It might take some bribing.
Q: It’d be fun to see you guys do a show together someday.
ARIELLE: I was thinking you could play Fiyero while I’m Nessa.
ADAM: That’s true. That’ll work.
ARIELLE: We could play Evita and Che.
Q: But isn’t there sexual tension between them in “Waltz for Eva and Che”?
ADAM: Of course, but it would make it great. It would be even more creepy then. You wanna accentuate the creep factor at any chance you get you have to do that. [Laughs.]
Q: Let’s come up with a title for your inevitable 54 Below show.
ARIELLE: We already did! “Strictly Platonic.”
ADAM: I forgot that’s what we decided.
ARIELLE: I think it’s funny.
ADAM: Is that what we decided?
Q: Adam doesn’t seem sold.
ARIELLE: We could pick a new one if you want.
ADAM: That’s still kind of creepy though.
ARIELLE: I really wanna do a siblings show. A big siblings show. Sutton and Hunter and Andrew and Celia and us. Like I really wanna do that.
Q: And which musical theater duet would have to be on the set list?
ADAM: I would love to do “Side Show.”
Q: “I Will Never Leave You?”
ADAM: Yes and just be like stuck to her hip.
ARIELLE: We should totally do that.
ADAM: But we should be like tied with like bungee cords and like trying to get away from each other the whole time and singing it.
ARIELLE: That’s really funny.
ADAM: It’s a different take. You always have to take a different take!