ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Remembering Snow Days on Broadway and Talking Musicals With Steven Pasquale

By Seth Rudetsky
27 Jan 2014

Seth with Steven Pasquale
Photo by Robb Johnston

One of the stories we always laugh about happened when I heard he had an audition for a role I thought I would be right for. I called my agent and asked him to get me an audition. He told me I was too old. I then, proudly, told him that I knew for a fact that Paul Castree had an audition for that role. He laughed and said, "Seth! Paul Castree is much younger than you." I was completely and totally silent because all I could possibly say was "No, he isn't!" to which his reply would be a honest and direct, "Well, he looks much younger than you. Now what?"

I did not get the audition.

At "Seth's Broadway Chatterbox," I had Steven Pasquale, who just began previews for The Bridges of Madison County. This is his first Broadway musical; however he was cast in lead roles in two other Broadway musicals beforehand! First, he created the role of Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza at the Sundance Theater Lab and was offered the role when it came to Broadway. But, at the time, he was playing one of the firefighters on TV's "Rescue Me." Luckily, the TV studio where they filmed was relatively close to Lincoln Center. If he finished filming by 7 PM, there wouldn't be any problem getting to the theatre in time to do the show. However, there was a chance he'd have to film past 7 PM so he told the Broadway producers that he might have to miss shows. They assured that there would be no problem putting on his understudy. He then asked the TV show if he could do The Light in the Piazza and they said flat-out no. He told them that he would only go to the theatre if he was finished filming by 7 PM and they still said no. Because he was under contract he had no choice. Of course, the entire time Piazza was running, he never filmed past 7.

A few years passed and he was offered the role of Lt. Cable in the revival of South Pacific (also directed by Bartlett Sher and music directed by Ted Sperling). Now that some time had passed, he assumed that Dennis Leary (the head honcho at "Rescue Me") would realize how easy it would be for Steven to do a Broadway show. Steven asked if he could do South Pacific and again the answer was N to the O. Because Steven had to pass on both of those shows, starring in The Bridges of Madison County is truly thrilling for him. He finally gets to do a Broadway musical!