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Theater Buff: ‘Aladdin”s Yurel Echezarreta

February 18th, 2016 Comments off

Every month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. This month we go on a magic carpet ride with Aladdin’s Yurel Echezarreta.

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Roberto Araujo via The Broadway Blog.)

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Roberto Araujo via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Yurel Echezarreta

Hometown:
Winter Haven, Florida

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Jeremy Folmer via The Broadway Blog.)

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Jeremy Folmer via The Broadway Blog.)

If you could go on a magic carpet ride, where would you go and why?
I’d love to go to Australia. . . I’ve always wanted to visit. It’s massive, which means I’d want to stay for a while but with my magic carpet transportation it would be a breeze and I think the sights would be incredible from its vantage point! Also, you have New Zealand, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea all right there. It’d be pretty cool. There’s also the whole “traveling across the world” thing, which would probably happen faster on my magic carpet than on a plane.

Forget three wishes from your Genie in a bottle. . . you’ve only got one. What is it?
To live a full life with no regrets.

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:

Something active and maybe an extreme sport. Love rock climbing, SCUBA diving. . . but I also love science. Three things I wanted to be when I was a kid: marine biologist, archaeologist, or an astronomer, which has changed to be an actual Astronaut. Let’s go with an Astronaut!

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call?

Curtain Call. You feel good because you accomplished something great, the audience is happy, and then you get to go home and eat all of the food and then cuddle up in your bed to sleep the night away!

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Roberto Araujo via The Broadway Blog.)

Yurel Echezarreta (Photo: Roberto Araujo via The Broadway Blog.)

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:

Vinyl in Hell’s Kitchen. They have delicious frozen beverages that get you feeling so nice…

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
Chelsea Piers on 23rd Street and the Hudson River. It’s an amazing sports complex with every way to entertain yourself imaginable. I love it.

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:

Somewhere in Europe. It’s easy to get around to visit different countries and I love an accent.

My workout “secret” is:

To stay active doing other activities. I’m lucky to have been born with good genes so I don’t have to go to the gym. Don’t hate me. It’s weird because there’s this whole gym culture that I’m just not a part of.

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:

Someone who enjoys my humor. . . with my jokes and stories, you really understand who I am.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:
CreditKarma.com. It provides you anytime-access to your credit score for FREE and does not negatively affect your credit report!

Yurel Echezarreta as Beyoncé. (Photo: Jason Russo via The Broadway Blog.)

Yurel Echezarreta as Beyoncé. (Photo: Jason Russo via The Broadway Blog.)

People would be surprised to learn that I . . .

That I listen to music other than Beyoncé. I’m obsessed with her. If you haven’t seen her Super Bowl performance this year. . . do it now!

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
My neighbor, Kevin. He was so hot and could get all the girls. But I think really just wanted to him <wink>.

Ten years from now I’d like to be:

Content and happy—regardless of what I’m doing as a career. But as of now, I’d say married to the best guy in the world, shopping for a house somewhere, and working as a well-known and respected performer.

Yurel Echezarreta is currently appearing on Broadway in Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 West 42nd Street.

Categories: Show Folk, The Buzz, Theater Buff Tags:

THEATER BUFF: Bobby Pestka of “Aladdin”

October 15th, 2014 Comments off

Every third Wednesday of the month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out contributor Tom Mizer’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. For October, we’re using up one of our three wishes to meet…

Bobby Pestka.

Bobby Pestka. Image via Bobby Pestka.

Name: Bobby Pestka

Hometown: Born in the Philippines and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona

Current show/role: Aladdin / Ensemble

The best part of the show I’m working on now is: Being a working actor. Having a set schedule and going to work every day to a great group of people and doing what I love most. To catch a dream and live it.

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was: During my senior year in high school, I landed my first professional job as a “swing” in Legends In Concert, a Las Vegas show based in Waikiki, Hawaii. I was going to school half day and performing two shows each night. I remember squeezing in homework whenever I could… on the bus, between shows and even backstage at times. I couldn’t wait for Graduation Day to arrive, so then I could just focus on dancing.

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be: Renting kayaks to tourists or running my own beach bar on some beautiful island.

If I could be any Disney character for a day (other than Aladdin), I would want to be: Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Oh, to be a part of that (underwater) world! lol Yes, definitely, Ariel! Read more…

Three to See: March… And the Winner Is?

March 3rd, 2014 Comments off

This month’s roundup of opening is inspired by the Oscars. And while Blue Jasmine The Musical may only exist in our wistful imaginations, there are three big-budget musicals that are relying on Hollywood notoriety to lure audiences into the theater.

Andy Karl in "ROCKY" (photo: Matthew Murphy) via The Broadway Blog.

Andy Karl in “ROCKY” (photo: Matthew Murphy) via The Broadway Blog.

ROCKY
The 1977 film won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Tony Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated songwriters Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens hope that they’ll have a knockout on their hands with the help of director Alex Timbers. Word on the street is that ROCKY is an underdog, save the last epic 20 minutes of the show where the theater is literally transformed into a boxing arena. But we’re rooting for the adrenaline-infused musical, whose tagline is, “Love Wins.”

ROCKY
Winter Garden Theatre
1634 Broadway
Opening night: March 13, 2014

Adam Jacobs as "Aladdin" (photo: Cylla Von Tiedemann) via The Broadway Blog.

Adam Jacobs as “Aladdin” (photo: Cylla Von Tiedemann) via The Broadway Blog.

Aladdin
Disney’s 1993 animated feature film snagged two Academy Awards: Best Music, Original Song (“A Whole New World) and Best Music, Original Score. More than 20 years later, Disney Theatrical is hoping that one rub of a magical lamp (and a whole lot of theatrical innovation), will create another hit for family-friendly audiences.

The creative team is relying on Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), to bring the magic and charm necessary to carry the show and connect with the audience. With Broadway credits including Les Miserábles (Marius) and The Lion King (Simba) and a number of national tours, he certainly has the chops.

Alongside James Monroe Igleharte as Genie and Courtney Reed as Jasmine, the trio will lead an ensemble of multi-talented performers as they dance, sing and fly through this adventurous tale directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw.

Aladdin
New Amsterdam Theatre
214 West 42nd Street
Opening Night: March 20, 2014

Meet star Adam Jacobs up close and personal…

Curious about our third pick? Take the leap!

Read more…