When “Les Miserables” (Les Mis) opens Dec. 20 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, audiences will have an opportunity to enjoy one of White Rock’s own talents. Lake Highlands High School (LH) ’92 graduate, Richard Todd Adams, will be in the ensemble and will perform the role of the factory foreman. While understudy for the lead roles of Jean Valjean and Javert, he is slated to perform Jean Valjean in the Christmas evening production.
The native Texan knows his way around a stage. The singer/actor won the 2008 Jeff Award, Chicago’s version of the Tonys, for his portrayal of Javert in “Les Mis.”
Locally, Adams performed with the Garland Summer Musicals (GSM) in “Camelot,” “South Pacific” and “42nd Street.” Adams said that GSM’s producer Patty Granville and choreographer/director Buff Shurr gave him his start in the summers during his undergraduate years. In “South Pacific,” Adams played Lt. Cable to the powerful John Raitt’s Emile de Becque.
“Those shows were some of my best training. Buff said he saw something in me and took me under his wing,” Adams recalled.
According to Granville, “Rich is one of the most talented singer/actors to perform with GSM. He has such an amazing voice. We hope to someday convince him to come back to Garland for a special production of his choice!”
Adams was Raoul at Fort Worth’s Bass Auditorium during his four years with the “Phantom of the Opera” national tour, and he was the Phantom with the Los Angeles touring company.
He made his Broadway debut in 2005 in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Woman in White,” and performed with the ensemble of “The Pirate Queen,” first in Chicago and then on Broadway. His credits are also comprised of a number of off-Broadway productions, including “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Show Boat.”
The singer, dancer and actor received a Bachelors of Music degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, and earned a Masters in Music from Juilliard.
Adams said that he was an only child, whose mother is a concert pianist.
“Music has been part of my life ever since I can remember,” he said. “My parents took me to the opera and to theater when I was very young, and I grew up seeing shows at the Music Hall.”
His father is a research psychologist and was dean of research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. His family moved to Dallas from Galveston when he was 10 years old.
The LH alumnae acknowledged teachers Mrs. McCullough and Mr. Michael as influential in planning his career.
“Part of the reason I’ve been successful was the strong choral and theater departments at RISD schools in Lake Highlands. I performed with the show choir, and we had themes every year. One year we did the music from ‘Les Mis.’ I guess I’ve come full cycle!” Adams said. He added that being involved with the music and theater departments at LH laid the groundwork for what he now does professionally.
Adams is married to Maria Eberline, who is also an actor. The couple met during a production of “Jekyll and Hyde.”
His wife has performed in such roles as Elphaba, the wicked witch, in the Tony-winning “Wicked.”
Whenever possible in the summer, the family travels together with their three-year-old son, Nate Emmit Adams. “We named Nate after Emmit Smith in honor of his Super Bowl wins with the Cowboys three out of four years. Nate played piano and sang at his preschool,” the proud dad boasted.
Les Mis will play Dec. 20 through Jan. 1, with performances Tuesdays through Sundays, Dec. 20 through Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. Matinees will be at 2 p.m. on Dec. 23, 24, 26, 30 and 31, and Sunday, Jan. 1. There will be no evening performance Jan. 1.
White Rock Lake Weekly waves a red flag to Rich Adams, and sends a “break a leg” for his roles in “Les Miserable.”