Meet Adam Soniak, a cool Jet!
Adam Soniak (c) plays Riff, leader of the JETS, in our production of West Side Story.
I grew up in Allentown, PA... Same hometown as Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street! Being only 90 minutes from New York, I would visit the city as often as possible. I was always a huge theatre fan and being able to see Broadway shows often and early on, definitely fueled my professional aspirations.
I was in a community production of Les Miserables when I was in at 15, directed by William Sanders at the Allentown Civic Theatre. I remember very clearly that it was this experience that pushed me over the edge into knowing that this was what I wanted to do with my life. the Civic was sort of my home theatre, and I did many shows with them, but that was definitely the one that set me on this path.
I first saw the film version of West Side Story while I was in high school. At the time, I wasn't much of a dancer and so I didn't really think it was a show I was right for. 7 years and countless ballet classes later, I had the opportunity to join the international touring company of the show and played a 7-week engagement in London's West End. I think it is one of the greatest musicals of all time, and I am thrilled to be doing it again!
My first experience with the show was seeing the movie. I think with this show though it is so important to have a visceral connection with the audience. They have to understand the hatred and rivalry between the gangs and feel the tension in the room when they go head to head. They need to feel the instant head-over-heels passion that Tony and Maria experience and understand how it turns their lives upside down. Don't get me wrong, I fully support movie musicals and think it's extremely important to bring musicals to a mainstream audience, however, the connection that makes live theatre so special just isn't there in the same way.
I love all the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein shows. I think they're some of the most music-to-story integrated pieces to this day. Some more recent favorites of mine include The Light in the Piazza, Bridges of Madison County, and of course everything Stephen Sondheim has ever touched. My dream role would have to be either Gabey in On The Town or Elder Price in Book of Mormon. Totally opposite ends of the spectrum but both amazing characters with an incredible journey.
I love to cook, explore New York and soak up everything it has to offer and spend time with family and friends. I'm also currently studying to become a certified fitness instructor.
On my iPod? Anything I can dance (or strut down the street) to.