Age & Hometown: 14; South Salem, NY
Current Role: Pulling double duty as Deputy, the sharp-eyed assistant to a bumbling gravedigger, and Master Nick Cricker, a Victorian music hall child star, in Roundabout Theatre Company’s acclaimed Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Training With Tony Winners: Like most 14-year-olds, Nicholas Barasch hasn’t actually read Charles Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood. “I kind of skimmed it,” he admits, and yet he managed to slide into the Dickensian drama with ease. “I totally did not get it for weeks, and then you suddenly catch on,” says Barasch, who received behind-the-scenes help from the show’s “amazing” all-star cast, including Chita Rivera, Jim Norton and Stephanie J. Block. “The most important thing I’ve learned is that you don’t start rehearsal as a genius and the character,” he muses. “Everyone is learning and growing, even the Tony winners.” Once the performance begins, every Drood actor is in the same boat because of the show’s unplanned shenanigans. “The real rivalry occurs on stage [during the audience vote] when you realize, ‘I’m going to fight for it tonight!’” he says. “But backstage, everyone’s apologizing, like, 'Sorry I took that lover from you' or ‘Sorry I egged on the audience!’”
Going West: Barasch is a lifelong singer, a talent that pushed him to audition for a community production of The Music Man at age eight. “My mom said, ‘If you audition, I’ll audition,’ and so we got the parts of Marian and Winthrop…who are brother and sister,” he says with a laugh. Two years later, he made his Broadway debut in West Side Story playing Kiddo, a wannabe Jet who croons one of the show’s signature songs, “Somewhere.” “When I was 10, it was sort of surreal. I don’t know if I took in as much as I’m taking in now,” says an older, wiser Barasch, who has since forged a tight friendship with other "Broadway kids." His experience in Drood has been decidely different so far. "When you're 10, you're a little kid and everyone knows it. Now that I'm older, I understand that it's not all amazing and fun—there are some challenges, too. It's been interesting, still being the kid but also being around all these veterans and legends of the form.”
Broadway In His Blood: When he’s not on stage romancing Chita Rivera (“I never could have guessed that I would possibly do a love scene with her!”), Barasch spends his time being tutored backstage and indulging in hobbies that include playing piano and tennis, reading and watching movies, and dabbling in fiction writing. “My family is filled with writers,” he explains. "My dad’s an editor, my sister’s a fiction writer, my mom’s a songwriter, and my grandpa [playwright Norman Barasch] had two shows on Broadway, so I guess it’s in my blood. I'm into fiction, but actually, I'm also good at math." In any case, Barasch hopes to keep working in entertainment in the future, possibly as a director. “I love watching the process as much as I love watching the actors,” he says. "I always want to stay around the business. I really, really love what I do now, and I hope to get to do it in the future.”