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A baby dragon with a resume

January 13, 2008|Lynne Heffley

Broadway fans may want to catch a certain Nickelodeon special airing Monday. Nick's popular CGI-animated preschool series "The Backyardigans" is going prime time with an hourlong episode of the show, "Tale of the Mighty Knights."

Its guest star: Adam Pascal of "Rent" fame.

That's romantic lead Pascal, the original Roger in "Rent," Jonathan Larson's AIDS-era version of Puccini's "La Boheme," and Radames in Disney's Elton John-Tim Rice blockbuster "Aida." Here, he's the voice of a newly hatched, chubby green dragon. His solo: the rock-opera-style ballad "Not an Egg Anymore."

The whole thing is set to a rock 'n' roll soundtrack by the series' composer, Evan Lurie. The series' diverse musical stylings, performed by a live orchestra, are part of its signature style. So too are the characters' movements, choreographed by former Alvin Ailey Dance School director Beth Bogush, performed by professional dancers, then animated.

Pascal's solo can be heard on an upcoming "Backyardigans" soundtrack CD that also features Alicia Keys and Cyndi Lauper. The gig isn't all that odd for Pascal. He's now a thirtysomething dad whose two sons fit right into that Nickelodeon demographic.

-- Lynne Heffley

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