‘American Idol’ Star’s Biblical Role

By Eleanor Goldberg

Published April 22, 2009, issue of May 01, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Panned for breaking nearly every theatrical commandment by, uh, everyone, the 2004 musical production “The Ten Commandments,” starring Val Kilmer and performed in Los Angeles, was tucked away where all bad performances go quietly to die: YouTube.

GETTY IMAGES

Until now.

Showering attention on “American Idol” frontrunner Adam Lambert, entertainment Web sites have recently uncovered some potentially embarrassing video clips of the 27-year-old actor’s early days onstage. Bloggers for the Los Angeles Times’ Culture Monster also have been digging, and when they turned to the paper’s own archives, they discovered a scathing review of the biblically inspired musical, with one fleeting mention of praise:

“Few singers or dancers distinguish themselves with a personal sound or style. High notes are calculated to get applause. Adam Lambert, as Joshua, does the best in ‘Is Anybody Listening?’ It is also the best song.”

That’s right. Lambert, the “Idol” season 8 rock star, who received a “standing O” from Judge Simon Cowell for his rendition of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World,” played a Hebrew slave, complete with a dingy brown sackcloth and a ratty wig, earlier in his career.

Though Lambert hung up his rags at the play’s close, he hasn’t let go of his interest in Jewish themes. In 2005, he sang “Shir Lashalom” (“Song for Peace”), at a tribute concert for slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.