Local grad makes it to Broadway


Editor's note: Kate Daly informs us that since this story was written, Nic Rouleau has been promoted to playing Elder Price full time.

By Kate Daly

Special to the Almanac

When Sacred Heart Prep alum Nic Rouleau started performing at age 8 in a Peninsula Youth Theatre production in Mountain View, he had dreams of making it to Broadway. Little did he know he would achieve that goal by age 24.

Now 25, Mr. Rouleau is working six days a week as the standby for one of the lead roles in the Broadway hit "The Book of Mormon." Since July, he has appeared as Elder Price more than 40 times at the Eugene O'Neill Theater.

The Tony award-winning musical is an irreverent take on Mormon missionaries working in Africa, as portrayed by the creators of the television show, "South Park."

The musical is sold out through the rest of the year, and Mr. Rouleau expects it to run in New York for many more years.

His contract extends through September, and after that he's hoping "to do the role more full time" in New York. A nationally touring company will be bringing the show to San Francisco in November, and will include one member of the Broadway cast, he says.

The blond, 6-foot-tall tenor says, "I love performing for people," but acknowledges "it's a tough business; you have to put in a lot of hours."

Mr. Rouleau sang a cappella with the quartet Pulse at Sacred Heart Preparatory during his four years there. After graduating in 2005, he went on to study musical theater at New York University's Steinhardt School. An agent signed him on after seeing Mr. Rouleau in a student production his junior year.

He then worked in summer stock theater in New London, New Hampshire, where "We made $40 a week, we built all the sets, made all the costumes, rehearsed during the day, and performed at night," he recalls.

After college, Mr. Rouleau spent a year playing Woody in "Toy Story" for Disney Cruise Line. The following year he toured the country playing Emmett in "Legally Blonde."

A year ago he won a ticket lottery to see "The Book of Mormon," and remembers walking out and telling a friend he wanted to be in the show someday.

Then, he says: "It really happened quickly. I was in the right place, at the right time, and knew the right people." He auditioned and landed the part of standby.

"I always have to be alert and ready to go on," he explains.

One night he learned at 11 p.m. that he was going to be making his Broadway debut the next day. He notified his parents and they took a red-eye flight cross-country to make it there in time.

Last month when Menlo School drama teacher Beth Orr took a group of 30 students to see the show, Mr. Rouleau played the starring role.

"He was really, really entertaining," says freshman Rebecca Shoch of Woodside. "The best part about him was his facial expressions. They were very exaggerated."

As she prepared for her own part in Menlo School's production of "The Taming of the Shrew," she says, she found the musical "different but inspirational."


Like this comment
Posted by GOLLY
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2012 at 10:21 am

Gee, the girl who made the remark about his facial expression made her point with such passion that it brought a tear to my eye.
And the non quotes of the drama teacher, Beth Orr, was so overwhelmed as to appear a bit jealous.....
THE BOOK OF MORMON is a fantastically written and very funny show which does is very outrageous for most conservative minds.
I personally did not see him the night I went to the show, but it is the best thing on Broadway and a sell out.
The author of the article, certainly did not cover what deserved to be more kudos for this young man who, apparently, has more talent than was described.

Like this comment
Posted by Kim Stinson Serrano
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

A hearty congratulations to Nic Rouleau! I worked with Nic at Peninsula Youth Theatre (PYT) in the 1990s. I was choreographer for several productions with PYT during Nic's time with the company. I remember Nic well. He was not only hard-working and very talented, but he showed a kind heart toward the younger, less-experienced students and was very respectful to the adults on staff. I am so happy to read of his successes thus far. Broadway is lucky to have Nic Rouleau. Bravo!

Like this comment
Posted by Nancy Wigley
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jul 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I happened to be at Nic's Broadway debut in Book of Mormon last year. He was perfect!! Now you can see him 8 shows a week as the permanent Elder Price, a leading role! He opened the Tony's this year saying to Ricky Martin, " Hello! My name is Elder Price...." Even Nic admits, "I can't believe my life!"
Go see him in NYC!! You won't be disappointed!

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