CULTURE & ARTS
11/28/2014 09:31 am ET Updated Nov 28, 2014

James Snyder's 'I Shouldn't Be Here' Showcases Actor's 'Goofball' Side At New York's 54 Below

Walter McBride via Getty Images

James Snyder has been wowing the masses as the hunky love interest of Idina Menzel in “If/Then” on Broadway since March, but the actor hopes audiences come away from his latest act with a sense of his “off-the-cuff, goofball” side.

The California native says “I Shouldn’t Be Here” explores his multifaceted stage and screen career as a series of firsts, specifically his first holiday season in New York and his first time dealing with winter weather. The show fittingly hits Manhattan’s 54 Below on Dec. 1.

“It’s a grab bag from my whole life,” Snyder, who recently named one of Broadway’s 10 sexiest men, says. Stylistically, the set is “all over the place,” featuring songs from Snyder’s 2008 alt-rock album “L.A. Curse,” as well as tunes from his roles in “Cry-Baby” on Broadway, “Carousel” at Connecticut’s Goodspeed Opera House and the City Center Encores! production of “Fanny.”

Also featured in “I Shouldn’t Be Here” will be “Cry-Baby” star Elizabeth Stanley and Matt Doyle (“Spring Awakening,” “The Book of Mormon”), who sang with Snyder on the 2007 recording of “bare: A Pop Opera.”

Check out Snyder performing with Idina Menzel, then scroll down to keep reading:

No doubt the show will venture into personal territory, too. At a press preview of the show in late November, Snyder crooned a Hanukkah-tinged rendition of the holiday classic, “Please Come Home For Christmas (Bells Will Be Ringing).” The song choice was a nod to Snyder’s embrace of “Chrismukkah” after he tied the knot with wife Jacqueline Dadon, who is Jewish. These days, the couple celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah with two-year-old son, Oliver, and Snyder has tapped Broadway stalwart Seth Rudetsky to join him for a number or two during the show teach him “a little bit more about being Jewish.”

For all of his work on Broadway, Snyder seems most proud of his “legit” 2012 turn in “Carousel,” which prompted the producers of “If/Then” to encourage him to audition for their show. If the actor has his way, his next stage or screen role will be in the same vein as that Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

“Not a lot of people my age and my type have really found their legit voice,” he says. “I don’t know what’s next, and of course I’m not going to say no to something contemporary, but I hope I get the chance to do something of that grandeur again, something of that size and scope. I grew up watching ‘The Music Man’ and ‘Oklahoma,’ and now that I’m here and I feel like I’m gaining some footing, I would love to go back to those roots.”

James Snyder's "I Shouldn't Be Here" plays New York's 54 Below on Dec. 1. Head here for more information.

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