Joshua Turchin is a musical theater powerhouse – and he’s only 13 years old! Joshua Turchin wears many hats such as actor, singer, composer, musician, music director, accompanist, and dancer. He has spent time on the Broadway stage and has even composed his own musical. Joshua Turchin plays more than 11 instruments, including piano, drums, guitar and ukulele. His musical, The Perfect Fit, recently premiered in NYC winning awards and critical acclaim. Joshua even played Flounder in The Little Mermaid Live-To-Film at the Hollywood Bowl, alongside Lea Michele. He even has his won series called The Early Night Show With Joshua Turchin which he created and hosts. YEM spoke with Joshua Turchin to learn about how he became a musical prodigy at such a young age!
Young Entertainment Mag: Why did you choose to pursue musical theater?
Joshua Turchin: I chose to pursue musical theater because I fell in love with music and theater from before I can remember. When I was a baby, I used to tap on beat and as soon as I could reach the keys, I started to play piano by ear. My mom always used to play musical theater songs for me in the car. And a babysitter let me watch Hairspray when I was 2. I saw my first live musical when I was 2 years and 10 months old, which was Grease, and I was hooked.
YEM: What are some Broadway musicals that have inspired you in your work?
Joshua: Once is my absolute favorite musical. I was about 6 when I saw it and I cried through the entire show. Because I had never heard such beautiful melodies before. I also really love Alan Menken, so pretty much any of his music has inspired me in some way. It was a HUGE honor to perform with him at the Hollywood Bowl in 2019 when I was Flounder in The Little Mermaid Live-to-Film at The Hollywood Bowl!
YEM: Tell us about your new show The Perfect Fit.
Joshua: The Perfect Fit is about finding your place in the world. In the show, a lot of the context is about musical theater. But really, it can be applied to reflecting on where you belong at any stage of your life.
YEM: The Perfect Fit speaks to the awkward transition of Broadway performers from children to adults. How does your show address this period of change?
Joshua: The Perfect Fit addresses the awkward transition of Broadway performers from children to adults by showing how the teens learn to find their voices through their struggles while searching for where they belong. The characters are empowered and grow throughout the show.
YEM: You’ll be presenting The Perfect Fit as a digital concert. Why do you think it’s important for the Broadway community to adapt to a virtual format during the pandemic?
Joshua: It is so important to adapt during this pandemic to keep live theater alive, to keep the arts alive and to keep arts workers employed. I really love math and science. But there’s something so special about music, theater and other arts that helps to keep me and so many others grounded. It balances me out, and I know that it has the same impact on so many others. Times change and this pandemic has forced us to adapt to stay healthy and safe.
Looking at what sports have done for years, people have been attending sports in person and others have simultaneously watched from the comfort of their own homes. I feel so strongly that now is the time to explore livestreaming for theater and make it even more accessible to people all over the world who otherwise would not be able to see a Broadway play. I don’t believe that this will take away from people coming to see shows in person when it’s safe. Stadiums (pre-covid) were always still full. So I think this might even help bring in more theater fans in the future.
YEM: What was it like to be the first young adult to be part of the Forbidden Broadway cast?
Joshua: It was the most amazing experience to be the first young adult to be part of a Forbidden Broadway Cast. I was a huge fan of the Forbidden Broadway shows. And when Gerard Alessandrini (the writer, creator and director) asked me if I would like to be in the show, I was beyond excited and honored. I learned so much from Gerard, Gerry McIntyre (the choreographer), Fred Barton (the music director) as well as the adult cast. It was truly a collaborative experience and I loved that I was treated as an equal cast member, instead of a child in the show. I’ve done three different Forbidden Broadway projects, and they are so much fun to perform.
YEM: You also host the web series The Early Night Show where you interview and perform songs with various Broadway celebrities. Who have you been able to meet and what was it like performing with them?
Joshua: The Early Night Show began prior to Covid as a live cabaret series in person and then I adapted it to a virtual edition with the hopes to keep other performers doing what they love. I have the best time hosting it and being able to collaborate with so many talented and incredible performers! It’s also been very special to accompany so many talented adults, teens and kids. I have loved working with every guest. But I will say that accompanying Tony winner Laura Benanti was a huge highlight!
Also I loved interviewing Kimberly Marable (who is also in The Perfect Fit Livestream) and accompanying her on a song from Hadestown (which she is in on Broadway). I also sang and accompanied a song from the show “The Other Josh Cohen” with Steve Rosen, which was really cool, and singing The River with the incredible songwriter Victoria Show, who wrote the song with Garth Brooks. I also interviewed and collaborated with some Broadway kids who I didn’t have the chance to meet beore and am now friends with them because of The Early Night Show, like Noah Baird and Tyrah Skye Odoms.
YEM: You play more than eleven instruments! Why so many? What do you love about making music?
Joshua: I play eleven instruments because I just love music so much. I love what each instrument brings to a song. I am also an orchestrator. So I think it’s really important for me to learn to play the instruments to know how they fit into a composition. I love to make music because I can tell a story through melodies that sometimes words can’t explain.
YEM: Are you writing any new projects?
Joshua: Yes! I am ALWAYS writing and working on new projects! One thing that I’ve been doing, almost daily, is writing comedic songs for TikTok. I’m on there @joshuaturchin and I usually post a new song that I’ve orchestrated every day or so. I am also working on new music for a musical parody of Avatar the Last Airbender. I loved the series and there is something very special about it that would work in a musical.
YEM: What are some dream roles or projects you’d want to take part in some day?
Joshua: A dream role is definitely Evan Hansen. I loved playing the Forbidden Broadway exaggerated version of the character. And I would love to play the real Evan one day! Also I would love to play Orpheus in Hadestown one day. I would also love to originate some parts on Broadway that haven’t been written yet ;-)! A dream project would be to continue to compose and write and collaborate with Alan Menken! Other dream collaborators are Lin Manuel Miranda, James Monroe Iglehart and Wayne Brady!