Are you a fan of musicals? Are you a fan of #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Jodi Picoult? Well, YEM has some exciting news for those who do! We have an exclusive interview with Arielle Jacobs, who starred as the original Delilah in the musical version of Jodi’s book, Between the Lines. We’re excited to talk to Arielle about her role as Delilah and how she was leading towards that role, what she’s looking for in a new role, her role as Delilah, and a lot more. However, before we can continue with this interview, here is a refresher on Between the Lines and what it’s about.
For those who are a bit more familiar with the book series back in 2012, you might be a bit surprised to see this musical. This musical had its world premiere on September 15th of 2022, in the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. It was initially set to open Off-Broadway in May 2020 in the Tony Kiser Theatre but was delayed twice due to COVID-19. The musical’s music was written by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, while the musical book was written by Timothy Allen McDonald. There are a total of two acts in the musical, and the musical starred many cast members that you might recognize, such as Vicki Lewis and Julia Murney. The story goes a bit like this: Delilah is considered a loner and prefers the company of books, but with one book in particular. The book she enjoys perusing through is Between The Lines, and she feels connected to the adventurous and loving character in the book, Prince Oliver. But when Oliver suddenly speaks to her, it’s revealed that Oliver is self-aware of his literary existence, and dislikes how predetermined his life is. He yearns for freedom in the real world and believes that Delilah is his ticket to be free from the book.
Now, how is the music connected to the novel? As mentioned before, this musical is based on the book written by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer. The story behind this novel is the same as the musical, but what’s different is the musical accompaniment in the musical. Keep an eye out for the music, it’s really good!
Now, you might have heard of Arielle Jacobs and her background in musicals. For those who aren’t aware of who Arielle is, you’ll recognize her as Nina Rosario from In the Heights musical, with its concept made by the famous Lin-Manuel Miranda. If you don’t recognize her from that, you will recognize her for her role as Princess Jasmine in the Australian and Broadway versions of Aladdin. She’s also been in other musicals such as Wicked on Broadway, High School Musical, Into the Woods, and Rent. Arielle has a long history of music ranging from jazz, tap, and ballet when she was a toddler, to studying voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. From her feats alone, she is well-known for her “songbird-like” ability on stage. She’s pretty amazing, huh?
We initially asked Arielle what her path looked like up to her role as Delilah and what brought her to play her. Arielle happily informs us about how it started when she first starred as the original Gabriella in the stage version of High School Musical, including her Broadway debut as Nina from In the Heights, her role as Nessarose in Wicked on Broadway, and eventually leading her to her role as Princess Jasmine in Aladdin the Musical. When her boyfriend asked her what she wanted to do, Arielle explained how she wanted to be the original princess, a new character, and do some animation–this lead her boyfriend to bring her to the recording studio and singing from Disney songs, to which then lead to something really special. We also asked what it was like to work with the author Jodi and her daughter, and how much influence she had to have Arielle on the show. Arielle happily informs us that working with Jodi was a “dream come true”, mentioning how it was her that chose Arielle to play Delilah originally. Jodi had found a video on YouTube of Arielle singing Disney songs in a recording studio that she did for fun, and upon stumbling across them, ultimately chose Arielle.
We would like to thank Arielle for spending some time with us! You can follow her on her website at https://ariellejacobs.com/ and her Instagram at @ariellejacobs. Please also watch the interview below where we ask Arielle even more questions about her time in Between the Lines, her character Delilah, and a few other things about the musical. While you’re there, be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to our channel for the latest news in young entertainment!