Lucas Papaelias (left) and in the ensemble for Once (right).
Former Somers resident Lucas Papaelias admits that he fudged the truth to snag a role on the unabashedly romantic musical Once, now a hit on Broadway. Asked if he can play the drums, Papaelias, a singer/songwriter who plays the guitar but not the drums, answered sure. “Anyone can hit a drum,” the super-buff Papaelias, 35, says as a way to explain his truth-bending response.
And he does play the drums as a member of the ensemble on Once, originally a small independent movie about a shy busker on the streets of Dublin and an outgoing Czech immigrant. He also plays the banjo, guitar, and mandolin. And, oh yes, he dances too—another first. “I don’t consider myself a dancer,” he says. “But since the show, I feel more comfortable dancing than standing still when I have an instrument in my hand.” He also speaks with an Irish accent and a Czech accent. “My father is from Greece, my mother is Italian. I grew up imitating accents.”
He grew up in White Plains, then moved to Somers at age 12. His senior class at Somers High voted him “Most Musical” student. They were onto something…
Once is playing at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.