A native of Chicago, Jim Jacobs began his career as a rock ‘n’ roller with such groups as DDT & The Dynamiters and Lefty & The El-Rays. Jacobs’ theatrical career started when a friend asked Jim to be in his play after the original actor dropped out, “Don’t worry you don’t have to talk.” But Jacobs loved it and graduated to a larger role this time with a one word, “Monsieur.”
The words began to add up and Jacobs worked as an actor until 1970, when Jacobs and his fellow actor and writing partner, the late Warren Casey, wrote Grease. The show premiered in 1971 at the Kingston Mines Theater in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago. Producers Ken Waissman and Maxine Fox saw the play and suggested to the playwrights that their show might work better as a musical, and the rest, as they say, was show biz history.
Jim Jacobs is paying forward his fabulous success, from the monster hit Grease, by creating a Musical Theatre Scholarship at Columbia College Chicago. On Saturday, February 16th a benefit was held to help raise more funds for the scholarship. Donors were invited to a pre-show reception with incredible performances by students and alums from the Musical Theatre Program. Followed by a performance in the Getz Theatre of Victor/Victoria where all proceeds went to the new Jim Jacobs Scholarship – the first time the Theatre Department has ever allocated all proceeds from a performance toward a scholarship. There are still more performances of Victor/Victoria so be sure to get your tickets (link for your convenience).
During the evening of the benefit Jacobs spoke eloquently, "Every child, growing up, has a dream of what they're going to be someday," says Jacobs. "I dreamed of being an actor, a singer, a dancer -- a performer. I kept thinking and saying to myself, 'Give me a chance, I know I can do it. I really can.' And so, here I am, many years later and extremely happy to be able to give some young person the chance he or she needs. This is for those students who once thought that what they were thinking about, most of the time, was an impossible dream. It is with great pleasure that I can establish a musical theatre scholarship at Columbia College Chicago."
For information on the Jim Jacobs Scholarship: www.colum.edu/Student_Financial_Services/create-a-plan/scholarships/jim-jacobs.php.