Jared Brito can recall dying. It’s kind of a cute story.
The young actor and his little brother, Aidan, had small roles in the Academy of Music’s recent production of the opera Nabucco, and Jared’s character was sacrificed to pagan gods.
During an evening rehearsal, Jared and a handful of other sacrificial victims had to lie still as the opera proceeded. A sheet was placed over their “bodies.” Lying still in the dark, Jared fell asleep so soundly the director had to awaken him, he said.
It’s true Jared is something of a stage veteran at just 12 years old, but he was really not all that relaxed on the boards. Try tired. The rehearsal was after a busy school day.
Jared and Aidan, who live near Welsh and the Boulevard, both have growing acting resumes, said their proud dad, William.
Now, the Brito boys will have roles in holiday productions of two different shows at the same theater.
Jared will perform in the Walnut Street Theatre’s upcoming production of the musical Elf. He has some lines and he also sings with the other cast members.
Aidan will be Tiny Tim in the Walnut’s presentation of A Christmas Carol. We all know one of his famous lines.
Besides a small role in Nabucco, Aidan was in a Cosby Kids special and in four commercials. You might have seen him in a commercial for Montgomeryville Nissan or one for Glade plug-ins.
Jared played Winthrop Paroo in the Walnut’s production of The Music Man last year. He was the boy interacting with “monster” electrical outlets in a PECO commercial and he was the boy playing football and Xbox in an NFL/Xbox commercial. He also had a small role in a recent remake of Annie. He’s been in some print ads, too.
In Elf, Jared gets to portray the classic spoiled rotten brat.
“I play the kid on Santa’s lap” who is demanding the Grand Theft Auto video game his mother doesn’t want him to have, Jared said during an Oct. 31 interview at the Walnut. He’s far different in attitude from the lovable title character, Buddy.
“I’m obnoxious,” Jared said.
Very obnoxious, he said, although he was careful to mention that he did not model his character’s grating demeanor after anyone he actually knows. Jared also is the understudy of the character of Michael Hobbs. He said he’s having a good time and guarantees everybody who sees the musical will, too.
“The whole show is odd and goofy,” he said. “Everything about it is funny. No one will come to the show and not laugh.”
Elf opened Tuesday and will continue into Jan. 5, Jared said.
Aidan starts rehearsals for the Charles Dickens Christmas classic on Nov. 11. He was just cast in late October.
The hourlong adaptation, which will have daytime performances, opens Nov. 30, so the younger Brito boy will have the early shift at the Walnut and Jared, the night hours as both Elf and A Christmas Carol share the historic downtown theater until the Dickens’ story closes Dec. 22.
Show business might be a good time, but it’s a lot of work. Besides, the acting life has to be juxtaposed with schooling, William Brito said. Easier to do for Aidan since he’s homeschooled, but more schedule-shifting is needed for Jared, who attends Girard Academic Music Program. He’s got to arrange to be away from classes.
Jared said he gets some ribbing from his classmates who tell him he’s lucky because he gets off from school so he can rehearse and perform. He said he shrugs off the teasing. “I still have to do the work,” he said.
Although Aidan and Jared are professional actors, they’re still kids, so when they’re not studying or in a play, they’re going to play. Both like baseball and basketball, and Jared also is taking self-defense training, their dad said.
They get time to be kids, he said.
The Walnut Street Theatre is at 825 Walnut St. Call 215-574-355 for showtimes. ••