In nearly every article written about Broadway's newest heartthrob, Nolan Gerard Funk – the hottie about to open in the lead role of Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye Birdie this week – he's being compared to Zac Efron.
Maybe it's because Nolan's last big role was starring as the lead - Nikko Alexander in Nickelodeon's version of High School Musical, Spectacular! earlier this year. But Nolan's been in quite a few other things before that, like 'Smallville,' 'Supernatural' and 'Aliens in America,' and as the hot guy in Miranda Cosgrove's music video for "Stay My Baby!"
Still - he keeps getting "Nolan Gerard Funk is the next Zac Efron" all the time. The Roundabout Theater's, where Bye Bye Birdie officially opened on October 15th, magazine, Upstage, asked Nolan how he felt about the comparison – if it annoyed him, or flattered him.
"It really doesn't bother me at all," Nolan said. "I'm my own type of artist, and I'm quite particular and independent in my thinking, and I'm not trying to brand myself as Zac per se. But it's fun. Why wouldn't I want to be compared to such a popular actor? I was not the popular kid in high school, so if you want to compare me to the popular people, go ahead."
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Nolan is a former gymnast who is now flipping out (sorry, we couldn't resist) over his crazy-fame status as a Broadway star.
The hype over BBB has been so awesome – over Nolan's performance in particular – girls have been lining up at the stage door before and after the show's preview performances for autographs, or just to catch a glimpse of him. And to scream (think Jonas Brothers).
In the show, Nolan plays Conrad Birdie, a teen idol (like Elvis) who's been drafted into the Army. So his manager and secretary come up with a plan to send him off with one last kiss from one lucky teenager...on national television! The show takes place in 1960 and also stars John Stamos (Uncle Jesse from Full House) and Allie Trimm.
Coming off a horrible illness last weekend, where the show almost didn't go on for Nolan (!) we're happy to report he was feeling much better on opening night. And the night went off great!