The Book of Mormon’s Josh Gad Finds Beauty In the Times Square Wasteland

Josh Gad isn’t your typical Broadway star, but The Book of Mormon isn’t your typical Broadway show. The 30-year-old actor is currently one of two leads in the twisted, irreverent, and highly entertaining musical from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The script has enough four-letter words, dirty jokes, and blasphemy to make even the most progressive stalwart in the blue-haired matinee crowd squirm. But Gad feels at home on stage. His credits include a turn in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a comedic role on the short-lived Fox sitcom Back to You, and a stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show. "I went to college for straight acting—they wouldn’t let me into musical theater because I was such a horrible dancer," he says."But I love musicals. They’re the most entertaining form of theater."

After four years with the Book of Mormon team, Gad has yet to complete his mission."I’ve been involved since the first readings," he says. "It’s been the length of a college career." After 10 performances a week for the last seven months, he’s eager to get back to L.A. for a little R&R with his wife and nine-month-old daughter. Until then, though, he’s enjoying his second home in New York, particularly the Theater District just off Times Square, where he spends most of his time.
224 West 49th Street, 212-247-1000
Serafina is somewhat of an extensionof the Eugene O’Neill Theatre—Icall it my after-hours dressing room. It’s a wonderful place to unwind. It has an amazing selection of food, for appetites big or small, and the staff is so unbelievably accommodating. A lot of people go there after the show, which gives me the opportunity to speak to them. They usually tell me how much they enjoyed it, but sometimes they let me know my performance didn’t live up to their expectations.
1540 Broadway, 212-626-2910
My wife and I bring our daughter here. It’s a child’s fantasy. We sometimes take her to the Toys-R-Us down the street and ride the Ferris wheel, but it’s so crazy in there. This place is a little calmer, although it still sounds like there are explosions going off all the time.
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356 West 44th Street, 212-445-0131
I go here on Sundays to watch sports. I’m from Hollywood, Florida, so I follow my home-state teams—the Dolphins, Marlins, Heat. I’m a beer drinker, too, but lately I’ve been laying off that stuff because of the show.
josh gad 5
691 Eighth Avenue, 646-435-0135
I love Shake Shack. I love the fresh ingredients. I usually get the ’Shroom Burger with fried portobello mushrooms and cheese. I can’t compare it to In-N-Out Burger—that’s unfair. In-N-Out is precious to me. It’s like comparing children. But I will say Shake Shack makes the best burger I’ve had on the East Coast.
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234 West 42nd Street
When you have a kid, movies suddenly become rare events in your life, but I try to go as often as I can. The last movie I saw was Midnight in Paris. It blew my mind. It’s so good to see Woody Allen return to form—there was just something magical about that movie. It made me an avid reader of writers like Hemingway and Faulkner. I love the summer tent poles, especially this year. I loved Captain America, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and, of course, Harry Potter. I had a good time at the movies this summer.
Photos by Jesse Dittmar
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