Paul has appeared in commercials since he was an infant. He got his break playing Tiny Tim in the Park Theater's production of "A Christmas Carol" when he was just 5.
Over the years, he's sung with Rosie O'Donnell on her famous television talk show, with the incomparable Mickey Rooney, and with legendary performer Elaine Stritch in Carnegie Hall.
Iacono also had a big role in the Paper Mill Playhouse's production of "Mame" a few years ago, starring Christine Ebersole, and was in the cast of the Off-Broadway production of "Sail Away," a Noel Coward musical. But now, the time has come for Iacono to branch out his horizons just a little. After all, he's crossed that threshold from cute youngster to talented young man.
Moving into movies
"Yes, I am a man now," said Iacono, the son of Secaucus Township Administrator Anthony Iacono. "I have to be able to do different things. I've been mainly a theater guy in the past, but for the last two years, I've really been trying to get into films and television. It's been going quite well and getting a lot of good auditions."
A few months ago, Iacono landed a role that could very well change his acting career. He was cast as one of the leads in an independent film entitled "Glow Ropes: The Rise and Fall of a Bar Mitzvah Emcee."
The movie opened last Friday for a six-week run in Rutherford at the Williams Center Theater, and has received positive reviews already from Variety and the New York Daily News. It was recently named Best Picture at the Latino Film Festival in New York and was the recipient of the Indie Outlook Award from HBO.
Iacono plays the role of Ricky Lopefrawitz, who is a Cuban Jew.
"My mother in the movie calls it 'Jewban,'" Iacono said. "My father in the film is Cuba's biggest banana importer/exporter, and I'm about to be bar mitzvahed."
Iacono said that "Glow Ropes" is a lot like the "mockumentary" series made famous by filmmaker Christopher Guest, like "This Is Spinal Tap," "Waiting for Guffman," "Best in Show" and "A Mighty Wind."
"I loved those movies when I saw them," Iacono said. "If I had to compare movies, I'd say this one is like 'Best in Show' meets 'The Wedding Singer,' although instead of a wedding, this is a bar mitzvah. It's all about how seriously and how over the top people take bar mitzvahs."
Fake documentary on bar mitzvah emcee
The main character in the movie is "Sebastian," a bar mitzvah master of ceremonies from New Jersey, who is portrayed by the movie's screenwriter and director George Valencia, a Lodi native.
The story is loosely based on the life of Arthur McCall, who was one of the top wedding planners in New York. The movie also stars Judy Reyes, who is better known for her portrayal of sassy nurse Carla Espinosa on the popular NBC sitcom "Scrubs." Reyes plays Vanessa, who plans bar mitzvahs.
"Another character, Taylor, gets into the mix and he also wants to be the most famous bar mitzvah emcee," Iacono said. "It then takes a twist as the two become fierce rivals to do the best bar mitzvahs. It's so very much a comedy."
The role of Ricky Lopefrawitz is different than any other character Iacono has ever tackled.
"To say that this role is a stretch from anything else I've done would be putting it mildly," Iacono said. "It's so totally out of my character. They make me out to look like a young Michael Jackson. Throughout the movie, you hear about my character a lot, but you don't see me until toward the end, when they hold a press conference to announce my bar mitzvah."
At the press conference, Iacono is decked out in an outlandish wardrobe.
"I look like Elton John, with big hair and pink glasses," Iacono said. "I look like something out of a '70s magazine. When I am asked by a reporter how do I feel about the upcoming event, I say, 'I'm obsessed.' It really is different for me."
Iacono said that he enjoyed making the film and is encouraged by the way it turned out.
"I'm excited about the film," Iacono said. "I love the film. It's funny and entertaining. It's a low-budget film, but it turned out to be wonderful. And they treated me like I was a king."
Since the movie was released, Iacono has already signed on for his next role, an Off-Broadway musical by John Guare (House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation) entitled "Landscape of the Body," which will star Sherie Rene Scott of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and Lili Taylor of "Say Anything" and "Six Feet Under." It will run for six weeks at the Signature Theatre on 42nd Street, beginning April 15. Previews begin March 28. And yes, he's still a high school senior.
"It is all coming together for me," Iacono said. "The auditions, the shows, it's all been a lot of fun. I'm now reaching out in so many different genres. It's really exciting."
"Glow Ropes: The Rise and Fall of a Bar Mitzvah Emcee," is playing at the Williams Center Theatre in Rutherford for the next five weeks. For show times, log on to the theatre's website at www.williamscenter.org or to check out more about the movie, go to www.glowropesmovie.com.