Hugh Panaro Prepares for GPAC Return
Hugh Panaro prepared his first two-act solo concert with care a year ago when he made his first appearance in Garner's Broadway Voices.
"It was the first time that I had done a solo show that was almost two hours long," he said. "I was able to pack the show with the songs that have meant the most to me. The songs were among my favorites."
So what do you do when you return to the same venue, the Garner Performing Arts Center, for another two-act solo show?
"At first you struggle. You struggle a lot," Panaro said from New York while preparing for the Saturday, April 8 concert as part of Broadway Voices. "You don't want to come out and say that I told you last time that those songs were my favorites, but these tonight are really my favorites."
"The first time here, I performed the songs that told my story. I don't want to tell the same story again, but I want the story to be just as good, if not better than the last one."
Panaro made a long list of the songs that he likes best and struck through the ones that he sang in Garner last time. Then the real work of assembling a program began. He chose songs that felt right.
He wanted to sing "Empty chairs at empty tables," one of his signature songs from his run as Marius in Les Miserables. He wanted to include the song, but the song just didn't seem to fit in this program.
His final set list has the feel that he wanted. This will be a different concert, the first time that he has done this program, but he likes the program as much as he did the first one in Garner.
"I think of these two programs like your children," he said. "They are different programs, but I love them equally. I think this concert will be just as good, if not better, than the other one."
Neal Padgett, a producer of Broadway Voices, said the series rarely invites artists for return dates. The response to Panaro's sold-out show in January 2016 was the impetus to have him back so soon.
"Every artist we have had has been sensational," Padgett said. "We are managing to get some of the very best Broadway stars. But the feedback we got on Hugh was overwhelming. He made the audience feel special. From the moment he stepped on stage, it was apparent that the evening was going to be extraordinary. Our guests wanted to experience that feeling again."
Panaro is one of Broadway's top leading men. He is best known as the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. He may be the most popular Phantom ever with about 2,000 Broadway performances.
He has been in a plethora of Broadway shows, including Les Miserables, Sideshow, Lestat, Show Boat and many others. He has performed with symphonies around the globe and has sung in some of the most famous venues in the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl and the Lincoln Center.
But he likes the Garner Performing Arts Center, too.
"It is an ideal setting," he said. "It is very intimate. I want my concerts to feel like you've dropped by my home and I'm singing a few songs. In Garner, you've got that feeling. Quite frankly, it is something that I enjoy a great deal. It feels like we are all friends."
Back by popular demand. It's a one-night-only concert event! Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 pm
Just 50 tickets available. Buy today! For just $35, you can spend the evening with one of Broadway's biggest stars....here at GPAC! (tickets for Panaro's show in Philly last month were up to last month $145!)
This is a great and unique experience that can be enjoyed without a trip to NYC.
Enjoy the evening with the star of Broadway's Phantom of the Opera, Les Miz and Showboat.
Visit or call the Chamber: 919.772.6440, 8:30 - 5:00 Monday - Friday, 401 Circle Drive
Call GPAC: 919.661.4602
1:30 - 5:00 Monday - Friday