BWW Exclusive: Hugh Panaro Reveals His Dream Boublil & Schonberg Role Before the New York Pops Gala
On Monday, May 2, 2016, The New York Pops presents its 33rd birthday gala, celebrating the revolutionary collaborations of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, the songwriting team behind LES MISERABLES, Miss Saigon, and more. Serving as Honorary Co-Chairs for the event are musical theatre legends Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Patti LuPone.
The event begins at 7:00 PM with a concert in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, featuring a spectacular lineup of guest artists under the baton of Music Director Steven Reineke. The performance will highlight Boublil and Schönberg's tremendous four-decade partnership. Guest artists Jesse Tyler Ferguson,Montego Glover, Robert Marien, Laura Osnes, and Kyle Scatliffe join the previously announcedStephanie J. Block, Jon Jon Briones, Jeremy Jordan, Norm Lewis, Patti LuPone, Eva Noblezada, John Owen-Jones, Hugh Panaro, Lea Salonga, and Marie Zamora. The concert will also feature Judith Clurman's Essential Voices USA, as well as students from The New York Pops' Kids on Stage music education program and Camp Broadway Kids.
In anticipation of the big event, BroadwayWorld is checking in with some of the performers. Today, check out what Hugh Panaro had to say...
It feels like family. I've known Claude-Michel and Alain since I was 23 years old when I played Marius in LES MISERABLES and then got to spend a lot of time bonding with them during the American Premiere of Martin Guerre. Fun fact : Stephen Buntrock was originally cast as Martin and I was auditioning to play Arnaud, but after two days of intense auditions they decided at the last minute to "switch" us, so I ended up in the title role! As for Steven Reineke, I love and respect him very much; he is a dear friend and I had one of the best times of my life at his wedding! Getting to perform with Steven and The New York Pops is always a joy, although I will tell you that the very first time I ever sang with The New York pops I was passing a kidney stone and in absolute agony! So this time should be a LOT more fun!
Do you have a favorite song or moment from a Boublil & Schönberg show?
I will never forget the first time I ever heard Patti LuPone sing "I Dreamed a Dream". It will ALWAYS be a magical moment for me. Of course now that I've played Jean Valjean, I really connect with "Alone, I wait in the shadows..." in the last scene before Valjean's death. That for me is quintessential Claude-Michel and Alain.
Is there another role in a Boublil & Schönberg show that you'd like to play someday?
Well, I think I should just keep working my way through all of them!!! Maybe switch to Javert for a while, then Thénardier or the Engineer in Miss Saigon. Hell, I think I'd be a killer Kim!!!
This year's gala will feature music students from The New York Pops' extensive education programs. What single piece of advice would you give to any young, aspiring performers?
Remember that there is only one YOU. Try to be the most authentic version of yourself. Don't try to be someone you are not or compare yourself to anyone else! You are special and unique. Let your freak flag fly!
What projects do you have coming up that you can share?
I have a lot of symphony concerts coming up and I'm working on my solo CD (finally!). And at the risk of sounding cryptic, I may also be performing with another New York Pops gala star in an upcoming theatrical production, but if I told you, I'd have to kill you!!!!
Advance benefit tickets to the concert-only range from $65 to $160 and can be purchased at www.newyorkpops.org.
Tickets will become available to the public on Monday, March 7, 2016 at 11:00 AM at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.