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BWW Interviews: LES MISERABLES Broadway Enjolras Actor Jason Forbach

BWW Interviews: LES MISERABLES Broadway Enjolras Actor Jason Forbach

Catching up with Les Miserables' on Broadway actor Jason Forbach was a lot of fun. Jason has been with the show since booking the 25th Anniversary National Tour in the spring of 2010. The music of LES MIS has been in his life for four years and he has loved the experience. Recently taking over the role of Enjolras on Broadway has been significant for Jason as he continues his adventure into something that has become such a big part of his life.

Tell us about your experiences of being on the road with Les Miserables.

The 25th Anniversary National Tour was a dream come true for me. It was a huge learning experience being on the road for the first time being in my first national tour, learning the rigors of tour; being able to see the country. I can safely say that I have made friendships and relationships that will last the test of time. I see people every day from the tour over a year after it closed. We're all in each other's wedding parties, we check in with each other no matter where we are in the country. I walked away with that and much more very rich in feeling and spirit. It propelled us back into New York which has been something I've been wanting to do for a long time because I was Las Vegas with PHANTOM for three years then went on the road for three years so I've always been wanting to be back here in New York and what better way to do it then in this Broadway Revival.

When did you book Les Miserables Broadway Revival?

It was well after the tour because there was a bit of deciding what was going to happen with the PHANTOM Tour. Some decisions had to be made and it was probably September of last year when I knew about the Broadway Company. It was great news because I was packing up a U-Haul and driving across the country to go to New York. It gave me time to work on a couple of projects before then. I did SAIGON at North Shore and sang with the Omaha Symphony and did a couple of workshops and readings so I enjoyed being back in the city reaching out to my friends before we started rehearsals in January of this year.

You are taking over the role of Enjolras for a short period of time now.

It has been off and on for a while but in a formal capacity only recently. The actor playing Enjolras is going to take a temporary leave so they presented it to me and I was honored and thrilled and can officially say that I have played Enjolras on Broadway alongside all of the great actors that have done it before so I felt this overwhelming honor and sense of history from Michael Maguire to Aaron Lazar. I just felt a lot of responsibility and honor that comes with the show and this role. I felt overwhelmed and proud about it all.

Are there significant changes in the Broadway Revival compared to the 25th Anniversary Tour?

It's very similar. Different actors bring different elements to it. There are a few tweaks for the Broadway Company and they amped up the set a little bit but for die hards of the tour, it's very similar.

You also recently did I AM HARVEY MILK there in New York. Tell us about that.

That we did just recently and it was incredible. I can't even describe how incredible that experience was. Andrew Lippa was performing. Kristin Chenoweth was the soprano and it was such an invigorating musical moment. Joel Fram, the conductor is truly a genius. The music was so inspiring. We were all dumbstruck by how satisfying for the creative soul it was. We would watch people come in to sit and listen when Kristen Chenoweth would come in and we would always see their jaws drop at the sound of 120 Broadway voices. When do you hear a men's choir that size; that awesome? It was powerful.

I know you have done some recording in the past including your most recent EP, REVOLUTIONARY, do you plan to do more recording and writing in the future?

I do. I'm finding it hard to do double duty and be my best voice and do the show so I'm trying to figure out; I'm starting to feel that pull and I'm tossing around the idea of doing a live album. Maybe do a couple of concerts in the city and see what we can pull from those concerts for a live album. That's like a marinating idea in my head at the moment. It is interesting with this schedule and New York and things happening. Vocally, I just have to have enough for the show then maybe when life calms down, I'll be able to give more to the recording but it has been overwhelming to see the response to the Broadway World Album Awards. I couldn't believe the show of support being in the company of Ramin and Idina and being in the top three in both of those categories with all these iconic theater names, I couldn't believe it so I hope people keep voting and I'm not going to win anything but it's just cool to see that I'm in that company. It makes me feel good and makes me like all that hard work that I have done, people are appreciating the records. That feels really good. I never recorded anything for any sort of end game but just to experiment and play and be musical in a different way for myself to explore and to express because it's so inside of me. I love PHANTOM, I love LES MIS but I've been doing them for thousands and thousands of performances so it's nice to feel creative in another way and for that bit of expression to be recognized by so many people, is always so humbling. I'm glad people respond to it because that's what I love to do.

When you look back on the last ten years of your life, did you ever imagine you would be where you are right now?

Ten years ago, I just moved to New York. I kind of abandoned an opera career and I'd abandoned everything I'd known to move to New York with no money but a dream of this. I had three survival jobs and I had a terrible apartment. I had a frustrating difficult start in New York as every actor does. And honestly, I think I always dreamed it but I didn't know it would happen. I feel so happy and lucky and fortunate that it did. I've had a lot of amazing experiences and I don't go a second without realizing that I was running from one job to another job and not sleeping barely paying rent; I don't forget that for a second.

Where do you see your life in the next ten years?

I honestly don't know. I have no idea. I feel like I have achieved some dreams and of course there are so many other shows I'd love to do wherever that may be; on the road, on Broadway, in any of the regional houses that I have been in before that I've loved, but I honestly don't know. It's kind of scary and it's kind of exciting. I'm writing more, I'm composing more. I'm open to the Universe to send whatever's next for me. It hasn't steered me wrong yet so I think if I'm open and available, things will appear.

Is there a dream role that you would love to do someday?

I have a lot of dream roles. And then of course, I always hear of new shows coming in. I would love to do more Sondheim; anything Sondheim would be a dream, playing Georges, playing the princes again in INTO THE WOODS would be fantastic. I'd love to play Phantom. It's a block over. I'd love to be in that company, in that history on Broadway. I don't know. I usually so goal oriented and focused on the next dream, the next achievement, the next hurdle. This is the first time in my career, I'm not sure. I'm always stirring around ideas and it's a matter of what's going to come to fruition.

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