1st American Singer/Actor To Play The Lead Role, Gary Morris Celebrates Les Miserables’ 30th Anniversary This Week!
For Immediate Release: Oct. 8, 2015
Nashville, TN - Singer/songwriter, Gary Morris joins Les’ Miserables in celebrating it’s 30th Anniversary! Morris was the first American singer/actor to have performed the lead role of Jean Valjean. He took over that role at the height of it’s success on Broadway in 1987-88.
Based on Victor Hugo's 19th century novel about the causes of the French Revolution, Morris had 3 weeks to learn the challenging role and songs. The actor scheduled to take the lead in New York suddenly died. The play’s creator, Sir Cameron Macintosh, chose the Ft. Worth, Texas native to take over; Morris took over on Nov. 30, 1987. Gary Morris received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Actor in 1988 and a Command Performance invitation from Queen Elizabeth.
Frank Rich of The New York Times and New York Magazine; “I remember his performance fondly.”
One avid New York theater goer recounts; "Gary Morris as Valjean did a superb job and put more emotion into his singing than Wilkinson. His range is amazing, and his passion for that role was obvious."
“The role of Valjean on Broadway was a game changer. I’m forever in debt to a wonderful cast and crew that made my New York experience a musical dream.” the multi-award winning singer reflects.
In 1989, Morris was once again chosen by Sir Cameron Macintosh to perform the show stopping song “Bring Him Home” on the Grammy Award winning, Les’ Miserables’ Complete Symphonic International Cast Recording.
Gary Morris has had 5 Number One singles on the Country Music charts, including his signature piece “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which won song of the year awards from both The Country Music Association as well as The Academy of Country Music Awards. Morris has also garnered sixteen Top 10 singles, many of which he wrote. He continues his acting and has had recurring roles in General Hospital, The Colby’s, Designing Women, Mike Hammer and many other network programs.
After a 15 year intermission on his “Mountain Spirit” ranch in Colorado, Gary Morris is recording and preparing to launch a tour.Special events are planned both in London at The Queen’s Theater and in New York at The Imperial Theater beginning on Thursday, Oct. 8 in celebration of Les Miserables' 30th Anniversary. Other events will take place throughout the coming year.