By PAM HARBAUGH
Broadway comes to Brevard Saturday night when HUGH PANARO steps on stage to perform with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Panaro is a big name on Broadway and highly lauded for his portrayal of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera.” In fact, he has the distinction of performing that role on Broadway more than any other actor/vocalist in the history of the musical.
He start out, though, as the Phantom’s opponent, Raoul, when legendary producer/director Hal Prince personally cast him in 1988 for the first American tour of the musical.Wait, there’s more…he has received the adulation for his portrayals as both Marius and Jean Valjean in Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil’s “Les Miserables.” He also starred as the Anne Rice vampire, Lestat, in the Elton John musical.
So, yes, expect leading man charm and dazzling music from “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Miserables,” music from Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter and more. And best bring a hanky for “Bring Him Home” and “The Music of the Night.”
Joining Mr. Panaro on stage will be vocalist Kristi Tingle as well as the complete Brevard Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Christopher Confessore.
Here’s a super brief bio about Mr. Panaro (read more at hugh-panaro.net):
A native of Philadelphia, which is a huge theater town, Mr. Panaro went to New York City immediately after college and got work right away playing a German immigrant in the show “I Have Found Home” which was performed on a ferry bound to the Statue of Liberty.
He would gravitate to those big, soaring roles and win over audiences. In 2008, he went back to Philadelphia where he starred as Jean Valjean in the venerable Walnut Street Theatre’s “Les Miserables” which earned him a Barrymore Award. A few years ago, he performed the Phantom for Broadway’s 25th anniversary of “Phantom of the Opera.”
And here he is now…in your own backyard.
SIDE O’ GRITS: Hugh Panaro in Concert begins 8 p.m. Saturday at the King Center for the Performing Arts, 3865 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne. Tickets are $20 to $50, handling charges may apply. Call the King Center box office at 321-242-2219, or just click onto the BSO’s Hugh Panaro ad on the right side of this page.