A Conversation with Broadway Actor Hugh Panaro
Part of our series that looks at the Philadelphia theatre scene
Interviewed by Joel Markowitz
DC theatregoers remember Hugh Panaro’s stunning performance as the lead in Martin Guerre in 2000 and as Anthony in Sweeney Todd in the Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Festival in 2001.
Now after a long stint on Broadway as the masked man in Phantom of the Opera, Hugh Panaro returns home to Philly to portray Jean Valjean in Walnut Street Theater’s newly reconceived, turntable-less production of the musical Les Miserables.
Hugh spins stories of his Broadway experiences: about the short-lived Red Shoes, working with Christine Baranski, Forbidden Broadway. Many are funny.
One you won’t want to miss is very poignant – it’s about Broadway actor J. C. Sheets (pictured here in 1994). Hugh tells us the backstage story: they met briefly before J. C. joined the Australian cast playing Jean Valjean. Years later, Hugh tells how J. C. reappeared in his life to help him interpret the role of Jean Valjean.
Henry Krieger is said to be rewriting Side Show. Hugh played Terry in the original Broadway production and passes on suggestions for the rewrite.
Hugh ends the podcast explaining his true love for animals. “I’m the most me around animals.”
Les Miserables is at the Walnut Street Theater, 825 Walnut Street in Philadelphia thru August 3rd.
Many thanks to Walnut Street Theater for providing music tracks: Hugh Panaro singing ‘Who Am I? ‘ and ‘Bring Him Home’, Paul Schoeffler singing ‘Stars’ and Christina DeCicco singing ‘On My Own’.