By Amy Rosenthal, McKinney Performing Arts Center
In December 2011, Gary Morris enthralled a sold-out audience with an unforgettable acoustic performance at McKinney Performing Arts Center. Morris returns to McKinney with a limited enrollment master class.
Morris will share techniques from his Broadway and recording career with “Silence Says It All,” a workshop designed for actors, writers and musicians on Wednesday, June 13 from 1-5 p.m. at MPAC.
This “hands-on” session will include an acoustic performance as well as an opportunity to ask the veteran entertainer specific questions. Morris will discuss his journey to the leading role in the #1 play on Broadway at the time, “Les Miserables.” Morris will also work with participants on auditioning, preparation, performance and vocal endurance for long production schedules. In addition, Morris will talk about his own career as an entertainer, songwriter, music publisher, TV host, producer and actor.
Gary Morris, gained international attention and critical acclaim when at the top of his country music career he took on the daunting task of playing Jean Valjean, the lead role in Broadway’s “Les Misérables,” during the original run. He won a Drama Desk nomination, as well as, a Grammy for the cast album on which he was the only American cast member invited to perform.
“Les Misérables” is the third longest-running show in Broadway history opening on March 12, 1987. Gary was the first American to star as Jean Valjean when he opened on Broadway in November 1987 for a six month run. “Gary Morris was selected from over fifty actors who auditioned for the role, a part which requires a singer of considerable vocal and stylistic range,” according to Frank Nathan, the spokesperson for the original production. Morris later reprised the role at the Pantages Theatre in LA in 1991 for a special limited run.
As a recording artist, Morris is probably best known for his original recording of “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which won both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music Song of the Year Awards. His career in country music began in the early 1980’s when Morris produced twelve albums that generated sixteen Top 10 singles and five No. 1 hits, including “Baby Bye Bye,” “100% Chance Of Rain,” and “Leave Me Lonely.”
Registration for Morris’ “Silence Says It All” is $50. Participants may register through McKinney Performing Arts Center by calling 972-547-2650 or visiting http://www.mckinneyperformingartscenter.org.