Celebrate the season at McKinney Performing Arts Center with country music and Broadway star Gary Morris on Friday, December 9 at 8:00 pm in MPAC’s Courtroom Theater.
“My Country, My Christmas” features Morris performing a collection of country standards including his signature “Wind Beneath My Wings.” The evening will be filled with traditional holiday music, both sacred and secular selections, in addition to the Grammy-winning “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables.
Gary Morris’ voice is the only instrument needed to move the listener’s heart and soul. The Texas-born vocalist earns ovations whenever he performs. The Dallas Morning News writes, “There are voices that transcend seasons and settings. They are the kind of voices that through sheer beauty and unbridled passion soar above others. Gary Morris has one of those voices.”
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.” Morris then broke new ground with his highly successful self-produced acoustic album “Plain Brown Wrapper,” far preceding the unplugged genre that is so popular today.
At the height of his Nashville recording career, Morris boldly opted to play opposite Linda Ronstadt in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Puccini’s opera La Boheme. Next, he accepted the heroic lead role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables on Broadway. Receiving resounding critical praise, including a Drama Desk Best Actor nomination, his performance set the standard for this challenging role. Morris’ famous rendition of “Bring Him Home” can be found on the platinum-selling Grammy Award-winning International cast album, as well as on his latest CD, “Gospel Classics, Volume 2 – Rock of Ages.”
Gary’s magnificent voice has graced the historic stage of the Grand Ole Opry, as well as the White House, where he has performed for every living U.S. President. Morris’ versatile career has taken him around the world – a command performance for the Queen of England, producing a Hungarian rock band, making corporate appearances or singing at one of his acclaimed concerts or Christmas shows. Morris was featured in the powerful and moving PBS documentary, “Gary Morris and the Art of Tretyakov,” as the first musician to ever perform live in this venerable museum and gallery that houses over 100,000 Russian masterpieces, Morris seamlessly wove hauntingly beautiful music with images of classic Russian paintings to create a unique and exciting documentary.
Morris is equally comfortable in front of the camera. For five years, he hosted TNN’s top-rated show, “North American Sportsman,” which combined his love for the outdoors and featured such celebrity guests as Bryant Gumble, Troy Aikman and Larry Csonka, among others. His acting credits include recurring roles on The Colby’s, Designing Women and Mike Hammer.
One of the most poignant moments of his career came when Olympic Gold Medalist figure skater Scott Hamilton, returning to the ice after his battle with cancer, asked Gary to sing at his comeback performance, which was televised on CBS. There weren’t many dry eyes when Hamilton took the ice to Gary’s masterful rendition of the ballad “With One More Look At You.”
Still keeping an active touring and producing schedule, Morris presently divides his time between Nashville, Tenn. and a second home at Mountain Spirit, his spectacular hunting and fly-fishing executive resort in Southern Colorado.
General admission tickets for “My Country, My Christmas” are $35 each and available through MPAC’s Emerson Ticket Office, Tuesday thru Friday from noon to 6:00 pm in person, by phone at 214-544-4630 or online anytime at http://www.mckinneyperformingartscenter.org.