Video Friday: Bring Him HomePosted: October 16, 2015 Filed under: Videos | Tags: 24601, bringhimhome, broadway, broadwaycommunity, broadwayhistory, doyouhearthepeoplesing, fireescape, jeanbaptiste, jeanvaljean, kylejeanbaptiste, lesmiserables, lesmiserablesrevival, lesmiz, onedaymore, valjean, videofriday, videooftheweek, whoami 2 Comments
Kyle Jean-Baptiste was the first African American (and youngest actor) to play Jean Valjean on Broadway in Les Misérables. Tragically, he died in August at the age of 21 after falling from a fire escape. This video was going around a bit this summer, but in case you didn’t see it, I wanted to share it here. What a shining light.
Click here to view Kyle’s audition for Les Miz.
Becca~ Thanks for sharing this. We saw him as Jean Valjean in July. He was a last-minute stand-in for Karimloo who was magnificent and a huge draw. So popular was Karimloo that the ticket website for Les Mis actually stated when he would be performing and when he would be away. Kyle Jean-Baptiste was an unannounced sub and that night when we arrived the theater offered different tickets for a Karimloo performance for any who wanted them, because ticket buyers had not been made aware of this substitution ahead of time. Randall, Meredith and I were extremely disappointed because we wanted one more chance to see and hear Karimloo before Alfie Bo arrived. We almost took the tickets for another performance that weekend. And then we heard Kyle. Wow! He was tremendous. We were not disappointed at all nor was the audience whose response was very enthusiastic. We all leapt to our feet for his final bow. (Well, to be completely honest, we sat n ext to a couple from Australia who had come to see Karimloo and whose travel schedule did not permit them to take the tickets and return when Karimloo was back. They stood at the end, only begrudgingly and after everyone else was standing.) Given Jean-Baptiste’s very sad death, we are delighted to have experienced this young and amazingly gifted performer. Thanks again, Liz
Oh wow. Thank you for sharing, Liz. I’m so glad you got to see him perform. I wish I’d seen him go on!