Friends and colleagues of Kyle Jean-Baptiste gathered in New York City’s Central Park at his favorite spot to honor his life and brief, yet history-making career.
You can read a New York Times story about the memorial here.
The lights will be dimmed on the marquee of the Imperial Theatre on 45th Street, where he made his debut following the evening performance of “Les Miserables” on Sept. 1. The cast and crew, Kyle’s friends and family and other members of the Broadway community may join in the tribute.
His friends have started a scholarship in his name at his alma mater Baldwin Wallace University. If you’re interested in contributing, click here.
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In July, Jean-Baptiste became the first African American to sing the role of Jean Valjean on Broadway, and the youngest to sing the role in the history of the production. He died Aug. 29 when he slipped and fell from his mother’s fire escape at 4:15 a.m. in Brooklyn, New York. He was 21.
He played Enjolras, the rousing leader of the student rebellion, in Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s “Les Miserables” last summer, directed by Victoria Bussert, who heads the theater program at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, and is a resident director here.
Many of the talented musical theater artists who perform at ISF graduated from Bussert’s program, including Clare Howes Eisentrout who will play Luisa in “The Fantasticks,” which opens this weekend.