Stories & Cast Interviews
Meet Jonathan Young as Henri Baurel in An American In Paris
I was born and raised in a suburb of Buffalo, NY. My parents were both huge advocates for the arts. My father is a classically trained pianist and my mother has her degree in vocal performance. So our house was always really musical. My sister and I were in lessons from a young age.
As a hyperactive kid, I think it was an easy outlet for all of my energy for my parents to stick me in theatre camp every summer. It was an immediate perfect fit. I couldn’t wait to get back to theatre camp every summer. It was then a natural extension for me to be a part of Buffalo’s amazing, vibrant theatre community once I got a little older. I started working at some of the theatres in Buffalo when I was in high school and was surrounded all the time by artists who were making lives in the theatre. Once I realized that was a viable option, there was no turning back for me.
I wasn’t familiar with the movie "An American In Paris", growing up, but I remember being aware of the Musical adaptation when it came to broadway back in 2011. Watching these dancers on the Tony Awards that year was so exciting to me because I just thought the whole production looked so gorgeous and sophisticated. I’ve always loved Gershwin music. It’s some of my favorite music in the American songbook to sing because it’s so cozy and lush.
I love every moment I get to be on stage with Deanna Doyle. She is so incredibly generous and gracious onstage and off that it’s no surprise that the three men in the show all fall head over heels for Lise. She makes it incredibly easy to do so every night. We have a scene in act 2 which are two songs strung together in a scene that’s them really just these two characters talking candidly about their relationship for the first time. It shows the real love that these two characters have for each other, in spite of the tough spot they’ve been put in, and it’s a little different every night.
I think Ragtime takes the cake for my favorite score of all time. They are just some of the best melodies, orchestrations, and vocal arrangements that exist in this genre. It’s a masterpiece. There are a lot of dream roles in my list that if I’d love to tackle. They run the spectrum of Elder Price in the Book of Mormon to Billy Bigelow in Carousel (in a few years) with a lot in between.
When Not on stage, what do I enjoy doing? The first thing that came to mind was “eat.” I’ve worked in restaurants alongside the theatre for most of my life, and so one of my favorite things to do on a night off is to go out for a nice meal with friends at any of our favorite places, or to chip away at the rapidly growing list on my phone of new restaurants to try.
In music, I’ve always loved female voices and I really love me some lady rockers lately. Lots of Maggie Rogers, Sylvan Esso, Florence And the Machine, Janelle Monáe, Lake Street Dive and HAIM have been in my ears this summer.
Lauren Sprague is Milo Davenport in An American In Paris
I grew up in Cincinnati, OH in a household that watched a lot of movie musicals (Lots of Marilyn Monroe, Doris Day and Shirley Jones). That was definitely where I got the bug for performing originally.
I loved Gene Kelly and remember watching “An American In Paris” and ”Singin’ in the Rain” on repeat growing up.
I love the quartet in Act two when Milo and Jerry are breaking up and Henri and Lise are trying to figure out their relationship. It’s a very complicated and layered situation that lends itself to a lot of depth and I particularly love the mash-up of the Gershwin tunes in the scene.
Dream Roles? The Music Man (Marian), Crazy For You (Irene), The Producers (Ulla), Ragtime (Mother), The Sound of Music (Maria) My Fair Lady (Eliza)
When not on stage I enjoy Running, Reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Deanna Doyle 'S Wonderful In An American I Paris
As a child, I grew up in Brooklyn. My extended family is all from Kansas City, but my mother moved my sister and I to Brooklyn so that she could pursue dance and musical theatre. My sister and I also got involved in performing, and I've been doing musicals, plays, and commercials since I was three years old.
An American in Paris was certainly one of the movies I grew up watching. Gene Kelly was a hero in my family, so I knew all his movies.
I think it’s great to see that theaters are doing shows based on these old movie musicals. It makes me feel like maybe I wasn’t born in the wrong era, after all!
I love the scene/song with Henri during Act II where Jerry and Milo are having a simultaneous scene. It’s my favorite because it is so real and vulnerable and true to life. I think we can identify with the characters, in this case Lise and Henri, caring about each other so much but perhaps not being right for each other. Those difficult moments—the ones where we see layers of feelings and complications—are always my favorite to do as an actor and to watch as an audience member because it shows the complexity of life.
I like doing roles/shows that people think are overdone or irrelevant for the challenge of bringing something new to the role. I think that that can be just as rewarding as doing a new show.