Meet Jonathan Young as Henri Baurel in An American In Paris

Posted by: Pia Haas on Friday, November 8, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

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.




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