Joshua Grosso Sings Revolution in Current Broadway Production of Les Miserables
Written by Olivia Cerza on July 16, 2019
Joshua Grosso portrays Marius in the national touring company of the iconic musical Les Miserables. He is currently asking if you can hear the people sing in the Cameron Mackintosh production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon at Broadway in Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre from July 9th through the 27th.
Let’s talk about your theatrical life. Was it pretty apparent from an early age that this was the path that you were meant to take?
I’m pretty clueless when it comes to my life in general. My dad was a pastor and from a young age I was just singing and performing in the church. I wasn’t wanting to pursue acting but then I got a scholarship and I discovered musical theater, where you can do both at the same time. Then I went to college at Carnegie Mellon and now I’m here.
I want to ask you about the character of Marius. What makes him appealing for you to play?
He’s one of those characters that is part of such a universal story that everybody knows. That task alone is a pretty big undertaking. Everybody has their own version of Marius, so I try to tackle that by asking: “so what’s my version of Marius, not Ricky Martin’s.” He’s also one of the few characters in the show that really fluctuates and has that ability to constantly course correct himself. With Marius, it’s not till the very, very final end of the show that you see this boy finally become a man and find his own way.
You get the best of both worlds with Marius: You get to be in the middle of the love triangle, you get to be a soldier, you get to experience profound loss, but also ultimate happiness and being with the person that you love.
It’s easy to get stuck to one aspect of his character, especially if you look at it dramatically, like Marius is just the love story. But when you mix that in with the revolution, his ideologies, and his history, it just gives you a whole color palette to play with.
Your character is at the center of the people’s fight against tyranny. How would Joshua Grosso, actor, singer, artist, fair in our revolution? What role do you think that artists can play in large scale social change?
I would make t-shirts. I’ll make the pins. Wow. I don’t know. I guess that’s one of the reasons why I love playing Marius. I really do sometimes, as any actor, think: “what would I do in a moment like this?” Some nights while I’m performing as Marius, it’s more me. But some nights, it’s what I feel like Marius would do. So it fluctuates back and forth. That’s what attracts me so much to Marius: that I have that liberty to choose every single night. He chooses to be there in the revolution, but I think I have a little bit more liberty as to why I’m there. All of these questions facilitate how I say the words and how I do certain things. I’d like to say I’d be brave and go to the revolution, but I honestly don’t know. I love photography. So I’ll just I’ll take the pictures.
You’ve been tapped as of late to mentor younger actors. How is it teaching teaching these kids who are only five or six years younger than you?
I’m really upfront with them. I haven’t lived a life, and I haven’t really had a huge career. So only the only thing that I can give them is what I’ve learned so far, and some advice or suggestions. But they are not that far behind me. And some of them are probably more mature than I am. But it’s inspiring to see so many young people be interested in all of this.