Garner: Community

Les Miserables star to sing at Aversboro Road

Half a million people have seen J. Mark McVey perform the lead role of Jean Valjean in the musical “Les Miserables.”

The star of the world’s most popular musical will talk about his experiences and sing songs from the show at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at Aversboro Road Baptist Church.

There is no admission fee, but donations will be accepted.

McVey, the first performer in Garner’s Broadway Voices concert series four years ago, has played the Valjean role more than 3,500 times in performances throughout the nation and abroad. He is best known for having performed Valjean more than any other person.

McVey will talk about the show and sing some of the show’s most popular songs as he debuts his new “Bring Him Home” concert event.

Garner’s Dana Stephenson, the music minister at Garner’s Fellowship Baptist Church and a former Miss North Carolina, will be McVey’s special guest, and ARBC’s Doug Pedigo will be McVey’s accompanist.

McVey has performed the Valjean role on Broadway, in London, on national tours and in a special television production at the Hollywood Bowl. He was the lead in the production that sold out all of its performances in Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium two years ago.

He has sung with symphony orchestras throughout the country, including the Boston Pops, and has been in PBS specials. He also led the “Les Miserables” cast as a special guest on “America’s Got Talent.”

“People ask all of the time about the show and they want to know what makes it so popular,” McVey said. “To me, the show is about forgiveness. We all need forgiveness. None of us are perfect and because we aren’t, this show moves us. This is a show about God’s love for each of us.”

“Bring Him Home” includes many of the songs from the stage show, which was adapted as a movie last year. He will take spectators behind the curtains to learn more about the musical’s themes and the show’s history.

The musical and recent film are based on Victor Hugo’s novel, “Les Miserables,” which is set in 19th century France during a period of social unrest.

Valjean is a convict who has violated his parole, but he goes on to lead a sacrificial life. He is pursued for years by the officer Javert, who believes that people cannot change and forgiveness is impossible.

McVey is a native of West Virginia, but is well known to area audiences. He performed in The N.C. Theatre’s “Chess,” “Carousel” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and has sung with the North Carolina Symphony.

McVey also will speak to the Garner Magnet High chorus.