'Married to Broadway' bringing Great White Way to Northshire

MANCHESTER — For Bob Sharpe and Barbra Russell, Broadway music is a family affair.

The couple met as two of the leads of the Broadway production of one of the most successful shows in the Great White Way's history, "Les Miserables" — he played Marius, she was Cosette -- and got married about a thousand times on stage. And in a case of life imitating art, they got married in real life. "[Broadway romances] can happen as talent crushes," Sharpe said. "Ours endured and together we've done so much performing around the world and producing."The couple and their daughter Samantha will be performing their show, "Married To Broadway," at Southern Vermont Arts Center's Arkell Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5. The show is a veritable hit parade of great Broadway music from the past and present, from "West Side Story" to "Les Miserables," the musical that brought Sharpe and Russell together.

"It's a fun show," said Sharpe. "We're not doing this for the money when you're 50 years old and they still applaud for you, you might as well keep doing what you're doing." The show also features the couple's daughter, Samantha Sharpe.

"Our daughter is probably more talented than we were," Ron Sharpe said. "It makes it a lot of fun to see her out there and performing with us."

But "Married to Broadway" is more than a greatest hits extravaganza. True to the genre, the show follows a storyline that carries the plot from song to song. "The story has a flow to it ... it's almost like a musical in itself," said Sharpe, who also played Jean Valjean in Les Miz. "There's a lot of comedy in it, along with great singing and some surprises."

Sharpe is the only actor to have played Marius and Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables" on Broadway. He's also played featured roles in the original productions of "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "The Civil War," Disney's "King David," and "Titanic." Russell, in addition to playing Cosette in "Les Miserables," has also played lead roles in "The Little Shop of Horrors," "Oklahoma," "Side by Side by Sondheim," "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," and "The Fantastiks."

Tickets for "Married to Broadway" ($45 members/$49 non-members) are available at the SVAC box office or at http://www.svac.org/events/performance-schedule. Call 802-362-1405 for more information.


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