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University of Missouri

A Dream Come True

Jason Forbach, BM ’00, portrays Enjolras in the 25th anniversary production of Les Misérables.

actor Jason Forbach headshot

Jason Forbach, BM ’00, plays the character Enjolras in the 25th anniversary U.S. tour of Les Misérables. The musical will come to St. Louis’ Fox Theatre Oct. 16–28 and Kansas City’s Music Hall Dec. 4–9. Photo courtesy of Leo Lam.

Jason Forbach, BM ’00, grew up seeing plays at Kansas City’s Music Hall, an ornate Depression-era theater near his hometown of Overland Park, Kan.

He’d scan the playbill, reading about the actors, director and story, trying to soak up the experience.

One of the musicals he remembers most is Les Misérables. He was particularly taken with the character Enjolras, a young revolutionary who leads a student uprising against the government.

Enjolras is a character that is completely unlike me,” Forbach says. “He’s an incredibly strong, charismatic and passionate leader. He manages to get all these people to rise up against their government. I am absolutely not like that.”

Yet for the past six months, Forbach, a more laid-back romantic, has drawn on the passion for music he developed as a music student at MU to portray the Enjolras character in the 25th anniversary production of Les Misérables.

This is by far the biggest, most important thing that I have ever done,” Forbach says. He credits his success largely to his education at Mizzou. “I think I got the best music education I could have received — more than in Boston or when I was working professionally all across the country.”

The tour will bring Forbach to the Fox Theatre in St. Louis from Oct. 16–28. And from Dec. 4–9, he’ll perform in front of his family and a hometown crowd at Music Hall in Kansas City.

His parents (Marci Randall Forbach, BS Ed ’72, and Tom Forbach, BA ’72) have already ordered 150 tickets.

It means a lot to me to be playing there after having been away for so many years,” Forbach says. “It will be … paying respects, in a way, to my childhood, dreaming in that theater.”