Joshua Park, Broadway's Tom Sawyer, Dies at 38

News   Joshua Park, Broadway's Tom Sawyer, Dies at 38
 
Joshua Park, the young actor who took on the title role of the short-lived Broadway musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, died Aug. 30 at age 38. It was the second loss of a young Broadway talent in two days, following the accidental death of Les Misérables' 21-year-old Kyle Jean-Baptiste on Aug. 29.

Joshua Park in <i>A Christmas Memory</i>
Joshua Park in A Christmas Memory Photo by Mark Kitaoka

Park's step-mother, Darlene Perez, wrote, "My step-son, Joshua Park, left us today after a short but devastating illness. He will be missed by all of us fortunate enough to have shared his life. Talented, witty and caring. I'll miss our long deep conversations. Rest easy my friend."

At age 23, Park starred opposite Kristen Bell, Linda Purl and Jim Poulos in the April 2001 Broadway musical adapted from Mark Twain's classic novel. The show ran only 21 performances. He won a Theatre World Award that spring for outstanding Broadway debut.

Park worked for a time closely with the Off-Broadway troupe the Irish Repertory Theatre, appearing in the original musical The Streets of New York in late 2001 and in its holiday show, A Celtic Christmas, in December 2002.

Also in 2002 he played the title role in the New York premiere of an Australian musical Prodigal at the York Theatre Company, in a troupe included future stars Christian Borle, Kerry Butler and Alison Fraser. They can all be heard on the original cast album, which was released on JAY Records.

Afterward Park worked mainly in TV and films, though he returned to the stage in 2006 to play the title role in Goodspeed Opera House's revival of Pippin, opposite Monkees and Aida veteran Micky Dolenz as Charlemagne. The production later toured. Check out Playbill.com's photo features about Park's stage career:

PHOTO CALL: On the Streets: IRT Cast Opens New Musical Nov. 18

PHOTO CALL: Old and New: Park, Parker and Freeman Win Theatre World Awards

PHOTO CALL: 45th Street Becomes Tom Sawyer Way

PHOTO CALL: Tom Sawyer's Park and Bell, While Lost, Find Each Other 

On the B'way Record 2: Young Stars of Tom Sawyer Sing for Sampler 

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