PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Phantom of the Opera's Newest "Raoul," Jeremy Hays

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17 Sep 2013

Jeremy Hays
Jeremy Hays

Jeremy Hays, who recently took over the role of Raoul in Broadway's long-running Phantom of the Opera, fills out's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Hays made his Broadway debut in the 2006 revival of Les Misérables and went on to originate the role of Enjolras for the 25th Anniversary production at Paper Mill Playhouse and on tour.

Other theatre work includes Cats, Hair, Camelot, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Oklahoma! and West Side Story.


Full given name: Jeremy Landon Hays
Where you were born/where you were raised: Okmulgee, OK (good luck pronouncing that). I was raised in Henryetta and Tulsa, OK. I grew up practicing baseball on a makeshift diamond in the middle of a cow pasture.
Zodiac Sign:Gemini
What your parents did/do for a living: My father taught business at Oklahoma State University for 25 years. After retiring he worked with inmates in correctional facilities as a teacher and mentor.

My sister and I were fortunate to have my mother at home with us when we were young. She later worked at the local newspaper and with my father at the Tulsa County Jail.

Siblings:I have a sister, Jamie. She teaches kindergarten and 1st grade. She is married to Jeff Lazalier, former television meteorologist and insurance broker. They have two amazing little boys, Graysen and Payten, and their older sister, Seton, is a talented artist. They live in Broken Arrow, OK.
Special skills:I’m really good at cleaning anything and could spend hours cleaning. Some people would call that OCD. I just think it’s thorough. But yeah maybe a little crazy.
Something you're REALLY bad at:Roller skating! I skateboard, decently, but for some reason cannot roller skate. It’s really hilarious. There are videos.
First Broadway show you ever saw: The revival of Into the Woods. It was perfect. The show is perfect. From edge to edge there is not another piece of theatre with music in it that conveys more of the human experience than that show. I think art finds you, or maybe you find it, exactly at the time you need it.
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? Hamlet with Richard Burton, 1964.
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Once. They have captured all the beauty of that movie and that music on stage. I was mesmerized.
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: "In This Wide, Wide World" from Gigi
"Pretty Women" from Sweeney Todd
Some favorite modern musicals: Giant
The Light in the Piazza
Sunday in the Park with George
Some favorite classic musicals: 1776
The Wizard of Oz
Holiday Inn
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: James Stewart
Paul Newman
Madeline Kahn
Vivien Leigh
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Jonas Kaufman. He is redefining the operatic tenor. We haven’t seen anything like him.

Anthony Warlow. Is there anything he can’t sing? And it’s just pure and real.

Robert Plant. Best rock vocalist ever.
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: The Scottish Play with Patrick Stewart. He just stood there and those words poured out of his mouth and you couldn’t take your eyes away. There was so much to look at in that production but Patrick Stewart told that story as if he was reading you a bedtime story. I’ll never forget the power that generated from that man.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: My wife and I saw Glen Hansard at Radio City a few years ago. He covered Van Morrison’s "Into the Mystic." Truly beautiful moment, and the tears rolled down our cheeks.
MAC or PC? MAC. If you say PC you just haven’t bought a new computer since 2000. And If you have bought a PC since 2000, then you also think organic produce is bogus and our climate is just in a naturally warming phase.
Most played song on your iPod: Jay Z - "Tom Ford." Seriously.
Most-visited websites: Wikipedia. I am curious about everything.
Favorite Tweeters: @billmaher
Last book you read: "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn
Must-see TV show(s): "Breaking Bad"
"Friday Night Lights"
"Game Of Thrones"
"Orange Is The New Black"
"True Blood"
"The Wire"
"Arrested Development"
"Downton Abbey"
"Eastbound and Down"
"Family Guy"
"The Office"
"Parks and Recreation"
"Fawlty Towers"

(I watch a lot of TV. Sorry I don’t like "Mad Men")

Last good movie you saw: "This Is The End" was hilarious. “Hermione just stole all our s#!t!”
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