Me: How did you get into theatre?
Betsy Morgan: I actually started working professionally when I was a kid in Chicago. So, I started really young. The very first thing I did was CAROUSEL at the High School in my district. I was, I think, eight or nine and got cast in the High School production as one of the Snow Children. Then, after that, I auditioned for one of the professional theatres in Chicago, and kind of started working in that circuit for a bit.
Me: You said you got started professionally as a kid, but when did you know this was the profession you wanted to pursue?
Betsy Morgan: That early. It wasn't that I decided I wanted to do it, I just never thought about anything else. You know, there was never really a question.
Me: Is there a story behind how you came to be involved in this production of LES MISERABLES?
Betsy Morgan: Yeah. I was actually performing in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC on Broadway at the time, and the idea of leaving a successful show like that to pack up and go on tour, I wasn't sure if that the right thing to do or not. But after talking with the creative team and hearing the amazing ideas that they had about this new production, I knew it was kind of a no brainer. I know that a lot of my castmates went through very extensive audition processes for this show and my audition process was very simple. I auditioned once, and I came back later, I think it was the same day, to sing for Claude-Michel [Schönberg], and I knew within 24 hours.
Me: The current touring production of LES MISERABLES is different from the last one that came through Houston. What changes can audiences look forward to?
Betsy Morgan: Well, what we've done is we've kept the parts about LES MIS that everyone loves-the classic parts like the characters, the music, and the story-all of those things are still exactly the same as everyone would remember. What we've done, we've given the show a rethink as far as today's standards are concerned. The show was created 27 or 28 years ago now. Technology has come a long way, and what the audience is willing to go along with as far as reality and grittiness has come a long way. So, we've kind of brought it up to today's standards as far as what people are willing and wanting to see from a story of this magnitude. My favorite changes though are the new orchestrations. I love the new orchestrations and I love the projections.
Me: I've heard the big revolve is gone.
Betsy Morgan: Yeah, the revolve is gone.
Me: I haven't seen this new production myself, so I feel the changes will be eye opening for me.
Betsy Morgan: Yeah!
Me: Every night, Fantine sings what many consider to be the most popular and recognizable song of the show. What is like getting to perform the iconic "I Dreamed a Dream?"
Betsy Morgan: Well, if you isolate it, just for the song, of course it's incredible because it's a beautiful, brilliant song. Every night though, when I look at it, it's just this tiny little speck in this very large show. I don't approach the song...[Pauses]...you know, when a lot of cabaret performers or the TV stars sing "I Dreamed a Dream" the performance is a three minute performance, and you give it all in that one song, and that's not what we do in this show. You know, "I Dreamed a Dream" is just a little bit of the whole show, and we can't peak too soon. It's only about 25 minutes into the show when "I Dreamed a Dream" happens, so I try not to give it that kind of weight in the performance every night. I try to keep in mind Fantine's story for me and also the entire show for the audience because, as Fantine, I still have a long way to go too. "I Dreamed a Dream" is the soft place where she starts and she kind of goes through a lot after that. So, I try not to give it too much and I try not to build it up too much on a nightly basis and just kind of keep it in perspective with both the part and the show.