Kevin Gray — a very talented member of Staples Players in the 1970s, who became the youngest actor to play the lead role in “Phantom of the Opera,” and acted in or directed more than 150 productions — died in February 2013, of a massive heart attack. He was 55.
Kevin met his wife, Dodie Pettit, in “Phantom.” She starred in “Cats” on Broadway, and worked with Staples Players in a summer production of that show.
For the past 15 months, she has been recording a tribute CD for Kevin. She gathered over 170 Broadway singers, including 10 from the “Phantom” cast, 3 Tony Award winners, and cast members from “Miss Saigon,” “The King and I,” “Titanic,” “Jekyll and Hyde” and more. Each had a personal connection to Kevin and Dodie. All donated their talent.
Westport is well represented, by Terry Eldh, Adam Riegler, Paul McKibbins, and of course Dodie.
Westport was an integral part of Kevin’s life. He was born and raised here. He attended Westport schools. Dodie still lives in the town he loved.
So she is particularly proud that the CD will be showcased for the 1st time on WWPT-FM (90.3). This Saturday (May 30, 4-5 p.m.), the Staples High School radio station will play songs during the “Adam and George” show.
Dodie will chat about the CD, and performers will call in to share their stories.
All proceeds go to scholarships in Kevin’s name, at his alma mater Duke University, and the University of Hartford’s Hartt School, where he taught (and where the Kevin Gray Foundation was organized by Westporters Peter Byrne and Jamie Wisser).