An Iowa native who played in “Les Miserables” on Broadway is back in his home state this week with the show’s touring production. 36-year-old Chip Leonard, who grew up on a farm near Waukee, says he’s enjoyed life on the road the past six months, though there are challenges. He says you’re a gypsy on the road, as you don’t have a lot of things you can take along. Leonard, who won the Bill Riley talent show at the Iowa State Fair in 1986, played in the Broadway version of Les Miz’ for a full year before it closed and went on this tour. He plays three separate roles in the cast, which he says can test all of an actor’s skills.Based on the Victor Hugo novel, the storyline follows three decades of turbulent 19th century France. While that’s a pretty heavy topic, Leonard says the long-running epic musical is still very popular with all audiences. He says it carries a powerful message, and says it’s a dying breed of huge shows with an incredible message. Les Miz is playing at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines through Sunday, the production’s only scheduled Iowa appearance.
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