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Montego Glover, seen here singing in the 2010 Tony Awards ceremony, makes her debut as Fantine in "Les Miserables" Tuesday night at the Imperial Theatre in New York City. After being cast, Glover tweeted: "I'm joining the cast of the Broadway company as FANTINE! … Dreaming the dream!"

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Montego Glover is a graduate of Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences.

Montego Glover of Chattanooga will join the Broadway company of "Les Miserables" on Tuesday night, stepping into the role of the musical's iconic single mother, Fantine.

"What appeals to me about Fantine is that she is complex, sympathetic, strong, giving, deeply loving, innocent, beautiful and tragic. I find her journey compelling," the actress says.

Glover is a Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences alumna who made her Broadway debut as Celie in "The Color Purple" and earned a Tony Award nomination in 2010 for the role of Felicia Farrell in the musical "Memphis." She just wrapped up a run as Annie Shepard in the Broadway musical "It Shoulda Been You." She also has appeared as concert soloist with symphonies from New York to California, played numerous TV guest roles and voiced commercials pitching products from soups to cellphones.

If You Go

What: “Les Miserables”

Where: 249 W. 45th St., New York City

Tickets: $75 to $342 depending on day, show time and seating area

For tickets: www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/theaters/imperialtheater/les-miserables.php

ABOUT MONTEGO GLOVER

* Created role of Felicia Farrell in Broadway musical “Memphis”

* Tony Award nomination for Lead Actress in a Musical for “Memphis”

Drama League nomination for Distinguished Performance for “Memphis”

Winner of Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical for “Memphis”

Winner of Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical for “Memphis”

Just completed co-starring role in musical “It Shoulda Been You”

Recorded cast albums of “It Shoulda Been You” and “Memphis”

Joining cast of “Pirates of Penzance” as Kate for two productions in New York City Center on Oct. 15-16

Guest soloist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra Oct. 31 and Nov. 1

Guest vocalist for “Sophisticated Ladies” with the New York Pops in Carnegia Hall on Nov. 13. Program celebrates the work of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn.

* Named a PopsEd Ambassador for the New York Pops.

Just completed new national commercial for Samsung.

Television credits include guest roles on “The Following,” Smash,” “The Good Wife, “White Collar,” “Black Box,” “Law & Order”

Voiced commercial campaigns for Campbell’s Soup, Chase, Verizon, Charmin, Subway, Nickelodeon and McDonald’s.

Voiced avatars for Star Wars franchise video games “Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron” and “Star Wars: The Old Republic.”

Yet with all her theatrical success on and off Broadway, she has never tackled the role of Fantine. Doing so now, when the famed musical celebrates its 30th anniversary in October, gives the role even greater importance to her, she says.

"In the 30-year history of 'Les Miserables' I've never worked on (the musical) in any way, never on tour, other revivals or regionally," she says. "That is extraordinary given the success and broad audience that this show reaches year after year.

"I'm excited about working on the role for the very first time. I have no preconceived notions . I'm creating her from the ground up after 30 years. That's exciting."

That and the fact that Fantine's solos include the song that is arguably the most well-known number in the "Les Miz" score: "I Dreamed a Dream."

"I've long admired the score of 'Les Miserables.' Who hasn't?" Glover says. "I think it's a beautiful, sweeping piece of storytelling. Being able to sing 'I Dreamed a Dream' will be electric."

Glover will play Fantine from Tuesday until Feb. 3, 2016, at the Imperial Theatre in New York City. Broadway critics and industry websites are heralding her coming.

"Tony Award nominee Montego Glover is going to have audiences weeping and Living (with a capital L) when she assumes the role of Fantine on Sept. 1," said Josh Ferri on BroadwayBox.com.

"Congrats to future @LesMizBway star @Montego Glover. Broadway.com Star of the Week," said Broadway.com.

Cameron Mackintosh opened the acclaimed new Broadway production of "Les Miserables" in March 2014, with Tony Award nominee Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean and Erika Henningsen as Fantine. Mackintosh gave his creative team the challenge of putting a fresh new spin on what is undeniably a theater classic, says Glover.

"Rather than being a revival, the current production is a true reimagining of the show with all-new staging, design, orchestrations and an amazing new cast that I get to be part of," she says, adding that the sets, projections and lighting were all inspired by Victor Hugo's original paintings and sketches.

Another newcomer to the cast Tuesday night will be Alfie Boe, succeeding Karimloo as Jean Valjean. Boe is the internationally known actor who played Valjean in London's 25th anniversary "Les Miz" concert at O2 arena.

"I'm in heaven!" exclaims Montego of her leading man, with whom she is working for the first time. "He is very generous, attentive and present. And he has an incredible voice, which translates as real ease in his work. He's also very funny with a terrific sense of play. He's a joy."

Those same words were used to describe Glover by her former theater teacher at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences.

Stella Duffy, who now lives in North Carolina, says she taught Glover — who was known as Tego at CSAS — from eighth grade through her senior year and remains in contact with the actress even today. It was the eighth-grader's vocal skill that first caught Duffy's attention.

"This little kid came out with this voice that reverberated off the walls," recalls Duffy. "I asked where she had studied singing. She laughed and said, 'In church.' She'd never had a lesson.

"She's one of the hardest-working students and people I've ever known. She was obviously very talented and a leader, but she'd take it upon herself to sweep the stage or whatever else needed to be done."

Glover credits Duffy with making "a profound impact" on her education.

"She is a force and was instrumental in laying a firm foundation for my acting training. I use skills she taught me as a 12-year-old student to this day in my professional work. What a gift. I am eternally grateful to her," she says.

Contact Susan Pierce at spierce@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6284.

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