Chris Peluso, a prominent stage actor recognized for his roles in Broadway’s “Mamma Mia!” and “Wicked,” as well as London’s West End production of “Miss Saigon,” has sadly passed away at the age of 40.
Approximately a year ago, Peluso publicly announced his hiatus from performing to undergo treatment for schizoaffective disorder. This week, Peluso’s family confirmed his passing to Playbill, though the exact cause of death was not disclosed. The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, where Peluso initially studied before embarking on his stage career, also verified his demise.
Linda Goodrich, the interim chair of the department, expressed her sorrow in an Instagram statement, referring to Peluso as a cherished alumnus of the Michigan Musical Theatre family.
Peluso made his Broadway debut in 2004’s Tony-winning revival of “Assassins,” initially as an understudy for the role of the Balladeer. His respected work as an understudy extended to musicals like “Lestat” and the original run of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” Subsequently, he secured a leading role in the 14-year stint of “Mamma Mia!” where he portrayed Sky, the romantic interest of the main character. He further showcased his talents by touring the United States as Fiyero in “Wicked” and landing prominent roles in iconic Broadway productions such as “Les Misérables” and “West Side Story.”
In 2015, Peluso relocated to London to star as Chris, the male lead in the West End version of “Miss Saigon.” He acted alongside Eva Noblezada, who played Kim, and later reprised the role in a Broadway revival, earning a Tony nomination in 2017. Peluso regarded his role in “Miss Saigon” as the highlight of his career.
In interviews, Peluso expressed his enthusiasm for his life in London, particularly enjoying its cuisine and leisurely walks with his dog. He also praised the practice of physical and vocal warm-ups undertaken by the entire acting company before performances, a tradition he noted was less common on Broadway. Having grown into a seasoned performer, he described his comfort on stage and how the audience’s presence energized rather than unnerved him.
Peluso’s lasting legacy includes his lead role in the 2016 West End revival of “Show Boat,” a musical he deeply connected with, especially its poignant song “Ol’ Man River.”
Survived by his wife, Jessica Gomes, and their two children, Aria Li Gomes-Peluso and Caio Lian Gomes-Peluso, Chris Peluso leaves behind a remarkable career that touched the hearts of many.
[Note: The content has been rewritten to ensure originality and avoid plagiarism.]