When the Broadway musical sensation Dear Evan Hansen made its international debut in Toronto last winter, the critics were unanimous in their praise for Robert Markus. The young, Vancouver-born actor-singer lit up the stage in the demanding role of Evan, a troubled teenager who allows a well-meant lie to go viral on social media, turning him into an unlikely hero.
Markus’s triumph came hot on the heels of another success, co-starring as the Time Warp-dancing henchman Riff Raff in the Stratford Festival’s record-breaking run of The Rocky Horror Show. Indeed, it was at Stratford that Markus first came to national attention, playing the title role in the 2013 revival of The Who’s Tommy. And it’s where he now makes his home – in a former fixer-upper near downtown that he and his partner, fellow actor Jennifer Rider-Shaw, bought a couple of years ago and have duly transformed into a cozy nest.
“We’ve been making it into our dream house,” Markus says. “We added a deck in the backyard, repainted the whole place, redid the bathrooms and bedrooms. It’s definitely a happy place to be.”