Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Star struck: Westland to honor award-winning actor

Gregory Jbara, 1978 
Gregory Jbara, 2019
The signs will be formally dedicated at 10 a.m. Sept. 28 at Westland City Hall, 36300 Warren Road and the event is open to the public.
Jbara was born in Westland, which was then Nankin Township, Sept. 28, 1961. He attended Kettering Elementary, Tinkham Elementary, Marshall Jr. High and went on to graduate from Wayne Memorial High School. From there, Jbara went on to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from 1979 to 1981 and then left Michigan to attend the Juilliard School Drama Division in New York from 1982-1986, Group 15, where he received his bachelor of fine arts degree.

Jbara won the 2009 Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical originating the role of “Jackie Elliot” in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot and starred on Broadway as “Billy Flynn” in the Tony Award winning revival of ChicagoJbara's acting prowess extends to television as well, as he stars on the CBS police drama, Blue Bloods.
Suggested by Westland resident John Goci and championed by Westland Mayor, William R. Wild, the city will recognize Jbara with the road signs commemorating his local heritage. 
“I was thrilled to learn one sign would have a home near the new city hall located adjacent to the city's namesake, Westland Shopping Center, home of the infamous 'Goose and the Golden Egg' sculpture, slash kiddie death slide through the neck hole'” Jbara commented.
At Jbara's request, the second sign will have a permanent home visible from northbound Merriman Road at the Westland/Romulus border. 

 “Choosing the other sign's home was a no-brainer. Right next to the same 'Westland - An All American City' sign at the Romulus border that makes my heart swell every time I fly into Metro Airport for a visit,” Jbara said.  “Growing up, that drive down Merriman to Detroit Metro always represented the excitement of seeing the world. Now when the world comes to Michigan, I get to show off the hometown to which I owe all my success in life. An unimaginable honor.”