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Les Miserables 2015

a Musical
CATEGORY : MUSICAL
by Boublil and Schonberg

COMPANY : Aurora Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Aurora Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 4675

SHOWING : January 15, 2015 - March 01, 2015

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

It’s back! Winner of five Suzi Bass Awards, including “Best Musical,” Aurora’s SOLD OUT smash hit returns. Hunted relentlessly by police inspector Javert for breaking parole, Jean Valjean must leave his past behind and keep his vow to raise the young, orphaned Cosette amid revolution. With its return to Broadway this may be your last chance to experience this epic musical in the intimacy of Aurora where audiences feel like part of the show, so don’t Miz out.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Justin Anderson
fight choreographer Anthony Rodriguez
Musical Director Ann-Carol Pence
Cast Lowrey Brown
Cast Ally Duncan
Cast Dan Ford
Cast Marcie Millard
Combeferre Robby Owenby
Combeferre Robby Owenby
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Les Miz Redux
by playgoer
Friday, January 23, 2015
4.5
Has Theatre of the Stars moved to Gwinnett? Lawrenceville has just seen the umpteenth edition of one show ("Christmas Canteen"), and here comes a remount of a show done just a couple of years ago. Given the number of empty seats in the auditorium I saw on opening weekend, the Theatre of the Stars model of endless remounts of well-loved shows may not contribute to a financial windfall.

Platforms on either side of the stage appear to be left over from "Christmas Canteen," gussied up with distressed banisters and rustic architectural remnants (although pieces mounted to the wall look pretty much like a current-day Home Depot or Lowes kitchen display exploded). The rotating segments in the center of the stage and the tattered curtains upstage help to give the stage the gritty urban feel of nineteenth-century France.

Phil Male’s set is magnificently lit by Mike Post’s lighting design (although incompetent spot operation at the performance I saw left a banner illuminated inappropriately after the act break, then swept the light across the audience before turning it off). Alan Yeong’s costumes contribute to the gritty feel of the show, and Lindsey Ewing’s wigs and Scott Sargent’s props do all they need to do.

The cast are mostly repeats in the lead roles. The new additions (Cecil E. Washington, Jr. as Marius, Maya Naff as Éponine Thénardier, and Stuart W. Schleuse as the Bishop of Digne) seem to have been chosen at least partly on their physical resemblance to the actors in the same roles in the previous "Les Miz" production at Aurora. It gives a slightly pod people feel to the production. This is largely offset by the deepened and enriched performances by all the returning principals except Kevin Harry, as Javert, who once again relies on his singing voice to provide the bulk of his performance.

The ensemble is filled with a lot of new, young performers that give a boost of energy to the overall proceedings. Most of them are excellent, with several (like Jessica De Maria and Edward McCreary) having scored strongly in leading roles in recent musicals around town. None of the performers are weak, and in the performance I attended Callie Brook gave a performance as Young Cosette that was the equal of any of the adults. Musical director Ann-Carol Pence has done her usual splendid job of making sure the vocal and instrumental quality of the show is top-notch (although the falsetto passages for Jean Valjean are not a good fit for Bryant Smith’s voice).

Justin Anderson’s direction gets the story across as well as can be expected. Action is fluid and uses the full height and width of the stage. Daniel Terry’s sound design allows every moment of the show to be heard clearly, although it can be disconcerting to hear voices coming from speakers above the stage, particularly in crowd scenes where one must scan the stage to find whose mouth is moving in conjunction with the sound from above.

While this remount lacks the award-winning performance of Leslie Bellair as Éponine, on the whole it struck me as an improvement over the original Aurora production. Now it’s just a matter of seeing if the people who didn’t see the show the first time around exist in sufficient numbers to fill the house for six weeks of performances. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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