LES MISERABLES Comes to Cortland Repertory Theatre, 7/9-26
For the third production in Cortland Repertory Theatre's 43rd annual summer season, the epic, international hit musical "LES MISERABLES" takes the stage. Based on Victor Hugo's novel, the script of the musical is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, with music by Schönberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Performances of CRT's production will run from July 9 - 26 with evening performances at 7:30. Matinees are available on July 11, 13, 16, 20, and 23 at 2:00 PM. Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-427-6160 or by visiting the CRT Box Office at 24 Port Watson Street in downtown Cortland. Tickets are also available for sale 24 hours a day through the CRT website at www.cortlandrep.org.
The winner of over 100 international awards and seen by over 65 million people worldwide, "LES MISERABLES" sweeps the audience through an epic tale of passion, love and redemption against the backdrop of a nation in the grip of revolution. In 19th century France, Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a life-long struggle for redemption as he is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, who refuses to believe Valjean can change his ways. During the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life and saves that of the student revolutionary Marius who has captured the heart of Valjean's adopted daughter, Cosette. His world-view shattered, Javert faces his future and Valjean at last attains the peace he has sought for so long. Epic, grand and uplifting, "LES MISERABLES" packs an emotional wallop that has thrilled audiences all over the world. The sung-through pop opera overflows with melodies that have become popular standards, including "I Dreamed a Dream", "On My Own" and "Master of the House". Its powerful affirmation of the human spirit has made this musical a world renowned masterpiece.
CRT's "Les Mis" is directed by Sam Scalamoni, who appeared in the musical on Broadway during the original run of the show. Scalamoni also served as Associate Director for Elton John's Broadway musical "Lestat", and "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" on Broadway while supervising the US national tour, the UK international tour and companies in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Seoul, Korea. At CRT, he directed last season's "The Unexpected Guest", and "I Do! I Do!" in 2005. "Les Mis" music direction is handled by Ithaca College music director Joel Gelpe, who previously worked on the CRT productions of "Buddy!", "Cats", and "The 1940's Radio Hour". Making her CRT debut is Scenic Designer Mary Hamrich, who was Associate Designer and part of the Tony Award winning team for Scenic Design of the current Broadway musical "Rocky".
Heading the cast as Jean Valjean is Equity Guest Artist Timothy John Smith, who most recently played the villain Bill Sykes in "Oliver!" at the prestigious Trinity Rep Theatre in Providence, R.I. Portraying police inspector Javert is Equity Guest Artist Antoine L. Smith, who appeared on Broadway in "Memphis" and was last seen in "Ragtime" at the Westchester Broadway Theater.
Many cast members from CRT's "All Shook Up" will also appear in "Les Mis". Kailey Prior will portray the destitute Fantine, and Thomas Mothershed and Rebecca McGraw star as the manipulative Thénardiers. The young lovers Marius and Cossette are played by two of CRT's Performing Interns, Ithaca College undergrad Jordan Silver and Elon University student Michaela Vine. The love-struck Eponine is played by NYC actress Kelsey Thompson. Denzel Edmondson will play Enjolras, the charismatic leader of the student revolution. Other "All Shook Up" cast members also in "Les Mis" include Courtney Blackmun, Patrick Brady, Andrew Conners, Jasmine Harris, Joel Pellini, Will Vickers, Imani Pearl Williams, Anthony Wright, and Hannah Zilber. Additional actors joining CRT for this production are Nick Albrecht, Terrance Gasner, Coleman Hemsath, Brandon Martin, Melissa Pipher, Ben Salus, and Drew Stairs.
Four local youth actors also appear in the show: Kaylee Seyfried and Gabriella Williams will alternate playing Young Cosette and Young Eponine, and Adam Ackerman and Michael Hill will also alternate playing the young bullet-boy Gavroche.
Stage Manager Laura Krouch heads the production and design team. Costumes are created by long-time CRT Costume Designer Wendi Zea. Lighting Designer Eric Behnke returns to CRT after serving as both designer and stage manager at CRT in the past. Continuing their work this season are Props Designer Lisa Guild, Sound Designer Seth Asa Sengel, Technical Director Patrick McGovern and Assistant Stage Manager Monica Meyer. Elsbeth Turner serves as Company Manager for this production.
CRT continues "Friday Night Talk Backs" at which a Q & A session with the actors, designers and crew takes place after every Friday evening performance. Tickets are also on sale for the remaining productions in CRT's season, including "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily", "Making God Laugh", "Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash" and the children's show "Alice in Wonderland".
Photo Credit: David Blatchley