BWW Reviews: LES MISERABLES Captivates Madison, WI Audiences
LES MISERABLES, one of the most iconic shows in the history of musical theatre, has swept the nation this year with release of a film, announcement of a Broadway revival, and countless productions put on by regional theaters. It can get a bit overwhelming and, while Les Mis is undeniably one of my all-time favorite musicals, even I have begun to get bored with every passing mention of yet another community theater production attempting to take a whack at this show which is, at times, seemingly impossible to pull off flawlessly. Unless, of course, you are Four Seasons Theatre.
When sitting in the Mitby Theatre waiting for the show to start, I prepared myself for a long three hours of another production of Les Mis. Then the lights turned down and the orchestra stuck those first powerful chords and I knew right then that this was going to be the strongest production of the show I'd seen in quite some time.
Brian Cowing's direction of the show was brilliant. A much more physical Les Mis than we are used to seeing, it brought a different feel to the show while staying true to it's classical roots. An incredibly refreshing change of pace. Along the same lines, Jean Valjean, played by Eric Moore, had a more contemporary feel to his voice that, surprisingly enough, worked very well in the context of the show. "Bring Him Home" brought me to tears. Chaz Ingraham also gave a very powerful performance as Enjolras. With a spectacular voice and an energy to match it, he drove the scenes at the barricade forward with a passion that was felt all the way to the back of the house.
The entirety of the show was powerful, and never got that dragging feeling that a show of this length can sometimes have. The lead actors were incredibly powerful, but the passion and wall of sound coming from the ensemble are what really set this production of LES MISERABLES miles above the rest. Playing in Madison at the Mitby Theatre through 8/18, ticket information is available at fourseasonstheatre.com
Photo Credit: Four Seasons Theatre