BWW Reviews: Fuhrmann Performing Arts Presents LES MISERABLES in Last U.S. Regional Production
Today, September 6 starts the second weekend of LES MISERABLES as performed by Fuhrmann Performing Arts in Covington, Louisiana. If you missed their performances last weekend at the Columbia Theatre in Hammond, I suggest you hurry along and get your tickets for the shows in Covington now! This isn't something you'll want to miss. Aside from being the very last regional production of LES MISERABLES allowed in the United States due to the show heading back to Broadway in the near future (huzzah!), this is a pretty impressive production.
I am slightly (and by slightly I mean very) biased when it comes to LES MIS. It has been one of my favorites since the good ole high school days, and I have never seen a performance I didn't like. Fuhrmann Performing Arts' show last week was no exception.
Among the most impressive aspects of this particular rendition was the portrayal of Cosette by Southeastern Louisiana University student Bethany Putnam. I'm going to be honest. I've never liked Cosette. Ever. Not even a little bit. However, Putnam's voice was absolutely beautiful and this is the first time in my life I wasn't annoyed by Cosette. She was incredibly poised and played a more mature version of Cosette than I've seen before. Brava, Ms. Putnam! You will go far!
I was also quite excited to see Mr. Ivan Rutherford perform with this cast. Rutherford has played the role of Jean Valjean on Broadway, national tours, and regionally, so it was just as much of a treat (I'm sure) for the cast to be able to work with him as it was for the audience to experience his performance.
And who is Jean Valjean without his Javert? Funny enough, I remember hearing Chris Carey (who portrayed Javert in this production) sing in a local church choir in Mandeville, Louisiana and my family affectionately nicknamed him Enjolras because we thought his voice was perfect for LES MIS. Now, years later, I attend this production and he's part of the cast! While another actor (Evan Melancon) played the part of Enjolras (shout out to my favorite character!), Carey was perfectly suited to play the dashing yet super intense antagonist.
And last, but certainly not least, let's take a minute to recognize the fabulous display of hilarity by Ed Morvant and Jan Gardner who were a crowd favorite, the Thenardiers. Morvant and Gardner have been infused into the local theatre scene in the Covington/Mandeville area for quite a while, and it was a joy to finally see them on stage together instead of behind the scenes.
Biased opinion or not, this show was great, and it made me laugh and cry as LES MIS always does. For more information on how you can see this production, call (985) 276-0465 or visit www.fpa-theater.com.