LES MISERABLES Opens this Week at Reston CenterStage
A number of lifelong dreams will come true this Friday night as the Reston Players open the Tony-award winning Les Miserables.
Set against the backdrop of 19th century France, this revolutionary musical is a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Les Miserables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams, passion, sacrifice and redemption, and unrequited love with the most haunting musical score ever written.
For many months, the crew and cast of the Reston Players production have carefully crafted the many details that will bring Victor Hugo's story to life at CenterStage beginning this Friday.
Producer Richard E. Schneider said the Reston Players jumped at the chance when the rights for Les Miserables became available. "We know many people attending our show have already seen Les Miserables many times, but as a local production, we can also bring the show to a whole new audience at affordable prices," he said. "Our audiences can expect to see a stunning performance."
Andrew JM Regiec directs the Reston Players production of Les Miserables and Mark V. Deal is the musical director. "The work itself is universal," said Regiec. "I think that's why Les Miserables has captured the world as it has. It is so relevant to today."
Jennifer Lambert takes on her own dream role as the outcast Fantine, a role she has coveted since her parents brought home the original Broadway recording after seeing Les Miserables on Broadway. "I remember listening to the soundtrack over and over again, and fell in love with every song," Lambert said. "A year later, I sang I Dreamed a Dream in a summer concert, but the song has a lot more meaning at 35 than it did when I was 10. It is truly a dream for me to embrace this role after listening to so many of my Broadway role models perform it."
Obsession with Les Miserables and creating something truly deep and memorable is a running theme with the cast and crew of Reston Players' Les Miserables. Emma Lord, a recent University of Virginia graduate who plays the lovelorn Eponine, admits to being a hardcore nerd when it comes to Les Miserables.
"I have been obsessed with this show ever since I can remember, like I legitimately learned all the words in French and read the book multiple times and spent the entire summer I turned sixteen meticulously studying revolutionary France and writing over 100,000 words of Les Mis fanfiction," said Lord. " I never thought in a million lifetimes I would be able to be in a production of Les Miserables, let alone play Eponine, I feel like I made this all up in my head!"
Alana Sharp, who plays the wonderfully comic Madame Thenardier, shares that obsession for details. "When I heard that Reston Players was doing Les Miserables, "I would have played any role offered just to have the chance to be in the middle of the music, that glorious sound. When I was offered the role of Madame Thernardier, I was thrilled and humbled. Over 170 people auditioned for this show. To have made the final cut is a dream come true."
Chuck Dluhy, who plays the nefarious comic relief Thenardier, said opening night will be a long-time dream fulfilled. "Les Miserables is one of my all-time favorite musicals and I've wanted to play Thenardier since I saw the show at the Kennedy Center in 1987, so it's a dream come true," he said.
Lambert said opening night and the rest of the run for Les Miserables will be special because the cast and crew truly share a love of the epic story and its music. "We feel truly privileged to be able to perform Les Miserables, which has not been performed on the community theater level in our area before," she said. "For many of us, we have been rehearsing these songs for most of our lives and are finally getting the opportunity to perform them, therefore, passion and energy of the cast will surely make this production something special."
The cast features Michael Reid as Jean Valjean, Ward Ferguson as Javert , Jennifer Lambert as Fantine, Ella Schnoor as Little Cosette, Alana Sharp as Madame Thenardier, Maggie Slivka as Young Eponine, Chuck Dluhy as Thenardier, Ethan Van Slyke as Gavroche, Emma Lord as Eponine, Cara Bachman as Cosette, Scott Harrison as Enjolras, and Sean Bartnick as Marius. The ensemble includes Bridgette Pfannenbecker, Erin Campagnoni, Susanna Todd, Stephanie Pencek, Kate Keifer , Shauna L. Neil, Joshua Wilson, Michael Clendenin, Matt McFadden, Rick Kenney, Cameron Bond, Jeffery Miller, Eric Hughes, and Patrick Graham.
Performances begin January 17. Les Miserables will play at CenterStage January 17, 18, 24, 25, 26, 30, and 31, and February 1, 6, 7, 8, and 9. January 26 and February 9 are 2:00 p.m. matinee performances and February 1 and 8 feature performances at both 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. All Reston Players mainstage productions are performed at CenterStage at the Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston, Va. CenterStage is handicap accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired.