MisÚrables c'est magnifique
By Fred Sherwin
The St. Peter Players production of Les MisÚrables wraps up tonight at St. Peter
High School. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Curtain rises at 7 p.m. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Unbelievable. Spellbinding. Superb. Breathtaking. Stupendous.
that I've gotten the superlatives out of the way, I can honestly tell you that
the St. Peter Players production of Les MisÚrables on tonight at
St. Peter High School absolutely blew my socks off.
should first embarassingly admit that I went to the musical fully expecting the
type of amateurish, albeit earnest production of the type they used to put on
when I was still going to high school.
much for preconceptions. What I and the other 449 people in the audience were
treated to Friday night was the type of production that would be welcomed on any
stage in the National Capital Region including the NAC.
set design, orchestration, costumes and choreography were top notch and without
fault. As for the performances, they were absolutely mindblowing, especially when
you consider the fact that several of the principles were first timers.
particular note was the performance of Samantha Mouchet, herself a veteran of
five St. Peter Players productions. Mouchet appeared in
the role of Fantine,
the single mother turned prostitute whos dying wish is for the plays
principle character, Jean Valjean, to look after her daughter Cosette.
solo I Dreamed A Dream was worth the $10 price of admission alone.
In fact, my only complaint is that I didnt get to hear more of Mouchets
amazing voice. My angst was eased somewhat thanks to the angelic contribution
of Hannah Barrett who played Cosette.
is Barretts third production with the St. Peter Players, but first in a
lead role. Judging by her performance it will by no means be her last.
incredible performances were turned in by Stuart Douglas who played Cosettes
love interest Marius; Nick Lalumiere as Valjean; Amanda Molinski as the lovestruck
Eponine; Mike Molinski as Gavroche, one of the leaders of the student uprising;
and Adam Smart and Kate Heney as Monsieur and Madame Thenardier, the owners of
a local tavern.
Douglas nor Mike Molinski have ever been in a play before, let alone a musical.
Ditto for Nick Walker who landed the lead role of Inspector Javert, the policeman
who is consumed with bringing Valjean to justice.
only did Nick have to get over the jitters of playing the lead in his first theatrical
production, he also had to endure some ribbing at the hands of some of his teammates
on the school football team.
Mis, as the play is more affectionately known, tells the story of Jean Valjean
who escapes while on parole after serving 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf
of bread to feed his sisters child.
changing his name to Monsieur Madeleine, Valjean rises through the ranks of social
order to become the mayor of a small town and a factory owner. It is in his factory
that we first meet Fantine. Pregnant with a fatherless child, she is shunned by
her co-workers and eventually cast into the street where she is forced to work
in a bordello.
and Valjean eventually meet in the street, but when our hero comes to the rescue
of a woman trapped under a cart he is recognized by Inspector Jalvert, the man
who has been searching for him since he broke parole.
convincing Jalvert to give him three days to turn himself in, he escapes the small
town having agreed to Fantines dying wish to look after her daughter.
ahead several years and Valjean finds Cosette working in a small inn owned by
the Thenadiers who treat the young girl like a slave while they dote over their
inn scene provides the only comedic relief in the play when the Thenadiers sing
a baudy version of Master of The House backed up by a chorus of their
eventually buys Cosettes freedom for 1,500 francs and takes her to Paris
where they go into hiding together.
in Paris they come into contact with a mixed bag of young ruffians and politically
motivated students who are planning an uprising against the citys elite.
One of the student leaders is Marius who falls in love with Cosette at first site.
Caught in the middle is poor Eponine who is secretly in love with Marius and recognizes
Cosette from her days sweeping floors at the inn.
the eve of the student uprising, Valjean decides that he and Cosette must leave
the country before Javert finally catches up to him. Before they flea, however,
he joins the students on the barricades.
to the main battle the students capture Javert, who is acting as a spy. When they
turn him over to Valjean, the hero unties the hands of his old foe and lets him
go free rather than killing him.
the ensuing battle Marius is wounded and Valjean pulls him to safety only to be
tracked down by the relentless Javert. After Valjean talks the policeman into
letting them go free again, Javert meets his demise (youll have to see the
play to know how). Marius soon recovers from his wounds and eventually marries
Cosette. To wit they live happily ever after.
performances in the production are strong throughout, but it is during the ensemble
numbers that the entire cast is allowed to shine. Among the supporting leads are
Juliana Siok as the young Cosette; Lydia Cardinal as the young Eponine; Matthew
Dinardo as Enjolras; Jeff Roy as Joly; Dylan Ryan as Combeferre Courfeyrac; Wade
Muir as Feuillyl Prouvaire; and Lukasz Lukaszek as Grantaire.
cast is made up of 37 members which doesnt include the all-volunteer orchestra
led by Lisa MacLean, or the production and stage crews led by producer Carla Boyle,
choreographer Melody Lavictoire and the driving force behind the St. Peter Players
to the entire cast and crew. I can hardly wait until next years production.
And in case their taking any suggestions, my vote would be for Jesus Christ Superstar.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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