For one weekend only, the Little Theater will be transported to 19th-century France, amidst revolution and poverty-stricken streets soaked with political turmoil.
This is the setting of “Les Miserables,” the popular Broadway musical based on the novel by Victor Hugo. The Oscar-winning film released last year, starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, only propelled it to rivalizing further popularity for new audiences in the 21st century.
“I like to choose shows that the students are interested in actually doing,” Director Jeff Iverson said, of his choice of that particular musical. “I brought it up to them. ‘Do you want to do Les Mis? It is going to be tough, it is going to take a lot of time. It is not an easy show by any means.’ And they were all wanting to put in the time to make it happen.”
Iverson met his students excitement to perform Les Miserables.
“It’s a challenge,” Iverson said. “I like challenges. The music is demanding, and the entire show is sung.”
The notoriously difficult musical spawned a high school version that cut almost an hour out of the run time, as well as omitting verses and rearranging the voice ranges to be more manageable for younger voices.
Despite the challenges, the students rose to the occasion, with some of the leads practicing since the audition process started last spring, including through the summer and in voice lessons outside of school hours.
“We don’t typically start in the spring, but with this one we had to,” Iverson said.
Besides the challenge, Iverson felt that “Les Miserables” is a great musical for high schoolers to respond to and soak in.
“The themes of forgiveness and fighting for what you believe in ... are themes that lie about this show that are important for kids to be exposed to.” Iverson said.
“Les Miserables” will be performed on Friday and Saturday November 8 and 9 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 10 at 2:00 p.m. Note that this is a change from the original schedule that had a performance on Thursday, November 7.