Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Tuesday, 16 July 2013 17:35

'Les Miserables' at the Muny: A happy few escape the misery

Written by Bob Wilcox
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

  • Director: Richard Jay-Alexander
  • Dates: July 15-21, 2013

"Les Miserables" is back at The Muny this week, just as it was back at the Fox last fall, and probably will return to each of them again and again. It is a very popular show.

I haven't seen the figures yet, but the opening night audience appeared to be the largest so far this summer. And they leaped to their feet for a standing ovation even as the lights were going down on the final scene.

So I am no doubt in a small minority in finding three hours more time than I really want to spend with this story. It is, thanks to original author Victor Hugo, a pretty good story. And perhaps in reading the novel it takes less of an effort to suspend the disbelief that so many of these people would keep running into each other over the years and all over the map of France. I certainly can enjoy a good bath of self-pity and the thrill of melodrama, but for me, both are excessive in "Les Miz".

The Muny has assembled a terrific company for this production. The director, Richard Jay-Alexander, staged the original Broadway and touring productions. He moves the masses of the miserable well – and masses they are, with both the Muny's Youth Ensemble and the Gateway Men's Chorus added to the principals and the regular ensemble members. But he adds touches that make individuals of the members of the mass.

He's helped by the smart set design of Rob Mark Morgan. It moves tall, louvered pieces to mark spaces for the scenes, while the large upstage LED screen shows very realistic images of the story's small town and Parisian streets, plus a waving tricolor for climaxes. Rob Denton designed these images, Nathan W. Scheurer the lights, and Jason Krueger the sound. Kathleen Melcher consulted on the costumes, no doubt well standardized for "Les Miz" by now. Kevin Stites paces the show well as musical director.

A pair of terrific performers lead the company. Hugh Panaro has a high tenor for those ethereal moments in Claude-Michel Schönberg's score, with its two or three ingratiating melodies and endless variations. Panaro can act, too, almost too broadly in Valjean's long initial sung monologue. He's matched by the full, rich, deep tones of Norm Lewis as the rigid Javert. Lewis is especially moving in Javert's final soliloquy.

Michael McCormick and Tiffany Green wring lots of nasty fun out of the ever-scheming Thenardiers. Age-appropriate undergraduates do fully professional work as Fantine (Charlotte Maltby), Eponine (Lindsey Mader), and Marius (Alex Prakken, graduating from Muny Kids and Teens). Katie Travis draws tears as poor love-lorn Cosette, and Bobby Conte Thornton bravely leads the students as Enjolras. Jimmy Coogan makes a lively, convincing, and clear-spoken little Gavroche.

If you love "Les Miz" and want another fix, you can get it now at The Muny.  For more information: muny.org.

Additional Info

  • Director: Richard Jay-Alexander
  • Dates: July 15-21, 2013

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Karate Bikini - A Simpler Sugar

Wed November 26
Karate Bikini is an eight piece ensemble who's members hail from St. Louis and the metro area. They are a large band with a large sound. Their latest album A Simpler Sugar is full of upbeat pop songs,…

KDHX Recommends

January
Saturday
17

Recording Clinic with Patrick Crecelius

KDHX is proud to host a DIY mixing workshop for musicians at The Stage at KDHX. The clinic will be taught by Patrick Crecelius of Cedar Box Studio. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, his credits include such local artists as Ryan...


January
Sunday
18

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes The Boogers

The Boogers are the brainchild of Dr. Paul Crowe. Fatherhood, a PhD in Developmental Psychology, and 20 years of sloggin' it in wretched clubs as a punk rocker - even opening for Dee Dee Ramone and Marky Ramone - formed Paul's...


February
Sunday
01

Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, a 10-event series spanning February to June, 2015, will not only bring you new music, but also music-focused interactive sessions that take a look at how music plays a role in our society. Each month the...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

3 users and 12172 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook