It’s summer at Quincy Community Theatre and summer means a blockbuster musical! The worldwide phenomenon Les Misérables is coming to Quincy, and rehearsals are already underway.
With over one hundred amazing auditions spanning four days (including a day especially for the youngsters), QCT has announced its très bien cast of Les Misérables. Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, this musical is arguably QCT’s grandest undertaking — quite fitting for the theatre’s 400th performance!
After spending nineteen years in prison, the convict Jean Valjean (played by guest actor Joe Tokarz) gains his freedom. When he misses his parole date to start a new life, he must run from the very man who arrested him, Inspector Javert (Jason Keller). During his life on the lam, he comes to the rescue of an orphaned girl, whose mother Fantine (Catherine Smith) was a worker in his factory. They escape to Paris, where the little Cosette grows into a young woman (Caitlin Manwaring). There, they must live in hiding from the Thénardiers (Chris Scholz and Debra Brown) and the Inspector. Meanwhile, the students of Paris are at unrest due to political turmoil. Lead by the rebel Enjolras (Drew Quintero), the students band together to fight for their rights. Among them is Marius Pontmercy (Patrick Regner), the grandson of a wealthy royalist and the unrequited love interest of Éponine Thénardier (Libby Ruth). As tensions rise and rebellion draws nearer, they must all put themselves to the test in this epic story of humanity and survival.
So what’s been going on since casting? The actors and the production team have been busy at work, constructing the most effective and powerful story they can tell. Putting on a production like Les Misérables is no easy feat, especially with the generation gap between 2014 America and France in the 1800s. During the first rehearsals of the past week, the cast and production team have been delving deep into the hearts and minds of these characters. Instead of treating them as parts in a script, the actors are challenged to find the humanity in their characters. What inspires the beggars to keep fighting for their freedoms? What drives Javert to pursue the escaped convict after all these years? What makes these characters tick? Breathing life into these real people is a crucial aspect of bringing the story to life, a story teeming with issues and messages still prevalent in society today.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing a little insight into the making of this production, including history and exclusive behind-the-scenes info.