Known as one of the most famous musicals in the world, Les Misérables has been seen by more than 65 million people throughout the world, having been translated into countless languages. It is an epic tale that has some of the most iconic music ever created in the history of musical theatre. The students at Mundelein Theatre are taking on the challenge of this show this spring. The show runs April 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m., and April 28 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $7 for students, children and seniors. And new for Mundelein Theatre, tickets can now be purchased online. Tickets can also be purchased at the door 45 minutes prior to curtain for each performance.
Les Misérables is a sung-through musical [very little spoken dialog] based on a novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. Premiering in Paris in 1980, it has music by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boubil. Set in early 19th century France, it is the story of Jean Valjean, a French peasant, and his quest for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. Valjean decides to break his parole and start his life anew, but is relentlessly tracked down by a police inspector named Javert. Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a revolutionary period in France, where a group of young idealists make their last stand at a street barricade.
“We will be performing the School Edition of the show,” said Jonathan Meier, the director of Les Mis. “It is quite similar to the original version. There are no characters or songs cut, but many of the original songs have been shortened or consolidated. Some of the songs have been arranged into different keys which make it more singable for high school voices,” continued Meier. Seniors Dominic Cappuccilli (Valjean) and Dan Haller (Javert) have been working very closely together during the rehearsal process.
“The word iconic keeps coming up when we discuss the show and the music,” said Cappuccilli. “I suppose that is a bit intimidating, but at the end of the day, we have to make the songs and the characters our own.” Haller continued, “We know that these are very famous songs and famous characters, and we certainly want to honor that and meet people’s expectations, but we have been working really hard with Mr. Meier to break through some of the cliché’s related to the story and come up with some characterizations that are fresh and surprising.”
Other seniors in principal roles are Bella Canela (Fantine), Ryan Story (Thenardier), and Robbie Iraburo-Cochran (Enjolras). Juniors Sydney Litka (Madame Thenardier) and Rachel Larson (Eponine), and freshman Emma Cappuccilli (Cosette) and Matthew Callas (Marius) round out the principal cast. Portraying Little Cosette are Juni Head and Emma Thompson. Nayan Gupta and Ben Miller play Gavroche. The ensemble consists of Abby Smith, Alexis Lee, Allan Rodriguez, Ander Nutall, Annalise Welsch, Brenda Olayo, Brianna Moderhack, Colin Nacion, Dean Hanson, Derek Lee, Elias Photopoulos, Ellie Mellen, Emily Saunders, Ginny Zundel, Giselle Gil, Halli Carpender, Jenifer Martinez, Josh Fergen, Joshua Saunders, Josie Hutson, Joslyn Gange, Katie Staroszczyk, Kimberly Barr, Laryaaz Lazaro, Luke Fuller, Mackenzie Haith, Mary McMurray, Megan Saunders, Mikalya Gruber, Mira Guiritan, Miriam Mitry, Nikki Wegner, Paige Steiner, Sierra Bouchard, Sophia Riportella and Steven Weiss. The children’s ensemble is made up of Ava Thompson, Grace Gorman, Avery Friend, Jadyn Marder, Dalton Winters, Julia Chalifoux, Diego Chapa, Nicholas Chalifoux, Ellie Chevrier, Oliva Sharp, Faith Healy and Shannon Ouimet. The Production Stage Manager is Maddie Martorana.