“Les Misérables” storms the main stage

Camille Campbell, Contributor

The Jackson-Reed production of Les Misérables exceeded all expectations. The vocals were incredible, the orchestra perfectly matched the tone of the scenes, and the actors truly embodied their roles. 

Les Mis takes place in 19th-century France and is based around the mischievous life of Jean Valjean, the story’s main character, played by senior John Joire. After serving 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread, he attempts to seek redemption by becoming the town of Montreuil-Sur-Mer’s new mayor and adopting a young Cosette from her dying mother. But a police inspector named Javert, played by senior Kevin Harris, refuses to let him escape justice and pursues him. 

Whilst being chased, Valjean tries to shield Cosette (junior Eliza Vassalo) from the dangers of a revolution in Paris run by a group of convicts, but she ultimately ends up falling in love with Marius, played by senior Zach Rakotomaniraka.

Director Karen Harris did a wonderful job developing the plot of Valjean’s life by showcasing age and character development, although it did feel a bit rushed despite the 3-hour duration. Regardless of the time, I constantly felt entertained by the witty con-couple Thénardier and Madame Thénardier played by Sam Dell-Bosak and Clara Petry, as both of them played their roles perfectly with their pretentious outfits and theatrical dynamic. Though they are unlikeable characters, it was hard not to enjoy watching them on stage. 

As I mentioned before, the singing throughout the musical was hard to miss, with students like Vassalo playing Cosette and Kevin Harris playing Javert. Eliza captures the stage by perfectly portraying Cosette’s emotions in song and showing the audience Cosette’s relationship with loved ones. Harris exhibits Javert’s conflicting emotions on his mission to hunt down Valjean and his true purpose in life. 

Though not everyone was fortunate to be heard by the audience, some issues occasionally arose with the microphones throughout the musical. But characters like Gavroche, played by Talia Moraru made the experience better overall, despite the sound issues. Not only is Talia the perfect casting for Gavroche, as she is chipper and passionate just like the character, she performed the resilience of the character very well. 

Overall, Les Mis was worth watching; the set, actors, and choreography pulled it all together and it was truly enjoyable to watch. Hopefully, in the future, we’ll see a better direction regarding COVID and technology, everyone involved made it an enjoyable experience. As Junior Camille Anderson said: “I left with a passionate hate for the bourgeoisie.” •