xArts Club Theatre Company
Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, English lyrics by Herber Kretzmer, based on the novel by Victor Hugo

Dates and Venue July 2 – August 16, 2015 - Tues at 7:30pm, Wed – Sat at 8 pm, and Wed , Sat & Sun at 2pm | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville St.

Director Bill Millerd Musical Directors Bruce Kellett & Ken Cormier Choreography Valerie Easton Set Design Ted Roberts Lighting Design Marsha Sibthorpe Costume Design Alison Green Sound Design Chris Daniels Stage Manager Caryn Fehr

Reviewer Ed Farolan

I saw Bill Millerd's production of this show in 2009. It had a successful run and I predict it'll happen again. The show was another triumph on opening night, and if you have a cast who can deliver as excellently as this one, you'll surely have a hit. In his mise en scene, in 2009, Millerd had scenes with actors reciting their lines from the balcony and marching in from the orchestra, sometimes intermingling with the audience. This time he kept them all on stage.

This reprise of Arts Club's production of 2009, had some of the main actors coming back and playing the same roles: Kieran Martin Murphy (Valjean), Kaylee Harwood (Cosette) and Nicola Lipman (Madame Trénardier). Rebecca Talbot as the ill-fated Eponine in 2009 is back but as Fantine. The rest of the cast are new: Warren Kimmel (Javert), Jaime Olivia MacLean (Young Cosette), Eloise White (Young Eponine), Andrew Wheeler (Trénardier), Sayer Roberts (Marius), Cameron Andres (Gavroche) and Jennie Neumann (Eponine). The production staff remains basically the same.

This is the kind of musical where you leave the theatre singing or whistling those catchy marching tunes and of course, the iconic “I Dreamed a Dream” sung beautifully by Talbot. The ensemble was also inspiring as they sang those revolutionary marching songs reflecting the Parisian June Rebellion of 1832 which Alain Boublil and Claude-Michael Schonberg adapted from Victor Hugo's novel.

Murphy and Kimmel captivated the audience with their expansive vocal range and commanding stage presence. Harwood and Neumann had such lyricism in their voices and the audience was doubly enthused. The black comic relief from the boisterous duo Wheeler and Lipman gave added energy to the musical. The children were wonderful, especially Andres and MacLean. Such young talent! The standing ovation from the opening night audience during the curtain call was proof enough of the continued success of this musical's run in the next weeks to come.

© 2015 Ed Farolan