Les Miserables Continues at Ark Rep

replesmizTwenty-seven years ago today, on March 12, 1987, Les Miserables opened on Broadway.  The production won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical. It eventually ran for 6,680 performances.  After being revived on Broadway in 2006 and spawning an Oscar winning movie in 2012, another Broadway revival is currently in New York.

Arkansas residents do not have to travel to New York (or Netflix) to see Les Miserables.  The Arkansas Repertory Theatre has brought the production back to life on its Little Rock stage.  Following an acclaimed 2008 production, Rep Producing Artistic Director Robert Hupp has again directed the show for Arkansas audiences.  It opened last Friday night and runs through April 6.

Douglas Webster and Christopher Carl return to their roles of protagonist and antagonist as Jean Valjean and Javert, respectively.  Joining them are Christopher Behmke as the romantic revolutionary Marius, Matthew Hugg as pint-sized revolutionary Gavroche, Karenssa LeGear as Valjean’s adoptive daughter Cosette, Mary Little as the waif Eponine, Caleb Reese as revolutionary leader Enjolras, Danielle Erin Rhodes as the doomed Fantine, Sydni Whitfield as Young Cosette, and Michael Sample & Terey Summers and the scheming Thenardiers. Others in the cast are Kelsie Adkisson, Alex Bush, Price Clark, Monica Clark-Robinson, Darren Drone, Hannah Eakin, Marisa Kirby, Bailey Lamb, Greg Robinson, Makayla Shope, Alyssa Sowers, Benjamin Stidam, Billy Clark Taylor and Paul Thiemann.

In addition to Hupp as director, the creative team includes choreography by Robert Kolby Harper and music direction by Mark Binns. The design team features Mike Nichols (scenery), Rafael Colon Castanera (costumes), Yael Lubetzky (lighting), Allan Branson (sound), Lynda J. Kwallek (props) and Rob Pickens (wigs).

Performances are Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm and 7pm.  During the run, there are Tuesday performances at 7pm on March 18 and April 1.

Final Weekend to go SINGIN’ ON A STAR

Tonight at 7 and tomorrow at 2 and 7 are the final three times to catch the Arkansas Rep Young Artist production of Singin’ on a Star. The show is all about the actor’s journey from stardust to stardom, set to a toe-tapping soundtrack of modern song selections from the top pop charts and the Great White Way.

The production is directed by Nicole Capri, who is the Rep’s Resident Director and Director of Education.  Karen Q. Clark serves as Music Director.  Choreography is provided by Capri, Stacy Hawking, Marisa Kirby and Stephen K. Stone.  The design team includes Mike Nichols (sets), Shelly Hall (costumes), Dan Kimble (lighting), Lynda J. Kwallek (props) and Allan Branson (sound).

The cast is composed of of over 50 junior high and high school students who will literally fill the stage with their acting, singing and dancing.  They include: Skylar Bartlett, Cross Brandon, Matthew Carey, Calvin Chester, Cayla Christian, Jacob Clanton, Drew Clark, Andrew Curzon, Drew Dame, Spencer Davis, Anna Bliss Dean, C.J. Fowler, Jennifer Fuller, Melody Garrett, Zach Graham, Kayla Gray, Katie Greer, Christian Hickingbotham, Matthew Hugg, Sydney Ippolito, Mary Kate Jackson, Grace Jackson, Nia Jackson, Jackson James and Dalton Johnson.

Others in the cast include Riley Knight, Bailey Lamb, Julia Landfair, Maddie Lentz, Malik Marshall, Cass Martin, Annie McCurdy, Damon McKinnis, Elena McKinnis, Helen Melhorn, Henry Melhorn, Ella Moody, Angela  Morgan, Michael Myers, Annie Niswanger, Yasmin Newman, Caroline Osborn, Adrianne Owings, Cassidy Ratliff, Marina Redlich, Molly Russ, Kennedy Sample, Sterling Saul, Allie Scott, Jake Scott, Abby Shourd, Heidi Sohl, Alyssa Sowers, Sheffield Spence, Shelby Spooner, Mary Katelin Ward, Mia Waymack, Jhonika Wright and Charl Young.

For some observations from one of the summer performances of this production, click here.