Bringing passion, revolution and hope to Picketwire’s stage this summer are four fabulous actors with voices that open the heavens. Picketwire Players present the world renowned musical Les Miserables.
Playing the tragic character of Jean Valjean is Joe Trainor. Joe acted in many Picketwire productions over the years and assists with sets for La Junta High School and Children’s Theatre of La Junta productions as well as for Picketwire. But his carpentry skills are not the best talent Joe exhibits on stage. His voice and stage presence captivate and his interpretation of Jean Valjean rivals any professional.
Joe is playing against many of his students in this play. He said it is rewarding to be “working side-by-side with them and they get to see me in a different capacity.” About his role, Joe admits the music is “complex, vast and amazing. There are so many pace changes within each song.” He wants the community to see in Les Miserables what he saw in it the first time he saw the play, “a great story of redemption set within some of the best music known to man.”
Of his character, Joe says that Jean Valjean is a man who made foolish mistakes as a youth and has to spend the rest of his life making up for it. He battles within himself and then battles to save the people of France. “He redeems himself to become the ultimate virtuous person. This was Victor Hugo’s superhero.”
Playing a bad guy in yet another summer musical is Tom Seaba as Javert. “I like him,” said Tom of his character. “He lives in black and white and has such a rigid view of life that he is constantly drawing lines in the sand.” Tom understands the rigidity because of the difficult life that Javert had. Because of the rigidity, he is able to pull himself up from the gutter and make something of his life. “If I could rewrite the play, I’d give Javert a better ending. He truly deserves our pity.”
Tom is no stranger to the Picketwire stage and feels strongly about community theatre. “This is where the stories of our community are told in music, comedy and drama. Having this facility and this organization speaks volumes about what we have been accomplishing for 46 years. I also think it is why Picketwire was only one of four theatres in Colorado granted the rights to Les Miserables in 2014. In fact, we may be the only true non-professional theatre doing the play. This play really touches everyone in some way. This is a once in a lifetime experience for Picketwire and for people to see it in a small town.”
Scott Goheen plays the romantic lead, Marius. Of his character, Scott says that he finds it interesting that anyone loves him as much as two women do. “He also has a difficult choice to make trying to pursue the love of his life and still stand by his friends to be part of a revolution.” When Marius sings of his fallen comrades, Scott says that anyone can empathize or sympathize with losing the closest people around you.
Men who may not usually like musicals will find Les Miserables appealing. “It takes place in the midst of a revolution. There is drinking, fighting and lovely ladies. What’s better than that? These are characters who think positively and believe in a case that fights for a better tomorrow for themselves and those that come after them.”
With the face and voice of an angel, Levi Grimlund leads a revolution as his character Enjolras. “I’m so happy I get to play him. He is the symbol of what the revolution stands for. He is strong and empowered. He is able to command and encourage people to start a movement that changes a whole country.”
Levi played Kurt in Rocky Ford’s production of Sound of Music. He was ten years old at the time and he had fun hitting a high note (although he’s not sure he could still hit it today). He also played the oldest brother in Meet Me in St. Louis and Turk in the Children’s Theatre production of Tarzan. He was also part of the Pueblo Children’s Chorale until he got too old to participate.
Of Les Miserables, Levi feels fortunate to be part of the experience. “The music is so amazing and majestic and portrays so many emotions. There is so much talent in this cast and we all work so well together.” On a lighter side, he does think it is funny that an entire prop shelf is devoted to liquor bottles.
Levi would like to pursue a career in music and theatre. Those watching him will be impressed that this 14-year old has the power and maturity to lead
rebels against France.
You will be blown away by our four men and the passion that is Les Miserables. Production dates are July 31, August 1, 2, 7, 8, 9 at Picketwire Center for Performing and Visual Arts, 802 San Juan Avenue in La Junta, Colorado. The play begins a half hour earlier than usual – at 7:00 pm. For tickets, call 719.384.8320 or purchase them online.