Les Miserables in Its Second Week by Susie Sarlo
The voices, the orchestra, the emotion . . . it is almost too much to take in as Picketwire Players open their second and final week of their summer production “Les Miserables” this Thursday. The first week opened to packed houses and rave reviews. The actors and musicians were not the only stars of the play. People marveled at the special effects: moving pictures in the background, fog and LOUD sound effects during the battles. “We couldn’t have had a better cast and crew, a better orchestra or better audiences,” said director Tracey Salzbrenner as she reflected on opening night. “This great mass of people came together to make magic happen.”
Featuring a cast of over 60 (including musicians and technical crew), “Les Miserables” sweeps you through an epic tale of passion and redemption set in 19th Century France. The story is told through song with an unforgettable score that features the songs: “I Dreamed a Dream”, “On My Own”, “Bring Him Home”, “Do You Hear the People Sing?” and “One Day More”. Critics hail “Les Miserables” as one of the best musicals of our time.
The talent amassed on Picketwire’s stage during this production is almost surreal. Incredibly, children are a large part of the storytelling in this play that spans over two decades. Little Cosette is played by Teagan Summers. Her clear, sweet voice expresses the agony and abandonment she feels until she is rescued by her adopted father, Jean Valjean. Alexia Nunex-Rebel plays young Eponine, who causes Little Cosette difficulty as a child, but redeems herself later in life.
Noah Summers (Teagan’s younger brother) steals the audience’s heart as the happy-go-lucky, Parisian street urchin Gavroche. He is generous, fierce and brave. Young Noah mirrors Gavroche’s bravery as he performs his solo musical speeches night after night with pluck and enthusiasm. The young students who fight the revolution are passionate and musically gifted. Their leader, Enjolras, is played by Levi Grimlund. Scott Goheen takes the role of lovesick Marius. Henry Kelley, a familiar face to audience goers in La Junta, is strong and passionate in his student/revolutionary role. John Eubank comes back to the Picketwire stage to lend his experience and voice as one of the students as well. Rounding out the student ranks are Janika Grimlund as Courfeyrac, Kalee DuBois as Joly and Ben Meiklejohn as Grantaire.
Children of the chorus who fill the street scenes and wedding have worked very hard to learn all the intricate music of this story. You feel their fierce passion as they sing every song with gusto. Included in the chorus are: Alexia Nunez-Rebel, Lexie Summers, Evan Lagergren, Kaydence Lagergren, Addison Aragon, Cira Fowler, Alecia Rumrill, Kaylee Rumrill, Jayden Martinez, Johnathan McKelvey, and Linsey Goodwin.
Director Tracey Salzbrenner’s staging brings the action, music, special effects and magic all together. Picketwire’s theatre comes alive during this production of Broadway’s 12-time Tony award winning musical, “Les Miserables”. Do not miss the last weekend of performances: Thursday through Saturday (August 7 through 9) at 7:00 PM. The play is sponsored by Otero County Health Department’s Tobacco Program. Call 719.384.8320 to reserve seats. Or order online at www.picketwireplayers.org.