EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCLOG'S Production Of The Epic Tony-Winning Show Opens This Weekend
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Shelby Spradling
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Oct. 31, 2013 11:23 AM EDT
Updated: Oct. 31, 2013 3:11 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
It's not your average community theater production. In its storied 65-year history, the Charleston Light Opera Guild has never tried to do anything like this.
The guild is spending nearly 150-thousand dollars to bring the musical "Les Miserables" to the Clay Center stage for Capital City audiences to enjoy.
"Every time someone opens their mouth on stage I am just in awe," Ryan Hardiman (Jean Valjean) said. "Every element of this production is just the utmost quality. From the orchestra, the sets, the costumes, everything's first class. I'm so proud to be a part of it."
More than 180 people auditioned for an opportunity to be a part of the historic show. The director whittled that down into an all-star group of nearly 60 actors to tell the tale of Jean Valjean. He's a petty thief broken by the system, who decides to change his destiny and move from the path of sinner to saint in early 19th century France.
"In the end it is a story of redemption," Chris Terpening (Javert) said. "I think that that's the universal quality. It allows the people to come to understand that life is not always easy but in the end following the right path leads to the ultimate glories."
"Les Miserables" is the second longest-running musical in the world. It's only recently been offered for community theaters, and with a scheduled return to Broadway next spring it's likely no local group will have the chance to stage it in the near future.
To play one of musical's iconic roles has been a dream of many cast members.
"I saw this show in '96," Beth Winkler Bowden (Eponine) said. "I was 15 years old and from the moment I saw it on Broadway I wanted to play the role of Eponine. And I never thought that dream would come true because I never thought the rights would be released."
"I came upon this show actually a few years ago in college," Jonathan Tucker (Enjolras) said. "And ever since then I've always wanted to be in the show. And it didn't matter what part it was or anything like that, This is a life-changing experience."
The Charleston Light Opera Guild, in collaboration with The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of WV present the international classic musical "Les Misérables"
Direction and Choreography by Nina Denton Pasinetti
Musical Direction by John Marshall
Accompanist: David Patrick
Technical Direction by Tom Pasinetti
Maier Performance Hall at the Clay Center.
November 1, 2, 8 and 9, 2013 at 7:30 p.m
November 3 and 10 there are matinee performances starting at 2:00 p.m.
"Les Misérables” is sponsored by Ed and Susan Maier, Charleston Area Medical Center, Brooks Run Mining Company and Suttle and Stalnaker, PLLC.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 304-561-3570, visiting www.theclaycenter.org or stopping by the Clay Center box office.
For more information about this and other Charleston Light Opera Guild performances, visit www.charlestonlightoperaguild.org.
Ryan Hardiman-Jean Valjean
Chris Terpening-Inspector Javert
Beth Winkler Bowden-Eponine
Evan Sullivan-Marius Pontmercy
Laurie Pennington-Madame Thénardier
Ted Rose-Bishop of Digne/Grantaire
Jamison Miller-The Foreman/Courfeyrac
Cameron Vance-Jean Prouvaire
Andrea Parkins-Factory Girl
Bria White-Young Cosette
Grace Javins-Young Eponine
Ensemble as featured characters throughout:
Elizabeth Cary Brown
Anne Marie Haddy
Kimberly Smith Harry
Carl D. Simpkins II
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