Les Miz at NC Theatre | Theater | Indy Week
Pin It

Les Miz at NC Theatre 

English Bernhardt as Éponine in Les Misérables.

Photo by Curtis Brown

English Bernhardt as Éponine in Les Misérables.

Most theatergoers at productions of Les Misérables are not first-timers. They know Victor Hugo's story of revolution and redemption in early 19th-century France; they've cried to Claude-Michel Schönberg's surging score and Herbert Kretzmer's passionate lyrics.

This familiarity has its advantages and drawbacks. On the one hand, audiences are primed to follow the complicated story and ready to be moved. On the other, expectations are high for anyone who has heard Colm Wilkinson's breathtaking tenor as Valjean on the original cast recording of Les Mis.

Fortunately, NC Theatre's production of Les Misérables, featuring a mix of local actors and Broadway vets, meets all of these standards. Director Dave Clemmons crafts picturesque tableaux out of an engaged, well-articulated ensemble, accentuated by moody lighting design by John Bartenstein. Craig Schulman (as Valjean) and Chuck Wagner (as the doggedly moralistic police inspector Javert) demonstrate impressive vocal control, bringing emotional complexity and tension to musically challenging roles. Lauren Kennedy, artistic director of Theatre Raleigh, is also vocally strong, if somewhat too polished, as the dying Fantine (a role she played on Broadway).

Alison Cimmet and Dirk Lumbard are delectably loathsome as the Thénardiers, the slimy, ethically challenged innkeepers. Julie Benko shines sweetly as Javert's adopted daughter, Cosette, and the swoon-worthy Bruce Landry is tender and passionate as her lover Marius, the revolutionary student.

Of particular note is Raleigh high school senior English Bernhardt's Éponine, an impoverished girl in desperate, one-sided love with Marius. Bernhardt's powerful voice and nuanced acting shine even among performers decades her senior. On opening night, her heartbreaking rendition of "On My Own" brought down the house. This is an up-and-coming local actress to watch in a moving, accomplished production.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Theatrical uprisings."

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Theater



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

The pendulum is swinging on both sides but it's great to see how hard it's swinging to the left in …

by RAriano on An Initiative to Counter Discrimination Against Female Theater Directors Provokes a Discrimination Complaint in Raleigh (Theater)

Should you ever require the services of a hacker, i implore you to try your very best to hire only …

by Nyomi Durani on Old time music in Sanford (Theater)

Should you ever require the services of a hacker, i implore you to try your very best to hire only …

by Teresa Mccarthy on A moribund society makes a stately exodus in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard at Deep Dish Theater (Theater)

Best wishes & thanks to a fine artist & a real gentleman.

by khoragos on Paul Frellick Diagnoses Deep Dish Theater Company’s Lasting Legacy and Quiet Demise (Theater)

Thank you, Paul, and best wishes to you and your family in California.

by David Fellerath 1 on Paul Frellick Diagnoses Deep Dish Theater Company’s Lasting Legacy and Quiet Demise (Theater)

Comments

The pendulum is swinging on both sides but it's great to see how hard it's swinging to the left in …

by RAriano on An Initiative to Counter Discrimination Against Female Theater Directors Provokes a Discrimination Complaint in Raleigh (Theater)

Should you ever require the services of a hacker, i implore you to try your very best to hire only …

by Nyomi Durani on Old time music in Sanford (Theater)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation