One of our good friends is a teacher at Flower Mound High School. Several months ago, she shared some great news: her school was staging Les Miserables in January. I’ve seen it done twice by professionals, but never by a high school. The creators published a school edition of the show that shortens some songs, adjusts the range in a few places, and cleans up the language a bit. Even with those changes, not many high schools attempt the show, probably because it’s such a demanding production. It’s long, requires several great voices, has a complicated set including a rotating stage, and requires a large cast with many costumes.
Our friends, Jenny, and I attended Flower Mound’s performance tonight and were very impressed. At least three All-State Choir members had major roles, and many of the other singers nailed their parts as well. For me, Enjolras, Valjean, and Eponine really stood out vocally. The guy who played Enjolras (Andy Eaton) took first chair in state, probably as a baritone or tenor 2, and sounded really close to the amazing Marius from the original London cast. The guy who played Valjean blew me away with his gorgeous version of “Bring Him Home,” one of the most difficult songs in the show. The technical crew shocked me by actually using the turntable stage, which is a great device for showing motion and passage of time while letting the stagehands change sets in the background. An army of costumers created beautiful period costumes, and the barricade set in particular looked great.
Congratulations to everyone involved on a great show!