Chieftain Press

Les Mis Review

Brittany Cormier, Contributor

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Do you want to cry? Cry like you did when your crush started dating your best friend in the 6th grade? Or at the end of Marley & Me?

Then your go-to musical would be Les Miserables, the fifth longest running musical on broadway, which came smashing into Nashoba Regional High School March 14th-16th. This year’s production was directed by Bill Grady, who has been Nashoba’s drama director for the last twenty years.

Les Miserables is set in 19th century France during the June Rebellion. The play follows Jean Valjean (Ryan Bonner), an escaped convict who  given a second chance at redemption. He tries to turn his life around and raise his adopted daughter Cosette (Merisa Kouvo), but is faced with the constant menace inspector Javert (Sam Keith) who is determined to hunt him down.

The role of Jean Valjean was a big challenge for Ryan Bonner; he not only met expectations, but surpassed them in every way. Bonner delivered the role with a strong and powerful voice, while also capturing the myriad emotions Valjean confronts throughout his life. Javert, on the other hand, died as he lived: jumping off bridges. Keith’s performance was truly phenomenal, especially considering he is only a freshman. He brought tears to many eyes as he portrayed the deterioration of a man torn between the logic of the law and the complexity of true human goodness. The only flaw was that his sword was on the wrong side and his belt was threaded through the wrong epaulet. It’s a simple thing, how can you mess that up.

Kelly Ryan was great as Fantine. All of the waterworks and despair, but  it would have been great if she had expressed a bit more anger towards that guy who tried to molest her. The audience really loved her performance. Fantine dies of some conveniently nondescript illness, just in time to give away her child to some stranger.

The supporting characters were awesome. Eric Watterson’s and Lyndsey Hawkes’ performance as the Thenardiers was a ray of sunshine in play. They sported the only bright costumes in the whole cast and were caked with clown makeup as they danced around the stage singing, “Master of the House” creating a rollicking good time with their antics.

Lexi Murtha tugged at the crowd’s heartstrings as Eponine, a girl pining after the revolutionary Marius who loves Cosette instead. “On My Own” may be a shameless preteen girl anthem, but she did really well with it anyway. There was not a dry eye in the crowd as she finally sang herself to death. Being the character that made the play a hit, with thousands of teary eyed teenage girls, she really did well.

Cosette and Marius looked a little funny together, but they had decent chemistry and pulled all of their sappy love drenched duets off convincingly. Merisa has a nice voice, bordering trilly, but not obnoxious, a perfect voice to hit the highest notes in the show, which she did with ease. Marius becomes a tortured soul like Javert with a bunch of dead friends, but manages to pull through with his love for Cosette. Remember kids, the best cure for the blues isn’t therapy, it’s love from some hot chick you met two weeks ago. The actor managed the role as best anyone could, being a love sick person who ignores a revolution for some girl he just met, really isn’t easy. Well done Bill Grady and the Nashoba students.

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Les Mis Review