Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Ensemble strength

by Jack Dura | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Theatre | November 12th, 2014

Photo by Brianne Lee

Concordia's ‘Les Misérables’ showcases student performing power in popular stage show

Concordia College Theatre sees the biggest show of its season these next two weekends. Bringing the beloved “Les Misérables” of Victor Hugo heritage to its Mainstage Theatre, the college company will showcase ensemble strength in this popular production.

Commissioned by former theater faculty member Jennifer Thomas, “Les Misérables” (or “Les Miz”) follows in the tracks of shows like “Urinetown” and “Into the Woods” at Concordia College Theatre: big blowout musicals uniting music and theater students.

“I know her impetus was to do a really big show,” director Sally Story said of Thomas’s selection,” a show that would once again bring the music and theater departments together to really show off the talent we have here, and ‘Les Miz’ would attract many people so I think it was an excellent choice on her part, and it really showcases the students’ talents.”

Beloved onstage and (perhaps) best known in film, “Les Miz” follows the intrepid Jean Valjean, the police inspector on his tail and other characters of early 19th century France. The 2012 film musical starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway raked in awards in 2013 and was a box office smash.

Locally, this show has been seen at West Fargo High School in 2012, and just this last summer from the Rural Cass County Community Theatre. The story’s popularity is well proven, and it can be a pitfall when producing the stage version, as far as making a production stand out against so many other interpretations.

Photo by Brianne Lee

This is something Story doesn’t fear.

“I think there is no right or wrong,” she said. “Your interpretation is your interpretation.”

Concordia’s production is one that had to put a cap on its chorus and characters, as 37 cast members, three children, a backstage crew and orchestra pit come together to present. The chorus alone somewhat steals the show, with many chorus members overriding principle characters in the number of scenes they’re in.

“I’ve had individual meetings with every single person, and it’s funny running down all the scenes that they’re in,” Story said, “and you’re like ‘Oh, you’re in everything, and the principles are in three scenes,’ so it’s interesting.”

Together, these students take a more “traditionally based” approach to the show and its design. Much of Concordia’s ideas about “Les Miz” are found in its set, which is highly functional for props, furniture and movement. Plopping down props and allowing for everyone to move is key for this production, and theater faculty Christian Boy’s wizard set design proved to be the perfect design.

Photo by Brianne Lee

Music moves this show from start to finish, all 150 minutes of it (though some cuts have been made for “the audience and actors’ sake and sanity,” Story said). With music and theater students combined for such a performance, it should be hard to find disappointment anywhere.

Story herself finds this musical an excellent example of a people-driven show, as the show would be nothing without the actors onstage and the audience who keep coming back for more of its music, message and meaning.

“The show is about the people,” she said, “and about fighting for what you believe in and rising up, and do you have the courage to do so.”

IF YOU GO

“Les Misérables”

Mainstage Theatre in Frances Frazier Comstock Theatre

Nov. 13-16 and 20-22

218-299-3314

Recently in:

FARGO – Water sizzles against scorched stones piled in a shallow pit center of Fargo’s only Indigenous sweat lodge. Faces gleam briefly before the glow fades, and the Native songs begin. Packed side by side, Anishinaabe, Spirit…

One of the most annoying things on the web is advertising that interrupts what you are doing. I’m talking about the pop-up ads, the videos that start playing as soon as your browser opens the page. You get the idea.Well, it seems…

Thursday, February 22, 7pmFront Street Taproom, 614 Main Ave, Fargo The jazz musician and independent songwriter, making music for 20 years and performing for 10. Interesting, arranges in a dynamic and unorthodox fashion. On tour,…

Editorial

Go ask ALICE

by Sabrina Hornung

I was 14 in 1999 when Columbine happened. I remember feeling the shock, horror, and overall sickness that comes with a national tragedy of that caliber.According to a February 15, 2018 article in The Washington Post by John Woodrow…

When will we learn to share wealth?Last week I wrote about how many predictions made by Aldous Huxley in his 1932 book "Brave New World" were beginning to come true in 2018.When I read the toll to travel on Interstate 66 in…

Although the temperatures were sub zero last Sunday, the crowd and competitors were certainly on fire at the Holiday Inn in Fargo for the 5th Annual Bartenders Battle.This event has become a highlight of the year for the service…

By Melissa Martin, Ph.D. Melissamartincounselor@live.com Emotional eating refers to a range of behaviors in which individuals eat for reasons other than physiological hunger; and eating is an attempt to self-soothe emotions.…

Music

​New Direction Fest 7

by Jack Stenerson

The New Direction had no shows booked in January 2012 so one of our co-founders, Charley Wang, decided to put together the First New Direction Fest out of complete necessity. He reached out to 18 local bands to play our little…

Hungarian filmmaker Ildiko Enyedi, whose 1989 debut "My Twentieth Century" won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, achieved another career highlight recently with an Oscar nomination for her most recent feature. "On Body…

In my tenure at the High Plains Reader, I have devoted a lot of column inches to promoting the local music scene of the Red River Valley. However, I would be doing an injustice if I didn’t also bring your attention to another…

By Nathan Roybardsdream@gmail.comYou are absolutely right. The title is not “To be or not to be” from the famous Shakespeare soliloquy in "Hamlet." I won’t be talking about Shakespeare particularly. I will expound the…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

“What are some of your favorite bottles of whiskey?” is a question I get asked quite frequently and is often harder to answer than one might think. One of the great rewards of my profession is getting to sample some of the…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.edu Radical: Derived from the Latin radix, which literally means the root or base. In political terms it means penetrating beyond conventional explanations and getting at the root cause of a problem.In…