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:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Savanna’s Act passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate on Friday and will move to the U.S. House of Representatives.The bill, S. 1942, is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band…

Culture

Drink n’ Destroy

by Logan Macrae

Pixeled is every 1980’s nerd’s wet dream. This is the kind of place that you sat in your parent’s basement and dreamt about. Contemplating what college might look like, and through your braced teeth, you took a wheezy breath,…

Saturday, December 15th, 3-6pmJunkyard Brewing Company, 1416 1st Ave N, MoorheadCome bare the elements with us for a good cause. Bring your spare winter gear to be donated to Churches United for the Homeless. Coats, gloves, boots,…

by Josh Boscheejoshua.boschee@yahoo.comphoto courtesy of Mitch MarrEight words that perfectly describe the beautiful spirit of Kim Winnegge."I have given my whole life to words."Those of us who knew her remember these words as a…

Gadfly

Affluenza

by Ed Raymond

What happens if conspicuous consumption becomes global?The latest National Geographic has an editorial “The Global Peril of Inequality” by UCLA Professor Jared Diamond which the entire world should read. The author of many…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comUs North Dakotans love our Knoephla soup. I am no exception. I have fond childhood memories of sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen making this dumpling soup. From then until today, my taste buds go…

Music

Snow and Flurry

by HPR Contributor

by Jacques Harvieux jacquesthejock@gmail.comMosh pit etiquette 101: The mosh pit is located front and center of the stage.Create a sizeable ring.When the music starts unleash mayhem. If you fall - get up immediately.If somebody…

“The Diary of a Teenage Girl” director Marielle Heller beautifully translates another personal autobiography to excellent results. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” is based on the confessional 2008 memoir of literary forger Lee…

SEBEKA, Minnesota – Nearly a century ago the nation was racked by inclement weather, soaring unemployment, and despair following World War I and the lucrative Roaring 20s. The 1930s were an era of dust storms and lunch lines,…

by Ryan Jankeryan.janke78@gmail.comFargo-Moorhead Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Story: The Musical” which is underway at the Stage at Island Park and will run through December 22. It has been promoted as a show both…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

by Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comphotography by Logan MacraeEver wish you could go to your favorite brewery without leaving your house? Finally, you can (sort of). Kilstone Brewing is now doing limited can releases of some…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

“(Søren) Kierkegaard…has opened our eyes to the shallowness of much of our pseudo-Christian life, and to the outright deception in politics which Christianity has been made to serve.” - William Hubben“The people starve…