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Les Mis Comes to Beef and Boards

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More than 60 million people worldwide have experienced the tragedy, love, redemption, and revolution that is Les Miserables and now you can see a local production of the Broadway classic at Beef and BoardsLes Mis is the story of parole-jumping convict turned Mayor and father, Jean Valjean, and the relentless Inspector Javert who vows to bring him back to prison.

BRITTANY BRODERICK
  • Brittany Broderick

Eddie Curry, Director of Les Misérables, is excited to finally bring the epic show to Beef and Boards.  "The rights just recently came available for productions outside of New York or national tours.  We have been asking for the right to do Les Mis for a number of years," he says.  Curry, who took over as Artistic Director at Beef and Boards in early 2013, has been on staff with the theatre company since 1989.  Les Misérables will be the 60th show he has directed for the theatre.    

Les Misérables will be the largest show ever performed on the Beef and Boards stage.  Curry talked about some of the joys and challenges associated with such a large production.  He says, "When you get everybody who is involved in the production into the rehearsals, the collaborations between all of the creative people start taking place.  That's the joy.  The challenge is that this is just a huge musical.  There are 22 people on the stage.  There is a set.  All of the costumes and technical aspects.  The production is the challenge."

Curry makes a trip to New York City a couple of times a year to scout for upcoming shows.  For his trip to find talent for Les Mis, he saw nearly 500 actors in 3 days.  "That was after seeing close to 200 actors audition locally," says Curry.  "The local audition brought people from Chicago, St. Louis, Columbus, and Louisville.  We were able to choose the best of the best."

BRITTANY BRODERICK
  • Brittany Broderick

As far as standout actors in Les Misérables, Curry gave some idea of who to watch.  "Gregg Goodbrod is Valjean and has a phenomenal voice.  Stephanie Torns, Eponine, was recently on Broadway in Wicked.  She was in the chorus but was also the understudy for many of the leads, including the role of Elphaba, and has a powerhouse voice.  Dominic Sheahan-Stahl is playing Marius and has a beautiful tenor instrument.  Sarah Hund, the ill-fated Fantine, has a bionic voice that can do anything."  Curry went on to say, "I'll reserve judgment until we open; but on paper, this is the most talented group of people we have ever assembled on the Beef and Boards stage."

Les Mis will be Sheahan-Stahl's tenth production with Beef and Boards and this show will push emotional boundaries for him as an actor.  "Marius' friends and Eponine, who is like his sister, all die," explains Sheahan-Stahl.  "I realized that I can't sit in the dressing room and laugh when I'm not onstage.  I need to stay in that space.  I need to think about what it would be like if I lost every single one of my friends and my sister."

BRITTANY BRODERICK
  • Brittany Broderick

According to Curry, one of the pivotal moments in the show is when Javert sings "Stars".  "It lets you know where that character is coming from up to that point.  When he sings "Stars," that is the moment in our production where you will see the set come together in its complete form.  It'll have about five or six different forms, but this is when you see its entirety.  For me, it is really powerful," he says.

Les Miserables is an engrossing musical full of dynamic characters, but  Sheahan-Stahl shares some advice for first-time viewers of the show: "Love the characters as much as you want, but nobody is safe from death.  As much as it is a triumph, it is a tragedy."

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