By Mark Gasper
Creative Grounds Fine Arts Academy presents its first full-length musical production, “Les Miserables”, in its new Studio One on the north side of Greenwood Park Mall.
The production opened Thursday April 29 for a full weekend of six performances, with six more performances taking place through Mother’s Day. CGFAA Executive Director Mark Landis noted that this production is the group’s first two-act show in their new performance space. The scope of the production is impressive, with many challenging scenes, songs and concepts all handled with skill and talent by the cast. While the show is noted as being the “school edition” of “Les Mis”, dialogue, songs and subject matter have not been edited or censored. This allows the full story to be conveyed to the audience without watering it down.
The cast is composed of young performers between the ages of 12 and 19. Several of the leading roles — Jean Valjean, Javert, Marius and Thenardier — are portrayed by the same actors for all twelve performances. Other leading roles — Fantine, Cosette, Young Fantine and Cosette, Gavroche and Madame Thenardier — as well as many of the ensemble are “double cast.” This allows the young performers to have an opportunity to portray a character in six of the performances, while another performer takes that role for the other six performances. All together, 68 performers are members of the cast. Additional youths are part of the crew. The production also features a live — not pre-recorded — band performing the entire score for the musical.
“Les Miserables” runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m., with matinees also taking place Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $8 and $10 at the door, and also available online (at a discounted price) at cgfinearts.org.