It probably isn't fair for me to review Ardmore Little Theatre's "Les Miserables."
I've seen the show in almost any capacity — from the school version on up to the original show in London. I've even been in a production and could probably recite it verse for verse.
Needless to say, it's my favorite stage production of any kind. So when I heard ALT was planning it for a summer show, I'll admit, I cringed a little. ALT productions are all great, but for a community group to take on arguably the biggest show out there was hard to swallow.
But after seeing it performed, my worries were soon dispelled.
The ALT production of "Les Miserables" holds its own with most of the versions I've seen. Cast and crew should be commended for their hard work on this monster of a show.
I'll start with the technical stuff.
The set is as professional as you could imagine. Minimalist, yet striking enough to work with any scene.
The lighting was perfect. Colors were bright when needed, drab and dreary when it called for it, and exciting as well, particularly during the battles on the barricade.
The costuming is straight out of a professional show. I was convinced at one point the wardrobe people from London delivered their props and clothing to Ardmore.
And now, the cast.
What a wonderful group of people. The principal cast members are as professional and passionate in their roles as any paid performer I've ever seen do this show. All of their featured songs deliver that moment of "awesome," and their commitment to delivering their best is apparent.
Some of my favorite highlights: "I Dreamed a Dream," any of Javert's solos, "Bring Him Home" and "Master of the House."
One thing I do have to pull out and highlight is the duo that plays the Thenardiers. They're possibly my favorite characters in the show, and often get overdone or undersold. This particular couple reminded me why they're my favorites, and were obviously having a lot of fun with the role.
That being said, Jean ValJean, Javert, Fantine, Eponine, Marius, Cosette, young Cosette, Gavroche and all other characters were performed above and beyond my expectations.
And not to be forgotten, the ensemble. This show wouldn't be as striking without the ensemble. The cast numbers are amazing. It takes a lot of talent in one place to execute most of these ensemble numbers, and this is no exception. They all have those moments of goosebumps (the good kind), and everyone, right down to "guy on the street No. 4," deserves praise for the hard work put into this production.
Director Dell McLain and his crew obviously had a great vision for this show, and it came across nicely.
This will be the ALT show that people talk about for years.