Monday, March 24, 2014

REVIEW: Les Miserables at Hale Centre Theatre

1654531_10152262536701098_1854142520_oAll photos in this post are courtesy the Hale Centre Theatre Facebook page

Les Miserables
February 14, 2014 – April 19, 2014
Hale Centre Theatre
3333 South Decker Lake Drive in West Valley City

I was invited to a performance of Les Miserables at Hale Centre Theatre last week, and left in tears! I have read the book, and seen the movie, but this was my first experience seeing it as live theater. The live theater production was by far my favorite way to experience this classic story of the miserable and poor people of France.

Les Miserables is a musical based on the classic French historical novel by Victor Hugo. It was first published in 1862, and is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. The story follows ex-convict Jean Valjean, and his struggles to reclaim his life after years in prison and captivity for stealing bread for his sister’s starving child. Facing the prejudices of being an ex-convict, he creates a new identity and lives his life for good, but continues to live in fear of being caught and sent back to prison.

I took my 10 year old daughter with me to see Les Miserables. She had never seen it before, or heard the storyline, and was amazed at the struggles all the different characters faced.

“Let us sacrifice one day to gain perhaps a whole life.” – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Our favorite performers were Kyle Olsen and Anna Daines Rennaker, who played the parts of Jean Valjean and Eponine. They were completely engrossed in their roles, and had us in tears with their performances. We also really liked Megan Heaps, who played the role of Fantine.

There was not one performer in this cast that we did not enjoy. They all played their parts well and with conviction. We enjoyed the familiar songs, especially Heaps singing “I Dreamed A Dream,” and Rennaker’s performance of “On My Own”. They brought another level of sadness to those songs as I have never heard them before.

“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness.” – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

My daughter and I had a wonderful chat on the way home inspired by the production about forgiving people that have done you wrong, and devoting your life to doing good.

Before the performance, we were given a backstage tour, and got to see the props set up and ready for the upcoming performance. We got to view many of the costumes used in previous performances. Hale Centre Theatre has an in-house costume designer, and I am always amazed at how beautiful the costumes are!

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