In a musical that is cloaked in darkness, some comic relief is provided in the unlikely form of the villainous innkeeper and his wife, seen here played by Brian J. Bianco and Marilyn Crough Olsen. (contributed photo)
The area's first full-scale, adult-cast production of Les Miserables will begin a five-week run in Curtain Call's Kweskin Theatre, Stamford, on Friday, February 7. A cast of 41 under the direction of Eli Newsom (BRIDGEPORT) will play weekends through March 8. This is Newsom's directorial debut at Curtain Call, where he has previously been seen on stage in The Full Monty and 42nd Street.
"I am thrilled to be presenting Les Miserables just as another Broadway revival of the show is being readied," said Lou Ursone, Curtain Call's executive director and producer for this show. "It adds to 'the buzz' about the show and that's good for everyone," Ursone added. "But our ticket prices are a lot lower," he joked. At press time, the opening weekend is sold out so "buzz" may not be really needed here.
Indeed, for the past several years Curtain Call has seen sold out performances more often than not. According to Ursone, in anticipation of this being very popular with area audiences, the production is scheduled for one week more than normally planned in this time slot. "I am very proud of this production and want anyone who is a fan of the show to see it in our wonderfully intimate setting of The Kweskin Theatre," Ursone said. He noted that based on conversations in the Box Office, many ticket-holders will be seeing the show for the first time.
Music director George H. Croom (YONKERS, NY) is no stranger to this material having directed the organization's summer youth production of Les Miserables in 2011. "His work on this production has been amazing and the results are very evident," Ursone said. "And Eli's direction is terrific. We've had a fabulous creative team to make this epic musical come to life," Ursone said.
Having appeared as father and daughter in Curtain Call's production of Sweeney Todd, actors Ryan O'Neill and Rebecca Craig are reunited in this production of Les Miserables as jean Valjean and Cosette. (contributed photo)
Starring as Jean Valjean is WESTPORT resident Ryan O'Neill, whose previous Curtain Call appearances include starring in the title role of Sweeney Todd as well as leading roles in Titanic and 1776. Playing his adversary, Inspector Javert, is NORWALK resident and Curtain Call newcomer, Cristopher Wilkes. The three young leading ladies of the cast are Arielle Boutin (NORWALK) as Eponine, Rebecca Craig (STRATFORD) as Cosette and Laura Donaldson (YONKERS) as Fantine. Other featured players include Brian Bianco and Joe Colavito of STAMFORD, Marilyn Crough Olsen (WOODBRIDGE) and Christian Cardozo (BRIDGEPORT). Also in the cast are, from STAMFORD: Joseph Caputo, Jenna Colavito, Scott Ferrara, Donna Fox, Michael McArthur, Joshua Pickel, Elisa Pasqua, Elizabeth Riordan, Ethan Riordan, Elizabeth Sabia and Jamil Zraikat; from NORWALK: Shawn Tyler Allen, Marcelo Calderon, Victoria Clougher, Rick Harrington, Sergio Mandujano, Katie Morris, Michael Stark and Meredith Walker; from STRATFORD: Dante DiFederico, Katie Imholt and Dan Travers; from FAIRFIELD: Adelaide Meny and Natalie Steele; from BRIDGEPORT: Tony Republicano; from GREENWICH: Jack Small; from WESTPORT: Daniela Sawyer; from TRUMBULL: Emma Cenholt-Haulund; from WEST HAVEN: Bill Adams; from PORT CHESTER, NY: Larry Gabbard; from NEW ROCHELLE, NY: Sandra Benedetto, and from YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY: Daniel Graf.
Les Miserables, a sung-through musical based on the novel of the same name, had its world premiere in September of 1980 at the Palais des Sports in Paris. The production was directed by filmmaker Robert Hossein and ran for over 100 performances.
Following the run of the French version, the musical had to be adapted into English. This new version, produced by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird, opened on October 8, 1985 at the Barbican Arts Centre in London. The original cast included such notables as Colm Wilkinson, Michael Ball, and Patti LuPone. It has since become the second longest-running musical in the world and the second longest-running show on the West End.
The epic musical, Les Miserables, is a tale of friendships, love, war and death and more. Seen here are Marius (Christian Cardozo) and Eponine (Arielle Boutin) in rehearsal in The Kweskin Theatre, Stamford. The play will run February 7 through March 8. (contributed photo)
This nearly 30-year-old epic musical has been performed all around the globe and is one of the most popular musicals of all time. The original Broadway production garnered 9 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score. Les Miserables has a book by Alain Boubill and Claude-Michel Schonberg with music by Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer.
In addition to Newsom and Croom, other members of the creative team include STAMFORD resident Kari Ann Sweeney as choreographer; Peter Barbieri, Jr. (FAIRFIELD) as set designer, Aaron Meadow (LARCHMONT, NY) as lighting designer and Megan Latte Ormond (STAMFORD) as costume designer. The stage management team is lead by Jan Ursone with Tom DeSalvo and Will Hart (all of STAMFORD).
Tickets are available from the Box Office at 203-461-6358 or online at www.curtaincallinc.com– Adults: $29. / Senior Citizens: $22. / Students and children: $14.50. Five, seven and ten-ticket Flex Passes are available and reduce ticket prices by up to 25 percent. The remainder of Curtain Call's 23rd season includes, Gypsy, The Wizard of Oz, Dead Man’s Cell Phone and many other special events including concerts by Michael Jovovich, Frank Mastrone and more. Plus interactive murder mysteries and comedy nights are also on tap.
Curtain Call is the nonprofit, professionally-run, community-based theatre company in residence at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Avenue in Stamford.
Year-round productions and educational workshops are presented by and for area residents in The Kweskin Theatre and The Dressing Room Theatre.
Curtain Call has been voted Fairfield County’s BEST LOCAL THEATRE GROUP 2005 through 2013 in the Annual Readers’ Poll of The Fairfield County Weekly as well as BEST LOCAL THEATRE by StamfordPlus magazine for the past five years and as BEST VENUE by Stamford Magazine readers.. Curtain Call also received The Governor’s Award for Excellence in Culture and Tourism for 2011 and in a 2012 statewide Facebook poll, Curtain Call was noted as the most popular theatre in Connecticut and second most favorite attraction in the state.