WHAT: "Les Misérables."
THE PLAY: Becoming newly available to community theaters in 2013 has resulted in several area productions of the beloved musical "Les Miserables." It is now the longest-running musical, seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and is staging a revival on Broadway beginning in March. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, "Les Misérables" tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption — a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Featuring the songs "I Dreamed a Dream," "Bring Him Home," "One Day More" and "On My Own," the story revolves around Jean Valjean (played by Eric Nutting), an ex-convict hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (portrayed by Mark Hartfield) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's (played by Karissa Barber) young daughter, Cosette (played by Eva Martin as little Cosette and Crystal Lizardo as older Cosette), their lives change forever.
"It is an extremely compelling story and notion that someone's (Valjean) nature can be changed," director Katrina Ploof says. "Eric Nutting is exquisite … I have never seen a Valjean like this one."
THE CAST: The rest of the cast includes Jessica Judy as Eponine, Neil Sherouse as the Bishop, J.T. Anderson as Fauchelevant, Lucas Manley as Gavroche and Avery Brown as young Eponine. Thenardier and Madame Thenardier are played by Jim McClellan and Sara Catherine Barnes. Montparnasse is played by Elisha Corlew, Brujon by Kenneth Rosever, Claquesous by Jason Frier, Enjortras by Marquez Linder and Marius by Sean Philibin. Kent Altman is Feuilly, John Ettinger is Lesgles, Jason Fortin is Jean Prouvaire and Jeremy Henry is Joly. Courfeyrac is portrayed by Trevor Eisinger, Combeferre by Ryan Michael Caudill, Grabtaure by Cory Wilson and The Foreman by Andres LeJeune. The ensemble is made up of Ryan Dale, Taryn Adams, Katie Camp, Rhona Dalusong, Lori Engler, Nicole Frier, Sarah Ganey, Viktoria Hicks, Nicole Huett, Gina Philibin, Eranthis Quigley, Alaina West and Paige Wilson.
PRODUCTION STAFF: "Les Misérables" is directed by Katrina Ploof, with Philip King as musical director and Charlene Getz as stage manager. Lighting is by David Castaneda, and set design by Nick Judy. Costumes are by Camille McClellan.
WHEN: The production runs today through March 16. Shows are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Additional performances for this show are Wednesday, March 5 and March 12 at 7:30 p.m., March 2 at 7:30 p.m. and March 8 at 2:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Theatre Winter Haven, Chain of Lakes Complex, 210 Cypress Gardens Blvd. SW, Winter Haven.
TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased by calling 863-294-7469, by visiting the Box Office or by going to www.theatrewinterhaven.com. Tickets are $24 for adults and $21 for ages 17 and younger.