Play review: Les Miserables

The protagonist Jean Valjean, played by senior Michael Mclean, steals a mouthful of bread to feed his sister’s starving son.

After getting caught and trying to run, he is imprisoned. After 19 years of hard work and sweat, he is set free by the antagonist of the story, General Javert, played by junior William Cardoza. Valjean breaks his parole and uses silver he stole to become a new person who is a wealthy mayor and factory owner. When Javert tries to arrest Valjean for the silver he has stolen, the Bishop, played by sophomore John Lopez, tells Javert that it was a gift and to let him go.

Javert makes a promise to himself that he will have Valjean behind bars once again. On the streets in France, Valjean meets one of the poor factory workers named Fantine, played by junior Anna Yates. Fantine is kicked out of the factory when they discover she has a child. Out of options, she turns to prostitution. After almost being arrested by Javert, Valjean insists Fantine be taken to a hospital rather than a prison.

Before Fantine dies, Valjean promises to take care of her daughter Cosette, played by freshman Vinh On. Valjean bribes Monsieur and Madame Thenardier, junior Alexander Beasley and senior Annie Stout, the caretakers of Cosette, to let Valjean take care of Cosette form now on. With Javert’s strong determination to find Valjean and bring him to justice, Valjean will spend the rest of his life protecting his loved ones and hiding from authority.

Les Miserables, being a favorite for most of the actors, explains why this year’s musical was filled with lots of talented and excited performers.

“This is definitely my favorite musical and I just had to do this musical in honor of my last year here at AHS,” senior Leif Jomuad said.

With amazing props, such as metal gates, brick walls and lanterns hanging just above the seats, the set really makes the audience feel as if they were actually sitting in the time of the French Revolution.

“I’ve been in plays before,” Mclean said. “I have always enjoyed acting.” He felt that the best thing that came from doing the musical was, “meeting all these freshmen and seeing how talented they are.”

With bright lights and a big crowd, it wasn’t hard to understand why some performers were nervous.

“I was immensely nervous. You practice and practice, but once you’re on that stage you can’t help but feel nervous,” Mclean said.

With great harmonies, projection and music, the ATC’s audio and music was one of the biggest factors in what really brought the story to life on stage.

“Opera and classical music were what really inspired me to try out for Les Mis,” Lopez said. “My favorite thing from this whole experience was hanging out with such great people and making new friends.”

Les Miserable has many difficult scenes, each filled with lots of details, this didn’t hold back AHS from giving such a great performance.

“Even though I had a small part, meeting new people and opening up was big for me,” sophomore Elena Serban said.