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Blockbuster Musical Arrives at CenterStage

Reston Community Players present ‘Les Miserables.’

An old woman (Susanna Todd) offers to buy Fantine's (Jennifer Lambert) necklace in Reston Community Players’ rehearsal of ‘Les Miserables.’

An old woman (Susanna Todd) offers to buy Fantine's (Jennifer Lambert) necklace in Reston Community Players’ rehearsal of ‘Les Miserables.’ Photo by Diane Schnoor/Courtesy of Reston Community Players

Megawatt electric energy filled the Reston Community Players (RCP) rehearsal hall. Cast members and technical crew were in the midst of the groundwork for the area community theater premiere of the multi Tony-Award winning musical "Les Misérables."

The RCP has wanted to produce "Les Miserables" for years. When the rights to perform it finally became available for community theaters, RCP Producer Rick Schneider said "we jumped at the chance. Our audiences can expect to see stunning performances."

"Les Miserables" is a sung-through musical, with lots of songs and music, less dialogue. It is based upon the work of French novelist Victor Hugo. It tells of the chaotic journey and spiritual awakening of Jean Valjean, imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. He was then hounded by police inspector Javert across revolutionary France in the early 1800s. Along the way, Valjean meets a slew of colorful characters.

For director Andrew JM Regiec, "it is a thrill to be able to bring the 'Les Miserables' to life, with its timeless score...everything is going to be there on stage that people expect." It will be a "full production that audiences will travel back in time to enjoy."

Where and When

Reston Community Players present "Les Misérables" performed at CenterStage, Reston Community Center, 2319 Colts Neck Road, Reston. Performances: Jan. 17- Feb. 9, 2014. Jan. 17, 18, 24, 25, 26, 30, and 31, and Feb. 1, 6, 7, 8, and 9 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 26 and Feb. 9 2 p.m. matinees. Tickets: $20-$23. Go to www.restonplayers.org or call CenterStage box office at 703-476-4500. Note: CenterStage is handicap accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired.

Regiec said that the talented cast "was selected after open auditions brought enormous interest. There were over 125 people of all ages who auditioned for the nearly 30 roles." The cast is composed of veterans and newcomers to the Reston Players.

"Les Miserbales" has a score of about 50 musical numbers about survival, passion, broken dreams and redemption. The song titles and music will bring instant recognition to fans. "One Day More," "Do You Hear the People Sing," "Bring Him Home," "On My Own," "Drink With Me." Award-winning, musical director Mark Deal has an orchestra of 12 driving the production.

Bringing the intricate technical aspects of "Les Miserables" to CenterStage, are many unseen volunteers responsible for costumes, hair, wigs and make-up as well as the lighting and the sound. The set designed by Skip Larson, Andy Rick, Greg Steele with the carpentry, painting, decoration and props skills of numerous artisans will use the entire 32 foot length of the stage.

In a round-table interview with RCP newcomers, they all spoke of their long love for "Les Miserables." Cara Bachman, Sean Bartnick, Ward Ferguson, Emma Lord, Michael Reid, Ella Schnoor, Maggie Slivka, Ethan Van Slyke, all were clear and enthusiastic, "who wouldn't want to do this?"