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The touring production of ‘Les Miserables’ at Playhouse Square C’est Magnifique

From the towering three story set to the exquisite costuming to the cast of over thirty actors in full voice to the thirteen piece orchestra playing 27 instruments...everything about the touring production of Les Miserables is as the French would say “magnifique, exquis et grande.” This is a huge undertaking worthy of the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square.

Les Miserables is based on the Victor Hugo book of the same name and is the story of Jean Valjean who has just been released from galley duty as a prisoner after serving nineteen years (five for stealing bread for his starving sister and her son and nine more for numerous escape attempts). One of the guards that oversaw him is Javert.

Work is hard to come by in France and nearly impossible for a former convict. Living on the streets he is taken in by the kindly Bishop Myriel who gives him food, wine and shelter. Valjean repays the kindness by stealing the silverware and is promptly caught by the police. The Bishop intercedes telling the police that Valjean was given the silverware as he gives two elaborate silver candle sticks to Valjean as well so that the man can get a fresh start.

In eight years Valjean (now known as Monsieur Madeleine) is a wealthy factory owner and mayor of the town. One of his employees is Fantine, an secretly unwed mother whose daughter is being raised by an abusive innkeeper and his equally abusive wife. Nearly all of Fantine’s wages go to the two. On one eventful day, a jealous coworker steals a letter to Fantine from her daughter, Cosette and a fight breaks out. Fantine is fired by the foreman whose advances had been spurned. She ends up on the street and in desperation sells her locket and hair and eventually becomes a prostitute.

Fantine is arrested by Javert for fighting back against an abusive customer as Valjean passes by. Realizing that he is partly to blame for her predicament he orders Javert to take the woman to the hospital. Soon after, Valjean uses his incredible strength to save a trapped man as Javert suspects that this is the man he has been pursuing for years but word comes that another man has been arrested as Valjean. This puts Valjean in a dilemma as he is forced to come forward to save the other man. As Fantine dies at the hospital he asks that he be allowed to find Cosette. Javert refuses, the two men fight and Valjean escapes once again.

Nine years later, Valjean is living in a mansion in Paris with the now older Cosette whom he rescued from the duplicitous innkeepers. The young woman falls in love with Marious, a member of the student revolutionary movement. Valjean and Cosette now find their lives intertwined with those involved in the 1832 Paris Uprising.

As mentioned earlier special mention must go to the cast and in particular the following: Nick Cartell as Jean Valjean, Josh Davis as Javert, Monté J. Howell and Olivia Dei Cicchi as the innkeepers, Andrew Maughan as the Bishop of Digne, Mary Kate Moore as Fantine, Jillian Butler as the older Cosette and Paige Smallwood as Éponine. Each left nothing on the stage during their wonderful solos.

Other worthy mentions in the productions deptartment are Paule Constable for lighting, Mick Potter for sound, Matt Kinley for set design, Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland for costume design as well as a special mention to Fifty-Nine Productions for their excellent video projections whose movement added unbelievable depth and realism to the show.

Young children may find it hard to keep up with the fast paced story line, some adult themes, language and hand gestures as well as the three hour sit time. High schoolers and older will better appreciate the majesty of this production.

If you truly wish to see Broadway at its absolute finest, here is your chance to witness the grandeur of Les Miserables. It is truly a spectacular spectacle where every effort has been employed to wow the crowd. This will be one of the most talked about productions of the season.

The touring production of Les Miserables will be on stage at the Connor Palace through November 18, 2018. Tickets may be purchased by phone by calling (216) 241-6000, online at or by stopping by the Playhouse Square Ticket Office located in the outer lobby of the State Theatre.

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Who is Mark Horning?

Over the course of my life I have worked a variety of jobs including newspapers, retail camera sales and photography. Eight years ago I embarked on yet another career as writer. This included articles concerning sports and cultural events in Cleveland, Ohio as well reviews of the many theatrical productions around town. These days are spent photographing professional dance groups, theater companies and various galas and festivals as well as attending various stage performances and posting reviews about them.  

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