"It's Les Miserables time again! Just thought I'd share where I am tonight... I've been to another show at Genesis that I really enjoyed, so I'm really looking forward to seeing their take on Les Mis!
edit, with some thoughts...
I was really impressed with the quality of this production. Over and over, I find myself enjoying small community shows more than professional theatre. It was obvious that they took great care in designing the show for their small space. The director was Megan Demsky, fight choreography and assistant directing by Meg Sullivan, and dance choreography was by Kelly Schaaf. All of the movement in the show was just very well done.
Let me describe the stage/performance area for you. I don't know technical terms, but there was a small area raised up in a normal stage, then the floor space in front of that with the audience on 3 sides. There were 2 rows on the left and right, then facing the stage there were several more rows of seats. Around those rows, the performance space extended in platforms on the left, and more space for entrance/exits on the right. The 3 person band was behind the last row of these riser seats. So, effectively, the audience was completely surrounded by the performers! It was a very different and effective way of doing the show, I thought. Everything was very easy to see and hear, especially some very nice harmonies! The actors didn't have microphones, but they didn't need them.
I won't go into detail about each actor, but I'll just describe a few more things about the show. It was minimal with sets and props. I liked how they used chairs instead of boxes to create different set pieces (even if the "empty chairs" metaphor is getting a bit overdone in Les Mis productions by now.) Guns and other tools were represented by big sticks, and many other "props" were mimed. I always watch actors with mimed cups and bottles and things, to see if they drop them or the prop magically disappears, but I'm happy to report that everyone was very consistent with their invisible props.
Other moments I enjoyed: Javert's Suicide was done with some projections on white curtains, and the actor walking slowly between the curtains. I'm not describing it very well, but the effect was great. I also enjoyed seeing a few little silent things... This is only the second time I've seen a production have a a male ensemble member as a flashback Felix Tholomyes during I Dreamed a Dream, but it's one of my favorite little things directors add. I loved how they had the ensemble standing on chairs holding flashlights to make the sewer tunnels! There were so many nice, creative moments in this show. I believe they have performances this weekend and next, and it's definitely worth $15 and 3 hours of your time."