The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

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The curtains open on Enloe High School’s “Les Misérables”

On Tuesday, April 9, Howler writers attended a dress rehearsal of Les Mis, read our review and buy tickets for this weekend’s show!
Caroline Rhoad
Kruger performs one of his many emotional ballads in his role as Jean Valjean.

This weekend, Enloe High School will entertain audiences with a show-stopping production of “Les Misérables,” the stage adaptation of the novel by Victor Hugo. The show is directed by Enloe’s theater teacher, KoKo Thornton. The musical follows the life of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict in nineteenth-century France, as he seeks to escape poverty and navigate his relationship with Cosette, the daughter of a sickly single mother. “Les Misérables” is a heavy, emotional show that is sure to bring tears. The students of Enloe High School performed an outstanding dress rehearsal, bringing this show to life. 

The show is filled with countless notable numbers, but the one that stood out the most was Emma Gaddy’s solo as Fantine, performing “I Dreamed A Dream.” Fantine is the mother of young Cosette, and during this song, she dreams of what her life could have been. Gaddy’s healthy belt mixed with her solemn facial expressions truly brought this character to life. During this song, the orchestra played a flawless instrumental, contributing to the emotional weight of this performance.

Gaddy performs “I Dreamed A Dream” in her role as Fantine. (Caroline Rhoad)

Conor Kruger’s portrayal of Jean Valjean was phenomenal as well. Kruger took on this infamous protagonist role and did not miss a single beat. His mannerisms and interactions with other characters showed his embracement of the character. His dedication towards this role was also shown in his solo performances as he captivated the audience. 

While these soloists were outstanding, the work from the ensemble shined through as well. The larger numbers with the ensemble were full of energy and detailed choreography, truly capturing the attention of viewers. The best group performance was the last song of Act One, “Do You Hear The People Sing.” During this number, the characters call for revolution in France, revolting against the monarchy. The voices of the actors blended together flawlessly as the orchestra supplied them with strong chords.

Another remarkable scene was the opening number “Overture / Work Song.” As the curtains opened, the audience was met with almost the whole cast as they simulated rowing on a boat. These actors were flawlessly in sync as they paddled along to the beat of the song. This opening scene also introduced the audience to the incredible set that would be used and manipulated for the rest of the show. While the actors are the main thing audience members watch, the technical design that went into the production deserves recognition.  

The stunning ensemble performs the last number of the show. (Caroline Rhoad)

The set was truly one of the highlights of this production with its intricate design using wooden pieces as well as LED screen displays to help set the scene. The main set piece was two large barricades made up of wooden slabs, with stairs to the top of each one. These pieces were put on wheels and used in a great number of ways and scenes. A primary example is when the soldiers were using this barricade to defend themselves in battle. 

During these scenes, the lighting also played a great role in conveying the intensity. Warm tones were shown during sad scenes, while bright, cool-toned lights were projected during sudden changes in plot and important events. The screen displays at the back of the stage were used to indicate time and location to help the audience stay on track. The technical aspects were a large contribution to the professionalism of the show. 

Aside from the intricately designed set, the costumes worn were accurate to the period of the French Revolution. To viewers unfamiliar with “Les Misérables,” audience members could easily tell the hierarchies each character falls under, whether it is the holes and stains in a character’s pantleg or the tidy suit jackets. Each costume was made to perfectly fit the character’s personality and purpose. 

The tremendous efforts of each crew member and actor are shown throughout this incredible production. The inspiring work done by these young stars deserves to be praised. “Les Misérables” will be running April 11th to 13th at 7:00 and April 13th at 1:00. Be sure to buy your tickets soon via “GoFan!”

Julia Clayton portrays Cosette alongside Kruger as he portrays Jean Valjean. (Caroline Rhoad)

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