BETHEL TOWNSHIP — This weekend, Bethel students will perform the school’s 50th musical production, “Les Misèrables.”
The show opens today at 7 p.m. in the Bethel auditorium.
This classic musical is one of the longest-running shows in theater history, featuring well-known songs like “I Dreamed a Dream,” “One Day More,” and “Do You Hear the People Sing?”
“I’m very proud of the fact that we have enough talent to present this musical,” director Danny Elam said. “The students and staff have had a great time working toward this weekend.”
Much of the cast recently traveled to New York on a school trip and had the good fortune to see “Les Misèrables” on Broadway and to experience an acting workshop with Broadway actress and Bethel alum Susan Blackwell, Elam said.
The musical is set in 19th century France, and tells the story of Jean Valjean’s life-long struggle for redemption after he is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment.
Relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, Valjean, his adopted daughter Cosette, and slew of other characters are swept along into a revolution. Valjean is played by Coleman Clark and his nemesis, Javert, is played by Zach Moore.
Kyla Wanamaker play Fantine, a single mother who asks Valjean to take care of her daughter Cosette, played by Lexi Donthnier. Adam Clark and Kaitlyn Parker step into the roles of Thernardier and Madame Thernardier, the unscrupulous innkeepers who take advantage of Fantine and Cosette.
Student revolutionaries Enjolras and Marius are played by Regan Bowman and Brad McCarroll, respectively. The Thernardier’s daughter Eponine, played by Casey Juday, secretly loves Marius, though he falls in love with Cosette.
The action comes to a head during the Paris student uprising of 1832, when Javert must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life.
“One of the neat things about the play is that it is all music — there is very little speaking,” Elam said. “Everyone who has a line sings it, and almost everyone in the cast gets to sing a solo at some time.”
This musical is the 50th show produced by Bethel students and staff. The first musical was “Leave it to Jane” in 1968.
Performances will be held Friday, April 15, at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 16, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and on Sunday, April 17, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $7 and are available at the school. Call (937) 845-9487 for more information.