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REVIEW: Kravis Production of Les Mis Frustratingly Enjoyable

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REVIEW: Kravis Production of Les Mis Frustratingly Enjoyable

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One of Broadway’s longest running productions ever, Les Miserables, was revived on the stage of the Kravis Center of Palm Beach. This iconic production was performed from February 12th through the 17th and audiences were packed with theatergoers both young and old.

Personally, I have had the honor of acting in this production, but never had the pleasure of being an audience member. Unfortunately, for me, this version of the show fell a little short of my expectations. The directors Laurence Connor and James Powell definitely had a clear vision of how they wanted to bring the show to life.  However, I literally struggled to see it. The set was so dark it was quite difficult to see anything and the emotion and pain of the characters on stage were lost. I was also not a fan of lighting designer Paule Constable’s work. There were some moments where I actually had to squint my eyes to see the performers, and I am still unsure of what color dress Cosette was wearing because there was never enough light on her.  However, I must applaud Matt Kinley, set and image designer, for incorporating inky and moody backdrops that contributed to the somber vibe.

    One of the most enthralling nuances of the show is that the entire show is sung like an opera. The actor Nick Cartell, who played Jean Valjean, had an incredible singing voice, but unfortunately it was hard to understand his words. However, the amazing high notes he belted in his performance made up for the lack of diction.   Actors Mary Kate Moore (Fantine) and Paige Smallwood (Eponine) gave heartbreaking and soulful renditions of the plays most famous and known songs. Josh Davis as Javert really captured the tortuous soul of his character and also showed a range of emotions from anger to tenderness. One of my favorite moments was when the cast came together collectively to sing “One Day More”.  The harmonies and voices were just gloriously powerful.

In conclusion, this production may have had some flaws; however,  one can not help but fall in love with the music and lyrics by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Herbert Kretzmer.  Les Miserables has clearly stood the test of time for a reason. This is just one of the amazing productions Kravis center is able to bring to their stage. If you want to stay updated on upcoming performances held by Kravis, be sure to visit www.kravis.org.

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REVIEW: Kravis Production of Les Mis Frustratingly Enjoyable