Republican American Review of Les Misérables

12
Thomaston's 'Les Mis' is spectacular

BY JOANNE GRECO ROCHMAN | REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN 

It's hard to believe that the current production of "Les Miserables" at the Thomaston Opera House is a community theater production.

There are so many stars in this show that it's a summer constellation. Not only is the show based on Victor Hugo's classic tale polished, but the vocals are simply amazing. There's not one weak voice in the cast. Here is a large cast that is uniformly excellent.

Marc Fanning sings with vibrato and does a superb acting job as Valjean. He ages believably as the prisoner charged with stealing bread, as the mayor of town, and finally as the devoted father of his child. His performance is as admirable as he is likable. Bob Lussier is at the peak of his career with his commanding performance of Javert, the unforgiving officer determined to track down Valjean. Not only does Lussier have a fully controlled and powerful voice, but his acting is so convincing that his character is most likely engraved in the audience's collective memory.

In the playbill, it states that Luke Garrison is studying law. After his sensational and riveting performance here, he might want to switch majors to musical theater. He has a superior voice and his acting is fiercely real. On the other hand, he's got enough passion and talent in him to win over any judge or jury. He plays Enjolras. Look for him in the second act. He's the rebel leader. Hopefully, we'll see and hear more from this fine actor.

Matthew Grasso also delivers another winning performance as Marius, and George Alberts as Thenardier, the greedy ch innkeeper, is nothing short of stellar. The meaner he is, the funnier he becomes. Rebecca Pokorski as his mean-spirited wife also does a fine job. Amber Wood as Fantine, Katherine McLellan as Cosette, and Victoria Beaudoin as Eponine do the women's roles proud. They have beautiful voices and carry their roles with dignity. Troy Talamelli as the Bishop has a voice you don't get enough of in this production.

The young children in this production are also outstanding. One has to credit director/choreographer Foster Evans Reese. Blocking the action of this epic is a feat in itself. The production features a revolving stage, and the many characters who walk on and off this revolving stage, do so as if it weren't moving at all. Also deserving at least four curtain calls is music director Dan Ringuette. Not only are the vocals superior, but the musicians are fabulous.

Keith Winegar also gets kudos as technical director, set designer, and master carpenter. Even the superscripts worked as a charm as they let the audience know exactly where and when the action takes place. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fabulously complicated costumes designed and made by Barbara Piscopo and her talented crew.

This is a mammoth undertaking, and Landmark met the challenge of doing this beloved Broadway show with a wealth of talent and an abundance of enthusiasm. You've got to see it.


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